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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #1081
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    Re-reading this life-changer - can't tell if it's in a good or a bad way. There's only one thing I can tell you: if you're over-thinking almost everything before reading this one, then you'll probably be over-thinking everything after reading it.



    PS: The only thing I cannot stand of this book is this F-in pencil trace on the cover, which I wish I could erase.
    Last edited by holehead; 11-16-2020 at 07:57 AM.

  2. #1082
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    Finished: “Ideal War” by Christopher Kubasik … quite good. I like the Knights of the Inner Sphere concept. Cover art had nothing to do with the novel… It might have been for “Decision At Thunder Rift” ("Ideal War" is Vallejo cover and the other two "The Saga Of The Gray Death Legion" novels have Vallejo covers but "Decision At Thunder Rift" does not... so... that's my theory... oh and no Marauder was ever mentioned in "Ideal War" and the cover for it features one prominently with the Gray Death Legion logo on the side).

    Starting: “Main event” by Jim Long
    Last edited by MrLobster; 11-17-2020 at 11:24 AM.

  3. #1083
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    Side note (which is weird because this is the first thing you're going to read) I'm cross-posting this because it's not just a review of the book, so apologies for that.



    This was without a doubt the best book I've read about parenting. Which is funny because there's a whole section about parenting books and the dumb people who recommend them.


    See, I feel like those books and their message is based on a particular set of experiences and those don't happen universally. So if you get a book recommended to you and you're like "this is ridiculous" then the experiences they had to write the book don't match the ones you are having with your kid. Which makes these things difficult as far as recommendations go because no one knows what you're going through other than you so you have to read a bunch of books until you get the one where you're like "ah ha!". And for me, this is that book.


    So here's the thing about that: my son is 15. So technically this book is "late" for me and any parenting tips should be wasted, right? Well, no. Because what this book did for me was put my fears and thoughts into a form that to me said "you aren't the only one who thought this, who went through this."


    And if you watched the special on Netflix? Hey there's lots here that are extra. Sure some of the stories are verbatim from the show but so what? It is interesting piecing together where/when the stories here take place in regards to not only that show but also the other one "Thank God for Jokes". Which is only an aside but I personally like that meta info so I can place things. I'm weird, eh.


    The nakedness of what he and his wife share in this book is at times both refreshing and also so intimate it's like you should be covering your eyes (ears?) or something. It's like you have private thoughts that you have and you don't share with anyone because you feel they are damaging and he's doing the audiobook equivalent of "I worked on this story for a year and he tweeted it out". And maybe I'm unique in this but my pet peeve is "Am I the only one who..." because when there are this many people in the world you aren't. Ever. So stop it! Anyway.


    This part is the hardest for me to write about because they are deep thoughts of the sort you never say out loud because they scare you so much that you're afraid of scaring someone else when you share them. Like how when he mentions the story about him doing dishes? And then hours later in the book he talks about how there is never one side to a story and shares his wife's side where she says “You tell that story about me breast-feeding at the kitchen table. The only part that isn’t true is that you do the dishes.” And this leads him (condensing a bit here) to realizing that he needs to change as well. His wife changed from a wife to a mother and he doesn't feel like a father. So he changes a lot of things in his life and he becomes one. I can't say how slow or fast this happened, not all of the book has dates on it after all and it's his story-style to jump quickly sometimes, but it happens.


    The only part of the book I was not a complete fan of was the poetry and that is only because I am not a poetry person. Some of them are just as nakedly honest as the book portion and that, I am ashamed to say, is part of it because it made me uncomfortable. This is not a good or bad thing, poetry does that, but in a review of a book that is at least a little bit about being honest with yourself and others it's important to say. And not in a conservative/ban-the-book kind of way, just in a way that art can make you feel sometimes. It's not a bad thing (I'm speaking to a figurative version of Mike's dad right now, I think) to feel like that, it's part of being a person.


    The last thing I want to touch on is the "intern" aspect of being a father, as well as the “I get why dads leave.” I see a lot on the internet about dads and how they "babysit" their kids. (let's set aside the whole wife/husband/partner thing for this conversation just so I don't have to type it out every time; assume the correct descriptor for your situation as appropriate) This is (rightfully) derided when it is brought up. *You* aren't babysitting *your* kids - for one thing you're not being paid! - so his use of intern makes a little more sense at least, but seriously it's not something you should ever say. It's a partnership, you should be taking turns and trying to not hold each other back. (See: Vows, A. in the book) So if it seems imbalanced, it's not going to be that way forever. But it feels that way sometimes, especially when you're running on whatever fumes you have plus trying to not let things change your lives (see: Vows, addendum 1). You should have rational conversations about this, but I refer you back to the fumes you have to work with at this time. To describe it as a tight rope is being kind to the tight rope.


    It's rough, and it can cause problems with both of you. Hmm, 'can' is doing a lot of work in that sentence. Can? Well, for a lot of people it's more like "will". And you can intuit from the book that it doesn't matter how settled you are in life. We were in our late 20s when we had a child and Mike was late 30s. Most of the experiences were the same, and we were way less OK in our life/work situation at the time. I remember telling my wife that he likes her way more than me. She was (and is) smarter than I though and said it would change. And it has. But the point is I readily identified with Mike when he says "I’m not in 'we' anymore? I'm a founding member of 'we'."


    I've said a lot about this book. More than I think I've said about any other book here. The part that resonated with me the most is the end where he talks about what I've mentioned already, those thoughts that are so deep in yourself that you feel like exposing them would be akin to exposing yourself. But you have to share them with the person you're living with. If you don't, resentment can form. The first six years were fraught, the next couple were tense, but we have both grown to where we're way more honest with each other and it's due to the increase in sharing instead of bottling things up. Hell, there's at least two more paragraphs I could do about bottling things up but that's being drifty.


    Also never ever use the babysitter argument! I wish I could go and take that argument back, to my eternal shame. College and exams are fleeting, spending time with your young child isn't. Well it is but it lasts for a nominally longer amount of time but then they just keep growing.


    one final thought because it doesn't have anything to do with the book as a whole: the part where they talk about putting their cat down wrecked me. We had to put our cat of 18 years down in the spring of 2019 and the way he describes it is spot on. It's maybe the hardest I've ever cried and it was indeed a very naked feeling. The other time I'd cried that hard is at my dad's funeral, which surprised me because we weren't close but it just hit me because of the emotional turmoil of the previous three years plus other stuff sorta mentioned above. At any rate, I was driving while listening and it was raining and yeah it was tough to drive.


    Ok two final thoughts. The opposite of the above happened frequently where I found myself positively cackling while listening to him describe a situation. I don't really do jokes so much as funny stories with some embellishment so I can really appreciate them when he cracks one off. The one about everyone in the YMCA hearing him 'brag' about his dad bod? As a man with a dad bod that had me going. I'm so glad I was alone while driving because it would have been weird to be near anyone who could hear me laughing that hard because I would have had to try to stifle it from fear of embarrassment.
    Last edited by allegate; 11-17-2020 at 02:09 PM.

  4. #1084
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    Finished: “Main event” by Jim Long … nice start to the Black Thorns but I’m wondering if there should have been an epilogue to wrap up what had happened on the planet. Seems like it was just cut short... maybe to have more impact of the final battle. I still liked it.

    Starting: “Assumption Of Risk” by Michael A. Stackpole

  5. #1085
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    At the moment I prefer to listen to audiobooks as there is a huge deficit of free time. Now I am listening to Ben Elton's "Time and Time Again". Aa really great book! Strongly recommend to give it a go

  6. #1086
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    Finished: “Assumption Of Risk” by Michael A. Stackpole … I liked it. Good to revisit those characters again. Cover does reflect the story but not at all in a way I expected (but I would have liked to have had a definitive conclusion to that plot branch).


    Starting: “Blood Of Heroes” by Andrew Keith

  7. #1087
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    The Sheltering Sky

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