10 to Try Check-In: May

Confession: I didn't really think 10 to Try was going to  "work" for me. I read pretty broadly already (it's kind of my job, after all), so I wasn't sure I'd be trying anything different or new. But five months in, I'm finding that I'm picking up books that I might not've read otherwise - things that I normally would've thought about reading, but probably never actually gotten around to. The book I chose this month, Children of the New World (also in eBook) is definitely in that category.

Children of the New World is a collection of short stories set in the not-very-distance future. Weinstein's characters grapple with implanted social media and internet connections. They live in landscapes destroyed by climate change, aggressive harvesting of natural resources, and abandonment. My favorite stories, the ones that I'm still thinking about days later, deal with intimacy and connection. In one, a man builds and sells artificial memories, but becomes so engrossed in the practice that he begins to doubt what he knows about his own past. In another, a couple spends most of their life in a virtual world, even creating and raising children there, and then must grapple with the impacts of a virus on their new reality.

Sometimes I find in science fiction that the idea behind the story is more interesting to the author than other elements like character or plot. There's nothing wrong with this, but my personal reading preferences tend toward characters and relationships. In these short stories, though, I didn't mind that Weinstein mostly lets the ideas drive. Here I am, despite my doubts, discovering something new: I like different things in short stories than I do in novels.

I read Children of the New World for Read a collection of short stories or essays, but it would also work for Read a book from a new-to-you genre if you're not normally a sci-fi reader! And, of course, anything mentioned in a blog post counts as Read a book recommended by KCLS staff.

Have you learned something new about your reading preferences doing 10 to Try?

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