Almost done with “A Little Life” and I don’t know if I can finish it

This book is basically just trauma porn. I constantly thought through the book, “okay it can’t get worse than this,” and low and behold, it does; to the point where I no longer have any emotions when I read what trauma he’s been through.

I also find the book repetitive, especially when Jude and Willem get into a relationship, because it revolves around self-harm, and Jude not wanting to open up.

I do relate to some of this book on a personal level when it discusses Jude’s feelings about sex and not enjoying it.

I have about 150 pages left. I might as well finish it but I’m finding it very tedious to do so right now.

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Did reading in social media become a competition?

BookTok and Book Twitter community are great places to share and talk about books (even though they tend to stay on the same books over and over making them overrated as hell), but I can’t help but notice a sudden spark of competition or even meritocracy around the amount of books readers read in a year. It’s overwhelming! Just saw a tiktok of a girl reading three books in a day. I mean, if you’re like Spencer Reid that’s cool, you go girl, but are you really reading or merely passing your eyes over the words? Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people can read fast but it feels just for the sake of showing off you read 100+ books that month. Some people tend to get really mad or frustrated when they don’t reach their goal of 30 books a month. It’s weird.

Maybe it’s just me. I get really overwhelmed, cuz i feel like I’m not doing my best somehow… even though I know it’s all in my head and I’m reading a great amount of books every year for the time I have.

What do you think?

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Trying to make a story

"It was four in the morning. The occasional cold wind that seeps in through the window crack would send shivers all over my body. It has been nearly seven months without power, and supplies are getting scarce. Though I feel things maybe starting to become much more difficult, at the very least I have found this shelter safe enough for the time being. But sometimes at night I can just vaguely hear the screams of the nighters in the distance."

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Books I Read in 2021

1/ Pattern Recognition by William Gibson I really enjoyed this book, it’s the first in a three part Blue Ant series. Unfortunately I could get into the other two!

2/ The Testaments by Margaret Atwood Loved The Testaments just as much or maybe even more than Handmaids Tale. I liked seeing the story told from multiple perspectives.

3/ Tears For Tarashiha by Olfat Mahmoud This was an incredible read about the life and accomplishments of a Palestinian Refugee, told by herself. It was pretty brutal at times and I had multiple nightmares while reading. But it was also inspiring and I will never forget her story.

4/ Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton Absolutely loved this book. Couldn’t put it down until I had about 10 pages left when I abandoned it because I didn’t want the story to be over. Missed the book and the characters so much after finishing.

5/ Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford I didn’t enjoy this one very much. I didn’t hate it though. I never finish a book that I’m hating. Clementine Ford is a pretty famous feminist in Australia and I myself am a feminist so I could resonate with a lot of what she was saying, however I feel like her writing and success is about the shock value of her delivery and not because it’s groundbreaking feminism. Fast food feminism.

6/ 1984 by George Orwell I didn’t see the big deal about this book when I first started reading, it has eerily predicted the future but maybe because I’m a millennial it doesn’t seem so significant. But when I explained the plot and world to my partner and retold the concept in my own words, the significance hit me. It’s a cool book and creepily describes a world not too far from what we’re living in now.

7/ American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins Sped through this book as it was very easy to digest and read. A bit fast fiction, a Hollywood movie version of a book. Despite that, I enjoyed it. It was a great little insight into what life is like for Mexican refugees crossing the border.

8/ Overstory by Richard Powers This is probably my favorite book of the year so far. So painfully, beautifully heart breaking. I adored all the characters and there’s a lot of non-fiction weaved into the story that makes it even more heartbreaking and real. For the love of trees and books and Mother Nature.

9/ Just Kids by Patti Smith A book I’ve had forever and only just picked up to read. Patti smith is a great writer and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work. Makes me want to listen to her music. A beautiful and then heartbreaking story of love and friendship.

10/ Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier Beautiful descriptive love story. Couldn’t put it down and loved everything about it. Such an adventure and I’ll miss the characters and nature.

11/ After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell Boring boring boring. I finished it only because I wanted to discover the big reveal at the end, which turned out to be as underwhelming as the entire book.

12/ The Trial by Franz Kafka Another ‘masterpiece’ written by a man that falls short and only disappoints. The law is unfair? Duh. Justice is scarce? Yeah…and? Massive eye roll. Groundbreaking? Hmm not so much. This extremely boring book is suppose to be an allegory for the unjust power of authoritarianism but it’s pretty hard to empathize with the main character when he’s a 30 year old white dude with a highly esteemed banking job and who apparently can’t look at a woman without them ovulating on the spot and throwing themselves at him. Oh poooooor thing. I couldn’t even finish it. I will give Kafka one more shot but this book didn’t win me over.

12/ Property by Lionel Shriver I really really love the way she writes. This collection of short stories was like a delicious snack. Very relatable and fun to read. So different to the first book of hers I read, We Need To Talk About Kevin, but still great in a different way. Can’t wait to read more of her work.

13/ Killing Commentator by Haruki Murakami I’ve always loved Murakami and this book in particular was really easy to read over a few days. Hard to put down. It certainly has all the elements of a Murakami novel. I was disappointed and unnerved by the constant mention of the breasts of the 13 year old girl. But I’m a die hard fan so will try to ignore this and maybe read his earlier works.

14/ We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson What a sinister little story. I heard lots about this book before reading and I think instead of just enjoying the writing and soaking it all in I was constantly on the look out for a twist which may have taken away from the experience a bit. However, I really loved it and ate it up in 24 hours over New Years.

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What’s a book that you read when you were a kid and dropped but cam back to as an adult and loved?

I'll go first mine was Harry Potter. I read it the first book when i was 12 but just couldn't get into it so I gave up on it. Fast forward to last year at 22 I started reading it again and loved it. Most of my knowledge of Harry Potter was from the movies and I was afraid id remember what happened since i watched them but thankfully i cant remember much so its like a fresh start almost.

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On lesser-known books later made into successful movies.

I found a copy of Anatomy of a Murder (1958) in the local university library. I had heard of the 1959 film, but I never knew it was based off a novel.

The author, John Voelker, was a defense attorney, and had based the work on a previous case he defended. I felt it was well-written, and gave a good glimpse into the operations of a murder trial, explaining the in-depth legalese involved without either being too technical or talking down to the reader.

The book was a number-one bestseller, which led to its adaptation the following year. However, in the six decades since, I feel the popularity of the film has vastly eclipsed that of the novel.

Hence, my question: what great novels do y’all feel have been largely forgotten in pop culture in favor of their movie counterparts?

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Project Hail Mary (by Andy Weir) is filling a Michael Crichton sized hole in my heart that I didn’t believe could ever be filled again.

My favorite author of all time was Michael Crichton. His particular flavor of science fiction featuring accurate science, combined with the immensely enjoyable storytelling, got me hooked on every one of his books. When he died, I didn’t think any other books would satisfy my like his.

The Martian by Andy Weir was great, but I kinda figured it was a one-off. But, I’m currently about a quarter of the way through Hail Mary Project and I am thoroughly enjoying it. A few pages ago I realized this style of story telling is exactly what I’ve been missing since Crichton passed. I’m not finished yet, but so far it’s a 10/10.

Edit: just want to add that one of my favorite books of all times is Travels, Michel Crichton’s autobiography. Not only was he a great author but he lived an interesting life. It probably helps that a great story teller[himself] told his story 😆.

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Realisation on an umpteenth reading of Harry Potter series

I'm trying to wrap my head around transgender identity, discrimination, and the recent movie reunion of Harry Potter that does not involve JK Rowling.

I have also been reading the Harry Potter series to my 9 year old. We are up to the part where Harry confronts Remus Lupin for trying to abandon his newly formed family, as Remus struggles with his life in the brunt of discrimination from society.

I've come to the realisation, and I'm late to that party; that JK Rowling embedded a lot of her thoughts on discrimination within all the Harry Potter books. From elves, Giants, werewolves, having an unpopular opinion, and differentiating between magic and non magic users; it all added to the richness of the story.

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Looking for a new book but it’s so hard because I’d say I’m a picky reader.

I want to get into another good book series, I enjoyed Lilly St Germain ‘cartel’ series thoroughly. I also enjoyed the hunger games series. I like reading autobiographies and psychological thrillers are my favourite. The bigger the twist the better. I enjoyed the tattooist of Auschwitz etc. BUT I struggle to find anything good for ages! People recommend books to me but I get bored after the first few pages, I’m not really into fantasy stuff however I have read the whole twilight series when I was younger. Can anyone please give me some good recommendations??

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