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What are you reading in 2021


JLSigman
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I was up for some true crime after watching Straight Time so I bought Street Players by Donald Goines, No Beast So Fierce by Eddie Bunker, and Savage Night by Jim Thompson. What do y'all think? (I'm new to all three, and yes I know the middle is autobiographical)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also went on kind of a spree and bought books by Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Emma Goldman and a pair from Skipp & Spector. Anarchist theory and splatterpunk go together like chocolate and peanut butter I suppose. 

Eddie Bunker's No Beast So Fierce just got here today. Just reading the foreward got me laughing my ass off. The man convinced a bunch of psychiatrists he was crazy by claiming the Catholic church was trying to put a radio in his brain and that he was born in 1884 and warned Roosevelt about the attack on Pearl Harbor 🤣 One of his prison sentences ended up being undetermined but from a period between eighteen months and 14 years, so he never knew how long because they doled it out by the year. He served seven before they took their foot off his neck. Incredible. That would make me hang myself forthwith. And after THAT he spent time in Marion, where I spent 12 years outside the walls, and which is where John Gotti died and Manuel Noriega might still live. It's where they send the worst of the worst, needless to say. The whole time he wrote. RIP, Mr. Blue.

Also, I finished Street Players in round about two and a half hours. It was pretty cold but nowhere near as dark as his first one, Dopefiend, which I read a brief essay about later on. Bestiality, anyone? No? Yeah, me neither...

Edited by Curt McGirt
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Now reading Velocities (Stories) by Kathe Koja, which is a short story collection. She has a very abstract writing style.

Before that, I read Orconomics by J Zachary Pike, which is very much D&D inspired, and is about (the evils of) capitalism in a heroic fantasy setting.

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Jeez, the Skipp and Spector books got here and they are King-sized, one is 379 pages and the other is 420. So now I have the Jim Thompson, Mutual Aid by Kropotkin, a full Emma Goldman collection and both of those mothers to knock out. I don't think I've had a plate this full since I used to go hogwild at the library when I was a kid. (BTW, I haven't had a functioning library card in almost a decade due to where I live in the county. It's gonna be great moving back into town and able to freakin rent out books again)

(Okay maybe not King level. They aren't scratching 600-700)

Edited by Curt McGirt
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  • 4 weeks later...

The OSJ obit thread has me in the mood to read a couple of my favorite fantasy authors.  In my teens and 20's, I put together a rather large and valuable sci-fi, fantasy, horror book collection.  Kinda lost interest in the genre's in the late 90's and sold off the collection, but I did keep a small collection of my five or six favorite authors and even occasionally buy a new novel by one of them.  I only get the urge to dig them out and read something every several years, and I generally lose interest relatively fast, but it's fun while it lasts.

Anyway, in the mood.  Think I'm going to read something from James Blaylock.  I was a huge fan of Land of Dreams back in the day and his early 80's novels are a lot of fun.  Blaylock has set a lot of his stories and novels in a steampunk version of Victorian London and consciously tries to write something in the vein of Jules Verne meets the pulpy Saturday afternoon matinees of yesteryear.  Probably going to dig out Homonculus or the Digging Leviathan.

Also hoping to stay interested long enough to get through a Tim Powers or Charles De Lint novel or two.  Maybe even Jonathan Carroll.  I still have import first editions of his early novels, but haven't cracked any of them in 20 years.

On another topic, I discovered today that the TV series Lovecraft Country is based on a novel by Matt Ruff.  I met Ruff around the time he had his first novel published   Interesting guy.  He started writing novels in his teens.  First several never got finished, but he sold a novel in college and got it published soon after graduation.  When I met him, he seemed like he might only have one novel in him.  Fool on the Hill didn't sell well, and kinda got him pigeon-holed in that weird "mainstream but with mild fantastical elements" subgenre that doesn't sell well.  Wiki says his second book wasn't published till ten years later, but he's published one novel every four years since 2003.  Good for him.

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  • 1 month later...

I really enjoy reading, but don't do it nearly enough.  A couple weeks ago, I tore through The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch.  Damn, did I love it.  

I dig George Saunders a lot, so I've got his newest one A Swim in a Pond in the Rain on hold at my library.  Looking forward to that one.

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Oof, I started this thread, and then abandoned it completely. Sorry about that.

So I've already read 41 books (!!!!) this year, all new to me. So let's get caught up a bit....

After Saga, I needed more comic sci-fi, so I read the collected Descender (vol 1 and vol 2) which were absolutely amazing. The sequel, Ascender, is almost as good, but hasn't updated in a while.

Read some of the new Star Wars: High Republic stuff, and it's OK, but not grabbing my attention. The Lord Baltimore weird vampire as a WWI plague was a free Hoopla read and it's interesting enough that I'll keep working my way through the collected issues.

Right now I'm reading The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec, which is an interesting take on Norse mythology.

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14 hours ago, odessasteps said:

Have you read Kieran Gillen's Die comic yet? 

Not yet, it's in the digital pile through my local library's Hoopla service. I'm looking forward to it, tho.

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On 6/14/2021 at 5:33 PM, JLSigman said:

Right now I'm reading The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec, which is an interesting take on Norse mythology.

Finished this last night. It's solidly good. I can't speak to how it does/does not mess with Norse mythology, that not being my strong point outside of some generalizations and such, but it's a good story about a woman who loves and loses and loves and wins.

Next up is the first Expanse book, Leviathan Awakes. I have not seen the live action series, so this will be completely new to me.

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25 minutes ago, JLSigman said:

Next up is the first Expanse book, Leviathan Awakes. I have not seen the live action series, so this will be completely new to me.

The first book has a real gender parity issue but if you stick with it, that evens out quickly. 

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On 6/14/2021 at 9:43 PM, Log said:

I dig George Saunders a lot, so I've got his newest one A Swim in a Pond in the Rain on hold at my library.  Looking forward to that one.

You read up about this? It is a bit different from the stuff he has done before.

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2 minutes ago, Liam said:

You read up about this? It is a bit different from the stuff he has done before.

I have.  In fact, at first, I was going to pass on it.  But then, I kept seeing people raving about it, so I changed my mind.

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4 minutes ago, Log said:

I have.  In fact, at first, I was going to pass on it.  But then, I kept seeing people raving about it, so I changed my mind.

Yeah, it is really enjoyable. Not finished it yet, but taking the odd chapter at a time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reading has gotten away from me in the last few months, but I'm trying to get back into it. It'll hopefully be a lot easier after next month when I don't have the PT weekend job anymore. At the moment, I'm reading the novelization of the 2002 film "Insomnia."  I really like the film (although it doesn't hold a candle to the original Norwegian film it's based on), and one thing I've learned over the last year or so is that novelizations always seem to have little tidbits or things that you don't necesarilly pick up on when you see the film.

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30 minutes ago, Mike Campbell said:

Reading has gotten away from me in the last few months, but I'm trying to get back into it. It'll hopefully be a lot easier after next month when I don't have the PT weekend job anymore. At the moment, I'm reading the novelization of the 2002 film "Insomnia."  I really like the film (although it doesn't hold a candle to the original Norwegian film it's based on), and one thing I've learned over the last year or so is that novelizations always seem to have little tidbits or things that you don't necesarilly pick up on when you see the film.

Novelizations are often really good reads, because yeah, you get bits of stuff that was left out in the final editing.

They can also be completely different, tho. I can remember the X2 novelization ended with an alive but blinded Jean Grey.

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Funny that I come into this thread with my headphones in, listening to Quentin Tarantino talk about his novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and you all have been talking about movie novelizations.

I'm intrigued by Tarantino's book.  Sounds like he does certain scenes from other characters' perspectives.

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On 6/17/2021 at 8:10 AM, JLSigman said:

Next up is the first Expanse book, Leviathan Awakes. I have not seen the live action series, so this will be completely new to me.

Finished it. I'm... kinda ambivalent about it. I mean, it's good, there's great world building, but the characters are just kinda there. The authors also have a bad habit of characters having revelations about what to do, but not telling us what that is until 50 pages and two character POV changes later. I've asked the library to grab the next one, I do want to know what happens with the stuff on Venus.

Also finishing up the Baltimore comic collection. Real bleak stuff, but well written and drawn.

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The political nerd in me is waiting for August, and the release of Michael C. Bender's "Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost"  So, to tide myself over until then, I've started reading Philip Rucker's "A Very Stable Genius

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  • 3 weeks later...

After Dynamite on Wednesday night, I finished reading "The Final Girl Support Group" by Grady Hendrix. It's a fun little murder mystery that pays obvious lip service to the horror/slasher film genre. It's reportedly being made into an HBO miniseries as well.

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On 7/1/2021 at 8:09 AM, JLSigman said:

Finished it. I'm... kinda ambivalent about it. I mean, it's good, there's great world building, but the characters are just kinda there. The authors also have a bad habit of characters having revelations about what to do, but not telling us what that is until 50 pages and two character POV changes later. I've asked the library to grab the next one, I do want to know what happens with the stuff on Venus.

Also finishing up the Baltimore comic collection. Real bleak stuff, but well written and drawn.

I'm currently listening this series as well, and I am really enjoying it.  It has its issues, but none are lessening my enjoyment in any real way.  I think my biggest problem is the name Avasarala.  In a book full of characters with names like James Holden, Amos Burton, Alex Kamal, and Naomi Nagata, it really seems like Avasarala is unnecessarily exotic.  Because I'm a crazy person I actually looked it up, and there are only about 1500 people on earth with the last name Avasarala.  I get it some people have uncommon names, and I respect that, but the rest of the names do a great job of bridging the gap between diverse and common that works really well.  Having a Martian of Indian descent who grew up in a community mostly populated with people from Texas, India, and China where everyone adopted a Texas accent illustrates how the universe of the series has moved on from some of our current conventions and moved on to different conventions.  Naming that character something as common as Alex Kamal shows makes that character relatable, but also pays homage to his ethnic background.  The name Avasarala pulls you out of the world, because she is pretty much our only link to Earth, which shold be the place the reader relates to the most.  Calling the character Chrisjen Singh, Patel, or even Agarwal would give a clue to her background while being common enough for the reader to immediately create a bond.  Avasarala made me look up the name, try unsuccessfully to pronounce it, and I became annoyed...not what you want from your readers.

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I just finished my second read of "What It Feels Like For A Girl" by Paris Lees, which is a kind of/sort of memoir of her teenage years, parts of which have been fictionalized. It's quite funny, but also a somewhat dark read at times. There were points where I had to stop reading because I got super emotional because it touched on similar life events to me.

It's refreshing to read a memoir from a trans person where being trans has very little to do with the narrative of the memoir.

I had to import my copy from the UK but it was well worth it.

EDIT TO ADD: Also, the cover art is quite possibly the brightest cover art I've ever seen, and I adore it so.

Edited by Stefanie the Human
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