Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

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message 1: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 1864 comments Mod
In a different thread, one of our dear moderators expressed a lack of motivation to read. I’m betting we all get into ruts from time to time. Maybe we can help each other with suggestion, or by taking a page from someone else’s book, so to speak. Up for discussion:

What do you do to get yourself motivated again?
What’s your go-to when you’re overwhelmed or unmotivated? (It doesn’t have to be reading).


message 2: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 1864 comments Mod
If you’re not enthused about assigned books, you’ve gotta go off and just read something you want to read yourself. I do it all the time to keep my sanity (such as it is), which is how I get 4-5 books going at once. Then I get anxious because I want to finish them all!

Other reading:
1-Comic book collections in graphic novel form

2-Short books on the H/N list are good short-term distractions and can be knocked out in just a few days

3-An occasional horror book or even (shudder) a bestseller!


message 3: by Gabi (new)

Gabi | 494 comments At the moment I have 20 books on my active list, which already says it all about my way of motivating. If I get the feeling I have to force myself to go on with a book (but it is not so bad that I want to DNF) I lay it aside and start something new. If this doesn't work, on to book number 3. I get back to the paused book some time later when I feel like it. I.e. last week I finished a book that I started last August.
Additionally I have always one or more short story collections/anthologies in my currently reading list. I love to read those between novels. Sometimes I even get sucked in so much that I race through a whole anthology in one go.
Plus, I'm also member in a classics group here on GR, so a complete change of genre sometimes helps to get a fresh impulse.


message 4: by TomK2 (last edited May 21, 2020 02:23PM) (new)

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 302 comments I am going down the same rabbit hole. I started a history book. I like it, and I want to read the whole thing. However, it is interesting but not exciting. I find I want to pause every chapter or two. I started a sci fi short story anthology, which, of course, leads to reading a story or two and pausing. Then another history book caught my eye, and it is a lot more relevant to where I live, so I read 3 or 4 chapters before I put it down. Pretty soon my turn on a library sci fi book will come, and I will end up with 4 books open.

I find that when I am reading a well written tale, I will read it straight through, reading longer in fewer sessions. But reading history and short stories, I don't have that drive to read a little longer, that desire to see how it ends. I am within striking distance of finishing two of my open books, and I am starting to be motivated to push through so I can go back to my usual style of reading a book completely in 3 to 6 days.


message 5: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 1864 comments Mod
History is also a go-to for me, but I haven’t found too many that have grabbed my attention lately. Maybe because my bookshelf is two deep and all the sci-fi is in the front. But all 4 of the books I have going now are 500+ pages, so I’m just bouncing between them. You gave me a good reminder to browse my histories though. I saw something on TV about Mao the other night & I have a biography of him that I want to get to. Of course it’s 500+ pages, lol.


message 6: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2549 comments Mod
Once book I can't wait to get my hands on next is Energy and Civilization: A History. Looks like a very decent read in all aspects.

There author is a world renowned authority on energy too.


message 7: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited May 21, 2020 03:58PM) (new)

Kateblue | 3619 comments Mod
Me, I just want fun books. Moral lessons and high hopes are ok, but I want a page turner with characters I like. Except for Vorkosigan, which I have read over and over--it's my go-to series when I need cheering up--I have not had anything I really liked much in a couple of months or more.

In a buddy read of Craig Schaefer's books in another group, in the Daniel Faust series, there was a 5* read, but it was the FIFTH book. I had to read just OK ones to get there. And now, continuing, I am following the chronology of the universe, which means I had to read the first two Harmony Black books. Everybody seems to really like these books but I haven't liked either of them.

I'm unenthused about buddy re-reading the rest of Ilona Andrews's The Edge series, but I did say I would read them, and worse, I bought them.

I read Windup Stories, which were OK, and then realized I had already read The Windup Girl. If I had realized . . . I wouldn't have read Windup Stories.

Oh, and don't get me talking about Docile. So well written, but filled with gratuitously overgraphic sex and stuff.

I don't know . . . I think I am going to go bingewatch something. I'm just meh. Maybe reading Memory will perk me up. It's one of my faves, but, hey, I was gonna save it til June . . .

Sorry, Allan. You started it!


message 8: by TomK2 (last edited May 21, 2020 04:59PM) (new)

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 302 comments Allan wrote: "History is also a go-to for me, but I haven’t found too many that have grabbed my attention lately. Maybe because my bookshelf is two deep and all the sci-fi is in the front. But all 4 of the books..."

yes... those long books sure can disrupt your reading stride! being 70% done on a 700 page book still leaves you with an entire novel to finish. I really need that library loan to come through for a nice quick fun read, so I can advance the odometer a click and feel like I have accomplished something. LOL.


message 9: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 1864 comments Mod
I picked up Deadline (Mira Grant) because, although it’s a zombie apocalypse novel, the style is quick & fun. I can do a quick 20 pages in that book in the time it would take to read half that in A Deepness in the Sky, as good as it is. I’m up to A Civil Campaign in Vorkosigan but so far it feels like a rom com, which is not doing it for me. A fine book, I just don’t like rom coms, so it’s not a fun break.


message 10: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 1864 comments Mod
Trying to perk you up, Kate!


message 11: by Kaa (new)

Kaa A Civil Campaign is definitely a rom-com. Miles does eventually stop being so obnoxious and some politicking happens, but the romance(s) are the main thread. Great if you like that (I do), but not for everyone.

Gabi, I am with you on jumping from book to book until I find something that fits what I currently am in the mood for - my list right now is only around 10, but I've been trying to take things off of it if I've put them down for an extended period.


message 12: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3619 comments Mod
LOL! Thanks, Allen.

We read Deadline in this group as a monthly read at one point. Must have been before you got here.

Sorry you are not liking A Civil Campaign, Allan. It's just got so much of all the different characters in it, so I really like it. I like the minor characters she creates and we don't often get enough of them. Also, there is one thread/subplot I like even better that the Miles plotlines. We can discuss later.

I just got the new Murderbot from the library--maybe I will start it early. It's on for next month in SF Hot off the Presses group


message 13: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 1864 comments Mod
Yes, Deadline was a group read shortly after I joined. I don’t think I had found a copy and wasn’t aware of the library resources at the time. I did read Feed with the group and liked it, planned to come back later and read the other two.

I don’t hate A Civil Campaign, just that Miles is even more obstreperous than usual, deliberately I’m sure, as part of the book’s tone. I’ll survive, lol.


message 14: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited May 22, 2020 08:12AM) (new)

Art | 2549 comments Mod
When it comes to my struggling with my reads it's usually not the lack of motivation that gets me. To me it's a matter of circumstances that make me lose focus and then in order to keep reading it's all about finding the "Goldilocks" read.

It often happens when I'm busy throughout the day. Even in those cases I am usually able to read during the inevitable downtime I get here and there. Though when there is a bit of stress or frustration added to it, my focus wanders towards troubleshooting even when I have a book open, trying to distract myself.

In those cases I cannot for the life of me read books that are out of my comfort zone, then it goes this way:
- I don't care about the content of the book -> my mind wanders -> I lose track of the events -> I lose interest even further.

In cases where it's a reread I like the cycle looks like this:
- I like the book, I get comfortable -> my relaxed mind comes up with an idea that could potentially alleviate whatever source of stress/frustration there is -> I lose focus and I have to either stop or reread the last paragraph -> I give up because I don't want to miss out on the entertainment that book usually provides

My Goldilocks read during those times:
- something that grabs attention, comes in good chunks of digestible information -> entertaining enough to take my mind off things -> distracts me without making me work for it. Usually it's a non-fic book on a subject I am interested in that ticks all those boxes for me. Or Zelazny, mostly because of how dynamic the events and dialogues in his books are without losing the depth of the message.


message 15: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited May 22, 2020 08:41AM) (new)

Kateblue | 3619 comments Mod
Yes, Miles' interactions with Ekatarine (sp?) in A Civil Campaign are pretty over the top, but there are great subplots and stuff . . . just keep going.

Now I am motivated to go read it, right now!


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