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Thread: What's the last book you read?

  1. #2506
    Hate Crime Blake's Avatar
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    They Both Die At The End
    My face screams without an emotion

  2. #2507
    unlikable female protagonist Sansa Spark's Avatar
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    I finished Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak (Rumpelstiltskin retelling, slow burn) and am starting The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley (Beowulf retelling), which I anticipate loving but am only 15 pages in so it’s too soon to be sure.

  3. #2508
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    Tin Man by Sarah Winman. Such a beautiful, moving novel. I think it would make an amazing film that would appeal to those who loved Call Me By Your Name.
    Ok. I must check this out.
    @Blake. I LOVED They Both Die At The End. It was SO sweet and sad and just everything I wanted it to be. Have you read his other novels? They’re all so good.

    I’m currently reading Vox by Christina Dalcher. It’s basically a modern Handmaid’s Tale, but don’t let that put you off. The Handmaid’s Tale is obviously timeless, but this one so far is resonating more with me because of just how “of the moment” it is. I won’t give any spoilers away besides what you can already learn from the book’s description, but basically, all women wear a “bracelet” that counts their words. They have 100 words a day. Go over that limit and the bracelet shocks you. Women also do not work ( obviously) and female children are only taught basic math and home economics. It’s horrifying. Fittingly, the author earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics so there are lots of interesting bits about communication scattered throughout.

    When I say that it resonates more directly than Handmaid’s ( for me), here’s a reason why. At one point, a male neighbor rhetorically asks the protagonist who she thinks is at fault for the situation her and his wife ( and every woman and girl living in America ) find themselves in. He explains that they’d marched one too many times, written one too many letters, screamed one too many words. “You women,” he says, “needed to be taught a lesson.”

    I felt like I’d been punched in the face. It’s no accident that it mirrors so much of our current lives because she wrote the novel in TWO MONTHS. I think ( so far) that it is essential reading. It flies along at the pace of a “hooked from page one” psychological thriller and is SO well-written. Highly recommended.
    The Landslide Never Brought, Brought Me Down

  4. #2509
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    In the last few months I read:

    Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward--This was more appealing in theory than in practice to me, and it sort of falls apart at the end. I struggled a bit to get through it. It's interesting without being particularly affecting.

    My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent--Definitely a page-turner. I ripped through this one. It's intense and gripping--there are times I wasn't totally convinced by the voice of the lead character, but overall I liked it.

    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood--This has been on my to-read list for years, well before the show premiered. I still haven't seen the series, but I finally made this a priority to read. What can I say that hasn't already been said? It's brilliant.

  5. #2510
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    ^ please read Vox next! It’s a great follow-up after reading Handmaid’s.
    The Landslide Never Brought, Brought Me Down

  6. #2511
    And in the evening it's. . . Andrea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleeptheclock View Post

    My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent--Definitely a page-turner. I ripped through this one. It's intense and gripping--there are times I wasn't totally convinced by the voice of the lead character, but overall I liked it.
    .
    I just finished this one last week. It kind of reminded me of A Little Life a bit. The prose was beautifully done, but the plot was emotionally traumatic at times. I never knew I would be down with such epic descriptions of Northern CA botany.

  7. #2512
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    ^ please read Vox next! It’s a great follow-up after reading Handmaid’s.
    I will keep this one in mind! I already started a new book, though--I'm now reading Less, by Andrew Sean Greer.

  8. #2513
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea View Post
    I just finished this one last week. It kind of reminded me of A Little Life a bit. The prose was beautifully done, but the plot was emotionally traumatic at times. I never knew I would be down with such epic descriptions of Northern CA botany.
    Agreed. It definitely had shades of A Little Life (which I loved). I found A Little Life much more memorable and emotionally resonant, though; My Absolute Darling sort of played like a thriller almost, although one with particularly disturbing and emotionally traumatic material.

  9. #2514
    streak his blood across my beak PoorMatty's Avatar
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    The way the father in My Absolute Darling was written was fascinating and compelling. At turns he was absolutely terrifying and then almost sympathetic in a weird way. I still haven't read A Little Life even though I've owned it for at least a year. I've tried twice and had trouble getting into it. The characters are hard for me to like. I need to give it another try because everyone I know who's read it says it's amazing.

  10. #2515
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    A little late, but I read Big Little Lies a couple weeks ago. The tv show was quite faithful to it overall, but there were some changes where I both appreciated the original novel's choices and understood why they did things a little different in the show. Sometimes with books like that with a million characters it's almost easier to watch the show/movie first to be able to tell them all apart.

    So if you saw the show, you're not missing a lot in the book, but don't avoid it either (like don't read the book Forrest Gump. Oh boy.) If you didn't watch the show because you can't stand XYZ or don't have HBO, it's a good little book.

  11. #2516
    unlikable female protagonist Sansa Spark's Avatar
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    Well, The Mere Wife was amazing. I love retellings, especially of classics, when they do something new with the story. In this case, it’s Beowulf retold in modern times, in a wealthy suburb called Herot Hall. The story focuses on Willa Herot, the “queen” of the suburb and mother of Dylan; and Dana, a wounded veteran raising her son, Gren, in hiding in a mountain cave behind Herot Hall. Gren begins observing Dylan and eventually wanders down the mountain to visit him. I will not do this book justice if I try any harder to explain it. If you like retellings, stories about complex women and the ferocity of motherhood, or, you know, things that are good, here you go.

  12. #2517
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    Just read Release by Patrick Ness. I know it must’ve hit me harder than it would others since there were SO many similarities between myself and the protagonist, Adam Thorne. But man, it was a doozy. At times I felt scraped out inside, but just like the title suggests, I felt such a sense of release at the end.

    Adam is a gay teen, still heartbroken by his ex and filled with rage over having to hide from his pastor father and mother that are in total denial. It takes place on one Saturday where things just absolutely start to fall apart for him. But it’s also a day that will change his life. I don’t recall ever reading an account of someone’s day that was at times filled with so much sorrow and at others, moments of rage and asserting independence in whatever way possible. I dare anyone to not absolutely fall in love with Adam and want to jump inside the book to give him a long hug.

    If you’re a fan of great YA novels that tackle very emotionally complex themes ( which seems to be the trend in YA these days and why I’m so in love with it) and send you on an emotional journey, I would definitely check it out. The author says that Judy Blume and Mrs. Dalloway inspired the book. When I heard that, I knew I had to read it. I wasn’t disappointed in the least and would LOVE a sequel. These characters have stayed in my head all week. For me, that’s the result of reading a phenomenal book. I will say that there is an alternate plot line involving the ghost of a girl murdered by her meth-addict boyfriend that, although it made sense, wouldn’t have hurt the book in the least had it been scrapped. It’s just a series of vignettes that make up about 10% of the book, so I can’t say that it hurt the experience at all. It just could’ve still been great without it.

    And yes. Vox, people. PLEASE read that book. I know how similar we all tend to be on here regarding our political beliefs, and Vox will light a flame inside of you that we all need to have leading up to the midterms.
    The Landslide Never Brought, Brought Me Down

  13. #2518
    Gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Salvador by Joan Didion. Non fiction. Her journalistic experience of civil war torn El Salvador in the summer of 1982. Jesus, human beings are the worst. Troubling and terrifying.

  14. #2519
    I've been home sick so I read three books this past week.

    The Road by Cormac McCarthy. What can I say that hasn't been said? Masterpiece. Beautifully written, relentlessly tense and brutal, but also ultra-depressing that I kept thinking how it's not too far-fetched to imagine that this could be a reality in our lifetime. That's really all I kept thinking. Maybe it's time for me to get started on that underground bunker. (Unfortunately I saw the underwhelming movie adaptation a few years back so I kept seeing the Boy as that annoying child actor.)

    Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates. I've never read any JCO before and I had no idea she was so dark. The voice she gives her protagonist (a Dahmer-esque psychopath) is bone-chilling, but also super-darkly funny. This book blurs the line between horror and humor in a very disturbing way (giving his victims inexplicable names like "Bunnygloves" and "Raisineyes"? lol.) I was riveted from start to finish, though I may have nightmares.

    Vox by Christina Dalcher. The concept grabbed me early on, and I must say the first 50 pages were fantastic. But oh my goodness, how ridiculous it got in the final act. I had so many problems by the end.

  15. #2520
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    I'm about half way through Dune (which they're remaking as a movie, I guess) and I'm not liking it. I don't get the love. I don't hate it enough to give up and maybe it'll all click for me by the end, but it is borderline terrible with occasional bursts of interesting. I can't imagine reading the other books in the series and I can't get the excitement I see about the new movie. I never saw the 80s one and I know it's considered bad, so I assume excitement is due to the book... but why? Is it nostalgia because it's something most people into that kind of thing read early and read often?

    I mean, I do like that it can't quite decide if it's going to be Sci Fi or Fantasy. And I forgive a lot of the out-of-date stuff (hi, casual sexism!) because I can't hold something written before I was born to 2019 standards. Cliches aren't cliches if you're the first book to do it, so it gets a pass on a lot of that too. I mean, the Aiel from Wheel of Time are total Fremen from what I can tell at this point. That's not Herbert's fault. My problems are more his... like that's it can be incredibly boring, too many characters that I don't care about and can't tell apart, very little surprises because the foreshadowing isn't subtle... more like a spotlight glaring, screaming "look here!" I don't like to be immersed in a world with no explanation, no easing into it. I hate unending technobabble that creates a world while at the same time doesn't do much to make me care about learning about the world. I can get past a little of "that wouldn't work", but it's hard because I just don't care.

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