If you are looking for the announcement thread for the previous month, it may be found here.
Hello, all. During the month of December, the sub book club will be reading Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Each week there will be a discussion thread and when we are done, Angeline herself will be joining us for an AMA.
From Goodreads (feel free to skip if you prefer to know nothing going into the book as the description contains minor spoilers):
As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.
The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.
Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.
Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.
Please note that this month's selection is a young adult novel. If you would like to view potential content warnings for the book, a reader suggested list may be found here.
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 any past book club selection or want to see how things work, you may find the complete archive 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.
This is our weekly discussion of the literature of the world! Every Wednesday, we'll post a new country or culture for you to recommend literature from, with the caveat that it must have been written by someone from that country (i.e. Shogun by James Clavell is a great book but wouldn't be included in Japanese literature).
December 11 is the first day of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, and to celebrate we're discussing Jewish literature. Please use this thread to discuss your favorite Jewish literature and authors!
Toda and enjoy!
Regardless of how petty it may seem, what will always lower the standard of a book for you? Personally, I can't stand detailed sex scenes, like whatever. I do not need a description of a girl's boobs, anything. I don't need to read about the entire male or female anatomy because they're shagging. And I hate it when they go into a vivid description of someone coming or penetration. Unnecessary, a waste of time and I just cannot stand how some writers go into such vivid description like they're trying to romanticize, make something more emotional. Just no, but that is what irritates me the most. What is something petty that you can't stand while reading a book?
Also - Unpopular opinion possibly, but I dislike when a writer goes into a lot of depth describing the physical beauty of someone. Like they need to describe every bit of physical perfection that makes someone hot, just saying they're good looking and move on is enough.
I just finished this wonderful novel last night and I can't get it out of my mind. Leaving the novel was sad because I loved the world that Irving created and Owen Meany is like someone I have never read before. If you are inspired to read this book have patience because the beginning is a slow burn. I remember thinking to myself if this book was going anywhere, but other people said it takes a little while before the story picks up and the payoff was more than rewarding.
I couldn't get into the book for the life of me. The concept I found incredibly interesting (I love divine myth fiction) but the first few chapters were so tedious to me. Yet I see so many glowing reviews of his work and see so many passages cited here that appeal to me so I would like to give his work more of a chance. I suppose I was expecting like a stylistically less cynical version of Douglas Adams or is that also way off the mark?
Nerds of a feather blog calls out Gregory Benford for what it calls "Let's not mince words: Shadows of Eternity is a disgusting piece of rape apology that should never have been published"
At the very start of 2021 I decided I would read 36 books before the arrival of 2022. I'm currently reading the 34th book of my goal and I'm totally blown away by it. Although I did not finish it yet (I'm currently at 75%) I'm already extremely baffled by this amazing book! I mean, what about the part when Bowman leaves the Discovery and notices that the monolith he sees standing on Japetus is not what he thought it was and that it is actually full of starts, meaning it is a gateway to another part of the universe. I've always been interested about astronomy and I could not be more impressed by all of this. This book makes me feel really small towards the size of the universe. Have you ever read this book? How do you feel about it?
Most of my reading life I read fantasy, branched out a bit more in the last 10-12 years but something I have noticed with a lot of Thrillers these days is that the narrator is female and unreliable because they drink too much wine. It doesn't bother me too much, I still enjoy the stories but I think I first came across it with Paula Hawkin's The Girl on the Train and then come to notice it a bit more with Shari Lapena, AJ Finn's The Woman in the Window and now I am currently reading The Assistant by SK Tremayne which all have a similar vibe.
Is this a new style or has existed for a long time?
(and don't get me start on these books also being called The Woman in/on/at etc)
When I was a little girl I was the last stop on the bus route after school and the first to be picked up in the morning so I always had about 90-120 minutes to do nothing but read. I really enjoyed it and reading made the time fly by. I would get in trouble at school for reading and read with a flashlight at bedtime. I feel like I owe a lot to books and how they’ve changed my life and I really want my children to love books and read daily but I don’t want them to feel like they’re forced and ruin the magic. Is there anything your parents did to encourage reading without making it feel forced?
Hi everyone! I have no idea if this is the right sub for this question. I’ve tried the specific Monte Cristo sub but my question got deleted.
First off I’d like to say, please no spoilers. I’m currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time and so far I absolutely love it. I’m currently on chapter 33, titled Roman Bandits. These past few chapters have me a little confused.
I’m not really understanding the role of some of the more recent characters. This is the first time I’ve felt bored in this book. More specifically, I’m talking about the role of Franz, Pastrini, Albert, and the characters around this part of the timeline.
I’ll be honest, I’ve kinda been zoning in and out during these chapters so maybe I missed something important to this part of the story. Is there any way you could give me some context into the purpose of these characters without any major spoilers? I’m just not seeing how they fit into Edmunds story.
Or if you think it’s detrimentally important to the story let me know and I will go back, reread, and try to understand for myself.
Thanks so much! :)
I will also say I’m not a huge reader so my reading level definitely isn’t the best. There’s been some parts that have been really daunting, maybe it’s just with the translation. I’ve kinda just powered through those parts. Is that pretty normal with this book? If this is one of those parts let me know and I shall power through.
I just finished this book and while I did enjoy it for the most part, there were a couple huge plot holes I couldn't get over.
When Bedford gets back to Earth, he just leaves the spaceship sitting on the beach thinking "oh, nobody will mess with it" and "if the tide comes in it won't float far" Like, what the hell? It's a fucking space ship that just got back from the moon and he's just gonna leave it chilling on a beach in the UK (A spaceship he had basically no idea how to control that just happened to land back in his own country no less).
Then, because of this, no more cavorite can be made as Cavor is trapped in the moon. So Cavor, being such a brilliant scientist as to make a material that defies gravity, didn't take notes? I'm supposed to believe a brilliant scientist that can make something like that wouldn't be writing extensive research notes as he's making a spaceship to go to the friggin moon?!
I may be nit-picky, but I can deal with the fiction part of giant mooncalves or them being able to breathe on the moon and walk around in their normal clothes. Whatever, it's sci-fi from 120 years ago. But to believe dude would just leave a spaceship chilling on the beach and a scientist wouldn't have research notes? No I can't get with that.
Let us imagine a world where musicians, alive or dead (who are in heaven by the way as was confirmed by the spirit embodiment of the Powers that be that all dead musicians are in heaven for blessing the world with their music) are to write a book about one song of theirs. In this world all musicians are also talented writers.The musicians can write a story based on the general vibe/themes of the song or extend the story of a song etc. Now the fans across the board are losing their marbles and crying because this is a dream come true! Fans flock to all corners of the internet to speculate which songs will be made into books and of course comment which song they personally would want to be converted into a book.
So I ask of you guys in this corner of the internet, which songs would you like to see be made into a book?
Personally: I'd like to see Strength of the World by Avenged Sevenfold. Its my favourite song of theirs. The song tells a story about a man (presumably) seeking to take revenge on a group of outlaws who killed his family. The song has western vibes to it so it would be in the western genre. I don't particularly enjoy the genre but I do really enjoy stories about revenge (count of monte cristo was my favourite book of last year) so it wouldn't matter. I would want Avenged Sevenfold to add alot of other elements such as other characters and make this book an epic 800 page tome. The song is so good guys btw I recommend you check it out. I especially love the string sections in the beginning and end.
Honourable mentions: Jacksonville by Sufjan Stevens and Sandy Fishnets (only her story) by Evelyn Evelyn.
Edit: for those curious, the dead musicians will be sending their final drafts to agents of the Powers that be who will deliver the drafts to the land of the living to have them published.
I can't type it into words.
From the start until the end I was held by a gripping intensity. I love Salley Rooney's writing style. Her intellectualisms were a bit toned down in this book, just the right dose I say. The first part of the book, before they go to collegeis definitely my favorite, such a new concept for me to be honest. the rest of the book felt so good to read. I admire her non-linear storytelling and the journey from self-hate to self-love.
This is a must read for everyone who experienced love and hate in relationships. It is a great peek into the distress of unfunctional & functional relationships. I'm in the process of recommending it to my whole circle of friends
after reading both her books and starting the third tomorrow,>! I noticed a frequent display of self-harm thoughts and depression re-occuring in all her works.!< I really hope she's doing okay mentally. She's my new favorite author.
I Apparently Got the Last Interview That Philip Roth Ever Gave' - Israeli filmmaker Asaf Galay’s new documentary ‘The Adventures of Saul Bellow’ takes a deep dive into the artistry and tumultuous personal life of the American Jewish writerhaaretz.com
I hear many people talking about how they don't understand the "hype" of Sally Rooney novels, this or that. I wanted to leave my brief two cents. (Mind you this is coming from someone who couldn't put either book down and finished them in 2 back to back days)
First of all, these book are extremely accessible. What I mean by this is that they are easy reads, enjoyable page turning novels. While they're not necessarily profound in any life altering way, they speak deeply to the soul and directly to the human conscious. I find myself enjoying more often than not, books with simple stories about the human condition-- books that relate to anyone in one way or another, and force you to do some introspection on yourself. Yes, these are simple stories about everyday people and everyday things. But Sally Rooney makes the mundane and monotonous experiences feel poetic. She lays out stories about finding your place in the world under the guise of modern day romances. She explores friendship and relationship dynamics in the twenty first century and shows us that life isn't always black and white- people weave in and out of your life and serve different purposes at different times. She shows us that we all still have growing up to do even after we've come of age. Most of all-- she reminds us that life has no beginning, middle, or end-- in the much the same way that these novels have no beginning, middle, or end. Much like real life, Sally Rooney novels are complex and simple, exhilarating and boring, grounding and transcendent, treacherous and fulfilling, normal and not.
This is a rough paraphrase but I'll leave you with this comment that one of the Redscare podcasters made when talking about Sally Rooney novels-- "We read these books not to transcend thyself but to remind ourselves of who we are."
Just got this in a promo e-mail from Bookshop.org, pointing to the Penguin Random House page here), and I just... Oof. It feels like they missed the mark a bit? I'm certainly glad these powerful reads are being promoted, but I'm just not sure either of these books fit well in a Happy Holidays ad.
What do you all think? Should publishers suggesting their books for gift-giving only feature festive titles, or should we take whatever excuse we can find to promote excellent books?
I’ll start. I really despised Memoirs of a geisha. Read it a very very long time ago, and I was so upset about the whole book! It took me a very long time to read because I was very annoyed by the main character. I kept thinking… really who thinks like that? No one would ever think like that… ugh just thinking about it upsets me! Has anyone ever read a book that made them so angry?
Be kind it’s my cake day!!
I just finished reading The Giver and I thought that the book could be about trauma. When Jonas is selected he’s singled out from the rest of his class and the society he lives in based on what he has to endure.
When he visits the Giver he has to endure painful memories that no one else has to endure in their society and he can’t share them with anyone. He tries to show the girl he has a crush on what red looks like when showing her something outside and she couldn’t grasp it.
Sameness is naivety and innocence. Everyone in the community starts off with it and they do everything in their power to preserve it.
They put all their trauma and feelings into the giver. Good and bad. Most days the giver is in pain because of what he has experienced.
Finally at the end of the book Jonas decides to flee and take baby Gabriel with him. Gabriel has experienced good memories and feelings, because Jonas has given him those things, but he also experiences bad things (freezing during the escape). The giver refuses to go with him because he’s too weak, which might be because he’s too busy wallowing in his own pain.
I don't remember when or why I read this book. It was definitely for some level of middle or high school English class but the exact year escapes me. For the uninitiated, a brief summary:
Phillip Malloy is a ninth-grader who wants to join the track team and finds himself at odds with his teacher Ms. Narwin. Her giving him a poor grade on an exam prevents him from being able to join the track team and so he concocts a plan that goes thusly: he will hum the national anthem during her homeroom class (as opposed to standing in reverent silence) in an effort to get disciplined for being disruptive, cry foul to his parents that his teacher is quashing his patriotic spirit, and attempt to get transferred to a different home room.
Unfortunately for him the plan works a little bit too well; he is indeed disciplined by the assistant principal, but Phillip's father spreads the story of his son's unflappable patriotism to his friend running for the local school board. The father's friend leverages it to help his election and Phillip's story starts to get wider attention across the country and it becomes a hot-button issue. Despite the current superintendent pressuring Phillip's school to move him out of Ms. Narwin's class and eventually causing her to leave the state entirely because of the negative press, the current superintendent loses his seat.
Phillip's lies have snowballed out of control and he desires a transfer to a private school to escape the fallout despite his family not really having the funds. The book ends with him at his new school, in a new homeroom, but the school does not have a track team. During the morning Pledge of Allegiance, Phillip's new teacher encourages him to sing the national anthem, causing him to say the line which has been stuck in my brain all this time: as a tear falls down Phillip's cheek he remarks, "I don't know the words."
Let me be frank: I fucking hated this book and I still do now. Surprisingly the concept of a local story with little importance reaching the near-national stage is still relevant and almost prophetic given this was written well before the advent of social media. But a good idea does not a good book make, as I'm sure you all know.
Phillip is the most annoying little shit and I never sympathized with him. Everything that happens is his fault at every stage and he never backs down or takes responsibility. Failing his test? His fault. Coming up with a plan to aggress and defame his teacher? Obviously his fault. It's been many years and I doubt I'll ever re-read this mess but if I recall he never tries to de-escalate the situation or try and get his dad or his dad's friend to lay off trying to blow this thing out of proportion.
I was never even clear on the point it was trying to make even after reading through some analyses of the book just before writing this post. It certainly has the elements of being a story about people with varying motivations and relationships to the truth with no real theme because that's how life works (the book is a "Documentary Novel" so I believe that is the intention) but does that make it an enjoyable read or make it immune to criticism? Of course not.
The last line just really stuck with me in the worst way for all these years. It's been well over a decade since I had to read this and I can't forget it. The feeling of rage and anti-climax was palpable. Am I supposed to feel bad for him? Did he feel regret? It seemed like he fucked up multiple people's lifelong careers, the political landscape of his hometown, his own parent's finances, and an innocent woman's entire life for basically nothing. Not no reason, just a really shitty one. I'm left with a feeling of "what am I supposed to do with this?"
I don't hate the author, I think he accomplished what he set out to do, and won a Newberry for it. I hate the characters, I hate the structure, I hate the lack of a clear message or a clear ending. It seems I'm not alone in this feeling either, given some of the discussion I've seen on it elsewhere. I mused about writing a post like this before but this morning the feeling of rage hit different and now here we are.
So I'm interested in what people here think. Did you read this? What did you think of it? I know my analysis is shallow but it was a shallow book, I think it fits. I'm also open to the idea that I'm dumb and wrong, so please prove me to be so I like to learn. Thanks for reading.
I just finished this book and I would highly recommend it. I really didn’t realize how important and life-changing sleep is and could be. If you’re looking to seriously change the outlook of your everyday life (mental, emotional, and physical welfare) AND your life long-term, I recommend using this book as a guide.
Anyone else read this and have an epiphany regarding their own sleep habits?
I didn't care for this book at all. As someone who is passionate about prison reform and criminal justice reform, I thought that reading this book would reaffirm my belief, and while it did a good job of showing the horrors of the US prison system, what I couldn't stand in this book was the writing structure. The writing structure was very choppy, it jumped around from different points-of-view (which I like sometimes, but here there was like no warning for it, so it got confusing), and there's all these plotlines/characters that get introduced for no reason.
There was one central character, Romy, who I definitely sympathized with (she was in prison for life for killing a creepy guy who'd been stalking her and had a terrible attorney) and I was rooting so bad for her to have a Shawshank Redemption-type escape in the end and reunite with her son, or get out legally by appeal or commutation, but I can see the realistic approach this writer was trying to go for giving it a realistic ending, but I didn't feel it was a real ending? It just sort of ended.
Even when we finally see the perspective of the guy she killed, the writer made it sound like we're supposed to feel bad for him? Just because he had a bad knee? That didn't stop him from relentlessly stalking Romy, calling her nonstop, driving hundreds of miles to see her, after she'd made it incredibly clear she wanted nothing to do with him. I had no sympathy for him or the fact that she killed him.
Meanwhile, there's all these side characters who's arcs are similarly just dropped all of a sudden. Gordon Hauser, the GED teacher just suddenly moves. Doc, the dirty cop/hitman was nearly killed, survives, and that's the last we hear of him. Then there's all this random 1 page chapters that, I had no idea until later, are passages from Thoreau and Ted Kaczynski's (yes, THAT Ted Kaczynski) journals, but they had no context as to where they were from and since I've never read those people's work, it felt completely random, and I was like "wait, who's talking?".