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Author Topic: 2023 Hot Fresh Reading Challenge Thread  (Read 1686 times)


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Re: 2023 Hot Fresh Reading Challenge Thread
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2023, 10:43:35 am »

Hmmm, also to add to the Jim Butcher discussion.

The Dresden Files are among my most favourite books, but the representation of women made me feel uncomfortable. Less-so in more recent novels, but still.

It's been a while since I read his other series, but I actually rememeber them as a great improvement.
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Re: 2023 Hot Fresh Reading Challenge Thread
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2023, 02:33:51 pm »

The Aeronaut's Windlass was much better in that regard, even though I found the book overall significantly less interesting than the Dresden Files books.  Your mileage may vary, but the choice of characters for perspective seemed like a misfire and I didn't care very much about anyone but the airship captain and his crew.  That said, Folly is one of only two characters whose names I even remember, so at least she was memorable.  I don't remember any of the characters being sexualized at all.

Maybe the next Cinderspire book will be better?  We'll see.

Anyway, I'm not sure what else Butcher wrote in parallel with the Dresden Files books, but the first book of the Codex Alera was at least as bad as the early Dresden books with the female characters.  Maybe it got better with time, but the main things I remember are the watercrafter who made everything disturbingly sexualized and the fact that the steadholder whose name I don't remember was implied to be like 40 but was getting into a romantic relationship and came on to Amara, who was implied to be like 25.  He brushed it off as one of his furies making him do it somehow, but... eh... Butcher didn't have to write that into the book, you know?
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Re: 2023 Hot Fresh Reading Challenge Thread
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2023, 03:02:11 pm »

:)嗨,朋友们,在我看完乱世佳人电影的几个月后,我花了一个月的时间完成了乱世佳人(gone with the wind)的阅读,今天上午我刚去图书馆换完书,我将开始愤怒的葡萄的阅读。
It is said that the angry grapes got a high remark in the American literature field ,right ?If there is anyone know about it , you can send personal message to me ,if not offended .:)

I can't say I've read Gone With the Wind, but The Grapes of Wrath is a wonderful novel. The ending is a little strange to me, but the general message of the power of the people being in the masses is great. There's a song about it called 'The Ghost of Tom Joad' originally recorded by Tom Petty and a cover by Rage Against the Machine. I prefer the Machine version.

What'd you take away from Gone With the Wind? My impression was that it was a depiction of the antebellum south, and only has value as a classic as kind of a period-piece. Could be the leftism talking, but any favourable depiction of reconstructionist south leaves a poor taste in my mouth. I did like Where the Red Fern Grows, which is only tangentially related and relates stories of hillbillies more than southern dames, though.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2023, 07:18:47 am by sodafoutain »
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Re: 2023 Hot Fresh Reading Challenge Thread
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2023, 09:46:50 am »

Now I have finished 10% of the grapes of wrath , one uncle of me who worked in the American sent me a book -- Apprentice to genius :the making of a scientific dynasty as the gift for me to enter the college .Having read some introduction about it , I supposed that he wants me to get to know the importance of apprenticeship to a great teacher .

I should say that this book perfectly suits me for my major is the pharmacy , reading it should be of some importance to me , especially when I reading about the medicine quinine , a drug that change the world , I felt the importance of my major if  my country was caught in the war , my major could make a great effect to save many people 's lives
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Re: 2023 Hot Fresh Reading Challenge Thread
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2023, 03:35:33 am »

Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester:
This is just a great book, through and through. The characters are interesting and well-developed, each with their own quirks. The main character is primarily a bad guy, and sees consequences for his actions. In fact, almost everyone in the book is a piece of shit in one way or another, but also loveable. I was cheering on characters who started as villains by the end of the book. There are so many ideas in this book, that it's impossible to get bored with it. There's the Scientific People: researchers who crash-landed on an asteroid generations back, who have prayers to Darwin and Evolution, and rituals around vaccination. There's corporations which act as noble houses, including corporate regalia and plastic-surgeried mascots. The book also has a "low-speech" which is what the main character starts with, and characters at an 'oil rig' have too - it's not off-putting, which is a pretty hard task, honestly. Here's an excerpt:

"What's a matter, him?"
"Guesses for grabs. Always like that, him. Show old clothes and he twitch. Man!"
"For why, already?"
"For why? Crazy, is all."

It's got a cadence that doesn't feel completely artificial, but is the right mix of intelligible and completely novel. Anyway, great book, quick read, and very satisfying from beginning to end.

Gateway by Frederik Pohl:
Jesus Christ. So I read this on the recommendation of the same podcast which recommended Redshirts, which should have been a red flag... This book sucks ass. The core idea is great - there's an ancient alien satellite, filled with spaceships we barely know how to control, and are effectively lottery tickets to ride. You might find a planet full of exploitable resources or more ancient alien artifacts, or you might get dropped into a sun, or starve on the way there or on the way back. The problem is that Pohl is a bad writer and the characters in the book are fucking insufferable. You've got the main character, who's primary personality trait is that he fucks chicks and second, that he beats up his girlfriend without consequences. The story is primarily meetings between the main character and his robotic psychologist, then the rest is just recounting the events that "messed him up so bad" that he had to go to therapy.

Surprise, he wants to fuck his mom and also has repressed homosexual urges. Three guesses as to whether this was delivered with class. For fuck's sake, he watches other people's therapy sessions without permission, and the /therapist/ shows him someone else's like...a reward. I'm trying to give the author a break because of the time it was written, but...c'mon. Also, the main character becomes British for the last 2 chapters for no reason - the author and character are both firmly American, he just decided he was sick of using "fuck" over and over again for shock value, and switched to "bloody".

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula Le Guin:
What a great short story and what a refreshing read after the trainwreck above. People say Avatar was ripped off of this novella, there are certainly a lot of parallels. Earth-humans arrive on a planet covered mostly in oceans, but with small islands covered in forests, which are populated by 'creechies', 4-foot green-furred humanoids that live in some balance with nature. The humans start exploiting the planet, and ultimately a conflict breaks out. The book is a much better examination of colonialism than Avatar is - the creechies have no sense of murder or warfare, and that being introduced to them by the humans is really the greatest risk to them, far beyond the resource extraction. The writing here is incredible. The creechies feel alien and relatable all at the same time, and the humans, though violent and antagonistic, also are also reasonable characters in their own. You get a true point of view of one of the expansionist humans, and it reads...violent but thoughtful. It's a great read, and extremely short for Le Guin. Probably a great way to start reading her works.

The Dirdir by Jack Vance:
This is the 3rd book in a series of 4 called Tschai: World of Adventure! It's pulp fantasy at its best. Vance is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine because he's so damn efficient in world building. Here's an excerpt:

"True, but can the Dirdir trace us?"
"Small risk. They have no means to do so. I long since isolated the identity crystal. And in any event, that is not their way."

Three very brief sentences do a lot here. It gives us information on the story, the threat has passed, some adventure is upcoming. It introduces information about a flying machine (identity crystals), but immediately reduces the importance of such an object because the third sentence tells us more about the Dirdir, obviously the main focus of the book. I wish I had read these when I was a kid, because I read a lot of terrible books back then and Vance is great. There's no depth or philosophy here, just a good old-fashioned violent romp on the world of Tschai. I'll likely read the rest of the series, I just happened to find this one in print. The plot in this book is a bit sporadic, as most pulp is, but it is all tied together effectively and the ending is satisfying enough.

I've been thoroughly unimpressed by anything from the Hugo list, so in pure spite, I'm reading Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge, which the Hugos put above Blindsight. I'm currently at 38 done this year, and this Vernor Vinge book might slog me down to put 40 at risk...

Forgot to mention I read 'The Things' by Peter Watts (Blindsight) - it's just fanfiction of The Thing, which is my favorite movie. It was a nice experience.

hold on, I'm not done with Pohl.
He said the character from Brazil was speaking Spanish.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2023, 07:18:02 am by delphonso »
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