r/books 22d ago

The /r/books Book Club Selection + AMA for December is "Firekeeper's Daughter" by Angeline Boulley

53 Upvotes

If you are looking for the announcement thread for the previous month, it may be found here.

Hello, all. During the month of December, the sub book club will be reading Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Each week there will be a discussion thread and when we are done, Angeline herself will be joining us for an AMA.

From Goodreads (feel free to skip if you prefer to know nothing going into the book as the description contains minor spoilers):

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Please note that this month's selection is a young adult novel. If you would like to view potential content warnings for the book, a reader suggested list may be found here.

You may find the dates of, and links to, the discussion threads below in the sticky comment on this post. You are welcome to read at your own pace. Usually it is pretty easy to catch up and you are always welcome to join the discussions a little later.

If you would like to view any past book club selection or want to see how things work, you may find the complete archive here.

For those of you that are viewing reddit on the redesigned desktop version you will see an option on this post to 'follow'. If you 'follow' the book club post you will receive a notification when a new post, a discussion thread for book club, is added to the collection.


r/books 11h ago

WeeklyThread Jewish Literature: December 2021

6 Upvotes

Shalom readers,

This is our weekly discussion of the literature of the world! Every Wednesday, we'll post a new country or culture for you to recommend literature from, with the caveat that it must have been written by someone from that country (i.e. Shogun by James Clavell is a great book but wouldn't be included in Japanese literature).

December 11 is the first day of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, and to celebrate we're discussing Jewish literature. Please use this thread to discuss your favorite Jewish literature and authors!

If you'd like to read our previous discussions of the literature of the world please visit the literature of the world section of our wiki.

Toda and enjoy!


r/books 11h ago

School District Pulls 400+ Books From Shelves After Governor Pressure

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2.8k Upvotes

r/books 5h ago

Banning LGBTQ-Themed Books From Flagler Schools Is an Attempt to Erase Students Like Me. We Will Not Stand For It.

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465 Upvotes

r/books 7h ago

What is something stupid that always ruins a book for you?

584 Upvotes

Regardless of how petty it may seem, what will always lower the standard of a book for you? Personally, I can't stand detailed sex scenes, like whatever. I do not need a description of a girl's boobs, anything. I don't need to read about the entire male or female anatomy because they're shagging. And I hate it when they go into a vivid description of someone coming or penetration. Unnecessary, a waste of time and I just cannot stand how some writers go into such vivid description like they're trying to romanticize, make something more emotional. Just no, but that is what irritates me the most. What is something petty that you can't stand while reading a book?

Also - Unpopular opinion possibly, but I dislike when a writer goes into a lot of depth describing the physical beauty of someone. Like they need to describe every bit of physical perfection that makes someone hot, just saying they're good looking and move on is enough.


r/books 8h ago

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving has just become one of my favorite books

304 Upvotes

I just finished this wonderful novel last night and I can't get it out of my mind. Leaving the novel was sad because I loved the world that Irving created and Owen Meany is like someone I have never read before. If you are inspired to read this book have patience because the beginning is a slow burn. I remember thinking to myself if this book was going anywhere, but other people said it takes a little while before the story picks up and the payoff was more than rewarding.


r/books 1d ago

A novelist says fake editions of his works were listed on Amazon as centuries old, with one $7 book going for $1,008

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15.4k Upvotes

r/books 4h ago

'Attack on books': Over 600 authors, publishers, groups condemn book bans

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35 Upvotes

r/books 8h ago

I'm blown away by Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey

67 Upvotes

At the very start of 2021 I decided I would read 36 books before the arrival of 2022. I'm currently reading the 34th book of my goal and I'm totally blown away by it. Although I did not finish it yet (I'm currently at 75%) I'm already extremely baffled by this amazing book! I mean, what about the part when Bowman leaves the Discovery and notices that the monolith he sees standing on Japetus is not what he thought it was and that it is actually full of starts, meaning it is a gateway to another part of the universe. I've always been interested about astronomy and I could not be more impressed by all of this. This book makes me feel really small towards the size of the universe. Have you ever read this book? How do you feel about it?


r/books 7h ago

Marie-Claire Blais, Acclaimed French Canadian Novelist, Dies at 82

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61 Upvotes

r/books 17h ago

Did your parents do anything to encourage you to read?

235 Upvotes

When I was a little girl I was the last stop on the bus route after school and the first to be picked up in the morning so I always had about 90-120 minutes to do nothing but read. I really enjoyed it and reading made the time fly by. I would get in trouble at school for reading and read with a flashlight at bedtime. I feel like I owe a lot to books and how they’ve changed my life and I really want my children to love books and read daily but I don’t want them to feel like they’re forced and ruin the magic. Is there anything your parents did to encourage reading without making it feel forced?


r/books 1h ago

[Question] The Count of Monte Cristo

Upvotes

Hi everyone! I have no idea if this is the right sub for this question. I’ve tried the specific Monte Cristo sub but my question got deleted.

First off I’d like to say, please no spoilers. I’m currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time and so far I absolutely love it. I’m currently on chapter 33, titled Roman Bandits. These past few chapters have me a little confused.

I’m not really understanding the role of some of the more recent characters. This is the first time I’ve felt bored in this book. More specifically, I’m talking about the role of Franz, Pastrini, Albert, and the characters around this part of the timeline.

I’ll be honest, I’ve kinda been zoning in and out during these chapters so maybe I missed something important to this part of the story. Is there any way you could give me some context into the purpose of these characters without any major spoilers? I’m just not seeing how they fit into Edmunds story.

Or if you think it’s detrimentally important to the story let me know and I will go back, reread, and try to understand for myself.

Thanks so much! :)

I will also say I’m not a huge reader so my reading level definitely isn’t the best. There’s been some parts that have been really daunting, maybe it’s just with the translation. I’ve kinda just powered through those parts. Is that pretty normal with this book? If this is one of those parts let me know and I shall power through.


r/books 4h ago

I'm in Love with "Normal People".

9 Upvotes

I can't type it into words.
From the start until the end I was held by a gripping intensity. I love Salley Rooney's writing style. Her intellectualisms were a bit toned down in this book, just the right dose I say. The first part of the book, before they go to collegeis definitely my favorite, such a new concept for me to be honest. the rest of the book felt so good to read. I admire her non-linear storytelling and the journey from self-hate to self-love.

This is a must read for everyone who experienced love and hate in relationships. It is a great peek into the distress of unfunctional & functional relationships. I'm in the process of recommending it to my whole circle of friends

after reading both her books and starting the third tomorrow,>! I noticed a frequent display of self-harm thoughts and depression re-occuring in all her works.!< I really hope she's doing okay mentally. She's my new favorite author.


r/books 6h ago

What song would you want to be turned into a book?

10 Upvotes

Let us imagine a world where musicians, alive or dead (who are in heaven by the way as was confirmed by the spirit embodiment of the Powers that be that all dead musicians are in heaven for blessing the world with their music) are to write a book about one song of theirs. In this world all musicians are also talented writers.The musicians can write a story based on the general vibe/themes of the song or extend the story of a song etc. Now the fans across the board are losing their marbles and crying because this is a dream come true! Fans flock to all corners of the internet to speculate which songs will be made into books and of course comment which song they personally would want to be converted into a book.

So I ask of you guys in this corner of the internet, which songs would you like to see be made into a book?

Personally: I'd like to see Strength of the World by Avenged Sevenfold. Its my favourite song of theirs. The song tells a story about a man (presumably) seeking to take revenge on a group of outlaws who killed his family. The song has western vibes to it so it would be in the western genre. I don't particularly enjoy the genre but I do really enjoy stories about revenge (count of monte cristo was my favourite book of last year) so it wouldn't matter. I would want Avenged Sevenfold to add alot of other elements such as other characters and make this book an epic 800 page tome. The song is so good guys btw I recommend you check it out. I especially love the string sections in the beginning and end.

Honourable mentions: Jacksonville by Sufjan Stevens and Sandy Fishnets (only her story) by Evelyn Evelyn.

Edit: for those curious, the dead musicians will be sending their final drafts to agents of the Powers that be who will deliver the drafts to the land of the living to have them published.


r/books 2h ago

I Apparently Got the Last Interview That Philip Roth Ever Gave' - Israeli filmmaker Asaf Galay’s new documentary ‘The Adventures of Saul Bellow’ takes a deep dive into the artistry and tumultuous personal life of the American Jewish writer

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3 Upvotes

r/books 8h ago

Nothing But The Truth by Avi (1991): A book I hate but can't forget

10 Upvotes

I don't remember when or why I read this book. It was definitely for some level of middle or high school English class but the exact year escapes me. For the uninitiated, a brief summary:

Phillip Malloy is a ninth-grader who wants to join the track team and finds himself at odds with his teacher Ms. Narwin. Her giving him a poor grade on an exam prevents him from being able to join the track team and so he concocts a plan that goes thusly: he will hum the national anthem during her homeroom class (as opposed to standing in reverent silence) in an effort to get disciplined for being disruptive, cry foul to his parents that his teacher is quashing his patriotic spirit, and attempt to get transferred to a different home room.

Unfortunately for him the plan works a little bit too well; he is indeed disciplined by the assistant principal, but Phillip's father spreads the story of his son's unflappable patriotism to his friend running for the local school board. The father's friend leverages it to help his election and Phillip's story starts to get wider attention across the country and it becomes a hot-button issue. Despite the current superintendent pressuring Phillip's school to move him out of Ms. Narwin's class and eventually causing her to leave the state entirely because of the negative press, the current superintendent loses his seat.

Phillip's lies have snowballed out of control and he desires a transfer to a private school to escape the fallout despite his family not really having the funds. The book ends with him at his new school, in a new homeroom, but the school does not have a track team. During the morning Pledge of Allegiance, Phillip's new teacher encourages him to sing the national anthem, causing him to say the line which has been stuck in my brain all this time: as a tear falls down Phillip's cheek he remarks, "I don't know the words."

Let me be frank: I fucking hated this book and I still do now. Surprisingly the concept of a local story with little importance reaching the near-national stage is still relevant and almost prophetic given this was written well before the advent of social media. But a good idea does not a good book make, as I'm sure you all know.

Phillip is the most annoying little shit and I never sympathized with him. Everything that happens is his fault at every stage and he never backs down or takes responsibility. Failing his test? His fault. Coming up with a plan to aggress and defame his teacher? Obviously his fault. It's been many years and I doubt I'll ever re-read this mess but if I recall he never tries to de-escalate the situation or try and get his dad or his dad's friend to lay off trying to blow this thing out of proportion.

I was never even clear on the point it was trying to make even after reading through some analyses of the book just before writing this post. It certainly has the elements of being a story about people with varying motivations and relationships to the truth with no real theme because that's how life works (the book is a "Documentary Novel" so I believe that is the intention) but does that make it an enjoyable read or make it immune to criticism? Of course not.

The last line just really stuck with me in the worst way for all these years. It's been well over a decade since I had to read this and I can't forget it. The feeling of rage and anti-climax was palpable. Am I supposed to feel bad for him? Did he feel regret? It seemed like he fucked up multiple people's lifelong careers, the political landscape of his hometown, his own parent's finances, and an innocent woman's entire life for basically nothing. Not no reason, just a really shitty one. I'm left with a feeling of "what am I supposed to do with this?"

I don't hate the author, I think he accomplished what he set out to do, and won a Newberry for it. I hate the characters, I hate the structure, I hate the lack of a clear message or a clear ending. It seems I'm not alone in this feeling either, given some of the discussion I've seen on it elsewhere. I mused about writing a post like this before but this morning the feeling of rage hit different and now here we are.

So I'm interested in what people here think. Did you read this? What did you think of it? I know my analysis is shallow but it was a shallow book, I think it fits. I'm also open to the idea that I'm dumb and wrong, so please prove me to be so I like to learn. Thanks for reading.


r/books 7h ago

The Library's Novel Approach To A Crisis

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9 Upvotes

r/books 13h ago

Review of the "Long Earth" book series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.

24 Upvotes

I have read every single book by the late Terry Pratchett and loved ever single one except maybe Nation and the long earth series as it went along.

The first major issue with the books is that it is a collaboration of 2 people with completely different approaches on writing. Terry Pratchett is known for his colourful (Pun intended) fantasy novels. He is the one responsible for the main idea behind the story (original was a short story, contained in "A Blink of the Screen"). And of course anyone who knows Sir Terry's writing will instantly smile at stuff like "Tibetan Bicycle Repairman". So a lot of the creative work is clearly attributed to him in this book. Stephen Baxter's work on the other hand are mostly social studies. For example in "the flood (2008)" he describes how humanity would cope with an apocalypse that is caused by constant rise of the sea level. Stephen Baxter's focus is almost always on social interaction and less on individuals , emotions or the moment. So we have 2 people who have complete opposite writing styles. Terry Pratchett once wrote in a preface to "A good Omen" which he worked on together with Neil Gaiman: 'If you don't like certain parts of the book, just pretend they were written by the one of us you like the least.' And that is what I did for the most part here too. I feel like a lot of the books drier and less vivid parts can be attributed to Stephen Baxter. It's his style after which the book is not a simple story that takes place in one place and focuses on one person, but has to be an giant epic that spans over decades and shows societies development as a whole. Not that these parts are less interesting than the ones with Joshua and Lobsang, but they are definitely taking away the fun those 2 characters are creating.

The second issue is Terry's declining health at the time. Sadly he died before they were able to finish the books and so the last 2 were finished by Baxter alone (and it shows). It's hard for anyone outside of Baxter and Pratchett themselves to know just how much the decline in quality throughout the series is actually due to the unavailability of Terry or how much was intended from the start but actually is just bad writing.

So for the actual books. I will try and be spoiler free but for books 3,4 and 5 I will have to spoil basically everything because the plot is the main issue with those books (and also the reason I want to talk about it as a form of therapy). So I recommend only to click on the spoiler tag section, if you already read the books.

Long Earth: This is the best of the 5 ones in the series and almost a must read for any Pratchett fan. It introduces a new world in which humans are able to "stepp" into new dimensions with untouched nature where humans can have a new beginning. Themes and parallels to the founding of the united states are often brought up as well as changes to the society back at earth.

The Long War: Despite the title there is very little going on in this 2nd installment. It is mainly a retread of the exact same story as the first book, but again. The only new thing is the increased focus on the "Next" the new emergent super geniuses who will be a main faction in the books coming forward. And the named war is of the humans being afraid of this new human "race". The whole thing with the next being treated as not human anymore was very uncomfortable to read, how racism of fictitious fantasy races often is. But one expected better from Terry Pratchett who has treated the issue so well in over 50 books in Ankh-Morpork. Again I will reiterate that I blame Stephen Baxters input here because Terry's body of work proves that he knows better than to make a genetically superior race in a scifi book where the next will repeatedly show disgust towards normal humans.

The long mars: Here we depart into the realm of complete bad writing where the plot just completely falls apart. The established internal logic of the books is often ignored or new rules get invented on the fly only to be ignored a few pages later. And worst of all the characters behave irrational and only in ways to push the plot forward rather than being consistent with their previous behaviour. So spoilers from here on out: The entire Mars plotline is nonsensical and marred by an unlikable character in the form of Sally's father (the one that invented stepping). Everything that goes wrong on mars is his fault and he suffers no consequences for his actions. He teaches a crustacean species how to step (without knowing their language within like 5 min) and is then chased by their tribe leader for that indiscretion which ultimately gets a team member killed because he also got rid of the only gun they had. And then as a final insult he delivers the worst line in book history. When they find a functioning space elevator the father wants to take a sample of the material so humans can build their own space elevator on earth (even though they already have good alternative by just stepping into the empty void which is how they got to mars in the first place). When Sally asks who build this thing and where they are now, he replies: "Who cares? We just need the material." Which again, if you go for unlikeable character this is a great line because it spits in the readers face who actually cares a lot and wants to know that kind of stuff. Problem is that the rest of the book and the entire series afterward also doesn't care and will never explore all the interesting ideas dismissed by Sallys father. So in reality he is just there to dismiss all the things the authors didn't want to think about which ofc means all the things that felt like plotholes actually are plotholes. Like that you can only step on a planet if there is a sentient species on it. That Datum earth was uninhabited watched from mars and many many more.

The Long Utopia: This one is baffling in a lot of ways. Lobsangs retreat with Agnes and wanting to live as a human again is understandable but doesn't really solve his fundamental issue since he still thinks he's dead an his soul fractured. His actual issue isn't that he wants to live a human live with a family again, its a religious dilemma. Anyway they discover that the planet they stayed on is destroyed by some giant cyborg bugs that want to turn it into a weapon for their intergalactic war. To solve that issue they have to bring Jesus to that Planet and have him and Sally rip that world out of the dimensional chain so that the bugs can't step to any other world. This is a thing that happens. Stan Berg, who very clearly is a Jesus allegory, only has a very milk toast be nice to everyone message which feels like the joke from Douglas Adams. Also its explained that the bugs can't step so one wonders why it was necessary to sacrifices both Stan and Sally just for that. Also a version of Lobsang is send out in a tiny satellite, I guess. Which seems like the opposite of what he wanted to do in the beging. Doesn't matter since the 5th book completely ignores this one even happened anyway.

The Long Cosmos It's just filler. The entire book is build up to an encounter with interdimensional Aliens but at the end we don't even meet them. Also the plot is basically just copied from the movie "Contact". That's not me making that comparison, it's literally stated in the book that this is basically the movie contact. A lot more Scifi references are in this one where characters will just say this is just like "2001" or Alien. This is clearly a desperate attempt by Stephen Baxter to fill the final book without any more input by Sir Terry Pratchett so he just cobbled something together. I want to direct especial hate towards Chapter 28. A 1 and 1/2 pages chapter where we learn in exactly 8 sentences that Sister Agnes died. A main character and that's all she is gonna get. Not to speak of that her death is pretty damn unnecessary. She has decided to just stop living and die, since she thinks she lived long enough. It's not that she is in pain or has other problems she can't deal with. No, she just is kinda bored and gives up. No Human being will ever chose to just die when there is no reason for it (not even to mention that Agnes has a 18 year old adopted son at this point. Yeah mothers are known to just leave their children first chance they get). It is unbelievable how disrespectful towards the character this one chapter was.

Finally I want to summarize the main issue with all the books: they are completely incurious and even dismissive of first contact with aliens. For a series that is about going to new worlds and even encountering many new live forms there is no deeper connection than just looking at them in passing. One or two pages of what they see as they come by, a reaction and then just go further. No exploration of Alien cultures, other ways to live or culture clash with human society. Every science fiction has that "what could we learn from other species about ourselves" at its core but here it is missing. Which was also the vibe I was getting from the flood so I know who I am gonna blame for that personally.


r/books 3h ago

"Say Happy Holidays with" *Maus* and *Persepolis*?

4 Upvotes

https://imgur.com/a/LhWRJag

Just got this in a promo e-mail from Bookshop.org, pointing to the Penguin Random House page here), and I just... Oof. It feels like they missed the mark a bit? I'm certainly glad these powerful reads are being promoted, but I'm just not sure either of these books fit well in a Happy Holidays ad.

What do you all think? Should publishers suggesting their books for gift-giving only feature festive titles, or should we take whatever excuse we can find to promote excellent books?


r/books 6h ago

Van Gogh: The life

5 Upvotes

Hi guys, I’m about to finish this big book and having a break. It’s the very first time I actually read something about Vincent Van Gogh, his art, his life, his special relationship with younger brother Theo and their whole family. Just wanna here your thoughts on this book.

What do you think about the storytelling, Vincent and Theo and their relationship? It makes me feel really tired and sorry for Theo so many times, because of Vincent’s behavior. Anyone with me?


r/books 10h ago

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and why everyone should read it

11 Upvotes

I just finished this book and I would highly recommend it. I really didn’t realize how important and life-changing sleep is and could be. If you’re looking to seriously change the outlook of your everyday life (mental, emotional, and physical welfare) AND your life long-term, I recommend using this book as a guide.

Anyone else read this and have an epiphany regarding their own sleep habits?


r/books 1d ago

Feminist retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four approved by Orwell’s estate. Just wondering what are everyone thoughts on this ?

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820 Upvotes

r/books 17h ago

200 Books That Shaped 200 Years of Literature: a panel selected books that changed the rules of what we could write about and how we could write about it

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30 Upvotes

r/books 1m ago

Do you reread books?

Upvotes

I do it sometimes, but only after it's been three or more years since I read them for the first time so I'm sure that there's at least some stuff I've forgotten about.

This year I've been rereading some of the books I had since I was a preteen, I'm now in my twenties for context, and I've been noticing a lot more stuff, both good and bad. For example with the Chronicles of Narnia, The Horse and His Boy was always my least favorite book in the series, but I never noticed how racist it was until I reread it earlier this year. What about you?


r/books 29m ago

The Giver Interpretation

Upvotes

I just finished reading The Giver and I thought that the book could be about trauma. When Jonas is selected he’s singled out from the rest of his class and the society he lives in based on what he has to endure.

When he visits the Giver he has to endure painful memories that no one else has to endure in their society and he can’t share them with anyone. He tries to show the girl he has a crush on what red looks like when showing her something outside and she couldn’t grasp it.

Sameness is naivety and innocence. Everyone in the community starts off with it and they do everything in their power to preserve it.

They put all their trauma and feelings into the giver. Good and bad. Most days the giver is in pain because of what he has experienced.

Finally at the end of the book Jonas decides to flee and take baby Gabriel with him. Gabriel has experienced good memories and feelings, because Jonas has given him those things, but he also experiences bad things (freezing during the escape). The giver refuses to go with him because he’s too weak, which might be because he’s too busy wallowing in his own pain.

Thoughts?


r/books 6h ago

Is it weird to be attracted to Heathcliff?

1 Upvotes

I’m reading Wuthering Heights right now, I’m halfway through it, so please no spoilers, even though I have an idea of how things will play out. Anyway, I find myself completely infatuated with Heathcliff! I don’t understand this. What’s more, is I find his horrible behavior attractive, ie. what he does to Hindley, how he treats Isabella, etc. I can’t stop thinking about him. Lol is this normal, has anyone else felt this way?