freelunch | 2018
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Eleven years on LibraryThing. First year in Club Read*, though I've lurked on and off over the years.
2017 was my best reading year in a while and it is good to be back.
I'm sitting on several thousand unread books, so many that I know I'll never get through them, but I feel better about them being here if I'm making some progress at least.
My reading is pretty much limited to pulp genre fiction and comics/manga, and the occasional (auto)biography. I have been able to appreciate "literary fiction" in the past, but I'm sticking to less challenging fare if it means I keep reading.
I like to follow discussion of books I've read but I seldom have much to say other than "I enjoyed this book". Life is too short, and I have too many unread books, to devote time to anything I'm not enjoying, so I only tend to finish books I like. This probably skews my ratings a little high overall.
I've been involved in Bookcrossing for about ten years and many of the books I've read are no longer in my possession (though I keep them listed on LibraryThing, categorised as "released" and not included in "My Library")
I met my goal of finishing 36 books in 2017 (detailed here: http://www.librarything.com/list/11182/freelunch/)
For 2018 I'm aiming for 50 books read.
*Actually, it is my second. I found a thread from 2015 which I'd totally forgotten about.
This message will be updated throughout the year, and will contain lists of what books I am currently reading, and what I have finished this year.
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
The Complete Peanuts 1963-1964 by Charles M. Schulz
Read In 2018
01. The Complete Peanuts 1961-1962 by Charles M. Schulz
02. Sunstone Book One by Stjepan Sejic
03. Blacksad: A Silent Hell by Juan Diaz Canales
04. Blacksad: Amarillo by Juan Diaz Canales
05. Harvest Of Time by Alastair Reynolds
06. The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson
07. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
08. In Times Like These by Nathan Van Coops
09. One-Punch Man Vol. 7 by One
10. Elf Slave by Sarah Hawke
11. Gerald's Game by Stephen King
12. The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll by Robert Forster
13. The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
14. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
15. Every Time We Meet at the Dairy Queen, Your Whole Fucking Face Explodes by Carlton Mellick III
16. A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Oima
17. Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
18. My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 by Kazune Kawahara
So I'm announcing my arrival here and two-thirds of my reading list is BDSM-themed.
This just happens to be where the new year has found me, and not necessarily how I'd choose to introduce myself. It'll pass :)
Those are a lot of books in your profile picture gallery. Welcome to cr. And, whether you make 50 books or not, hope you enjoy trying.
Ten days into the new year and I've already finished five books :)
Yes, four of them were comics/"graphic novels" and I was midway through two when the year began, but they're putting me "in the black" for some longer books I want to read without losing sight of my fifty-book goal for the year.
Juan Diaz Canales' Blacksad series are noir-ish detective stories featuring anthropomorphized beasts (the protagonist detective is a panther and his sidekick for most cases is a hyaena). The art is spectacular and the English dialogue (translated from original Spanish) is entertaining, if not stunning.
Harvest Of Time is a Doctor Who novel, set during the series' early seventies run. I've read a lot of Doctor Who fiction and this is one of the better examples. I'm inspired now to check out author Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series.
I'm currently reading The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson. I don't know much about Churchill and I rarely read historical non-fiction but I'm finding this book interesting and very readable.
Finally, Elf Slave. I received a Kindle for Christmas and when I went a-browsing at Amazon.com I was taken aback by the prevalence of "romance" eBooks (ie erotica) and curiosity lead me to a fantasy (elves, goblins, magic, etc.) series. The plentiful, lengthy sex scenes aren't particularly "erotic" but the protagonist is likable enough and I've been returning to it every few days to see where it goes. I doubt I'll be devoting time to this particular sub-genre once I see this story out.
Boris Johnson's The Churchill Factor kept my interest to the end, and I'm inspired now to add Churchill's own My Early Life to my reading list. Given that Churchill apparently has more work published that Shakespeare and Dickens combined, this might be a long path to start on...
On now to Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation, before the film adaptation is released next month.
Hi to a fellow ex-bookcrosser! (though in my case I'm still slightly involved in it, but way less than when I was really active.
I encourage you to read the Revelation Space series. I really liked them myself. I still have one to read and I think there's a new one coming out in 2018.
I hope you enjoy your kindle! Which model is it?
Hi chlorine :)
I'm still involved in bookcrossing, chiefly through a bookcrossing zone I started a few years ago which somehow became "official" and used to see a lot of action until my workplace moved. Now we have less passing foot traffic so it has slowed down.
There's a kindle bundle for the Revelation Space series. I might just pull the trigger on it today...
I am really enjoying my Kindle Paperwhite*, to the point that I'd rather read it than a dead-tree book. I regret not making the switch sooner as I'd have potentially hundreds less books weighing down my shelves today.
*I would have gone with the more expensive Kindle Oasis but Amazon's case for it is apparently terrible and the good third-party cases made by Moko cost US$10 to American buyers but close to $100 for AU buyers.
Well if you're still involved in bookcrossing and feel you have too many books, at least you know what to do. ;)
that's always an option :)
my problem is I have too many books I want to read. A nicer problem to have, though harder to solve.
Oh beware of the kindle then. It's really easy to stock up on ebooks because they're on sale and not realise how many you have because they take no physical space.
>15 freelunch: I was too baffled by Annihilation to really enjoy it. Will you read the sequel? I'll look forward for your thoughts if you do. I decided to skip the sequel but may change my mind at some point.
I will read the sequel. The books are short enough and I enjoyed the writing style, even if I'm left a little in the dark at this point.
>15 freelunch: I loved Annihilation. I think you are are supposed to feel "WTF happened" in it. He's asking the question what would happen if you/we were faced with something truly alien, something we have difficulty wrapping our minds around. The second book, if I remember correctly, is mostly about the Southern Reach. The third is another trip over the line but I think readers expect him to answer all the questions they have and he doesn't.
I wonder if the movie will cover just the first novel or incorporate stuff from all three.
The film was apparently developed when only the first book had been written. Based on the trailer, a lot has been changed/added, some of which might have come from the author but I think it is more likely that the film will be a whole different beast.
Ten books finished in January bodes well for my goal of fifty for the year :)
>21 freelunch: Indeed! :) I'll wait till you reach 50mto congratulate you on reaching your goal, but it seems like a done deal.
I have the same 50 goal but have only read 5 in 2018, so I should be OK but there's more suspense in my case.
To be fair, I did cheat with a few easy reads this month. I'm sure I'll slow down once I move on to heavier fare.
Hey, thanks for putting the Sunstone books on the map. I borrowed Ravine to check out the art (unfortunately the library doesn't carry anything else by Sejic); the story didn't interest me, it's like a video game scenario, but I liked his style and might buy Sunstone.
No problem :)
I first encountered Sejic via a link to his deviantart.com profile. There's a lot of content there, including many pages of Sunstone.
Since my Jan 23 update I've finished In Times Like These, a free kindle eBook. Time Travel fiction which I thought was well done. The author spends a fair chunk of the book training his characters, thereby explaining his rules for time travel, but once they get moving there's a nice tangle of paradoxes and alternate timelines to weave through. The story was self-contained but it is (of course) the first of a series.
I then re-read Stephen King's Gerald's Game before watching the recent film adaptation. The movie is excellent, one of the best SK adaptations I've seen, but given its difficult subject matter I don't really feel comfortable recommending it.
Next came Robert Forster's The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll, a selection of articles originally published in The Monthly magazine which ended up feeling somewhat redundant, being reviews of music and books from ten years ago. It is a usually expensive book that I've had on my wishlist for years, so I was pleased to find it for free during my one-month kindle unlimited trial from Amazon.
Then Rainbow Rowell's Landline, a rom-com in which the lead discovers she can use the phone in her childhood bedroom to connect to her husband (then boyfriend) fifteen years in the past. I usually refer to any "chick lit" I read (slightly less emasculatingly) as "romantic comedies". In this case it was more true than usual, with a premise and dialogue that seem perfect for a big screen translation.
Next I read The Only Harmless Great Thing, a novella by Brooke Bolander that packs a lot of story into its ~100 pages. The book is an alternate history based around the "Radium Girls" of the 1920s. This telling is concerned with circus elephants re-trained to work with radium due to their (apparently) high tolerance to radiation. The elephants in the story are capable of communication via sign-language and portions of the story are told from the creatures' perspective, including retelling of some of their native folklore akin to the "El-ahrairah" legends in Watership Down.
And now I've started Altered Carbon, thanks mostly to hype for the new TV series, having owned the book for more than a decade.
>26 freelunch: Thanks for the reviews!
The only harmless great things in particular seems right up my alley.
I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Altered Carbon.
>26 freelunch: Oooh I didn't remember there was a recent film of Gerald's game, but now that I think about it I do seem to recall, vaguely, something about it a while ago, like when it was in production or some such. Damn, that's got to be rough as a movie! "Stephen King himself called the film "hypnotic, horrifying and terrific" after watching the rough cut." Welp guess I'll have to watch that. That's one of his only books (one of the only books) that has truly horrified me, lol. Not much bothers me when it comes to fiction, because, you know, it's fiction. But that one, the idea of it... maaaan.
I've just finished Altered Carbon and I liked it well enough, but something kept me from getting truly excited about it. I've read a few reviews here on LibraryThing since I closed the book and I think maybe the pacing is off? This is not a factor I usually consider, but I did find the book dragging at times, and it has taken much longer than I expected for me to finish it. The world was interesting and credible, Takeshi Kovacs is a likeable character and I was satisfied with the denouement of the tale. I'll definitely be continuing with the series.
I've now started on Voyager, the third book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Having read the first two instalments I pretty much know what to expect from this one and I'm looking forward to it. :)
Other books I've read since my last update:
Every Time We Meet at the Dairy Queen, Your Whole Fucking Face Explodes by Carlton Mellick III, a novella which read exactly as expected based on the title. My first foray into "Bizarro Fiction".
A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Oima, first of a seven-part manga series about a school bully and the victim he reconciles with years later. I enjoyed the anime adaptation of this series and I'm looking forward to a more detailed telling of the story.
>29 freelunch: Thanks for the récif Altered Carbon. This is one I'm on a fence about but I think in the end I'll skip it.
Every time we meet seems fascinating!
>29 freelunch:" I've just finished Altered Carbon"
I too have found the book a bit meh. The writing is not that pretty and i didn't feel the world-building.
I liked the Netflix adaptation better. Pacing is better, they added a touch more of noir and the esthetic is definitely a nice 2018 rendition of the original Bladerunner, which is a huge plus in my book since BR 2048 has ventured elsewhere. A bit more a cyberpunk-y and Shadowrun live action.
>29 freelunch: : "I've now started on Voyager"
As far as i'm concerned, Gabaldon jumped the shark with the Jamaica trope...
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