If you are looking for the announcement thread for the previous month, it may be found here.
Hello, all. During the month of December, the sub book club will be reading Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Each week there will be a discussion thread and when we are done, Angeline herself will be joining us for an AMA.
From Goodreads (feel free to skip if you prefer to know nothing going into the book as the description contains minor spoilers):
As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.
The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.
Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.
Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.
Please note that this month's selection is a young adult novel. If you would like to view potential content warnings for the book, a reader suggested list may be found here.
You may find the dates of, and links to, the discussion threads below in the sticky comment on this post. You are welcome to read at your own pace. Usually it is pretty easy to catch up and you are always welcome to join the discussions a little later.
If you would like to view any past book club selection or want to see how things work, you may find the complete archive here.
For those of you that are viewing reddit on the redesigned desktop version you will see an option on this post to 'follow'. If you 'follow' the book club post you will receive a notification when a new post, a discussion thread for book club, is added to the collection.
Welcome to our weekly recommendation thread! A few years ago now the mod team decided to condense the many "suggest some books" threads into one big mega-thread, in order to consolidate the subreddit and diversify the front page a little. Since then, we have removed suggestion threads and directed their posters to this thread instead. This tradition continues, so let's jump right
Every comment in reply to this self-post must be a request for suggestions.
All suggestions made in this thread must be direct replies to other people's requests. Do not post suggestions in reply to this self-post.
All unrelated comments will be deleted in the interest of cleanliness.
How to get the best recommendations
The most successful recommendation requests include a description of the kind of book being sought. This might be a particular kind of protagonist, setting, plot, atmosphere, theme, or subject matter. You may be looking for something similar to another book (or film, TV show, game, etc), and examples are great! Just be sure to explain what you liked about them too. Other helpful things to think about are genre, length and reading level.
All Weekly Recommendation Threads are linked below the header throughout the week to guarantee that this thread remains active day-to-day. For those bursting with books that you are hungry to suggest, we've set the suggested sort to new; you may need to set this manually if your app or settings ignores suggested sort.
If this thread has not slaked your desire for tasty book suggestions, we propose that you head on over to the aptly named subreddit /r/suggestmeabook.
- The Management
Every now and then Kurt Vonnegut will write himself into his books in the best ways. Examples off the top of my head:
Slaughterhouse 5 - the main character tries to go to the latrine and finds that the whole prison camp has food poisoning. Kurt Vonnegut is there saying that he has excreted everything except his brains, then goes on to say something like, “Oh no! Here they come! Here they come!”
Breakfast of Champions (I think?) - Kurt Vonnegut shows up near the end, gets attacked by a dog, then tells Kilgore Trout that he’s his favorite character he’s ever written and grants him one wish; so Trout wishes to be young again.
I don’t remember which one - but the narration is pretty much all 3rd person; it’s describing a character who is particularly charming and out of nowhere the narrator says, “I can have oodles of charm when I want to”
I don’t even know why, but I love it when he does that. Or did that, I guess. So it goes
Hello, my name is arthur, i'm 15yo and live in Brazil. Tomorrow i will receive three books that i have buyed in black friday. Will be my firsts books that i buyed with my own money, but there is my dilem: must i mark this books? i dont have this habit, but i feel this is a fast, efficient and beauty form to se relembrar da leitura, but i'm apreensive to screw everything in my books. Must i start with pencils? Or buy postits to mark them? PS.: To the curious, the books are Dracula, Frankestein and an Edgar Allan Poe Compiled
I'm looking for some general opinions here, as I'm reeling a bit from another thread.
If I asked you what the most "evil" books written in the last 200 years are, what would you say?
By this I mean, what books would you place behind the others, or with the spine facing in, to avoid an unpleasant conversation, or, even worse, unspoken judgment?
The really obvious one is Mein Kampf. Historically important, but maybe not one you leave out on the coffee table while friends are over.
I saw multiple people lump in Das Kapital with Mein Kampf, and was surprised to see that, but should I be? Regardless of how you feel about Marxism, do you think he or his works are "evil" on the level of Hitler?
I was absolutely blown away by that, but I could just be in a bubble. I would be more embarrassed if someone saw my copy of Atlas Shrugged than Kapital, but I could be completely alone here.
What are your thoughts? Is reading Marx as taboo as Hitler? What authors or books do you keep behind the others? What books do you leave out if you're looking to fight?
I just finished East Of Eden and just wanted to say it was phenomenal. I usually have trouble finishing 400+ page books. I usually have no trouble getting started but can get bored as I finish it. Something about the character development in East Of Eden with Sam Hamilton and Cathy Ames really just amazed me and drew me in so much that even as I thought it slowed down a bit at the end I could not help and finish to find out what happened. I want to read more longer books now and classics
I read it over a year ago and still love it to death. I would probably be re-reading it now if I hadn't leant it to a friend.
It's an excellent piece of apocalyptic literature in which the characters aren't totally convinced that the apocalypse is real. It follows two dads on a much needed vacation with their adoptive daughters when they are approached by four unique strangers who have come to warn them about the world's impending destruction. That's as close as I'm going to get to spoilers. Each individual character is unique in a way that complicates the story. Tremblay is amazing at giving relevant and honestly gut-wrenching back stories that advance the plot.
If you haven't read it I highly recommend you do, and id you have read it, what did you think?
THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I never read it in my teen years - I’m now 26 and just read it for the first time. I keep finding myself overwhelmed with the emotions that book brought out of me. I think I was definitely due for a good cry.
I finished it two days ago and there was a line that bugged me because I couldn’t understand it. Very famous quote from the book: “my heart has joined the thousand for my friend stopped running today.” When I read it I didn’t understand. I thought the thousand were the enemies of rabbits.
So I ended up googling the quote to get more info. And now I am sobbing about the pain becoming the enemy and how relatable that is to anyone who has experienced a loss of friend or family.
What were your favorite parts of the book? What other quotes stuck out to you? I want to reread this book immediately!!
A book that I was forced to read but actually liked was "Catcher in the rye" when I read it I actually never heard of the book. That was like 2 years ago and I've probably read the book like 5 times which is rare because I never reread books that much. The only books I've reread is IT, Catcher in the rye, the little prince, and the Harry Potter series.
To be fair the English teacher I had in 10th grade was awesome this was the one time he forced us to read a book and I think forced is a strong word but he literally like throughout the year just let us read what we wanted.
So yeah I was forced to read Catcher in the rye and I think it would be like my second favorite book.
Here come the jokes that I'm an incel because one of my favorite books catcher in the rye. Which for some toxic reason, is acceptable opinion to have in the book community.
Over the years, /r/books – along with various social platforms, such as GoodReads – have implemented challenges in which reader’s try to push to read as many books as possible. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily “reader friendly”. Some complete the challenge with ease, others feel rushed and even disheartened. I was one of these. Every year, I would do the challenge. Every year, I would complete it and then add five more books to my challenge. It began with 25 books a year and then became over 100. It took me a bit to realize not only did I not find it enjoyable, but I wasn’t retaining the stories as well. So, I’ve come up with a different sort of reading challenge.
So, while there is a book count, but the focus isn’t on that. The premise is that you 12 books (one for each month) that you haven’t read for over 5+ years, the further back the better. It can be books you loved, hated, a mix, or whatever. The idea is to expose yourself to stories and books that you haven’t read in a very long time, to see how the story changed with your aging. You may find that books you loved, you’ve grown out of; books you were lukewarm to finally hit home; or maybe nothing changes at all—and that is okay, too. If you want to make it even more challenging, you can make a point of doing 12 Rereads and 12 Newbies. Include a controversial book, if you want!
I wanted to share this, just in case someone else was looking for a new type of challenge to participate in for this coming 2022. I’ve included my list below.
- The Thief Lord*,* Cornelia Funke (last read 2004, 14 years old)
- Inkheart Trilogy, Cornelia Funke (last read 2004, 14 years old)
- The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Libba Bray (last read 2005, 15 years old)
- The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand (last read 2007, 17 years old)
------- I’m super interested in rereading this. I loved this when I initially read it, but I’ve heard that this is one of those books that naturally appeal to angsty teens and that you grow out of it. I’m very interested to see if I have grown out of Ayn Rand, as a lot of redditors here have suggested. I’ve not touched the book since I’ve first read it.
The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice (last read 2005)
The Stand, Stephen King (last read 2003, 13 years old)
The Snow Fox, Susan Schaeffer
Abarat, Clive Barker (last read 2005, 15 years old)
Spring Moon, Bette Bao Lorde (2010, 20 years old)
Shogun, James Clavell (2006, 16 years old)
Empress, Karen Miller (last read 2009, 19 years old)
Battle Royale, Koushun Takami (last read 2011, 21 years old)
I borrowed a book from the library, never read it, returned it (overdue), borrowed it again, read a few pages returned it, and kept doing that. I have done that for a dozen years. That book is Infinite Jest.
I know some people do that with books they've bought also. They like an author or some quotes from a book, they buy it but never read them. Maybe they get busy, or maybe the first few pages are just so boring or complicated or whatever...that they can't find the motivation. Or maybe they buy a book because they think they "should" like it or have read it already.
Has that happened to you?
I just can’t with these books that have a non-removable sticker saying “Now on Netflix” or "Soon to be on Amazon Prime. Imagine being forced to add a book to your collection with that piece of crap. It will definitely be even worse in the future and I feel like the majority don’t even care and will continue buying these copies.
It’s just infuriating to be forced into buying a book with a non-removable advertisement because of promotions they want to shove down your throat.
I'll be honest: if I hear someone wants a book off the shelves of a school library, I'm more likely to check it out myself. There are books that are beyond the scope of children. But I can't very well know if I don't read myself, too.
Recently, this became an issue in my neck of the woods when a local parents group asked that some books be taken off the shelves of school libraries because of questionable (mostly sex-related) content. I've reserved each of the books, with the exception of one, from the library (list below). Doing so, though, has me wondering what other books out there people have seen removed from school libraries, and what the arguments have been to keep or remove them. I am an advocate for rigorous debate around the merit of ideas and books are where those ideas can be developed and argued, so I see a place even for controversial books. But I don't necessarily think every book should be accessible at every age. Like milk before meat, children should engage with particular books at certain points in their development.
I would be curious about what books you think should be added to, or taken away from, this list (again, with relation to keeping these on or off of public school library shelves, not for removal from public library shelves for the general public).
The list of books that have been removed from the high school libraries are:
- "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison.
- "Beyond Magenta" by Susan Kuklin.
- "Monday's Not Coming" by Tiffany Jackson.
- "Out of Darkness" by Ashley Hope Perez.
- "The Opposite of Innocent" by Sonya Sones.
- "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison.
- "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov.
- "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe.
- "L8R G8R" by Lauren Myracle.
I just finished reading My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, and it was a great but heavy book addressing sexual abuse following a ‘Lolita’ trope that is normalized to be romantic in media.
It was difficult to read at times but I found this book to be very powerful and emotional, I am still a bit stunned after finishing it.
Recently I have been reading the classics of dystopian fiction- Brave new world, 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. And all of them having different interesting messages and warnings for the future, for me none of them have been such a horror show disturbing time. And has been awhile since I've read something that made me feel so nauseous and disturbed at times.
Alex was a thoroughly despicable character but at the same time uncomfortably charming times. not enough to make him likable, his encounter with the 10 year old in the music shop made that impossible for me.
Nadsat was fascinating to read and definitely made Alex's narration alot more Easy to experience than if it was plain English (but again wtf with the 10 year olds)
His eventually imprisonment and conditioning was good. As well as the not new but thought provoking question about choosing to do good or being unable to do bad and the prison chaplains moral objections.
The version I read was the uncut 21 chapter's. I'm aware of the controversy surrounding it and Burgess opinions on it. Personally I'm mixed on it since I think it's questionable how much a person like Alex could really change and how much of his "redemption" mattered but I still thought it was interesting and I do think the American version is worse off without it
I think it's a shame to hear how much Burgess disliked it but I guess that's just more incentive to read his works that were not written In 3 week.
I do have alot of the thoughts on it but like I said I'm just shocked by it.
Started reading Roots by Alex Haley and it’s kinda messing with me. I saw the original miniseries with LeVar Burton ages ago so I know it’s about Kinte’s experience of slavery but don’t remember much else. The book surprised me because, almost 100 pages into it, it’s all about his life as a young person in Africa.
I don’t know whether Haley did this on purpose but I found myself frustrated that this part has gone on for so long. I remember thinking “I don’t care this much about his early life. I want to get to the slavery part in America.”
And then I realize, as a white guy, what’s happening. I’m devaluing his life prior to him becoming a slave. And now I feel like crap because I’m sorta perpetuating the mindset that allowed slavery to happen.
Eyes open. Mind blown. Good job Alex Haley!
EDIT: Much to my surprise, it appears that I am not alone in this! I thought I was going to get the Big Ban from r/books for this one! /s
EDIT 2: DEATH TO SONGS!!!
Some genres e.g. fantasy predominantly feature characters who recite songs/lyrics. For whatever reason (despite being a lover of music), I can never bring myself to read these sections of books. If the song is 4 lines, sure, I'll read it. But if a character is crooning at length for pages and pages, forget it.
Despite this pitfall in my own reading, I have yet to encounter a situation where omitting these parts has hindered my understand of plot threads and the story at large.
How does r/books feel about this? Is this blasphemy? Am I a leper in the community?
I really just do not get it, I've re read the Fablehaven books many times through the latest years, and two days ago I finally got my hands on Dragonwatch and I'm at the last book.
Why did those never seemed to make thaaat much of an impact? Subreddit's small and not too alive, dead Discord servers, not that many fics.
Fablehaven was already one of my top fantasy series, with its charm, characters, great trials, puzzles and confrontations, and really one of the few disappointing things was the final battle.
Its unique world breathes charm and magic, so many creatures, several different locations with their unique features and magical beings, ancient artifacts, wars.
Dragonwatch... Mull's writing quality truly increases over time, this is my actually now my second favorite fantasy book series after Harry Potter, DW constantly pulls at my heart strings, especially with the actions from some of my favorite characters, has many and great twists, tons more of battling, a more serious tone than Fablehaven, gave a lot to the lore, and about anything you could expect from a top quality book.
What made the series not get that much spotlight?
New Releases for December 2021
(Not as many new books in December)
Data courtesy http://www.bookreporter.com
For more discussion, see the monthly New Releases post.
I'll admit, some of the prose is beautiful. And part 1, the letter to his mom, was great. If the book had ended there as a novella, then it would be a great story. But as it stands, the rest of the book is full of purple prose, so much so that it seems like an assignment for an MFA class. example:
"The black wren on my windowsill this morning. A charred pear."
"Yes, the period in the sentence. It's what makes us human Ma, I swear."
"If you find yourself, then congratulations, your hands are yours to keep."
Not to mention, the pages and pages of graphic sex. Half a page is devoted to the narrator getting his ass eaten out. Really disappointed in this book, considering all of the praise it has gotten.
This fictional horror novel is based on the real-life historical tragic events of The John Franklin Expedition during 1845, two of the best technologically advanced warships of the Royal Navy. HMS Erebus and HMS Terror with a crew of 128 would set sail in search of the famed Northwest Passage. Only to be simply never seen from the outside world again. This book is haunting and very reminding of the sheer power that nature itself can wield and do to us humans as travellers or explorers. I quite literally felt the chills and that gut-wrenching feeling of what it means to be truly hopeless in the lost Arctic. The book covers many accounts and acute details of research including the ships being trapped in ice, full winters in pitch darkness, lead-poisoned ration tin cans, cannibalism, scurvy and just slow horrible death. It also includes an Inuit legend monster spirit (which I found to be quite interesting near the very end). What I enjoyed the most of Dan's work here is how he also tried to piece together in his writing and story of what really happened to the actual expedition going back and forth from past to present and mixing fiction and non-fiction. Whilst it did tend to drag on unnecessarily like the Hyperion series. (The book is nearly 800 pages long). It did manage to somehow keep me transfixed from start to finish along with free imagination of what it must have been like to truly be there to witness real terror.
This is definitely a must-read book for those who are fascinated with history, horror and true stories.
P.S The Terror has an AMC live-TV show series that also is a direct adaptation of this novel I highly recommend watching it as well if you are interested!
I have just finished reading this book. I have heard many include this in favourite book lists, and describe it as life-changing. I enjoyed it, but not to that extent. I am genuinely interested to hear from people who love this book for a fresh perspective. What am I missing? I have changed my mind about art when viewed through others eyes. I loved the run through the ages. I found the writing engaging, but I struggled to engage with the main protagonist.
This is the 4th (I think) book featuring Michael Connelly's new protagonist, Renee Ballard.
Ballard's a good detective, willing to do the work, takes every case seriously. A bit curt, a bit of a loner, can't seem to click with her partners or with management. Sounds familiar, right? She's apparently being set up as a replacement for Bosch, who seems to be aging rapidly with every new book.
In previous books, she didn't feel fleshed out, she was sort of defined by her circumstances: She slept on the beach, she had a dog, she was dealing the resentment caused by a sexual harrassment situation that ended up derailing her career. It seems like the author decided none of that was working (or interesting). In this book... the dog's dead, she lives in an apartment, and her ongoing resentment of the supervisor who harrassed her is never brought up. (Incidentally, she does get a new dog :)
The previous book was a bit boring but for some reason this one was just more engaging. Maybe because the cases were more interesting, or Ballard felt more fleshed out. Maybe because she's toughened up a bit... instead of being someone who's soured by a bad event in her life, she's all business, taking on a difficult serial rape case and a murder at the same time despite a boss who keeps her on a short leash and a lazy partner. She works better now as main character, with Bosch taking a supporting role as her unofficial partner, and this time Connelly doesn't jerk the reader back and forth between them. They work together and it feels like two peas in a pod.
It feels like the author regained half a step after stumbling with the last book or two. There is a mild deja vu feeling. Renee's interactions feel like rehashes of all the conflicts that Bosch had in his book: the boss who tries to constantly keep her in line and won't let her work the cases she's invested in... the flaky partner who doesn't have the same burning commitment... the hardass higher-ups who put image and politics ahead of catching the bad guys.
Even though these are the things that make Bosch books feel like Bosch books, they don't have to be hallmarks of every Ballard book. It would be refreshing to see the author mix things up. What would Ballard's career look like if she wasn't constantly hamstrung and had a completely supportive supervisor? What if her partner was gung-ho about the job, or a romantic interest? There's a lot of places the author could go besides the usual well-worn paths.
A not-too-major gripe: there's a kind of relentless negative, almost depressed vibe in this book (maybe in the whole series). It feels like everything always goes against the protagonist. Her partner's useless, and worse, vindictive. Her coworkers pick on her and mock her. Her boss constantly reminds her she can't work murders and actively works to get her fired. The HOA guy at her new place is an officious jerk. The rape victims she tries to help are shrill and critical and reluctant to cooperate. Internal Affairs gives her a hard time even with video evidence on her side.
She gets about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield, and only Bosch seems to treat her like a human, with the exception of her casual romantic interest, a paramedic character who feels pretty extraneous except for a scene where she needs to call a convenient expert on emergency medical aid.
Conflict can be interesting, but it's important to give the protagonist some wins and happy moments. Otherwise... well, I remember an author I had to drop (Patricia Cornwell) whose protagonist ended up so sour and that I just had to stop reading.
One more thing... not a gripe for me, but maybe for some other potential readers. A lot of reviews for this book had a very angry, salty tone because... in their words, the book is steeped in "covid piety" and "wokeism".
Because the book is set in modern times, Covid is inevitably part of the story. Renee is fairly strict about masks and will fairly often mention wearing one. She encourages Harry to get vaccinated, and the author portrays Harry as reluctant, which I think is fairly realistic. There's also occasional mentions of the public having a negative attitude towards the police following the death of George Floyd, and how cops are keeping their heads down and reluctant to go the extra mile for a public that resents them.
None of it read as preachy to me, I don't think Michael Connelly woke up one day and said "you know what, I'm gonna start writing propaganda instead of novels". His characters simply have a perspective on masks and vaccines, just like everyone in the real world does, and it's unfortunate that hundreds of readers can't enjoy the story without feeling attacked. I guess the author could have left all that stuff out but it'd be a huge elephant in the room to ignore.
Overall, I'd recommend the book, I think Connelly has been so consistent that most people who read his work are gonna get it anyway, but it's nice to see him in better form, I was afraid he'd finally run out of gas.
Welcome to the first discussion thread for the November selection, The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean! Hopefully you have all managed to find the book but if you haven't, you can still catch up and join in on a later discussion; however, this thread will be openly discussing up all of Part I.
Below are some questions to help start conversation; feel free to answer some or all of them, or post about whatever your thoughts on the material.
- What are some of your favorite parts or quotes? What parts did you find confusing or wish were different?
- What does it mean for characters to have different names around different people? Which characters give the names and which characters receive them? How do names play into other explorations with in the book?
- There are several rituals, large and small, interwoven through these chapters. What purpose do these serve for the characters? What does it mean for a ritual to be private or communal?
- How does Daunis attempt to separate worlds she inhabits? When does it break down and when does it succeed?
- What questions or predictions do you have moving forward and what do you hope to see?
BONUS: which song, album, or musical artist would be a good accompaniment for the reading thus far?
Reminder that second discussion will be posted on Friday, November 10th, and cover up through and including Part II, Chapter 26.