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Chrono Book Club, by Chronies, For Chronies


I disagree with your stand on the books completely. What does “self-development book trick the brain into feeling like you’ve accomplished something” even mean??? This could be said about literally any book. Because finishing any book, whether it’s 1984, Bible, History coursebook or Harry Potter, is a small accomplishment in itself.

Maybe a bad self-development book does it. But a good self-development book encourages you to make changes in your life straight after reading through author’s philosophy, with clear steps and rules to achieving the wanted result. After reading Marie Kondo, learning about all the steps of tidying, I didn’t close the book and carried on with my life. I went to tidying straight away, applied everything I’ve learned.

Yes, I primarily did this small, yet significant change in my life myself. Because I wanted that change and was ready for it. I just needed an expert’s guidance from the book. But if the same book got picked up by some lazy bloke who’s happy with how things are around him, of course book is not gonna help him. And it’s not book’s fault. You can’t go blaming the whole category of books saying they’re mind tricks and useless, because the majority of people are unmotivated and lazy.


Good for you, that’s great. Well done.

It’s just that the vast majority of self help books are in fact aimed at exactly these people. Because they keep buying them and reading them instead of improving their lives. If you actually start working on your life you’re eventually going to reach a point where you don’t need any more self help books, that’d be bad news for the self help book publishing industry.

It means exactly what it says. The huge difference between “self help books” and the other things you’ve listed is based on their categories. I guess I’ll go through them one by one.

1984 or Harry Potter - Though you can of course study them these are primarily entertainment, we’re generally not expecting much out of our entertainment other than engagement. You read them, you enjoy them, you finish them and while your life might be enriched and they leave you with fond memories finishing them is all there is to it.

History coursework - Teaching materiel reading these IS what you’ve set out to accomplish and of course to internalize the information contained within. Once you’re done reading them you’re mostly done with them.

The bible - Well this one’s a bit too versatile as it can fall into any and all the mentioned categories really. Not going to say anything definitive on this one.

Self help books - Also teaching materiel but as opposed to course work once you’ve read them you also need to apply the information learnt within on your life. The reading of these is a fairly small portion of gaining anything useful out of them. Using the information to change your life is a huge undertaking, that’s the part where the majority of people fail. Like reading a manual to a weight lifting machine, you gotta actually use the machine too.

Note that I said self help books can be read as entertainment too, in which case they fall in the same category as harry potter and that’s perfectly alright.

If you are indeed one of the very rare kind of person who does indeed read a self help book to find inspiration and tips and then actually manage to apply that information to your life for a positive change then all I can say is congratulations.


Dropping in to do a little pimping on behalf of a friend who is also an author: I’m currently reading the latest book in the Dark Passage series by Jerry Knaak. It’s about a woman in modern San Francisco who is turned into a vampire, and the fallout of the events from there. It’s not your modern “sparkly vampire” kind of urban horror book series, it’s more along the lines of old-school Gothic horror. He also has the first book in the series available for free on Kindle, for a limited time.


I am an unmotivated blob who just carries on out of desperation. I never buy motivational books because I read Carnegie in chilidhood and that was enough. Not because it was ineffective; quite the opposite, actually.

It happened in the middle of the second grade in primary school. My family moved so had to change schools and study a lot to keep up with the rest of the class, as their program was advanced compared to others. I was so afraid to be seen as the stupid kid that actually became best in most subjects pretty soon.

Our teacher was grumpy; after tests she used to lecture other kids rudely about the fact that I am a transfer student, and I have better grades, so it is a shame to them. So, even while at the start kids were eager to talk or play with me, they soon got displeased and so ignoring \ bullying started. I talked to my mum about having practically no friends at school (other kids with perfect grades continued talking to me, but there were not so many of us bc i’m not even sure if kids really NEED perfect scores in primary school), and my mother gave me Karnegie. His language was surprisingly easy, and the ideas were easy to grasp as well, with lots of practical examples and repetitions of the same thing. I don’t know if it is that great on grown-ups but it TOTALLY WORKS on kids. Suddenly I became the leader of the class, everybody wanted to be my friend, nobody got angry when the teacher scolded the class for marks - instead my classmates showed understanding and sympathy for me. So the book was super effective.

For several years, “How to win friends” became my second identity. Overall it was a great time. But then, one day, I just woke up and realised that I am too tired and exhausted for any kind of communication. My “communication bar” has drastically depleted and I could only handle so many people at once; and became tired from spending time together \ casual talk faster, too. I’m 26 now and my social bar still hasn’t recovered; I still need plenty of time to rest if the communication works “too well”, and I try to avoid being part of any team \ collective, as I tend to get effective, establish connections and make new bonds very quickly and then something clicks and I suddenly can’t even say hi to them anymore. And it still doesn’t feel right.

Maybe there’s a psychology book that can change it, but I’m not ready to take the risks. Gotta be honest with you, motivational and self-improvement books scare the living ___ out of me.


Marie Kondo is great and her book is helping me a lot as well. It’s what finally motivated me to clean up my bedroom and it has greatly improved my quality of life in a really trying time.

I’m glad it’s helping you and I’m curious if it also motivated you to let go of some old clothes, papers, mementos or whatnot.

@Fraggles I stand with Ainesk and strongly disagreed on what you said about self-helf books. You know I’m a psychology student, and I know that there are plenty of obtuse and silly self-help books out there that were only written to boost someone’s bank account.

However, it’s obvious, at least to me, that Ainesk knows perfectly well to distinguish between good and bad self-help books, even if by the single fact that she’s reading Kondo’s outstanding lifestyle advice – which I’m sure many on Chrono coukd make use of as well.

At the end of the day, any psychologist that dismissed, altogether, the use of self-help books is also dismissing the fact that, some times, they are the last line of defense between an ill, desperate or lost reader and more extreme measures.

Analysing the boost of self-help book sales in post-modern times simply by analysing the content of books themselves is missing out on the core aspect of what makes them appealing: hope. Sometimes that’s all people need, and I don’t find that to be insignificant at all.

Not to mention that, if we’re to believe Sturgeon’s law, “ninety percent of everything is crap,” and I assure you that the new science fiction books are doing just as badly. It’s just easier and trendier to point fingers at the self-help section because of recurring prejudice on the genre.

I hope I make sense here.


Agree with that. It’s why I stopped trying to find good Manga on my own. The guys and girls on Chrono have suggested many a good one. Had to read online, since manga isn’t a thing in my country.

Another thing, while I’m glad we’re in an age where you can self-publish instead of weathering rejections from multiple book companies, it also had the down side that 90% of what you come upon will be poorly edited, low on plot and high on random smut, stereotypical characterisation and of late esp. recipes. blink blink (Some people probably like the recipes, so no hate, just blinks, lol.)

It’s why I said somewhere else that usually I read older stuff, esp. in the Sci-Fi genre. A lot of the newer offerings is like wading through a mire to find just one nugget of gold.


Older Sci-Fi was like that as well, it’s just that we only remember the good stuff.

I remember having this dicussion with my elderly Opera-loving neighbour. She and I were discussing the classics, Aida, Carmen, etc. Then I mentioned to her I have hardly ever seen an opera I didnt like at our local opera house.

She simply said “of course not! They wouldn’t seel tickets for the bad ones, people hardly remember those.”

I’m pretty sure that applies to most things. :joy:


You do raise a good point. I’ve read lots of lame stories in my preferred genres, forgettable as you said, but I remember the good ones - just not the names of the books they were in grrr!

For instance, there’s a short story in a collection, where there was a tree outside this guy’s window, tapping on the pane constantly, so eventually he went outside and chopped off the limb. The next morning … tap tap tap … He wondered how that could be. When he went out to look, the limb was still cut off, but the limb on the other side was now tapping on the window. The tree had turned itself around to continue its “torment”.

I would have moved out. Can’t remember if he did, lol. Wish I could remember what book that was in… T_T


As allergic as I am to joining clubs and cliques, I don’t want this one to die.

So I’m here to share my latest baddest reading decision: re-reading the A Song of Ice and Fire books. To those who know me a bit outside these forums, it’s a known fact I’m busy AF, and I’m pretty sure that reading 5 700-pages+ long tomes isn’t going to help my cause.

Still, I discovered the sub r/asoiafreread and couldn’t resist the temptation to jump once more into Georgie’s world and his characters.

I’m very blunt when sharing my opinion about his ASOIAF prose: I dislike it. I’m much fonder of his writing style in shorter, very much weirder, stories such as Sandkings.

Still, his characters are golden and much more interesting than anything HBO could ever pull off.

I miss a good Greyjoy plotline, I miss Stannis, I miss the epic sand snakes, I miss the Tullys, I miss my baby Sansa Stark, I miss Brianne’s quest for “a maid of three-and-ten”. Gods I miss liking Daenerys.

So I’m inviting you all to join us if anyone has both the time and the lack of sense required to jump in. The fourth re-read cycle starts TODAY, with Will freezing his balls off and looking into a cold pair of blue eyes…

The pace is slow (1 chapter per every 3 days) and it’ll take us until March 2022 to finish… gods help us.


I bought the sequel to the Rook (which I have talked about before), The Stiletto. it came in the mail yesterday at around 11 am, and I finished it at 11 pm (but I had stuff to do between).

Loved it. I strongly recommend the series, and I think it is getting much more nuanced and interesting as more books are added.


Hmmm. This is the thread I was looking for the other day. I guess I wasn’t using the correct search words…:roll_eyes:

Anyways…Calibre and Calibre Portable has an update…


Ooh… if that handles Epub it’s perfect to keep around.


Adding to the list…

And they list more in the comments also…


(I know this is a year old, but I just had to comment)

The books’ covers are so amazing! Will check out these books.


I just started reading Philip K. Dick’s short stories, and I am really enjoying them, quite a breadth of ‘generes’ mixed into science fiction (dystopia, horror, a bit of dark comedy, action, a few moments clearly inspired by Lovecraft). I am really looking forward to reading the rest of it. Look in a library and see if you can find a copy of some of his work!


It says “teenage” but I think most readers should have read most of these. Not free but really worth a gander… Even if you go to the public library


Herm, watched The Stand and Watchmen - never read either.

A lot of the other authors I know, but never read. Like you said: public library, lol. My jam was always vampire stories and Hardy Boys. Sci-fi and Stephen King too, but more of the others.

On that thought, I actually prefer to Dean Koontz to Stephen King in a lot of ways.


Much love for Vonnegut and Adams though, excellent books by and large on the list.


I prefer to read the local parish’s Sunday pamphlets about the congregation of kids seeking to improve the quality of the neighborhood by picking up sticky chocolate wraps off of the street than read Stephen King.


Dude, thumbs up for that. I avoid news in general - don’t see the bad stuff, but don’t see the good stuff either.