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encinarus

encinarus

Joined June 2018

LibraryThing member encinarus

blurb
encinarus

Just finished secret history and I hope there's a sequel!

Gave a view into the afterlife and shadesmar from a different planet (Scadriel). If you finished Bands of Mourning and the epilogue had you wondering, wait what? Read Secret History (it's in arcanum unbound, but also elsewhere). Required reading if you wanna get the full picture of the cosmere.

review
encinarus
Silver Queendom | Dan Koboldt
Mehso-so

A series of heists! A charming leader and crew! Little orphan boys! It's got what I would expect to like and yet somehow didn't do it for me. It wasn't bad, as much as it felt like a lot of book for less than I would've expected. There are interesting hints of rich world that we only get snippets of. Same with character building and backstory. I would've liked it far more if it was half the size.

blurb
encinarus

Going through this to get the Mistborn stories and just finished The Emperor's Soul. It's a nice, tight short story that really leaves me wanting more about Shai. Set in the world of Elantris, you can really see how much Sanderson's writing has improved since Elantris.

ozma.of.oz More Elantris?! I‘ll have to look this up! 2w
encinarus @ozma.of.oz same world, different empire and magic system! 2w
ozma.of.oz 🤩🤩 YAY! 2w
3 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
encinarus
Pickpick

Continuing the reread leading up to the Lost Metal!

Reading these all back to back, there's great action, but everything moves too fast. Everything in this book happened in the span of a couple days which really felt rushed. Coming into the reread I thought I forgot the story because events were disconnected in my mind, but no. I remembered, there were just some dramatic scene shifts. Finally Sterris gets the development and growth she was due.

review
encinarus
Shadows of Self | Brandon Sanderson
Pickpick

Continuing my reread before getting to the Lost Metal. This had more substance than Alloy of Law. I think everyone *but* Wax got reasonable character development, while Wax was a force of nature. I didn't notice as much the first time I read it, but I really like Marisi and Wayne's perspectives and how their characters were filled in more.

Steris got shortchanged again but if I remember right she gets more love next book. Looking forward to it.

review
encinarus
Pickpick

Enjoyed this one a lot even if I don't know how to describe it! This follows a long mission of the wayfarer, a ship made to build new wormholes, going to a small angry planet to do their job. But that's just the framing. The book is about the journey and how people bond, or not, when stuck with each other for so long among folks of completely different species and cultures. Found family is a repeated theme.

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encinarus
Pickpick

Going through a reread of the Wax and Wayne Mistborn books before reading The Lost Metal and reminded of what I loved about them. Wayne's trades and accents and eccentricities really are amazing, I keep grinning everytime Wayne has a scene. Lower stakes than most of Sanderson's cosmere, it's a fun, quick read.

review
encinarus
Pickpick

I don't know how I didn't read this when I read Rhythm of War, but here we are. Not much to say here: if you like Sanderson normally, this is more of the same and adds some color to a couple things in RoW. This one gives us some insight into larger cosmere happenings through the viewpoint of interlude characters.

As always,

review
encinarus
Pickpick

This was fun, but really for fans of the series. We get a series of short stories which were cut from the series. Most weren't as good as what we had in the books, which makes sense for why they were cut. We got some nice background, alternate view points to scenes that did make it in, and a different potential ending that was sweet.

Not a stand alone by any means, only read after Empire of Gold. Lots of spoilers otherwise.

review
encinarus
Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
Pickpick

I liked this but... I think it won't be for everyone. The narrative in this took a while to come together and even after it did I'm not sure all the story lines ended up having a satisfying conclusion. If they did, I didn't entirely understand them. I read this after the night circus and this has a much weirder narrative.

Still enjoyed it, I liked Zach and Dorian and Mirabel and the nested stories woven throughout.

emz711 I've reread so many times! Find something new each time 1mo
4 likes1 comment
blurb
encinarus
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern

I'm about 1/4 through this and it is narratively WAY more confusing than the night circus was. I'm enjoying it but I also have no idea what's going on 😂.

review
encinarus
Pickpick

Sibling Dex and Mosscap are back! Can people have stress and existential crises in a world that satisfies their needs without the crippling weight of capitalism and overindulgence? Yes! Mosscap's question of what do you need is simple yet deep, and invites the reader to ask themselves.

If you've watched My Neighbor Totoro and thought it needed to be about grown ups thinking about their lives, well, this may be the book series for you.

review
encinarus
The Night Circus | Erin Morgenstern
Pickpick

This book has everything. Lovers! Twins! A contortionist, jerky mentors, a contest of wits will and power! Spooooky ghosts! Late night dinners! World travel! Points of view which while interesting, make no sense until the end when things come together!

I enjoyed this quite a lot, would recommend.

review
encinarus
Ancillary Justice | Ann Leckie
Pickpick

Just finished this for the second time, so I guess I like it 😂.

The narrative is not the most straight forward, bouncing between the narrator's timelines, and the narrator's differing perspectives (same narrator, more than one point of view). Interesting world building and raises neat questions about what is self. Looking forward to rereading the later books in the series.

review
encinarus
A Spindle Splintered | Alix E. Harrow
Pickpick

This was a nice quick read that retells sleeping beauty from a fresh (and meta) perspective. Not super deep or involved, filled with contemporary references I don't think references in it will hold up 20 years later... But it's really fun now.

review
encinarus
Pickpick

This was a delightful look at prejudice, personal growth, good intentions that don't look at the larger picture, and what family really means.

The people who are othered are magical beings, giving a clear focus for othering (they have scary magic powers!) and yet that's still very clearly not a valid reason. This illustrates the difficulty in making local changes, vs systematic changes. And all the kids are SO CUTE.

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encinarus
Pickpick

This was an interesting vignette into how people would react in an emergency. The book as a whole is commentary on society, how people see themselves, see others, react in a crisis when it feels like the end of the world was triggered. We never know what disaster befalls the world, only getting slightly more details about it beyond what the characters know. It inspires you to think how you would react to this situation. I'm still not sure.

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encinarus
Pickpick

How can a third book feel like a bridge book?

Golden Enclaves picks up moments after The Last Graduate and brings much of the same interesting world building that the previous two did, some characters you know and love fine back, but the much like the Temeraire series, I felt like El was pulled along with few choices to make it surprise us with. El's growth comes from outside revelations and direction, not internal wrangling. Still loved it!

review
encinarus
Pickpick

A sneak peak of the coming century of change and likely turmoil, due to climate change. The core is mass migration around the world will need to happen to prevent mass death. I'm convinced by the author of the need and feasibility of the work needed to prepare, I just don't share the optimism that we can muster the political courage to do it outside of small pockets. Great coverage of the challenges & solutions, far too much to summarize here.

encinarus I actually found this depressing to read. The whole while I was thinking, yeah, we need to do this, and it's the morally right thing to do, but there's no way we'll execute on the suggestion at the scale needed // address the legitimate pushback from people who don't want X in their back yard // raise the money needed when it'll come out of someone's pockets. Politics seems aimed only at short sighted goals, not the timelines this needs. 2mo
4 likes1 comment
review
encinarus
Pickpick

This was a really sweet interlude after the massive book 3. After all that happened before this, the characters really need to decompress, get back to living, and settle in. The world has changed, characters have gone through a lot and they need time to process. It's the Christmas special of the series, where you get to see the characters doing low stakes tasks (and also hints of future problems to solve).

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encinarus
Fugitive Telemetry | Martha Wells
Pickpick

Murderbot is back! If you liked murderbot inner musings, desire to get back to watching media, and general saving the day, pick this up.

If none of that made sense, start with All Systems Red. The series is about a SecUnit (heavily armed cyborg construct?) named Murderbot that has gone rogue and is ungovernable... And they just want to watch TV. Unfortunately work + wanting to do a good job gets in the way. They're all fun & quick reads.

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encinarus
Pickpick

Book 3 is all over the place - in a good way! It picks up soon after the end of #2.

My complaint is the timeline is too fast. Books 2&3 take less than a year. In that time she gets combat skills, figures out high level magic, masters political maneuvering, and handles the trauma thrown at her. Too much too fast, yet it's all a ton of fun. I love the characters, the maneuvering, the world building. Just suspend a little disbelief on timelines. 🙂

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encinarus
A Court of Mist and Fury | Sarah J. Maas
Pickpick

If book one was a reimagining of beauty and the beast, book two took what was new and unique about this interpretation and built a wonderful story of family and overcoming trauma. Definitely a case of book two being better than book one, my only complaint is the timeline was short, particularly for unraveling trauma. All set amid fantasy romance between immortals.

Oh, and be prepared for the author to be horney. Some.of the scenes. Phew.

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encinarus
Pickpick

Gender differences are often framed as nature vs nurture, boys will be boys etc, with testosterone bearing much of the nature side. Cordelia Fine debunks much of this with science, highlighting that there are few universal truths, and everything is more complicated than popsci makes it out to be. And yet, simpler. Culture >> biological differences. Well worth reading, and it was especially good to read in parallel with The Power.

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encinarus
The Power | Naomi Alderman
Pickpick

Sometimes the best way to highlight something in society is to reframe it in a way that radically shifts the perspective. In this book, women gain electrical abilities, able to taze with a touch and a thought. Abused women stop putting up with it. Women who have to smile and nod and step to the side, no longer have to. The risks women consider going to a car in the dark? Now it's men with the risk. Well written and thought provoking.

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encinarus
Pickpick

A true crime novel about a murder of Pamela Werner in the 1930s in Peking. This is largely a narrative of the official investigation followed by a private investigation into the murder with Japan's invasion of China as backdrop. This was pretty interesting, true crime is not my typical genre. Early on as the book set the stage and gave needed background, it was quite dry, often a list of facts, but it developed and I needed to know what came next.

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encinarus
Pickpick

Belated entry on this - I really liked this take on the fey, and fey curses. At it's core it feels like an alternate telling of beauty and the beast meets a badass little red riding hood, but with far more political plots and a more involved backstory. If you liked Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, give this a try.

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encinarus
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Pickpick

Food isn't usually the focus in history. More often it's the great leaders, or the actions of countries vs other countries, that get center stage. Here though, food is the focus. It looks at history through the lens of what fuels it. Initially that's simply food but innovations throughout history expand the scope of that many fold. If The Omnivores Dilemma looked at individuals relationship with food, this looks at all of humanity's.

review
encinarus
Pickpick

I struggle with distraction. It wasn't great before 2020, but doomscrolling made it so much worse. I've made some attempts: todo lists, focus blocks, inbox zero, prioritized lists, to mixed success. Deep work has clicked for me. I think the focus on shallow, vs deep work, being intentional with your time, and what you're planning for, is really what's new about this for me.

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encinarus
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Wow. Adoption of the chile across the world was fast. Just a couple decades to get incorporated into Asian cooking, when introduced through Europe. This book keeps hitting me with realizations that trade throughout history was far richer and wider reaching than I ever thought.

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encinarus
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I knew Columbus was an asshole, but reading about him cherry picking estimates saying the world was smaller so he could travel, then intentionally misnaming things and swearing his crew to secrecy about his lies, really was peak white man confidence. No wonder he was arrested and sent back in chains at the end of his third voyage. Died in disgrace and we still have a day named after him. SMH.

blurb
encinarus
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I'm about 1/4 through this book, and the current section highlights the wide network of trading that occurred in the ancient world by what spices were available in different areas. So far the illustration of that is still Europe focused, but I didn't give enough consideration before to what trade must've existed to make expeditions like Marco Polos seem worth funding. All this intercontinental trade was already happening for so long!

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encinarus
Pickpick

This book was an amazing look at the world of senses that animals have. I couldn't possibly do it justice, but one passage jumped out at me more than others: that the platypus has electro sensors in its bill that it uses for detecting hidden food. My friends were subscribed to animal facts as I read them, leading 4 of them to go and get the book themselves. If you've wondered how your pet perceives things, you'll learn that and a whole lot more.

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encinarus
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This book has been mind blowing, finding out about the senses and hidden worlds in our own, but this one really got me this morning. The idea that cats might be getting low to sense prey? (Unlike most of what this book covers, this part is a guess, other content is strongly supported with research, but this is plausible enough that now I'll keep an eye out for research!)

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encinarus
The Lesson | Cadwell Turnbull
Mehso-so

Aliens arrive, with a very specific purpose that we have to figure out what that is through the perspectives of a few families on the island. I liked the characters, I liked the writing, I liked the premise, it just felt like something didn't click in them coming together. It felt like there were several interesting stories in here which didn't have a chance to come to a satisfying conclusion.

blurb
encinarus

I'm currently in the section of the book covering the us news and world report impact on college admissions. I want to dig more into the industry that rose around this, anyone know of further reading on this? This feels similarly systemic as the tax prep market and the inefficiencies in health care.

review
encinarus
Pickpick

This was a delightful journey, following a tea monk (Sibling Dex) and a robot (Splendid Speckled Mosscap), their meeting and interaction. They travel together and there's joy in the travels and discussions. Where inside of someone do their needs, fears, and wishes come from? Are we just the sum of our parts, or more than that, as thought through by a monk and a robot trying to figure things out.

ozma.of.oz The second one just came out a little while ago! 💚 5mo
encinarus We've got a hold on it from our library (the Libby app is great). That said, it'll be some weeks before it's available. 5mo
6 likes2 comments
review
encinarus
Pickpick

This was great. Characters use time travel to change sentiments over time, in an alternate timeline for earth. The story revolves around edits to the timeline to improve women's rights (abortion, but not just) and the modern year is set in 2022. Reading it in August 2022 after the recent supreme court case made it hit harder than I expect it did when written, and it spurred me to learn some real history. On that note, fuck Comstock.

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encinarus
Mehso-so

I came to this after watching the Netflix series, and... I like everything about how the series did it more than the book. This is a series of short stories which are mildly connected, and the series pulled in content from later books to give them more context & continuity which I think they needed.

It's not bad, just the TV series managed to keep everything that felt important about the book, while adding more context. Can't often say that.

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encinarus
Aurora | Kim Stanley Robinson
Mehso-so

This was... Okay. Generation ship going to another star system, ship has some amount of consciousness, ponders the meaning of this while dealing with the various crises that come up.

I liked ship & their musing. The people were often dumb and frustrating. Very often I had to stop and ask why would/wouldn't they do X. Like change the codes for locks, when there's a security breach, or bring extra X when they knew they had shortages in the past.

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encinarus
Evershore (Skyward Flight: Novella 3) | Brandon Sanderson, Janci Patterson
Pickpick

I love the skyward series, this is no different. This novella gives us the view from inside Jorgen's head as we can see how hard he works to keep everything together, the pressure he holds himself to, and his growth both into an expanded role in the DDF and his cytonic powers.

The book is filled with cuteness, emotion, and character growth, making it easy to overlook that everything was a little too convenient. I don't care. It was a ton of fun.

review
encinarus
Empire of Gold | S A Chakraborty
Pickpick

The final book of the Daevabad series, this brings it all to a great conclusion. Open threads are closed satisfyingly even as the world continues to expand. While there are bits of exposition, they're done such that the characters need to know this too.

Early on I was convinced that the book will not have a happy ending. Though it ended happier than I'd feared, it was a bittersweet but satisfying close.

Audio narrator continues to be amazing.

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encinarus
Kingdom of Copper | S A Chakraborty
Pickpick

A time skip has happened as Nahri has settled into her new life, and actually finds she enjoys many aspects of it. Tensions which flared at the end of the first book have mellowed, but all the politics are still there. If you enjoyed book one, keep going. The expansion of the world beyond Daevabad, Nahri's growth, & new characters with their own plans makes this a great sequel.

Consider listening to it, the narrator is fantastic.

review
encinarus
City of Brass | S A Chakraborty
Pickpick

This was a refreshingly different take on Djinn than I've seen before, combining politics, magic, religion and romance incredibly well (a common phrase my wife and I said as we listened was uh oh, he/she's hot). For magically beautiful beings made of fire, that came up a lot.

Nahri's view grounded the book, letting us see the magic city with the wonder we would have, rather than the day to day nonchalance of those living there.

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encinarus
Project Hail Mary | Weir Andy
Pickpick

For fans of the Martian, we have another adventure where the solo scientist is going to science the shit out of it. If you loved or hated the Martian, you'll feel the same about this one, though I think Andy has gotten better all around.

I loved the Martian and I loved this as well.

ctboeheim This was a great story. The protagonist had a very satisfying character arc. 10mo
5 likes1 comment
review
encinarus
Mehso-so

It finally happened, I read a Sanderson novel that I wasn't crazy about! The story itself was interesting, neat hook, and an interesting magic system, all that I love about Sanderson! And yet it fell flat. I think that was largely due to the jarring narrative style. It's written as an autobiography by a character trying to be jerky but came off as annoying. Not a good feeling to hold for the whole book. Fun dig at Harry Potter at the end though.

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encinarus
Pickpick

Listened to the audio book and really enjoyed it. It's a collection of vignettes from the empress's life and in total you get a sense of her life, and of rabbit, the storyteller.

It's a slow start, stick with it.

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encinarus
Pickpick

This was a great follow up to book one, covers growing past some of the pain of the first book while layering a new level of isolation on top of it. There were a couple plot points that I don't think we're wrapped up well, but the world building and portrayal of Tar's emotional state we're amazing. Would recommend.

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encinarus
The Girl in Red | Christina Henry
Pickpick

listened to the audiobook. It's little red riding hood, imagined as a horror story, with a very capable Red, set against a worse pandemic than the one we're experiencing. Getting to the pandemic descriptions my wife and I both said TOO SOON only to learn it was written in 2019.

Red was relatable and prepared but not without flaws (which made her more relatable). My only complaint is too much he/she/red said. In the audiobook it was jarring.

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encinarus
Raybearer | Jordan Ifueko
Pickpick

A slow start was needed for the world building and boy is there world building! Loved it all, as Tar makes it out into the world, the character development and world building both are amazing. Listened to the audiobook and would highly recommend, the narrator puts so much into the story and voices, really bringing them to life.