So What Are You Reading? 2017

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

The title doesn't need much explanation. Whatever you are reading, tell us, and we all may find new good reads.

A couple of us just started reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. Grab it quick, and join in, if you'd like. I am up to chapter 16.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm here. Thanks for the new thread.

There is so much to like about The Year of the Flood. Atwood's future fantasy-based poetry is both cynical and humorous. Her elevation of real people of note to futuristic sainthood is so funny. The quirky names for businesses, communities and holidays has me amazed. How does a writer immerse themselves in such an imaginative place?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I didn't realize those were real people.
Yes, everything seems so 'possible' even as it pushes obvious fantasy. I had the same feeling with many elements of Handmaids Tale and The Heart Goes Last.
I especially noticed their new rule that everything written is NOT to be trusted, only the spoken word can be trusted. Isn't that exactly the opposite of how we've always thought, but can't we see how easily you could go in the other direction?
And it's nearly funny, how they embrace all the handcrafts, it makes me think of the back to earth 70s (macrame!) and all the handcrafts and natural elements that became so passe and dated after a while, like all other fads and styles.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

My pet rock lived to be 2,750,000 before I had to sadly let it go.

I like to think it lives on as DGA base in my driveway...

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Above poster is an inveterate cynic, jokster and all around wise ... . Also one of ten people who actually ever owned a pet rock. Probably was at Woodstock (along with everyone else in the world) too

Meanwhile, this is a great book for shrub huggers. Read it and weep.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

The back and forth with the events in different years is hard to keep track of. Why did she do this, just for an added challenge?

If you hadn't clued me about the Saints' days, then Saint Euell of Wild Foods certainly would have confirmed my suspicions!

I made quinoa with black beans last night for dinner; as I scooped it out of the skillet, I thought it looked like God's Gardener fare. Brownish, kind of mushy. Quite tasty though. With roasted sweet potatoes. I may have subliminally planned it because of the book, lol.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

It's getting progressively more analogous to biblical prophecy. The Floodless Flood, a future plague, has wiped out most living things. That certainly is a reality. I learned April Fish Day is real! Must make an April Fish Day menu here. I have been recently leaning towards nuts and berries myself (lentils and quinoa too).

There is an Oryx & Crake connection though I'm not sure where it's going. In fact, it's getting stronger. The change in timelines will perhaps explain connections the Gardeners had to Oryx & Crake. That's my guess. The extreme gaming connected a few brainiacs who then did something cataclysmic or tried to warn people of cataclysmic events to come. The plot is getting as thick as grits with soy cheese.

Are you able to keep up with your book club reading too?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I just don't remember enough or\f Oryx and Crake to make any connections. I'm thinking Oryx and Crake were well after the plague? Survivors in the wilds?

I "resemble" some of the God's Gardeners Luddite positions.

The book club was NIghtingale by Kristin Hannah, a large but quick enough read. Then we must have skipped a month, or ended up with an extra three weeks at least. Kind of happy with that.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Yes, one survivor, Oryx/Jimmy plus the engineered "people" called Crakers. At the very end he spies a few others. You're left hanging.

Be sure to look up all the Saints. They keep coming. We could become self-proclaimed Eves. You've probably figured it out by now. I too am a Luddite.

Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

Hi guys, I read The Year of the Flood ages ago and don't have it on hand so I've forgotten details but I am enjoying what you've both been posting.

Definite Luddite here too! I read books ,draw on paper with pencils.

This message was edited Jan 18, 2017 9:11 AM

Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

I am reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
So far I find it well written and keeping my interest.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hi semp! Thanks for the suggesting, I'll check it out.
Luddites unite!!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Luddites indeed! Three faces of Eve? I want to be Eve the Progenitor of Edibles and be in charge of the Festival of Vegetables. Haven't run across that Eve yet.

A Little Life sounds like a very good book. Did you read MaddAddam, Semp? I'm definitely going to follow through with the story.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm still figuring out what Eve I might be.
The Eve of Listening; I'm a good listener.
Here's an excerpt from discussion questions:
." The Year of the Flood covers the same time period as Oryx and Crake, and contains a number of the same characters — (“Snowman,” a student at the Martha Graham Academy and “the last man on earth”) and Glenn (“Crake,” who studied at the Watson-Crick Institute), as well as Bernice, Jimmy's hostile college room-mate, Amanda, a live-in artist girlfriend, Ren (“Brenda,”) whom he remembers briefly in Oryx and Crake as a high-school fling, Jimmy's mother, who runs away to become an activist, and the God's Gardeners, whom he mentions as a fringe green cult. Re-read the final pages of both books. What do you predict for the remaining characters? "

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Have you finished? I finished Friday. Couldn't resist starting MaddAddam. Will share thoughts when you let me know you're ready. Surprised and interested to learn the poems and hymns have been compiled and there is a musical score.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm a little over half. When Ren explains her leaving the Martha Graham Academy, going to the Spa, and then Scales and Tails. Don't you love the names?
I'm so impressed that she wrote all those hymns with traditional 'hymn' rhyme and structure.
Like Handmaids Tale, she has so many elements that would seem far fetched if they didn't have such parallels to actual philosophies or entities that do exist.
Here's a question I would put on my list:
Prejudice is alive and thriving, however, based on lifestyle instead of race. Is there a strong human drive towards prejudice?
What of that 'being fallow' thing? Acknowledges depression or other mental illness?

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

You are a great reading companion having brought up interesting references to think about. I am not familiar with traditional Christian hymn liturgy but the liturgical hymns here are so beautiful.

Prejudice exists wherever there is a relatively powerless minority that is perceived as a potentially powerful threat. There is gender prejudice, handicap prejudice, age prejudice, etc. It's rampant today. Those issues become part of the story too.

The concept of a human fallow state romanticises mental illness. To lay fallow implies there is a period of restful healing. Mental illness is a period of pain and suffering. This brings to mind the Wizard of Oz-ness that makes the book so readable. In the most worst of times blue gene spliced people are having a humorous go at it and a growing rag tag band of remaining humans is trying to figure out the next best step. I'm guessing we might see a human bluish blend in the new world order. The idea was to make a perfect new race. That in itself is a racist notion bound for a slippery slope.

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