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This topic is now going to be a rip-off of Bizzle's.

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Author Topic: This topic is now going to be a rip-off of Bizzle's.  (Read 20896 times)
Youef
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« Reply #1965 on: 23 March, 2020, 02:53:39 pm »

Done with school, no work to do. Been keeping myself largely quarantined at home, so I've been reading some books. I felt like giving some very brief thoughts on books I've read since the end of 2019 here on Blogger's (Dead) Paradise:

Dune - I've been slowly getting through this book for months. For some reason, I don't have much of a desire to read it, but I want to finish it because it's Dune. About 2/3 of the way through. To be honest, I don't really like any of the characters with few exceptions, and I think that's holding me back. The worldbuilding, however, is incredible. Even if I don't like this book by the time I finish it, I will certainly respect it and what it's done for science fiction. Frank Herbert is incredibly talented.

Gardens of the Moon (Malazan #1) - This book was interesting, and I have a lot of thoughts on the series overall. This is the first book of the Malazan series, and to be honest it took me forever to get through. It was confusing, and I felt totally displaced being thrown in this book's world. I later discovered that Steven Erikson originally structured this book's plot as a screenplay, so that explains the quality. It wasn't the best, but I eventually finished it and enjoyed it.

Deadhouse Gates (Malazan #2) - Holy shit this book is so much better than the first. Erikson wrote this ten years after he wrote GotM, and the jump in quality of writing shows. He also wrote it as a book, so I think the book's plot structure was much more seamless and organic. It's like it was written by an entirely different author. This book has a healthy mix of political intrigue, great characters, and fantastic worldbuilding. I still think about certain key scenes throughout the day despite having finished this book about 2 weeks ago. I honestly can't wait to start book 3.

The Three Body Problem - This book was so fucking good. The characters at times seemed a little dry, but I actually did empathize with them (one key character in particular). It's such an interesting setting, and I'm amazed at how Cixin Liu manipulated scientific concepts into such an imaginative set of rules. Books 2 and 3 are supposedly even more compelling, so that's promising. I ordered book 2 off of Amazon as soon as I finished this one. I would also love to read more fantasy and science fiction novels from non-white authors, like N.K. Jemisin, Evan Winter. It will be interesting to have their different perspectives and takes on the genre.

Americanah - This was a fun book. It took awhile, since it's like almost 600 pages, but I really enjoyed it. The author clearly wanted Ifemelu to be the main character, but I think it would've been more interesting if she focused equally on Obinze and Ifemelu. It would've been cool to have these these two leave Nigeria, go to America and the UK, and come back to each other to see how their new homes changed them. That's technically what happened, but most of the focus was on Ifemelu. Which is fine, I think this is just a personal, subjective preference.

Normal People - This book made me sad to be a millennial, but I thought it was quite evocative nonetheless. It's about two characters who are immensely drawn to each other and try to pry themselves apart, but find themselves inevitably drawn back. Their behavior is toxic, and by the end of the book I think they start to fall for the same mistakes they made throughout the book. But it's a good, realistic story. Hulu is making a TV show, so that'll be fun to watch.

Pachinko - I was really disappointed with this book. It had a very promising start, the plot seemed to move seamlessly and organically, but then the author started to skip a few years every chapter. I ended up not caring about any of the characters because she only gave us tiny glimpses into their lives, and those glimpses weren't enough for me to actually feel much. It's hard to write a family epic like this, but I've read some books that tell the stories of multiple generations much more seamlessly. I felt like this book's structure was very disjointed.

Also sidenote, I started the fan-translated novel of Shinsekai Yori. The anime was fantastic, and the book is largely the same with more detail in certain areas. Also started Jurassic Park. I have a few misgivings on Michael Crichton and his portrayal of scientists, but his stories like Jurassic Park and Westworld are still really fun to read, so whatever.
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