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What's a cool book you've read in the past month?



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Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:22 pm
niteowl says...



Mea wrote:The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

It is wonderful. It's so fantastic and creative with so many cool magical ideas and images. It's like a fairytale, of course - think written in the style of Chronicles of Narnia or Alice in Wonderland, but more whimsical. But at the same time, it's a really deep book, touching on so many important themes of friendship and loss and fate and destiny. I have actually cried several times reading the first book and the second two. (It's a trilogy, and the second two are just as good as the first.)

I know @BlueAfrica was raving about it before, and it made me pick it up and read it, so I'll just say: you all should read it too.


@Mea, it's actually a series of five (pentology?). I accidentally read the fifth book before the fourth, but I'm working on the fourth now "The Boy Who Lost Fairyland" (it starts out reading as like a tangential tale that also takes place in Fairyland, but it connects with the main story eventually). It's a short book, but I'm getting through it very slowly, partially because I'm tired from other things and partially because I don't want it to end (even though I know how the whole story ends because I read the last book).

So yes, I'm jumping on the Fairyland fan train. Even though I got them from the library, I absolutely intend to buy copies at some point because I will definitely want to reread.
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:56 pm
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Traves says...



One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's a lyrically stunning journey (though mildly weird if you haven't read magical realism by Latin American authors) , you just keep wondering at the twisted-ness of events that keep happening, though it takes some effort to read because of all the characters. The closest I've experienced something like this would be the The curious Case of Benjamin Button movie, with no climax and all that; just a beautiful tale.
  





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Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:08 pm
Mea says...



@niteowl - Yeah, I found out that it was five books the hard way! (by the massive cliffhanger at the end of book 3 lol). And I got book 4 from the library and read it, but didn't have enough time to get and the fifth book before we left Japan, and now I'm going insane here in America because the library here doesn't have it. :( But we're going to visit family in a different state in a few days, so I'm crossing my fingers that library will have it because I have to know how it ends! I'm also intending to buy the books at some point but I'm totally broke right now so yeah.
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:44 pm
Meshugenah says...



More middle grade from me! I absolutely loved The Mad Wolf's Daughter by Diane Magras.
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:09 pm
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BluesClues says...



@Mea @niteowl MUAHAHAHAHA join me, my minions

(Seriously, though, I'm SO GLAD you guys love it so much!!! Fairyland is the best!!!)
  





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Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:24 pm
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erilea says...



StellaThomas wrote:I have a new one.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Choksi.

I really wanted to like this book. It's a Persephone & Hades retelling but in an Indian setting. Reviews said that the writing was good.

Sounds good, right? Fairytale retelling, rich setting, right up my alley.

Oh, how I could not be more wrong.

This was by far the worst book I read this year. We are meant to like Maya because she hates all the wives and daughters in the harem, never plans on getting married and will just be a "scholarly spinster", whom we're told loves books in the first few chapters, and proceeds to never read again. She's completely insufferable. And then she runs away with a strange man, and instantly falls in love with him. He inexplicably hides his face for several chapters and nothing happens when he reveals it. They don't tell her anything for really stupid convoluted plot reasons.

She sees a girl in visions who's beautiful and claims that they used to be best friends in another life and I think - at last! The woman-hating has ended! Wrong! Of course this beautiful woman is only there to steal her position and her husband.

And the prose wasn't beautiful, it was drastically over-written. Nothing made sense.

Not to mention that there was literally no plot whatsoever. I honestly felt like this book was a fanfic written chapter by chapter with a new random thing happening each time.

Basically. Don't read this book. Maybe you're intrigued by the premise. Maybe you think, at last, a YA book that isn't set in dystopian Northern America, with a PoC cast. You would be gravely mistaken to pick up this book. Try Rebel of the Sands instead (which I think is the reason this book kept popping up in my recommendations. The two could not be further from each other).


I read this book recently as well! I don't think it's that bad, but it coul definitely use some improvement.

I've been reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I'm not finished with it yet, although I can see that its pretty good from what I've read. I'm enjoying the personality and stories of the main character.

Also, Maureen Chiquet's (global CEO of Chanel) autobiography is really cool, too. I do like her writing style.
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Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:10 pm
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PrincessInk says...



StellaThomas wrote: ...and The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton which is a fantasy novel about a world where everyone is born grey, and The Belles are the only ones with the ability to control beauty. It was a good story that touches on important social issues without being preachy. Overall it's clever and the description is amazing.


I just read it and I really liked it! I agree that the description was just done so well. It was rich and evocative and decadent.

This is the premise of the novel: How there are some elite women called the Belles who can control people's appearance, age, and manner and will do it to make everybody in their land beautiful...but no matter what they do, the people are never happy about it. They continue to think they're ugly and are never satisfied. They keep wanting to be the most beautiful.

The female friendships here were gold, especially those between the main character, a Belle named Camellia; her favorite Belle sister, Ambrosia; and the wild Belle sister, Edelweiss. They were flawed and sometimes messed up, but still. They were sisters. And the villain! I won't reveal their gender because of spoilers. I found the villain very interesting, though their actions and cunning make me shudder.

Also, one of my fave things about this book is the tiny teacup pets. Like there's a cute teacup elephant named Zo and whenever its owner is around, I always look forward to see Zo. I don't know why I like Zo so much, it's just so cute :smt007

Edited at 08/06/2018: Also, by the way, there's going to be a sequel called The Everlasting Rose, I think!
Last edited by PrincessInk on Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:35 pm
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IacanusNegraeus says...



Currently in the middle of “the Road to Serfdom” by Hayek. Really been going down the liberal rabbit hole lately.
  





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Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:14 pm
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alliyah says...



I'm currently reading "free verse" by Sarah Dooley.

It's a nice break from all the non-fiction I've been reading. It's about a girl whose life keeps taking turns for the worse, but she is able to find some release through writing poetry and connecting to different people. The story is written in expressive prose, but there are bits of poetry written throughout from the main character's point of view.

So far, I'd recommend it - and hopefully will finish it this next month.

Edit: I am apparently a painfully slow reader, so didn't finish this until DECEMBER. But it was totally a good read all the way through, and I even picked up some poetry ideas through reading this book. Would recommend.
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Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:55 am
Clarity says...



Invisible by James Patterson and I See You by Clare Mackintosh! Both crime thrillers.
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Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:41 pm
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StellaThomas says...



Normal People by Sally Rooney.

I cannot unreservedly recommend it as there's a lot of mature content and even if you're a bit younger but don't mind skimming those sections I still don't think that you would get the full picture. It's not particularly graphic or anything, but I'd put it in 18+ territory.

It's about two young people, Connell and Marianne, who grow up together in rural Ireland and then start college together in Dublin. The book starts in 2011 when they're in their final year of school and runs through to 2014/2015. This was special to me as this makes them the same age as me, and they start in the college I went to in the year I started. But it's an examination of two characters, in depth, and their relationship with each other which is far from simple. It's a love story but not necessarily a romance. Marianne is from a well to do but abusive family, Connell is raised with love by his single mother in social housing. Marianne is a social outcast in school and Connell is universally adored. And suddenly they find their roles reversed in university.

It's about love and friendship (and sex) and how these things change us. It isn't overly nostalgic or sentimental but it's thoroughly relatable and it really pulls on your heartstrings. You will recognise your own insecurities, your own fears, your own experiences in one or other or both of them.

It's written by a 27 year old lady called Sally Rooney and it's on the longlist for this year's Booker Prize. It's stunning. As I say, I would only recommend for adults, but you should definitely definitely pick up this book.
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Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:48 pm
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Mea says...



I just finished The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin! It's the first book I've ever read by her, and it was so good. I haven't had a book hold my attention like that for a while, particularly not a sci-fi book. I went into it really hoping for a classic science fiction story that would explore fascinating and different ideas while still having engaging characters, and that's exactly what I got. It made me think a lot, but I'd call the overall tone encouraging rather than depressing, which is something I really appreciate in a book.
We're all stories in the end.

I think of you as a fairy with a green dress and a flower crown and stuff.
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I think you, @Deanie and I are like the Three Book Nerd Musketeers of YWS.
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Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:13 pm
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IacanusNegraeus says...



Just started “Capitalism and Freedom” by Milton Friedman. It’s basically one giant argument for how economic liberty and personal freedoms are inseparable in a free society. Essentially, the ability to participate in free markets would be considered just as much a civil liberty as it would be to marry someone of your same sex. We are all free to choose.

Another one of my liberal manifestos.
  





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Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:13 pm
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Holysocks says...



Frog Kisser by someone- I don't remember the name.

It's about a princess who goes on a quest to save her sister's lover from his frog state- because their step dad (who's an evil sorcerer) is trying to take over the kingdom, and he has a thing for turning people into animals!

I'm almost done listening to it c:
I hope it's a good joke because otherwise I'll have got it for nothing...

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:34 pm
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PrincessInk says...



@Holysocks I think the author's Garth Nix. Once I borrowed it from the library, read half, thought it fun, then had to return it because of due dates. I probably need to pick it up again.
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