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Robotswithpersonality

Robotswithpersonality

Joined June 2022

Funny fantasy, good robots, sci fi for speculating (not 'space war'), myth&fairytale retellings, final girls, 'good guy' detectives, ace&agender rep
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The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
review
Robotswithpersonality
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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Pickpick

A marvelous, timeless fairy tale. As much about personal choice as the reverence for story telling. I think if you go in looking for only the A to B plot or main pairing you'll spend a lot of time frustrated, but if you let the story take you wherever it chooses to, you'll have a splendid time.

Robotswithpersonality That being said, I am very grateful to the book designers along with the author, because the formatting, even down to the subtle decorations on page separating books, chapters and sections made this meandering a lot clearer to follow.
I don't know if it's a new favourite, if I could reread it with the same sense of wonder, but I'll always be glad I took the time to experience it fully the first time, and didn't rush through.
3h
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Robotswithpersonality
The Buying of Lot 37 | Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
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Cryptid librarian spotting!

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Too damn early in the morning face!
Kudos, Kate Beaton, you nailed it.

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Robotswithpersonality
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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If the closet had been big enough, I have no doubt I would have! 😅

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Robotswithpersonality
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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Ah, romanticizing the past, a common past time.
Writing your name on every book's card gets less fun after the first few.

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Robotswithpersonality
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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Points will be deducted for all tired tropes concerning librarians. 😑

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Robotswithpersonality
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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PAINFULLY relatable.

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Robotswithpersonality
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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My MLIS is gibbering at me: but, but Library of Congress!
Okay, only MOST university libraries use LC and only MOST of public libraries use DDC...but I don't like it. 🙎🏼‍♂️

Robotswithpersonality Wouldn't necessarily have a DDC call number if it was catalogued as vs just misshelved in fiction either...my brain! 2d
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Robotswithpersonality
The Buying of Lot 37 | Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
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Mood. 😄

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Robotswithpersonality
The Buying of Lot 37 | Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
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Never seen a car crash described in such eerily poetic terms before.
For all of its goofy moments, Night Vale can deliver good ghost stories.

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Robotswithpersonality
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Pickpick

I didn't want it to end! Very happy to realize there are 12 novels featuring this character for me to sink my teeth into. Tone and length really lent to reading these short stories aloud. Very much into the 'little old lady is a lot sharper than you think' trope, and as much as the humble village life is overplayed, it's satisfying to see a mystery-solving protagonist grounded in life experience, rather than just uncanny observational skills.

Robotswithpersonality A lot less blatantly objectionable content than I encountered in And Then There Were None, but definitely still dated in values and opinions.

⚠️Orientalism, fetishization of non-English women and religions, xenophobia/racism, ableism, misogyny
2d
5 likes1 comment
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Robotswithpersonality
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Mehso-so

Pathos and dry humour employed in the expression of the immigrant and first generation experience, slamming up against a wall of racial and class/economic privilege, seems to be Charles Yu's stock in trade. So does experimental writing styles. I'm basing this off of having only read Interior Chinatown before this one, but they do share some similarities.

Robotswithpersonality The frustrated ambitions of the father, the frustrated love of the mother, how a family is warped by the obsessive focus of one parent on scientific breakthrough and perceived prestige, when such never happens.
The wasted time in that pursuit of trying to find a way to manipulate time: tragic irony of humans pursuing time travel. 1/?
2d
Robotswithpersonality Amazing how much sense it makes that there would be a whole job created because humans would repeatedly attempt to rail against not being able to change the past. We already spend too much time dwelling on it now, wishing to rework it, without the mechanisms to do so, imagine if we had access to machinery that made us think it might be possible. 2d
Robotswithpersonality I've only read Mrs Dalloway for comparison, but I got similar Woolf style stream-of-consciousness in many sections.
There are also flashes that feel similar to The Maze of Transparencies - esoteric musings, disembodied yet somehow corporeal clouds of data and media.
The sensual description of the witing process in chapter nine is probably my favourite part, so satisfying in detail, textures, sounds! 3/?
2d
Robotswithpersonality The world building that presented as casual or introspective observations, notes, sci-fi slice of life, seemed promising. 4/? 2d
Robotswithpersonality There is a tiny bit of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a highlight reel of popular sci fi concepts told through the mode of an unconventional manual, but feels a bit misleading, to begin with meandering through an alternate universe in a time machine doing repairs and circling the idea of getting a life, and then develop into a full blown observation of the history of one father-son relationship as a metaphor for people's regrets writ large, how they wallow, and shouldn't.
Either is a good premise for a book, I'm not sure how well the two gelled together.
Still unsure what purpose was served by the self-insert, making the author the protagonist, felt a little too messy to be meta-narratively relevant.
2d
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Robotswithpersonality
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Such satisfying descriptions.

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Do we classify that as floral innuendo or floral booty call?
A presumptuous theatre-goer, for certain!

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Wholesome after dinner activities. 😝

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"People who can't stop doing stupid things because of their stupid hearts." ?
Time machine use as distillation of the human condition. Damn.

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Trying to decide if this would be better or worse than the real thing...

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"...the strangeness of experience is no greater or less than intuitive notions of how things should be..."

What is reality and what is speculative fiction? How close do the two get in books these days?...?

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Overly familiar, verbose stranger telling ghoulish stories while you try and paint the scenery?
The correct response in two words!

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I'm getting 'Quint, from Jaws' vibes...

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Robotswithpersonality
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Mehso-so

Damn. Points were made, but the strongest impressions I come away with are messy and sad. This book had (not entirely original) things to say about early feminism, and there was character growth (though I'm always going to resent a stereotypically meek librarian protagonist), but the mystery pay off wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped and the amount of poor choices made by all was truly staggering. Human beings are flawed, but this was just tragic.

Robotswithpersonality P.S. The dismay depicted for short prison sentences, to the extent of insisting a longer one is necessary, for book thieves in particular, rubs me the wrong way, but then I'd rather prisons didn't exist in the first place. 5d
Robotswithpersonality ⚠️ Child abuse, suicide 5d
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So Sad. 🤭🫣

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👏🏻🙌🏻

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Robotswithpersonality
A History of My Brief Body | Billy-Ray Belcourt
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Pickpick

A galvanizing series of essays that blur the line between memoir and think piece. The author is palpably a poet, in that I struggled to adapt to his gorgeously complex phrasing, but found it all the more affecting and informative for not coddling the reader. 1/?

Robotswithpersonality It is heartening to see Belcourt push towards a future of creative joy, while consistently elucidating all the ways in which the Canada of the past and present hampers the possibility of such a life experience for Indigenous people. Discussions of life as a queer man of colour likewise indicates the striving for love and the social and structural impediments to finding it. 2/? 6d
Robotswithpersonality It is enjoyable to see a writer frequently touch on a sentence or two written by others, you get this sense of collaborative inspiration, of sharing ideas, when otherwise I worry that writing is isolating, in the search for a 'pure' inspiration not to be intermingled with words that might be claimed by another.
I think it's because I usually see it in research/journalistic non-fiction, seeing citation/quotes in a memoir provides hope of a full life, reading and discussion between fellow writers. 3/?
6d
Robotswithpersonality As with other non-fiction personal works written by Black,
Indigenous and people of colour I have encountered as a
white reader, I am reminded that reading alone will not
suffice. Action must be taken, so that the liveable future so many minorities have long been fighting for and creating art to encourage into existence may become a reality, via the restructure of systems, (as well as hearts and minds), long incapable and seemingly uncaring, of meeting all citizens' needs.

▲ Suicidal ideation, suicide, homophobia, racism, hate crimes 4/4
6d
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Robotswithpersonality
The Buying of Lot 37 | Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
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Very much here for the 'librarian as cryptid' riff. 🤓😈

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Robotswithpersonality
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Panpan

Just went back and read my review of the first book I read from Nell Stevens, (one of her memoirs), and my feelings on this book share some similarities.
1) I'm not sure what the goal was, other than recounting a factual, if miserable, moment in historical figures' lives, now with bonus ghost.
2) There were a number of moving parts that didn't necessarily add up to a satisfying reading experience. 1/?

Robotswithpersonality 3) The motif of a writer focused on writing seen in the Bleaker House memoir continues in this work of fiction as the author as voyeuristic ghost narrates George Sand's creative process, her pursuit of publication.

All new to this particular book:
I think I spent about as much time disgusted as I did enchanted by detailed descriptions of sights and experiences, which in the sense that both evoked emotion adds up to masterful wording! 2/?

7d
Robotswithpersonality Aside from making me feel even more strongly about a person's right to choose, and right to abortion access, I don't know what the story line of teen pregnancy, (and the ghost mission of raging more or less effectively and incorporeally against local pedophiles) was meant to accomplish within the narrative. 3/?

7d
Robotswithpersonality There are glimpses of questioning gender norms and heteronormativity in a historical setting via George Sand, but they feel more like a drive by with everything else going on in the story.

Overall, way more carnal than I was expecting
4/5
7d
Robotswithpersonality I think if I'm to pick up a third book from this author, I'll have to hear a review specifically emphasizing how coherent the narrative throughline was and how satisfying the ending was. With this quality of writing, I really would like to see it in future novels!

⚠️ Eating disorder, statutory SA, SA, domestic abuse, child abuse 5/5
7d
Robotswithpersonality Addendum: Poetry, I think this author would be amazing at poetry, I would love to see it. 7d
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Robotswithpersonality
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Highly identify with Solange: some of my favourite memories involve not having the sense to come in out of the rain. 🌧️☺️

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Pffft, a ghost and a doctor are bound to have differing perspectives on such matters. 😆

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Poetic sensuality of descriptions, literal engaging of multiple senses, sounds, textures, smells, tastes, really helps to alleviate the creepy, voyeuristic tinge to ghost's perspective.

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Clergymen, always the buzzkill at the pagan orgy. 😏

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Looks like I'll be doing a lot of looking up of archaic words! MY kind of detecting. ?
Banting: "was a popular term for losing weight by excluding sugar from your diet. It was named after a Mr Banting." [Which I think refers to the Canadian doctor who helped discover insulin?!]. The things you learn by accident.
God reference aside, I appreciate a friend counseling another in 1932 not to diet, that her body is just as it should be.

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Gotta assume this was not an actual pile o' flour.
Common vernacular lost to the passage of time....suppose it's like polenta? To the Google!

Robotswithpersonality The internet has spoken. General consensus is a thin pudding. Sounds like comfort food to me 1w
bnp I'm familiar with using cornstarch (US)/ cornflour (UK) to thicken what we call a pudding in the US. Is that what this is? 1w
Robotswithpersonality @bnp Looks like pudding where cornstarch is the main ingredient (or at least the name of the pudding/custard) is a thing as well! 1w
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review
Robotswithpersonality
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Pickpick

While I picked this up primarily for the focus on language, what really grabbed me was the effort the author went to to temper the black-and-white, moralizing interpretations and usage of words like cult and cult followers, detailing the dangers of those assumptions. 1/?

Robotswithpersonality While she starts with the most destructive and dangerous examples of cults and language used in such, over the book the author builds up evidence for the important distinction between the presence of cultish language and the oversimplification that it will always lead to dramatically negative outcomes. 2/? 1w
Robotswithpersonality Alongside this are surprising conclusions from research on qualities more likely to leave one more susceptible to cult rhetoric, i.e. it's not whom you'd first assume. Impressively smooth reading experience, just enough history on whichever cult or cultural phenomenon is the basis to provide context for the linguistic analysis being discussed. 3/?
1w
Robotswithpersonality It's helpful to see multiple exemplars of the similarities in how use of language seduces, isolates, converts, coerces, and stops questioning in the toxic and dangerous types of cult, even when the code words per cult are different, it reinforces and clarifies for the reader the 🚩 difference between a relatively benign sales pitch or spiritual practice and something darker, feeding someone else's power, wealth and ambition. 4/?
1w
Robotswithpersonality What stood out most here is what I already loathed as the diet culture trump card: The insistence that if you're not gaining the promised result it's your fault, not a failure of the cult/lifestyle movement/fitness plan/nutrition regimen. AKA total responsibility-dodging BS that points out how completely fake their whole system is. 5/6

1w
Robotswithpersonality The latter section feels particularly relevant, addressing cult language in the 21st century, online in social media.
This book has since spawned a podcast called Sounds Like a Cult, and I can't wait to dive in.
I will also definitely be picking up Montell's other book, Word Slut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language
⚠️Suicide, abuse, SA 6/6
1w
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Robotswithpersonality
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👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Context! 😬

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"The most important thing to remember is that if something is legitimate, it will stand up to scrutiny." ?

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Etymology goodies!

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I'll just leave this here. In case anybody needs it.

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💅

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Memorable alliteration.

SamAnne Hah! 1w
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Aaaaaand here's where I piss off everybody except my fellow atheists.

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Robotswithpersonality
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Pickpick

I think I respect this, rather than love it, for going in a different direction than I thought it would.
It's taken me too long to pick up a V.E. Schwab, and I'll definitely be looking into her other works now.
Gorgeous writing, I was absolutely spellbound.
The interweaving of art in the narrative, (creation and inspiration), the appreciation for food, New York and bookstore cat! 1/2

Robotswithpersonality Stellar world building, the minutiae of how the curse would work, how a person would slowly learn to manage it best, while leaving the taxonomy of the darkness a mystery.
Three cheers for pansexual rep! 2/2
1w
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Robotswithpersonality
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🐈= 🍞
Always a favourite.

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Robotswithpersonality
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Pickpick

Here's hoping the Litsy people add this suggested title to their listings so I can change it to the right book...in the meantime, I'll just say it was a pleasant moment spent with a poem that's always felt exactly like it sounds: a quiet moment by the woods, in the snow, that ache to stay, all the sharper for plans and conditions not allowing it. I appreciate the palette the artist used to convey the dimming light of evening in a rural setting.

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Robotswithpersonality
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Pickpick

What a wonderful experience. Extraordinary art, the mix of incredible detail and adorable cartooniness which itself is a reflection of the text, the amount of facts packed in, sprinkled amongst such playful humour. 1/?

Robotswithpersonality Probably the first time I didn't wish something graphic novel-like was done up in full colour, as the setting is a specific (alternate?) historical time period, the somewhat non-fiction-minded nature of the work, the intricate shading and depth in the backgrounds reads better in black and white. 2/? 1w
Robotswithpersonality I had to rely on exposition and footnotes to figure out the significance of many of them, but I appreciated how many historical figures the author-artist managed to pack into this 'pocket universe'. She also managed to sneak a lot of knowledge and history into those footnotes/end notes. Why couldn't more school text books take this tack? I'll admit to my own biases, I was more drawn to the footnotes on the history than the mathematics. 3/? 1w
Robotswithpersonality I love that even the footnotes may be played with the so that images basically barge in, obscure, obliterate or reshape them.
Major respect for the commitment to seeking out primary source material. Speaking of which, the incredibly sweet epilogue is hiding AFTER the two appendices sections, don't miss it! 4/4
1w
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Robotswithpersonality
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In the running for favourite author-artist photo so far encountered. Between this and Terry Pratchett, I'm starting to think hats are key. 🎩🤠

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Digitization efforts give me the warm fuzzies. Hurray for the preservation and indexing of information! 🥰

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Okay, that did it, totally in love with this book. 🥰😸

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I love how the book plays with its own format!

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Learned a new phrase, which seems to suggest someone tested the rebound potential of a falling feline fatality. Thanks, I hate it. 😬