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Qualityland (QualityLand #1)
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message 1: by *Tau* (last edited Oct 06, 2020 10:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

*Tau* | 111 comments All those who want to read Qualityland with me are very welcome to join this buddyread!

As a guideline I will regularly ask a question, but do not feel obliged to answer those.
You may also bring up other questions or just write down random thoughts.
Everything is fine by me. The only important thing is to have fun 😉


BEFORE READING

Most of us will begin to read later on.
But even without having read a single page of this book, it's already possible to begin to discuss it.
Thus my first questions are:

1. At first glance: what do you think of the cover?

2. When you read the short content and/or reviews: why does this book appeal to you?

3. Does the content table raise certain expectations?


message 2: by *Tau* (last edited Sep 21, 2020 01:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

*Tau* | 111 comments As I started this topic, I'll give the good example and kick off 😋

1. There exist several covers for this book, but personally I prefer this one:

Qualityland (QualityLand - Saga, #1) by Marc-Uwe Kling

It's different from most covers you see nowadays and could easily catch my attention in a bookstore.
The 'cardboard box' is intriguing. Not only does it make me want to read all the details written on it, but it sparks my curiosity about the content (both of the book and the box) as well.


2. If there's one thing I actively search for in books, it's humour. This doesn't mean that all books that I read are humorous. Far from it. But from time to time I really need a good dose of laughter. It's my oxygen and my remedy against everyday bad news :-p
Besides that, I also like to discover new voices. If an author is less known by the greater public, I like it even more to discover his/her writings, because it makes me feel like a kind of 'explorer'.
Qualityland seems to be a good candidate for both of the aforementioned reasons. Lots of people rave about the humour in it and German writer Marc Uwe-Kling is not so well known (yet?) in English speaking countries.


message 3: by Kristenelle (new) - added it

Kristenelle | 561 comments 1. At first glance, I thought it was a paper bag. I'm indifferent to the cover, but don't prefer any of the others.

2. I had to go back and look at the blurb. I always try to merely skim these because I don't want to know too much going in. My skim yields that it is a story that explores a society with different conditions and therefore sounds interesting. Plus, I'm just trying to read as many current things as possible as I'm considering voting for Hugos this year. I'm kind of trying to read as many 2020 books as possible and gaging how effectively I'd be able to participate in awards nominating/voting.


message 4: by Kalin (new) - added it

Kalin | 228 comments Mod
Hi *Tau*, I don't intend to dissuade you from embarking on the buddy read, but alongside the invite post I made for the other GR group I'm moderating, I wanted to mention that Qualityland would make a great monthly read nominee for that group. Just saaaayiiiiiin' :)


*Tau* | 111 comments Kristen wrote: "1. At first glance, I thought it was a paper bag. I'm indifferent to the cover, but don't prefer any of the others.

2. I had to go back and look at the blurb. I always try to merely skim these be..."


It's interesting to see that everyone sees this differently, Kristen 😉
Just out of curiosity: if you always try to merely skim the blurbs, which factors are most important to you (besides the publication date) to decide whether a book ends up on your TBR-list or not?


message 6: by *Tau* (last edited Sep 21, 2020 07:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

*Tau* | 111 comments Kalin wrote: "Hi *Tau*, I don't intend to dissuade you from embarking on the buddy read, but alongside the invite post I made for the other GR group I'm moderating, I wanted to mention that Qualityland would make a great monthly read nominee for that group. Just saaaayiiiiiin' :)"

Thanks for the tip, Kalin 😊
Although we're well aware that the possibility exists that this book will be renominated in this group (and apparently also in the group Speculative Fiction in Translation), we decided to start the buddyread anyway.
A (re)nomination doesn't necessarily mean that at the end of the ride it also gets the majority of votes. So that would mean we'd be a month further and maybe still at the same point.
Personally I'll continue to read the book now, but if the others prefer to join one of the two possible groupreads, I don't mind either. Everyone is free to decide on her/his/their own 😉


*Tau* | 111 comments Kalin wrote: "... alongside the invite post I made for the other GR group I'm moderating, I wanted to mention that Qualityland would make a great monthly read nominee for that group"

Btw I assume that over time there will be regularly a crossover between these two groups.
So why not join forces?
That can only be beneficial for both of them 😊

We could just mention this buddyread at Speculative Fiction in Translation. That way:

1. There can be another book nominated and thus there will 2 groupreads instead of one (and this one is already starting, so there is no waiting time).

2. Those who are interested in reading Qualityland can simply join us. They will be welcomed with open arms, because my motto is: the more the merrier (and the more interesting the discussions because of the variety of points of view) 😄


message 8: by DivaDiane (new) - added it

DivaDiane | 1 comments I don’t even have a copy yet and can’t start reading it right away, but I do like your paper wrapped package better than the other, simply boring one.

As for the premise, it intrigued me right away. It also got good reviews from people I interact with, so that sealed the deal.


message 9: by Kristenelle (last edited Sep 22, 2020 05:58AM) (new) - added it

Kristenelle | 561 comments *Tau* wrote: "Just out of curiosity: if you always try to merely skim the blurbs, which factors are most important to you (besides the publication date) to decide whether a book ends up on your TBR-list or not?"

The number one way is friend recommendations either in real life or from reviews on Goodreads. If I see someone I know really enjoyed a book that makes me want to read it too.

I also add a lot of books based on group botm's. I don't get to read all of them, but I like being able to join in discussions. So that is a big motivation.

One of my favorites though is what I like to call "riding the eddies of inspiration." This is when something I enjoy leads to discovering more things I enjoy. For instance, a few years ago I discovered the podcast "Levar Burton Reads" and fell in love. Levar Burton suffuses his readings of short stories with so much love and joy! Thanks to this podcast I discovered N. K. Jemisin, Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor, and others. And it reawakened my love of reading. And then after reading books by these authors I discovered more that they talked about liking and that their fans talked about liking. And so on...


message 10: by *Tau* (last edited Sep 22, 2020 09:24AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

*Tau* | 111 comments Diane wrote: "I don’t even have a copy yet and can’t start reading it right away, but I do like your paper wrapped package better than the other, simply boring one.
As for the premise, it intrigued me right away. It also got good reviews from people I interact with, so that sealed the deal. "


First of all: welcome to this buddyread, Diane!

Covers consist of the first impression you get of a book, so for me they're very important. I totally agree with what you said: this one is less boring than the others.

Those good reviews are something I also recognize. On a Dutch book site where I spent a lot of time earlier, most of the readers were very positive about this book. Even the most critical ones. That's one of the other reasons (that I didn't mention) why I want to read this book.


message 11: by *Tau* (last edited Sep 22, 2020 09:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

*Tau* | 111 comments Kristen wrote: "The number one way is friend recommendations either in real life or from reviews on Goodreads. If I see someone I know really enjoyed a book that makes me want to read it too."

You've absolutely got a good point there, Kristen!
Since I'm more active here on Goodreads and the number of friends (and their recommendations) is rising, my TBR-mountain is rising equally 😋

Kristen wrote: "I also add a lot of books based on group botm's. I don't get to read all of them, but I like being able to join in discussions. So that is a big motivation."

Group discussions are indeed a great way to get more out of a book.
Personally I don't take the BotM into account to choose my TBR-books. But I understand your reasoning 😉

Kristen wrote: "One of my favorites though is what I like to call "riding the eddies of inspiration." This is when something I enjoy leads to discovering more things I enjoy. For instance, a few years ago I discovered the podcast "Levar Burton Reads" and fell in love. Levar Burton suffuses his readings of short stories with so much love and joy! Thanks to this podcast I discovered N. K. Jemisin, Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor, and others. And it reawakened my love of reading. And then after reading books by these authors I discovered more that they talked about liking and that their fans talked about liking. And so on..."

That's described beautifully 😊
What an interesting link! For those who are curious like me: http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com/


message 12: by Kristenelle (new) - added it

Kristenelle | 561 comments *Tau* wrote: "What an interesting link! For those who are curious like me: http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com/"

Thanks for sharing the link! I highly recommend this podcast! For those of you who are unfamiliar with US American culture, Levar Burton played Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and he also had a children's tv show called Reading Rainbow that encouraged a love of reading when I was a kid. So it is really poetic that he has a grown up reading podcast that I can enjoy now. ☺️


Plamen Nenchev (vmro) | 57 comments Thank you for starting the thread, Tau, as we spoke before🙂

I'll pop in in probably a week when I start reading it. I don't want to comment on anything yet - I tend to a reverse psychological reaction to most things, and usually the more hyped I am about something, the more I am disappointed.🤷‍♂️


*Tau* | 111 comments Plamen 2.0 wrote: "Thank you for starting the thread, Tau, as we spoke before🙂

I'll pop in in probably a week when I start reading it. I don't want to comment on anything yet - I tend to a reverse psychological reaction to most things, and usually the more hyped I am about something, the more I am disappointed.🤷‍♂️"


You're welcome, Plamen 😉

No problem. I didn't read much yet either, because I first want to finish another book and write some reviews. But after the weekend I'll probably continue.

Join anytime you like 😊


*Tau* | 111 comments To revive this buddy read, I'll ask another question (which can also be answered if you didn't start to read the book yet):

3. Does the content table raise certain expectations?

For those who don't have the book yet, the content table can be read at: https://www.bol.com/nl/p/qualityland/...
Just click on 'Inkijkexemplaar' under the cover and the content table and first few pages will be accessable 😉


*Tau* | 111 comments My answer to the third question:
This book is made up of several short stories. Always nice to squeeze one in when you don't have a lot of (reading) time 😉
When I took a look at the content table, I didn't exactly know what to expect. A kiss sounds rather romantic, while 4.63*10(170) sounds quite mathematical. Juliet & Romeo seems to hide a feministic view, while The dinner problem leaves a more culinary impression.
It's so nice to be able to dive in this collection of short stories without a real prejudice. Thus it becomes a total surprise 😄


message 17: by Kristenelle (new) - added it

Kristenelle | 561 comments *Tau* wrote: "To revive this buddy read, I'll ask another question (which can also be answered if you didn't start to read the book yet):

3. Does the content table raise certain expectations?

For those who don..."


Oh wow, I'm listening to the audiobook and hadn't seen the table of contents. So I had no idea that it was a bunch of short stories. That is really interesting! I just started yesterday and am still on the first one. First impressions: the reader has kind of an obnoxious voice haha. I'm interested in this world and curious to see what issues the author chooses to tackle. There is a lot of up front description. Info dumping?

Who else has started reading? First impressions?


*Tau* | 111 comments Kristen wrote: "Oh wow, I'm listening to the audiobook and hadn't seen the table of contents. So I had no idea that it was a bunch of short stories."

Interesting that you're listening to the audiobook, Kristen!
That way we can compare between listening/reading this book 😉
Actually, the different short stories are regularly interspersed with 'commercials'. Curious if they come into their own in the audiobook.

Kristen wrote: "First impressions: the reader has kind of an obnoxious voice haha. "

A reader's voice is indeed very important to enjoy a book to the fullest.

Kristen wrote: " There is a lot of up front description. Info dumping?"

It's true that a lot of information is given about Qualityland, but that didn't bother me.

Kristen wrote: "Who else has started reading? First impressions?"

At 11% now (I'm reading a few pages at a time, between my other books).
My first impressions?
Mostly intrigued. Not only by the stories themselves but also by the titles and by what is to yet to come.
Not all the humour and references are equally interesting. Some of the ideas appeal a bit less to me, while others are so interesting that I'd like to see them being worked out even more (f.e. the digital assistants in 'Ado & Eva').


message 19: by Kristenelle (new) - added it

Kristenelle | 561 comments I thought the concept of "kisstouch" (not sure how it is spelled) was interesting. The idea that the powers that be want everyone to feel attached to their purchases.

My initial thought was "hey, I'm already against capitalism. Preaching to the choir!" But now that I think about it it isn't necessarily talking about capitalism so much as it is talking about commercialism and/or materialism. What do you think?


message 20: by Kristenelle (new) - added it

Kristenelle | 561 comments I'm on "Interview" now and I'm thinking that this is a collection of continuous vignettes rather than short stories. Peter seems to be a continuing thread.


Oleksandr Zholud | 1719 comments Mod
I started it today, and so far (10% in) it is funny even if problems its highlights aren't exactly new, it has a style in delivering them


Oleksandr Zholud | 1719 comments Mod
*Tau* wrote: "1. At first glance: what do you think of the cover?"

Amazon should sue them was my first thought :)

*Tau* wrote: "2. When you read the short content and/or reviews: why does this book appeal to you?"

I haven't checked either, it appealed for me because I trust your taste

*Tau* wrote: "3. Does the content table raise certain expectations?"

I haven't checked contents of my audio, but the very start gave some suggestions


*Tau* | 111 comments Oleksandr wrote: "I started it today, and so far (10% in) it is funny even if problems its highlights aren't exactly new, it has a style in delivering them"

Nice that you join us, Oleksandr!
This weekend I'll have a little bit more time to finally react in this thread 😉
And afterwards maybe even more, if there's another lockdown in Belgium (not sure yet, they decide today) 😄


Oleksandr Zholud | 1719 comments Mod
Chapter “THE DINNER PROBLEM”
Spoiler of the text and my comments as an economist
(view spoiler)


Oleksandr Zholud | 1719 comments Mod
About algorithms that guide us, I recently stumbled upon an interesting distinction:

The exploit versus explore algorithms. An exploit algorithm will give you more of what you like, while an explore algorithm tries to broaden your exposure to more than just what you’ve shown you like.

here the article that mentioned them https://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2020/8...


Oleksandr Zholud | 1719 comments Mod
Another possibly linked article, this one written by AI https://www.theguardian.com/commentis...

The future is closer than you expect!


*Tau* | 111 comments Thank you for all these interesting thoughts and links, Oleksandr!
This weekend I'm definitely going to catch up with Qualityland and finally react a bit more extensively in this thread 😉


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