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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Space Battle Lunchtime Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!
Natalie Reiss
Progress: 20/120 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Report on the Selected Problems of the Technical Departments of the University of Illinois Library
Raynard C. Swank
Progress: 20/42 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes
The Insiders: A Portfolio of Stories from High Finance - David Charters In his introduction, Charters writes: “Please do not feel sorry for the characters who come to grief. Like gamblers in a casino, they know the risks and make their own decisions – and they do not complain when they win” (p. 7). I took this to mean that bad things would probably be happening to at least a few likeable characters. As it turned out, bad things happened to many characters in these stories. They lost their jobs, went broke, were left by their wives, failed a job interview. One even committed suicide. For the most part, I barely felt a twinge for any of them.While there were a few main characters who were likeable, or who at least weren't jerks within the small number of pages they were given in the book, they were outnumbered by the unlikeable main characters. Those characters were corporate sharks (or, in at least one instance, wannabe corporate sharks) who cheerfully plowed through their colleagues to get to the top. They were philanderers who saw the women around them as either beddable, useful around the office or home, or not worth having having around. Quite a few of them drank at work, or after work, or the night before a big business deal. In other, longer works they could potentially have been multifaceted, sympathetic characters, but in The Insiders they were just jerks. Most of them weren't even interesting jerks.What kept me reading was not the characters, but rather the situations they found themselves in and my desire to know what twist Chambers would throw at readers next. It also didn't hurt that each story was short and easy to get through.Quite a few of the stories dealt with business situations: deals that went well or badly, team-building exercises, scrambles to get or keep jobs, etc. A few stories delved into the personal lives of some of the characters – in one rather funny instance, a supposed business situation was revealed to be a bit of bedroom roleplaying (somehow, I don't see that relationship lasting very long). For the most part the characters in this book were heterosexual men, but a very small number of stories did bring up homosexuality and/or feature women as more prominent characters.Overall, this was an okay book. The characters tended to blend together, but the twists I knew each story would end with kept me reading. Possibly because of the existence of real-life people like Bernie Madoff, it didn't really bother me that so many of the characters were liars and jerks, and I actually kind of appreciated that things often didn't work out well for them. (Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)