Karen's 2024 Reading (karspeak)

DiscussãoClub Read 2024

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Karen's 2024 Reading (karspeak)

1karspeak
Editado: Dez 26, 2023, 11:59 pm

My name is Karen (karspeak), and this will be my 6th year in CR and 12th on LT. I am a public school speech pathologist in the Florida Panhandle. I'm married with two sons, ages 14 and 17, with the eldest heading into his senior year this fall. I read a lot of genre fiction, particularly fantasy and sci-fi, plus some general/literary fiction and some nonfiction, usually science-based. Dark/depressing realistic fiction is my least favorite. I follow a lot of threads on CR religiously but rarely comment. You all provide me with most of my reading list suggestions, for which I am very grateful!

3karspeak
Dez 26, 2023, 11:59 pm

July

4karspeak
Editado: Fev 23, 11:27 pm

I end up skimming or ditching a lot of books, just because they aren't grabbing me or seem to drag on. Or I will read the first book or first few books in a series to appreciate the world building, then jump to the last book in the series and skim it to see how the plot wraps up.

Skimmed/DNF
--Defiant--4th and final book in the Skyward series, could have been a better conclusion
--A Little Too Familiar--supernatural love story, meh
--Happy Place--cute but forgettable rom-com for book club
--This Thing of Darkness (4th Fiona Griffiths)
--The Dead House: Midnight (5th Fiona Griffiths)

--The Deepest Grave (6th Fiona Griffiths)
--Charmed Life
--The Burning Witch 2
--Babel
--Within the Sanctuary of Wings (final bk in Natural History of Dragons)

--Terminal Uprising
--Terminal Peace
--Illuminations

5labfs39
Dez 27, 2023, 7:29 am

Welcome back for another year of Club Read, Karen. I wish we had gotten to know each other before I left the panhandle. We could have had a meetup at Sundog Books in Seaside!

6markon
Dez 27, 2023, 11:46 am

Look forward to seeing what fantasy and science fiction titles I will catch from you this year.

7chlorine
Dez 31, 2023, 12:12 pm

I'm looking forward to following your reading in 2024!

8karspeak
Dez 31, 2023, 9:36 pm

>5 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa! I know, it's a shame! As others have mentioned, thanks for organizing our group, so that those of us living far apart can still discuss books:). I've already starred your new thread (as I do every year).

>6 markon: Thanks, Ardene! I've already starred your new thread (as I do every year).

>7 chlorine: Thanks!

9dchaikin
Jan 1, 7:27 pm

Welcome back Karen. Wish you a great 2024. And good luck with college searches.

10karspeak
Jan 14, 5:57 pm

1. Talking to the Dead (LT rec)
2. Love Story, with Murders (2nd in series)
3. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths (3rd in series)

These Fiona Griffiths books were a fun way to start the year. There are currently 6 in the series. They follow a Welsh police detective named Fiona Griffiths who also has some psych issues. Well done. In some ways Fiona reminds me of Murderbot--very logical and smarter than those around her, but trying to figure out her own emotions and what it means to be human.

11karspeak
Jan 14, 5:58 pm

>9 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan!

12chlorine
Jan 28, 5:22 am

>10 karspeak: I'm not into crime fiction but "reminds me of Murderbot" is a nice recommentation! These sound interesting.

13wandering_star
Jan 29, 5:35 pm

I like the Fiona Griffiths series too - just finished the final one in December.

14karspeak
Editado: Fev 2, 11:28 pm

>12 chlorine: These books are definitely police procedurals, so I wouldn't read them if you don't care for that genre. Even with the Murderbot comparison enticement;)

>13 wandering_star: I probably heard about them from your thread; so, thanks! I particularly appreciated her ability to see quickly and clearly through people's words and niceties to their underlying intentions.

15karspeak
Fev 2, 11:34 pm

4. A Natural History of Dragons
This was a fun read. It's almost an alternate history--it's set in a world very similar to our 1800s, except dragon species do exist. An English-ish lady longs to study dragons, but the conventions of the day are stifling her.

16jjmcgaffey
Fev 3, 12:27 am

>15 karspeak: It is absolutely an alternate history - I don't recall if it was visible so much in the first book, but the one problem I had with the series was remembering which random name more-or-less corresponded to which actual country (as you say, there's English-ish...and India-ish and China-ish and ...). Excellent stories, though, all of them.

17rhian_of_oz
Fev 4, 11:52 pm

>15 karspeak: and >16 jjmcgaffey: I enjoyed this series a lot but every now and again I would get annoyed because she didn't really build her own world (well except for the dragon bits) she simply renamed Earth countries and cultures and it was distracting. I almost would have preferred if it was an outright alternative history.

18karspeak
Fev 10, 6:53 pm

>16 jjmcgaffey: and >17 rhian_of_oz: I skimmed the final two books in the series. I'm not sure what I thought about the ending--what did you think?

5. Terminal Alliance (LT rec)
Comedic, light, clever space opera involving a snarky AI, various alien races, and humans who can turn zombie-ish when infected with a biological weapon.

19chlorine
Fev 11, 12:53 pm

>18 karspeak: This sounds like a fun book! :) I see that some reviews compare it to Scalzi's work.
Do you often follow LT recommendations? I've had so-so luck with them so far.

20rhian_of_oz
Fev 12, 10:39 pm

>18 karspeak: I read Within the Sanctuary of Wings in May 2022 and have very little memory of it which suggests to me that I neither loved or hated it and that it likely met whatever expectations I had of it. (It might also be because that was my first semester back at uni and I likely had a lot of assessments due!)

Throughout the series we know that Lady Trent is very famous and if I'd thought about it I possibly could've predicted what her discovery would be, but these weren't books that I thought too hard about 🙂.

I've just discovered that my library has Turning Darkness into Light so I'm going to add it to the wishlist for when I want a bit of fun escapism.

21karspeak
Editado: Fev 24, 12:20 am

>19 chlorine: Yes, I agree that it was Scalzi-ish in humor. Oh, I am probably mis-using the term "LT recommendation." I just mean that I got the idea from someone else's thread, not from the recommendations generated by the site based on my reading history (which I haven't updated in years!).

6. House of Flame and Shadow
The third and final book in the Crescent City trilogy. It did a nice job wrapping everything up, even if I didn't like it quite as much as the first two books.

7. First Lie Wins (book club selection)
This was a good pool/beach read. It reminded me somewhat of Ocean's 11, with con artists playing the short and long games. There were some minor plot flaws or holes, but still fun.

8. The Poppy War
Whoa. This is an "epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic." This is the first in a trilogy. I liked the fantasy aspects and world-building, and the incorporation of Chinese culture and history. The section of the book that mirrored the Nanjing Massacre was very horrific, as you might imagine, as were some other parts. The ending made me change from liking the main character to really disliking her, so I won't continue with the series.

9. How the World Really Works (nonfiction)
The author Vaclav Smil is a scientist and policy analyst, particularly for energy studies. Bill Gates is a huge admirer of Smil's. I read Gates' book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster a few years ago, and I realize now that the most interesting (to me) parts of it were drawn directly from Smil's work. Smil is a science and numbers guy, and he does not see a way for the world to rapidly move away from dependence on fossil fuels for what he calls "the four pillars of modern civilization": ammonia (for fertilizer), plastics, steel, and concrete. In Smil's chapter on "Understanding the Environment," he lists the nine categories of critical biospheric boundaries: climate change, ocean acidification, depletion of stratospheric ozone, atmospheric aerosols, interference in nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, freshwater use, land use changes, biodiversity loss, and various forms of chemical pollution. But then he states that he will "focus on just a few key existential parameters...--breathing, drinking, and eating." Hmm.
Smil is highly informative on the topics that he has studied for decades, namely the energy needs for a growing (or stagnating) society. He is also good at analyzing data sets. But I was hoping for much more information and insight on various issues involved with global warming and our environment. And I was really disappointed with the way he brushed by those topics, especially biodiversity loss.

22labfs39
Fev 24, 3:03 pm

>21 karspeak: Your comments on The Poppy War brought to mind the Chung Kuo series. It's alternate history/science fiction, where China rules a truly horrific world. A friend gave them to me, so I powered through the first five, but it was a chore and not one I would recommend.

23karspeak
Editado: Ontem, 6:53 pm

>22 labfs39: I hadn't heard of that series. Good to know; it definitely doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy.