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  #1  
Old Nov 22nd, 2023, 04:07 PM
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November December Remember 2023

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2023 is almost over (WHAT! HOW?) and many of us have holidays coming up -- Are you observing any holiday with gifting traditions this season?

My family does Christmas, and I recently read about Jolabokaflod (the Christmas Book Flood), in which Icelanders give new books to all the people they love, and then everyone gets a warm drink and a blanket. You snuggle up to silently read instead of coming to blows over politics or witnessing the live unravelling of Cousin B's acrimonious third marriage or hearing your worst uncle's annual drunk retell of the time you pooped yourself while playing the Angel of the Lord in the pageant. (You were four. Let it go, Steve.) I want to do this!

As we close out the year, let's have our own virtual Boka flod. Pretend you can magically gift everyone here at RPGXing book club ONE book. What is it, and why? This can be an old favorite or just the best book you read this year or a book you think we need. (Kidding!)

AND/OR

I offer you the services of the FAIRY LIBRARY (crowd-source edition) Describe your most difficult-to-shop-for friend or relation, and we shall HIVE MIND up a book to gift them!

I promise you will get at least one recommendation from me, anyway. Thanks for reading with us this year!

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Last edited by Fillyjonk; Nov 22nd, 2023 at 04:09 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2023, 04:36 PM
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JólabókaflóđiđMy usual go-to is anything by Bill Bryson. A Walk in the Woods was my first, and often the one I'll go for as a default. But if the recipient is sufficiently nerdy I'd lean into A Short History of Nearly Everything. This crowd is pretty nerdy... but diverse. Maybe A Walk in the Woods if I'm forced to pick a single offering for everyone.

My wife is kibitzing and says I should also mention Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Gothic horror space lesbian necromancers with swords and memes.


Fairy LibrarianMy (older) sister. Mid-40s. Married mother of two (12 and 8), plus two cats. Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. Does something with fiber optic networking for her job (I'm not entirely sure what). But it allows her the means and opportunities for frequent international travel (Mexican resorts, Hawaii, France, etc.). Previous interests gothic literature, serial killers, cats and Star Trek: The Next Generation, hedgehogs, thistles. But I don't know how much (if at all) any of these interests persist, as we're not super close. We get along better than we did as kids, but she's always been a little type-A, and I have always been not that. It doesn't cause any friction, but it just leaves this gulf where I have no idea how to socialize with a member of my own family. Advise from her daughter: Peppermint scents.
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Last edited by hafrogman; Nov 22nd, 2023 at 04:36 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2023, 04:42 PM
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Coming into a party of RPG-players, I think my book would be Kristin Lavransdatter.

I have a lot of favorites, but this one is absolutely beautiful for how seemingly accurately it portrays the mores and daily life of cold, northern lands in the 1200s while also giving us a hero who is timelessly modern, flawed, and sympathetic--a combination of factors that good role players should appreciate.

Also, while I do love books. I would also like to hear all the tea about Cousin B's third marriage.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2023, 04:47 PM
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FAIRY LIBRARY for Hafrog: Mexican Gothic

She has traveled there, she likes gothic, the ending is not bleak or depressing, the protagonist is a little type-A.

BONUS PRESENT: Peppermint Scratch and Sniff Boomarks? Is this a real thing???
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Old Nov 22nd, 2023, 04:59 PM
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I want to read GIDEON THE NINTH now. Sounds cozy. Okay, it doesn't, but it sounds like a good book to read when one is cozy.

The book I have tried to get everyone to read this year was MADALENA AND THE DARK. It is Gothic AH, amazing sense of place. remidns me of THE PASSION and ADDIE LARUE with some FAUST up in there, has some magic elements and is weird as hell, but may be slow for people and the end is -- Open to interpretation? Some say vague and are mad. But I liked it.

That s the book I would choose this year, but to be fair I read very little... Long covid meant most of the year my brain was fuzzy and felt shot. I am HAPPY to be finally feeling myself again and hope to read more in 2024.
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Last edited by Fillyjonk; Nov 22nd, 2023 at 04:59 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2023, 05:07 PM
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@Anyone reading this- You fancy yourself one who appreciates books. My magical gift suggestion is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. First published 70 years ago, it describes a future world that you might find parts of to be familiar to the now, or perhaps the shape of things to come.

If not in a book buying mood, seek out your local public library and ask for the novel. There should be a copy, and at least one librarian that can talk up the book with great information and care.

----

@hafrogman - I'm thinking there have been several novels based on Star Trek Next Gen characters and world. Perhaps you can find one of those. Pair it with a box of peppermint bark.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2023, 11:54 PM
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I would flood RPGX with The Pastel City by M. John Harrison. The first of the Viriconium novels. It's weirdly medieval and bizarrely sci-fi, future and past earth, and it has that magical thing where you really feel like the world is very real and big, and you are seeing a small, small corner of it. There are more novels in the sequence, and short stories too, and it's messy and huge. It has dwarves and robots and danger. I sometimes wonder why more people haven't read it, but the name "Viriconium" is kind of medical and off-putting I think. So many of his other titles are beautiful, like A Storm of Wings and The Pastel City itself, but the city's name is Viriconium and you can't get around it.
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Last edited by lostcheerio; Nov 22nd, 2023 at 11:57 PM.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2023, 02:21 AM
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I would choose "The Moth Presents: Occasional Magic. True Stories About Defying the Impossible" For those of you who are not familiar with the radio show, I can only say that it is brilliant. People have stories to tell; personal life experience stories. Some are fun, hopeful, triumphant, gut-wrenching and magical. A story that I find humor in, or touches me can very well be different for another person therefore...a book of short stories by so many different types of people who are not always professional storytellers (though you do get the occasional actor or public speaker) is perfect for everyone, from any walk of life. Somewhere in this book, I believe, is a story that may speak to you on some level, and maybe...just maybe it will make you feel wonderful, or allow you to think about something differently. We're all storytellers here, and that is also why I would recommend this book (and the radio show).

With that said, I really need to spend some time reading over the holidays.
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Old Nov 24th, 2023, 04:15 AM
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Old Nov 24th, 2023, 05:17 AM
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If I may take upon the offer, there is a book I always recommend when I meet new people who love reading: The Eyre Affair, by author Jasper Fforde. For me, it's book about the love of novels. It captures what makes reading and writing these stories so enjoyable. The main character's job is being a literary detective, meaning she investigates all kinds of shenanigans about books. It's probably not for every one but if you get into it, this is a magical journey.

If someone here picks this book, I hope you'll have a great time with it.
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Old Nov 28th, 2023, 01:44 AM
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Old Dec 2nd, 2023, 11:57 AM
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I have been trying to remember what this book was called for years- had read it as a child and loved it. I'd love to read it again, and if it held up as well as my memory remembers (so many things don't, unfortunately) I would share it with anyone who enjoys magical time travel stories.
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 07:45 AM
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Interestingly enough, I don't read much non-fiction a side from some World of Darkness stuff, which is hit and miss. I suppose The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler is a good book for those that want an early noir feel.

Last edited by novatore; Jan 25th, 2024 at 07:48 AM.
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