Post your seasonal reading/ listening/ whatever list! August 14, 2016 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by this post on the blue about Barack Obama's summer reading list, I thought it would be interesting if mefites posted lists of what they plan to or have read, listened to, or watched this summer. I don't want to leave out people in the Southern Hemisphere, though, so feel free to post seasonal lists for whatever the season you may be experiencing!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious to MetaFilter-Related at 5:34 PM (124 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite

Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
Miss Jane by Brad Watson
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
American Candide by Mahendra Singh
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Zero K by Don Delillo
So You've Been Publically Shamed by Ron Jonson
Black Flags by Joby Warrick
The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela
Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue
The New World by Chris Adrian
SPQR by Mary Beard

I've finished half of these, which I think is pretty good for a summer of reading. My favourite reads from this list are Joy Williams and Brad Watson.
posted by Fizz at 5:44 PM on August 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was off work most of the summer with a neck injury, but despite all my free time I've been unable to read easily because of said injury.

That said, here are the books I read or am currently finishing (on hiatus until my neck gets better or I finally buy a book stand - and of course it doesn't help that my semester starts soon):
The Mating Season - PG Wodehouse
The Pine Barrens - John McPhee
Ubik - PK Dick
Prater Violet - Christopher Isherwood
The Discarded Image - CS Lewis
A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard
Pastoralia - George Saunders
Selected Stories - Alice Munro
The Sabbath - Abraham Joshua Heschel
Good Scripts, Bad Scripts - Thomas Pope

Of these the only one I haven't gotten far in is Annie Dillard, but she's wonderful. There are many more books I was hoping to get through, but that's life, I guess. I don't normally read fiction, so this summer has been my time to catch up. A few authors (like George Saunders) I already knew, but some of them I was trying for the first time. I haven't regretted anything I've read this summer, and hopefully I'll be able to get back to these... when the semester is over and I'm not forced to read 500 pages of material a week (and that's not an exaggeration).
posted by teponaztli at 5:54 PM on August 14, 2016


Oh yeah, and White Noise, by Don DeLillo! I see that he's on your list too, Fizz. I started White Noise a couple years ago but never finished it - not due to lack of interest but lack of time. I was hoping to read it this summer, but that didn't happen, so I guess I'll have to keep waiting.
posted by teponaztli at 5:58 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Summer reading list:

The Girls, by Emma Cline
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.
Beneath the Remains, by Terence Hannum
"Spencer and Galen are dragged by their mom and their new “dad figure” to the swamplands of Florida, thrust into a new school system, patronized, bullied, starved for love. Like many white teens they turn to death metal to keep them alive and suspicious, and in this cliquey, smug, Christian village, already half rotting from the heat and the damp, there’s plenty of bad a-brew. One day Galen wakes up and his older, beloved brother has gone missing—and it’s like nobody really cares. Like most American novels of noir, Beneath the Remains is laid in a world without rules. Imagine yourself a kid in that world—or is this how most kids grow up today, in a shimmer of danger, magnified by mass ignorance?
Neurotribes, by Steve Silberman
A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.
Listening to:
Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, EARS
Zeal and Ardor, Devil is Fine
Second Woman, Second Woman

Watching:
Stranger Things
Slow TV
BoJack Horseman, Season 3
A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991)
Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2016)
High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2016)
posted by naju at 6:01 PM on August 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ooh, fun!

Read already:
The Traitor Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
The Fireman - Joe Hill
The Troop - Nick Cutter
Jane Steele - Lyndsay Faye
A Head Full of Ghosts - Paul Tremblay
You - Caroline Kepnes
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick

Currently on:
The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

On the list and might get to before summer ends:
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin
Lovecraft Country - Matt Ruff
The Guns of August - Barbara W. Tuchman
posted by lovecrafty at 6:07 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Read:
Americanah- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer- Siddhartha Mukherjee
How to Be a Person in the World- Heather Havrilesky

Working on:
Let the Great World Spin- Colum McCann

Up next:
Underground Airlines- Ben H. Winters
Lock In- (mefi's own) John Scalzi
posted by quiet coyote at 6:16 PM on August 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Summer reading:

March: Book Three, John Lewis
Smiley's People, John LeCarre
Crowned and Dangerous, Rhys Bowen
Thaddeus Stevens: Scourge of the South, Fawn M. Brodie
Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
The Fiery Trial, Eric Foner
The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
Emma, Jane Austen
Necessary As Blood, Deborah Crombie
The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer

On preview: The Queen's Man for me, too, lovecrafty! Weird. Not exactly a 2016 blockbuster and decidedly wintry, but had been sitting on my shelf forever.
posted by HonoriaGlossop at 6:16 PM on August 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Reading:

Last (that I'll admit to): Queen of Spies: Daphne Park, Britain's Cold War Spy Master This was TERRIBLE. Boring and disappointing with too much detail in all the wrong ways and none of the right ones. You get no sense of who she was. At all. The footnotes are the worst footnotes I have ever read and they enraged me. A book that bores you and infuriates you on mechanical grounds is best avoided.
Currently: The Games - about the history of the Olympics. I'm learning quite a bit, as well as rolling my eyes and slapping my head. It's slightly dry, but the subject matter makes up for it.
Next: Loving Eleanor - a "fictionalized memoir" of the Lorena Hickock/Eleanor Roosevelt relationship. It looked good sitting there on the New Books shelf at the Library.

Music:

I've been ALL about Dinah Washington this summer. (Sampler: Send Me to the Electric Chair, her version of Cold, Cold Heart, This Bitter Earth, I Don't Hurt, I'll Never Be Free)

Screen:
I still have the second half of The Americans (on Fanfare) to watch.

After the Olympics, I'm getting back to my summer of dancing musicals, Busby Berkeley extravaganzas, water ballets, and Let's Put On A Show! movies.
posted by julen at 6:19 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Currently: The Games - about the history of the Olympics. I'm learning quite a bit, as well as rolling my eyes and slapping my head. It's slightly dry, but the subject matter makes up for it.

Is the rolling your eyes because of what humanity has done with the Games and its long history or is it because of the writing style? This kind of history piques my interest.
posted by Fizz at 6:21 PM on August 14, 2016


On preview: The Queen's Man for me, too, lovecrafty! Weird. Not exactly a 2016 blockbuster and decidedly wintry, but had been sitting on my shelf forever.

It's definitely wintry and has also been on my shelf for ages, but I'm digging it. It makes me want to go back and re-read Penman's non-mystery historicals. The Sunne in Splendour is what got me hooked on history.
posted by lovecrafty at 6:25 PM on August 14, 2016


After reading the extended print excerpt in the NY Times, my serious reading for the summer is Underground Railroad. It's harrowing and incredible and such an impressive, sustained work of writing mastery. Fuck the 1* reviews on Amazon, particularly that one all-caps one that is like CAN'T WE JUST STOP SEEING RACE????

After reading the entry at Spock's Dad is Always Hot, GRETCHEN*, my fun summer reading is all of Diane Duane's Star Trek: The Original Series novels. Unlike a lot of the other books that I loved as a teenager, these held up pretty damn well -- it's real scifi! Warp theory! Seeding solar storms! Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaantastic deep dives on alien physiology and culture, particularly Vulcan and Romulan culture! I'm through Spock's World and the first two books of the Rihannsu series.

Plus, you know. Awesome living rocks, glass spiders that also happen to top-shelf astrophysicists, and how, after My Enemy My Ally and all those comments from Ael about how Uhura is handsome, I want SO MUCH Ael/Uhura fanfic.

I'm also re-reading Wolf Hall, because I'm always re-reading Wolf Hall. Also, listening to the Tiffany Aching books as read by Stephen Briggs, which has led to me and Mr. Machine saying CRIVENS a lot.

* A quote:
It’s like, do you ever listen to Drunk in Love and think about the day when Blue Ivy hears and understands it for the first time and just get really protective and uncomfortable about it? I read this, and I have the wild thought that “oh my god I hope Spock never reads this."
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:28 PM on August 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fizz - the eye-rolling is about the people involved in the Games and their so-called ideals ... and their egos ... and their bigotry across race, gender, class, basic humanity, geography, historical blindness, and specific sports. I've picked up all sorts of things about the games that I didn't know about: The post-facto it-doesn't-count! 1906 Athens Olympics! The way they were tied to the World's Fairs initially! The poem Coubertin wrote and submitted anonymously for the Art portion of the Olympics in 1912, and which was awarded the Gold Medal ... by a judging committee made up entirely by ... himself. (There was a FPP about that already!)
posted by julen at 6:33 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks Julen, that sounds like a great read. I love random history stuff like this. Putting it on my list. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 6:36 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Okay, let's just say my summer started in April and will probably end before October. Books i'm still reading are emboldened, while those I've yet to crack are italicized.

The Wake - Paul Kingsnorth
The Moor's Account - Laila Lalami
The Silent History - Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby & Kevin Moffety
The Sisters Brothers - Patrick DeWitt
Half a War - Joe Abercrombie
A Man Lies Dreaming - Lavie Tidhar
The Mirror Thief - Martin Seay
Hav - Jan Morris
Day of the Oprichnik - Vladimir Sorokin
The Land Breakers - John Ehle
The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Occupation Trilogy - Patrick Modiano
The Cretan Runner - George Psychoundakis
China's Economy - Arthur R. Kroeber
You Are Here - Thich Nhat Hanh
The Linux Command Line - William E. Shotts, Jr.
The Happiness Advantage - Shawn Achor
Humble Inquiry - Edgar H. Schein
An Everyone Culture - Robert Kegan & Lisa Laskow Lahey

The last few are on there because there are some things I'm trying to change at work and I think they'll help. I'm really excited to read the last one. Onward and upward.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:42 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]




Ha! I have that exact Flying Saucers--Serious Business book!
posted by lovecrafty at 6:53 PM on August 14, 2016


Read recently or currently reading:
Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway and the third Velveteen collection Velveteen vs. the Seasons
Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.), The Big Book of Science Fiction
Robert E. Hegel (ed./trans.), True Crimes in Eighteenth Century China: Twenty Case Histories
Picked up recently and at the top of my to-read list after a brief exchange about books with K. J. Bishop when I bought a sculpture from her Etsy store:
Penelope Rosemont (ed.), Surrealist Women: An International Anthology
Jan Morris, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere
Hugh Cook, four volumes of Chronicles of an Age of Darkness
Julien Gracq, The Narrow Waters
What I've done the most of this summer, though, is catch up on SF/F/Horror films from the past few years. It Follows, Housebound, World of Tomorrow, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Wolf Children, and A Letter to Momo come to mind among things I enjoyed most.
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:54 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]



Here is what is on my nightstand, with bookmarks in them:

Russbum's Closet Devotions
LAquer's Solitary Sex
Isenberg's White Trash
Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Rorty Philosophy and Social Hope
Morris Believing is Seeing
Sherwood Biblical Blaspheming
A Gordon Korman Book
Asano A Girl on the Shore
posted by PinkMoose at 7:40 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


The neat thing about having a Kindle is that I can look at Amazon and figure out what I've read all summer. Since June 1, I have acquired and read exactly 50 books. Mostly mysteries in the 300 page range - I can go through three of those in a day when there's nothing else going on. This doesn't count any re-reading, and of course I've also kept current on all Metafilter election threads. I read a lot.

I read the entire series of Ella Clah mysteries by Aimee Thurlo, and the latest installments of the Mike Bowditch series by Paul Boiron, the Booktown series by Lorna Barrett, the Gideon and Sirius series by Alan Russell, the Sean Stranahan series by Keith McCafferty, the Bell Elkins series by Julia Keller, the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt, the Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford, the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews, the Inspector Banks series by Peter Robinson, and the Joe Dillard series by Scott Pratt.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:51 PM on August 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I swear I do sometimes read actual literature, and nonfiction, and stuff like that, but this has been a genre-filled summer.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:53 PM on August 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have no memory of what I've read going back more than a few weeks, but I did recently reread "Beezus and Ramona," which was even more charming than I had remembered.

And I recently read Into the Valley by Ruth Galm, which was seriously excellent:
Ruth Galm’s spare, poetic debut novel, set in the American West of early Joan Didion, traces the drifting path of a young woman as she skirts the law and her own oppressive anxiety.

California, 1967: B. feels at home neither in the strictures of her 1950s upbringing nor the new, free-love attitude of the 1960s. She drifts around the Central Valley, cashing bad checks and engaging in high-risk behavior, trying to find something solid she can hold on to in the world while running from a disintegrative anxiety she calls “the carsickness.” B.’s story becomes that of a woman unraveling, of a desperate desire for escape without map or destination.
posted by lazuli at 8:04 PM on August 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


This summer (and maybe some of spring...)
I've read:
Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam by Sumbul Ali-Karamali
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Sparks: The Epic, Competely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S.J. Adams
Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
She Wore Red Trainers: A Muslim Love Story by Na'ima B. Robert
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
Just Girls by Rachel Gold
Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
more gay romances from Kindle Unlimited than should be possible*, the best were:
Red Dirt Heart by N.R. Walker
One Giant Leap by Kay Simone
Catch My Breath by M.J. O'Shea
*memail if you want more/have recs

I watched:
The Loving Story (the HBO thingy)
Sisters
How to Be Single

I'm currently reading:
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I'm trying to read:
Hamilton The Revolution : Being the Complete Libretto of the Broadway Musical, With A True Account of Its Creation, and Concise Remarks on Hip-hop, the Power of Stories, and the New America By Lin-Manuel Miranda
Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

I'm hoping to read soon:
The Color of Earth by Tong-hwa Kim
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (after L'il Epps and Mr. Epps have read it, probably)

It's fun looking back through my library and Amazon account to see what I've read -- I forgot I read so much else along with my easy-to-read romances.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:17 PM on August 14, 2016


I have a pile on my list, that I don't know when or if I will get around to. But last week on vacation I breezed through "Grief Is the Thing with Feathers" by Max Porter. Is is a strange little jewel of a book. I don't want to say much about it, because it really is the kind of book that one will discover in it what is to be discovered. It deals with grief, and the only other somewhat recent book that deals with grief that effected me in such a deep way was Sarah Manguso's "The Guardians."

Read it. You can get through it in an hour, and you will want to read it again and again.
posted by old_growler at 8:32 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (NYT book review), a quick practical tome on working with yeast, and a what would be a towering stack of research articles on various topics if they weren't all digital.

No Mom and Dad, PhD students still don't have summers off.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:43 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Villette, by Charlotte Bronte*
Lint, by Steve Aylett
Lady Audley's Secret, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas
The Old English Baron, by Clara Reeve**
Nightmare Abbey, by Thomas Love Peacock
Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson
An African Millionaire, by Grant Allen†
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
A Month in the Country, by J.L. Carr
My Ántonia, by Willa Cather
The Last Samurai, by Helen DeWitt
The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton

*This was really more of a late spring read, but I'm not going to pass up a chance to recommend Villette. Go read it!
**Absolutely terrible. Of academic interest only.
†Read on Caleb Wilson's recommendation. A charming Victorian fix-up novel about a protean con artist. Somewhat reminiscent of Jacques Futrelle, but funnier.

posted by Iridic at 8:53 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh! I also read Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith and loved it, too.
posted by lazuli at 8:55 PM on August 14, 2016


STATION ELEVEN

There's a bunch of other stuff too and I'll go and post a longer list tomorrow, but I just finished that book and now I want literally everyone else on earth to read it, it was so goddamn good.
posted by Itaxpica at 9:10 PM on August 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


July/August reading

(r) reread, bold means I love it

At Bertram's Hotel - Agatha Christie (r)
King Kong Theory - Virginie Despentes (r)
Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie (r)
Cards on the Table - Agatha Christie (r)
The Girls of Slender Means - Muriel Spark (r)
The Cuckoo's Calling - JK Rowling
Possession - AS Byatt (r)
The Whale - Mark Beauregard
Summer Will Show - Sylvia Townshend Warner
The Silkworm - JK Rowling
The Europeans - Henry James
At the Existentialist Cafe - Sarah Bakewell
Talking It Over - Julian Barnes
The Mysterious Mr Quinn - Agatha Christie (r)
An Expert in Murder - Nicola Upson
The High Window - Raymond Chandler (r)
The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes (r)
Levels of Life - Julian Barnes
What a Carve Up - Jonathan Coe (r, sort of)
The Pirate King - Laurie R. King
The Children's Book - AS Byatt
Towards Zero - Agatha Christie (r)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - JK Rowling

I read all of Agatha Christie's books when I was 12, so rereading them has been interesting because some of them I immediately remember 'whodunnit', some it's a genuine surprise. The Children's Book was tedious, but I was stuck on hold and it was the only book at hand. The Whale, a historical novel about the relationship between Melville and Hawthorne, was such a mess that at a certain point its clumsy writing became entertaining. Herman rolls his eyes and stamps his feet, Hawthorne broods about earning an A, and a slash fangirl shows up to play matchmaker.

Currently rereading A Brief History of Seven Killings, and will probably reread the new Harry Potter because it was fun and not what I expected.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:27 PM on August 14, 2016


OK, I've stopped reading the last 3 weeks or so, for no reason I can comprehend. However, I have read:

VE Schwab "A Gathering of Shadows" & " A Darker Shade Of Magic"
Brenda Cooper "Edge of Dark" & "Spear of Light"
John Scalzi "Lock In"
Cixun Liu "Three Body Problem"
Kristin Hersh "Rat Girl"
Isabella Fontaine & Ken Brosky "The Complete Grimm Chronicles"
Neil Stephenson "SevenEves"
And a bunch more that I can't remember.
OK So TV:

Stranger Things
Your Lie In April
Dark Matter (season 2)
Killjoys (season 2)
Last Ship (season 3)

And music

Well , I was in the mood for some krautrock and re-listened to an old Pandora Station I had set up a few years ago, using Moebius as a jumping off point. One of the tracks really got my attention so I stopped to check out who it was. You should do yourself a favor and listen to Heldon A band consisting mostly of french guitarist Richard Pinhas.
It has been making me very happy.
posted by evilDoug at 10:06 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been reading lots of short story collections lately. These three were particularly good:

Thirteen Ways of Looking (Colum McCann)
Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It (Maile Meloy)
The Tsar of Love and Techno (Anthony Marra)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:09 PM on August 14, 2016


My to be read/watched list is HUGE thanks to never having enough time, but I wrapped up summer quarter last night and now I have five weeks off (from school, at least) and I'm so looking forward to diving into my list... I started The Fireman the other night, Joe Hill's new book, and so far I'm deeply underwhelmed. Thinking about picking up Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad tomorrow, I read the first several pages at Costco the other day and I think it's going to be really, really, really good.

Also on my reading list:

both of Hillary Clinton's memoirs
Before The Fall, Noah Hawley
Stiletto (#2 in the Checquy Files series), Daniel O'Malley
A Hundred Thousand Worlds, Bob Proehl
Sex Object, Jessica Valenti
Future Crimes, Marc Goodman
The Midnight Assassin, Skip Hollandsworth (one of my favorite long-form journalists, tbh)
The Days of Abandonment, Elena Ferrante

oh man, just scrolling through my Kindle is overwhelming me. That's, like, just the first few of several hundred on there. Can I have myself cloned and then send the clone to work for me?
posted by palomar at 10:11 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It (Maile Meloy)

This is one of my favorite short story collections of all time. SO GOOD. Her novels are also great, highly recommend! Liars and Saints was very engrossing.
posted by palomar at 10:12 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


STATION ELEVEN

Seconding this recommendation. I still think about it from time to time. What's worth keeping after civilization collapses?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:08 PM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Winter Down Under. Such that it is.

I've just bought the autobiography of a 24 year old Australian woman. If you watch her Ted Talk you'll understand why I'd even conceive of it. Or what she could possibly say of interest to an *cough* actual adult.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Yassmin's Story -Who Do You Think I Am?.
posted by taff at 11:26 PM on August 14, 2016


I've finished those Pratchett books I hadn't already read, in memory of his passing. The Science of Discworld I - IV came last. So now the only thing of his I haven't read are the Tiffany Aching books and the graphic novels. I'm saving them for later.

And then I read Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, since I already read Good Omens, a collaboration between him and Pratchett.

In between I've read Stephen Ambrose's book on the Lewis and Clark expedition, Undaunted Courage.

I've just started in on the Laundry series by MeFi's own cstross, which will probably keep me busy for a while.
posted by Harald74 at 12:14 AM on August 15, 2016


- Detection Theory: A User's Guide by Neil MacMillan & C. Douglas Creelman
- Probability Theory: The Logic of Science by E.T. Jaynes

I... um... may need to find a hobby.
posted by langtonsant at 12:15 AM on August 15, 2016


Oooh, I love this!

Books I have read:
My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante (Loved this so, so much and am recommending it to everyone I know.)
The Story of a New Name - Elena Ferrante
As Time Goes By - Mary Higgins Clark
In A Dark, Dark Wood - Ruth Ware
Fool Me Once - Harlan Coben
Promise Me - Harlan Coben
Stay Close - Harlan Coben
Live Wire - Harlan Coben
The Forgotten Girls - Sara Blaedel
The Murder House - James Patterson
The Grownup - Gillian Flynn

Books I am reading:
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay - Elena Ferrante (I just started this)
Dark Money - Jane Mayer

Books in my to-read pile:
Entirely too many. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 12:59 AM on August 15, 2016


My recent & current reading:

The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
The Summer Without Men and A Plea for Eros - Siri Hustvedt
Fat Like the Sun - Anna Swir
The Green Hat and These Charming People - Michael Arlen
Kingdoms of Elfin and One Thing Leading to Another - Sylvia Townsend Warner
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
All Saints’ Eve and Other Stories - Amelia B. Edwards
The Last Samurai - Helen DeWitt
Eva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna - Isabel Allende
…and I may attempt, or postpone attempting Stendhal’s Scarlet and Black.
posted by misteraitch at 1:22 AM on August 15, 2016


P.G. Wodehouse - Something Fresh, Summer Lightning, Heavy Weather
George Orwell - Essays
Mary Beard - SPQR
A stack of Biff, Chip, and Kipper and Julia Donaldson readers and Dr Seuss with my son
Roald Dahl (various) and scary poems to my son
Wallace Stevens and Emily Dickinson to the spiders in the garden
Shakespeare - Macbeth, R&J, Sonnets
posted by pracowity at 3:40 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just finished I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson and it was fantastic.
posted by gwint at 3:41 AM on August 15, 2016


Winter in Sydney! But I'm a fairly avid reader year round. I'm reading much more non- and science fiction than usual!

Read:
The Future of the Mind - Michio Kaku
The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin - Masha Gessen
Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings - Craig Brown
The Three Body Problem - Cuxin Li
The Dark Forest - Cuxin Li
Cryptonomicon - Neale Stephenson
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - JK Rowling
Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde
Relativity - Antonia Hayes

Listening to:
Packing for Mars - Mary Roach
(The Hamilton Soundtrack is eating into my usual audiobook time)

Watching:
Silicon Valley x 3 seasons
Wentworth Season 1
posted by cholly at 4:17 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Biff, Chip, and Kipper

The ones with Gran are my favorites. She's such a badass.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:40 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been really pushing through dissertation, publication, and job application writing, so my non-academic reading has been for comfort and relaxation (and trivia preparation).

This summer I have reread all the Harry Potter books, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and the Gerald Morris Squire's Tale books (YA Arthurian legends). I just downloaded The Soul of the Octopus, and Ed Yong's new book about microbes!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:00 AM on August 15, 2016


Oh, I was also going a lot of data entry and bonding with my Army brother, so we coordinated watching Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Generation Kill, Restrepo, and Korengal. He critiqued their artillery strategy to me via Skype. It was very illuminating and kept him from hoping totally crazy at home before he leaves for BOLC.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:05 AM on August 15, 2016


Ha! I have that exact Flying Saucers--Serious Business book!

I love books whose presence on the shelf denotes how their owner feels about a given topic.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:38 AM on August 15, 2016


I love love love this!!! I get almost ALL of my book recommendations anymore from MetaFilter posts. In my universe, summer begins on Memorial Day and ends on its usual date in September. I try to mix in more summery/beachy books during this time. Long live summer!

Read:
Boy, Snow, Bird - Helen Oyeyemi
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts - Stacy A. Cordery
The Queen of the Night - Alexander Chee
My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
The Summer Before the War - Helen Simonson
The Rogue Not taken - Sarah MacLean
Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History - Scott Andrew Selby
The Geek Feminist Revolution - Kameron Hurley
We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir - Jennifer Coburn
The Madwoman Upstairs - Catherine Lowell

Working on:
Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan

Upcoming: (aka, my hold list at the library)
A Summer Affair - Elin Hilderbrand
Kitchens of the Great Midwest - J. Ryan Stradal
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi
Grunt - Mary Roach
Modern Lovers - Emma Straub

If you are on Goodreads, here is my profile. Friend me so I can read your reviews and comb through your lists!
posted by kimberussell at 5:44 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Here is my list of reads at Goodreads. I set myself a challenge this year of 75 books to be completed by the end of the year (no re-reads). I'm already at 48 books. I'm currently reading Frank Turner's autobio about life on the road. It's very entertaining. I just finished the latest by Robert Macfarlane, whom I love.

Yay, from the beginning of June until now, that's fifteen books read!
posted by Kitteh at 7:06 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's what I'm listening to:

I've been listening to the self-titled debut from supergroup case/lang/veirs (Neko Case + k.d. lang + Laura Veirs). Here's the single.

On a very different wavelength of Americana, Rest in Chaos by Hard-Working Americans is a crusty, charming burnout record. Here's one song. It's basically weirdo folkie Todd Snider backed by a rockin' band.

Sturgill Simpson's new record is awesome, too, with his old school country voice set to a heady mix of soul, alt.country, and his trademark space-tinged weirdness. Here's one for that one.

Most of all, I'm impatiently awaiting the release of the new Mekons record. They've leaked one song, "Fear & Beer (Hymn for Brexit)" which is sad, beautiful, and timely.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:07 AM on August 15, 2016


I asked for help here about how to fill my summer vacation: here are the results!

1. Read MIddlesex, Ulysses, Confederacy of Dunces, everything by Mary Roach, too-numerous-to-count "Best of" series, a TON of differentiating curriculum and co-teaching pedagogy practices, everything by Marian Keyes and a lot of Maeve Binchy. I promised myself for every highbrow book I could read two lowbrow books and decided Ulysses counted as ten highbrow books.

2. Got a hammock and Detective Kima will jump into it so that's a win.

3. I still cannot play ukulele. My fingers refuse.

4. Watched I-Robot, Entourage, Hotel Hell, 30 Rock. I tried Game of Thrones, I cannot do GoT because maybe I have face blindness because to me almost all the male characters look exactly alike and I can't discern who is fighting who and why.

5. Tried Yoga with Adrienne for 30 days but ended up going back to Bryan Kest because I don't like her referring to feet as "toesies" and I found her overall too cutesy and too talky.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 7:09 AM on August 15, 2016


I don't remember exactly what I've read, and books once read often go as donations to the "Out of the Closet" thrift store (which is where I buy a lot of books, so I'm only rarely up with current publications). I don't track my reading on Goodreads or anything.

But here are a few from the last couple of weeks anyway.

Read -
  • D Day, Stephen Ambrose
  • Dreamblood, NK Jemisin - both books
  • War of the Flowers, Tad Williams
  • 3 Body Problem, Cixin Liu
  • Lies of Lock Lamora, Scott Lynch
  • A couple of technical books that aren't really worth a mention.
About to read :
  • Obelisk Gate, NK Jemisin (maybe starting tomorrow!)
  • Somme, Lyn Macdonald
And in support of a recent post, I reread both "The Nine Tailors" and "Murder Must Advertise" by Dorothy Sayers in the spring.
posted by Death and Gravity at 8:12 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Copying and editing SisterHavana's list because mine starts with the same two books and ends the same way:

Books I have read:
My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante (Loved this so, so much and am recommending it to everyone I know.)
The Story of a New Name - Elena Ferrante
Israel Potter - Herman Melville (I expected to give up on this weird novel as I had on Pierre, but instead I gobbled it up: fun!)
The Confidence Man - Herman Melville (unexpectedly great, and irresistible if you like the grimmest, most ironic humor about human nature)
Beatlebone - Kevin Barry (starts off brilliantly, kind of bogs down eventually but still worth it)
The Loney - Andrew Michael Hurley (a disappointment, especially since it was given to me by a writer friend who generally has great taste; the prose is good and it has a great sense of place, but otherwise struck me as warmed-over Stephen King... but if you like King, you might well love it)
From the Other Shore - Alexander Herzen (wonderful if you're into mid-19th-century radicalism and history)
Sevastopol Sketches - Leo Tolstoy (part of my project of reading through 19th-century Russian literature, and one of the gems I'm discovering -- starts with powerful Crimean War reporting, ends with a story about two brothers that could have fit into War and Peace)

Books I am reading:
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay - Elena Ferrante (I'm most of the way through this)
The Discovery of Chance - Aileen M. Kelly (a brilliant biography that's overturning what I thought I knew about Herzen and about the development of the understanding of science in the 19th century)
Second Best Moments in Chinese History - Frank Kuppner (not a book of Chinese history but a collection of brilliant and frequently hilarious quatrains by a Glasgow poet; somehow I thought I'd learned about it at MeFi, but no, although a search reveals that Kuppner was mentioned by Miguel Cardoso in 2002; review)
The Family Chronicle [1917 translation as A Russian Gentleman] - Sergey Aksakov (wonderful account of provincial family life in the time of Catherine the Great, with marriages as fraught as Ferrante's)

Books in my to-read pile:
Entirely too many... but definitely including The Story of the Lost Child!
posted by languagehat at 8:39 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Really glad to see Elena Ferrante on some lists!

Forgot to add Margaret Atwood and Brene Brown to my reading list... I also just moved, and as I finally start unpacking my books I'm running into all my unread books again and going, oh, right, now would be a good time to read you. And then I just added Hidden Figures to my reading list this morning, which doesn't come out until early September but oh man am I excited to read that. (That's the non-fiction book about black female mathematicians at NASA in the 1960's, which is also coming out as a movie in January and OMFG I am so pumped to see that in theaters I can barely stand it)
posted by palomar at 8:49 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm always so criminally behind on books that even though I read more and more of late, I never feel confident sharing my list, because it's typically all from 10+ years ago and old hat to most people. I'm just now getting to American Gods, for example. But I do appreciate everyone's lists. I'm furiously scribbling notes and within a decade, I'll be getting to some of these for sure!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:56 AM on August 15, 2016


I've had a such a good time reading the last couple weeks-it's great to have my kids old enough that when we go on a camping vacation, I can safely ignore them and read and they are happy as clams :).
*I went down the Rainbow Rowell rabbit hole last week, reading Attachments, Eleanor&Park and Carry on; loved them all.
*Also enjoyed Aaronovich's Midnight Riot (first Peter Grant book).
*A few weeks ago, read Stiletto (sequel to the Rook); didn't love this one quite as much as the first but they are both so fantastic.
*Today, digging into Cuckoo's Calling, by Galbraith/Rowling. Surprised at how good of a hard boiled detective tale it is so far.
posted by purenitrous at 9:13 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


This summer, I have read Mo Willem's A Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! over a hundred times. I find it holds up pretty well on multiple readings. At times, I have read just the part of the Pigeon, and sometimes just the Duckling. From the first read, I found the Duckling's motives to be pretty transparent, but Pigeon is such a well written character and his epic overreactions are so epic that it's a thrill to read (almost) every time. Occasionally I have just attended readings of the book, which have been pretty good too. I have recently developed a song to go with the hot-dog-patterned endsheets, sung to the tune of a Desi Arnaz-style conga. I have also begun to modify lines from the book for use in my daily life: "IT JUST TASTES LIKE A HOT GRANDE LATTE, OKAY!"

Honestly, I think Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a superior work by Willems. But I'm rarely allowed to read that one. There is also a novel on my nightstand, but I can't remember what it is.

Needs mustard.
posted by Kabanos at 9:37 AM on August 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Wow, you guys read fast! It's been a busy summer work-wise for me, so I'm a little behind the eight-ball.

Read Since May:
Arcadia - Iain Pears
Lock In - (mefi's own) John Scalzi
Bats of the Republic - Zachary Thomas Dodson
The World According to Star Wars - Cass Sunstein
Alice - Christina Henry
The Secret History - Donna Tartt (fourth or fifth time reading over 20 years)
Of Things Gone Astray - Janina Matthewson

Currently Reading:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling et al.
Trickster Makes This World - Lewis Hyde
The Hamiltome - Lin-Manuel Miranda et al.

Coming Up:
All The Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders
Crooked - Austin Grossman
Hammered - Kevin Hearne
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:37 AM on August 15, 2016


Not counting short fiction, since May 1 have read:

The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
Neuromancer, William Gibson
The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth *
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin
The Geek Feminist Revolution, Kameron Hurley
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
The Sense of Style, Steven Pinker
SPQR, Mary Beard *
The Beauty of Humanity Movement, Camilla Gibb*

* means I didn't finish it, and with the exception of SPQR, probably won't. Wasn't having enough fun in The Wake and I am pretty sure I've read the Beauty of Humanity movement before.

I read something a couple weeks ago when we were camping and can't for the life of me remember what, and it's not on Goodreads. It's driving me nuts.

And I am juuuuust about done The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard, and next up is hopefully The Obelisk Gate if it arrives tomorrow :D
posted by quaking fajita at 9:38 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's one of the worst years for reading for me so mine is short, very sadly short:

Read and would recommend:
The Stone Man by Luke Smithard (the first time I finished a book despite not liking the protagonist)

Reading:
City of Mirrors (Final book in The Passage trilogy)

To read:
Brothers, by Yu Hua (recommended to me by a friend after I asked for suggestions for novels not originally written in English)
posted by like_neon at 9:55 AM on August 15, 2016


They didn't make my list because I read them in May, but I want to enthusiastically recommend The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest which are probably the best books I've read this year.
posted by Daily Alice at 10:10 AM on August 15, 2016


I count May as summer, but that's because I've spent too many years on an academic 3-semesters-per-year schedule.
posted by quaking fajita at 10:15 AM on August 15, 2016


my friend charlotte decided to purchase chuck tingle's "slammed in the butt by domald tromp's attempt to avoid accusations of plagiarism by removing all facts or concrete plans from his republican national convention speech" and has been txting me excerpts daily

so that's my summer reading i guess
posted by poffin boffin at 10:24 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I tend almost exclusively to non-fiction, but of late have been revisiting some classics I haven't read since high school (spring saw Lord of the Flies and Watership Down).

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft - Paul S. Boyer
Free Spirit : growing up on the road and off the grid - Joshua Safran
The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science - Will Storr
Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America - Liz Carlisle
Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures - Carl Zimmer

Also, if you haven't. there is a Metafilter group on Goodreads. Maybe we could fire that up again, or are people more into the Fanfare book discussions?
posted by ikahime at 10:29 AM on August 15, 2016


The novelization of HBO's popular Game of Thrones original series, which I've heard good things about, the book is called Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and is written by H.P. Mullins, pretty good so far
posted by beerperson at 10:36 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I started a "read/listen to a biography of each US President, in order" as a long-term bucket list thing this summer. So far I've done Washington (Chernow) and Adams (McCullough) and am now on Jefferson (The Art of Power, by Jon Meacham).

Since June 1, 2016, I've also read:

Slaves of New York - Tama Janowitz
Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty - Ramona Ausubel
Not on Fire, But Burning - Greg Hrbeck
The Widow - Fiona Barton
Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige and Me - Ron Miscavige
Edie: American Girl - Jean Stein
The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror - Joyce Carol Oates
Disappearance at Devil's Rock - Paul Tremblay
The Girls - Emma Cline
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk - Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
posted by Lucinda at 11:09 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


3 half-read Tom Clancy novels.

Book on Huey Long by someone

Nechayezvs', Catechism of the Revolutionist.

Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie

Bio on Bernard Spilsbury

Delusions By John Berryman
And for desert

The Rex Stout Omnibus
posted by clavdivs at 11:14 AM on August 15, 2016


ikhaime--how is Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft - Paul S. Boyer
posted by PinkMoose at 11:29 AM on August 15, 2016


My summer reading list:

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie: I finally understood what was going on in her world by reading this last book set in it.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson: 1st 2 parts good; 3rd part, kind of a slog.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: very interesting, great read.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik: a bit twee; too much protest from protagonist about her ability to use magic in the beginning.
The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher: 1/4 read, getting better and better as I go in farther. I didn't enjoy his Dresden Files books as much as I'm enjoying this one.
posted by Lynsey at 11:46 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oops, beg pardon, that should be Ancillary Mercy, not Justice.
posted by Lynsey at 11:55 AM on August 15, 2016


This hasn't been a great reading summer for me and I instinctively avoided this thread out of slight shame. However, I do now have Dominion by Calvin Baker on my bedside table. It was through a Metafilter thread that I heard of him in the first place, and this thread inspired me to search for it and realize that that was an entire year ago!

I'm #61 on the library waitlist for The Underground Railroad. I figure by the time I get it I might be ready to read a real book again. I am also on the waitlist for Please Enjoy Your Happiness, which sounds fascinating despite the aggressively Target-book-section-bland decapitated-woman-in-kimono cover design.

What I have actually been reading: romance novels. Raymie Nightingale (for YA/middle grade book club).

I have also just added Sex Object by Jessica Valenti to my list (thanks, palomar!)

Thank you for inspiring me to get my shit together, MetaFilter.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:08 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Today, digging into Cuckoo's Calling, by Galbraith/Rowling. Surprised at how good of a hard boiled detective tale it is so far.

I've really enjoyed the Robert Galbraith books a whole lot and I hope there are more coming... the books are being made into a BBC series that's supposed to air this year.
posted by palomar at 12:43 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Read/Reading/To Read

I'm juggling between reading books I own, and then stopping and reading library holds as they come available.

Outlander books 1 &2
The Importance of Being Little - Erika Christensen
My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
Shrill - Lindy West
Bring Up the Bodies - Hillary Mantel

Watched/Watching

Just binge watched Freaks and Geeks, can't believe it has taken me this long
Now onto binge watching Jane the Virgin
Silvana sin lana - a novela on Telemundo. Because I have been watching novelas since I was a kid and I ain't stopping now.
Thinking of starting in on Thirteen or Mr. Robot - can only handle one Serious Show at a time, at this point in my life

Listening

I recently discovered Cass McCombs and I can't get enough
posted by DrGirlfriend at 1:37 PM on August 15, 2016


My summer reading was mostly work-related, although I did get some fun reading in (albeit some of the fun reading was also work-related, which is kind of an occupational hazard). I've left off the nonfiction:

Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, Les Diaboliques
William Francis Barry, The New Antigone: A Romance
Robyn Cadwallader, The Anchoress
Ellen Datlow, ed., The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Eight
---, The Monstrous
David Stuart Davies, Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Legacy
E. H. Dering, The Ban of Maplethorpe
---, Freville Chase
Gardner Dozois, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection
Margaret Elphinstone, Light
"Maxwell Gray," The Silence of Dean Maitland
J. K. Huysmans, La-Bas
---, En Route
---, The Cathedral
---, The Oblate of Saint Benedict's
Catherine Charlotte Maberley, The Lady and the Priest
David Marcum, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Vols. I-IV
Michael McDowell, Gilded Needles
Ian McGuire, The North Water
Octave Mirbeau, Abbe Jules
---, Sebastien Roch
Edmund Randolph, Mostly Fools: A Romance of Civilization
Ethel Voynich, The Gadfly
Emile Zola, Lourdes
posted by thomas j wise at 1:51 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Read
Just finished binge reading John Scalzi's entire Old Man's War series. If he happens to read this, he needs to make more of these for me immediately, thanks.
Also just finished binge reading Wesley Chu's entire Lives/Deaths/Rebirth of Tao series.
Read Anathem by Neal Stephenson.
Read Iain M. Banks' Hydrogen Sonata.
And read Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.

Reading
Just starting Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Next
Next up is Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:59 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ongoing
From the Ruins of Empire by Pankaj Mishra

Recent weekend too lazy to read something new binge
Miles, Mayhem, and Microbes - Lois McMaster Bujold
Brothers in Arms - ditto
Get off the Unicorn - Anne McCaffrey
Powder & Patch - Georgette Heyer

Next
Barsoom! Discovered book 1 and 2 of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series in the used bookstore here not in an english speaking country - w00t - haven't read them since the one and only time Jeff loaned them to me back in the 12th grade some 34 years ago!
posted by infini at 2:27 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Now feeling an itch to reread more Dragons of Pern tbh - will have to dig deep in the used bookstores around the city
posted by infini at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


> J. K. Huysmans, La-Bas

So what did you think of it, thomas j wise? I've always wondered whether it was worth trying.
posted by languagehat at 2:44 PM on August 15, 2016


I'm reading Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars septology for the first time. Almost done with the fifth book. This is my favourite epic fantasy series EVER.

After that, it'll be time for the quadrennial reading of Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:08 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I found it compelling and still genuinely shocking in a lot of spots.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:08 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


This year I have been mostly playing computer games. A lot. Some of them well past the point of enjoyment, more fool me. Don't know where to start itemising those, so suffice to say there have been a lot of Pac-Man variations in recent months and 80 Days is amazing.

Enjoyed re-watching the '80s BBC Chronicles Of Narnia series with my sister, plus seeing Tusk and X-Men: DoFP for the first time. Mostly enjoyed Stranger Things, flirted repeatedly with MST3K, fell head over heels for Adventure Time.

Read and loved Le Guin's The Lathe Of Heaven and Murakami's Wind/Pinball novels. The Librivox audiobook version of WH Ainsworth's Windsor Castle is recommended too, if mostly for the pleasure of Herne The Hunter's acquaintance.

Need to watch the rest of The Secret Agent (with Toby Jones!), get my nose back into Catherynne M Valente's In The Night Garden and resume my stalled first playthrough of Mass Effect 1.

(Excuse self-linking, I know it's technically OK in comments and if not in this thread then where, but still feels a little gauche to me).
posted by comealongpole at 3:46 PM on August 15, 2016


To Live and Die Like Pigs - Gilles Chatelet

Two Cheers for Anarchism and Seeing Like a State - James C. Scott

Artificial Hells - Claire Bishop

Bela Tarr, the Time After - Jacques Ranciere

Mad Like Artaud - Sylvere Lotringer

The Letter Killers Club and Memories of the Future - Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:57 PM on August 15, 2016


Oh! Video games were mentioned above - I binge-played Firewatch, where you play a fire lookout in the "Wyoming wilderness". There's a mystery that you need to solve, but you get to roam all around the wilderness. Given that the job I dream about having when I'm sick to death of being a desk jockey is to be a park ranger, it was pretty great.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 4:01 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


A big thank you to librarina for recommending China Mieville to me; Kraken was fun, and Embassytown was engrossing.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:06 PM on August 15, 2016


My Whatever List

schwarbs
bloops
ningops
psnongs
deefos
gwarps
guzblarps
jandlewhips
ploobs
posted by Going To Maine at 4:17 PM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


All of which noises can be heard on any Aphex Twin album you care to purchase.
posted by comealongpole at 4:21 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oops I forgot “heggledyschwegg”. My bad.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:28 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have watched four seasons of Gilmore Girls, each of which has 22 episodes, and am well on my way through the fifth season.

I also finished one book.
posted by delight at 4:29 PM on August 15, 2016


I think you missed a couple syllables :
heggledyschweggledy
Going to Maine
Ends up in Mexico
guzblarps and prane 
posted by Death and Gravity at 4:41 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reading
Just starting Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.


Oops! Actually just starting 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:14 PM on August 15, 2016


I don't usually think of books seasonally but the best book I read this summer was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and it definitely struck me as have wintry tones.

Other things I've read (or in a couple cases listened to):

The Digital Divide, by K. B. Spangler. Adequately diverting, near future sci fi mystery.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. Hadn't read it until now because I knew it'd be depressing and I thought I knew something about how poorly the Native Americans were treated. I was right on the first point but my god was I wrong on the second.
The Windspire Chronicles, by Jim Butcher and Trapped, by Kevin Hearne. OK but ultimately unsatisfying urban fantasy. The best bits of both are the talking animal companions.
Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane. Superb science book on the biochemistry behind evolution's greatest hits, from the origin of life through complex cells, sexual selection, vision and mobility. There's a lot cutting edge and so likely to be wrong in the future but just a superb look at some of the depth researchers put behind the "just so" stories you usually get.
Patron Saint of Ugly by Marie Manilla. Quirky novel about an Italian family in West Virginia.
Spin State by Chris Moriarty. Far future sci fi with a whole lot of imagination and themes and plot. For my tastes probably could have used a bit less of all of them.
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. I'm sure everyone on MeFi tempted by it knows enough about this already from people not me. FWIW I thought it was cynical geeksploitation going through the first few chapters and by the end I was enjoying it too much to care if I was right.

Currently reading Oliver Morton's The Planet Remade about geoengineering (good but dispiriting science), with a Steven Brust and a Charles Stross on deck.

Also, books aren't seasonal but desserts are. The summer is peach cobbler! I use the Joy of Cooking recipe which I can't find online, or I'd link to it.
posted by mark k at 9:58 PM on August 15, 2016


Mine is more of a Summer-Winter Reading List, since I haven't got anywhere near as far through it as I'd have liked.

Fiction:
Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend
Yrsa Siggurdardottir, My Soul To Take
Stephen King, Mr Mercedes
James S A Corey, Abaddon's Gate

Non-Fiction:
Virginia Nicholson, Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The story of women in the 1950s
Daniel Halpern, Inside the Nudge Unit: How small changes can make a big difference
Damian McBride, Power Trip: A decade of policy, plots and spin
Alan Garner, The Voice that Thunders
Peggie Orenstein, Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the front lines of the new girlie-girl culture
Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User's Guide
Tom Devine, Independence or Union: Scotland's Past and Scotland's Present
Andy Wightman, The Poor Had No Lawyers: who owns Scotland (and how they got it)
Meredith F Small, Kids: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Raise Young Children
posted by Catseye at 1:06 AM on August 16, 2016


Next up is Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks.

Ooh, I just finished this one a couple of days ago, and in fact was considering Asking Mefi if I should continue with the series. I'm not really a big fan of space opera (though I do like and read a lot of scifi), and I wasn't blown away by Consider Phlebas. I only really read it because we have so many mefi Culture fans, and reading the series has been on my list for years and years.

At any rate, I switched genre gears after finishing CP, and started the Harriet Vane novels, beginning with Strong Poison ... and, of course, we immediately get a Mefi post on Dorothy Sayers – which I've been regretfully but studiously been avoiding because I don't want to run into spoilers, particularly for a mystery series.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:04 AM on August 16, 2016


Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User's Guide

Ooh I need to get a hold of this, just read a report he co-authored.
posted by infini at 3:40 AM on August 16, 2016


I just finished Real Artists Have Day Jobs by Sara Benincasa, which I found endearing and just the thing I needed to read right now. Have been dipping in and out of Another Little Puece of My Heart (memoirs by a music critic who worked for the Village Voice in the 1970s); am about to start reading Learning to Float, an impressionistic autobiography about a girl who grew up at the Chelsea Hotel.

Listening: the new Margaret Glaspy album is great (imagine a mashup of Nilsson, Television, and 1970s Bonnie Raitt); I'm excited about the upcoming Angel Olson; the new Los Amigos Invisibles has gotten me through many a frustrating workday.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:50 AM on August 16, 2016


Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House, Democracy and Social Ethics, The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets, A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil, and Newer Ideals of Peace

Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy

Victoria Bissell Brown, The Education of Jane Addams: Politics and Culture in Modern America

Edmund Burke, On taste, On the Sublime and Beautiful, and Reflections on the French Revolution

Thomas Carlyle, On heroes and hero-worship and the heroic in history

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness

W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

Marc Escholier, Port-Royal: the drama of the Jansenists

Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means

Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky

Jacob A Riis, How the Other Half Lives

John Ruskin, Sesame and lilies and The ethics of the dust

John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace

Gaetano Salvemini, Mazzini

Paul Tillich, The Socialist Decision

Leo Tolstoy, What is to be done?, Writings on civil disobedience and non-violence, and Resurrection

Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out

I've also reread Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility a few times as part of a crossover writing project/novel thing which I'm working on for fun, and they are synthesizing beautifully. I hope it turns out.
posted by notquitemaryann at 6:59 AM on August 16, 2016


This has been a light summer for reading for me... but I did read Jo Walton's "Small Change" trilogy, and a book I've been waiting for just came out in paperback (The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong).

Listening to case/lang/veirs a lot the last couple weeks.
posted by duffell at 7:02 AM on August 16, 2016


Ooh, I just finished this one a couple of days ago, and in fact was considering Asking Mefi if I should continue with the series.

I say yes, continue. Consider Phlebas is largely viewed to be one of the weaker Culture novels (though it does have the interesting element of introducing the Culture from the POV of someone who hates the Culture...). The Player of Games and Use of Weapons are top notch.
posted by lovecrafty at 8:44 AM on August 16, 2016


taz: I've already read Matter and The Hydrogen Sonata, and really enjoyed both, so I'd recommend continuing with the Culture books.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:43 AM on August 16, 2016


Some recent readings:
The Palm-Wine Drinkard & My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - Amos Tutuola
The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq - Hassan Blasim
The Vegetarian - Han Kang
Recyclopedia - Harryette Mullen
A Good Man Is Hard to Find And Other Stories - Flannery O'Connor
Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides, Translated by Anne Carson
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl - Ryan North and Erica Henderson
There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra - Chinua Achebe
March: Book One and Two - John Lewis

Looking forward to reading:
Redeployment - Phil Klay. I've been wanting to read this for a while, but now that I've read Hassan Blassim's stories, which come from an Iraqi perspective, and combine the horrors of war and terror along with aspects of fable, I want to read this while those stories are still fresh in my mind.

Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Having recently read a lot of books by Chinua Achebe, including his memoir of the Nigerian Civil War, aka the Biafran War, I can't wait to read Adichie's novel about the war. Achebe himself never wrote a novel about the war, although some of his short stories and his poetry address it. Interestingly, he integrated his poetry into his memoir, There Was a Country, which is worth reading. I certainly learned a lot about Nigeria's troubled history from it.

March: Book Three - John Lewis. I've only recently learned who John Lewis is (in the past year or two), and his role in the civil rights movement, and have enjoyed reading this autobiographical comic book about him.
posted by airish at 10:12 AM on August 16, 2016


Since June 1, I have acquired and read exactly 50 books.

Cripes. And I thought I was reading at a good clip this summer.

As of May (because I'm a grad student and summer starts then):

The Mezzanine – Nicholson Baker
Tinkers – Paul Harding
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
Locke & Key: Clockworks – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
Locke & Key: Alpha & Omega – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
Behind the Beautiful Forevers – Katherine Boo
The Paris Review Interviews, I – Philip Gourevitch, ed.
The Paris Review Interviews, II – Philip Gourevitch, ed.
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Weight – Jeanette Winterson
The Paris Review Interviews, III – Philip Gourevitch, ed.
Leviathan Three – Forrest Aguirre and Jeff VanderMeer, eds.
The Paris Review Interviews, IV – Philip Gourevitch, ed.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
Perfect Circle – Sean Stewart
Vampires in the Lemon Grove – Karen Russell
Living by Fiction – Annie Dillard
Hyperbole and a Half – Allie Brosh
Prince Caspian – C.S. Lewis
The Ant King – Benjamin Rosenbaum

Up next: A Visit from the Goon Squad, The Haunting of Hill House, The Golem and the Jinni. (Assuming I can fit leisure reading in with the dissertation bearing down on me.)
posted by xenization at 10:42 AM on August 16, 2016


READING
A Hundred Thousand Worlds - Bob Proehl
The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life - Tom Reiss

READ
How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America - Moustafa Bayoumi
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
Lovecraft Country - Matt Ruff
The Just City - Jo Walton
Necessity - Jo Walton
Tooth and Claw - Jo Walton
The Nightmare Stacks - Charles Stross
The Earthsea Cycle - Ursula K. Le Guin
The Dalemark Quartet - Diana Wynne Jones
The Inheritance Trilogy - NK Jemison

TO READ
The Philosopher Kings - Jo Walton
Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
Dept. of Speculation - Jenny Offill
Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes

WATCHED/WATCHING
Steven Universe
Adventure Time
The Newsroom (why can't I quit you Aaron Sorkin)

NOTES
- Yes, I read Jo Walton's Thessaly trilogy out of order. Damn you, interlibrary loan! (I love you, interlibrary loan!)
- The Ballad of Black Tom and Lovecraft Country make an AMAZING semi-syllabus together -- they're both fond critiques of Lovecraft, read through the lens of racism in America. I highly recommend both.
- Who binge-reads fantasy trilogies? I binge-read fantasy trilogies.
posted by ourobouros at 2:47 PM on August 16, 2016


I'm glad this thread is bringing Jo Walton back to my notice.
posted by infini at 5:24 PM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Recently read:

Saturn Run, John Sandford and Ctein. They took their time to actually back up events in the novel with orbital simulations. When they say that a ship is so many millions of km away from Saturn at such a time, that's backed up by extensive simulations. As a reformed rocket scientist I apprecied that greatly.

Dark Matter, Blake Crouch. A very very quick read. Good mind candy.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer.
QB VII, Leon Uris.
To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, Henry Petroski.
All You Need is Kill, Hiroshi Sakurazaka.

Recently watched:

The Revenant
Hateful Eight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
posted by orangewired at 6:20 PM on August 16, 2016


I'm very happy with summer reading right now, because I finally seem to be coming out of a multi-year reading slump. Last weekend I tore through 800 pages or so:

The Fifth Season - NK Jemisin (sequel now top of my to-read list)
Uprooted - Naomi Novik (Enjoyable, but still think The Traitor Baru Cormorant should have won at least one of its awards.)

Others in August:

The Philosopher KIngs - Jo Walton (stalled on this one for some weeks)
Necessity - Jo Walton

July:

The Cloudspotter's Guide - Gavin Pretor-Pinney (perfect hammock read)
The Stars Change - Mary Anne Mohanraj

June:

Cuckoo's Egg - CJ Cherryh (Forgot to finish this, which is weird because I am a big Cherryh fan. (Although reading the most recent 5 Foreigner novels this spring may have sated me.) But I read it to talk about with my mom who is not much into SF.)
The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu

Beach book:

Godel, Escher, Bach - Hofstater (Re-read; first read it in high school. Found lots of new parts to like this time around, but stalled out half-way through in the chapters on the brain. Unlike in high school, I have to put those parts in their AI winter perspective.)
posted by joeyh at 6:48 PM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just finished City of Mirrors (The Passage #3), Justin Cronin on Sunday, and oh my heart. I can't really articulate why this series burrowed into me, but it's the only thing dealing with post-apocalyptic stuff (other than Station Eleven mentioned above) that's made me feel much of anything. All eyes.

Other things I've read this summer (since June, I think), in reverse chronological order:
Rivers of London (Body Work #1 - it's called Midnight Riot in the US), Ben Aaronovitch
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra
The Good Girl, Mary Kubica (this is bad - do not read it)
Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman (re-read)
City of Bones (Harry Bosch #8), Michael Connelly
Lost Light (Harry Bosch #7), Michael Connelly
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
How to Build a Girl, Caitlin Moran
Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Kate Atkinson
Landline, Rainbow Rowell
The Dead Lands, Benjamin Percy

Oh, and I'm currently reading Moon Over Soho (Body Work #2), but I'm not enjoying it very much. I'm going to comb through the thread for recommendations, but if anything has anything specific, please shout. I'll try pretty much anything.

I'm on Goodreads here (you have to be signed in) - I'm about to go on a friending spree of the other Goodreads folks from this thread, whee!
posted by minsies at 3:54 AM on August 17, 2016


In descending order of date read:

Novels & anthologies:
Shadow & Claw (Wolfe): I can't say I cared, at the end
The Luminaries (Catton): after the slow introduction, I was hooked
The Man With the Compound Eyes (Wu): I don't think it earned its twist and was overtly preachy
The Buried Giant (Ishiguro): very solid
Life After Life (Atkinson): left with the feeling that it didn't have much to say
What is Not Yours is Not Yours (Oyeyemi): not as good as Boy, Snow, Bird

Non-fiction:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Kondo)
Spelunky (Yu): a short feel-good story of game development
The Design of Everyday Things (Norman): deservedly a classic

Nerd stuff:
Curse of Strahd: running this for a bunch of MeFites (D&D 5e)
Technoir: a really svelte system with a good rulebook
The Warren: you are a bunny and you will probably die. A solid Powered by the Apocalypse game.

Currently reading:
I always have books in different places, for different occasions, going at same time.
Right now:
The Hamiltome/Face Paint (for the moments between putting something in the oven and taking it out again)
Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse (for bus rides).
Clean Code/On Ugliness (for before-bed reading)
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:08 AM on August 17, 2016


I'm in the midst of a year of reading anything by a non-white man, so my reading list has been focused as much as possible on Indigenous, Black and non-North American authors. Here's what I've read since June 1:

Read
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
Indian Horse - Richard Wagamese
Nobody Cries at Bingo - Dawn Dumont
Pavilion of Women - Pearl S. Buck (a recommendation I got from AskMe)
How Should a Person Be - Sheila Heti
God Help the Child - Toni Morrison
The Garlic Ballads - Mo Yan
The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan
Untwined - Edgewidge Danticat
Holding Still for as Long as Possible - Zoe Whittall
The Seventh Day - Yu Hua
Sex Object - Jessica Valenti
O Pioneers! - Willa Cather
The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
Claire of the Sea Light - Edgewidge Danticat
The Orchardist - Amanda Coplin
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi

Currently reading
Sanshiro - Natsume Soseki
The Price of Salt; or, Carol - Patricia Highsmith
The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen (read 3/4 of it and it had to be returned to the library. Now waiting for my hold)

Checked out from library or on my Hold list
My Heart and Other Black Holes - Jasmine Warga
The Girls - Emma Cline
The Door - Magda Szabo
Do Not Say We Have Nothing - Madeleine Thien
The Three Sisters Bar & Hotel - Katherine Govier
The Sellout - Paul Beatty
White Rage - Carol Anderson
The High Mountains of Portugal - Yann Martel
The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
Eileen - Ottessa Moshfegh
posted by urbanlenny at 8:39 AM on August 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh joy, book lists! I almost never read the newest books mostly because my queue is already too big, but exceptions are made from time to time.

For me, this summer has:
  1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxyseries, by Douglas Adams. It's so pervasive in geek/nerd culture that I know some of its lore even before reading it.
  2. Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. Mostly because I was fascinated by the animated movie by Studio Ghibli
  3. The Gates of Hell: Rodin's Passion in Stone, by Arline Boucher Tehan. Mostly because I'm looking for an interesting biography of Auguste Rodin for work (yes, it's actually work related)
  4. The Internet is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius, by David Thorne. Mostly because I enjoy reading his rants and childish behavior on the internet
  5. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions , by Dan Ariely
  6. Creativity Inc., by Ed Catmull. I'm a sucker for Pixar, now I want to read about it from the inside
  7. So You've Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson
  8. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension Edición Kindle, by Matt Parker
  9. The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney's Great Animators, by Andreas Deja. More inspiration, this time from Disney

posted by andycyca at 9:38 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


minsies: City of Mirrors (The Passage #3), Justin Cronin

Ooh! Didn't know that was out yet! *adds another book to the pile*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:31 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


- The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
- Perfidia by James Ellroy
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler
- Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
- The Sellout by Paul Beatty
- Repercussions by Anthony Schneider

Just started the first Harry Potter book with my 6-year-old, which is fun. I've never read it!

Next up, The Underground Railroad and some Elena Ferrante.

Regarding Station Eleven, I enjoyed it quite a bit but fwiw wished Mandel had somehow made Shakespeare/the plays more essential to and woven throughout the story.

TV: Mr. Robot, Stranger Things, epic Person of Interest binge.
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:15 AM on August 17, 2016


P.S. Thank you San Francisco Public Library system!
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:17 AM on August 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Shout out to Excommunicated Cardinal for reminding me about Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars Septology which I had bookmarked forever ago but then failed to properly check out. I'm currently half-way through the first book and what a delight. It feels like a response to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Times series. A blending of medieval fantasy and Christian theology, a few dragons and dark elves thrown in for good measure. Worth finding if you're wanting something exciting to read. The world is steeped in history and at times it can feel a bit dense, but the patient reader is rewarded richly.
posted by Fizz at 4:16 PM on August 17, 2016


Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
posted by 4ster at 8:25 PM on August 17, 2016


Summer Reading 2016

Since Memorial Day:

Hold Still-Sally Mann
Margaret The First--Danielle Dutton
Barbarian Days--William Finnegan
Fairy Tale--Alice Ellis
Beauty Is a Wound--Eka Kurniawan
Into The Silence--Wade Davis
Oreo--Fran Ross
Troubles--JG Farrell (re-read, for book club)
The Seed Collectors--Scarlett Thomas
Here Comes The Sun--Nicole Dennis-Benn
The Visiting Privilege--Joy Williams
The Girls--Emma Cline
Blackass--A. Igoni Barrett
The Sympathizer--Viet Thanh Nguyen
Hot Milk--Deborah Levy
Open City--Teju Cole
English, August--Upamanyu Chatterjee

Next Up:
Shrill--Lindy West
The Underground Railroad--Colson Whitehead
The Ambassadors--Henry James (re-read)
posted by thivaia at 9:44 PM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


taz: "Ooh, I just finished this one a couple of days ago, and in fact was considering Asking Mefi if I should continue with the series. I'm not really a big fan of space opera (though I do like and read a lot of scifi), and I wasn't blown away by Consider Phlebas. I only really read it because we have so many mefi Culture fans, and reading the series has been on my list for years and years."

I think it gets better. I thought Consider Phlebas was okay but not great when I first read it, but I like it more now that I've made it the whole way through. Player of Games is next up, and offers a better perspective on the Culture, but the series really doesn't hit its stride until Use of Weapons, which I think is probably the high point. From there I think it's a bit up and down, but Excession and Surface Detail probably offer the strongest critiques of the idyllic society that Consider Phlebas set up, though Look to Windward is a nice (if kind of bland, IMO) retrospective on the events in the first book.
posted by langtonsant at 1:38 AM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been ass-deep in the election threads and haven't made it over to MeTa in a while, but I'm glad I did for this.

Read this summer:
Shrill - Lindy West
Flu - Gina Kolata
Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa - Joan Jacobs Brumberg
Mort - Pratchett

After seeing her on TDS, can't wait to read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
I really want to get Yuge by Gary Trudeau (out of stock on Amazon)
I've had on my list a while and I'd really like to get to this before the end of the year: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction - Gabor Mate

Thanks for this thread - I'm sure there's a hundred books here that I'm going to put on my lists.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:54 AM on August 18, 2016


Between May and now, according to Goodreads, I finished:
Behind the Throne (The Indranan War #1) - Wagers, K.B. (enjoyable fluff in an SF matriarchy, but a bit silly)
In the Labyrinth of Drakes - Brennan, Marie (I adore this series. Of the various 19th century/Victorian fantasy things I've tried, these are my favorites.)
The Invisible Library, The Masked City (The Invisible Library, #1-2) - Cogman, Genevieve (liked the first one better, but still okay enough)
Stiletto (The Checquy Files, #2) - O'Malley, Daniel (ditto above sentiment, although I liked both this and The Rook more than the Library series)
Terrier, Bloodhound, Mastiff (Beka Cooper series 1-3) - Pierce, Tamora (I really like the gritty-ish fantasy universe she built without having it be led by a cynical, worldweary dude, because I have read enough Dresden ripoffs)
Children of Earth and Sky - Kay, Guy Gavriel (basically he indulged all of his tics with this one, but I enjoyed it)
Burned (Alex Verus, #7) - Jacka, Benedict (my preferred UF series these days since Dresden became not my thing)
The Harry Bosch Novels, Volume 1: The Black Echo / The Black Ice / The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch Universe, #1-3) - Connelly, Michael (read these because of the Amazon series, thought they were solid in a mystery meat and potatoes kind of way, though not amazing. Very Ian Rankin-ish.)

Currently reading:

Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu - Bergreen, Laurence (saw the Netflix series, was curious how accurate the depiction of the Mongol capital was)
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) - Schwab, Victoria (liked her other books, so I'm giving this one a whirl)

Currently watching:
Braindead, because it feeds my need for election related stuff while being silly
posted by tautological at 5:45 PM on August 18, 2016


The Harry Bosch series gets better as it goes. Keep at it - the next three are very good.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:12 PM on August 18, 2016


I am determined to finally read "California," which I bought a few years ago just because Colbert told me to.

Also, I understand the third book in Justin Cronin's trilogy is finally out, so now I can binge on all three.
posted by jbickers at 7:14 AM on August 21, 2016


It is winter for me and I still haven't adjusted to my new job, which is in a public library so I am surrounded by temptation all day. I really wish my position description was: "Sit around and read books all day."

Just started/whittling away at:
The girls - Emma Cline
A stranger in Olondria - Sofia Samatar
Twilight children - Gilbert Hernandez & Darwyn Cooke (graphic novel)
The phoenix guards - Steven Brust - rereading aloud

Abandoned partway through:
A borrowed man - Gene Wolfe
Tiddas - Anita Heiss
The murder of Mary Russell - Laurie R King (the first one of hers I haven't even cared enough to finish!)
Talking to my country - Stan Grant
A traveller in time - Alison Uttley

Read:
The last painting of Sara de Vos - Dominic Smith
How I met my son - Yolanda Bogert
Everywhere I look - Helen Garner
Moon called - Patricia Briggs
The death of Lucy Kyte - Nicola Upson
London rain - Nicola Upson
The facts in the case of the departure of Miss Finch - Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli (graphic novel)
This one summer - Mariko & Jillian Tamaki (graphic novel)
The wicked & the divine - Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (graphic novel)
Beautiful darkness - Fabien Vehlmann (graphic novel)
Whose body? - Dorothy L Sayers (reread)
Clouds of witness - Dorothy L Sayers (reread)
Unnatural death - Dorothy L Sayers (reread)

On the list if I ever have time:
More Patricia Briggs because it is light and undemanding and amusing.
Probably more rereading Sayers.
Skylarking - Kate Mildenhall
When breath becomes air - Paul Kalanithi
The dry - Jane Harper
The sympathiser - Viet Thanh Nguyen
Truly madly guilty - Liane Moriarty
Salt creek - Lucy Treloar
I'm supposed to protect you from all this - Nadja Spiegelman
His bloody project - Graeme Macrae Burnet
The many - Wyl Menmuir
Eileen - Ottessa Moshfegh
My name is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout
posted by Athanassiel at 8:07 PM on August 23, 2016


Read:
Shrill - West - Liked it but didn't love it; I had heard quite a bit of the high points through podcasts
Visit from the Goon Squad - Egan -- Liked this quite a bit, particularly since I was traveling to SF and NYC
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist -- Couldn't get through this one; couldn't handle the narrator's tone
Momofuku - Chang -- Reread this one before heading to NYC, glad I did
The Lola Quartet -- St. John Mandel -- Kept my interest, not quite as strong as Station Eleven
The Circle - Eggers -- Good pulp reading before a SF trip
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms -- R. R. Martin -- Liked this a lot, especially for those who ran out of GoT books
Girl with All the Gifts - Carey -- Great post-apocalyptic fiction
Disrupted - Lyons -- Eh. Ok for something pulpy making fun of start ups.
The Meadow - Galvin -- Worth it if you like grim frontierey things
To Say Nothing of the Dog - Willis -- Funny time travel; worth reading
The Nasty Bits - Bourdain -- Worth reading if you like his longer form stuff
Americana - Sides -- OK but a little forgettable
On Such a Full Sea - Lee -- Solid book, worth reading
Heat - Buford - Wants to be a better book
13 Hours - Zuckoff -- Great if you like military thriller stuff and want to understand Benghazi
Into Thin Air - Krakauer -- Reread this after watching Everest; great adventure book
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life - Finnegan -- Loved this book and will reread it soon


Reading:
Blood Meridian - McCarthy
posted by craven_morhead at 11:23 AM on August 24, 2016


Just noticed this on my MF sidebar, so I'm a bit late to the thread. But fwiw:

Have read (or listened to):
  • Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World - Robert Garland
  • The Mysterious Etruscans - Steven L. Tuck
  • The Age of Napoleon - Will and Ariel Durant
  • (Several Doctor Who audio books)
Have re-read:
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
  • Neither Here Nor There - Bill Bryson
  • One Summer: America, 1927 - Bill Bryson
  • Very Good Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
  • Cary on Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
  • Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit - P.G. Wodehouse
Currently reading:
  • SPQR - Mary Beard
  • The Big Picture - Sean Carroll
  • The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander
  • A Tramp Abroad - Mark Twain
  • Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman
On deck:
  • The Meaning of Human Existence - Edward O. Wilson
  • Caesar - Adrian Goldsworthy
  • Origins of Life - Robert M. Hazen
  • The Proud Tower - Barbara W. Tuchman
  • The Price of Inequality - Joseph E. Stiglitz
posted by Davenhill at 10:13 PM on August 28, 2016


Not the only thing I've read this summer, but it's not been mentioned yet in this thread: Stoner, by John Williams. It had been on the list since I read The Greatest American Novel You've Never Heard Of in The New Yorker. Absolutely lived up to the hype. I have another Williams novel, Nothing but the Night, on order
posted by she's not there at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Stoner is so, so good.
posted by naju at 5:31 PM on August 30, 2016


Watched:

Person of Interest Season 5, a bitter sweet end to a really really good show.
Stranger Things Hopefully Season 1
12 Monkeys Season 2

Watching:
Dark Matter Season 2

Read:
The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross
Worm https://parahumans.wordpress.com/ I don't understand how something this good hasn't been published and optioned for a tv series. Did I mention it's almost as long as the game of thrones books?
Reread:
All the dresden files novels.
All the culture novels.

Reading:
Rasputin's Bastards
the Peripheral
Wheel of Time (on book 2, seems ok, if a little belgariad-ish)
posted by gryftir at 12:17 AM on September 1, 2016


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