Books?

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Books?

Post by PintsizeBro on Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:30 pm

I started this thread because I wanted to know why Enail was biased against Sheri S. Tepper and short stories, but every thread should have a general books thread! What are you reading right now? What do you like and dislike about it? Need a recommendation? Ask here! And more.

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Re: Books?

Post by Enail on Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:59 pm

Sheri S. Tepper is b/c of Beauty, which I read so long ago that I couldn't tell you why I hated it, but the intense dislike stuck around strongly enough that I still don't want to give anything else of hers a try. I suspect it's about as unreasonable as my childhood refusal to read To Kill a Mockingbird because my Mom tried too hard to convince me to read it Grin (I did read it eventually), but there are enough other books out there to read that I've never felt motivated to overcome it and give her another chance.

Short stories, well, I'm kind of a long-form person, they just aren't a format that does anything for me. Most of the time, it's just not long enough to develop a plot or emotional response or attachment to a character for me. And the rare one that does make any impression, I always feel like they could have done so much more with it in a novel. Shrug
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Re: Books?

Post by PintsizeBro on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:11 pm

I find it kind of hilarious that of the books I recommended in the other thread, two were already on the forum recommended list (Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment) and two were books that you wouldn't voluntarily pick up (Tepper's Grass and a selection of short stories).

If you were going to give Tepper or short stories another go, Grass and Bret Lott's The Difference Between Women and Men are the two examples I'd give in their respective categories. While Difference is a collection of short stories, the stories are all about the same group of people. You won't see every character in every story, but each of them come back enough times that by the end of the book I felt that I had a good connection with at least the central cast.

I'm not actually familiar with much of Tepper's other work, I haven't read Beauty so I couldn't say if the reason you hated it would also put you off Grass. I just liked Grass a lot.

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Re: Books?

Post by Werel on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:12 pm

Reading Ursula K. Le Guin's Buffalo Gals right now: short stories and poems focused on the experiences of non-human animals (and plants, to a lesser degree). The poem in the introduction made me straight up cry over my lunch in the student union, because I am a gigantic sap:
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Enail, I like short stories in general; some ideas (especially speculative fiction) are just the right size for short stories, and feel like they'd drag if turned into a novel. Not so good for extensive character development, but for brief thought experiments it can feel really right. Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners, especially "Stone Animals," is one of those neo-fairy tale collections that seems like it could breathe some new life into the short story format.
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Re: Books?

Post by Enail on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:20 pm

Hmm, I see your point, Werel. I tend to think of those little ideas as things that would be best standing alone (where? I don't know! A miscellany? Those aren't really something you see around much!) rather than tried to turn into what to me feels like an insufficient-length bit of fiction. But maybe that's being overly rigid about what fiction should be and if I thought of it as less a very tiny or cut-off story and more an idea expressed, I might like them better.
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Re: Books?

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:13 pm

Last book I read was Hiroshi Sakurazaka's All You Need Is Kill. I loved it and I'm glad I read it before eventually watching The Edge of Tomorrow.

Slowly working my way through Sakyo Komatsu's Virus (or Day of Resurrection) right now. It's very good so far. Very well written.

I recently bought Stephen King's The Stand and Richard Preston's The Hot Zone to jump into next.

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