So, What Are You Reading? v. 2020

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Finished Whirlwind at lunch today and so I've completed The Asian Saga.

    Whirlwind is good, did get lost a few times with characters/places since the novel spans Iran from Hormuz to the border with Azerbaijan. With so many characters it did get a little bogged down at times, especially with them spread out.

    My rankings of all the novels

    1. Shogun
    2. King Rat
    3. Noble House (barely ahead of...)
    4. Tai-Pan (barely ahead of...)
    5. Whirlwind
    and in a distant 5th place....Gai-Jin

    1-5 in my rankings are all solid and not much separates them. Gai-Jin is a steaming hot pile of garbage and should be skipped by everyone, it doesn't fit into the Saga/narrative at all (even though it involves Struan's in-between Tai-Pan and Noble House so you think it would) That being said, Shogun and King Rat are standalone, however the main character in King Rat does have a part to play in Noble House but I don't think you'd be missing anything if you skipped King Rat. Chronologically, Tai-Pan -> Noble House -> Whirlwind should be read in order. From reading all the books I've learned that James Clavell likes women who put their husbands on a pedestal, have their favorite drink ready without being asked (they should just know), unfettered capitalism, and he absolutely 100 percent hates the Labour Party.
     
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  2. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Read A Book About American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates. About the abortion issue. Oates conflates Operation Rescue and the Army of God, but otherwise a pretty good book.
     
  3. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    [​IMG]

    I took my time with this one.

    Interesting book from 2004 that has a good overall message while drifting into some weird, an occasionally anti-scientific, areas. Usually I'd have fun railing against things like organic food and alternative medicine, but they're outweighed by interesting insights into areas such as education, work, and even city planning. It was well worth the $6 I got it for.
     
  4. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. A memoir about raising a younger brother after the deaths of his parents.
     
  5. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    I could not put this book down and I normally can put a NF book down.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    Ibadan: The Penkelemes Years, A Memoir 1946-1965, in which that word "Penkelemes" refers to the early days of Nigerian independence in which a strange form corruption dominated public life and some cases, threatened the continued existence of the author, Wole Soyinka, who in this memoir refers to himself as "Malen" and disguises other identities as well. He calls this memoir a work of "faction," in which certain events are disguised as fiction in order to protect some of those who might still need protecting given the vagaries of Nigerian politics when this book was published in the '90s.
     
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  7. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Read House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa). It's a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about an Amerindian WWII vet who returns shattered.
     
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  8. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am in an odd place book-wise. The public library is still closed, though if you make a borrowing request they will prepare it and bring it out to the parking lot for you. But usually I supplement what I am actively looking for with my impulse borrowing forays, of which there have been none since pre-Covid, and my list of things I was looking for (that they have) is exhausted. And I have already re-read most of what I am ready for here in our home collection.

    I am reading some work-related stuff but I need to re-stock the "for pleasure" reading queue.

    [​IMG]

    Global Health & International Relations by McInnes and Lee is my current work-related read, the better to put Trump's decision to pull the US out of the WHO into context for my students.
     
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  9. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    Pudd’nhead Wilson – Mark Twain

    [​IMG]

    "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives."
     
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  10. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    [​IMG]

    My wife, our 12-year-old son, and I are reading these together. We finished Voices Friday and started Powers yesterday. Reading these for a half an hour or so has become our lunchtime habit while everyone is working/schooling from home.
     
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  11. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Fantastic and depressing read, would make my blood boil

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I read this remarkable, brief novel yesterday afternoon while on furlough (and then deep into the night):

    [​IMG]

    The Deep has a fascinating backstory. In the mid-1990s, an obscure techno group called Drexciya which included lyrics about a sea-born race of creatures akin to mermaids and descended from pregnant slaves thrown overboard whilst on the transatlantic voyage. Somehow the producers of the radio show This American Life discovered the music, and as part of an episode dedicated to Afrofuturism in 2017, asked an experimental rap group called clipping (comprised of the three additional co-authors listed on the cover of the book - Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes) to compose a song called "The Deep" which you can hear here:



    The album was nominated for a Hugo Award. And then it became the basis for The Deep written by Rivers Solomon.

    I knew nothing about this and certainly not the backstory of the music. The other day, my wife and I took a housewarming gift to a friend of our daughter's who we've known for twenty years. The group of friends is scattered all over but they take turns choosing books and mailing them out so they can have a book club conversation, and the one we visited had a copy of The Deep to send our daughter who is fairly itinerant right now in her domicile. And I decided to read it before I mailed it to her.

    I recommend it. My copy of the book uses the artwork shown here while the hard copy issued originally shows the shape of the protagonist (mermaid-ish) whereas I wasn't quite sure in the book how they looked. I am not sure which is better, if either.
     
  13. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Read Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell. Not the levels of his two classic novels but pretty good. About a 30 year old bookstore clerk and his misadventures.
     
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  14. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    [​IMG]

    The book won Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989. The pace, the plot and subject of the book normally does not appeal to me, but I could not put it down. I still do not understand why and how I enjoy reading it so much.
     
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  15. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    The Far Corner: A Mazy Dribble Through North-East Football, an interesting book in which Harry Pearson returns to his northeastern roots after a decade and a half in London and decides to get into football at all levels, from the local premiership sides (Sunderland, Newcastle) and lower tier teams (Middlesbrough) down to lower non-league sides like the legendary Blyth Spartans (who the internet tells me are struggling, but in the 1993-94 season chronicled here are still not struggling). An interesting book that I put on my kindle (for $4) after reading this article a couple days ago...

    https://unherd.com/2020/10/why-i-fell-in-love-with-the-northern-league/

    Oh, while the season and tournaments narrated in the books happened almost 30 years ago, even before I could watch the premiership on cable, it's still worth a look because Pearson is funny as hell.
     
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