books

Kids’ book called ‘P is for Palestine’ is stirring up outrage among moms

Kids’ book called ‘P is for Palestine’ is stirring up outrage among moms

Kinda ironic one complaint was that the book dosent recognise Isreal as a state yet the Isreali government dosent recognise Palestine as a state either

P is for Palpatine

I mean ... it's aimed at kids and the content is kinda of crazy: "I is Intifada. Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grownup!". And sure enough, there were child suicide bombers during the various Intifadas 'rising up for what is right' no doubt. A great discussion to have with your toddler.

Dads are cool with it.

What's your unpopular book opinion?

What's your unpopular book opinion?

Anything that you think is generally a bit controversial in one way or another. For me it's that adults constantly reading YA books is not a great thing. It's not as good as reading adult books and can stunt your intellectual growth a bit. Feel free to call me a dick.

What about you?

These last couple of years I've made peace with the fact that it's ok to give up on a book. I used to finish a book no matter what but now if it doesn't grab me by 30% of the way through them I'll consider shelving it and trying something else. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and value my time more.

I love my kindle. There. I said it. I can run on a treadmill with the words magnified and get a good 90 minute read time in.

I think it's fine to dog-ear pages and write in the margins and highlight passages and do whatever you want to the book, whether it's hardcover or paperback. It's your book, make it yours.

I was not impressed by 'Great Expectations', I really thought it was going to be a lot better!

In historic move, Christopher Tolkien resigns as director of Tolkien Estate

In historic move, Christopher Tolkien resigns as director of Tolkien Estate
In historic move, Christopher Tolkien resigns as director of Tolkien Estate

Someone spending an entire life and full time career researching his father's literary legacy and writing. Is there another case of this happening?

Christopher Tolkien wrote a moving farewell in the Preface to the recently published Beren and Lúthien:

In my ninety-third year this is (presumptively) my last book in the long series of editions of my father's writings, very largely previously unpublished, and is of a somewhat curious nature. This tale is chosen in memoriam because of its deeply-rooted presence in his own life, and his intense thought on the union of Lúthien, whom he called 'the greatest of the Eldar', and of Beren the mortal man, of their fates, and of their second lives.

It goes back a long way in my life, for it is my earliest actual recollection of some element in a story that was being told to me—not simply a remembered image of the scene of the storytelling. My father told it to me, or parts of it, speaking it without any writing, in the early 1930s.

The element in the story that I recall, in my mind's eye, is that of the eyes of the wolves as they appeared one by one in the darkness of the dungeon of Thû.

In a letter to me on the subject of my mother, written in the year after her death, which was also the year before his own, he wrote of his overwhelming sense of bereavement, and of his wish to have Lúthien inscribed beneath her name on the grave. He returned in that letter, as in that cited on p. 29 of this book, to the origin of the tale of Beren and Lúthien in a small woodland glade filled with hemlock flowers near Roos in Yorkshire, where she danced; and he said: 'But the story has gone crooked, and I am left, and I cannot plead before the inexorable Mandos.'

Yes, but let's just say that while Chrisopher's work to put his father's writing into a publishable format is basically universally accepted by Tolkien fans, Brian Herbert's additions to Dune is a bit more divisive.

And expect 90% of it to be complete and utter garbage. It was fun while it lasted, I guess.

Amazon just revealed the most popular Kindle books of all time

Amazon just revealed the most popular Kindle books of all time

"50 Shades of Gray and The Hunger Games"

I don't know what I expected

Good thing about Kindle, no one can tell if you're reading War and Peace or 50 Shades :/

The Lists:

Fiction:

Fifty Shades of Grey The Hunger Games Catching Fire Mocking Jay Fifty Shades Darker Fifty Shades Freed Gone Girl The Girl on the Train The Help The Fault in our Stars

Nonfiction:

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Steve Jobs The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts Bossypants American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in the U.S. Military History The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

haha, right? I was like "wonder what new books i can find!". Ah well.

Discworld! I’m trying but it’s not working!

Discworld! I’m trying but it’s not working!

Over the years I’ve tried time and time again to get into the discworld series by Terry Pratchett but it just doesn’t seem to work.

The last time I tried was 2 years ago and then last week I started out on the first in the series once again, 4 days in and I’m barely half way through. Normally I whizz through books and am able to get through two or three a month.

I’ve seen the adaptations that they made for the tv like Going Postal and The Hogfather, and I think they are all awesome! But I can’t break through the books!

Can I read them as stand alones? As I’ve got the death trilogy which I think I may be able to get into. But has anybody else had this issue?

TL:DR I’ve heard great things but I just doesn’t seem to sink in and I’m struggling to break past the first book.

The Colour of Magic and the Light Fantastic aren't really representative of the rest of the series. The Death series is a good start. Or the Watch series is a great entrance, too.

You should totally read Guards! Guards! It's one of the first books with the night watch, and is easily one of the best Discworld novels imo.

Start with Mort, Reaper Man and Soul Music. For me they're the perfect representation of the series, and the good thing about DW is you don't need to read them 'in order'.

If you struggle with these, Discworld just might not be your jam, it's a great series but you should never feel bad or inadequate for not liking what everybody else likes!

Yes you can read more or less all of them as stand alones; in fact I'd recommend doing so since the first two or three books are probably the least representative of the overall quality of Pratchett's writing since he was still figuring out what he was doing with the setting and the characters, and books after this point were intentionally written so that you could get into them without prior knowledge.

Also some of the more "pure stand alone" titles like Small Gods, Thief of Time and Monstrous Regiment are actually among his best overall.

However if this approach doesn't work for you thats fine, theres no point in trying to force yourself to enjoy a work you can't get into, you only have so much time on the earth after all.

Your attitude towards remembering the small details in novels

Your attitude towards remembering the small details in novels

I have a strange mental block when it comes to reading novels. Self-development books? Fine. Books about cinema? Fine. Short stories that can be read in one sitting? Fine. But novels make me uneasy, and it's largely because I become concerned, as I'm reading or after the fact, that I'm not keeping up with all the small details that may be narratively or thematically essential.

Loving story as we all do, I've always wanted to correct this issue by getting my teeth stuck into some classic literature. I decided yesterday to pick up Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby with the intention of making it the first novel I've read beginning-to-end in a few years. I read the short first chapter last night in bed, and waking up to continue this morning, I couldn't quite shake the same old problem: what if there's a key detail or two I've lost sight of already??

Flicking back over the first chapter before continuing, I find that there are couple of details I'd already forgotten that could be important at a later stage. I want to be "one top of things," as I am when I watch a film, but as a novel is something you inevitably have to read in stages, I guess it's kind of impossible.

I thought it might be worth asking you guys about this before I continue reading. Do you have any difficulty accepting the fact that you're losing track of details as you go? Do you trust that the really essential stuff will be referred to again at a later stage? Or do you have a kind of system for remembering things you suspect are important? What's your philosophy?

Thanks in advance!

Shift some of that burden to the author. While in some cases the reader is expected to do some reasonable work in piecing together emergent plot, the author is also responsible for planning a narrative that reminds you of the key points and relationships. This is a quality I look for in "good writing", where the author doesn't treat the reader as stupid (by spelling out obvious points repeatedly) or a savant (demanding you remember all the intrigues of some extended multigenerational family). I've never read Rosemary's Baby, but my prevailing philosophy is that it's not all on you and you shouldn't feel guilty or get these hang-ups.

In a nutshell: trust the author. That's one of the best pieces of advice on reading I got when reading Infinite Jest, for one example. You can't and won't remember everything, and the reading experience is totally spoiled, IMO, by taking assiduous notes and looking everything up.

There is no need for you to guess the ending before you get to it in a novel. The Author will give you the ending anyway. Rereading good books is a lot of fun, because you'll notice things you didn't notice the first time around. And that's a good thing! You get to have a new experience, with new eyes, for something you've seen before.

Even returning to a good book ten years later, you'll see things you weren't even capable of seeing when you were younger, because you are a new, more mature and experienced person than you were when you first read it.

You aren't being marked on your reading. This is there for you to enjoy, and to take from it what you will.

There is no need for you to guess the ending before you get to it in a novel. The Author will give you the ending anyway.

This is absolutely right. I recently lent a book to a friend, and as he was reading it he kept texting me questions which made it apparent that he was trying to work out the ending. It wasn't a mystery novel, but it was clear there were secrets that wouldn't be revealed until the end. He was doing a pretty reasonable job of putting some different things together and was getting pretty close to the right answers: what was interesting for me, though, was recognising that it hadn't even occurred to me to try to do that.

There was nothing wrong with his approach to reading it, but that was the first time I realised it wasn't what I do. For me, there's a story, the author has a plan, and I'm mostly content to let it happen. Of course I'll sometimes end up speculating about what might be coming - a book wouldn't be interesting if it didn't lead to that - but fundamentally I don't see a book as a problem to be solved.

My memory is really poor. It's easily the poorest among all my friends. I frequently struggle to remember a single line of a recent conversation that my friends would remember the entirety of, and it's not because they found the conversation way more interesting than I did.

So, I struggle quite a bit in terms of forgetting minor details from chapters. I sometimes even forget the names of some characters that appeared earlier in a novel and then disappear right up to the last few chapters. It can be a little frustrating, but generally, it's not bad enough for me to give up reading.

I rely on the author to remind me of key details or at least allude to them in some way that reminds me of what it was. A good author will be able to do this. In my opinion, the smallest details are critical only to those who read the same book multiple times, trying to connect the dots for obscure theories, etc. A lot of times, I don't think these threads matter very much.

Another thing I do is a bit of online research, particularly if I'm reading a series, such as The Wheel of Time series (which has 14 books, each of which is ~800-900 pages long). There are too many characters for me to remember what happened to each, and too many books for me to remember an event from Book 3 which has an impact on Book 9. So I go to the wikia and look up that specific event.

I know it's pretty easy for me to say "Don't give up on reading because you're afraid you'll miss the details". I can't understand what goes on through your mind. What I can tell you, however, is that the reward of finishing a novel is unmatched. You will be in a daze for hours (if not days / weeks) after a well-written, impactful book.

The advantage of a novel over a short-story is that it creates an entire world that you get to live in. A short-story is like visiting a new land for a couple of hours and coming back home. A novel makes a home for you in its world.

And finally, I'm confident that the more you read, the easier you'll find it. So, you could maybe start with some easier, more gripping novels and progress to the classics.

Mississippi schools back down on 'To Kill A Mockingbird' ban

Mississippi schools back down on 'To Kill A Mockingbird' ban
Mississippi schools back down on 'To Kill A Mockingbird' ban

It always seems that the majority of students in these schools support the reading, learning, and discussion of these books. While those in power want to ban and avoid confronting the problems that these books bring to light about society.

Some real Fahrenheit 451 shit right here

To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the few books my entire class actively discussed and was interested in when I read it in school

I believe Neil Gaiman said in an interview (paraphrasing), "1984 showed a world where those in power prevented the spread of knowledge. Fahrenheit 451 showed a world where no one wanted it." Both are great dystopian novels with a focus on censorship, but (thankfully) we're not at Fahrenheit 451 yet.

EDIT: A lot of replies say that Fahrenheit 451 is not about censorship. I am aware Ray Bradbury himself has said the main theme of the book is not censorship. However, while most of the book focuses on lack of initiative to seek knowledge (which can be construed as self-censorship), there certainly is an oppressive, anti-information regime in place, given Montag's occupation.

I have Bipolar Disorder; there are periods of time when I can barely read. So I re-read. What do you re-read in times of sickness, sorrow, or just plain lack of attention span?

I have Bipolar Disorder; there are periods of time when I can barely read. So I re-read. What do you re-read in times of sickness, sorrow, or just plain lack of attention span?

I am having a bit of a rough time with ye olde bipolar disorder, so I can't undertake anything too lofty. My last seventeen million books were in the Stephen King Dark Tower Series (I only made it to the end of book IV, I’m not sure SK was too interested in his readers’ desire to keep reading this—but that’s probably just my taste), and the Liane Moriarty Everything-is-related-to-getting-pregnant-and-divorce-and-everyone-being-blonde-and-not-so-subtly-cheating-on-their-mean-spouses Series.

That last title is a loose interpretation of her opus.

The very last book I read was Anna Quindlen’s One True Thing, which was less readable than Still Life with Breadcrumbs, but more beautiful.

But it was still so very heavy for me.

Imagine carrying a refrigerator up the stairs alone while suffering from day-five of the flu. That scratches the surface of what I’m dealing with when I try to read anything too heavy, or too rich, while in this phase of bipolar.

So what do I do?

I re-read. And something funny. Currently, I’ve got Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half up on my Kindle App (because I can’t get to the store at the moment), waiting for me to figuratively crack it open and delve into her world of simple dogs and her younger self.

And yeah, it actually really helps that she writes about her own struggles with depression in a way that makes me laugh, and cry, and ultimately feel so very un-alone. Because maybe that’s what helps the most.

What about you?

The Harry Potter series.

Discworld. Witches and Watch... Those books have been with me since I was a teenager and no doubt will be till I die. Helps alot when im struggling.

How do you do with audio-books during these periods? Because I can absolutely recommend listening to Douglas Adams as way to feel like someone is room with you telling you a story. Particularly his self-narration of the Dirk Gently series.

Have you tried Marian Keyes? She is light and funny but tackles serious issues too like addiction and mental breakdowns. It's not great literature but engaging and thoughtful.

What Books Are You Reading This Week? October 23, 2017

What Books Are You Reading This Week? October 23, 2017

Hi everyone!

What are you reading? What do you think of it? We want to know!

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IT, by Stephen King

Just finished the stand and I’m about 150 pages through IT. Really enjoying it so far.

The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick.

Have 11 books left till I reach my new goal of 100 and have those 11 books planned out. Since I've been going through 3-5 books a week lately, this week I'll be at least reading:. The Afterlife of Holly Chase, by Cynthia Hand. Actually nearly finished this one up. A modern retelling of A Christmas Carol from the perspective of the Ghost of Christmas Past. It's decent but a little too romance heavy as it was a bit too selfish of a romance. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng. Been meaning to pick this up since its release but I'm finally getting around to it. Autoboygraphy, by Christina Lauren

The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, I’m almost done with this one. It’s a really fun read, I went in expecting a story about HH Holmes couched in a story about the World’s Fair in Chicago, and instead got two parallel stories with equal prominence. And as a fan of history, I gotta say I’m enjoying the parts about the World’s Fair just as much if not more than the HHH bits.

I also finished The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, but I had never gotten around to reading this novel. It’s a fun, quick read that strays from the standard Holmes formula a bit.

Weekly FAQ Thread October 22 2017: What are your quirky reading habits?

Weekly FAQ Thread October 22 2017: What are your quirky reading habits?

Hello readers and welcome to our Weekly FAQ thread! Our topic this week is: What are your quirky reading habits? Thank you and enjoy!

Falling asleep while reading in bed.

Reading a book that I enjoy, putting it down and never pick it up again.

Reading three or four books at the same time. Read one chapter of one, move to the next one, read one chapter, move to the next etc. Helps me focus on reading for longer periods of time.

I’ve got a few!

-I’m constantly flipping forward in the book to see how many pages until the next chapter or section break. I’m not sure why, although I assume I’m subconsciously breaking down the bigger goal of reading the book into a smaller goal of finishing a section. Analyzing the structure is super useful for nonfiction, but I also do this for fiction.

-Speeding up audiobooks so that I can listen to them twice as fast. Audiobooks are soooooooo slow, and I can read so much faster, so this makes them so much more pleasant to listen to.

-Reading a book at the bar of a restaurant after work or on my days off. I’ll just grab a glass of wine or a beer and read for an hour or so. I like to bring a physical book, because sitting at the bar invites other people to chat with you (and you to chat with other people). I’ve gotten into some great conversations about books and reading this way.

Try one of these subthreads