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frescoelmo
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Come here for all your paperback literature interests, discussions, opinions, reviews and suggestions.

 

Book I am Currently Reading

That Will Never Work - Marc Randolph - easy, quick read about how Netflix was started, their trial and tribulations to get into a very small and niche market, and the changes required to turn into the company they are today.  

 

Last 3 Books I have Read

Blowout - Rachel Maddow - Really interesting read about USA's power struggle between the government's initiatives to curb the gas/oil industry, and the billionaires that control the private companies holding us back.  I really enjoyed this book...  somewhat left-minded, but I learned a lot about just how much influence oil and gas companies have.

 

Prisoners of Geography - Tim Marshall - Each chapter goes into great depth explaining how countries' borders have pushed or forced their hands to make drastic changes to their global agendas.  Would highly recommend this one.  It really helps you understand how a lot of geopolitics were founded.

 

2030 - Mauro Guillen - Detailed analysis on how the world's ever-changing trends and what to expect in the next 10-15 years as a result.

 

Upcoming Book

Super Sad True Love Story - Gary Shteyngart - I read his book 'Lake Success' in 2020 and it was phenomenal.  Looking forward to getting into this book.

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i haven't read any of the books you listed or heard of any of those authors so i'm just gonna follow the same structure with some completely different shit

 

I'm not currently reading anything because I binged the last book I read in like 2 days and need time to recover from that

 

last (maybe? i forget the order) 3 i've read

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - this book centers around achilles and his second-hand man/companion, the narrator, patroclus. coming-of-age vibes with a mlm romance that is prevalent throughout the book but doesn't overtake the whole plot. love representation in a beautifully written fantasy. we got gods and goddesses and magic, all that good shit. i cried.

 

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht - action-packed science-fiction vibes. you get to grapple with interesting ethical and moral questions regarding who deserves life/worthy of living among different races and species. we get to see a non-binary character!!!!!!!!!!!! i cried.

 

The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah - the story of an immigrant family from palestine living in chicago. there's a school shooting at an all-girls muslim school run by the narrator, who shares a series of flashbacks from her childhood. very interesting in terms seeing the oppression and how she handles those experiences. i cried.

 

up next

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas - highly recommended as a followup to Song of Achilles. I'm excited.

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7 minutes ago, fishy said:

i haven't read any of the books you listed or heard of any of those authors so i'm just gonna follow the same structure with some completely different shit

 

I'm not currently reading anything because I binged the last book I read in like 2 days and need time to recover from that

 

last (maybe? i forget the order) 3 i've read

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - this book centers around achilles and his second-hand man/companion, the narrator, patroclus. coming-of-age vibes with a mlm romance that is prevalent throughout the book but doesn't overtake the whole plot. love representation in a beautifully written fantasy. we got gods and goddesses and magic, all that good shit. i cried.

 

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht - action-packed science-fiction vibes. you get to grapple with interesting ethical and moral questions regarding who deserves life/worthy of living among different races and species. we get to see a non-binary character!!!!!!!!!!!! i cried.

 

The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah - the story of an immigrant family from palestine living in chicago. there's a school shooting at an all-girls muslim school run by the narrator, who shares a series of flashbacks from her childhood. very interesting in terms seeing the oppression and how she handles those experiences. i cried.

 

up next

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas - highly recommended as a followup to Song of Achilles. I'm excited.

 

I read a lot of current event/geopolitical books so I totally understand!

 

Persephone sounds interesting, I'll have to look into that

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I'll throw in some stuff. Between being stressed out over school and working all the time over the summer, I haven't really read for pleasure much lately...but a few things I've read over the past few years that I've enjoyed more than other things I've read over that time:

 

-Take Your Eye Off the Ball 2.0 by Pat Kirwan. Not much literary nuance to this, but I'm very much into sports books. This is easily the most in-depth look at football and how an NFL team runs that I've read, and I've read a few of those types of things.

 

-Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Yes, that's the Fahrenheit 451 guy, but instead of sci-fi we're talking about a surreal mind trip centered on a traveling circus. Much better than the book we were all forced to read in high school imo.

 

-A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I think this book was written around the turn of the 1970s, and I can't really think of a way to describe it other than that the whole "neckbeard" stereotype was predicted incredibly accurately long before it ever existed. Highly unusual, a bit unsettling, but also funny as hell.

 

-Literally anything by Stephen King...I think I have a problem. I didn't think I'd say this with anything, but my favorites are any book that takes like 800 pages to build up and then ends with an absolutely insane 150-200 or so.

 

-Sab by Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda. Actually a book I was forced to read for a class last year, but the one from that class I actually found interesting. A story of love and heartbreak told from the perspective of a slave living in 19th century Cuba.

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Yesss Fresco, thanks for starting this. Books are best. Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card.

 

- for real, use your public library card. Mine in Canada has a massive ebook collection. I can take them out from there, read em on my ipad or even phone, and then sneaky rip the DRM if I need more than two weeks to read it. 

- I thought I'd miss physical books more, but reading ebooks is so crazy convenient and easy that I can make peace with helping ruin the paperback industry :( 

 

Currently Reading:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
One of my top five books of all time, I make a point of coming back to it every year. The story itself is a great reminder that absolutely no one in the universe knows what they're doing at any time, and so the only thing you can ever really do is: "DON'T PANIC". The meta-story makes me even happier; Douglas Adams and Weird Al both taught me that you can do super serious things (like write sci-fi or great music) and without taking it seriously at all. That's my vibe, get serious shit done but have a ton of fun doing it, while choosing the goofiest path whenever possible. I'm just one hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is :) 

 

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis.  
I love Michael Lewis. He does such an amazing job of taking fascinating, undertold, real life stories and turning them into a clear, easy-to-follow narrative. He's the dude who wrote MoneyballThe Blind Side, The Big Short, and others.

In The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis gets political. It's not controversial to say that Donald Trump was a dangerous, existential threat to American society, but all the xenophobia and armed revolts obscured the real ways he was dismantling American exceptionalism. I know we're not all fans of big government here, but Lewis goes deep into exploring what the federal government *really* does. Turns out, it's important! I mean, a country literally is it's federal government, the services it provides, and the things it does for its people and the world. Without getting political, Lewis examines from a public-service standpoint how Trump's hyper-focus on privatization and eliminating bureaucracy turned into one of the most harmful and dangerous aspects of his reign. Lewis meets with key civil servants in some random-ass administrations that you probably don't even know what they do. Budget cuts in the Department of Energy are actually making the retrieval of lost nukes across the world more dangerous? Putting the CEO of a for-profit weather company in charge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is causing more American deaths due to tornados?! City folk from country clubs are running the Department of Agriculture into the ground because they don't know anything about agriculture?! 

It's a wildly infuriating ride that deepens your appreciation for public governance while also reminding yourself that what makes a country great is it's government.

 

 

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I'm currently reading Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga, about the deaths of 7 indigenous high school students in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Highly recommend.

 

Favourite book of all time is Against All Odds by PJ Naworynski. It's about how, after WW2, Canada wasn't going to send a men's hockey team to the Olympics, so a RCAF squadron leader went and assembled an amateur team made up of air force players to play in the Olympics. The story alternates from the actual hockey story and all the veterans' stories from in the war. 11/10, you need to read this book if you like hockey and WW2 novels.

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1 hour ago, Ledge and Dairy said:

Favourite book of all time is Against All Odds by PJ Naworynski. It's about how, after WW2, Canada wasn't going to send a men's hockey team to the Olympics, so a RCAF squadron leader went and assembled an amateur team made up of air force players to play in the Olympics. The story alternates from the actual hockey story and all the veterans' stories from in the war. 11/10, you need to read this book if you like hockey and WW2 novels.

Yoooo I borrowed this one from my grandpa this summer, it’s such a good read. What a wild story, some of those guys have had just amazing lives. The one that got me was buddy who spent four years post war scouring Europe for Allied pilots who went MIA, and only stopped to come home and play Olympic hockey. Nice recommendation ✌️

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16 hours ago, fishy said:

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

 

Yes, Circe too.

 

11 hours ago, GustavMattias said:

Literally anything by Stephen King

 

Specifically 11/22/63 made me more emotional than any book I've ever read before. Not something I was expecting from a time travel book about preventing the JFK assassination lmao

 

 

 

For myself, I marathoned through 10-15 Agatha Christie books this summer. Great for sitting on the deck with a drink and super easy to digest. In particular, And Then There Were None (don't pay attention to the original name of the book) worked really well for me.

 

I had to go to those easy fictions after getting through The Burning this Spring. Maybe the hardest book I've ever read.

 

If anyone cares to go through my favourites shelf on goodreads: go ham.

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A book I have already read 3 times and still absolutely love is Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt. A family brings in a 16 some foster child on their farm who’s goal no matter what is to reunite with his daughter. I don’t want to spoil to much but I highly recommend it and I believe it’s a rather light read.

 

Another book I have already read is What I lost, by Alexandra Ballard it is about a girl struggling with her eating disorder Anorexia and her journey to getting herself better.

 

A book I am reading now is The Collection of Arsène Lupin, and if that sounds familiar yes it is the book series the Netflix series “Lupin” is based on.

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15 hours ago, bigAL said:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

i've heard this is really good, i'm excited to see what you think of it after you finish 👀

 

7 hours ago, Enorama said:

Yes, Circe too.

oooouuuu i'll have to look into it!!!

 

also, And Then There Were None was great–i haven't read it since i was in grade 8 for school, but i remember really enjoying it

 

7 hours ago, Enorama said:

If anyone cares to go through my favourites shelf on goodreads: go ham.

this is a private list, we can't see it unless we're friends on goodreads

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8 hours ago, Enorama said:

Specifically 11/22/63 made me more emotional than any book I've ever read before. Not something I was expecting from a time travel book about preventing the JFK assassination lmao

 

One of my favorites right there. He makes the story way better than the concept makes it seem like it would be.

 

8 hours ago, Enorama said:

For myself, I marathoned through 10-15 Agatha Christie books this summer. Great for sitting on the deck with a drink and super easy to digest. In particular, And Then There Were None (don't pay attention to the original name of the book) worked really well for me.

 

I read Five Little Pigs recently and didn't love it because the entire thing was just dialogue (though I also took forever to finish it and as a consequence didn't really have my details straight). Wondering if it's just a general writing style I don't get or if it's just specific to that book.

 

32 minutes ago, fishy said:

i've heard this is really good, i'm excited to see what you think of it after you finish 👀

 

It is really good, and that's coming from someone who generally finds sci-fi books that try to be funny/relatable stupid (I read Armada by Ernest Cline a while ago and found everything incredibly forced even though someone else I know loved it). There's quite a bit of absurdity in there and it doesn't cross the line into "look at how much of a nerd I am" type of humor, which would have made me instantly dislike it. 

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On 8/21/2021 at 5:08 AM, bigAL said:

Yesss Fresco, thanks for starting this. Books are best. Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card.

 

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis.  
I love Michael Lewis. He does such an amazing job of taking fascinating, undertold, real life stories and turning them into a clear, easy-to-follow narrative. He's the dude who wrote MoneyballThe Blind Side, The Big Short, and others.

 

 

 

I have Boomerang from Michael Lewis, it did not disappoint.  Would recommend that too.

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2 hours ago, frescoelmo said:

 

I have Boomerang from Michael Lewis, it did not disappoint.  Would recommend that too.

Oh I hadn’t heard of that one but that looks very much exactly up my alley. Nice one!

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On 8/22/2021 at 3:41 AM, fishy said:
On 8/21/2021 at 12:08 PM, bigAL said:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

i've heard this is really good, i'm excited to see what you think of it after you finish 👀

I read it every year because it’s so damn good. It’s silly and ridiculous commentary on life, but only because life is so silly and ridiculous. I finished last night and want to keep going; good thing it’s only “Part 1 of a 5 Part Trilogy” hahaha

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Book I am Currently Reading

Nocturnal - Scott Sigler - Basically a buddy cop book where two officers find out a conspiracy going on in the department and they try to unravel it and discover things that are actually out of this world. Fun read so far (76% through)

 

Last 3 Books I have Read

The Rider - Scott Sigler (Galactic Football League Novella) - A view in the sport of Dinolition, if you like midgets riding Dinosaurs and playing sports games on 'em, this is a book for you. I do recommend also reading the gfl books, so you understand some references/characters better

 

The Vesuvius Prophecy  - Greg Cox - A follow up of the tv show 'The 4400', while I was excited to read how it continues, I struggled getting through the book, too much 'descriptive' talking, every object has a couple of sentences to describe how it looks. It started to annoy me at a point.

 

Ancestor - Scott Sigler,  if you like the writing of Michael Crichton, then this is a good book for you, starts out slow with a lot of biotech stuff, but a great story that really takes of in the later half of the book.

 

Upcoming Book

 

Vicarious - Rhett C. Bruno 

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On 8/21/2021 at 1:58 PM, Enorama said:

Yes, Circe too

I picked up Circe two days after you recommended it (gotta love local libraries), and I just finished it.

 

I liked Song of Achilles more than this one, but that's not to say that I didn't like it, considering that I devoured 200 pages in a day. The summary tries to spin this as some sort of feminist icon book, and I don't think that's super accurate. I did like that the narrator was female and that we got to see both good and bad from her (and a lot of other characters). I get bored when principal characters are archetypical because they get predictable (although this novel was somewhat predictable, there were still some turns I didn't see coming).

 

I also thought that Circe was less intense than Song of Achilles, but I'm not necessarily saying that as a bad thing. Song of Achilles is passion-driven in a lot of regards, and I think you could make the argument that Circe is too, but a lot less seems to be at stake. I also think that Miller's writing style is more to my liking in her latter work, which makes sense, because Circe, at some points, felt like she was trying way too hard to be mysterious.

 

Overall, great rec, thanks for sharing!!

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I've had Russell Peter's book Call Me Russell for almost nine years (got it signed by Russell himself) and I only started reading it in 2019 and 2020 (can't remember).  Have continued reading it in awhile.  Only part way through the book.

If you don't know who Russell Peters is, he is one of my all-time favourite comedians.

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I'm kind of always reading YA by virtue of my job, but I am loving Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. It's a dystopian historical fiction where, after the Battle of Gettysburg, the dead came back. The zombies overrun the States. Since it's still the 1800s, the white people start training black people to become zombie fighters. The story follows one deadly Black teenage girl who discovers a big conspiracy of powerful white people abusing the crisis to further their own interests and tries to bring them down. It's intense, and always fun to read stories from the perspective of people whose experiences are different than mine. Solid, easy, fun read.

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