Discussão2023 ROOT CHALLENGE

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Editado: Jan 6, 1:17 pm

The theme and question this month is CHANGE.

We are moving from 2022 to 2023, a big change.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of transitions - beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways,passages, frames, and endings and so January is named after Janus to signify the end of one year and the beginning of another - a change that happens every 365 days.

Frequently, Janus is depicted with one face - youthful - looking forward, and the other face - aged- looking to the past.

Do you think back on the past as the old year comes to an end or tend to look forward to the new year as the clock chimes midnight?

Have you ever thought about the changes that happened over the years? In 1923 King Tut's Burial Chamber was opened. But so much happened before even 1923. Women got the vote, Wright Brothers took the first flight.

There are other events/occurrences that have taken place in the last 100 years that were momentous - the Great Depression, numerous wars, medical advancements, man landing on the moon, the computer age.

So the big question this month is - what do you think is the most important occurrence/event/discovery/invention, etc. in the last 100 years? Have you read a book about it?

Jan 1, 1:23 am

I think I'm going to have to go back 109 years to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914, leading to WWI, WWII, the Russian Revolution, the weakening of the European powers, etc. etc.

The biggest social change was probably the economic movement away from a majority of employment needing brute strength to office work, making possible a more equal social and economic participation by women, allied with contraception reliably disconnecting sex and reproduction.

Jan 1, 10:55 am

Big topic with lots of possibilities!

I think for me it would have to be the advent of the Internet in the early 1980s, being the digital version of Gutenberg's printing press. All of a sudden, knowledge is decentralised, anyone has access to information, it can empower individuals all over the world, bringing connectivity around the globe never seen before. It has created revolutions like the Arab Spring and instability like the Jan 6 Insurrection. It has allowed windows into people's worlds for greater understanding, but also has the potential to track them wherever they go... It has created the mobility of work anywhere and also created an incredible reliance on technology. And with virtual worlds emerging, it could stand to change our lives even more.

I definitely agree with everything that Robert says, and I look forward to reading other's ideas. Happy New Year, Everyone!

Jan 1, 2:02 pm

>1 cyderry: There are so many things - the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 and end of the Soviet Union in 1991 is definitely up there for me, the balance of world power has shifted in ways that we never could have imagined back then (eg the rise in global significance of China). But I also think that the early warnings of environmental catastrophe (I'm thinking about Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in the 1960s, for example) have taken on a huge significance now that we can see just how prescient they were, and I can't help wondering what the world would be like now if politicians, industrialists, etc, had heeded their warnings back then.

Editado: Jan 2, 1:46 am

A difficult choice but I'm going with innovations in science related to the medical field during the 20th century, including Alexander Fleming's discovery of modern day penicillin in 1928. Also, advances in technology that allowed the Human Genome Project to become a reality, with DNA sequencing of the euchromatic human genome. There are so many other advances that deserve honorable mention but they are too numerous to list here. I'm personally grateful not to have lived in the 1700 or 1800s, as most early physicians didn't even bother to wash their hands between patients or even sterilize equipment because germ theory didn't start to be accepted until the late 1800s. Yucky, yuck!


Since Chèli reprompted us in message 7, I'm currently reading The Song of The Cell which touches on the medical advances I previously mentioned. An interesting book so far and it is a ROOT.

Jan 1, 2:23 pm

Happy New Year, Chèli! Your first question is a great one, and there have already been some great answers. Lately I keep coming back to the invention of the nuclear bomb and everything that has ensued from that. I'm not sure it's possible to sustain over the long term a civilization based on mutually assured destruction, especially when at least one of the leaders with access to nuclear weapons appears to be unstable and reckless (fwiw, I thought the same thing when Trump was the US president).

Jan 1, 9:53 pm

So those of you that have answered this month's question, have you read a book about how you answered? If so, what book?

I've thought a lot about how I want to answer...

I lean toward the advancement in communication. A hundred years ago not everyone had access to a telephone, telegrams were still being used for emergency long distance communications. Not everyone had a radio, Television was just on the verge of being demonstrated in 1925. As telephone service expanded there were party lines because there weren't enough lines for everyone to have their own. Even though pagers were developed in 1949 they didn't get popular until the 1980s (I had one for many years) They were used so that you could be reached if something was urgent because you weren't always near a phone. Then mobile phones happened - starting with the brick.
Can you imagine carrying this in your back pocket?
1978 email was invented - before then you waited for the postman every day for your letters. In 1989 the World Wide Web was first introduced to the public by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The World Wide Web has been essential in the creation of email and social media, two forms of communication that are heavily used today. These websites have led to the development of online shops and services, which have transformed the way we communicate with businesses. With the World Wide Web, we can simultaneously perform research, communicate with others, and even entertain ourselves.

Many social media platforms were originated between the years of 2003-2004. MySpace, released in 2003, allowed for easier communication between people using blogs, photos, music, and videos. Secondly, Skype was released in 2003 which allowed for face to face communication without physically being in the same place. Lastly, Facebook was released in 2004. With the release of Facebook, communication was forever changed to instant messaging and the sharing of photos, videos, and one's life.

Communication, IMHO, has had a nuclear explosion in the last 100 years. I personally cannot imagine life without a telephone, television, or the internet even though the telephone and televisions were infants along with me. Even though now I spend little time watching television, it is still a "necessity" in receiving the communication of local news and weather reports, etc.

I've read books about the invention of the telephone and I look forward to books about the history of television and the internet as the historical readings progress.

Jan 2, 5:26 am

There are so many possible answers, but I agree that communication and the Internet have been very important. I have read Because Internet which was very interesting and amusing, but did make me feel a bit old as the author mentioned a few things that made me ask myself, oh, has that changed?

Jan 2, 9:11 am

I read I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton on the topic of the Internet and new media, a while ago. It's one of those: look at how exciting technology is! and it introduced new concepts (and apps) that I didn't know about. The book is over 10 years old, now, so it's probably quaint, but it did help me better understand shifts. My one pet peeve was that it's too optimistic: even then (in 2011) I could tell that emotionalism was overtaking critical thinking and well... we haven't gotten better!

I'd be curious to know if there are easy-to-read books on blockchain and its practical applications, because I do think that will yet another layer to these radical transformations of the real to the virtual.

Jan 3, 8:22 am

I'm starting a mini-vacation that has me riding a lot of trains so I expect to be reading a lot. Today I had 5 hours of train and 2 hours of waiting time which I didn't use up to 100% efficiency (due to a noisy family on the first leg, and a bout of sleepiness on the second) but did manage to read the first 120 pages of Uncle Silas by Sheridan le Fanu. I'll consider today as a nice warmup for the rest of the trip. In any case, I'm very excited to be starting the year with a large classic.

Because I'll be on vacation, I'll be creating my thread and ticker later in the month.

Jan 3, 1:22 pm

I am on my way back from my break and will be creating my ROOT thread by the end of the week. I have starred this thread and will be keeping up with everybody, and getting my goal posted when I get back to my office.

I will soon be moving out of my office as I have decided to retire effective March 1, 2023. I have lots of moving to do between now and then. I have been in my converted janitor’s closet office for 30 years. It is now time to move on, and I will be happy to move out. The University is closing the library in which I work, and I just don’t want to make the effort to adjust to a new job in a new situation. I wanted to retire 5 years ago and was not able to do so financially. Things are better now so I feel good about retiring. Some of you LT’ers in Europe might see me at a meetup sometime!

Jan 3, 6:06 pm

>11 benitastrnad: Congratulations, Benita! Enjoy your retirement!

Editado: Jan 4, 2:37 pm

I have set up my thread for 2023 (after I made a mistake and set it up in the 2022 ROOT Group). Here is the link to my 2023 thread. https://www.librarything.com/topic/347396#n8024604

I set my goal at 72 ROOT's. Do we have somebody keeping the master ticker? Do we keep track of our Progress on this one?

Jan 5, 1:58 am

Interesting topic for discussion and lots of great answers in the thread. I agree with Robert about the huge impact of the first world war which has shaped most of the twentieth century and is still very defining - at least from a European perspective. In a sense it is even the reason for 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall which will probably always be the defining moment for my generation. (I was born in 1973 and I'm just old enough to remember the very real fear of nuclear war and the craziness of the whole thing.)

I have read a ton of books about those topics. In fact there are times, when it feels like all European books are somehow linked to those events!

I fear, however, that we are missing, what will really turn out to be the most significant development of the last hundred years because the effects are not fully felt yet: Carbon emissions linked to industrial growth and the resulting climate change.

I have read much less about climate change, but the Maddaddam thrilogy by Margaret Atwood come to mind.

Jan 5, 5:15 am

Great choice of topic, Chèli, and some very interesting comments! I think I would also rate communications as the change that has affected the world most. And I don't always see it as a blessing when I am forced to do things in ways I don't want to do.

Jan 5, 12:36 pm

Actually, I had the same question as benitastrnad. Do we just update our personal ticker and post in our own thread? (Meaning we don't report our books read here for a cumulative monthly group total as in past years? I'm just assuming since I don't see a group ticker here.)

Jan 5, 12:42 pm

I think usually the group ticker doesn't appear for some time, a week or more into January, to give everyone time to declare their goals. So I imagine it will be the same as usual - we will update our own tickers, update the group ticker if we want to (and if not just make that clear), and record any totals here so that Cheli can cross-reference them to the tickers each month.

Jan 5, 12:48 pm

>17 Jackie_K: Understood. :-) Thank you so much.

Jan 5, 1:34 pm

>13 benitastrnad: >16 Ann_R: >17 Jackie_K: As everyone sets their goals and their tickers are added to the ticker thread, I am gathering the numbers so that when I create the group tickers they aren't in constant flux. Once I think the majority of participants have set their goals, I'll add the group tickers. Sorry for the confusion.

Jan 5, 4:31 pm

>19 cyderry: Thank you for the clarification, Chèli. No need to apologize.

Jan 5, 7:46 pm

So, I'm still confused even though I have participated the last few years. Do we update the ticker in the main post or monthly post or just update our personal ticker or all of above? I've always just updated my personal ticker.

Jan 5, 10:27 pm

>21 ca_dmv: I just update my personal ticker, myself.

Jan 6, 1:37 am

>21 ca_dmv: >22 rabbitprincess: So do I. I used to update the group tickers as well, but at one point we were temporarily asked not to or could not for some reason and I never got back into the habit.

Jan 6, 3:04 am

Jan 6, 9:56 am

I can report my first ROOT of 2023: The trampling of the lilies has waited for me on my Kobo for nearly ten years.

Jan 6, 12:44 pm

>21 ca_dmv: you can do either, just your personal ticker or your ticker and group ticker.

Jan 6, 2:11 pm

I've added my first ROOT for the year to my ticker. I'll be leaving the group tickers alone!

Jan 6, 8:03 pm

Finished my first book of the year! It’s a ROOT from December 2021. Happy to see that means I’m continuing to clear my shelves within due time of purchase.

Also happy I managed to read all 450 pages of Uncle Silas in just four days thanks to all the train travel I’m doing on vacation. What a great way to start the year!

Jan 6, 10:21 pm

>26 cyderry: Thank you...I will continue to just update my personal ticker. :)

Jan 8, 11:15 am

I've added two ROOTs to the general tickers - both were great reads (albeit very different)

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (2022)
La civilisation, ma Mère!... by Driss Chraïbi (2010) - I highly recommend this one: luminous, optimistic and charming about a Moroccan mother discovering freedom thanks to her two sons.

Jan 8, 8:34 pm

I've officially opened up my thread and declared my ambitious goal of 100 books. My first time declaring such a goal but since last year I read 113 books (combination of manga and books) I think I can do it again this year!

Jan 9, 11:55 am

I also have set up my thread. I have set my goal for 72 ROOT's for this year. As retired faculty I can check out books from the libraries on campus, so I checked out a bunch of books to start reading when I retire. 80 books to be exact. I hope to get them all read before I move, but decided that 72 was a prudent number for this challenge. I do think I will exceed that number, but it depends on when I start the moving process so I do have to make allowances for that.

Here is the link to my ROOT thread.

Jan 10, 10:05 am

I've finished my first book of 2023 — an audiobook of My Policeman by Bethan Roberts. I think it's a 4-star read, although I won't know for sure until I start writing my review (does that happen to anyone else?).

Jan 10, 10:42 am

I logged in my first ROOT of the year while driving back to Alabama from Kansas. It was Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I listened to 2 CD's of the recorded version of the book and almost quit because I found the boring and gory. For me that is a deadly combination. About 3 hours into the recorded version it got much better and became a fairly standard ghost/witch story. (by standard I mean plot) I liked the murder mystery part of the novel and tend to think of it, in retrospect, as a Harry Potter for adults.

The novel is set on the campus of Yale, where the author is an alumnus. It involves the secret part of the secret societies. The heroine is really an anti-heroine and that provides a bit of a new spin on the sorceries. After I got past the first section of the book, this turned out to be a nice thriller to listen to on a long road trip, but I must warn people - this is not the Leigh Bardugo of Shadow and Bone. This one is very different than her previous work so don't go into it expecting that.

The recorded version of the book was well done. Two narrators taking the two lead parts and both did a good job.

I chose to read/listen to this one now because the second book in this series is due to be published in March of 2023 and I thought that meant that I should get this one off of my TBR shelf ASAP, so that I could listen to the next one before it became a ROOT.

Jan 11, 1:13 pm

I've just added my 2nd book to my own ticker.

Jan 12, 7:15 pm

As of January 12th, I have 3 ROOTs to report. I've updated my personal ticker only.

Jan 13, 2:29 am

>33 rosalita: Yes, I know that feeling. Sometimes when I write a review I remember a lot of things I liked about the book or I see something interesting in the overall narrative, which I hadn't noticed as I read along. On the other hand, sometimes a book has felt good during reading, but as I write the review it turns out, I don't really have anything to say about it, because it's been mostly empty calories.

Jan 13, 6:33 am

>37 Henrik_Madsen: I feel this particularly acutely in series - it is often difficult to say anything new about the next installment

Jan 13, 8:35 am

>37 Henrik_Madsen: >38 Robertgreaves: i'm glad it's not just me!

Jan 13, 1:43 pm

Completed ROOT #1: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. Not my favorite, unfortunately. While the plotting was good, most of the characters were unlikeable, inconsistent, or barely played a part in the story.

Jan 14, 10:07 am

I have finished 5 ROOTs so far, and I don't think I can keep this up all year. But right now there's little else to do in this dreary winter.

Jan 14, 2:24 pm

I finished a second ROOT this last week. It was another chunkster - Memory of Souls by Jenn Lyons. This one is book 3 in the Chorus of Dragons series by this author. It was a typical epic fantasy that ended with a major action packed swords and sorcerers battle. However, I can't wait to read the next book to see what happens to all these wonderful characters. I just love me a good epic fantasy series!

Jan 14, 10:54 pm

I'm up to four ROOTs completed. My personal ticker has been updated.

Kenneth, by Nigel Tranter
All Systems Red, by Martha Wells
The Widow of Bath, by Margot Bennett
The Diary of River Song, Series 6 (Big Finish audio drama)

Jan 17, 7:14 pm

>11 benitastrnad: congratulations!

I wish I were retiring...

Jan 19, 3:31 am

I'm 100 pages away from finishing Zola's Son Excellence Eugene Rougon, the second book in the Rougon-Macquart cycle. Starting the new year with some major classics! Need to start my Japanese book club January pick this weekend though!

Jan 20, 1:42 am

>45 curioussquared: OOh! I loved The Goblin Emperor! Read it several years ago and was most impressed.

I have just added my Ticker. Finally got around to joining the group for this year. So far, I haven't finished any ROOTs, but am about halfway through with Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC.

Jan 20, 11:21 am

>47 LoraShouse: I bought the author's other two books in the universe before I even finished The Goblin Emperor. So much for ROOTing, lol!

Jan 21, 8:05 am

Reporting my first ROOT for the year and first for January

Hele verhalen voor een halve soldaat by Benny Lindelauf

Own tickers updated.

Jan 22, 12:53 am

I added another ROOT this week. I finished listening to Countdown City by Ben H. Winters. This apocalyptic work of science fiction is very good listening. The author asks some deep questions about what decisions a person would make about living when faced with the Apocalypse. What does being civilized mean? And who makes those rules when authority breaks down? I now need to read the last book in the trilogy.

Jan 23, 4:16 pm

I had a good reading weekend and took another book off of my shelves. The latest ROOT was A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes. This is the latest retelling of the Trojan War story that my real life book club is reading. We enjoy talking and comparing the various retellings that we have read and so decided to make this one of our selections for 2023. It was a good choice.

Jan 24, 2:39 pm

I think the polio vaccine is one of the most important developments of the past 100 years. I went to school with a number of survivors and remember the quarantines and closed public facilities. I read David Oshinsky's book Polio: An American Story a number of years ago and keep meaning to read it again. Maybe there's a challenge somewhere on this site for rereading our tomes?

Jan 24, 3:13 pm

Just reported ROOT #3 of the year: Chess Story by Stefan Zweig. It was a re-read and really good!

Jan 26, 4:53 pm

I've just added ROOT #3 for the year to my own ticker only. It was a good one - H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.

Editado: Jan 28, 12:33 pm

ROOT 3 for me: Moms who Drink and Swear by Nicole Knepper.
It's a blog-turned-book that had its humorous moments, but there was altogether too much swearing for my taste.

Group tickers updated.

Jan 28, 5:46 pm

As of January 28, I have 4 additional ROOTs to report. My total this month is 7 ROOTs. (I don't think I'll complete any additional books by the end of January.) I've updated my personal ticker but did not touch the group ticker.

Jan 28, 7:05 pm

Up to 5 ROOTs for January. I've added Last Leaves, by Stephen Leacock, to my personal ticker.

Jan 29, 8:57 am

Reporting ROOT # 2 for the year and for January.

Donkergroen bijna zwart by Mareike Fallwickl

Own Tickers updated

Jan 29, 5:42 pm

Just to let everyone know, I have just gotten home from 16 days in the hospital. I'm pretty tired so February thread may be a bit late.

Jan 29, 6:14 pm

Hope you have a quick recovery, Chèli

Jan 29, 7:51 pm

>59 cyderry: Hope you're feeling better soon!

Jan 30, 3:50 am

All my best wishes for a speedy recovery, 16 days is a long time. Take all the time you need, Chèli.

Jan 30, 5:19 am

>59 cyderry: That sounds like a terribly long time to spend away from home. My best wishes for a quick recovery, and don't worry about us. We'll be happily ROOTing.

Jan 30, 4:26 pm

>59 cyderry: Hoping you make a full recovery, Cheli. That sounds like a long stint in hospital. No hurry to update stats.

Jan 30, 4:29 pm

I have managed to create a new ticker by using the scrapbooking one. However, it does count backwards. this month I have completed 4/48 of my roots.

Jan 31, 3:31 am

I won't finish my current ROOT today, so my final count for January is 9. My own ticker is updated, did not touch the group ticker.

Jan 31, 8:39 am

>59 cyderry: I'm so sorry to hear you've not been well. Take your time, we're still ROOTing while you're recovering.

I have one rehome ROOT to report, and may have a first-time read ROOT by midnight. I'll update my personal ticker as soon as I'm done. :)

Jan 31, 11:47 am

>59 cyderry: Oh no! Take your time recovering!

I'm updating my personal ticker with 10 ROOTs for the month! I went back to work on 1/3 after a lovely maternity leave and surprised myself with how much reading I was able to get done on my lunch break (definitely distracting myself from missing my babe!).

Jan 31, 12:02 pm

>59 cyderry: My goodness, I hope you're feeling much better! As the others have said, don't worry about the thread we'll update when it's available.

I have read 4 ROOTS in January.

Jan 31, 1:25 pm

>59 cyderry: Get well very soon!

I'm not going to finish another book (I've a few on the go) by tonight, so my monthly total is 3 ROOTs - I'm a little behind schedule, but hopefully I'll get the ones on the go finished in February and onto some new ones.

Jan 31, 2:32 pm

>59 cyderry:. Sorry to hear that you were in the hospital, especially for such a long time. Hope that you get well soon; please do not overdo it. The thread can certainly wait. Your health is much more important.

Editado: Jan 31, 4:21 pm

>59 cyderry: hi Chèli! Wishing you a full and prompt recovery! We can wait until you get better!

I've finished my 4th ROOT this month.

Group tickers are updated.

Jan 31, 4:21 pm

>59 cyderry: Best wishes for a speedy recovery - and don't worry about the new thread, we will just keep reading without it.

I managed to squeeze in another one before the end of the month: Stanislaw Lem: Solaris. It feels good to not be behind already!

Editado: Fev 1, 4:57 pm

Late reporting my January reads - Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains by AL Kennedy; The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowden; and New Nordic Gardens - Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman. 3/40 for 2023

The advent of computers and the worldwide web strikes me as the most important development of the past 100 years - I marvel at it on a daily basis!

Hope you’re on the mend, Chèli!

Fev 2, 12:08 pm

February Thread is up!

Hope the numbers are right.