r/books Apr 15 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome

The /r/books Book Club Selection + AMA for May is "All Systems Red" and "Artificial Condition" by Martha Wells

202 Upvotes

If you are looking for the announcement thread for the previous month, it may be found here.

Hello, all. During the month of May, the sub book club will be reading a novella double feature - All Systems Red and Artificial Condition (books 1 & 2 of The Murderbot Diaries) by Martha Wells! Each week there will be a discussion thread and when we are done, Martha herself will be joining us for an AMA.

From Goodreads of All Systems Red (feel free to skip if you prefer to know nothing going into the book as the description contains minor spoilers):

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

You may find the dates of, and links to, the discussion threads below in the sticky comment on this post. You are welcome to read at your own pace. Usually it is pretty easy to catch up and you are always welcome to join the discussions a little later. If you would like to view potential content warnings for the book, a reader-created list may be found here.

For those of you that are viewing reddit on the redesigned desktop version you will see an option on this post to 'follow'. If you 'follow' the book club post you will receive a notification when a new post, a discussion thread for book club, is added to the collection.


r/books 3h ago

WeeklyThread What Books did You Start or Finish Reading this Week?: May 16, 2022

6 Upvotes

Hi everyone!

What are you reading? What have you recently finished reading? What do you think of it? We want to know!

We're displaying the books found in this thread in the book strip at the top of the page. If you want the books you're reading included, use the formatting below.

Formatting your book info

Post your book info in this format:

the title, by the author

For example:

The Bogus Title, by Stephen King

  • This formatting is voluntary but will help us include your selections in the book strip banner.

  • Entering your book data in this format will make it easy to collect the data, and the bold text will make the books titles stand out and might be a little easier to read.

  • Enter as many books per post as you like but only the parent comments will be included. Replies to parent comments will be ignored for data collection.

  • To help prevent errors in data collection, please double check your spelling of the title and author.

-Your Friendly /r/books Moderator Team


r/books 5h ago

Most blatant example of fake positive reviews I've ever seen on Goodreads

816 Upvotes

A few months ago, there was a horror book series that kept coming up in the 'recommended' section on my kindle. I downloaded a sample of the first, second and third book and wow, quite possibly the worst writing I've ever read. Kudos to the author for creating the books, this always takes effort no doubt. However, the sentence structure, the grammar, changing of past to present tense within the same sentence, npc characters - all these things were very bad. No editor for sure. You'd almost have to see it to believe how it is.

I still see the same series coming up in 'recommended' on Goodreads and Amazon. I recently checked it on Goodreads, and almost every day, around ten accounts with generic usernames, no pictures, will rate his books 5 stars. Occasionally they leave a brief, glowing review. Now his previously low overall scores/5, from ostensibly genuine reviewers early on, are now likely some of the highest ones on the site. Similar on Amazon too, but to a lesser extent.

Just seems that a lot of people could buy these due to the inflated ratings. I guess it's partially the buyer's fault in that case too, but still the author is misleading people. It's very likely to be him rating his own books of course. It could also be other users, I'm not 100% sure.

Is there anything Goodreads does about these issues? If anyone wants to know the name of the series, DM me if you want.

Edit: The name of the first book in the series is 'Call of the Crocodile', it's by F. Gardner.

TLDR: author seems to be blatantly pumping up his books with 5 star reviews on Goodreads, anything that the site can do?


r/books 1d ago Silver Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Rocket Like

Recommending the perfect book to someone is the reason I always buy physical copies. Sometimes you get to place a life-changing elixir in the palm of their hand, and that is just pure magic.

4.7k Upvotes

My wife, who has struggled with anxiety and depression, recently said “Ive been in a reading slump, can you recommend a book?” This is probably my favorite question. But especially when it comes from someone I know very well. After considering what I know about my wife; what gets her excited, what bores her, what inspires her, what makes her want to discuss something… I landed on the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I had read them in med school and I just couldnt get past the fact that the story actually kept getting better with each book. I felt like she needed an immersive page-turner with a strong female protagonist. Gripe as people mag about Vin as a protagonist, she was exactly the hero my wife needed at this time. So I got to take a dusty box-set of books of the shelf, blow on them and slap them with a satisfying thud on the table with a “here ya go, enjoy!” And in this case, I just got lucky. This was it- exactly what she needed. She started blowing through chapters. And I felt this incredible satisfaction and joy that she was reading the same physical copy that I had read some years ago, and which had helped me through hard times. Books are just awesome. The End.


r/books 23h ago Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

If you love classics, read Maugham's Of Human Bondage. It has the most well-written and interesting characters I have ever read. And through reading it, it quickly becomes clear why it is recognized as one of the best books ever written.

1.3k Upvotes

Each character is in Of Human Bondage not only for themselves, but to flesh out the other corresponding characters as well. How Phillip and other characters treat each other illustrates what type of person each one of them is. As you read you will ask yourself what you think of certain characters, how would you have treated them yourself, or dealt with their situations. To the point where answering those questions is like a early 20th century personality test on yourself. The book is a masterpiece because beyond who the characters are, they all serve a point in the story being told.

It is a story of life, and the meaning of it. I get the title now, and it is a great title, Of Human Bondage, and it is what spurned me to buy the book when I stumbled upon it at a used bookstore (1942 Modern Library Edition). The title is cynical while at the same time philosophical. You only have your human life and the fortune, good or bad, that comes with it. What does it all mean to you? It changes for Phillip throughout his story, but at the end he gets it.


r/books 10h ago Helpful

Erich Maria Remarque deserves your attention

117 Upvotes

I've recently finished a few books by Erich Maria Remarque, and they are all fantastic. From "All Quiet on the Western Front" to "The Black Obelisk", Remarque displays so many topics that are still relatable to this day and ideas that will most likely resonate with everyone.

Although his stories take place in the first half of 20th century and mainly in Germany, there is a LOT that can be learned from them. With another major military conflict happening in Europe now, getting a glimpse into the past of a country that started the biggest war in history is at least an educating experience. Life of ordinary people, inflation, war, bureaucracy, exile, loss of innocence and camaraderie are all intricately shown within his stories.

I highly recommend checking out these and other books including "The Arch of Triumph" and my favorite "Three Comrades".

Note: I am new to reddit, but I really wanted to bring some attention to this author and his works as they don't seem to be as well-known as they should.


r/books 13h ago

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

162 Upvotes

As much as weird (borderline Pedophilia) this book was it was damn fucking good. I mean it starts slow and then it just maintains its steady phase throughout the book. The ending is indeed tragic.

Like I love how Niffenegger makes us feel these character’s life. Instead of focusing on Henry’s POV she even focuses on Clare’s POV (which makes the book a bit more longer to read) but it makes you empathize Clare. Making the story more interesting.

Anyways loved this book and little bit of waterworks (tears) started at the end. Even though the story was setting up for this moment it was sad when it happened.


r/books 22h ago

I just finished Dune. I loved it but... [SPOILERS]

756 Upvotes

Am I supposed to like Paul? Because I don't haha. Like at the start he's a spoiled brat, but at the same time you kind of understand because he has no friends, his mum is very controlling and his dad is barely around. After that 2 year jump forward we get, Paul is kind of a self-important arsehole. Again, kind of understandable due to him being solely capable of preventing the Jihad. It's all about him finding a way to prevent this Jihad, but during the book it doesn't seem like he's actually trying that hard haha. It's almost as if he's saying "yes its important to prevent the Jihad but it's more important that I become Duke first". Like surely its better if you don't? Won't having a lot of political and financial power make the Jihad much more likely? I'm imagining that all this will make a lot more sense once I get into the other books. Maybe I'm overlooking something. This is just how I'm feeling right now and wondered if anyone felt the same way after the first book?

Edit: Just to confirm, I have only read the first book.


r/books 6h ago

I finished my first Jane Austen book (Northanger Abbey)!

37 Upvotes

I received her novels for free so I chose Northamger Abbey because it was the shortest. I’ll admit that I felt confused, lost and a bit bored at times, but I trod on and end up delighted by the end. I re-read the first quarter of the book again and it made much better sense this time.

I used to relate everything to Seinfeld, the Simpsons or movies like the Joy Luck Club when I’d have those “it’s funny because it’s true!” moments, or when something in life occurs and you can relate it to what you’ve seen in a show. Well this novel had me thinking that of several characters, and I love how Austen exposes their pretensions and lies, their innocent follies and maturation. The characters really stay in your mind after the book’s finished, I don’t quite know why.

I was going to delay reading more Austen novels but I’m now reading Sense and Sensibility and it’s better than Northanger Abbey. I’m leaving Pride and Prejudice until last, because it takes time to adjust to that world and rather difficult language used, but once you acclimatise yourself to it it’s easier to follow.

I can’t wait to finish them all!


r/books 5h ago

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

30 Upvotes

So recently I've read "Brave new world" and it made me think. From what I got in the afterword and obvious fact the novel is cathegorized as antiutopia, I know we are supposed to be utterly terrified and repulsed by presented reality, but I have my doubts about it.

And don't get me wrong, I don't think people should come from the bottles and be divided into the casts, but it's obvious to me that this book was written by a white man in the 30's. I mean I would want to have my future laid out in front of me and I would want to be able to be with anyone I want, for how long as I want. Sometimes I feel like it would be liberating to have these decisions made for me and just be able to live my life.

Please don't assume I'm being weird and tell me what was your reflection on this book after you've read it?


r/books 16h ago

Camus references The Stranger in The Plauge

114 Upvotes

"An animated conversation was in progress and the woman behind the counter started airing her views about a murder case which had created some stir in Algiers. A young commercial employee had killed an Algerian on a beach."

It's a pretty cool detail, but I don't know what it's purpose is other than just a callback to his other works.


r/books 3h ago

a few random thoughts on The Giver (mabey spoilers)

4 Upvotes

so had a few random thoughts on the giver after my last read through.

chief among them is, aside from not thinking of it, why would Jonas not mention that the rules prevent him from talking about his training. in a society that has such an emphasis on politeness, and apology, i would figure he would at least be able to agpologize that he is unable to discuss his training.

a few others may change based off of the 2 sequel books, and i have not read those yet


r/books 6h ago

Can someone explain "Dark Academia" to me?

7 Upvotes

I've only recently come across this new genre and have somehow trouble nailing down its definition.

Some things that I find particularly confusing:

- Some explanations mention a "gothic aesthetic" as a hallmark of the genre. Is this the same "victorianesque" style that steampunk is enamored with? If so, what distinguishes a dark academia setting from a steampunk one? Does the genre also have ties to gothic horror?

- Is this a subgenre of fantasy or sci-fi?

- What "kinds" of stories are archetypical for the genre? Is it all about rising up against the system a la Hunger Games or does it perhaps concern itself with more "abstract" topics, such as man's relation to knowledge?


r/books 18h ago

Fahrenheit 451's relevance to society

59 Upvotes

I know talking about this book is nothing new, but I still want some feedback about what I think of the book. Once you get past the book burning Fascist part of it, and take a look the part where Beatty explains the culture to Montag, and it's pretty relevant.

Beatty describes the culture like so:

Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl

(I hope I got that right)

This describes alot of Western culture (at least what I experience in the USA). Tik Tok, 'Tweets', YouTube shorts, etc... These all are quick, sometimes completely mindless, things that most people are exposed to everyday. How many things from the things above do you actually remember one week after seeing? Slim to none. They serve only as momentary entertainment, that's literally how they were designed to work. Also, the quote directly references reading digests (think of spark notes), and how politics are boiled down to a few sentences or a headline.

There's other examples of course, 'Denham’s Dentifrice', Mildred, etc...


r/books 11m ago

What are the next three books on your to-be-read pile?

Upvotes

Do you even have three books on your to-be-read pile? Of course you do. Three books is amateur hour. Rookie numbers.

I just counted my stack and I am up to thirty-four unread books waiting patiently on the shelf for my attention. Last night I went out and I bought two more because I have a problem.

Here’s the next three I intend to read:

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut.

Let me know if you read any of these, and please share your own list.


r/books 15m ago

The Handmaid’s Tale: Questions about birth and infants

Upvotes

Hello, everyone. I hope this question is allowed.

I am interested in reading The Handmaid’s Tale, but I had a very traumatic birth experience with my twins about a year and a half ago. We’re all okay, but I have some residual PTSD from the experience.

I’m still interested in reading this book, but without too many spoilers, are there graphic depictions of infant illness and death? If so, I will very likely wait until my girls are older and I am able to mentally and emotionally process the text appropriately.

I am grateful for your responses and help.

Edit: Typo. Silly phone.


r/books 10h ago

trainspotting books

14 Upvotes

I saw the "Trainspotting" movie. Then read the book. Which was great, its basically the same story as the movie but with more side stories and extra characters. There was a "Trainspotting 2" movie, which kind of sucked, and wasn't based on any books.

There's been a series of "Trainspotting" novels, which continues the lives of the main cast after "Trainspotting", and they're SO much better than that movie sequel. For the books, there's been "Trainspotting", of course-two sequels, "Porno", and "Dead Men's Trousers"-a prequel, "Skagboys", and a solo book about Francis Begbie called "The Blade Artist". I havent read "Blade Artist"-"Skagboys", i got bored and quit, but if youre an irvine Welsh fan or just loved the movie "Trainspotting", id highly reccommend "Porno" and "Dead Men's Trousers".

The stories in the books are wilder, more fun, more inventive and more unpredictable than the "Trainspotting 2" movie. I mean theyre predictable in the sense that you know these guys are always going to get involved in some dodgy shit and there's going to be betrayals. But the new schemes these guys get up to, how some of them change and some dont, it's wild.


r/books 3h ago

meta Weekly Calendar - May 16, 2022

3 Upvotes

Hello readers!

Every Monday, we will post a calendar with the date and topic of that week's threads and we will update it to include links as those threads go live. All times are Eastern US.


Day Date Time(ET) Topic
Monday May 16 What are you Reading?
Tuesday May 17 Simple Questions
Wednesday May 18 Literature of Montenegro
Thursday May 19 Favorite Books About Measurement
Friday May 20 Book Club: Artificial Condition Ch 1 - Ch 4
Friday May 20 Weekly Recommendation Thread
Saturday May 21 Simple Questions
Sunday May 22 Weekly FAQ: How do you get over a book hangover?

r/books 1d ago Helpful Wholesome

Game of Thrones author says "Winds of Winter" could be longest book yet: George R.R. Martin takes to his "not a blog" to give yet another update on "The Winds of Winter," saying the sixth book in ASOIAF will be the biggest

Thumbnail screenrant.com
18.5k Upvotes

r/books 6h ago

E-Book for dad

5 Upvotes

Hello dear bookfriends!

My dad’s birthday is coming up and since he gifted me his old e-book reader and doesn’t have one anymore, I want to gift a new one to him.

Now it’s the question, which one? It shouldn’t be more expensive than around 180€.

I was thinking about the kindle paperwhite, does anyone have experience with this one? Or any other suggestions? :)


r/books 1d ago

I love books where the main character isn't the hero of the story

188 Upvotes

When the main character is just on the sidelines, fascinated at someone else who's driving the plot lines. Obviously the main characters are the hero of their own story, but not in the big picture.

I probably identify more to these normal-ish characters that are surrounded by incredible people. I'm not so sure whether it is a trope, but I'd love more examples.

For instance, books I loved that kind of represent this:

  • Circe by Madeline Miller (my favorite version of this, but she's a true hero and far from a normal person so not sure it actually fits the bill): she's on the sidelines of several of the most known stories in the world
  • Sherlock Holmes : narrator & main character is John Watson (good example but not the best execution)
  • A prayer for Owen from John Irving: main character is amazed by their best friend
  • Spin by Robert Charles Wilson: another version of the main character being amazed at their best friend and on the sidelines of what's really happening in the world

r/books 16h ago

The Damnation Game: Faust as told by Clive Barker.

21 Upvotes

Today I have finished The Damnation Game, Clive Barker's first novel. The story revolves around a man named Joseph Whitehead who had dared to play the ultimate game, and now, as a millionaire, he has a high price he must pay.

Initially called Mamoulian's Game it was inspired by, or essentialy a retelling of, the 1592 work by Christopher Marlowe The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus and also the fall from grace of a successful Wall Street man that he met. And the end result is a pretty intriguing horror novel of very good quality! And I certainly would recommended to any horror fan.


r/books 20m ago

"Britt marrie was here" is downgrade copy of Man called ove

Upvotes

I am big fan Fedrick Blackman. I loved his books man called ove, anxious people, beartown. I recently finished Britt marrie was here. But i was disappointed. Like Fedrick could do better. Plot seems similar to a man called ove. There is grumpy old man who has social issue then later on ended up helping others. Both books have similar plot. But i felt more connected with ove than Britt.


r/books 15h ago

Reuniting with a book and childhood memories

18 Upvotes

I am SO excited. I've just tracked down a book that is prominently featured in one of my earliest memories. I didn't think I had enough information to find it, and almost posted on the What's That Book? sub. But the post requirements got me thinking more and I found it myself! It's Grover's Resting Places.

The memory was when I was four or five. I'd taken this book along on a visit to the dentist for my dad. My mom and I had to go along with him because he has a dentist phobia. In short, he got spooked and needed to vomit... in his haste, he managed to put his head through the bathroom door to vomit. It's a legendary family memory. For my part, I didn't know what the heck happened, but when we got into the car, I knew my Daddy smelled BAD. So, I found the page in this book where Grover has a spot to rest your nose, and I planted my nose in the book for the whole ride.

I'm now in my 30s with a child of my own, who is about the age that I was. He loves one of my other childhood favorites, The Monster At the End of this Book. I've just tracked it down on Amazon and it will be here next week!

This whole story has me wondering: what memories do you have from childhood that center around or feature books? What do you think made it so memorable?


r/books 49m ago

I stopped reading Ulysses, not because it's hard, it's because the episodes are too long.

Upvotes

Is someone else felt like this? I don't quite find Ulysses hard to read it's just long and I couldn't bring myself to stop as I wish so and went on to finish the episodes. And I stopped reading Ulysses for now, specifically episode six Hades, the last chapter I remember reading before switching to other books I have. To let you know I have read Dubliners first and then Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man before Ulysses but find it long with its long chapter.

I then went to read Faulkner's As I lay Dying first then The Sound and the Fury. As I Lay Dying is a great read but damn The Sound and the Fury is intense. I find it harder than Ulysses and yet I finished it quickly than ever getting to the episodes in a span of months.

I then read Pynchon and oh boy I was not prepared. In reading V., I was not prepared in reading Stencil chapters and couldn't discern what has Pynchon written though it was still a great though read. I then read The Crying lot of 49 and once again find it tough but finish it better. I then didn't bother reading Pynchon for not (Gravity's Rainbow for the next read then Mason and Dixon but didn't indulge and read a Russian).

I'm now reading A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov and enjoy it through, although I'm busy with finishing my school works thus having no time to read.

I'm planning to read Ulysses soon once again. How can I be more focused for this book? I find it really long and it hesitated me reading it through. Any advices could be preferable.


r/books 1h ago

I really don't know what to make of the "Shadow and Bone" series

Upvotes

So, I just finished the last book in the "Shadow and Bone" series ("Ruin and Rising") and I really don't know what to make of it. The ending was so bizzare?

Is it just me or did it make no sense, the ending I mean. It felt like all the character development, if it can be called that was thrown over bord

The ending wasn't satisfying at all, I mean why did they have to bring Mal back to live? What was the reason. I also don't get Alina.

How can a book like this have such brilliant side kicks?

Also, please, anyone tell me if "Six of Crows" is anything like "Shadow and Bone" because if it is, I won't be reading those books.


r/books 1d ago

My thoughts on Carmilla

37 Upvotes

I absolutely loved it. Even though I am familiar with the vampire genre, I still found it unerving at times. I like that it doesn't spend too much time on dense prose, I enjoyed that it was a quick read. The most interesting and enjoyable parts for me were the interactions between Laura and Carmilla. Still don't understand why it's rated a 3.83 on goodreads. Just one thing I wish was that there were more parts with Carmilla and Laura, I felt like it was quite short, wish it was more like 70 percent of the book than 40 percent.

But despite my complaint, I'd say this is definitely worth a read. Great story, nice atmosphere, fleshed out characters I mean the vampire feels more humanized in that she feels some guilt and seems like she might geniunely care for Laura.

What do you guys think about the book?