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2020 TOB General Topics > 2020 Summer Reading (CAMP TOB)

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message 1: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 146 comments Summer Rooster was supposed to be announced today according to the TOB facebook page, but I can find neither feather nor spur of it anywhere. But it should be coming soon, so I thought I would start a post for it. While we wait, do you think it will have a theme? Any guesses for contenders?


message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments I’m thinking Such a Fun Age has a decent chance since it’s really popular (as long as they allow a Dec 31st publishing date). These Ghosts Are Family is relatively popular so far this year as well. I’m also hoping to see Real Life, Sharks in the Time of Saviors, and The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, even though they have lower numbers of ratings/reviews.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 642 comments Oh great I can vote for the books I haven't read. Interesting list, I've already read the two that start with W, and if I'd paid more attention to the group reads in the Newest Literary Fiction group I'd be much more prepared!


message 5: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments This is a great list! I've read four of these, and just started listening to The Night Watchman last night.

So far I know I'll be voting for Sharks, Such a Fun Age, and Writers & Lovers. Even though the latter two deal with serious subjects, they feel like "light" reads, which is a nice break from the books that are heavy-handed in emotions. I might also vote for Interior Chinatown, but I think I'd need to read that one again (in print) to get the full effect.

I currently have Weather checked out and should be getting Tyll in about two weeks and We Ride Upon Sticks in three weeks.

Is anyone planning to write in a book? I could possibly be convinced to join a group effort to write in The Lost Book of Adana Moreau or Real Life...


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 642 comments Lauren wrote: "This is a great list! I've read four of these, and just started listening to The Night Watchman last night.

So far I know I'll be voting for Sharks, Such a Fun Age, and Writers & Lovers. Even tho..."


Dang I already voted but Real Life belongs on this list.


message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 155 comments I wrote in The Lost Book of Adana Moreau as one of my choices


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1737 comments Woot woot! Voted! And wrote in Adana Moreau for all the love it’s getting here :)


message 10: by Jayme (new)

Jayme Voted! And I wrote in Real Life as one of my choices.


message 11: by Audra (new)

Audra (dogpound) | 72 comments I haven't read any of these, but do have 2. I've been trying to finish everything for the super rooster and it's killing me.


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 600 comments I'm happy with this list - none are definite no's, I've read 3 and picked 6 that I haven't read and genuinely want to. So odds are good I'll participate fully. Sadly, I wasn't able to do that with this year's ToB - I just can't bring myself to read books I'm not interested in.


message 13: by Elizabeth (last edited May 12, 2020 09:09AM) (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 888 comments Lauren wrote: "This is a great list! I've read four of these, and just started listening to The Night Watchman last night.

So far I know I'll be voting for Sharks, Such a Fun Age, and Writers & Lovers. Even tho..."


I wrote in Adana Moreau too...It was my favorite of the year so far, and I'd love to discuss it.

Of the choices, I've read Weather, Interior Chinatown, Writers & Lovers and Such a Fun Age...So I've done much better than I'd expected! I'd be happy to see any of them in camp.


message 14: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 146 comments Yay! I'm so excited. It looks like a great list. It must be hard to pick only 12. I made a spreadsheet if anyone needs one.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/...


message 15: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1099 comments Exciting list -- a couple I've already read and liked, most of the rest are things I've already got on my TBR, and there's nothing I'd take a pass on. I'm writing in Fernanda Melchor's Hurricane Season. It's not light by any means, but it's short and amazing.


message 16: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 888 comments That's great Jess, thanks!!

Have any of you read We Ride Upon Sticks? When I first read about it, I thought it sounded very YA, and not the kind of YA I like, so I stayed away. But it's gotten great reviews, and looks like it could be a fun read (in this time where we really need more fun.)

All my reads have been light over the past couple of months...I tried to read Hurricane Season and The City We Became earlier, and they were just too intense to fall into alongside what we're going through now. I'm glad to see a number of books that seem thought provoking without being too dark.


message 17: by Tristan (new)

Tristan | 105 comments I'm so excited to see Interior Chinatown included on the list.

I wrote in Telephone by Percival Everett.


message 18: by Lauren (last edited May 12, 2020 09:56AM) (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments Elizabeth wrote: "That's great Jess, thanks!!

Have any of you read We Ride Upon Sticks? When I first read about it, I thought it sounded very YA, and not the kind of YA I like, so I stayed away. But..."


I have mixed feelings about The City We Became. I'm a fan of N.K. Jemisin, but when I listened to The Fifth Season a week after we started isolation I realized that these type of books are the opposite of what I feel like reading right now. I think I'll appreciate this one more if I read it later.

Such a Fun Age and Writers & Lovers were the types of reads that work well for these times (for me at least).

I've heard good things about We Ride Upon Sticks, so I'm looking forward to that one. It's not shelved as YA, but Clap When You Land definitely is. I enjoy Elizabeth Acevedo's books (and I'm really picky with YA) so I'm excited to listen to that one, as her books are usually great on audio.

Thanks for that spreadsheet, Jess! I appreciate the details you included there. :)


message 19: by Kip (new)

Kip Kyburz (kybrz) | 239 comments Absolutely loved Tyll. Also have enjoyed Interior Chinatown. Going to read Sharks in the Time of Saviors after I finish Little Eyes which I thought was going to be on here!


message 20: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 146 comments I am always open to collecting more bits of data if anyone has suggestions. Usually for the big tournament, I collect awards, queer content, books in translation, and some other things, but I haven't done any of that yet.

I am so excited about We Ride Upon Sticks and Such a Fun Age. Jenny Offill, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Louise Erdrich are long-time faves so I look forward to those. Sharks in the Time of Saviors and Long Bright River have both been recommended to me multiple times this year. I am struggling to pick my top 6!


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 600 comments Elizabeth wrote: "That's great Jess, thanks!!

Have any of you read We Ride Upon Sticks? When I first read about it, I thought it sounded very YA, and not the kind of YA I like, so I stayed away. But..."


I literally just started the audio and I give the first 5 minutes a big thumbs up - and I don't like YA, so it must not be YA ;)


message 22: by C (new)

C | 557 comments The Heap happens to be the ONE 2020 book I've read so far. I liked it, it was a fun little weirdie book... I will vote in for The Lost Book of Adana Moreau since a few of you are.


message 23: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments C wrote: "The Heap happens to be the ONE 2020 book I've read so far. I liked it, it was a fun little weirdie book... I will vote in for The Lost Book of Adana Moreau since a few of you are."

How did you find The Heap? That's the only one on this list I wasn't familiar with.


message 24: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 132 comments The Heap is one of my library orphans, on perpetual renewal from my library until it opens again, so I guess I know what to read soon.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 642 comments I have an ARC of sharks at home so I'm going to dig into that regardless!


message 26: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I have an ARC of sharks at home so I'm going to dig into that regardless!"

Nice! Just a heads up that this one is intense in the way it's written. The author packs a lot into each sentence and you'll find a ton of metaphors and descriptions of sounds, smells, etc. It's not a quick read, but I found it to be very rewarding in the end and there are countless themes woven throughout the story for the group to discuss.


message 27: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Sund | 27 comments I really enjoyed We Ride Upon Sticks. It has a similar writing style to Meddling Kids and reminded me of the Netflix show G.L.O.W. The ending was a bit of a letdown, but it was a really fun book.


message 28: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 504 comments For what it's worth, I really enjoyed The City We Became. It doesn't really feel like a TOB book to me, though, since it feels more like fun fantasy. I thought The Broken Earth series was much better, but this book was actually perfect for me for a pandemic read. NYC coming together to fight an evil attacking its city.


message 29: by Amy (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1737 comments I loved the G.L.O.W. show so you’ve piqued my interest! And Bretnie, I voted for The City We Became as one of my other 5 since it sounds wonderful and timely.


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 600 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I really enjoyed We Ride Upon Sticks. It has a similar writing style to Meddling Kids and reminded me of the Netflix show G.L.O.W. The ending was a bit of a letdown, but it was a re..."

I'm about 2 hours into We Ride and it's snarky and fun. Although it's about a girls high school field hockey team, it's not YA (like Skippy Dies is not a book for tweens ;)


message 31: by C (new)

C | 557 comments Lauren wrote: "C wrote: "The Heap happens to be the ONE 2020 book I've read so far. I liked it, it was a fun little weirdie book... I will vote in for The Lost Book of Adana Moreau since a few of you are."

How d..."


The Heap is okay! I wish it did some things differently, but it has great world building for this gigantic tower that falls. The building makes it speculative. The spirit of the characters reminded me of the characters from the show (and graphic novel) Preacher mixed with Kafka and also if you elevated the level of zaniness that the RV towers were in Ready Player One. I wanted to see more of the tower before the collapse though. Reading the 'before' chapters alone -- it's almost like a longer example of one of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. I liked reading it but I'm not sure if it could stand a beating from a heftier ToB book.


message 32: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments I sent in my votes! It was tough to narrow it down since I'd be happy with most of these, but I ended up with:

Sharks
Night Watchman
Clap When You Land
Such a Fun Age
Writers & Lovers
The Lost Book (write-in)


message 33: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 155 comments As the voting ended yesterday do you guys think we will have the final CampTOB list on Monday? Usually how long does it take?


message 34: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments Michelle wrote: "As the voting ended yesterday do you guys think we will have the final CampTOB list on Monday? Usually how long does it take?"

I was wondering the same thing. Looking at last year, they put out the list to vote on May 6th and announced the lineup on May 14th, so maybe we can start expecting it on Tuesday the 19th this time?


message 35: by Audra (new)


message 36: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments I’m actually pretty happy with the list; I definitely wanted to see the middle four on there. I’m really not in the mood for The City We Became (the pandemic killed my appetite for SFF other than the short stories we just read), but I like the author and I’ll push through it so I can participate. I’m most looking forward to the Sharks discussion. Has anyone else read Weather? I was fairly disappointed with that one. Sometimes I’m fine with books that don’t have a plot but I thought this one could have done better with the ideas it was trying to work with.

Did anyone here get selected as a discussion volunteer?


message 37: by Audra (new)

Audra (dogpound) | 72 comments I can't get City from the library before this starts. I read Weather I found it really dull. I was really hoping for Sticks which I started today.


message 38: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1099 comments June 3: The City We Became, first half
June 10: The City We Became, second half
June 17: Sharks in the Time of Saviors, first half
June 24: Sharks in the Time of Saviors, second half
July 1: VACATION
July 8: The Night Watchman, first half
July 15: The Night Watchman, second half
July 22: Such a Fun Age, first half
July 29: Such a Fun Age, second half
Aug. 5: Writers & Lovers, first half
Aug. 12: Writers & Lovers, second half
Aug. 19: Weather, first half
Aug. 26: Weather, second half

I'm excited to have a nudge to read NK Jemisin, who I've been wanting to explore for a while now. Also very happy to see Sharks, Watchman and Writers.


message 39: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 504 comments Dang, without real books to check out from the library, the ebook and audiobook holds for all of these are really long. And since they are all only available in hardback, would be expensive to purchase all new from the local bookstore. Hmmm....


message 40: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 888 comments I'm pretty happy, mainly because I either have, or have read, all of these, except for The Night Watchman.

I actually liked Weather a lot, I love Offill's voice, it's just so engaging. The book wasn't fully fulfilling, but it definitely kept me interested and entertained. BUT...I think I'll have to read it again, because I remember so little about it now. I guess that says something about the book right there. (When I re-read, I'll be able to reminisce about how when I was first reading, my main concern for the world was climate change...Sigh.)

I tried and failed to read The City We Became. It was just too bizarre, too intense and I gave up after the second chapter. But I've heard the audio is really good (Lauren, I know you like audio), so I may try that instead.

Of the others, I really liked Writers & Lovers, much more than I thought I would based on the plot. It was just a joy to read.

Such a Fun age was an easy read, an interesting enough theme, but the writing was pretty blah...it just didn't do much for me.

I've been saving Sharks, even though I bought it a couple of months ago...I was pretty sure it would make the tourney, but wanted to see if it would be in camp or the general match before deciding when to read it. I'm looking forward to that book so much.


message 41: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments Bretnie wrote: "Dang, without real books to check out from the library, the ebook and audiobook holds for all of these are really long. And since they are all only available in hardback, would be expensive to purc..."

That's too bad. I just got a free 30-day trial for audiobooks.com so I can get The City for free. You could try that, or maybe scribd still has their free trial, or if you haven't already done the Audible one...


message 42: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I'm pretty happy, mainly because I either have, or have read, all of these, except for The Night Watchman.

I actually liked Weather a lot, I love Offill's voice, it's just so engaging. The book wa..."


Yes, I'll be doing The City on audio since I couldn't get through it in time in print. I'm still finishing my hard copy of Dear Edward, then I'll be moving on to Night Watchman that I happened to pick up this weekend. Lucky guess!

I listened to Writers & Lovers (also enjoyed that one) but Weather may have been better in print. I read the rest in print. I heard Sharks is good on audio because of the Hawaiian words you get to hear, but I'm glad I read it in print because the writing was so intense and descriptive, and I marked a ton of parts I want to discuss. ;)


message 43: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 504 comments Lauren wrote: "Bretnie wrote: "Dang, without real books to check out from the library, the ebook and audiobook holds for all of these are really long. And since they are all only available in hardback, would be e..."

Yep, I am leaning toward reinstating my audible account or trying out another service! Cheaper than hardback!


message 44: by Audra (new)

Audra (dogpound) | 72 comments I might go that route too


message 45: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 958 comments Bretnie wrote: "Lauren wrote: "Bretnie wrote: "Dang, without real books to check out from the library, the ebook and audiobook holds for all of these are really long. And since they are all only available in hardb..."

If you're considering a paid audiobook service I highly recommend libro.fm instead of Audible since they support local bookstores. I'll be renewing my membership with them as soon as my finances recover from my past six months of unemployment. ;)


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 600 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I actually liked Weather a lot, I love Offill's voice, it's just so engaging. The book wasn't fully fulfilling, but it definitely kept me interested and entertained. BUT...I think I'll have to read it again, because I remember so little about it now. I guess that says something about the book right there."

I'm half way through Weather, and I'm feeling all the stuff you mentioned, Elizabeth. I toyed with not finishing it, but decided to relegate it to bathroom reading. Which I don't mean as an insult - I just like it better reading it in short bursts. Even though I haven't finished it yet, I've already written a review. That's a first for me, I'm not sure what it says about my reaction to the book.

My library's ebook copy of Writers & Lovers has a long waitlist, but the audio has none! So this will be my dog-walking book.


message 47: by Kip (new)

Kip Kyburz (kybrz) | 239 comments Super disappointed by Weather but was super impressed by Sharks on audio. My library started doing curbside pickups today so that should with getting through these. Waiting on holds for City, Watchman, and Fun Age. Such a Fun Age pops up as a Lucky Day book for those that use Libby.


message 48: by Audra (new)

Audra (dogpound) | 72 comments I just started Fun Age on audio.


message 49: by Tristan (new)

Tristan | 105 comments I'm sad that Interior Chinatown didn't make the cut. A fun quick read on a very interesting topic.

Like many I'm struggling to find a way to acquire all of these books without buying them. As much as I want to support independent bookstores, I've already bought a lot more books than normal to support them.


message 50: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 132 comments The City We Became as narrated by Robin Miles is an extraordinary performance. I can't recommend it enough. I thought the story itself was kind of one-note, but Robin Miles is so good that she turned the novel into something special. Also kudos to the producers who add just the right level of sound effects to make the novel sing without changing the focus from the words.


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