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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly > 2020 - 06 - futuristic - What did you read?

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message 1: by PAS, Moderator AC (new)

PAS (Mods) (pasmods) | 643 comments Mod

June's Shelf is futuristic

What did you read? Any specific period in the future? What's good / bad about this future?

message 2: by Meg (last edited Jun 03, 2020 04:02AM) (new)

Meg (megscl) | 827 comments Messenger by lois lowry

This is a young adult dystopian story. This was a good little book, but it ended too quickly. There was a lot of build up, a great spooky setting and interesting questions raised. Hopefully they are answered and resolved in the next in the series.

This is book 3 in the giver series, it follows on from gathering blue. But, I'm not sure what I'm missing but I don't see how these books connect to The Giver at all. Which is a shame because that is one of my all time favourites.

Used for seriously serial, just read it, and Bookopoly
I nominate unreliable narrator

message 3: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1419 comments Meg, all will become clear in book 4. My favorite is the first book, though.

message 4: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 827 comments Xenocide by Orson Scott Card (Book #3 in Ender's Game series)

"Xenocide" means the genocide of an alien species. This book sees Ender stuck in the middle of another human/alien standoff. I really like science fiction that uses speculative aliens and technologies to put a new perspective on philosophy - what is intelligence, who has the right to life? There were parts of this book that dragged, but overall enjoyable.

Used for seriously serial + just read it
I nominate science

message 5: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 827 comments Marina (Sonnenbarke) wrote: "Meg, all will become clear in book 4. My favorite is the first book, though."

Thanks Marina, I am going to try to read Son asap - not wait years between books like I have for the rest of this series!

message 6: by Charity (new)

Charity | 546 comments I just finished Naked in Death. I cannot believe I've not started this series sooner. I'm hooked now and will probably look for a reason to binge read this series. Might replace some books on 'Seriously Serial' to get them in.

Great investigative/romance book with strong characters and not a ton of ridiculous 'misunderstandings' that romance books tend to have and annoy me.

Read for the joy of reading for the monthly challenge.
I nominate Crime

message 7: by Tien (last edited Jun 08, 2020 03:09PM) (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8733 comments Mod
I read Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman

Such a complex layering of plot and things are just getting hotter in this second book of the trilogy. Despite the multiple perspectives, the book was easy to read and follow along. In between chapters, there are short essays / journal entries by the Thunderhead which I found to be very interesting in a philosophical/contemplative way - mostly about people and the world. The twists were masterful and made you not to want to put the book down. A smashing read that renders me speechless but I'm so glad I waited to read this after book 3 is published because that ending was explosive!

Used for bookopoly, SS20 & JRI!

message 8: by LaurLa (last edited Jul 29, 2020 04:26AM) (new)

LaurLa | 1208 comments Obsession in Death (In Death, #40) by J.D. Robb

Book: Obsession in Death ~ 06.08 ★★★★
# Tags: 93

Excellent installment. I enjoyed the procedural aspect of this one and it didn't lean too heavily on Eve's baggage. It was there in her continued dreams, but even those have changed over the last few books. I liked how this made Eve take stock of who is in her life, who cares about her and who she cares about. Very much enjoyed this one.

Challenges: Bookopoly
Nomination: police procedural

message 9: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Zaccaria | 99 comments I read Cluster by Ed Brisson.

Cluster by Ed Brisson

A fun sci-fi piece that's all too relevant to present times.

I nominate vampire

message 10: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 474 comments I read Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Supposedly, I'm reading this as a read-a-long with my 11-year-old. But let's be real--I've gotten ahead of him on this series because I'm enjoying these books so much. And because the ending is a cliff-hanger, I'm moving right along to book 3 of the trilogy.

These are not stand-alone. The trilogy goes together and you should read Scythe before starting this one.

This book brings the AI to life--The Thunderhead--as a character with its own journals and thoughts. These replace the Scythe journals that prefaced each chapter in the prior book, and are slightly more philosophical in nature than the scythe journals were. As an AI, I liked the way the Thunderhead developed in this book and the set up for the final book is excellent.

This is YA fiction, so expect your young heroes to be smarter and cooler than the older folks and expect some straightforward villains. But not everything here is lacking nuance. Even the evil characters do unexpected things and the heroes are the world's designated murderers, so they aren't without ethical quandaries either.

Very enjoyable reading.

Challenges: Bookopoly, JRI, Bingo, Seriously Serial
I nominate magical

message 11: by Tien (last edited Jun 11, 2020 02:42PM) (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8733 comments Mod
does your 11 yo actually enjoy these books? I don't think my soon to be 11yo son is ready for this, actually... not even anywhere close to ready.

message 12: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 474 comments Tien wrote: "does your 11 yo actually enjoy these books? I don't think my soon to be 11yo son is ready for this, actually... not even anywhere close to ready."

He loves them. All of his middle school friends are reading them. I have no idea how deeply they are thinking about them, but they've been endlessly passing around the copies of the books.

message 13: by Joyce (last edited Jun 15, 2020 05:28PM) (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 605 comments Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter
Rating: 4 stars
Takes Place in New Chicago. Not too far in the future but still in the future.

Mia Snow is part of the group of police known as AIR. they hunt aliens infiltrating their world. Her partner is injured and near death. Kyrin en Arr who is an Arcadian promises he will heal Dallas if Mia frees his sister. Mia finds out that not all aliens are bad and is drawn to Kyrin despite swearing to kill all aliens. The story was a little formulaic but I still really enjoyed it.

Challenges used in: Bookopoly and Seriously Serial '20
I nominate: music

message 14: by Joyce (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 605 comments Charity wrote: "I just finished Naked in Death. I cannot believe I've not started this series sooner. I'm hooked now and will probably look for a reason to binge read this series. Might replace some ..."

Yes and they only get better! If you are into audiobooks they are all narrated by the same woman. Lorelie King and she is fantastic at them. They are so potato chippy.

message 15: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 827 comments Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

A semi-dystopian future in California in the 2030s. The thing about this book is that it doesn't seem much of a stretch to imagine this being our actual future in 10 years time. There is religious intolerance, wealth inequity and poverty, lawlessness and discrimination. There are lots of great phrases that really highlight problems in society (both the fictional future and our real society), like this one...
"I have also read that the Pox was caused by accidentally coinciding climatic, economic, and sociological crises. It would be more honest to say that the Pox was caused by our own refusal to deal with obvious problems in those areas. We caused the problems: then we sat and watched as they grew into crises.”
So I thought this was a good and insightful book, there was nothing wrong with it. But I didn't feel the reading magic, which is why I've given it only 3 stars.

Read for Just Read It and Bingo and Seriously Serial
I nominate social justice

message 16: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 474 comments Witness in Death by J.D. Robb

Cotton candy for the mind. This series is light and pleasant. The narrator always does a fine job with the audiobook and the plot follows a predictable, but different enough, path. There's a murder, Eve Dallas investigates, and ultimately figures everything out through her cleverness and hard work. She often gets emotionally involved (or Roarke or someone else does) or else is personally targeted, or some other thing to increase the intensity--but not too much. Ultimately, these are light mysteries, not thrillers.

I'm perfectly happy to listen to one of the books in this long series every few months between reading more serious things. These could easily stand alone, but there is no reason not to read them in order since the relationships do (slightly) develop over the course of the series.

Read for JRI, Bingo, and Seriously Serial
I will also nominate social justice

message 17: by Tawallah (new)

Tawallah | 138 comments We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
Rating: 3*

This was recommended as a humorous series set in 2130 and beyond. It was an engaging read but more full of satire and nerdy Star Trek references. Listening to the audio-book version by Ray Porter heightens the enjoyment.
The plot is based on Bob an middle-aged software developer who has sold his company and is about to enjoy his life. He plans to read all the books and travel the world. At a conference, he buys an insurance policy that in the event of his death, he will be cryogenically frozen until the future. As he is about to travel home from the conference he walks across the street and is involved in a fatal accident. We next meet Bob as he is awaken but things are quite different to the plan.

Read for Bingo
I nominate social justice

message 18: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1419 comments June wrote: "We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
Rating: 3*

This was recommended as a humorous series set in 2130 and beyond. It was an engaging read but more full ..."

Sounds cool! I've added it to my wishlist - thanks for bringing it to my attention :)

message 19: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 827 comments Marina (Sonnenbarke) wrote: "June wrote: "We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
Rating: 3*

This was recommended as a humorous series set in 2130 and beyond. It was an engaging read b..."

Me too!

message 20: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Reid | 77 comments Fahrenheit 451 by
Ray Bradbury
Rating: 4 stars

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Rating: 5 stars

I can't believe that I got out of high school and college without reading Fahrenheit 451. I've had it on my list for some time and it was good to get it read. I gave the book 4 stars.

I have watched all 3 seasons of The Handmaid's Tale and wasn't sure about reading the book afterword, but enjoyed it very much. I couldn't put the book down even though I knew most of the story. I now find myself adding more books by Margaret Atwood to my TBR list!!

I nominate strong-women

message 21: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1419 comments Beverly, I'm so glad you loved those 2 books! Both were 5-star reads for me. Another book by Atwood I really liked is Alias Grace.

message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3466 comments Mod
I read Across the Universe. I really liked it, and gave it 4 stars. My review is here.

I used it for Just Read It and Seriously Serial.

I second (or third or fourth) Meg's nomination of social justice.

message 23: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 233 comments I read Eve.

The concept was interesting, especially in today's world. Maybe because I had stopped reading as much recently, but I found it a bit difficult to connect with the characters. Still, I always enjoy a good dystopia, and now I'm planning to get back into reading and finishing the many challenges I'm still working on.

Used for Lost, Seriously Serial, and Just Read It (Bingo and Prompt 6).

I nominate magical

message 24: by Lusie (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3133 comments I read Steelheart [28-jun-20] ★★★★

This is out of my comfort zone and after the first chapter I wanted to stop reading. It was so violent and brutal. But despite that feeling I kept reading and didn't regret it. I enjoyed the way the Reckoners interact with each other. There is a lot of action and funny moments. I really like David.

Used for:
- prompt 1
- seriously serial

I nominate: conspiracy-theory

message 25: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1419 comments I read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury ★★★★

Sci-fi is waaay out of my comfort zone (I only read dystopia and post-apocalyptic, but no "regular" sci-fi at all), so I was really hesitant when I decided to read this book. Admittedly, I would never have read it if I hadn't found a copy of this on my shelves by the merest chance - bought who knows when. Still, Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all-time favorites, so I thought it might be worth to give this one a try.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! First of all, it was really interesting to read a sci-fi novel written 70 years ago, when technology and scientific progress were still very limited compared to now. Bradbury was a true visionary. Second (and actually foremost), I loved how this was really a philosophical book in disguise, making the reader think about how man is endlessly striving for conquest and, ultimately, destruction. Even to the point of his own destruction.


I used this for Just Read It Prompt 3 and Bingo.

I nominate social justice.

message 26: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 827 comments The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

This prequel is set about 40-50 years before The Hunger Games. The games are new and the memories of the capital v district war is fresh in the minds of Snow and his classmates. I enjoyed the first half of the book, which was as action packed as the original trilogy. But the part that followed dragged a little. It was hard to relate to the main character and future villain Corialanus Snow.

Use for Just Read It
I nominate indigenous

message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

I read Scarlet via audio book and it was really really good! Very entertaining and the narrator really brought the story to life.

This is the second in the Lunar Chronicles and I had originally thought it may only be the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood but was pleasantly surprised to see Cinder's story continues.

I am using this for the Just Read It challenge.

message 28: by Joanna (last edited Jun 30, 2020 08:26PM) (new)

Joanna (walker) | 474 comments Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
4 stars

Did you like the first two Wayfarers books? If so, then you should definitely continue the series with this book. Another reviewer dubbed Chambers as writing Rainbows and Hugs Space Opera, and it's such an apt description that I keep coming back to it. The people in Chambers' society are all well meaning, good at heart folks. Conflict is from folks (or maybe folx) figuring out how to live good lives in a world where there's basically enough for no one to be truly needy, where work isn't necessary for economic reasons--just to have something meaningful to do. Where different species are thoughtfully trying to live together and be respectful of different bodies, cultures, and languages.

So, nothing really happens in this book--there's no big war to be won or even major crisis to overcome. But it's thoroughly entertaining.

Used for: Bookoply, Just Read It. Seriously Serial, and Bingo
I nominate social justice

message 29: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 233 comments I read Incarnate.

I thought this was a really interesting concept for a book, the idea that everyone is continuously reincarnated and keeps their memories intact so you're living with the same people you've known for all the thousands of years you've lived. Then along comes someone new, who no one has ever met before, and things become interesting. Everything about the world was very well thought out, like the reactions of other people and Ana's quest to discover the reason for her existence.

Used for Lost, Seriously Serial, and Just Read it (Bingo and Prompt 6).

I nominate strong-women

message 30: by LaurLa (last edited Jul 29, 2020 04:26AM) (new)

LaurLa | 1208 comments Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1) by Rachel Aaron

Book: Nice Dragons Finish Last ~ 06.25 ★★★
# Tags: 8

This was an okay read. From the blurb and title, I kind of thought it would be a light, easy read. Kind of fun and breezy. It wasn't easy or breezy. The pace was pretty slow, I felt like it took forever to get from one scene to the next. I didn't dislike it once I accepted it wasn't going to go quick. I did get a little tired of Julius' woe is me, I'm too nice to be a dragon and everyone in my family hates me. But, once he got over himself and came into his own, I liked him better. An okay start to the series but probably won't go out of my to read more.

Nomination: dragon(s)

message 31: by LaurLa (last edited Jul 29, 2020 04:26AM) (new)

LaurLa | 1208 comments Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2) by Sarah Fine

Book: Claimed ~ 06.08 ★★★★
# Tags: 2

This is such an interesting series/world build. Very different than many other urban fantasies/dystopia I've read. It has a deep/rich back story and I would love there to be more in this world but there is just this trilogy (that I know of). I liked everything about this book - the world building, the characters, the story line. The romance was a little predictable, and I figured out the villain fairly early but it wasn't really a whodunit, so that was okay. I liked how the heroine grew in the story from a traumatized female afraid of most everything to a strong woman fighting for what's right. The hero was not alpha but still strong and doing what is needed to take care of those he cares about. Good story and looking forward to the last book.

Challenges: Moving Mountain; JRI #4
Nomination: dystopia

message 32: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 827 comments I guess I really like this genre because I managed to fit in another one:
Son by Lois Lowry

This the conclusion to The Giver quartet. The Giver is one of my all time favourites after reading it for high school over 20 years ago. I only discovered and read the follow ups recently. This wasn't an amazing book in itself but was a good ending to the series. I really enjoyed revisiting the setting of The Giver in the first part of the book and was pleased with the way it linked to books 2 and 3 in the later part of the book. I won't really say anything about the plot of this book, but basically, if you've never read The Giver, you should!

Read for JRI and seriously serial
I nominate past-and-present

message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3466 comments Mod
I read Cress. I liked it, and give it 3.5 stars. My review is here.

I used it for Just Read It and Seriously Serial.

I nominate social justice.

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