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Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


Rising from the rubble of an old thread, a glorious future of reading struggles to be born...

The Book Barn Reading Challenge

As the Rawring Twenties limp along and new normals become old routines, there is an ancient and noble quest taken on by some papercut-scarred fools. It's the Reading Challenge! Simply pick a number of books you want to read, and try to hit that target! Maybe you have another specific challenge, like reading more fiction, or revisiting old favourites, or finally clearing out that one dusty shelf. Post about it here and let the rest of the thread keep you on track! Post updates every month or so, tell fellow challengers about what you've read, offer recommendations. (Try not to just dump a list of books - it's always interesting to see people's thoughts!)

BOOKLORD 2021

For those who fancy something more elaborate than a simple "read n books", it's the Booklord Challenge! After being re-elected with 100% of the votes cast, I continue my reign of terror as your Booklord. I've assembled an array of challenges both simple and strange to help encourage everyone (including myself) to try some new titles, genres and subjects outside of our regular comfort zones!

Remember: this is just for funsies! Go at your own pace, share the joy of literature with everyone. Feel free to interpret the Booklord Challenge prompts as you wish - pick and choose preferred ones from the list, or go for the full Booklord and flex your big, beefy brain for everyone.


THE CHALLENGE:

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge.
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men.
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour.
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers.
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation.
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories.
12. Read something about a monster.
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
15. Read something set in the recent past.
16. Read something from a non-human perspective.
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Don't feel you have to pick one specific book per entry. Some books can and will span multiple! If someone posts requesting a wildcard, please try to suggest something that's actually available for the person to acquire!

What now?

Your first post in this thread should be to tell us what number of books you're hoping to reach this year, any personal challenges, as well as whether or not you choose to take on the Booklord 2021.
Then, get reading! Post regularly to let us know your progress (usually happens monthly, but you do you), give out wildcards and ask for recommendations. You can also post your Goodreads if you'd like!

GLHF! Book today, book tomorrow, book forever!

Gertrude Perkins fucked around with this message at 02:18 on Jan 3, 2021

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DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Name: DurianGray
Personal Challenge: 100 books -- at least 10 non-fiction books
Booklord 2021? Yup!

Very excited to join in this year! I finally started reading again last summer after a handful of years of reading almost nothing and I want to push myself out of my scifi/fantasy comfort zone a bit more.

Edit: I mostly made this for myself, but if anyone else uses Storygraph, I went ahead and added the Booklord 2021 prompts as a challenge (as far as I can tell, this link should give you access to it if you're interested): https://app.thestorygraph.com/reading_challenges/3599ea7d-804b-4f0a-8c5e-01e2e4ff9a36

DurianGray fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Jan 3, 2021

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


CHALLENGER MASTERPOST

Name: DurianGray
Personal Challenge: 100 books -- at least 10 non-fiction books
Booklord 2021? Yup!

Name: Algebra Testes
Personal Challenge: 12 books - including one history book
Booklord 2021? Yup!

Name: How Wonderful
Personal Challenge: 100 books - emphasis on books unrelated to dissertation or teaching
Booklord 2021? Ok!

Name: Guy A. Person
Personal Challenge: To savour each book and not to rush
Booklord 2021? Partial

Name: cryptoclastic
Personal Challenge: More than one book
Booklord 2021? Partial

Name: Idaholy Roller
Personal Cchallenge: 100 books
Booklord 2021? yessss

Name: Gertrude Perkins
Personal Challenge: 52 books, 1/3+ not by men, 1/3+ by writers of colour, 1/4+ by LGBT writers
Booklord 2021? YES

Name: Humerus
Personal Challenge: 52 books, 30% (at least) for each of non-white, non-women, non-straight authors
Booklord 2021: Not this time!

Name: Ben Nevis
Personal Challenge: 70
Booklord 2021? Yes!

Name: TrixRabbi
Personal Challenge: 52 books
Booklord 2021? TBC

Name: clamcake
Personal Challenge: 1 nonfiction book a month
Booklord 2021? Sure

Name: Strong Mouse
Personal Challenge: 30 books
Booklord 2021? Let's do this!!!

Name: Mr. Maltose
Personal Challenge: 26 books
Booklord 2021? Absolutely!

Name: Groke
Personal Challenge: More books than last year
Booklord 2021? Partial

Name: chrmnbill
Personal Challenge: 30-ish books, finish the Bible
Booklord 2021? "As many as I can without getting stressed"

Name: Chamberk
Personal Challenge: 32 books
Booklord 2021? Yes

Name: Jordan7hm
Personal Challenge: 52 books finished, of which one should be Moby Dick.
Booklord 2021? Yes

Name: ReWinter
Personal Challenge: 52, at least five of which should be in Spanish (translations OK)
Booklord 2021? Yup!

Name: schwein11
Personal Challenge: 36
Booklord 2021? Sure

Name: ectoplasm
Personal Challenge: 52 books and/or 10,000 pages. Finish last year's reading challenge.
Booklord 2021? Not this year.

Name: RadicalTranslation
Personal Challenge: 75 books
Booklord 2021? Sure

Name: Robert Deadford
Personal Challenge: 26
Booklord 2021? Yes please!

Name: Grizzled Patriarch
Personal Goal: 40 books
Booklord 2021? Hell yeah

Gertrude Perkins fucked around with this message at 22:32 on Feb 28, 2021

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003



So after breaking my record considerably last year I've decided to slow down my reading a bit for two reasons:

1. I want to savor the books more and not worry as much about ticking off a number
2. I want to pursue other hobbies

I also tend to keep reading books even when I'm not feeling them which I've realized is a waste of time

I considered actually setting a ceiling on my reading but that seems like a lot of hassle and would be embarrassing if I didn't even hit that, so I'll just say:

Name: Guy A. Person
Personal Challenge: whatever number of books just give every one the proper attention and don't force anything
Booklord 2021?: I might not do the entire thing but I definitely like some of the challenges and want a wildcard

I've realized this was a very long post to say "I am going to read some books this year"

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

Name: Algebra Testes
Personal Challenge: 12 - 1 a month.
Booklord 2021? Yup!
Personal Challenge: finish another drat history book from my library that I have owned a while.

Let's get this show on the road.

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006


I only have excellent ideas.


Name: How Wonderful
Personal Challenge: 100 seems fine?
Booklord 2021? Ok!
Personal Challenge: In 2020 most of what I read was related to my dissertation or teaching and I would like to get back to other things and allow myself to not be "at work" 24/7.

cryptoclastic
Jul 3, 2003

The Jesus


Guy A. Person posted:

So after breaking my record considerably last year I've decided to slow down my reading a bit for two reasons:

1. I want to savor the books more and not worry as much about ticking off a number
2. I want to pursue other hobbies

I also tend to keep reading books even when I'm not feeling them which I've realized is a waste of time

I considered actually setting a ceiling on my reading but that seems like a lot of hassle and would be embarrassing if I didn't even hit that, so I'll just say:

Name: Guy A. Person
Personal Challenge: whatever number of books just give every one the proper attention and don't force anything
Booklord 2021?: I might not do the entire thing but I definitely like some of the challenges and want a wildcard

I've realized this was a very long post to say "I am going to read some books this year"

This pretty much sums up my a lot of my thoughts on last year. I ended up not reading things I really wanted to read because I wanted to catch up on challenges and check off boxes.

Name: cryptoclastic
Personal challenge: more than one book
Booklord 2021: some of it! How much remains to be seen.

I will do the wildcard challenge later though, as the past couple of years have been pretty good.

Idaholy Roller
May 19, 2009


Name: Idaholy Roller
Personal challenge: 100
Booklord 2021: yessss

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


Name: Gertrude Perkins
Personal Challenge: 52 books, 1/3+ not by men, 1/3+ by writers of colour, 1/4+ by LGBT writers
Booklord 2021: YES

Humerus
Jul 7, 2009

Rule of acquisition #111:
Treat people in your debt like family...exploit them.




Name: Humerus
Personal Challenge: 52 books, 30% (at least) for each of non-white, non-women, non-straight authors
Booklord 2021: Not this time!

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Thanks for doing this again Gertrude Perkins!

I'm cutting my books down as well this year. I'll probably beat it by quite a lot, but whatever. Just don't want to stress about it. There were times this year I passed up longer books or books that looked like slower reads so I could hit my total.

Name: Ben Nevis
Total Books: 70
Booklord challenge: Yes!

Idaholy Roller
May 19, 2009


Had a quick look at books with colours in the title and all the indigo books look like garbage.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Name: TrixRabbi
Personal Challenge: 52 books
Booklord?: Maybe? Possibly partial

I have a big, ever-growing library of unread books and am in two different book clubs with friends that cause me to have to pick up new stuff frequently, so I want to try and make a dent in my own unread piles on top of keeping up with these book clubs. However I will commit to at least saying a few sentences about everything I read this year in this thread.

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Idaholy Roller posted:

Had a quick look at books with colours in the title and all the indigo books look like garbage.

My library has a handful of mysteries, some that appear to be paranormal romance, and a very badly reviewed nonfiction book. One of the mysteries has a cat on the cover, so I'm probably reading that one.

Ben Nevis fucked around with this message at 20:09 on Jan 3, 2021

clamcake
Dec 24, 2012


I also had book burnout last year and will participate in a scaled back sort of way.

Name: clamcake
Personal challenge: 1 nonfiction book a month
Booklord challenge: sure

Strong Mouse
Jun 11, 2012

You disrespect us. You drag corpses around. You steal, and you hurt feelings!

RRRRRRRAAAAARGH!

Prepare to die!


It's been a while since I've done this, and even longer since I actually came close to completing this.

Name: Strong Mouse
Personal Challenge: 30 books
Booklord Challenge: Let's do this!!!

I'm going to go with 30 books, and I want to see how well I can do with the booklord challenge.

My goodreads profile!



e:I'm asking for a wildcard now so I don't forget about it.

Strong Mouse fucked around with this message at 01:33 on Jan 4, 2021

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Name: Mr. Maltose
Personal Challenge: 26
Booklord 2021? Absolutely!

Excited to polish off my half read list and do all the reading I thought I was going to over the last nine months.

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Name: Groke
Personal challenge: No set number of books
Booklord challenge: Realistically going for 50% of the points

2020 ended up utterly hosed reading-wise because of Covid -- no, nobody in our household has got it, but being stuck at home with four kids and a supposed full-time work-from-home job basically wiped out my reading time and energy. Going into the new year with a goal of reading more than in the last 10 months but not setting any numerical goals this time.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



iím reading books this year

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


ulvir posted:

iím reading books this year

Awwww yeah


Strong Mouse posted:

e:I'm asking for a wildcard now so I don't forget about it.

Try Joanna Russ, The Female Man

chrmnbill
Feb 17, 2011



Hi all! I read, might as well talk about it online.

Name: chrmnbill
Personal challenges: Read 30-ish books, finish the Bible
Booklord: As many as I can without getting stressed

I'll go ahead and request a wildcard too.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Iím starting to gather my reading list for the month so Iíd like my wildcard to round out the set for January.

chrmnbill posted:

I'll go ahead and request a wildcard too.

How about giving At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann OíBrien a go?

Chamberk
Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire


I'll aim for 32; I suppose I'll aim for the booklord, though the color thing does give me pause.

Jordan7hm
Feb 17, 2011

MENS REA? LOL MORE LIKE CHRIS REA AM I RITE





Lipstick Apathy

I want to start reading more prose again, so a late signup for this. I also want to actually finish more books, not just stop three quarters of the way through.

Name: Jordan7hm
Personal Challenge: 52 books finished, of which one should be Moby Dick.
Booklord 2021? Yes

And just putting some initial planned titles down here as a guide for myself, I'll probably edit it with new ideas whenever I come up with stuff. One of my goals for what to pick is to read books I own but haven't read / finished.

9. Read something in translation.
Norwegian Wood

11. Read some short stories.
The Best of Roald Dahl has been sitting on my shelf for years.

12. Read something about a monster.
I'm noticing a real issue with my shelves being filled with white male authors. Frankenstein seems a good choice here then.

13. Read an essay collection.
Best Food Writing 2017... though I imagine I'll do a couple of books for this.

15. Read something set in the recent past.
Michael Lewis is my favorite non-fiction author and for whatever reason I haven't read either Panic or Boomerang yet despite buying them like the week they came out. So one of those.

17. Read something about the ocean.
Moby Dick, I guess

19. Read something about games.
Picked up this book in November, so I should read it. Wonderland: how play made the modern world

20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
The Little Drummer Girl

Ones I still need to figure out:

5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) this one seems the most onerous
8. Read something that's out of print. I have most of the run of the SF Laser Books imprint, so I'll read some of that. Not sure what yet though.
10. Read some poetry. I've actually read all the poetry still on my shelves. I may need to buy something new for this. Might end up being a requested wildcard, but I'll need to think about it more.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. Likely also something from Laser Books.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Jordan7hm fucked around with this message at 16:30 on Jan 20, 2021

ReWinter
Nov 23, 2008

Perpetually Perturbed

Late sign-up for me too! Just saw this.

Name: ReWinter
Personal Challenge: 52, at least five of which should be in Spanish (translations OK)
Booklord '21? Yup!

schwein11
Oct 13, 2009





Late sign up for me if it's ok.

Name:schwein11
Personal Challenge:36 (tried to do 48 last year and fell short)
Booklord? Sure, sounds like an interesting challenge.

schwein11
Oct 13, 2009





schwein11 posted:

Late sign up for me if it's ok.

Name:schwein11
Personal Challenge:36 (tried to do 48 last year and fell short)
Booklord? Sure, sounds like an interesting challenge.

I've been on a big John le Carre kick since he passed away late last year. Prior to reading his obituary and thinking "huh this sounds interesting", I had never read any of his stuff. In December I read the first five Smiley books back to back, and continued that this year. So far this month I've started and finished three of his books: The Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley's People, and The Little Drummer Girl. So that's 3 of my 36 down. I don't think they qualify for any of the Booklord challenges though.

ReWinter
Nov 23, 2008

Perpetually Perturbed

schwein11 posted:

I've been on a big John le Carre kick since he passed away late last year. Prior to reading his obituary and thinking "huh this sounds interesting", I had never read any of his stuff. In December I read the first five Smiley books back to back, and continued that this year. So far this month I've started and finished three of his books: The Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley's People, and The Little Drummer Girl. So that's 3 of my 36 down. I don't think they qualify for any of the Booklord challenges though.

I read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold a few years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit, but it only briefly mentions Smiley if I remember right. Glad to hear he's got other fun stuff, I've been meaning to go back to him.

schwein11
Oct 13, 2009





ReWinter posted:

I read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold a few years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit, but it only briefly mentions Smiley if I remember right. Glad to hear he's got other fun stuff, I've been meaning to go back to him.

Thatís what I started with, which is technically book 3 of the smiley books, then I went back and read the first two before moving on. Itís one of my favorites - along with Little Drummer Girl (but I just finished the latter today so itís especially fresh)

Edit: I should also say I think the better move would be to read them in publication order. Also Little Drummer Girl is not a smiley book in case I wasnít clear about that.

schwein11 fucked around with this message at 22:47 on Jan 20, 2021

ectoplasm
Apr 13, 2012

MaDMaN posted:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Name: ectoplasm
Personal Challenge: 52 books and/or 10,000 pages.
Booklord: Not this year.

I'm going to try to finish up my reading challenge from last year.

I still need to read:
-1 long book
-1 new book
-1 translated book The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
-1 set in my state book
-1 humorous book
-1 another culture book
-1 autobiography

RadicalTranslation
Jan 26, 2021



Name: RadicalTranslation
Personal Challenge: 75 books
Booklord 2021? Sure

RadicalTranslation
Jan 26, 2021



RadicalTranslation posted:

Name: RadicalTranslation
Personal Challenge: 75 books
Booklord 2021? Sure

5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)

I'll try my best on these; adding a (b) to books I need to buy

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (b)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (substituting this out for Indigo lol)
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (b)
Ultramarine by Malcolm Lowry
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (b)
Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown

6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.


The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish (gifted to me by my mum)

7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.

Anyone wanna recommend me something that is in line with what I have listed?

8. Read something that's out of print.

Men of Good Will by Jules Romains (only the first volume, since it's the longest novel ever written!)

9. Read something in translation.

The Iliad by Homer (which I will definitely finish this year... maybe)

10. Read some poetry.

Canterbury Tales by Chaucer

11. Read some short stories.


I'll read Kate Chopin's short stories along with The Awakening

12. Read something about a monster.

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (this counts right?)

13. Read an essay collection.

Don't need this since my degree requires doing this every week :/

14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

15. Read something set in the recent past.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

16. Read something from a non-human perspective.

God I have no idea where to even begin with this; any suggestions (again in line with what I've listed?)

17. Read something about the ocean.


The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.

The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Beaumont & Fletcher

19. Read something about games.


The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.

Ravelstein by Saul Bellow (b)

21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

ReWinter
Nov 23, 2008

Perpetually Perturbed

RadicalTranslation posted:


7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.

Anyone wanna recommend me something that is in line with what I have listed?


16. Read something from a non-human perspective.

God I have no idea where to even begin with this; any suggestions (again in line with what I've listed?)


As a general rule I'd recommend Fledgling by Octavia Butler, which could hit both of these, but you could just satisfy 16 with any of the big animal PoV novels such as Animal Farm, Watership Down, or one of the Jack London options.

I don't know that Butler fits your pattern here but if you're interested in branching out she's an excellent option.

E: I also need a wildcard if anyone has one to offer! I'm open to anything as long as it's not too monolithic - my list is long and already has several enormous books. Anything from classic lit to non-fiction to YA is fine, though.

ReWinter fucked around with this message at 17:05 on Jan 26, 2021

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


We now have over 20 participants! Welcome all, and merry book to you and yours.

ReWinter posted:

E: I also need a wildcard if anyone has one to offer! I'm open to anything as long as it's not too monolithic - my list is long and already has several enormous books. Anything from classic lit to non-fiction to YA is fine, though.

How about Adam Roberts, Yellow Blue Tibia?

ReWinter
Nov 23, 2008

Perpetually Perturbed

Gertrude Perkins posted:

How about Adam Roberts, Yellow Blue Tibia?

I had never heard of this and it sounds delightful - thank you!

Chamberk
Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire


And here we are at the end of the month already...

1. We Ride Upon Sticks - Quan Barry
2. Deacon King Kong - James McBride
3. A Children's Bible - Lydia Millet
4. Telephone - Percival Everett
5. The Searcher - Tana French
6. No Ordinary Time - Doris Kearns Goodwin

I did not so much do anything related to the booklord challenge, but I read some good stuff. The first four books were for the Tournament of Books, which is always something I dig into near the beginning of the year to catch up on books from the last year. The cream of the crop was Deacon King Kong, which begins with a drunk deacon shooting a drug dealer in the head right in front of their Brooklyn housing project. The book then expands to the entire community - the church members, the police, the drug dealer's suppliers, etc.- and is a rollicking good read. The other highlight was No Ordinary Time, a biography of 5 years in the lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt as they guided the country through World War II. They're both incredibly interesting people, and this book focused on an aspect of the war that I never really considered - how the mobilization for WWII affected the United States on so many social and economic levels.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. (6/32)
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men.
66% (Barry, Millet, French, Goodwin)
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour.
50% (Barry, McBride, Everett)
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers.
(None that I know of...)
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation.
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories.
12. Read something about a monster.
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
15. Read something set in the recent past. - We Ride Upon Sticks (1980s)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective.
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


Still in the middle of a couple of other titles, so my total for January is two books read:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley. Book of the Month for January. The original swashbuckling adventure! It definitely reads like a serial, with broadly-drawn and fun recurring characters, heroics and villainy. There's some uncomfortableness with the setting - being written in 1919 and set against the backdrop of colonial California means lots of references to "obedient natives" and the like. Those issues aside, though, this is still an exciting, funny story, with good action and a lot of memorable scenes. One thing I wonder is whether Zorro's true identity - the central secret of the novel -was really that much of a shock to audiences at the time? Because like a lot of readers I guessed it pretty much immediately...

2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer. Critically-acclaimed and influential 1988 revival/reimagining of a little-known Silver Age hero. Morrison's writing is angry and vital, and their plotlines add pathos to objectively silly premises. Infamous moments such as issue 5 ("The Coyote Gospel") and the final arc are immensely fun, even if their novelty has been watered down by three decades of imitators and derivations. Shame about the PETA shoutout, but hey, it was a different time. Definitely recommended to anyone as an introduction to Morrison's work, or as a critical snapshot of where comics were in the late 80s.

I imagine next month will be a more substantial update!

clamcake
Dec 24, 2012


Here we go again! I read 6 books and completed 4 things from the booklord list. Nothing I absolutely loved this month, but I liked most of what I read. The only disappointing book in the list was Tender is the Flesh since the book's whole cannibal world concept pushed me well past my willing suspension of disbelief limit.

Anyway, here's the January list:

1. Grendel by John Gardner - I think I would have enjoyed it more if the philosophizing weren't so up front (like that one chapter where an old man and a young man were debating the consent of the governed for no apparent narrative reason). But Iím glad to have read it and crossed another classic off my list.

2. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver - It took a little time for me to get into the short, direct style of these stories. But once I did, I really enjoyed them. They leave an surprisingly large impact once you read them, considering the sparseness of the writing.

3. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben - Pretty light nonfiction. It was a nice shift to look at trees as living, active beings that are operating on a different scale of time, rather than inanimate things.

4. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry - I can see why this is a classic. Iím going to have to find the Danny Glover version and watch it.

5. Nine Goblins by T. Kingfisher - Cute fantasy novella. A short, fun read. Would recommend it to anyone who doesn't hate fantasy creatures.

6. Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica - Icky dystopia novel about a world where cannibalism is normalized because people believe all animals carry a lethal disease or something and apparently they never heard they can eat beans or vegetables? I donít know. The writer didnít explain the world all that well. A lot of gory shock value, if that's your thing. But it didn't offer much else for my tastes.

Challenge Progress

1. Read some books. - 6
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. - 50%
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are written by writers of color. - 17%
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. - 0%
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. Tender is the Flesh
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
12. Read something about a monster. Grendel
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
15. Read something set in the recent past.
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. Grendel
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.
Personal. Read a nonfiction book each month - 1/12.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I got through 5 books and have a couple more I'll be finishing up over the next day or two.

January:

1. Jonas Mekas: Interviews edited by Gregory R. Smulewicz-Zucker

I'm the first person to rate this on Goodreads! It's a collection of interviews with experimental filmmaking trailblazer Jonas Mekas dating from the 1960s up to 2017 (he died in 2019 at the age if 96). Mekas is wonderful to read, passionate about film and lived a fascinating life in which he spent time during WW2 in a forced labor camp (he talks about that a decent deal here). Some of these interviews are never-before-transcribed Q&As from film screenings while others are rarities from old magazines. A great collection.

2. All Fires the Fire by Julio Cortazar

Short stories from the Argentinian author with a magical realist bent. I enjoyed most of these though there's sometimes an emotional distance, but he's a master of nailing that final line, recontextualizing the whole piece in one sentence. The first story is the most surreal, a Bunuelian fantasy about a days long traffic jam on a Paris highway that turns into a survival camp, probing the relationships that form among the stranded drivers. I was surprised that many more of the stories following that have more of a grounded reality, though themes of identity, obsession and human connection are abound.

3. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh

Was worried this would be more privileged millennial malaise fare but it kind of brings that general to a boil. The protagonist is simultaneously cruel and unlikable yet we get just enough to make her sympathetic as well. Sometimes funny, I overall enjoyed this and it was rather breezy.

4. Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

A book club selection, not my choice and god do I wish I skipped this one. There's a number of issues I have with this book, but the central and most frustrating problem is that the thesis is just too drat big. I've not read any of Wilson's other works but it's clear from her bibliography this is her field of expertise. However, in attempting to summarize the entire history of all forms of cookware from the paleolithic era to the 21st century, she has bitten off far more than she can chew (haha, notice me senpai). Largely what you end up with is briskly summarized information that amounts to more or less what you might find on Wikipedia, or otherwise just a few minutes of Googling. There's just too much ground to cover and you could likely write an entire book on the bulk of objects Wilson attempts to explore here, from knives to pots and pans to refrigerators to microwaves (she doesn't even go into the military radiation experiments that made the microwave possible!)

5. Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue by Quiara AlegrŪa Hudes

First in the "Elliot Trilogy" of plays examining the Iraq war and the heritage of American soldiers. Very experimental approach to theater with dream sequences and very much a fugue state style. The other two plays in the trilogy seem to be more straightforward, including the Pulitzer winning direct sequel. I'll plan on getting to those soon. Quite enjoyed this one and read it in an hour.

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Chamberk
Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire


clamcake posted:

6. Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica - Icky dystopia novel about a world where cannibalism is normalized because people believe all animals carry a lethal disease or something and apparently they never heard they can eat beans or vegetables? I don’t know. The writer didn’t explain the world all that well. A lot of gory shock value, if that's your thing. But it didn't offer much else for my taste

Rumor has it the author is a militant vegan who wrote that book to prove to people that eating meat is bad.

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