Tell Kate (and others?) what to read, watch, and listen to

Thanks to insomnia and freelancing from home for the past year, I have an abundance of time. As such, I have consumed much of the media in my backlog, and am in search of more. If you tell me to read it, watch it, or listen to it, I will. Please give me one recommendation for each category, if possible (novels, non-fiction, music, television, and movie).

I will report back on each piece once I have finished it. Please note that due to a minor reading disorder, I am a very slow reader (I read at the pace one would read aloud). To enhance enjoyment and retention, I do not employ any speed reading tactics to my pleasure reading, so it may take me some time to report back on any recommended books.

I am willing, even eager, to try things outside of my usual tastes, with only a few exceptions such as 1)war-heavy content (fiction and non-fiction alike) that focus on battles, and 2) blatant bigotry and/or misogyny (beyond what would be a given the time and place the piece was created).

Current Assignments:

Novels [No more submissions at this time] - Who Fears Death; The Craft Sequence series (any of the first three); The Plot Against America; The Three Body Problem; Awoken; Kamisu Reina; Malazan Book of the Fallen; Kwaidain

Non-Fiction [No more submissions at this time] - Whipping Girl; In a Sunburned Country; American Revolutions

Music - Missy Higgins; Splendor & Misery by clipping; Dark Was The Yearling by The Bones of JR Jones; Lamp; Oathbreaker Rheia; Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett; Swoon by Silversun Pickups

TV [Live action preferred.] - Cleverman; Kemono Friends; All Out!; Borgen

Film - He Died with a Felafel in His Hand; Searching for Sugar Man; Linda Linda Linda; In the Heat of the Sun; Swing Girls; Kwaidain; Moonlight; The Strangers; Little Forest: Summer/Autumn; Little Forest: Winter/Spring; Sing Street;

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I was about to rush to post, but now I am overcome with the responsibility of choosing something that I’m pretty sure you’d

  1. Never consume unprompted
  2. Have a strong opinion about (one way or the other)

I’ve read a lot of excellent nonfiction lately, but it’s all centered on war and/or bigotry…

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Book recommendation for Kate: The Fifth Season by N K Jemisen. An award winning fantasy (/science fiction?) novel about people who can cause/stop/control earthquakes with their minds.

Book recommendation for Rym: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. I’d sell it to you as Use of Weapons crossed with Player of Games. It’s seriously mind-bendingly good. If you want board game design written directly in your super weird science fiction battle strategy, this is the book for you.

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I read it and The Obelisk Gate. Great recommendation, though. Do you have another?

I just stared reading the Fifth Season, but then Zelda.

Hmmm. Have you read Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor?

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Nope, never heard of it. I have my first assignment! Thanks, @lukeburrage. If you have any non-fiction, TV, movie, and/or music to recommend, post them, too.

Your avatar indicates to me you would probably dig the book I am currently reading, Whipping Girl by Julia Serano. It’s basically a meditation on gender and sexism from the perspective of somebody who is both trans and a biologist. It’s one of those books where I can feel my mind expanding as I read it and acquire shapes and words for concepts which were dancing on the edge of my consciousness.

(ofc you’ve prolly already read it because it’s ten years old and i’m playing catchup.)

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I haven’t read it. It was on my radar but fell off. Thanks for the assignment, @open_sketchbook!

[quote=“Kate_Monster, post:1, topic:610”]
If you tell me to read it, watch it, or listen to it, I will. Limit one recommendation per category (fiction book, non-fiction book, music, television, and movie) per person.
[/quote]Yeah, no worries. Gonna bend the rules slightly and give you one of each all at once. And two for everyone else.

Fiction(Both for Kate and for everyone else): The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone. It’s a series, but really, any of the first three books are pretty standalone, so pick whichever appeals to you most. Imagine a mid-Majitech fantasy world, with Wizards, except instead of waving wands and drawing sigils and such, magic basically works like the judicial system, and Magicians are essentially reality-warping lawyers, gods are like corporations, there’s priests who are essentially wall street hedge fund managers.

Non-fiction: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. Travelog kind of non-fiction, brilliantly written, it’s about Australia. Not so much traveling in Australia, as much as the place itself from a ground-level, outsider’s perspective.

Music: Missy Higgins. Eleven-ARIA award-winning Australian artist. Her first two albums (The Sound of White and On a Clear night) got me through some interesting times, they’re very special to me.

TV: This is a really hard one to recommend for, because half the stuff I’d recommend is not easy to get a hold of in the US, or in some cases, is nigh-on impenetrable for non-Australians(Pizza springs to mind as a good example of that). If you can get it, Cleverman(Australian Indigenous Sci-fi), If not, you should be able to get a hold of Rake. Not the US remake, for god’s sake, there’s a good reason that one failed.

Film: Since I’ve pretty much got a theme running here, let’s go with it. He Died with a Felafel in His Hand. A light, slightly weird comedy, but heavy on the understated irony and dry, slightly mad situational humor. Fun facts: For a time(and obviously after the events that inspired the book and film) I lived in what the film refers to as “House 47”, AKA The Duke Street place.

For everyone else:

SFv1: The Osiris Child: Excellent sci-fi film. I’m still kind of digesting it, so not much to say about it, but definitely worthy of your time.

Goldstone: I cannot rave enough about this film. It’s possibly one of the most beautifully shot movies I’ve ever seen, and certainly one of the most technically brilliant, even more so than Drive. A tense, tight powderkeg detective thriller.

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That isn’t breaking the rules, that is exactly what I want! :slight_smile:

Other than the original Rake, that is all new to me. Thanks, @Churba!

[quote=“Kate_Monster, post:11, topic:610”]
Other than the original Rake, that is all new to me.
[/quote]No worries! If you’ve already seen Rake, then may I recommend instead Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Basically, a flapper private detective goes about 1920s Melbourne solving mysteries, and generally giving very little of a shit for the social norms of the period. It’s slight downfall is the slightly simple whodunnit plots, but it more than makes up up for it with otherwise excellent writing, wit, cleverness, and excellent style.

Cleverman is currently on Netflix, or at least it was last time I checked.

I saw it based on the recommendation of my sister, and after it was all done, I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I actually hated the main character who I thought was pretty much a whiny asshole for much of the season, and I didn’t think the show was able to pull off his narrative arc from asshole to protagonist.

The show did have an interesting concept though, but maybe because of budget concerns, I didn’t feel like they did enough with.

What’s-His-Name, from Game of Thrones, was very good though.

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I watched a few episodes of that a couple of years ago. I found the costumes and sets more interesting than the plots and characters. It was visually stunning, though.

Book Recommendation:

I just ordered this for myself, and I’m not exactly sure when I’ll get around to it, but it would be very cool to have someone else read it and then discuss:

The Plot Against America, a historical fiction novel, by Philip Roth

Tell me if this plot doesn’t seem eerily prescient…

"In 1940, Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.

For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures that
threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America–and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother."

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Let me know if this format is OK. Also i feel half this stuff has been already done but here goes:

Fiction Book: The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin

Movie: Searching for Sugar Man

TV Show: The Americans

Music: Splendor & Misery by clipping

I cant think of a non-fiction book I’ve read in the memorable past that I would reccomend, but I’ll get back to it.

I’ve seen the first two seasons of The Americans, but otherwise that is all new to me. Thanks, @SWATrous

For the moment I only have a book to offer, and it’s not a novel.

The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

Basically it’s a thorough exploration of the concept of morality. You should come away with it basically feeling the exact same way you do about what is and isn’t moral but for 14 year old me who was kinda in an asshole-atheist (before that was really a thing) phase, it played a large role in shaping my moral worldview.

Not sure if it’ll make your shortlist or if you haven’t already read it but it seems you want a stack of books and this can be part of that stack.

I did a quick search and this seems like moral skepticism & unitarianism on training wheels, but it could offer some specific insights. I studied/study philosophy both formally and informally, but have never heard of or read Harris until just now. Like I said, if you post it, I will read/watch/listen to it. Thanks, @Naoza.

may I recommend instead Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Basically, a flapper private detective goes about 1920s Melbourne solving mysteries, and generally giving very little of a shit for the social norms of the period. It’s slight downfall is the slightly simple whodunnit plots, but it more than makes up up for it with otherwise excellent writing, wit, cleverness, and excellent style.

My girlfriend really enjoyed this one.