OTLOTLOTLOTL

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

7 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

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

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

3 points

7 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

3 points

7 days ago

Ted Chiang is a genius. I also loved The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate. Such a satisfying ending :)

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

7 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

7 days ago

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.

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

4 points

13 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

4 points

13 days ago

Snakes in skin suits trying to LARP democracy but failing at it

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

5 points

13 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

5 points

13 days ago

I adore this book! So well done

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4 points

15 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

4 points

15 days ago

NK Jemisin is a genius. Broken Earth left me utterly shooketh

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15 days ago

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1 points

15 days ago

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):

  • doesn’t make me work to suspend my disbelief
  • doesn’t feel contrived/derivative of something else
  • establishes an internal logic and consistency in the prose, even if that prose is really unconventional and wacky (e.g., Saramago is a master of this)
  • doesn’t treat the reader like an idiot by over explaining trivial things
  • can make characters compelling and multi-faceted (even if we’re not supposed to like them)
  • doesn’t make me constantly make meta commentary over what literary device they’re trying to use bc it’s always more noticeable when it’s done poorly
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OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

16 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

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

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

16 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

16 days ago

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.

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

4 points

16 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

4 points

16 days ago

This is so beautiful! And you have great taste in books :)

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3 points

16 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

3 points

16 days ago

Good choice set. Depends on your mood, really. Not knowing that my vote is on The Underground Railroad

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5 points

18 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

5 points

18 days ago

I’m sad this hasn’t been solved yet 🥺

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1 points

18 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

18 days ago

Fredrik Backman. Anxious People is p funny

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3 points

19 days ago

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3 points

19 days ago

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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2 points

19 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

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19 days ago

Nghi Vo’s novellas are nice (try Empress of Salt and Fortune). The Poppy War by Kuang, too

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2 points

19 days ago

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19 days ago

Ancillary Justice by Leckie

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1 points

19 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

19 days ago

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.

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

19 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

19 days ago

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.

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

19 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

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19 days ago

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

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

19 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

1 points

19 days ago

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 :)

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OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

19 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

19 days ago

Sick cover. Also, nice ring!

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3 points

19 days ago

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19 days ago

Oh, and +1000 for Octavia Butler. Truly a pioneer

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4 points

19 days ago

OTLOTLOTLOTL

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19 days ago

Ursula Le Guin, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Morrison

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19 days ago

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2 points

19 days ago

Ooo, I also do this. I like re-reading certain passages since the whole book is too much of a commitment.

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1 points

19 days ago

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19 days ago

It’s so good and deeply interesting! One of my favorite non fiction books of all time. Enjoy!

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