pretenditscherrylube t1_j1znyve wrote

NTA, but I wouldn’t want to read a Holocaust book in my bookclub unless it was exceptional and timely to our discussion. I understand creeping antisemitism is a problem, but the most acute examples are concentrated in certain populations that aren’t in my bookclub. Whenever we read books about topics we know a lot about, we end up having bad discussions.

If you want to have a discussion about antisemitism, why not read one of the recent books about Jewish identity and grappling with the Holocaust. I really enjoyed “Plunder” by Menachem Kaiser. I also heard good things about “People Love Dead Jews”.


pretenditscherrylube t1_j1vws0n wrote

Broken Earth Trilogy has an amazing magic system with more adult sensibilities. Written by a black woman, so the nonwhite and non male characters are more fleshed out than trad fantasy. She’s also more concerned with rooting her story in the issues of today.

I also really like Memory Called Empire and it’s sequel. The author is a queer woman with a PhD in Medieval History, so her books have interesting meditations on the purpose of art, surveillance state, diplomacy, colonialism.

Sanderson is a really genuinely good guy, I hear. But he’s also a Mormon and lives in Utah. That doesn’t at all negate his ability to write compelling books, but Mormonism is patriarchal and white and all about maintaining the status quo. It makes sense to me that his books seek to exist completely beyond our current world.

That’s what a lot of more traditional sci-fi readers want - an escape from the current world. I dislike totally escapist sci-fi. To me, it feels insulting to create a world in the future and to replicate the inequalities in our current society as part of the default.

However, as different authors and readers enter the genre, we’re starting to see more sci-fi that’s seeking to be more than escapist and seeks to comment on the society we live in. You might like those books more.


pretenditscherrylube t1_j1n40ny wrote

I have no problem reading contemporary books, even though quality isn’t as easily discernible. It’s because I love the process of discovering if a book will be good or bad. When I read a classic, there isn’t the same process of discovery as it is with a new novel. It’s more searching about why that book is good, but I really prefer the wider range of reading experiences, where I can decide if a book is good or bad or overrated or misunderstood. I also like books with modern morals.


pretenditscherrylube t1_j1duqxc wrote

I will say that 2 years on adderall in my 30s helped me learn how to organize myself in ways that I didn’t know before. I don’t take adderall most days anymore and see fundamental changes in my ability to control my attention when I’m not on stimulants. They can be beneficial.

That said, I don’t like reading for pleasure on stimulants. Stimulants make it harder to read for pleasure because stimulants change my brain’s reward drive. When I’m on a stimulant, I feel satisfaction and accomplishment for getting shit done. Reading isn’t conducive to “getting shit done” and therefore feels like a chore to complete on adderall.

I struggle to cook on adderall, too. Like, I can cook on adderall, but the aesthetic and creative pleasure of cooking is gone when I take adderall. It’s just another thing I had to get done and it’s tedious.


pretenditscherrylube t1_j1dtog8 wrote

Are you in school still? I have ADHD, and I could not read for pleasure when I had to read for school. It took me about 3-4 years of being out of school before I could read.

Do you listen to audiobooks? When my attention for reading isn’t great, I still try to keep it up with audiobooks. They are great for multitasking with your hands. Reading while you fold laundry. Reading while you do dishes. Reading while you drive.

Do you read long form journalism? These are the magazine or newspaper articles that take 45-90min to read. reading those might be a good start to grow your attention to reading. There’s a subreddit for good long form articles. I think it’s long form or long reads or something.

What are you reading? If a book doesn’t interest you, stop reading after 10-30 pages and then find another one. Start developing a “taste” in books. What do you like? What appeals to you? Think less about content/themes/reputation in what you select to read and think more about pace, plotting, character development, narration style, genre, pacing, setting.

For example, even though literally every book I read is about queerness, I automatically pass on queer short stories because I realized that I hate short stories. I really dislike the beginning of books and ends of books, and love the middles. Short stories sucks for me because they are literally just beginnings and ends, and no middles.

Also, you don’t need to read classics. It’s not worth my attention to slog through 19th century prose. All of my friends (and everyone on this sub) is like OMG JANE AUSTEN! I hate doing reading that feels like school (and I have a PhD), so I just don’t want to read stuff like that.

ETA: stop buying books, too. Get books from the library. And then if you like it, buy a copy of the book after the fact. This will help you feel less guilty if you don’t finish it. I like keeping used copies of books I liked at my house because then I just gift them to my friends.