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What are you reading? II

Raiden

Goddess of Death
Pronoun
she
I've been reading manga for the past few years and kind of forgot novels for a while. ...That is, until recently when I discovered a Finnish fantasy book series called "Mantereet" ("The Continents"). I've been reading volume 1 off and on, i.e. whenever I have the time, energy and interest to do it.

I also read another Finnish fantasy series several years ago... called "the Sonja trilogy" (consists of books called "The Kingdom of Crystals", "The Court of Witches" and "The Gae Bolg"). They were library books so I had to return them eventually, and it's been around a decade since I last read them. It wasn't until this year that I found the books at an auction site and knew I had to get them. XD Time for a re-read soon~

As for manga? I'm currently reading several manga online (Haikyuu, Ace of Diamond 2, One Piece, Angelique, etc.) and many more physical copies. ...Physical manga I have underway at the moment: the official Finnish translations of Magic Knight Rayearth, Ginga Densetsu Weed and At Laz Meridian; the official English translations of Alice in the Country of Hearts/Clover/Joker/Diamond, Crimson Empire, Are You Alice?, Dictatorial Grimoire and B'tX; and trying to slowly translate my way through Super Robot Wars OG: The Record of ATX (which is Japanese). I swear, I'm shocked that Record of ATX has yellow paper. It doesn't look yellow in the online version on the publisher's site. (Oh, also, I'm thinking about catching up on the official Finnish translations of Black Butler and Trinity Blood, and re-reading my copies of Fruits Basket.)
 

Sandstone-Shadow

A chickadee in love with the sky
Pronoun
she/her
I'm rereading Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle because I've had the last book for ages but haven't started reading it yet! And because it's been a while, I'm rereading them all for maximum effect. Gosh I love these books.
Ahhhh I just finished The Raven King and I am speechless. So marvelous. I can't even. So many emotions.

Now I'm not sure what to read next. I have several books that have been sitting around, half-heartedly started, for a long time, so I could either finish those, or... I could read The Call by Peadar O'Guilin... hmm...
 

RedneckPhoenix

vote stryke
Pronoun
he
Reading list for you punks:
The Magyk series by Angie Sage
Percy Jackson and related books by Rick Riordan
The Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini
The Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
A few of them are shorter books, but some of them have quite a few pages with a small font size. These are all series that I really enjoyed and recommend to you guys.
 

Darkanine

DigiDestined
Pronoun
he
I've mostly been reading comicbooks (and fanfic...) in my spare time, here's a few.

-Adventure Time Comic series. Original run, not the "Adventure Time Comic" series they just came out with, those newer ones are kind of lame.

-Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. 2016 run by Boom! They can be a bit dreadfully serious, especially for the silly source material but they're still good reads. Action is good and the drama is good, theirs just a bit to much drama for my taste.

-Crystal Cadets by Lionforge Comics. Not very good to be honest. The art is beautiful but the writing and pacing are all over the place. Half way done with the comics and I still barely know the setting, the goals and worst of all, the characters.

-W.I.T.C.H. It's pretty good, but the translation is rough. Only one comic in but I'm hooked.

-Mega Man (Archie Run). It's great. Good humor, good action, great characters, genuinely interesting conflicts without right or wrong answers. It's a great series.

As for novels, I haven't got to reading any in awhile, but I plan on buying Magyk and The Graveyard Book once I get some extra money.
 

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
Staff member
So I finished Infinite Jest today and that book fucked me up, man, so here's a post about it so maybe now I can stop looking up stuff about it on the internet and get back to work.

I wasn't particularly expecting to like this book, although it's of course super famous and critically acclaimed and so on. I don't read a lot of literary fiction because I don't like a lot of literary fiction, and indeed I hated this book for the first three hundred pages or so. HATED. Indeed, the only thing that kept me hanging in there was that I needed to read the entire thing in order to be able to properly articulate all the various ways in which I DESPISED it. Plus also my library's e-book selection is awful and I was having trouble finding other novels I was interested in and that weren't checked out.

Around where Marathe and Steeply showed up, though, I started to be like, "Okay, I guess this can be pretty funny sometimes. I guess I can see why some people might like it." Cut to the past couple days where I've been going on multi-hour binges to knock off the last 500 or so pages. I think I love this book? In like a kind of complicated way, but in the end it turned out to be a cracking good read and I'm unreasonably attached to some of the characters, and I've already gone back to re-skim the first chapter, and I'm sure I'll read it again, at least once.

Overall this story is just so delightfully batshit? Like it is completely ridiculous and 100% owns that ridiculousness and at times you can just feel Wallace must have been having a blast while writing some part or other because it's just so balls-to-the-wall out there silly and fun. In between the parts where people are getting murdered in lurid detail (one thing I could have done without tbh) or suffering terribly in their various addictions, I mean. The blending of comedy and tragedy is one of my absolute favorite things in fiction, and so few books can pull it off--so few books even really try--and that is one area where I think Infinite Jest is superb. It's hilarious and also deeply, deeply sad, and I eat that emotional dissonance up with a spoon.

Also, this book has one of the best action scenes I've ever read, and that was really not something I was expecting? And as someone who's kind of a connoisseur of action scenes, that's a pretty high bar to clear. The entire scene where the Canadians roll up on Ennet House to get their revenge on Lenz (while everyone is trying to move their cars) is just so fantastic. Excellent use of dramatic irony to keep the tension ratcheted high the whole time, that mix of zany and deadly serious, a twenty-eight-car pileup of stuff hitting the fan at once that's chaotic but not confusing... it all comes together so wonderfully as one long adrenaline-rush of a chapter that shakes everything up. Reading that part at 5:30 AM while speeding upriver in the Amazon added some atmosphere that probably took things up a notch, but still. So good. It also probably helps that it was kind of a crowning moment of awesome for my favorite character, or, err, crowning moment of half-suicidal rage that afterwards has him desperately trying to ask whether he actually killed anyone but failing because he's intubated and the people who come to visit him in the hospital are more interested in telling him their depressing life stories than trying to interpret his desperate grunting noises, but hey, that's the kind of book this is. Love it. I think I'm definitely going to reread that part before returning the book to the library. And take notes, maybe, heh.

Buuuut I also don't think the hype is totally justified. Wallace obviously knows what he's doing when it comes to your actual prose, there absolutely are a lot of good insights, great lines, funny moments, but, like, it didn't really come across transcendental to me? There's a lot that it does well, but it's a very flawed novel, too, and though I enjoyed it a lot and am going to reread it for sure, which is fairly rare, it's not like it's my all-time favorites or something that really struck me as this amazing work of literature. But then I may not be the best audience, since for me the off-the-wall crazy was really what made the novel for me, not the "profound" stuff. Like, my favorite scene involves Canadian toughs in leis chasing a shrieking crack addict around and around a car in circles, cartoon-style, not any of the ones that involve serious meditations on love or death or the media, etc. But hey, even if what I really appreciate is batshit, this book has some high-quality batshit, yo.

Okay just had to get that off my chest because I would love to discuss this book bad but I'm also not motivated enough to join any online groups for it and I don't think I actually can recommend it to anyone I know because even if they might enjoy some of the characters or themes or whatever I have trouble encouraging people to slog through a novel where there's no payoff for like 500 pages (I don't know anybody who'd be enough into the post-modern non-linear storytelling thing to go in just for that). So!
 
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Vipera Magnifica

The World
Pronoun
he
I'm currently reading A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. Truth be told it's been over two years since I read A Clash of Kings and it's terrible that I didn't get around to reading this sooner. I read at a glacial pace though so it always takes me at least a month or two to finish these books even if I'm reading every day.

Other than that, I recently read the manga for Steel Ball Run. That is to say, the seventh part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Each part is a self-contained story, and the seventh part is the longest and also the most well-written, in my opinion. With the part 5 anime currently airing, I also decided to read the light novel Purple Haze Feedback. Definitely a must-read if you're a fan of the series, as it fleshes out the ending of part 5 a lot and delivers some much needed character development to Pannacotta Fugo. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should give the JJBA anime a watch, starting from the 2012 adaptation of Phantom Blood. It's a wild ride.
 

kyeugh

the world is just a sphere
Pronoun
she/her
whoa am i going to post in the forums?? yes i am. what the fuck dude.

i've been stuck on the wise man's fear for like a year now. i finished the name of the wind quite a while ago and found it pretty bad for the most part, but the ending was quite good so i figured i'd give the sequel a try. well surprise the sequel doesn't maintain that pace and is actually somehow worse. this seems to be a pretty well-loved book series for some reason and i absolutely can't figure out why. it's just... the Ebin Protagonist Being Ebin and the worldbuilding is pretty lazy and... that's it. just a cool guy doing stuff. maybe it's wish fulfilment? idk. whatever it is, it's pretty rubbish. not a fan, but i'm almost done so i better stick it through.

i've also been picking up arcanum unbounded by brandon sanderson every once and a while, which has been pretty cool. it's an anthology of short stories based around the worlds established by his cosmere novels. currently i'm reading mistborn: secret history which is unexpectedly long, and it's been a while since i've read mistborn so it's kind of a trip down memory lane. really decent though! i'm a real sucker for, like, cosmic worldbuilding and this book is basically Brandon Sanderson's Worldbuilding: The Book so i'm enjoying that a lot.

i hit barnes and noble the other day against my better judgement and picked up a couple books: the complete works of franz kafka, history of ireland, and the history of the world in bite-sized chunks. i've only started reading the latter, and it's pretty interesting so far. most of the content isn't new, per se, but some of it is and it's always good to read about history in terms of everything else happening at the time rather than just, idk, browsing the wikipedia page about the mongols or something in isolation. so that's been a lot of fun.

after i get through all this i also have wheel of time and discworld looming on my backlog, as well as a really pretty copy of trainspotting that i haven't touched. the wise man's fear sort of fucked up my flow so i'm quite behind but hopefully i'll get back into the swing of things soon... i sure have a lot of material to get through :v
 

Ruby

Night can outbalance day
Staff member
Pronoun
he/him
I recently started to reread The Tombs of Atuan, the last book in the Earthsea series. I last read it when I was quite little, and I'm a bit surprised that I got through it then. It's very good, but it's not really a children's book.
 

storm

aiat
Pronoun
they/them
I have been trying to locate the entire earthsea series before the province shut down, but unfortunately it is pretty scattered here! it's a shame, as I would really like to get all of the books to read, and then sob for an hour or two

I remember the short stories and the other wind absolutely wrecking me when I read them as a child
 

Ruby

Night can outbalance day
Staff member
Pronoun
he/him
I have been trying to locate the entire earthsea series before the province shut down, but unfortunately it is pretty scattered here! it's a shame, as I would really like to get all of the books to read, and then sob for an hour or two

I remember the short stories and the other wind absolutely wrecking me when I read them as a child
I bought a newish one-volume edition of the first four books. It's published by Penguin. I think it's the standard edition in the UK at the moment.

9780241956878.jpg
 

kokorico

dead duck
Pronoun
e/em/eir/emself
Ah, I read the exact same edition not too long ago! I'd only ever read the first book, and that as a young child, so I didn't really remember much about it. It was quite astonishing how many of the common fantasy tropes basically originated with it, despite its being so far ahead of its time in terms of the environmentalism theme. But it's definitely not aimed at kids, no. (Especially not the ending of Tehanu. Pheew.)
 

Zoroark

Illusionist
An old book I had lying around my library.

'Altered Carbon' by Richard Morgan. The netflix series of the same name is based upon it.

It is a reasonably okay read, although I am more interested in the mystery than the backdrop of dystopian nightmare future where immortality is granted by a 'stack'; a data-retrieval device welded to the top of the human spinal column at birth. The book starts with the protagonist's death, followed by his awakening at the beginning of his new... employment.

Next is 'A Nameless Witch' by A. Lee Martinez

Then 'A Family Affair' by Mary Campist.

I may try 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' again after that, but I found that Victorian high society ladies kicking zombies in the face with the heel of their combat boots was a little... jarring for my suspension of disbelief.
 
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forretress

just a little ball
Pronoun
they
after i watched a very long video essay about the series on youtube, i have started reading the witcher book series. i finished 'the last wish' by andrzej sapkowski just a bit earlier this week and am starting on the second in the series, 'the sword of destiny' also by andrzej.

im a sucker for some good high fantasy and i always get sucked into whatever im reading really heavily. i also like main characters who are mean sometimes ! ha ha !

i am really rather enjoying this series, i have never played any of the corresponding games but the story is really hooking me in so who knows how soon that will change
 

Ruby

Night can outbalance day
Staff member
Pronoun
he/him
I've been reading a fair bit of Sherlock Holmes recently. I read a couple of the novellas in the past, but never gave much time to the short stories before this year. They are a lot better than I was expecting. I had the impression that the plots are absurdly implausible, but actually most of them are only a bit implausible.
 

Stryke

The finchiest of widgets
Pronoun
he
Just picked up the latest book by my favorite author: The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Atomic Bomb. I literally just got it in the mail today, so I haven't read it yet, but I'm really excited; the author, Sam Kean, is an awesome writer, and his books are what got me interested in nonfiction to begin with. He always touches on really interesting, niche stories about stuff thats generally considered mundane, like DNA/genes or the periodic table, so I'm excited to check out this new book!
 
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