Post the books you've read in the past year.
Ask questions and give recommendations.
I guess I'll start.
Didn't read as much as 2014. Hopefully I'll get more done this year.
Far Tortuga was fucking incredible. So was Under The Volcano.
The book on there was from 2014, it should have been named "My Name is Francis Fukuyama, and I was Wrong as Fuck but I Think We Can All Agree that Jared Diamond is even Moreso"
Hence "End of History" vs "Political Decay"
I read Three Daughters and I laughed at how it's the most /pol/-related book I've ever read that isn't about Hitler.
It has two jewish feminists, one of which has a barren husband that was almost literally cuckholded (not the buzzword, actual) by his own rich independent brother by artificial insemination.
Ending was pretty nice though.
I use these types of threads to get recommendations
While I hope this is a troll post, a girl I know hit 120 books on her goodreads challenge. I looked at what she was reading, and it was like, hundreds of YA novelizations of Marvel comic series. Avg book length must have been 30 pages.
The last book I've read in 2015 was the first volume of "Tenshi no 3P!", so let's talk about it for a bit.
The first thing one is likely to notice is the title itself, suggesting at a threesome with angels (tenshi - 天使 - angel in Japanese). Of course 3P refers to the three member band said angels, in reality girls attending elementary school, form together and is given the reading of "three-piece".
Main premise is that the protagonist, Kyou, is a 15 year old hikikomori that likes to write lyrics and compose music, which he then uploads online. One day he's contacted by one of his listeners, who requests a meeting with him. There he meets the three titular angels - Jun, Nozomi and Sora - who are 10 years old girls nterested in music and want to have a live concert of their band in the then-church-now-orphanage where they live. Some they ask Kyou for help. Other important characters are Kurumi, protagonist's little sister (also 10 years old) and protagonist's classmate Sakura (lives at the same orphanage as Jun, Nozomi and Sora) .
The two major plots in the work are Kyou overcoming his fears of socializing that made him a hikikomori and Jun, Nozomi, Sora and Sakura coming to terms with living at an orphanage and admitting it to their classmates. That also solves the main problem with the live concert - audience - once everything is said and done, their classmates become the audience.
Main problem is that the plots are super shallow. Kyou doesn't really feel like a hikikomori character, he has no self-loathing and doesn't offer any introspection into his condition. He just has one bad memory from middle school, which made him unable to socialize in school ever since, yet he's completely fine to socialize elsewhere. During the story he sees Jun, Nozomi and Sora do their best which inspires him ovecome his fears, which in turn inspires the girls to overcome this. (cont.)
Pervasive through this is the idea of fate. Sakura just happened to find Kyou's music online and taught the girls about it, Kyou just happened to live nearby and be Sakura's classmate. Kyou's sister Kurumi just happened to be the girls' classmate. So the novel doesn't really offer an answers for real hikikomori's, since Kyou's situation isn't really applicable to real life and as I said, he lacks introspection about it all. Same with the girls and their own condition.
Of course you probably realize the obvious, the reader buys this novel cause he wants to read about a band of cute elementary schoolers. It's certainly a delightful idea, Kyou comments on this himself when he wonders if they'll be able to find an audience for the concert before the solution becomes clear.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect about how the pandering to the reader is handled is that the reader and Kyou are treated fully separately by the author. Kyou has Sakura as his future love interest, they're both 15, there's no problem here. Kyou only feels protecting about the younger girls. But for the sake of the reader, there are fanservice-y scenes with Jun, Nozomi, Sora and Kurumi, for example
>the girls offer Kyou to let him touch their " precious things" if he helps them... rare musical instruments their guardian posseses
>they show Kyou the outfits they plan to wear when handing out flyers about for their concert, said outfits turn out to be various school-related fetish outfits
>Kurumi takes regular baths with Kyou, he comments: "The pleasure of being able to hug your naked younger sister, priceless!", note that the verb for "hug" in Japanese (daku - 抱く) can also mean "to have sex with"
And that's kinda it. A book with some fanservice for its target audience and a basic cliched plot to go along with it. It's probably easy to criticize it, but it serves its purpose well, evident by 5 more volumes already being released. (cont.)
I didn't read any of the further volumes, but their reviews note they're even more fanservice-oriented than the first one. Makes sense considering characters' problems were essentially fully solved in volume 1.
Overall a very light read. I would have liked if the plot was more substantial and nuanced.
>go to mark my favourites
>realise i liked fucking everything apart from a couple of mildly plebby ones for my book group and i even liked them
>tfw no critical discernment
2015 was the year of the autobiography for me:
>American Sniper - Chris Kyle
>Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
>Slow Getting Up - Nate Jackson
>Eleven Rings - Phil Jackson
>The Wild Truth - Carine McCandless
>Scar Tissue - Anthony Kiedis
I read a handful of fiction too, the best being Girl With the Dragon Tatoo. The worst was Gone Girl.
Not a great year; those penguin classics filled my numbers somewhat but I don't consider them as a book each. Favourite of the year was likely Matter, but I was already a Banks fan anyway. Worst was the Faber one; christ aliens suck balls.
I've only read Consider Phlebas and heard a lot of praise for Player of Games. Are the others in the series any good. Do they have anything in common apart from the shared universe?
Obviously I'm a biased fan. Saying that, most of his novels have strong, complex and compelling stories, being united via setting: the Culture. Hence the name of the series.
The Player of Games was my first (and favourite) Banks novel and really is a good start. The whole premise is fairly abstracted without detracting from the story by being too abstruse.
The commonalities are fairly limited. It's mostly the terminology that survives between novels; some novels neglect to explain what a GSV is etc, so it's best to read them chronologically, but not necessary.
Anthony Bourdain did a version 12 years later where he wrote a whole bunch of notes and added them to the book DFW style. Reflections and so on.
It was a neat year, here's the list in order I guess
>One Hundred Years of Solitude
>Rabbit, Run by John Updike
>Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
>Atop an Underwood by Kerouac
>A Portrait of the Artist
>Seymour: an Introduction by Salinger
>First Love by Turgenev
>The Voyage Out by Woolf
>A Moveable Feast by Hemingway
>The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
>Kangaroo by DH Lawrence
>The collected stories of DH Lawrence volumes 1-2
>Big Sur by Kerouac
>Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein
>Middlemarch by George Eliot
>Everybody's Autobiography by Gertrude Stein
>Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence
>Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded and some lectures by Gertrude Stein
>On the Road: The Original Scroll by Kerouac
>The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
>La Vita Nuova by Dante
>Leaf Storm by GGM
>Lit by Mary Karr
>Lost Illusions by Balzac
I cooked through his Les Halles cookbook and I've read Medium Raw which is also good.
Search this term on google images and you'll find a bunch of examples of the new KC: "Kitchen Confidential : Insider's Edition"
loved it but it took more than a couple hundred pages for the whole story to really click for me, once I was in I tore it apart though, loved the ending especially and felt pretty glad to be alive and whatnot
Less than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis
Dark Spring - Unica Zurn
Silvio in the Rose Garden - Julio Ramon Ribeyro
Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg
Taratuta and Still Life with Pipe - Jose Donoso
The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories - Gene Wolfe
The Plains - Gerald Murnane
Mockingbird - Walter Tevis
The Dark Room - Junnosoke Yoshiyuki
The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin
The Genocides - Thomas M. Disch
The Fermata - Nicholson Baker
Solo Faces - James Salter
Queer - William S. Burroughs
The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Ogawa
Endangered Species - Gene Wolfe
Peru - Gordon Lish
Nightwork - Christine Schutt
The Wind's Twelve Quarters - Ursula K. Le Guin
Ice - Anna Kavan
Tokyo Montana Express - Richard Brautigan
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin
The Lover - Marguerite Duras
Break it Down - Lydia Davis
Richard Yates - Tao Lin
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver
Last Evenings on Earth - Roberto Bolano
The Blood Oranges - John Hawkes
The Waters of Kronos - Conrad Richter
The Last Samurai - Helen DeWitt
Snakes and Earrings - Hitomi Kanehara
Lightning Rods - Helen DeWitt
Bloodchild and Other Stories - Octavia E. Butler
The Devil in the Flesh - Raymond Radiguet
The Book of Revelation - Rupert Thomson
The Story of the Eye - Georges Bataille
The Collected Stories - Breece D'J Pancake
Zone - Mathias Énard
Continent - Jim Crace
Trout Fishing in America - Richard Brautigan
July's People - Nadine Gordimer
The Blind Owl - Sadegh Hedayat
Tales from a Troubled Land - Alan Paton
Blue of Noon - Georges Bataille
Mostly academic books for my final year, but also
>The Spider's House - Paul Bowles
>The Radetzky March - Joseph Roth
>Stoner - John Williams
>The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
>The Gulag Archipelago (abridged) - Solzhenitsyn
>The Affluent Society - John Kenneth Galbraith
>The Power Broker - Robert. A Caro (Only got half way through the 1200 large pages, need to finish it. Fascinating, but a bit exhausting)
>Understanding Power - Noam Chomsky (again unfinished, but it's a series of lectures/discussions so can jump in and out).
>Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth (gave up half way, it was too Jewish (?), I'm not anti-semitic I swear!)
Currently Reading Oblomov, what shall I read next from my Backlog?
>Goodbye to All That - Robert Graves
>The Satanic Verses - Rushdie
>The Wealth of Nations - Smith
>War & Peace (Oxford Maude edition) - Tolstoy
>Cancer Ward - Solzhenitsyn
When you read so little I guess you don't realize it's not cool to mindlessly like everything.
I'm going to read Canterbury Tales in modern English too after I finish Decameron :^)
I rate on a 2 star dis/like scale. I wish it hid the ratings so it'd stop triggering autists.
Finished my first book of the year 2bh.
Haven't got a goodreads thing so I'll just list off some of mine here
>The Great Gatsby
>The Picture of Dorian Gray
>Crime and Punishment
Favourites probably were Cloud Atlas, Dorian Gray and Crime and Punishment
It was my first full year in grad school so I barely read shit. Valis and crap artist were rereads too...
The Elementary Particles - Michel Houellebecq
Confessions of a Crap Artist - Philip K. Dick
Omensetter's Luck - William H. Gass
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
The Consumer - Michael Gira
No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai
The Journey to the East - Hermann Hesse
Mathematics - Jacques Roubaud
VALIS - Philip K. Dick
Platform - Michel Houellebecq
In The Miso Soup - Ryu Murakami
The Castle of Crossed Destinies - Italo Calvino
Call of Cthulhtu
A short story collection from Poe
A canticle for Leibowitz
Comics the Invisible Art
The first 350 pages of "A jövő század regénye"(which I still haven't managed to finish and I hate and love it and the same time)
Poor year in overall.
The First Law trilogy and Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
On Writing by Steven King
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Story Trumps Structure and Opening Moves by Steven James
About 15 others that aren't worth mentioning. Sanderson's worldbuilding is top notch, but his character interaction in almost all forms was choppy.
Abercrombie is just the opposite, with minimal yet effective worldbuilding and extremely entertaining characters. He tended to drag on a bit with unnecessary details sometimes in the First Law trilogy, but the Shattered Sea was written differently. Straight to the point at the cost of a little bit of the character in his first three books.
Steven James brings up a lot of great points and interesting views on how to work your characters in different situations and keeping your story interesting from start to finish, but he also only writes thrillers so that's to be taken with a grain of salt.
On Writing is probably the best book on writing that I've ever read. It's just a fun read, and I recommend it whether or not you're interested in learning how to rite gud.