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All the Birds in the Sky (All the Birds in the Sky, #1)
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2016 Reads > ATBITS: It's the little things

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message 1: by Tom, Supreme Laser (last edited Mar 06, 2016 08:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1157 comments Mod
I just read a bit where two people go to a diner selling Chinese food and donuts. My first reaction, having lived in San Francisco, was that I knew the place. My second thought was that I wondered if most people from other places thought that an odd combination. My next thought was that some probably did and it made the book feel otherworldly to them whereas to me it made the book feel more grounded in reality. After that I thought how cool it was that Charlie Jane had pulled off that elegant little bit of double world building. Almost like a prism of language. And the fact that the one line made me think all that is one of the reasons I love this book.


terpkristin | 4190 comments Never been to SF but there was a place in College Park that had donuts and Burmese food so not too weird, but I suspect my experience may still be atypical.

I'm cooling on the book. The beginning sucked me in. Now I'm bored. I'm slightly farther along than you and I'm hoping my interest is re-piqued.

Clearly, never having lived in SF (nor even been there), the region isn't interesting to me. And though Boston is one of my favorite cities in the world, there wasn't enough about the actual city to make me feel like I was there.


Leesa (leesalogic) | 648 comments I know what you mean, Tom. I'm from New Mexico and a lot (a LOT) of books will touch on something new agey or very cultural, that while when living in the area seems normal, but when viewed from the outside it seems not quite real.

This also happens in a different way with books that center in the area I'm in now (DC Metro area). Living here things always seem hyper political, whereas in the rest of the country what happens "inside the Beltway" or "K Street" seems rather vague.


Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments I've sent time in Japan, rotten soy beans for breakfast, scrambled eggs with ketchup, pot stickers etc... Weird food. Ft and parcel f every place (would you like some spotted dick and a toad in the hole)


Sean | 353 comments Sort of the flip-side of this, there were a few things (namely vocabulary choices) that damaged my immersion. What's really weird is that I think they were all British-isms - the kids wearing "jumpers" rather than "sweaters", or living in a "flat" rather than an "apartment". Maybe that's just that the audio version was localized, because the CJA is from the US.


message 6: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3608 comments Mod
Jumper means something else in some parts of America.
A jumper can be a type of dress. One without sleeves. Like a school dress.
I think CJA meant this type of jumper, as In one section of the story it mentioned Patricia was wearing a sweater and a jumper.

My copy uses mainly apartment (13 times according to word search). It does use flat on one occasion for their place.


message 7: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 846 comments The jumper is the outer part, not the shirt:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/...

I wore lots of those as a kid.


Rob  (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments And among nerdy millenials some Britishisms have crossed over-- especially among our pretentious/ trying to look smart crowds. I know I'm guilty of using "flat," as well as stuff like "uni."

Overall I thought that capture of the millenial voice was one of the stronger pets of the book-- it felt more accurate, more subtle, and more stand-test-of-time-y than a lot of attempts at the same, especially among YA narrators (looking at you, paper towns)


message 9: by Sky (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sky | 665 comments I'm really digging the SF references. My favorite reference was a bit about being up all night dancing with the insomniac queers at The Endup....Ah those were the days. Though their insomnia was 90% chemically induced.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1912 comments Serendi wrote: "The jumper is the outer part, not the shirt:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/...

I wore lots of those as a kid."


So you guys call a pinafore dress a jumper! Now that is crazy! And now my brain is wondering why I think the word 'jumper' makes more sense for a woolly thing. Huh.

With the doughnuts at a Chinese restaurant bit, I felt like I was meant to find it odd, but I really didn't, perhaps because, I'm used to finding all kinds of odd little quirks in the US (like the one above) that differ from England. For all I know, doughnuts in a Chinese is normal over there (better than pineapple fritters), and I was puzzled by why the book seemed to pause at this bit as if to say 'crazy, right!' I guess that is the tricky part about including these kinds of details - we all bring different experiences to a book, and in my case, this was a bit that distracted me rather than adding anything cool like it did for Tom.


Walter Spence (walterspence) | 707 comments I found the SF references a lot of fun, after having spent a week and a half there a couple of years ago. Wish I'd had more time, I love a city I can walk around in (though those hills did give my legs a workout). Made me sad to watch the Pelosi documentary, San Francisco 2.0, though, to see how so much of the city's character might be at risk. Made me think of something I read a while back about how a great deal of Manhattan real estate sits empty because so much of it is owned by rich folks who don't actually live there, but only visit for short periods of time, thereby driving up prices and crowding out the residents.


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