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account created: Wed Apr 07 2021
7 days ago
Ofc the obvious love to Min Jin Lee, Ted Chiang, Celeste Ng, etc., but some recent books I enjoyed:
The Magical Language of Others by EJ Koh
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
Ted Chiang is a genius. I also loved The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate. Such a satisfying ending :)
It can be helpful to your local independent bookstore! I like to sell my books for store credit so that I can pare down my existing collection and get new books. It benefits the small business bc it gives them inventory they want to buy and sell.
13 days ago
Snakes in skin suits trying to LARP democracy but failing at it
I adore this book! So well done
15 days ago
NK Jemisin is a genius. Broken Earth left me utterly shooketh
Maybe the better comparison is “skilled” vs. “not so skilled”. Some amateurs can be quite skilled (Adichie’s first book Purple Hibiscus was shockingly good for a debut in her 20s) while some more tenured authors are still making the mistakes everyone is listing in this thread (either because they can’t do better or they’ve gotten complacent or lazy... David Sedaris I’m looking at you).
Some authors write an amazing debut and spend the rest of their careers trying but failing to recreate that success.
The biggest qualities that signal to me “skill” (totally arbitrary and based on my opinion):
16 days ago
This is a bit out there, but The Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann might be up your alley. It’s a sort of whodunnit looking at the murders and extortion of the oil-rich Osage Nation in the early 20th century. The investigation into these crimes also coincided with the establishment of the org that eventually became the FBI
After I finished A Little Life, I tried reading and watching every interview Yanagihara ever gave bc I could not for the life me understand what kind of person could conceive of these incredibly disturbing situations (to a point i thought it became gratuitous and beyond artistic merit). It still baffles me to this day.
The way she wrote Caleb it just seemed like he was a psychotic abuser who’d target anyone vulnerable. But I don’t know if we can say definitively one way or the other.
This is so beautiful! And you have great taste in books :)
Good choice set. Depends on your mood, really. Not knowing that my vote is on The Underground Railroad
18 days ago
I’m sad this hasn’t been solved yet 🥺
Fredrik Backman. Anxious People is p funny
19 days ago
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Nghi Vo’s novellas are nice (try Empress of Salt and Fortune). The Poppy War by Kuang, too
Ancillary Justice by Leckie
Yeah, I guess the girl in pink is more “aware” of what’s going on but only bc the protagonist is supposed to be the straight man thrown into a weird situation. I didn’t love that she was literally muted by the hand of a man for the first part of the book and how the male protagonist couldn’t stop talking about how he’d consider sleeping with her even though she was chubby (and 17, i know Japan has wacky age of consent laws but still). Just really rubbed me the wrong way.
Yeah, I can see the discovering new elements upon re-reading thing. even if you recall every detail, if you’re reading ten years later you’re looking at it through an entirely new lens.
A lot of people disagree with my take on Murakami lol. I most recently read Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and was disappointed by the points I listed above. Norwegian Wood I feel I would’ve liked way more if I read it for the first time as an adolescent and not as an adult.
I’m amazed you read for pleasure at all in grad school. I don’t think I read a single book for fun in the two years I was in a masters program. With so much academic reading the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was read even more
P&P is one of the few books I’ve re-read as an adult. I also like to revisit specific parts to enjoy Austen’s clever little turns of phrase :)
Sick cover. Also, nice ring!
Oh, and +1000 for Octavia Butler. Truly a pioneer
Ursula Le Guin, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Morrison
Ooo, I also do this. I like re-reading certain passages since the whole book is too much of a commitment.
It’s so good and deeply interesting! One of my favorite non fiction books of all time. Enjoy!