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About This Club

If you love reading this is the (new) place on FJ for you. Details are still being worked out, but go ahead and chat about anything book related. I'm going to attempt to move book threads into the club if the site will stop fighting with me.

  1. What's new in this club
  2. CTRLZero

    Science Fiction

    I just finished Across the Void by S.K. Vaughn. This novel is a typical waking-up-alone-what-happened-to-my-crew sort of thriller, but it is well written. I really wanted to tweak the plot points a few times to make it a little more realistic. It's main weakness is that everything wraps up too quickly and conveniently, if that makes sense. I'd still recommend it as a sci-fi cozy (is that a thing?), lol. Also, I read the first three novels in the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet; A Closed and Common Orbit; and Record of a Spaceborn Few), which I can recommend. Then, I forgot I had already read the third installment, so I checked it out via audiobook and am glad I did. Record of a Spaceborn Few is very enjoyable this second go around. The narrator does a good job with all the voices and makes the vignettes of everyday routine on the station come alive.
  3. CTRLZero

    Science Fiction

    I don't know if I've mentioned one of my favorite sci-fi authors, Jack McDevitt. He's done some good series, which I've read several times, and he has some stand-alones which range from decent to pretty bad (if you see he's taken on a co-writer, it is usually means it's a weak effort). To anyone who might enjoy his novels, especially the Hutchins and Benedict series, his collection of short stories: Cryptic - The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt is a must read. It was so much fun reading short stories about the series, but from different angles, new storylines that weren't included in the main novels, some of his philosophy through the lens of sci-fi, etc. I am too steeped in his series to know if this collection would be as enjoyable to people who haven't read his works, but it was honestly the most entertaining book I've read in quite a while.
  4. CTRLZero

    Summer Reading

    I've been traveling and house/cat-sitting for a few weeks, and it's nice to be back. I picked a book off the shelf at the home I was occupying: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. This book recounts her descent into madness with an ailment that was difficult to diagnose, leading to wrong treatments, and discussion of institutionalization for mental illness. This book made me wonder about Rachel Held Evans' illness and death, as the descriptions of their respective illnesses seemed eerily similar. If Cahalan's parents hadn't had the dedication, resources, and connections to a network of experts, Cahalan would likely have died. Cahalan's records of her experiences are understandably muddled, since it was a condition which affected her brain, but it is really fascinating as she pieces it all together from her own memories, medical records, interviews with her treatment team, etc. She really makes a good case for more thoroughly investigating the underlying causes of mental illness.
  5. Marly

    Summer Reading

    I'm currently reading American War by Omar El Akkad. Very interesting story so far! The story is set in the future, during the second civil war. This civil war is over the abolition of fossil fuels, which the south disagrees with. Florida is gone due to the rise of the sea water level, most of the west coast is absorbed into the Mexican Protectorate, and Georgia, Alabama and Missisippi form the Free Southern State. The author portrays a very vivid, grim, realistic picture of war. It also shows how desperate people (refugees and war victims) are easy recruitment targets for rebel groups and other people concerned with the continuation of the war. How they are likely to be exploited by those with stakes in the war. The author manages to show this and convey the horrible conditions of the refugees without too much gore or explicit scenes. I personally don't like detailed accounts of rape and/or torture, for instance. So far, and I'm over halfway through, this book doesn't have scenes like that, yet still perfectly conveys the desperation, anger, hoplesness and feelings of revenge of the southern refugees. I also like how it portrayes how the roles are now reversed. The new superpowers are China and the Bouazizi Empire, and the latter supplies the Free Southern State rebels with ammo and weapons, as their economy benefits from the war in the USA. They also supply refugee camps in the south with medical aid. I would definitely recommend this book.
  6. formergothardite

    Summer Reading

    I'm currently reading Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. It is a book about when the Civil War getting interrupted by zombies. Former slaves and Native Americans are put in schools when they are 12 to train them to kill zombies. It is good so far.
  7. Maggie Mae

    Summer Reading

    I have only seen the first season and part of the second. I listened to most of the first audio book and read about half of the book. I'm usually 100% on team book. But honestly, I think i prefer the show. The show is now streaming on Netflix, FYI. I think it was an interesting premise, but I'm not a fan of romance so I think that might be why I prefer the show? I would have liked more back and forth between the two times, and more history. Less rape. Edit: I will say that the show handled rape a hell of a lot better than Game Of Thrones The Show TM
  8. AliceInFundyland

    Summer Reading

    In a similar vein, I just finished listening to the audiobooks of Got. Now, I read them all. And the first three a few times. But I tend to skip distasteful parts. And then there was the show, which did its own distasteful stuff, then backed off. Ok so the narrator is this guy Roy Dotrice. He has a few issues. One is voice continuity. Another is just being bad at female voices. But that was fine. What was unpleasant was just some of the random sex. I was ewwwwwwww. Like hello I'd blocked or completely erased this sketchiness (I woke up in the middle of the night night to Jorah 'embracing' Dany) and was grossed out. I will still read the final two if they happen. Just some new perspectives.
  9. formergothardite

    Summer Reading

    So I've been in a long reading slump. I have so many books I start and just can't get into, But someone gave me the first Outlander book and I was super excited. I've seen clips of the show and it looked like something I would like. Time travel, men in kilts, the struggle between choosing between two different times, all things that appeal to me. But holy fuck. I'm not sure I want to watch the show after reading this, not unless they changed it.
  10. CTRLZero

    Spring Reading

    I checked this out from the library last week and had to push myself to finish since I need to return it due to traveling soon. What a great novel! Fortunately, this came with a map, which I referenced often. I wish some of the geographic names had not been disguised, because I wanted to know where the characters were every minute! The way it alternated between rather in-depth research and brief bouts of intense action really helped pull me through the book. I loved the strong friendships and emotional ties, the glimpses into communist society, superstitions and folklore, academia, etc. And the epilogue was so eerie. Loved it!
  11. Ticklish

    Strange Books

    Resurrecting a pretty old thread to agree that House of Leaves is by far the strangest and most haunting book I've ever read. I read it soon after it came out (I think) so early 2000s while in college, and there are still nights when it suddenly pops into my head to terrify me and give me nightmares. And I don't know why! I couldn't even tell you particulars of the plot or most character names, but the feeling of reading that book really stuck with me. Is As I Lay Dying the one with the brother who puts his broken foot in a cement cast? I remember that and the chapter with Sartorius "My mother is a fish". I read a lot of Faulkner in college (not by choice) and I never really could get into his work.
  12. Ticklish

    Spring Reading

    @CTRLZero I agree! It could use some editing, but I can so overlook that for how caught up I got in the world and the story. I'm anxious to know what you think when you finish it! I don't want to say anything now so I don't spoil it or give you expectations.
  13. CTRLZero

    Spring Reading

    Based on your recommendation, I bought this book for my Kindle to read on a long plane trip yesterday. Between naps, I made it about half-way through and look forward to finishing it, hopefully this weekend. So far, my only criticism is that it needs a little editing to make the reading a bit smoother, but that is really minor. The idea of the characters waking up in a new body and experiencing a temporary role is really fascinating. I think this is a book that would benefit from a second reading to make sure I'm following the complicated threads correctly. I love these sorts of novels with alternative universe sorts of plots. This is really different from other books I've read in this genre. Looking forward to seeing how it all resolves. Thanks again for the recommendation!
  14. CTRLZero

    Spring Reading

    Thanks to @Howl for recommending "The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon" by Kevin Fedarko. The title sets the goal of the dory crew, but the conditions under which they (illegally) launched were breathtaking. It was one of the wettest time periods in that area's recorded history, and conditions at an upstream dam were dire. There is always difficulty calculating the amount of water to release during a river's flood stage, but the engineers were faced with damage to the spillways. There is a lot of action, history, science, geology and character sketches packed into this book. I was particularly interested in cavitation (I've heard that term only in reference to submarines), and the dory fleet (there is one I've visited often in Pacific City, Oregon). And the river tour culture was also fascinating to me. I'm going to recommend my daughter buy this book for the geology class she teaches. She likes to have adventure books that also discuss the geology of an area, and this fits the bill.
  15. Ticklish

    Spring Reading

    I'm reading The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle for the second time for my book club. I really liked it the first time through since it was just so completely different from anything I'd read and still felt familiar at the same time. I need to take notes this time through for discussion! I'd love to hear if any of you read it and what your thoughts were.
  16. formergothardite

    Spring Reading

    I have not read this one but I loved The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood by her. I really did enjoy the Historian.
  17. AliceInFundyland

    Spring Reading

    The Historian was excellent! I’ve read a couple of Kostova’s other books but none quite lived up to that one.
  18. clueliss

    Spring Reading

    The Lying Game - Ruth Ware.
  19. CTRLZero

    Spring Reading

    I read this book when it first came out. My memory for details is horrible, but I do remember that it kept my interest. Let me know if you like it by the end, and I may put it on my list to re-read. The nice thing about having a terrible memory is that it's all new again, lol! This morning I went on a guided tour of the downtown Nashville library. If you are able to find a tour of a larger library, I highly recommend it. In addition to the usual statistical overview and layout, we saw: the archives where they conserve historical articles; a stage where professionals give puppet shows (and the craftsmanship of the puppets are just wow); a civil rights research and education room, and so much more. Incredible. Oh, and what am I currently reading? I picked up Martin Doyle's "The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers." The opening chapter mentions George Washington and his surveying efforts, so now I already know more about Washington than Trump. ☺️ I have Becky Chambers' sequel to the Small Angry Planet novel on hold.
  20. formergothardite

    Spring Reading

    What is everyone reading this spring? I'm reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It is a vampire book that also has historical info about Vlad the impaler. It is pretty interesting so far.
  21. CTRLZero

    Winter Reading

    I just finished A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and really enjoyed it. I appreciated the slower pace and less violence than I've been reading lately. I've added the sequel to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation!
  22. Markie

    Winter Reading

    I’m rereading the Tom Tyler series by Maureen Jennings. She’s the author of the Murdoch Mysteries series. Tom Tyler is a police detective in WW2 England. It sort of reminds me of Foyle’s War and the one I’m on now also reminds me of Bomb Girls as it’s set in a munitions factory.
  23. formergothardite

    Winter Reading

    Persuasion is one of my favorite! I just finished reading Twelve by Twelve by William Powers. I really wanted to like this book, but I just didn't. So this woman in NC lives totally off grid in a 12 x 12 cabin. She is a medical doctor but lives in this small cabin and is very much into permaculture and has this amazing plot of land that she has spent years developing into a massive self-sustaining garden. The book was not about her. If it had been it would have been interesting. It is about this guy who house sits for her while she is off protesting environmental stuff. I would love to read a book about her but she is extremely private and he could not reveal the location of her cabin or her name. The basis of the book is that an extremely privileged white guy bonds with nature. He house sits for the lady because he was essentially bored. He never really seems what privilege he has. He did point out something interesting which was that the people in rural NC tend to be very racist towards Mexican immigrants, the massive factory farms couldn't survive without these immigrants. And that while the farm owners might vote against immigrants, they are more than happy to hire illegal ones because they know they can treat them like crap and get away with it.
  24. CTRLZero

    Science Fiction

    Once I picked up this book, it was hard to put down. I thought Kim Stanley Robinson did a brilliant job with the characters, the science, the social issues, etc. There was a lot of explanation of the scientific processes, but it was part of their daily life over the centuries, so I personally thought it was fascinating (though I admit to skimming a bit when the AI was talking to itself during a certain portion of the novel). I have an interest in sociology, so I've appreciated Robinson's ability to build complex societies and lead them through various hardships. Thanks for the recommendation, @Marly! I have The Three-Body Problem on hold for my next sci-fi fix.
  25. LilMissMetaphor

    Winter Reading

    I'm now re-reading Persuasion. After that I'm going for Barbara Kingsolver's Unsheltered.
  26. CTRLZero

    Science Fiction

    I just finished Noumenon Infinity by Marina J. Lostetter, which is the sequel to Noumenon (first mentioned at the top of the thread). The adventures in the sequel were outstanding. Once again, this is a multi-generational story. Given that fact, you have to pay attention to the timelines, as well as some sub-dimensions thrown in. I thought the author did a good job at keeping things relatively simplified so my head didn't spin too much, lol. And I just received notification that Aurora by KIm Stanley Robinson has become available for me at the library. Looking forward to getting started on that later this week.
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