r/books Feb 21 '23

The /r/books Book Club Selection + AMA for April is " Sea of Tranquility" by Emily St. John Mandel


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

Hello, all. During the month of April, the sub book club will be reading Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel! Each week, there will be a discussion thread and when we are done, Emily 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):

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal--an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She's traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive's best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

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 17h ago

WeeklyThread What Books did You Start or Finish Reading this Week?: March 27, 2023


Hi everyone!

What are you reading? What have you recently finished reading? What do you think of it? We want to know!

We're displaying the books found in this thread in the book strip at the top of the page. If you want the books you're reading included, use the formatting below.

Formatting your book info

Post your book info in this format:

the title, by the author

For example:

The Bogus Title, by Stephen King

  • This formatting is voluntary but will help us include your selections in the book strip banner.

  • Entering your book data in this format will make it easy to collect the data, and the bold text will make the books titles stand out and might be a little easier to read.

  • Enter as many books per post as you like but only the parent comments will be included. Replies to parent comments will be ignored for data collection.

  • To help prevent errors in data collection, please double check your spelling of the title and author.

NEW: Would you like to ask the author you are reading (or just finished reading) a question? Type !invite in your comment and we will reach out to them to request they join us for a community Ask Me Anything event!

-Your Friendly /r/books Moderator Team

r/books 14h ago

Judge sides with publishers in lawsuit over Internet Archive's online library : NPR

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r/books 8h ago

Allow Me To Make a Gentle Plea For More Space Horror

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r/books 16h ago

How to develop a habit of reading: Tips and Tricks

  1. Start small: Start with just 10-15 minutes of reading a day. It's better to read a little bit every day than to try and read for hours on end.
  2. Set a reading goal: Set a realistic reading goal for yourself. It can be a number of books you want to read in a year, or a number of pages you want to read each day.
  3. Make reading a part of your routine: Find a time of day that works best for you and make reading a part of your daily routine. Whether it's before bed, during lunch, or in the morning, stick to the same time every day.
  4. Find a genre you enjoy: If you're not enjoying what you're reading, it's going to be hard to develop a habit of reading. Experiment with different genres until you find one you enjoy.
  5. Keep track of what you read: Keeping a reading log or journal can help you stay motivated and keep track of your progress.
  6. Join a book club: Joining a book club can be a great way to stay accountable and discuss books with others.
  7. Eliminate distractions: Put away your phone and other distractions when you're reading. It's easy to get sidetracked by notifications and social media.
  8. Make it fun: Reading doesn't have to be a chore. Make it fun by creating a cozy reading nook, listening to audiobooks, or trying out a reading challenge.

Developing a habit of reading takes time and effort, but it's worth it. Reading can improve your vocabulary, reduce stress, and increase empathy. Give these tips and tricks a try and let me know how they work for you in the comments below. Happy reading!

r/books 1h ago

This one by LM Montgomery did not age well


I first read Kilmeny of the Orchard when I was 10-12 and it seemed like the most romantic book at the time. However, I re-read it and it hasn’t aged well for me.

It begins with a man named Eric. Handsome, filthy rich, wholesome, poetic, good, kind, charming, smart, et cetera and so on. He hasn’t found any woman to please him, though. Mr. Perfect is picky.

He goes to fill in teaching for a friend who gets sick and he wanders around and finds a beautiful hopefully 18 year old girl in a meadow playing a violin. Unfortunately, she cannot speak, so she writes lengthy responses to his conversation on a portable chalkboard The squicky part is that this man talks a LOT about how young, innocent, and childlike this girl he’s meeting in the meadow is. Ew! He literally says he watches her grow from “exquisite childhood” to “exquisite womanhood.”

They fall in love but she will NOT marry him if she can’t talk Illogical!

Eric is in Despair, but then one day a sinister evil Italian orphan boy tries to axe murder him, and the shock gives Kilmeny her voice back

I get that it’s in a fairytale style but it’s a little too borderline yikes for me. One of the major themes is also that Italians, even if you have nurtured them in your Bosoms, are not to be trusted.

r/books 14h ago

Story time: About my son and his love of reading...Should be mad but proud instead. Thank you for your time.


Long time lurker first time poster. Sorry its a little long but there is some background needed for the whole story to make sense.

So I have a little story that just happened a few days ago. It is one of those situations where as a parent, you are kinda mad but also kinda proud.

My son is 8 years old. It took him a little while to really get into reading. We did not push him, we do not have him in public school where they are required to ready novels by kindergarten regardless of their development and readiness. We just let his desire to read blossom as his own pace.

This past year it has take off like a rocket. It is to a point where he is one of three students in his mixed grade class that has been assigned additional reading assignments just to keep him engaged. Lately his obsession has been The Bad Guys series of books by by Aaron Blabey. Last week we got the first 13 of 17 of The Bad Guys books and he has been obsessed and as of yesterday he has finished all 13 books.

The other night, we put him to bed around 8pm, which is on time for us. The book he had just started, Book 8 I believe, was on his dresser across the room. There are night lights in his room but not enough to read by. We also have a camera in his room because he has had issues in the past with sleep and he just got used to it being there and asked us to leave it in, its a comfort thing for him. AND he always sleeps with the covers over his head (also a comfort thing and this is important later.)

After we put him to bed and closed the door, he got up a tip toed across his room and got his book and snuck back into bed, all this while looking at the camera and back at the door to make sure we weren't coming. Once he was sure the coast was clear, he grabbed the LED lantern we keep on his night stand (mostly decoration but its functional just in case) and pulled it into bed as well. He then proceeded to cover himself back up and read for the next 45 minutes, completing the book under the covers by the lantern light, all the while his mother and I were none the wiser. When he finished he got up and came out and told us he couldn't sleep but quickly fessed up to what he did (without any prompting from us) with a sheepish grin. We would probably not have know if he hadn't said anything.

We were able to look back at the camera card and see what he had done and how careful he was to try and make sure we did not catch him in the act, like his own little spy movie.

On one had we were upset as it was a school night and he was supposed to be asleep, on the other hand, as avid readers ourselves, we were both proud that we have been able to instill the same love of reading and sense of wonder with books and the worlds within.

That is, thank you for making it this far.

TL/DR: Son sneaks book under covers after bedtime and voluntarily fesses up. We should be disappointed but proud instead that we had been able to instill the love of reading into him at this age.

r/books 1d ago Silver Plus One

spoilers Red Rising the series. Wow.


What an amazing sci-fi collection, Pierce Brown really brings a universe to life, mixing past Roman ideology to a future where a breed of enhanced humans calling themselves golds have terraformed all planets in the solar system and have created a "utopia" which they call The Society. Organising different job components of what they believe to be an ideal society to a pyramid of colours i.e. gold as the peak of humanity, silvers the business managers, white as religious overseers, black as warrior giants, yellows as doctors, greens as technology experts, orange as mechanics, etc. A red working in the Mars mines finds out his gold leaders have been lying to his entire red brethren about the supposed inhabitability of Mars, forcing them to live out their days working for them underground promising that one day they will be able to inhabit the surface. After much turmoil and tragedy he makes it to the surface and joins an uprising against his gold masters.

Not for the faint of heart (definitely think the books has some sensitive subjects for adult-processing only) but a real page turner. I have just finished the 4th book in the series and I am kinda sad that there is only 1 more after lol.

Tl;dr: First book is much like Hunger Games, thereafter the books expand into a space opera.

Edit 1: Clarified the tl;dr

r/books 15h ago

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino


I read this book on a whim from a YouTube recommendation. I struggled with it at first, finding it a challenging read. It's quite short and not what I was expecting at all. I almost stopped after the first handful of chapters but am really glad I stuck with it. As it unfolded, I found myself more and more intrigued by what it was trying to achieve.

It's really a beautiful philosophical study of memory, imagination, life and death, and time, all examined through conversations between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, where Polo is describing cities he has been to (maybe) throughout his many travels.

If you're looking for something different, it's relatively short (though not a necessarily easy read).

A couple quotes I pulled from it, if they're intriguing to you, check it out:

“You reach a moment in life when, among the people you have known, the dead outnumber the living. And the mind refuses to accept more faces, more expressions: on every new face you encounter, it prints the old forms, for each one it finds the most suitable mask.”

“I speak and speak,” Marco says, “but the listener retains only the words he is expecting. The description of the world to which you lend a benevolent ear is one thing; the description that will go the rounds of the groups of stevedores and gondoliers on the street outside my house the day of my return is another; and yet another, that which I might dictate late in life, if I were taken prisoner by Genoese pirates and put in irons in the same cell with a writer of adventure stories. It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear.”

r/books 20h ago

I read the book "Ugly Love" by Coleen Hoover


The book was an absolute disaster! I swear it's right up there with the worst book by that author that I've ever read. There were three things that totally sucked about it. First off, it was like every page was oozing with sexism and gender stereotypes. Secondly, the main character had zero self-respect. I get that it might have been part of the plot, but seriously, she let Miles walk all over her and crush her feelings into a million pieces. It was beyond pathetic. Even when she tried to be sassy, she never followed through with any real actions. But the worst thing about this book was how twisted the story was. The main conflict was all about Miles and his tragic backstory and how he couldn't love again. So why the heck did the story try to make it all about Tate? She was supposed to be the main character, but instead, she was just a doormat for Miles to stomp all over while he sorted out his own problems. And then the author tries to sell it as a book about a couple having a purely sexual relationship? That's just messed up. The whole thing was manipulative and gave off some seriously gross messages to young people who might read it.

r/books 1d ago

Internet Archive Loses Lawsuit Over Ebook Copyright Infringement. Here’s What to Know...

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r/books 20h ago

Dracula is one of the best books i have ever read


Once it switches over to “Letter from Miss Mina Murray to Miss Lucy Westerna” is the most soul sucking writing ever. The book builds up to such an exciting point then it gets reduced down to some pathetic women love letter. My only complaint on the entire book. I think on my next read i will completely skip that chapter all together.

r/books 5h ago

How long would it take to read all of Dostoevsky's literary opus?


What is the shortest amount of time one would need to spend to achieve this and how difficult would it be, both mentally and physically? I suppose this is a good way to really get to know a writer - by reading all he offers. But how long would that take; are we talking a quick month or maybe a whole year? I think Dostoevsky has something more than 30 works - novels, novellas and short stories (and some other things which are in the minority). I believe this would be a daunting task, especially when we take in consideration his novel lenghts and themes which he chooses for them. So, what do you think?

r/books 10h ago

How High We Go In The Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu


Just finished this and am wondering what others' think about it. It's speculative fiction that ends up spanning thousands of years, though I felt that the author could've edited some of the later stories.

I'm not always a fan of story collections, but this one was unique in that all of them share a common thread and take place after a life altering plague ravages the earth. It's incredibly depressing at times, but stirring and redeeming when it comes to how much human beings are capable of surviving, how much hope and love and death we're able to endure.

Worth a read for sure. I'd highly recommend. But it takes some time to think and feel through some of it, as there as some scenarios and stories ("City of Laughter"), that can really mess with you.

r/books 6h ago

Author C.J. Box talks nonpartisan writing, inspiration for timely "Storm Watch"

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r/books 9h ago

One Italian Summer: A Novel Book by Rebecca Serle


Hey here is my review of one of my favorite books. Do read it

Rebecca Serle's One Italian Summer is a heartwarming and engaging novel about love, family, and self-discovery. The narrative follows three generations of women as they travel to Italy to attend a family wedding.

Gia, the protagonist, is still reeling from a recent breakup and is hesitant to accompany her mother and grandmother on their trip. However, as she travels through Italy's beautiful countryside and reconnects with her family, she begins to rediscover herself and opens herself up to the possibility of new love. Serle's writing is lovely and vivid, evoking images of the Italian countryside and its rich cultural heritage. The food, architecture, and people are all described in such vivid detail that readers will feel as if they are right there with the characters.

Characters are also well-drawn and realistic, with recognisable flaws and struggles. Gia, in particular, is a likeable and relatable protagonist whose self-discovery journey is both inspiring and heartwarming. The book's exploration of family dynamics and relationships is one of its strongest points. Serle does an excellent job of portraying the complexities of Gia's relationships with her mother and grandmother.

Overall, One Italian Summer is a charming and uplifting novel that will transport readers to Italy's beautiful countryside and leave them inspired and uplifted. Serle's writing is both evocative and engaging, with relatable and well-drawn characters. If you're looking for a lighthearted summer read that will make you smile, this is the book for you.

r/books 2h ago

The Fear by Natasha Preston


I just finished reading The fear by Natasha Preston which ended on a cliffhanger, and everyone keeps saying it’s a standalone. I knew there was going to be a plot twist but it was unexpected 😭. Apparently the author always ends her book on cliffhangers so it seems that that’s it. The main character was kinda relatable until she started purposely getting involved in dangerous activities. It felt like at times the author purposely made her do dumb things but I guess after experiencing a series murder one may not exactly act the wisest.‘Cause knowing me I’d have unalived myself the moment 3 people were found dead. You should read it if you haven’t yet, I need more people to be devastated with me. Asides from that it’s actually pretty good and I’m looking forward to reading other works written by the author. (I’m tired of Reddit deleting my posts)

r/books 4h ago

What is the reason for the minimal overlap between the books available in libraries and bookstores?


I want to buy the books I find in libraries. I will not find them in bookstores ANYWHERE. Bookstores be selling trendy books only these days. Why? old books are no good anymore?

When I go into a book store, I expect to see an entire shelf if not an entire section dedicated to classical novels, another to primary sources for historical events, and another to classical philosophy.

For example, I have seen more books in bookstores written about Nietzsche by some 21st century literary critic than books written by Nietzsche himself.

Same thing about historical section. I can't find any books by Plutarch, Livy, Homer, or Virgil. Instead I find books about these author by a contemporary author. What gives? Do you guys know a place I can go to? (I live in Montreal)

r/books 13h ago

The Nation: Subterranean Treasures (The Defiance of Cormac McCarthy's Late Style)

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r/books 13h ago

I've started with Octavia Butler's Wild Seed and I'm not enjoying it


I've picked up a (translated) version of Wild Seed, I'm close to 200 pages in and I'm not enjoying it.

My summary on the main characters and plot:

Doro is just evil/uninterested in the humans, sees them only as breeding stock, has no relatable morals.

Anyanwu wants to have Doro as a husband, but I do not see why. Also, Doro steps over cultural boundaries of her regularly (consuming animal's milk, having another husband). Also, let's have dolphin sex, which is taboo but totally hot.

There's a lot of talk about breeding, eugenics and so on which I don't find interesting at all.

Maybe I am not getting the point. My current favourite author is Ursula K. LeGuin who managed to portray deep, relatable and complex characters with stories which telling something about the human condition. A lot of this is lacking here.

Did anyone have a similar experience? What did you like about the book?

Should I have started with an earlier book from these series? The book isnt marketed as such, but I saw on wikipedia that it's volume 4 of some cycle.

This is a repost, hopefolly now with correct spoiler tags.

r/books 16h ago

What are some great books with terrible covers?


I’m very much the type of person who judges a book by it’s cover. Book cover design is also a career I’m interested in entering at some point, so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a great cover.

My answer to this would be the covers of Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Duet. Two of my favorite books of all time, with covers by people who appear not even to have read the summaries. I am referring specifically to the covers that are half views of womens’ faces.

r/books 11h ago

Letting go for steppenwolf


For those who read Hesse's Steppenwolf, what do you think a real human being in the same as main hero's circumstances can do to actually change his fate and let go of being a grumpy guy without a life? I just find myself somewhat similar, always criticizing and seeing other people as rather lower than myself, and I really hate this state of mind. What do you think?

r/books 1d ago

Best literary dads?


In teaching high school English (American Lit), I have noticed in all the books in the curriculum, characters who are fathers are either morally gray at best (John Proctor in The Crucible, Billy Pilgrim in Slaughter House 5, Jacob Vaark in A Mercy) or outright scumbags (Tom Buchanan in Gatsby, Walt McCandless in Into the Wild).

This got me thinking: who are your favorite literary dads? Hans Huberman from The Book Thief is one who is just so genuinely good-hearted, he has actually inspired me as a father (as much as a fictional character can): endlessly patient, unconditionally loving, and always willing to do the right thing.

r/books 1d ago

Cancelled books?


So I want to ask a question are there any cancelled books not cancelled as in Twitter. But cancelled as in books planned but never released, books made but never got to see the light of day, books concepts that never went anywhere or cancelled series, are there any cause I kept hearing cancelled tv shows, video games and cartoons but never cancelled books.

r/books 20h ago

How do I find out who knows what they are talking about?


This is related to factual, scientific books discussing topics such as nutrition, fitness, psychology etc. regarding many of these topics there are a million books with a 100 thousand opinions. What would you suggest is the most efficient way to finding the most credible sources on these subjects? I suppose books that are super popular and have received very positive critical receptions would be suited best, if they have reached a large audience they have also reached many other experts on said topic and if the book has then received positive reviews that means a large amount of these experts seem to agree with the theses of the book. So my question rephrase/simplified would maybe be, how do I find these books? How do I find (for example) the top 3 nutrition related-books that have received overwhelmingly positive feedback and sort of reached high popularity. Is there some kind of "easy" way of getting there? Like some sort of ranking for books of certain topics?

r/books 10h ago

Solitary Tales by Travis Thrasher


This is an incredibly niche series, which I have never heard another person mention. It is a series that abounds in symbolism, and delves largely into supernatural elements. Normal fiction at times, horror at times, I couldn’t put these books down. One final point that makes these so good: Thrasher defies the ordinary rule that the main characters always have plot armor. Don’t read past here if you don’t want a spoiler. But the main character works throughout the first book to save another, slightly less main character, and ultimately fails. The rest of the series continues his story.

r/books 13h ago

The Knife of Never Letting Go & Riddley Walker (Take II)


So I'm reading The Knife of Never Letting Go, and so far it seems like it's full of intentional references to Riddley Walker.

My experience has been that writers sometimes use these kinds of intentional references to say "here's my version of this particular story, so that you can see what I do differently and better." (Stephen King does this in e.g. The Stand (with Watership Down) just as Mary Shelly does this in Frankenstein (with Paradise Lost). etc.)

Anyway. These intentional references include:

  • The narrator's idiosyncratic spellings,
  • The immanent coming of age ceremony that leads the story,
  • The narrator's being embedded in an all- or mainly-male society that is defined by the secrets that it keeps and its attitude toward women,
  • Friendly, intelligent dogs,
  • The "past is the future" post-apocalyptic setting,
  • Todd himself, who shares similar motives, flaws, and orientation toward authority as Riddley,
  • The series itself is titled Chaos Walking. Duh.

Does anyone know whether Patrick Ness has ever commented on Riddley Walker, or has anyone gotten a similar vibe while reading Knife? Are there other interesting parallels between Riddley and Chaos Walking that you've picked up in the series' subsequent books? Does anybody have any thoughts on what Knife does better than Riddley (or vice-versa)?