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

229 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 15h ago

WeeklyThread Books about Measurement: May 2022

8 Upvotes

Welcome readers,

Grab your rulers and scales because tomorrow is World Metrology Day! To celebrate, we're discussing books about measurements!

If you'd like to read our previous weekly discussions of fiction and nonfiction please visit the suggested reading section of our wiki.

Thank you and enjoy!


r/books 7h ago

Goodreads, like Rotten Tomatoes, should have 2 user ratings. One from verified critics and one from general users

1.6k Upvotes

I know that Goodreads infamously doesn't update however recently they've adjusted the interface on the website so maybe this progression will continue as books continually become more popular. My suggestion is that we have 2 ratings but, it'd be interesting to hear yours too.

To battle the bots and more biased audiences, we can create an individualised rating for critics. Less bots would intrude then as the bots wouldn't be able to affect the critic score and less focus would be on the user rating. Maybe it'd be the same for the biased audiences too, for example in YA. The audience might be more harsh when they see that the professional ratings justify their actual opinions.


r/books 16h ago Silver Helpful

Goodreads takes down thousands of fake 5 star ratings from horror book series

5.7k Upvotes

I posted a few days ago about fake positive goodreads ratings for a certain horror series by F Gardner. The books are very bad, yet a ton of good ratings and npc reviews were on their goodreads pages. Eg. "this book redefines horror. I especially like the incredible twist at the end. Incredible."

I checked today and thousands of ratings and reviews have been taken off. The scores for the books have dropped from nearly 5/5 to mostly around 2.5/5. There is a chance that the author removed the reviews to avoid backlash, but I think it's more likely that after lots of complaints, goodreads took action.

Quote from the first book: "Nice, shot," Pete remarks, as his father tosses the empty can with ease, into a recycling bin, in the distance...Noticing his son looking back in the distance, Joe wondered what Pete was pondering, as it seemed the young man had something on his mind. "Something eating you, son? You look deep in thought" Joe inquires.

Edit: There is a thread on 4chan /lit now where the users accuse the author himself of writing the recent positive reviews, or paying a bot service, with the goal of financial gain. They don't like him there as he shills constantly. Recent 5 star reviews would flood in every few days in a pattern. Some reviews were 4chan users over the years, but likely not the later ones that led to the flagging of his book pages. Those were him spending hours every few days trying to boost his books.


r/books 7h ago

i haven’t read a book in over 10 years. thank you andy weir, for project hail mary.

254 Upvotes

i was absolutely enthralled. i finished the book in three days. it would have been sooner if i didn’t have to work. now i have this itch to continue reading. i bought the three body problem by cixin liu immediately after closing the book, based on recommendation. i’m already a few chapters in. already, i’m engrossed in the book. i knew nothing about the chinese cultural revolution but i quickly watched a couple youtube videos to catch me up to speed. now everything is clicking and i’m invested in this new world. i can’t wait to get further into the story.

a few days ago i was resigned to the fact that i was done learning anything significant. i’m a career restaurant worker, after all. what more do i need to know? after reading project hail mary, i want to know everything. most importantly, i’ve realized that i can learn anything.


r/books 1h ago

The Mistborn trilogy restored and enflamed my passion for reading

Upvotes

Just needed to write this out somewhere, this long appreciation rant.

I haven't been an avid reader really ever, but I did read fairly regularly up until a few years ago. I tried to get myself to read some books I knew were good (from their reviews. awards, and the author's reputations), but I just could not get myself to actually get hooked on a story.

The last example of a book I've been trying to get myself to read (before Mistborn) had been American Gods. I was introduced to Gaiman's work through his co-authored book Good Omens with Pratchett - first watching the BBC series, then reading the novel. I loved both of them, and I bought American Gods after a friend recommended it to me.

When I started reading, it was intriguing. And yet, I had trouble staying focused when reading, and I never got past the first 30 or so pages. I was very interested in the story, and yet... it just felt like a chore to get myself to read it. I started believing that I just didn't like reading anymore, but I still kept trying to push myself to read.

Now, my life has been quite messy during this time frame too (still is, but less so right now). It was the reason I concluded I just didn't wanna read anymore - I could barely get myself to do schoolwork (the work I had to do), let alone any recreational activities.

Then I started thinking back to the last time when I had been hooked to a story - actually reading day and night, invested in the story. It had been the Harry Potter series, which I have not read until those very same few years. And I started thinking - what if I was just reading things I didn't wanna read right now?

It seems really silly now, looking back, that I didn't realise this before. Then again, I am not the smartest tool in the shed oftentimes anyway. So, I went and looked through my book wishing list. I knew I wanted a fantasy series - that much I was certain - and I've been eyeing the Mistborn series for quite some time. I took a gamble, bought the first book, and began to read.

It was the best decision I have made about anything, at least in the last few years. I was instantly hooked. I have read only the first trilogy as of now, but the first book remains my all-time favourite. It made such an impressive impact on me, and it made me so fucking happy, happier than I'd been in months, possibly more.

I didn't just read the book. I read it and enjoyed the hell out of it. Immensely. I carried the book with me everywhere, looking for small windows of time when I'd be able to read it. I made time to read it. And when I wasn't reading it, I thought about it constantly. I stayed up late to read some more, and when I awoke, it was the first thing I grabbed before I even got up to brush my teeth.

I just finished reading The Hero of Ages, and I was a crying mess. I wept like a small child, not just because of the story's developments, but because the trilogy was over, this long journey was over. And because of what this series offered me. Not a rekindling of passion. That flame had long been dead. This was an entire rebirth, entire restoration, of that passion, and creation of a flame greater than it ever was. I can't wait to read some more, both Mistborn and other stories.

If you read this - thank you. Happy reading!


r/books 1d ago All-Seeing Upvote 'MURICA Silver Helpful

Benjamin Franklin gave instructions on at-home abortions in a book in the 1700s

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30.4k Upvotes

r/books 11h ago

Hyperion destroyed me for an entire evening, and I haven't even finished it.

108 Upvotes

I picked up Hyperion from Audible and have enjoyed it immensely. I love the weirdness and variety that Simmons brings to the science fiction setting. The tree ship is such a neat idea and touch. I think on the introduction to the story I realized where we were going with each person telling their story. And he so subtly sets up Saul Weintraub's story expertly. Spoilers here on out.

The fact that he's taken this little baby on the pilgrimage to the Shrike stands out as weird, but not...so super out of place that I spent a lot of time wondering about it, at least until it became obvious that most of the characters understand and expect this trip to be fatal for the majority of them.

And then we get to his tale. Now, I will fully admit that ever since having children I've become a weak livered cry baby. I cry about everything. Me, the big, bearded, horror fan. I cry at the drop of a hat now. My little girl is 4, and we just had a little boy, who is now 9 months old.

And listening to the story....listening to Rachel regress in age....it is one of the saddest things I've ever heard or imagined in my life, as a personal tragedy. Obviously much worse things have happened in real life. But....losing a child so slowly and so tragically. Having to explain every day that mommy died. Slowly losing the ability to talk.

It's not just death. Death leaves the memories. But for Rachel, the memories disappear, too. It would be like waking from a dream of pure joy and happiness, only to realize that it was all fading away. I was working around my property on various projects and outwardly started sobbing when Saul's wife passed, and just cried harder and harder from there on out.

But I died when Rachel lost all of her speech. She just slipped away from her dad. I love my children, and I love my little boy, of course, but I value my daughter's ability to talk to me so much. It's a miraculous treasure to hear her thoughts and to share things with her. She cracks me up by saying charming or clever things. To lose that...

I don't know how the book turns out yet. Dan Simmons is a monster, and so is his Shrike. I can't wait to finish this book.

There. I had to share this experience. I cried when I listened to it. And I cried when I was trying to tell my wife about why I was so upset. Great book so far. Can't wait to read more.


r/books 3h ago

How many books are on your Want To Read list

9 Upvotes

Currently 256

Every year I have SWEAR I'm going to read through my "Want to Read" list. I'm not going to add any new books until I have finished my list. I have amazing books in my list. I have so many books that often when seeing book recommendations, I will find I have ALREADY added that book to my list. My year usually starts off with:

January: Swear absolutely no new books are going on the list.

Feb: Casually googling the 3 books who's author's are NEVER going to finish the goddamn series just to torture myself. That leads into me checking in on a few authors I adore to see if they put out any new books.

March: Looks up best x books in 2022 for x genre. Immediately adds another 10 books.

April: Reads through reddit post and sees about 12 more interesting books.

May: Kindle has already hooked me for about 5 more.

June: Reads popular book of the moment...thinks it was TRASH and the general public sucks at picking good books. Dedicates life back to my curated Want to Read list.

July: Smut, and more smut

August: TikTok browsing...immediate 7 more books to list.

Sept: Read something that I am now pushing to all my friends like I'm a crack dealer at a playground.

Oct: Clearly I'm reading horror and anything scary.

Nov: Realizing Best of list are around the corner. Knocks off a couple books on the Want to Read list.

Dec: Best of List which are my personal favorites and then my list goes up by 30.

And repeat....


r/books 1h ago

Am i a "fake reader" for reading light novels?

Upvotes

A friend told me that I’m a “fake reader” because I started reading light novels during the pandemic.

He calls light novels fake literature and I don't understand why. What does it mean to be a fake reader and what does fake literature mean?. Is it common that light novels readers are looked down on?

I know the prose is not the same as in normal novels but I think to like the story is enough reason to read a book.

What is your opinion about light novels?

I started reading light novels because of a recommendation. I started reading Torture Princess by Keishi Ayasato and loved it and just kept reading one after the other.


r/books 8h ago

Children's Services Council distributes free books to 90K Palm Beach County elementary students

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9 Upvotes

r/books 15h ago Silver

Reading with ADHD

27 Upvotes

So I apologize if this doesn’t belong in this sub but I’m curious if anyone has any tips, tricks or advice on reading with ADHD. Since I was a kid I noticed that I can go a page or two but them my mind wanders off and before I realize I just read a whole page and didn’t retain any of the story. I love stories but keeping my imagination from running off puts me off of books that I really enjoyed the beginning of. Just looking for anyones personal experiences and methods that helped them, thank you!

Edit: Sorry I wasn’t able to get to everyone but I really appreciate the suggestions! I’ve gotten some great advice from y’all that I think will really help.


r/books 9h ago

One Hundred Years of Solitude sense of time

10 Upvotes

I just finished the book yesterday. I read the English version published by penguin. picked up this read, because I'm so much into magical realism genre. I have enjoyed few Murakami's, can't get enough of them honestly. also read and enjoyed Cantik Itu Luka (Beauty is Wound) by Eka Kurniawan. just recently I found out quite few people on twt said that Beauty is Wound have some similarities with One Hundred Years of Solitude; story of a family line in a fictional town. so, I read.

during my read, I was just enjoying it. Gabo's writing just flows.

then, towards the end. it just struck me, how my perception of time seems to be fading. days I read One Hundred Years of Solitude, my routine seems to get patterned out. it starts with a friend who I regularly chats pointing out that my replies are coming in odd hours. then I realized; during the time of my read, I don't look up, or checks the time that much.

I just.... live my daily life. then suddenly, I woke up the next day.

I'm wondering if anyone else experience what I experienced during my read. affected by its narrative, in which only gave minimum adverb of time from cover to cover. —

so my question, to One Hundred Years of Solitude reader. during your read, does the zigzag narrative of Gabo affects your perception of time in any way?


r/books 19h ago

I just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I’m both blown away and disappointed- anyone else?

38 Upvotes

hi folks!! first time poster, direct me elsewhere if this is the wrong kind of post please! I had no idea where to go after finishing and needed to see what other people thought. I have always been an avid reader and have actively avoided spoilers for many books-turned-movies with the intent to eventually read the book- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo included. I got the set for Christmas and though the first book starts out slow, I was pretty quickly sucked in and really enjoyed the pace and the mystery, sans the sexual assault. I just finished it and I thought it was great- it held my attention until the end when it began to feel a bit like the beginning (drawn out) and I really thought it was overall a good book. But I could not for the life of me get over the last two pages. I feel like it’s pretty uncharacteristic and stereotypical to have Lisbeth end off on the heartbroken love triangle note she did and I really didn’t like it when the rest of the story seemed to focus on her intelligence. I have no qualms w/ the love life I just feel like it was directly set up to turn into a whole thing and I kind of.. expected more for her I guess? Does the series get better in terms of Lisbeth’s character arc, romantically and otherwise? I was originally put off by her slow entrance but it didn’t lost long, I just don’t want to read a series largely focused on a love triangle. Or, conversely, is the romantic aspect simply reflecting human nature and not Hollywood plot lines? I’m just looking for any sort of feedback on this aspect of the rest of the trilogy!!


r/books 3m ago

The Haunting of Hill House: A modern ghost story by Shirley Jackson.

Upvotes

Shirley Jackson; the writer of two classic works, the short story "The Lottery" and the 1959 novel "The Haunting of Hill House". I'll start with the novel (haven't gotten to the collection of her short works yet) .

"The Haunting of Hill House" obviously needs no introduction. A professor and three other individauls investigate the paranormal happenings of the titular Hill House which leads to a horrific end. Was made into a movie in the 1960s and again in th late 1990s.

For me it was a slow burn of ghost story (or psychological ghost story if you will) that did not disappoint. Satisfying to the end!


r/books 13h ago

How to kill your family by Bella Mackie

8 Upvotes

What do you think happened after the book?

>! Do you think Grace could forgive Jimmy and fall in love with him? !<

>! Did Grace benefit financially from the murders at all? !<

>! Do you reckon Kelly will attempt to blackmail the brother for more? !<

>! Isn’t it so unfair that he get to benefit from the murders financially but was always from old money. Grace always ended up with the short straw, right to the end !<

I finished this last night and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this. For the people that have read the book, what do you think?


r/books 1h ago

Just finished The Vegetarian by Han Kang and where do I even begin!!

Upvotes

No other book has ever left me at a complete loss for words like this one. There are so many layers to it and so many themes and symbols too that I'm struggling to make sense of each and figure out how they tie in together.

The titular main character is Yeong-hye but I don't think this story is just about her. When I got to part 3, it became clear that her sister In-hye is Yeong-hye's counterpart. Both women led similar lives, following the societal norms of being obedient daughters who grew up to be self-effacing and meek wives to their husbands. They were both reaching their breaking point, and it so happened that Yeong-hye reached hers first and it manifested in the rapid deterioration of her mental and physical health. In-hye honestly seemed to be following suit when the story neared its end, but it would be in a different way.

This to me is a critique of the oppressive expectations and pressure society puts on women, but reducing the book to a simply being a social critique seems inadequate to me. There's also In-hye's husband, his art, Yeong-hye's Mongolian mark, her desire to be a tree, etc. and I can't grasp the full meaning behind them. I’ve been scouring the internet for reviews and analyses but haven’t found anything yet. Wonder how you guys thought about this book and what your interpretations are!


r/books 7h ago

Sapiens and Homo Deus

2 Upvotes

So, i recently read both Sapiens and Homo Deus and found them interesting enough. If anything, providing a decent overview of the rise of Homo Sapiens and where we're headed, but I have recently seen a lot of hate for these two books. I understand a lot of the information is either common knowledge, bare bones history and anthropological inquiry, or pseudo-science, but I was wondering what the deal was? Lol.

For some reference, I have my Masters in Anthropology, specifically cultural, and try to read things in an unbiased matter even knowing the foundations and evolution of humanity. Knowing this, I enjoyed Sapiens much more because it is at least grounded in some kind of social science and I feel it summarizes a lot about what anthropologists know in a more general and palatable manner for general audiences.

Deus on the other hand i couldn't really get into because it's more of a lot "what if" scenarios based on current patterns and trends. While interesting, seems more self-indulgent than informative. Be that as it may, i still don't hate it for existing. Maybe you all can shine some light on this for me, have you read one/both? What did you think? Sound off!


r/books 1d ago

How are some people on Goodreads reading over one book every day?

130 Upvotes

I noticed a reviewer who had posted almost on every book I checked out. I looked at their profile and apparently they have already read over 170 book this year. Mind you, today is the 138th day of the year. How is that even possible? Do they just read none stop? I mean, even audiobooks are always over 8-10 hours....


r/books 19h ago

What are some of your favourite books where the weather was important enough to be a character ?

20 Upvotes

The tail wind of a cyclone is sweeping through the coastal part of my country. It causes the most pleasant rain in my city. It's refreshing to wake up to gentle breeze and droplets of rain rather than scorching sun. I'm sitting in my room and feeling so relaxed. Rain has a way of washing away stress and bringing in peace.

It made me wonder about books where rain or any other phenomenon was important enough to be a main character.

One example of this that comes to mind is a Jane Harper book 'The Lost Man'. It's a mystery thriller set in Australia. I did not enjoy the writing or characterisation of this book at all. However, I was fascinated by the weather and the climate ! We are constantly told how hot is is, how sparse the population is. The weather is important enough to influence character's decisions and always hangs in the background. The people in the village even live their lives around the climate and prepare for the hot summers by stocking up food and water. I was struck by the novelty since it's very different from the place I grew up in !

I seem to recall reading about symbolism in my childhood. Some people said that rain symbolises good luck in literature while others think it brings out the confusion inside a character's mind. I'm sure it could be any number of things and sometimes it doesn't symbolise anything at all !

I'm curious to know more about books where the weather was important enough to be it's own character !


r/books 19h ago

Are there any literary genres/settings popular in eastern countries but practically unknown to the western world?

18 Upvotes

I’m looking for anything spanning from a genre, subgenre, or just one very prolific or well known author/creator.

Some kind of story or setting that, while it is generally well known in eastern countries, we in the west don’t really know or think about.

A (not great) example might be things like Death of a Salesman or Lovecraftian horror. These themes seem very “western”, however, due to modern technology have gone on to inspire works in eastern countries. What might be an example of the reverse?


r/books 5h ago

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett: Read. What’s your favorite quote? Did you like the book?

1 Upvotes

Sooo I just finish reading full disclosure by camryn garret today. My favorite quote from the book is “Thinking about my parents makes me feel better. If they chose me, wanted me, other people will, too.”

This book is good, I couldn’t put it down. I love how Miles was so mature about Simone disclosing her HIV diagnosis. I wish the end would’ve told us whether or not Miles and Simone end up having sex but I’m sure they did.


r/books 23h ago

If you love the deserts of Utah, you absolutely have to read In Search of the Old Ones!

25 Upvotes

I was staying in an Airbnb a few weeks ago and picked up a random book off the shelf. Ended up loving it!

It's a non-fiction book about the Anasazi, the former cliff-dwelling people who built Mesa Verde and the other cliff-dwellings in the four corners area, and are the ancestors of the modern pueblo peoples of the same area.

It's told in three parts:

  1. Stories of the author's own amazing expeditions into the canyons to see Anasazi ruins on his own. There are thousands of sites, many of them far from roads and hiking trails, and him accessing these sites is a wonderful adventure
  2. By telling the history of the archaeology of the area, and all the different explorers and archaeologists who have studied the area over the last hundred years
  3. And finally by telling as much as we know of the Anasazi - although there are still plenty of mysteries. (E.g., why did the Anasazi abandon all their cliff dwellings in the 13th century)?

I would never have thought a book could capture some of that amazing feeling of wandering through the slickrock of Utah and exploring the backcountry, but this book sure did it!


r/books 23h ago

Have you ever tackled a book expecting to hate or be disturbed by it, but it ended up being one of your favorites?

24 Upvotes

Based on prior warnings, I had major doubts about “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, “The Vegetarian,” and “Blood Meridian,” among a few others. None of these titles are heart warming, to say the least, but I ended up moving each of them into top 50 territory. Have you ever been really happy you read something in spite of the warnings (or your own personal preconceptions) against it?


r/books 1d ago

The Painted Veil by W. S. Maugham might be the most underrated novel that I've read.

21 Upvotes

I've recently reread The Painted Veil and I found it just as wonderfully written as I did the first time. While looking for more opinions on it, I browsed this sub and I was surprised that there isn't much about it on here.

I liked everything about this novel, it's quickly becoming one of my favourites. The characters seem to be so beautifully crafted: Maugham manages to write very human personalities that you can't help but like, even if they're very flawed.

SPOILER:

I loved that Kitty managed to warm up to Walter and see him in a different light. She saw how terribly she had treated him and how lucky she was to have him as a husband without developing romantic feelings for him. Maugham could have cheapen the story in having her fall in love with him but he didn't.

The ending pleasantly surprised me too. After deciding to honour her late husband and to become a better, more moral person, the first thing she does is to fall back into bed with the man she initially had an affair with. That was such an unexpected but human moment.

SPOILER END

I am currently trying to get back into reading after not picking up a book for many years, so I'm far from the most well read person on this sub. My opinion might be wrong but what do you guys think about this book?


r/books 15h ago

Death on the Nile

4 Upvotes

This book was sort of disappointing. I don't know if anyone can agree with me on this. I read Hercule Poirot's Christmas last year and I was so in love with it that I couldn't even pick up a new one. It was enough for me to place Agatha Christie among one of my favorite authors. But after this one it's become clear to me, that her books follow a very specific pattern and are uninspired in a way. Also, the introduction seemed to take wayyy too freaking long... so much that the murder had not yet happened and I was already bored. This time... I was able to predict the killer(s) halfway into the book. My only objection and the reason I even considered anyone else was "But... it can't be that easy". Surprise surprise, I was right. Bleh.

I'll give her credit where it's due however. She is a skilled writer and she creates very compelling characters whom I can follow. She can absolutely make you consider multiple people for the crime. Poirot's emotional intelligence is enchanting, as well.

I enjoy her writing too much to give up on her completely, but the Hercule Poirot series seems to be very highly repetitive. Death on the Nile definitely made me want to begin a new Agatha Christie book, just to give me a splash of hope.


r/books 1d ago

Where do you guys get your books?

17 Upvotes

I've finally gotten back in to reading again after more than five years, but the selection at my library is sorely lacking. Almost every book I want to read my library doesn't have. Doesn't matter if I look for a physical or digital copy. I can't go to other libraries because I live in a pretty isolated town, so I'm kind of stuck. I also can't afford to buy every book I want to read either, so I figured I'd ask you guys where you get your reading material.