WatchNon-threaded

Forums » Reading Corner » Read Thread

Discuss your favorite books.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
Commended by mizal on 12/23/2021 6:49:09 AM
As we near the end of the ye--nah, fuck that cliche shit. This isn't a time for self reflection and empty promises made to be better next year. Whatever you value is how you're going to spend your time. You may think about setting goals for yourself, but you should be asking yourself why you aren't achieving them already. Nothing's going to magically solve your laziness, certainly not the number 2021 turning into 2022, so let's not kid ourselves. This is the Reading Corner, and we're going to talk about books and words and stuff. Fun times. These are the books I've picked up and finished this year. With most people (except those suckers working for Amazon) having lots of time off, I encourage you to pick up the good ones and stay far, far, far away from the bad. After finishing The Sorcerer's Stone for the first time (literally finished 30 minutes ago), I'll just tell you now to steer clear. No wonder Rowling had trouble getting it published according to the rumors. Many of you on this site write better than what's typed in that steaming pile, although the wand choosing chapter is entertaining if your mind is stuck at a middle school level, like mine is. Hagrid had a thirteen incher before it got snapped in half. Did you know that? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: 3/10 Jesus Christ. This was some of the worst writing I've ever read. Unnatural dialogue, bland characters...and the pacing felt like a series of dams. Rowling also has a hard-on for adverbs, the em dash, and describing the features and clothing of each new character to a disgusting degree. Who cares about the thread on their cloak, lady? Certainly not me. The best part about the book was how easy it is to read. Not a great thing to have as the best attribute. The Name of the Wind: 10/10 Gower recommended. Need I say more? Easily my favorite book ever. The Wise Man's Fear: 10/10 The sequel to a Gower recommendation. Need I say even more? The Dark Tower: 9/10 Rating the series as a whole, there are definitely slow moments. It's seven goddamn books, after all; there's bound to be at least some slow moments. The thing about King, though, is that his characters and dialogue are so masterfully done that I wouldn't mind reading about them putting on socks and walking to the liquor store. And the Dark Tower series includes everything from robots to vampires to magicians to lightsabers to the Shine (yes, that one). Book four, the western-y one, is a shootin thrill. Tuck that in your holster, partner. Ender's Game: 10/10 Little late to the party, but I don't like kids. Sue me. Ender's Game definitely lives up to the hype. The Stand: 9/10 I accidentally ordered the extended edition otherwise this would likely be a 10. Coming in at a whopping 1,300 pages, it dragged on a bit. But having separate storylines and combining them all seamlessly is no easy task. The book's about covid killing everyone and the devil trying to take over what's left of humanity. You should probably read it to learn how to survive the next few years. Misery: 10/10 Another one that lives up to the hype. It's creepy, gruesome, and charming all at the same time. Also, it's short. Size doesn't always matter, hon. Good writing makes the reader feel, and I felt a wide range making it through. But now that it's done, I'm back to being cold and heartless. Oh well. Pick up a copy, ya cockadoodie. The Dead Zone: 10/10 By far my favorite of King. It bears the grimdark nature that we know and love on CYS. It's tragedy and torment and evil and depression all in a neat little binding. What's keeping you from reading? The basis is similar to the age old question: if you could go back in time and kill Hitler before he committed evil, would you/is it moral (age old, as in about 90 years give or take a few). On Writing: 10/10 A memoir on writing. Sounds entertaining, huh? It actually is, and surprisingly a page turner. If you have any interest in writing, I suggest you give this one a read. It's full of fun stories that shaped King as well as practical portions of the art. Apparently people can write without booze, smokes, or coke. I wish someone told me that earlier! Revival: 8/10 A weird one about a pastor with a fetish for electricity. The tale follows a first person account from childhood through elderly age, telling bits from days as a junkie rockstar and his run-ins with his increasingly insane former pastor through the entirety his lifetime, all leading up to, by far, the most terrifying chapter I've ever read (seemingly out of nowhere). It's like a mix of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde with elements from Frankenstein and Moby Dick. Actually, I'm pretty sure all three are referenced. The Lies of Locke Lamora: 6/10 I had high hopes for this swashbuckling tale of thievery, murder, and goodness. Man, was it disappointing. The dialogue was straining to be edgy (cursing for no other reason than to curse), and our "heroes" seem to have the curse of acting brainless for no other reason than to advance the plot. Their plot armor is pretty much Leia's metal bikini. Rhythm of War: 7/10 By far the worst of the Stormlight series. It focuses on the least fun cast of characters from the first three books. Hey, you know those chapters that felt like filler from your other books? Let's give them a 1,200 page book (in hard cover). Thanks, Brandon! Gardens of the Moon: 1/10 So awful. So fucking awful. I thought lore dump was bad until reading Gardens. There is zero background whatsover, and in typical fantasy fashion, the world is filled with weird creatures, populations of people, political disputes, and ancient orders. Slogging through this was like beating myself in the forehead with a pin roller. There are 9 more? Hard pass. Dreamcatcher: 6.5/10 Strong start. Couldn't stick the landing. I would have much prefered to read about the cast of four characters in their normal lives rather than fighting aliens and shit weasels and zealous soldiers. Still, it's King, who can write his grocery list in an immersive manner, and there's an interesting dynamic at play as a man contemplating suicide is forced to act as the hero. 'Salem's Lot: 7/10 This one didn't live up. It was pretty great leading up until the vampire part. Not super considering it's a book about vampires. It's well worth it though, despite the lower rating; with a renown title such as 'Salem's Lot, expectations were high. Like some of King's other writing (minus the one's mentioned on this list), once the suspense bit is over the story falls somewhat flat. It's like when you think a flu shot is going to hurt and then you just feel a tiny prick, and then the nurse jams a needle in your vein. Heh. Gotcha. It's actually like when you anticipate a flu shot hurting, and you don't feel a thing. Just, you know, the opposite.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago

Cool reviews!  You didn't ask, but here's my opinions on the ones I've read:

 

The Sorcerer's Stone:

Gonna have to disagree with you here.  I haven't read this one in years, so I won't be too long here, but from what I remember, this one nailed the "pulling the reader in" bit.  I think the easy-to-read thing is worth more than you're giving it credit for, Rowling's greatest asset in my recollection is that the writing is immediately engaging no matter where you open the book to.

Even more than any of the other novels, though, this is definitely a children's story written for children and aimed at children.  It might not be as engaging to someone reading it for the first time at an older age.

Ender's Game:

I agree, this is a really good book.  It had a number of twists and turns, but nothing ever felt out of place or unforeshadowed.  Ender's story alone could have made an engaging novel, but what really impressed me here was how Card weaved in the earth politics through Valentine's chapters.  Those were some of the most intriguijng parts of the book, and knowing what was going on in the background of the world made Ender's chapters all the more significant.  I thought this book did a great job with balancing the violence it had.  The plot needed aspects of brutality in order to have any meaning, but all the violence that happened existed to serve the plot and the characters.  A lot of other books will make the mistake of shying away from showing the necessary violence, or instead going over the top and making the reader wonder why any of this matters.

Haven't read any of the sequels, though.  Are they worth it?

On Writing:

Stephen King starts this book by saying that all books on writing are full of bullshit, and then proceeds to write the most singularly helpful book of writing advice I've ever read.  Putting the memoirs and advice in the same book was a great idea, because it makes it all the easier for the reader to see how and why what he's saying makes sense.  It's more engaging than plenty of actual fiction books.

Rythym of War:

I'm only halfway through this one, but so far I would tend to agree that it's not quite as good as the others.  That said, it's hard for me to imagine something managing to top Oathbringer.  So far, I like that we're getting to see more of the parshendi, and am not really interested in the ghostbloods.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
I haven't read any of the other Ender books (remember I'm just getting around to the OG this year). I've heard good things about Shadow. The others, not so much. I'm content cash out my chips with the prize of Ender's Game. It's such a good book that I don't want to tarnish its memory by doubling down on a subpar sequel. Stephen King's introduction is quite the hook and it only gets better. It's very honest. He doesn't claim to know the ultimate writing cheat code (besides reading a lot and writing a lot). And funny enough, he writes that people inherently have it or they don't. Good writers can improve but they'll never be great writers. That sort of thing. Not all are born equal it seems. Ah. I'd rather follow the ghostbloods than the parshendi. They're better off being the mysterious enemy across the shattered plains; I don't actually want them to take center stage. Give me more political struggle and assassination attempts and Dalinar and Kaladin.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
"Strong start, couldn't stick the landing" describes a lot of King books.

I never could get into Harry Potter.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago

From what I've read about him, King is the kind of author that never seemed to want to outline and plan his stories that much. So that might be the reason why his beginnings are so strong, but fail to deliver a proper punchline. Frequent uses of asspulls, deus ex machina and such.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
That's a fair point. But that's where rewrites and additional drafts should come in.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
JK Rowling writes the most miserable, dull and meandering prose and barely seems to understand how sentences are formed. I have made multiple attempts to get through the first Harry Potter book and always failed, it's just so fucking bad. I guess if you encounter it at just the right time and place in your life the world building is the part that seems to resonate with fans though. Never heard of Revival, I may have to check it out.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
Seriously...
Though Robin Ellacott’s twenty-five years of life had seen their moments of drama and incident, she had never before woken up in the certain knowledge that she would remember the coming day for as long as she lived.
Is this a good sentence, in any context? Who would open a book this way? But this is how far her writing 'progressed' a full decade and a half after the first Harry Potter.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago

This reads like onoe of those sentences the english teacher writes on the whiteboard at the start of class, and then says "Okay now spot the 132 mistakes".

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
Damn, that sentence reminds me of the stammering kid trying to remember his dream. The worst part for me, as far as the actual writing goes, were the adverbs. Adverbs everywhere. You get an adverb, and you get an adverb, and you get an adverb. (Throwin them out like Oprah). And worst of all, the vast majority were attached to dialogue. They were a huge crutch that Rowling used instead of writing like an actual human. Out of nowhere, characters are speaking mysteriously, kindly, warmly, etc. with no context whatsoever. The worst one came across near the end where Harry "said [something] questioningly." Bitch, he asked. That's why there's a question mark in your dialogue punctuation. On it's own that's not terrible, but after being bukkake'd by adverbs in the previous 200 pages, that was money shot that broke the camel's back.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago

Gotta agree with you on that point. Harry Potter is the kind of book series that you have to read before you are eleven to properly get into it (I did). If you read or reread it or even browse the wiki page as an adult, then you may realize that the little of barebones plot that there is, all serves the sole purpose of being a child's wish fulfillment. That's the reason why kids like it so much and why adults find these books hard to read through (so many pages wasted on doing nothing but dicking around in magic school). 

 

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
I tried rereading the first book a few years ago; I didn't make it past the first chapter. The movies are probably easier to get into. Unfortunately the worldbuilding is weak at best, especially when you compare it to Lord of the Rings, The Elder Scrolls, or John Wick. The problem starts with how the series "grows up" with the reader and how Rowling didn't put any thought into how that would or should work. It would be fine if the world had been confined to those seven books, but she expanded on it with Fantastic Beasts and The Cursed Child (I haven't read it, but from what I've heard, it sounds like fanfiction). Really, everything about the Harry Potter universe needs to be retconned and rewritten by someone that hasn't lost every ounce of sanity. But I'm just salty that there isn't better worldbuilding for wands considering how they're necessary to actually use magic. I mean, yeah, there's wandless magic, but only powerful and highly skilled witches and wizards are supposed to be able to do it.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
In my humble opinion – the first Harry Potter book was unbelievably descriptive. I gotta agree with everyone on that. But to be honest, the last book in the series was just AHHHHHHHH amazing. It's the only one in the series that I still read. I came upon the series about eight years ago, when I was still in elementary school. My dad had read the entire series several times and recommended the series to me. I had loved it – the first book got off to a semi-slow start, but the language was easy to read and I liked that there were some British phrases (I was particularly fond of Ron's constant exclamation of "Bloody hell!") but overall I loved the entire series. I think J.K. Rowling did an amazing job with character development over the course of the series. And it's hard to keep things realistic but also PG enough for kids, and she really did succeed at that part.

Another great thing about the series is that she leaves clues about future events SEVERAL BOOKS before. They're tucked in so subtly that you usually don't notice until you re-read and realize it, which is super cool and definitely a plus. I absolutely hate books that when you begin them proceed to insert a whole random summary of all the previous books just because the character is thinking about it. Why would you assume that readers haven't read the last three or so books? But I digress.

Overall, J.K. Rowling's reputation exists for a reason, and she remains one of the richest and most well-known authors to this day. Not to mention that part two of the seventh Harry Potter movie is one of the most successful movies! Honestly, I think that you ghould write 320 pages of an exciting book for kids and make 1.017 billion dollars before you judge. Just my opinion! Love this website, by the way. I joined recently.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
Okay Art3mis.

I always find it sort of fascinating when people make comments like "well you should have to write, direct, and act in a movie as well as compose the score before you can say that a movie is bad".

"You have to get a medical degree before you can complain about the doctors ignoring the symptoms that your gall bladder was about to explode."

"You have to win a nationwide election and spend four years as the POTUS before you can criticize anyone in office."


Oh wait. Actually, no one makes those arguments. But if they did, why are they allowed to blindly defend things when they also don't meet the required opinion-having criteria they freely define for others?


I'm curious too as to what involvement you think Rowling (or any author) has with movie adaptions, or what special qualities you think the people who make movies adaptions are looking for in a book. Feels like this could be very educational.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago

Glad to hear that you support TERFs.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
It may be based to drop the T, but it still does not automatically make one a good writer.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
Another great thing about the series is that she leaves clues about future events SEVERAL BOOKS before.
*Gasp* OH EM GEE!!! It's almost as if she... planned it! But don't tell anyone; I could be maimed or murdered for freely sharing this ill-gotten knowledge!

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago

I don't think cinnamon phrased it very well, but multi-book foreshadowing was something Rowling was particularly good at.  Plenty of authors effectively do multi-book shadowing by including a vague event that is later explained, but Rowling was able to do it in a much more subtle way than usual with casually mentioned details that seem like they were only brought up for worldbuilding or a one-off joke.  It's always nice when an author foreshadows events that way.

Reading list aka Harry Potter can suck it

one month ago
Look it's bad enough that 14 year olds exist, you don't have to encourage them by seeming to agree with them in any way.