The 2020 Reading Thread

A forum specifically for the visual and literary arts.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#21

Post by Marilink » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:35 pm

Booyakasha wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:12 pm
Just saw David Wong is doing a sequel to 'Futuristic Violemce and Fancy Suits' this year. Maybe I'll go reread the first one, just to get all het up and silly about it.
I just picked up a copy of "John Dies at the End" on UN's recommendation. I look forward to getting into it.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#22

Post by Booyakasha » Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:33 am

It's a trip. Hope you dig it, man.
boo---------------the sons of his opponents wish that he was their dad

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#23

Post by United Nations » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:50 pm

United Nations wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:54 pm
Last year I read more than 52 books, but I didn’t keep track so I just know it was ~62-64. I’d like to keep track in this thread better, so here’s my first book of the year.

1. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

I’m a certified Osage, so I loved reading about my tribe’s history, even though it was more than tragic. It was horrifying what white people will do when a minority group becomes wealthier than any of them. Worth the read even though it still has me shivering about lack of human decency.
2. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

It’s the sequel to Children of Blood and Bone. A fantasy series featuring people of color used as an allegory for police brutality. It’s so good minus the love stories.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#24

Post by Heroine of the Dragon » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:34 pm

Just finished The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Now to tackle it in Hungarian... A Dzsungel Könyve. :D
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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#25

Post by I am nobody » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:18 pm

3. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer (2/28)

I got this thinking it'd be the WWII equivalent of what A World Undone was to WWI, but the title should've been a hint. It was written in 1960 and based on Nazi documents captured at the end of the war, and as such it's for an audience that largely lived through the war and with source material only concerned with the German perspective. The result is a book that mentions major events like Stalingrad or the Normandy landings only in passing, and instead focuses on the minute details of the political situation in Germany and, occasionally, the relationship with Italy. That said, while it isn't what I expected it to be, I still think it's valuable to have such an extensive look (it's 57 hours long) at how the Nazis came to power and ultimately undid themselves. There's a lot to learn here about how dictatorships come to be, and the varying reactions of the top officials as everything comes down around them are fascinating. It also devotes a fair amount of time to the anti-Nazi plot that ultimately became Operation Valkyrie, which came far closer to succeeding than I realized. War crimes and the Holocaust come up less than I'd expect, although still in significant detail, and I assume that's because everyone already knew about them in 1960.

Having said all that, I get the impression that the author was an immensely unpleasant person. He claims to have written the book as objectively as possible, yet makes constant broad generalizations about entire nations, dismisses many figures as fools without backing that up, and is weirdly obsessed with making minor personal insults against men who are literally the Nazis. He misses no opportunity to call gay men (and it's only ever men) perverts and on multiple occasions implies that a group, which is again literally the actual Nazis, is somehow degraded by their presence, on one occasion stating the early party attracted "murderers, blackmailers, and homosexuals", and he makes no mention of them later being targeted in the Holocaust. The Roma and disabled are similarly left unmentioned. My version contained two afterwords, one written in the 60's in which he dismisses academic historians' reviews of the book except for one that was positive, and blames comparatively poor sales in Germany on a false belief that the book was anti-German. Putting aside he can barely go a page without describing the German people collectively as, at best, "easily fooled", he then proves the point in the later afterword where he suggests the newly reunified Germany would quickly start a third war, and that only the threat of nuclear weapons can prevent that.

All of which is to say it's a pretty good book that would greatly benefit from being abridged to remove most traces of the author.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#26

Post by Valigarmander » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:08 pm

10. Open Borders: The Science and Etihics of Immigration by Bryan Caplan & Zach Weinersmith - ★★★☆ (Feb 6)
11. A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy - ★★★☆ (Feb 10)
12. Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey by GB Tran - ★★★★ (Feb 18)
13. Giants of the Lost World by Donald R. Prothero - ★★★☆ (Feb 19)
14. One More Year by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Feb 21)
15. The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar - ★★★☆ (Feb 27)

I do love me some graphic memoirs.

2020 reading list:
Spoiler.
1. Megahex by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Jan 7)
2. Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton - ★★★☆ (Jan 9)
3. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi - ★★★★ (Jan 9)
4. The Complete Peanuts: 1950-1952 by Charles M. Schulz - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
5. How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
6. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir & Steenz - ★★☆☆ (Jan 18)
7. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
8. Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
9. Fables: Homelands by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★☆☆ (Jan 30)
10. Open Borders: The Science and Etihics of Immigration by Bryan Caplan & Zach Weinersmith - ★★★☆ (Feb 6)
11. A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy - ★★★☆ (Feb 10)
12. Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey by GB Tran - ★★★★ (Feb 18)
13. Giants of the Lost World by Donald R. Prothero - ★★★☆ (Feb 19)
14. One More Year by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Feb 21)
15. The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar - ★★★☆ (Feb 27)

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#27

Post by Marilink » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:05 am

6. NFL Century by Joe Horrigan

I picked a good time to get interested in Sports History, since Sports is currently cancelled indefinitely. This book was good at giving the sweeping overview of the history of the NFL. Horrigan occasionally would get into greater detail, like when he dedicated an entire chapter to The Immaculate Reception. Those were the most enjoyable parts. I skimmed the sections about owners, TV deals, and commissioners because those are the things I’m least interested in. When he talked more about the players, specific games, specific plays, and personal stories, that’s when I got more interested.

7. NFL 100: A Century of Pro Football

This was a collection of high-resolution photographs and sports article clippings from across the years, including statistical breakdowns by decade. It was shorter and less detailed than NFL Century, but it also focused much more on the things I care about: players and their stories. There were even 4 two-page spreads dedicated to Detroit Lions (Bobby Lane, Joe Schmidt, Barry Sanders, and Calvin Johnson), which was appreciated after they were basically relegated to a footnote in Horrigan’s book (5 indexed citations in the whole book, 7 if you count the Portsmouth Spartans). I was also pleased to see some writing included from one of my favorite and most shockingly eloquent sports writers, Spencer Hall. This book was a great read with a lot of amazing photos to enjoy, too.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#28

Post by Marilink » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:53 pm

8. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

This book was so good. I'm familiar with a lot of the tenets that this book puts forward about baseball--the overvaluing of RBI's and batting average, the benefit of looking at players in terms of OBP and OPS, the fact that you should never steal and never bunt, thinking of pitchers as "out-getters," and so on. But to go back to the book that really codified the philosophy for much of the baseball world was pretty eye-opening. I should have read it sooner. I can imagine a world in which I didn't grow up into a Detroit Tigers family and I become a diehard fan of the Oakland A's purely because of this book. I'm about to say the most no-brainer, unoriginal thing I've ever said in my entire life: this book is a must-read for any baseball fan.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#29

Post by Valigarmander » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:40 pm

16. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates - ★★★☆ (Mar 2)
17. The Fixer and Other Stories by Joe Sacco - ★★★☆ (Mar 12)
18. Bad Gateway by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Mar 17)
19. Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac - ★★☆☆ (Mar 23)
20. Block Party by David Daneman, et al. - ★★★☆ (Mar 24)
21. Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin - ★★★☆ (Mar 26)

Sloooowly working through my backlog.

2020 reading list:
Spoiler.
1. Megahex by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Jan 7)
2. Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton - ★★★☆ (Jan 9)
3. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi - ★★★★ (Jan 9)
4. The Complete Peanuts: 1950-1952 by Charles M. Schulz - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
5. How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
6. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir & Steenz - ★★☆☆ (Jan 18)
7. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
8. Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
9. Fables: Homelands by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★☆☆ (Jan 30)
10. Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration by Bryan Caplan & Zach Weinersmith - ★★★☆ (Feb 6)
11. A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy - ★★★☆ (Feb 10)
12. Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey by GB Tran - ★★★★ (Feb 18)
13. Giants of the Lost World by Donald R. Prothero - ★★★☆ (Feb 19)
14. One More Year by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Feb 21)
15. The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar - ★★★☆ (Feb 27)
16. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates - ★★★☆ (Mar 2)
17. The Fixer and Other Stories by Joe Sacco - ★★★☆ (Mar 12)
18. Bad Gateway by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Mar 17)
19. Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac - ★★☆☆ (Mar 23)
20. Block Party by David Daneman, et al. - ★★★☆ (Mar 24)
21. Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin - ★★★☆ (Mar 26)

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