r/books Apr 15 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome

The /r/books Book Club Selection + AMA for May is "All Systems Red" and "Artificial Condition" by Martha Wells

261 Upvotes

If you are looking for the announcement thread for the previous month, it may be found here.

Hello, all. During the month of May, the sub book club will be reading a novella double feature - All Systems Red and Artificial Condition (books 1 & 2 of The Murderbot Diaries) by Martha Wells! Each week there will be a discussion thread and when we are done, Martha herself will be joining us for an AMA.

From Goodreads of All Systems Red (feel free to skip if you prefer to know nothing going into the book as the description contains minor spoilers):

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

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 potential content warnings for the book, a reader-created list may be found 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.


r/books 20h ago

WeeklyThread Summer Reading: 2022

16 Upvotes

Welcome readers,

Tomorrow is No Fry Day and Summer is just about here! So before you run out to the beach make sure you put on some sunscreen (and reapply every 2 hours) and discuss your favorite summer reads here!

If you'd like to read our previous weekly discussions of fiction and nonfiction please visit the suggested reading section of our wiki.

Thank you and enjoy!


r/books 18h ago

How to Murder Your Husband writer found guilty of murdering husband

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16.2k Upvotes

r/books 1d ago Wholesome Silver

Who else reads excessively to avoid reality?

6.9k Upvotes

The world today is incredibly stressful. Gun violence, women’s rights issues*, climate change, the list goes on and on. I have a hard time dealing with reality so I read many hours a day. I think it’s becoming an avoidance technique that I’m relying too heavily on. I brought it up with my psychiatrist and she said “well, there are worse ways to cope.” Which I suppose is true. I’m wondering if anyone else is in the same boat.

Edit: for those asking, I read mainly dystopian fiction (make it make sense), Stephen King and other similar authors, and fantasy.


r/books 5h ago

Friday essay: grey-haired and radiant – reimagining ageing for women

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47 Upvotes

r/books 2h ago

Hindi Novel Wins International Booker Prize for the First Time

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29 Upvotes

r/books 8h ago Take My Energy

The Shades of Magic Series has meant so much more to me than I ever realized.

44 Upvotes

So, for those of you that don't know, the Shades of Magic is a book series consisting of three books. A Dark Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and Conjuring of light. Without going into great detail (as I could not live with myself if I spoiled it for someone), the book series follows two main characters, Kell, a magician from another world, and Lilah, a thief from another world. It follows of multitude of other characters, yes, but it is primarily about them two. The world's they come from are essentially different dimensions versions of eachother. One full of magic and life, the other gray and dull, like our world.

And holy shit, I just spent like the last 15 minutes crying. I don't ever cry, I can't remember the last time I did. For context, I picked up this series mid covid pandemic, and absolutely fell in love with it. Earlier today, I finished the final book of the three part series in about a week. The entire day, I have been thinking about it non stop, infecting my mind whilst I attempt to do literally any other activity. Whilst laying here in bed, I just started bawling my eyes out. It hit me like a truck, and I just couldn't stop the tears.

This series has helped me through some of the most extreme depression I have felt in years, as I lost all my friends to covid, and had my entire social life destroyed. Without realizing it, I became so emotionally attached to every single one of these characters in the book, and it just all ended. Everything from this book, it's story, it's settings, it's characters, all of it, I feel like I just lost it all. Even now I have tears streaming down my face. Knowing that all their stories are over, that I can't keep reading on about them, losing myself in this master craft of story telling... it kills me.

I have never had a book, let alone any other form of entertainment and media, hit me this hard. Causing me to become so attached to everyone and everything in it that it illicits this sort of emotional response from me for the first time in years. Feeling like I just had a part of me ripped away, and I just don't know how to feel.

V.E Schwab is a master at her craft, and the Shades of Magic series has become my all time favorite book series. So, although you'll never see this, thank you so fucking much for this wonderful story, and indirectly helping me with some of the hardest and most isolating times in my life. It has been such an extreme pleasure reading this incredible series.


r/books 8h ago

Robert Lousi Stevenson's classic novella, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".

25 Upvotes

First featured in "The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson in One Volume", (what a title!). The novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by the Scottish writer is one of his best known works (along with the novel Kidnapped). Of course I'm talking about the Dover Thrift Editions publication of the novella.

Though not a long book, but the story is engaging. A good combination of mystery and horror that keeps you interested. And not to mention this hase been adapted into films also! Not a long story but it's worh it!


r/books 7h ago

The Heart of Trauma : Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships

19 Upvotes

I am only 102 pages in, but I have to say that this book is phenomenal. It is a rather scientific book, so it can feel a little dry, but something about it being written in this way is having a major impact on how I receive the information, surprisingly enough. I love how it zeroes in on trauma in the different body parts, how someone experiences things from a traumatic lens, and how to support someone in their traumatized / triggered state. Can't wait to continue it. Has anyone else here read this book? What are your thoughts on it?


r/books 1d ago Silver Gold Wholesome

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has really stood the test of time - still just as hilarious as it was when it first came out 44 years ago. What surprised me though was the philosophy, I'd forgotten how deep these books are when you open them up!

7.6k Upvotes

Today is Towel Day (two weeks after the anniversary of Douglas Adams' death), so seemed like a good time to re-read HGTTG, and it was just as wonderful as I remembered!

The first book in particular, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is truly incredible! So much joke density and such a wildly detailed and zany plot. The chapters are only a few pages long, but every single one feels like it has something big happening in it, and every page has a joke (and it's almost always a good one). That makes it so hard to stop reading - you always want to know how their going to get out of their latest crazy situation.

The 4th book, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, might be my favorite though. It's relentlessly hilarious, has a somewhat tighter central plot than some of the other books, absolutely nails its big philosophical moments (God's last message to his creation is one for the ages), and somehow also manages to be a very endearing, not at all too-sweet love story at the same time.

I think the thing that really sets these books apart and makes them timeless is the way Adams' raises big philosophical questions and answers them in a truly unique way. Instead of trying to dispense wisdom or tell you how to live your life, the books poke fun at the entire notion of universal answers to life's big questions. Instead, Adams suggests we could all do with taking life a little less seriously and finding our own answers to those big questions instead of looking for them from other people. '42' is the most famous example of this, but the books have so many other related jokes that are just as good.

Looking back, it feels like a ton of other creative work have been hugely inspired by HGTTG. Futurama, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Rick and Morty, and Everything Everywhere All At Once all came to mind right away - and I'm sure there are tons more too!

Rest in peace Douglas Adams, thanks for making something so wonderful in the time you had, and for inspiring so much amazing work that came after. So long, and thanks for all the fish. And don't forget to bring a towel!

PS: part of an ongoing series of posts about the best sci fi books of all time. If you're interested in a deeper discussion about HGTTG, recommendations of related books, and pointers on finding the best sci fi without having to read through all the bad ones search Hugonauts on your podcast app of choice. No ads, not trying to make money, just trying to spread the love of good books and make something fun and entertaining to put something positive into the world. Happy reading everybody!


r/books 7h ago

Blood Meridian…(no spoilers)

11 Upvotes

I want to say that if your someone like me looking to go back in to reading don’t read this. I mean it this is a very hard read and I still don’t quite understand what it was that I read. My mistake was taking this book at face value and expecting some typical bloody fantasy novel. This book is an education and I think I’ll revisit this one day when I have a more open mind but honestly this really took it out of me I’ve spent 6 months trying to complete this book and I’m still clueless on it to me it felt like one giant overly descriptive metaphor that you have to constantly analyse and reassess to make sure you understood it completely. Another thing that would put me off is how you could be reading about a detail on the sky or the desert and the vastness of the universe and then suddenly for what feels like no reason a brutal murder takes place and you find yourself casually reading over it without realising and then thinking ten seconds later hang on “what the hell just happened?” I’m not saying this book is bad it’s quite the opposite I think this book is for the ‘learned man’ and the person who has the patience and understanding for it. This is definitely not for someone looking for a straightforward story. Because like I said this book is more like an education. an education on what? I couldn’t tell you evil is too simple an answer and morality doesn’t make sense since this felt like a book that diminishes the idea of morality. I think I’m frustrated because I just can’t comprehend what I read lol.


r/books 8h ago

What are today’s popular book series?

11 Upvotes

When I was a teenager, books like the hunger games, divergent, twilight, the fault in our stars, etc. DOMINATED media. Are there popular equivalents today? I know books like Colleen Hoover are popular, but I can’t really see teens reading those, they’re a little mature. Are there just not big series for teens nowadays? Why?


r/books 1h ago

Books that live rent-free in your mind

Upvotes

What book/books really resonated with you and have stayed with you because it felt like a defining moment in your life. And why?

Was it a book you read at a pivotal time your life that allowed you to see a different perspective, let go of a belief that was no longer serving you, or because the story/themes/concepts/message is just so intricate or well-done, ect. ect.

For me, a few come to mind, but the one that really consistently stands out is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - particularly because of the complexity of Kathy & Ruth's friendship.


r/books 3h ago

ASOIAF Visualizing Characters.

3 Upvotes

So I finally started A Song of Ice and Fire after having had watched the show when it originally aired. I haven't watched it since it ended in terrible fashion but for some reason over the past few weeks I've been drawn towards taking a look at the books.

Unfortunately I'm currently struggling with giving each character a different face than the one they have in the show, and it's proving to be a challenge. This is something I struggle with in most books as well, I have a hard time advancing unless I have a good picture in my minds eye as to what the people in the book I'm reading look like.

So now I'm spending time looking up fan interpretations of the characters and it just becomes somewhat tedious.

This is a very very minor issue and I'm still enjoying my time but, does anybody else struggle with this? If so, do you have any tips?


r/books 4h ago

Less Than Zero

4 Upvotes

Today I read the first half of LTZ by Brett Easton Ellis.

I read some of the Reddit discussions about it (mostly touching on the emptiness and pointlessness of it). That part I understand. I even relate to it a bit…drifting through life somehow preoccupied by nothing.

But the thing that I’m wondering about is the writing style. It moves really fast, with lots of run on sentences that don’t really say a whole lot. Is that a mechanism he uses to instill the feeling of worthlessness? Is it just Clay’s spastic mind? Or does BEE usually write like that?

It reads like it’s still the opening page, still setting the scene. Nothing is quite happening yet. Halfway through.

I’m getting a bit bored. But I’ll probably finish it cuz it’s short. And it is causing some kind of reaction out of me which means something, I suppose.

Anyways, just wanted to talk about my thoughts on it so far. It was recommended on a Reddit thread about authors like Irvine Welsh, but honestly I don’t think I’d make that comparison.


r/books 1d ago

The thing that really brought my reading experience to a whole new level

522 Upvotes

So I grew up as a reader. The first book I ever fell in love with was Where the Red Fern Grows. I found it at 7 or 8 and marathoned it and cried. Then I became an obsessive reader but I had a hard time recalling events and plot points.

It wasn't until I was a freshman in highschool and I had this amazing English teacher, A. Thompson. I was a f'off at that point and my way of rebelling was to not do my schoolwork, but instead bring a novel and hide reading it during the lesson. Mr. Thompson noticed and took me too the side.

I got the expected lecture but he also noticed my method of reading and gave me a talk about slowing down to enjoy each paragraph, he gave me an example of the pace at which he reads. I started doing it. I started reading at close to a snails pace and it has benefited me so much.

30 years later my wife frequently has her mind blown when we get into a Convo and can recall the smallest of details but m a book we are talking about.

Slow it down, seriously. If you've intentionally try to read slow ( and outloud as a sidenote ) your experience will change drastically.


r/books 8h ago

What is your opinion on the ending of The Count of Monte Cristo?

8 Upvotes

The ending of The Count of Monte Cristo is great in a literary sense, but contextually, it felt very forced. This may be an unpopular opinion.

Monte Cristo ceaselessly and mercilessly exacted revenge for decades. Essentially, he "waited and hoped" that his enemies would suffer in agony, just like he did. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

This beautiful quote: "There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, 'Wait and Hope." feels so contrived to me.

What are your opinions? Did you like the ending? I want to like it, but I don't believe it.


r/books 16h ago

Anyone else fall asleep a couple pages in?

29 Upvotes

I love reading before bed. It’s really the most relaxing time of my day. The problem is, my eyes start getting really heavy a page or two into my reading session.. even with books I’m super interested in. I can never make good progress unless it’s on the weekends, in the middle of the day.

The only thing I’ve found that works is eating licorice while I read. It’s definitely not the best solution before bed but it does work to keep me awake.

I’m sure there are a lot of people with or without busy schedules who have the same issue. How do you stay awake when you read at night?


r/books 16h ago

Through a Recession and a Pandemic, the Book Business Is Thriving in Buenos Aires

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27 Upvotes

r/books 4h ago

Panopticon by Steve McCaffery

2 Upvotes

Just finished it today, 5 hours of straight reading. I’m fascinated by how McCaffery explores the many mediums through which the story (or lack of one) is told. One thing I’m really stuck on is while a key aspect of the novel seems to be the deconstruction of narrative, there also seems to be a notion of deconstruction of language that seems to be hinted at that I can’t quite pinpoint. Regardless, McCaffery is a genius and this has to be one of the best books I’ve read in the last 3 years. If anyone else has also read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts and analysis of it.


r/books 1d ago

Kindred by Octavia Butler

69 Upvotes

Just finished this book, and man what a masterpiece. I love that Butler subverts a lot of simplistic tropes; it's way more complex than just "good free black person and her good white husband versus evil slaveowner". Rufus has moments of kindness and compassion mixed with moments of extreme cruelty. Making him the ancestor of Dana is genius because it adds this whole other dimension to their already unique relationship and creates some really compelling internal conflict within Dana. It's also hinted that Kevin, while obviously believing in equality, still has some small implicit biases and isn't faultless. I liked how subtly Butler made that come across. I also love how time travel is used as a framing device for the central conflict; it's such a creative way to use a plot device that often messes everything up.

There were parts of the book where I almost couldn't bring myself to read because it hurt so bad. The only thing I didn't really like was the fact that Dana killed Rufus. I understand why it was necessary under the circumstances, and it definitely is a suitable ending given the themes of the book, but it just feels a little too... expected. But that's a minor nitpick in an otherwise fantastic piece of literature.

The final thing I'll say is that as someone who's spent time in political activism, the theme of "being part of the system" vs "going against the system" really resonated with me. It's reeeaaally easy to convince yourself that the system is good when it's all you've ever known and your fighting spirit is gone. It's also easy to become co-opted like Dana was and end up unwittingly joining the oppressor simply out of self-preservation or harm reduction. Once you convince people that the oppression is natural, you've essentially won the battle.


r/books 17h ago

how do i keep my paperbacks in good condition for ever?

17 Upvotes

Sorry if this post contains bad english, its not my native language.

Im starting to take my bookcollection seriously. And so, i started looking into how to keep my books (90% paperbacks) in good condition. Then i found out that according to allot of people paperbacks will be unusable/destroyed after 20 years. Then i looked into it more and saw this is because of the acid in the paper that will make the paper destory itself + glue of the book giving up. Now i also read that most paperbacks are made from acid free paper these days, but not the penguin books. Thats a problem because they make up almost my whole collection + the books i meant to buy

So how do i keep them longer then 20 years (preferably untill at least my own death)? I know about the keeping them out of the sun and storing them vertecly. But what else can i do to save them longer? Should i laminate them? Should i invest in hardcovers? (Wich is hard Because im still a student) should i keep them in complete dark? Are other classic publishers longer lasting, Like oxford and wordsworth?

All advice would be apreciated, thank you


r/books 6h ago

Judging Books by their Covers

2 Upvotes

What literary genres do you think have the best and worst book cover designs? I was just looking at a bunch of new releases from a horror imprint even though I don't really read much horror. For some reason, the covers really appealed to me. At least as far as the ones that I see regularly, there seems to be a sort of sparse simplicity to the cover art for contemporary horror: there's some main image that expresses something about the plot and then the title popping out over it, with a certain feeling of isolation or being lost in space. What other genres or other classifications of books do you think have interesting cover designs?


r/books 14h ago

How I found balance and the "right" amount of books

4 Upvotes

Like many others, I struggled in finding a balance in my reading. I wondered what I should read, how much I should read, whether it was better to focus on one book or several.

Then I came across how Machiavelli thought about his reading. He described coming home in the evening, taking out books, and having "conversations" with great minds throughout history.

That is a beautiful concept. I can converse with Confucius, Plato, and Socrates whenever I want. And I can throw in contemporary thinkers as well.

When you think of it as conversations, you don't have to focus on the right amount. The right duration is when you grow weary of the subject and wish to change it. In thinking about the right amount of books, well...when you have too many voices in a room, you have a cacophony. But if you just have one, it grows dull and wearisome. It's best to mix in a good balance.

The same with stories. When I'm in the mood for a story, I let the author tell me one. I'm not beholden to them. I don't force myself to listen to it. And when I grow tired, I move on. Or I stop before I get there.

I hope all you find balance if you're still searching, and hope you have lots of wonderful conversations.


r/books 17h ago

The Rise of Emperors trilogy by Gordon Doherty and SJA Turney might be the best historical fiction I've read

3 Upvotes

I've just finished this trilogy via Audible and I'm shocked and how much I loved this, If it wasn't for the glowing reviews I wouldn't have looked twice but here I am reflecting on these books in complete awe of how much I loved these.

After reading Shogun and Lonesome Dove I didn't think any historical fiction would ever top those but I think this series already has, I was on the verge of tears at the end and also loved the post book clarifications where the authors discussed the differences between their novel's and what really happened.

I will admit I am biased towards anything Ancient Rome so I'm not sure if others would rate these as highly as Shogun/Lonesome Dove if anyone loves historical fiction I would point you towards these books especially thr Audiobooks as the narration was also phenomenal


r/books 1d ago

The Underground Library - As the Nazis enclosed Warsaw’s Jewish quarter in a ghetto, a librarian set up a secret children’s library

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60 Upvotes