Currently reading (when time permits) Amor Towles’ excellent A Gentleman in Moscow. I can’t recommend it more highly.
1491 by Charles Mann
Let me start by saying I read a lot of history but not very much involving this period or this style of book. I went into this not sure whether I would like it or not or whether I would be able to stay with it. However I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. Mann has written what I believe to be a well balanced book that features informative history about the natives of the America’s before the arrival of Europeans after Columbus. The stories of the Inkas (his spelling), the Aztecs and the Indians of North America are very interesting and told in a way almost anyone should enjoy.
The terrible results of the Euro invasion are also told, leading to a discussion of just how many natives there may have been.
So much is in this book that was never told in schools back in the day, a real example of historical revision the way it should be done. I would recommend this book to everyone.
The Kingdom of Gods concludes the Inheritance trilogy wonderfully. I loved the treatment of gods and their interactions with mortals in the previous books, and this explores that dynamic further and to even greater effect, with a god as the main viewpoint character. It transitions seamlessly among intricate mysteries, quiet and empathetic moments of layered character interaction, lyrical meditations on friendship, love, personal nature, change, and stability, and cosmic-scale events. 5/5
I finished the soldier’s story ( I forgot his name) and started the poet. After enjoying the priest’s story the book took a down turn for me. Is it worth pushing through for other pilgrims’ stories or should I just give up. I have Eye of the World to try out, along with some others.
Hyperion is really good. (See look all you art vs. artists folks. I think Dan Simmons is a right-wing troll, but here I am recommending his book.) Worth sticking through I’d say. I liked Fall of Hyperion too, but it’s a much more straightforward space opera. The Endymion novels are skippable.
Would anyone be interested in doing a Qt3 Weekly Reading Challenge for 2019? The basic idea would be to come up with a list of 52 prompts, then over the course of the year try to find and read books that fit those prompts, with the goal of adding a bit of a scavenger hunt feel to it and encouraging getting out of familiar reading comfort zones. If a book per week is too fast of a pace, just set your own goal and pick and choose which prompts to go for.
Ideally, we might post what book we’re thinking of for a given prompt a bit in advance, and if they appeal to anyone else, get an impromptu mini-book-club going.
There are lots of reading challenges out there (here’s a big list), but I stole the idea from here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/174195-around-the-year-in-52-books. As an example, here’s their list of prompts for 2019:
- A book that was nominated for or won an award in a genre you enjoy
- A book with one of the 5 W’s in the title (Who, What, Where, When, Why)
- A book where the author’s name contains A, T, and Y
- A book with a criminal character (i.e. assassin, pirate, thief, robber, scoundrel etc)
- A book by Shakespeare or inspired by Shakespeare
- A book with a dual timeline
- 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: Book #1
- 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: Book #2
- A book from one of the top 5 money making genres (romance/erotica, crime/mystery, religious/inspirational, science fiction/fantasy or horror)
- A book featuring an historical figure
- A book related to one of the 12 Zodiac Chinese Animals (title, cover, subject)
- A book about reading, books or an author/writer
- A book that is included on a New York Public Library Staff Picks list
- A book with a title, subtitle or cover relating to an astronomical term
- A book by an author from a Mediterranean country or set in a Mediterranean country
- A book told from multiple perspectives
- A speculative fiction (i.e. fantasy, scifi, horror, dystopia)
- A book related to one of the elements on the periodic table of elements
- A book by an author who has more than one book on your TBR
- A book featuring indigenous people of a country
- A book from one of the polarizing or close call votes
- A book with a number in the title or on the cover
- 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #1 Something Old
- 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #2 Something New
- 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #3 Something Borrowed
- 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #4 Something Blue
- A book off of the 1001 books to read before you die list
- A book related to something cold (i.e. theme, title, author, cover, etc.)
- A book published before 1950
- A book featuring an elderly character
- A children’s classic you’ve never read
- A book with more than 500 pages
- A book you have owned for at least a year, but have not read yet
- A book with a person’s name in the title
- A psychological thriller
- A book featured on an NPR Best Books of the Year list
- A book set in a school or university
- A book not written in traditional novel format (poetry, essay, epistolary, graphic novel, etc)
- A book with a strong sense of place or where the author brings the location/setting to life
- A book you stumbled upon
- A book from the 2018 GR Choice Awards
- A book with a monster or “monstrous” character
- A book related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) [fiction or nonfiction]
- A book related in some way to a tv show/series or movie you enjoyed (same topic, same era, book appeared in the show/movie, etc.)
- A multi-generational saga
- A book with a (mostly) black cover
- A book related to food (i.e. title, cover, plot, etc.)
- A book that was a finalist or winner for the National Book Award for any year
- A book written by a Far East Asian author or set in a Far East Asian country
- A book that includes a journey (physical, health, or spiritual)
- A book published in 2019
- A book with a weird or intriguing title
Anybody want to participate in something along those lines if I start a thread for it?
I like the idea but realistically I just don’t see myself getting through 52 books in a year.
It feels a bit ambitious for me too (I don’t think I’ve gotten through that much in a year since I was a teenager), but I’ve been on a reading tear the last couple of months and want to try to stretch myself with a defined goal.
And there’s no scorekeeping; participation would be welcome at whatever level feels right for you. If you don’t want to do the full 52, then pick whatever fraction feels like an achievable goal. Actually, maybe we designate one “main” prompt per month to make it easy for anyone who wants a more relaxed monthly schedule.
OK that sounds fair. I’m in.
I do about 15-20 books a year, and going beyond that is not practical. Mostly because when about half are 900-1000 pages, it does tend to reduce throughput.
That said my reading list is already designed to stretch things for me, so I don’t know if participate. But power to you, those that do.
I read a ridiculous number of books and I’d be down for that.
I do pretty much exactly 24 books a year (my audible subscription), but I’d be in.
I am currently reading English version of Les Thanatonautes by Bernard Werber. It is a great book, which could be classified as philosophic science fiction (with a hint of fantasy). The characters in the book deals with the search for afterlife. I will say no more, if you are interested in death topic, this book is certainly for you!
Doubt I’d do all 52, but the idea is interesting. Maybe post the list in monthly batches so people can either try for everything, or do just one per month.
Cool, sounds like a quorum. I’ll start a thread.
I just finished Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk. It’s basically an ode to government agencies that you had no idea about, and the passionate faceless bureaucrats that do that work. I really enjoyed it, but I finished it in only one month. It’s definitely one of the shortest books I’ve ever read. I loved it. I loved reading about all these people, and why they had a passion for their particular field, and why they all joined government in order to help people in their own various ways. I just wish there was more of it in the book. This book felt like the first 3 teasing chapters of a 10 chapter book. I want the other 7 missing chapters Michael Lewis! You hear me? There’s still so many government agencies you haven’t told us about yet!
I heard the author on Stay Tuned with Preet and the book sounded like it could be interesting.
Finished Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon ast night. Fair enough, quick read. Set in Khazaria in the tenth century, it follows some mercenaries as they get involved in some adventures and intrigue.
I’m in, normally manage 2 or 3 books a week if on a roll.