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amyzzz
08-20-2009, 11:44 AM
I have a role-playing game based on Lovecraftian monsters called Arkham Horror :D

PotVsKtl
08-20-2009, 12:22 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Best-H-P-Lovecraft-Bloodcurdling/dp/0345350804/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250797308&sr=8-1

Yep. Incomprehensibly terrifying.

SoulDischarge
08-20-2009, 12:33 PM
He's very good at describing how indescribable the horror of indescribably horrible monstrosities are.

AlecEiffel
08-20-2009, 12:51 PM
which is why there will never be a decent film adaptation of his work.

higgybaby23
08-20-2009, 12:57 PM
Cthulhu approves of the direction this thread has taken. Praise him...
http://bookstoysgames.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/cthulhu4prez-preview1.png?w=420&h=420

humanoid
08-22-2009, 02:58 PM
Just today, I finally worked up the courage to begin reading Dostoevsky's The Possessed...I've had it in my bookshelf for a few years, but had been intimidated by it. No longer

AlecEiffel
08-22-2009, 03:01 PM
I'm assuming that it's not Pevear's translation, since his is released under the title Demons. I haven't read it yet, but I do know that I wouldn't want to read Dostoevsky translated by anyone else.

LooseAtTheZoo
08-22-2009, 03:01 PM
I will be reading lots of Shakespeare in the weeks to come, but yesterday I bought Bowie in Berlin and Fargo Rock City. Both should be fun reads

humanoid
08-22-2009, 03:14 PM
I'm assuming that it's not Pevear's translation, since his is released under the title Demons. I haven't read it yet, but I do know that I wouldn't want to read Dostoevsky translated by anyone else.

I was wondering about that. I don't know enough about the specifics of each translation to differentiate between them. It's not with me now, so I'm not sure who the translation was done by. It was an older copy that my mom had given me several years ago.

What is your reasoning for stating that you wouldn't want to read Dostoevsky translated by anyone else? I'm not arguing that, I'm genuinely curious and would appreciate your advice if you have more knowledge on the subject than I do.

AlecEiffel
08-24-2009, 10:30 AM
I think what makes Pevear's translations so good is that he doesn't just do a quick literal translation. When translating russian works he partners with his wife, Larissa Volokhonsky, who is from Russia and obviously is a native speaker. She does the literal translation and then he rewrites it with more flair, capturing the tone and personality that the texts portrayed in their native language, then Volokhonsky goes over his translation to make sure he's done a good and accurate job. He makes them not only readable, but entirely engaging and in no way intimidating or a chore to read. I think at this point most of their translations are considered the definitive versions.

I have not done any comparisons with any other translations of the Russian stuff because I immediately went to his, but I first became aware of him after reading his translation of Three Musketeers (which he did on his own). I had tried to read it a couple times before but just couldn't get into it. I bought his translation on a whim because I really liked it's artwork.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_DgMEWBp6DXw/R5TrT084eWI/AAAAAAAAAXQ/X9g48bTE624/s400/musketeers.jpg

The book was entirely engaging and was one hundred percent the fun adventure romp it's reputation implies, plus it's really fucking funny, at many times it's more a comedy than adventure and this is not something that other translations I've tried had really gotten across at all. It ended up being one of my favorite books and I loved it so much that I've read other books he's translated because of it.

So, I guess my point is he translates with feeling.

amyzzz
09-18-2009, 09:55 AM
PATRICK, I have a book of scary short stories to recommend to you -- The Dark edited by Ellen Datlow. Some good stuff in there. Especially "Limbo" by Lucius Shepard.

SoulDischarge
09-18-2009, 10:06 AM
I'll check it out. Thanks. Although at the rate I'm reading these days, it'll probably be in five years time.

amyzzz
09-18-2009, 10:25 AM
SHORT stories though.

TomAz
09-18-2009, 10:44 AM
I have been on a John LeCarrť kick lately. Yes I know it's mainstream gimmicky trash but I really like his stories and I like the way he writes. I read A Most Wanted Man and am now on to The Mission Song.

SoulDischarge
09-18-2009, 10:46 AM
I'm already reading short stories though (Faulkner specifically), and I'm doing a terrible job of staying focused even though I'm enjoying the hell out of them.

amyzzz
09-18-2009, 11:04 AM
Ah. Well, I try to read one or two before I go to sleep. Sometimes they keep me up though, like the one about a dead baby stalking the mommy.

JewFace
09-18-2009, 02:56 PM
Finished Atonement 2 weeks ago. I was absolutely hooked while reading it, but I don't think it really amounted to much in the end. Merely a pleasant diversion. Perhaps the movie (which I haven't seen yet) marketing led me to believe it would be far more complex and profound than it was.

I'm in the thick of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children which so far has proven to be an incredibly exhilarating read. The book is just bursting with the life force of the narrator. I don't recall the last time I've read a book with such a spirited narrative. My first exposure to Rushdie, definitely won't be my last.

Ardentbiscuit
10-21-2009, 08:53 PM
What happened to the book talk?

http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r285/ardentbiscuit/dustin-diamond-book-cover.jpg

OutOfmYminD
10-21-2009, 11:41 PM
Speaking of Dan Simmons I read the Song of Kali over the summer and although I liked it I never really felt all that scared. Disturbed would be a a good word, but never keep you up at night scared. How would you compare the Song of Kali to Dan Simmon's other works?

My current book which I hope to finish this week is A Long Long Way by Sebastion Barry.

cansei de ser sexme
10-22-2009, 12:39 AM
I just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy in preparation of the movie coming out. looks pretty awesome. Also getting back to The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by HP Lovecraft in the spirit of Halloween.

Also reading Utopia By Thomas More for school. :rolleyes

amyzzz
10-22-2009, 09:38 AM
Speaking of Dan Simmons I read the Song of Kali over the summer and although I liked it I never really felt all that scared. Disturbed would be a a good word, but never keep you up at night scared. How would you compare the Song of Kali to Dan Simmon's other works?

My current book which I hope to finish this week is A Long Long Way by Sebastion Barry.
That's the only Dan Simmons book I haven't read (well, that and the new one). I can't seem to find it anywhere, but I haven't really tried ordering it online yet.

miscorrections
10-22-2009, 09:41 AM
I forgot to mention that I read the new Margaret Atwood book, The Year of the Flood. It's a sort of companion piece to Oryx and Crake and it was quite good. You could read it without having read O&C first I suppose but I think it's better to read in publishing order.

kroqken
11-16-2009, 04:54 PM
I still cannot believe Sarah Palin wrote a book. I am sure it was 100% ghostwritten, that bitch is stupid.

amyzzz
11-18-2009, 10:57 AM
I just finished The Magicians by Lev Grossman this weekend. REALLY liked it. It's about a school of magicians like Harry Potter, only it's more like college than grade school, and the book explores all the experiences young adults go through: sex, drugs, lots of drunkenness, betrayal, forgiveness, etc in addition to all the great magic.


http://aidanmoher.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/the-magicians-by-lev-grossman.jpg

BlackSwan
11-18-2009, 11:05 AM
I just finished "Dearly Devoted Dexter" this morning. It wasn't as exciting as the first book, but it still held my interest the entire time and the last 50 pages made up for it. The ending was kind of anti-climatic, but I am still excited to start the next book. Anyone who enjoys the show and the character should give the first book a try. The story is a lot different from the show, and more interesting in some ways.

amyzzz
11-18-2009, 11:43 AM
I read the first Dexter book. Was ok.

BlackSwan
11-18-2009, 12:08 PM
Not enough magic for you, huh?

amyzzz
11-18-2009, 12:13 PM
Don't the Dexter books get more magicky as the series goes on?

BlackSwan
11-18-2009, 12:17 PM
Not as far as I know.

amyzzz
11-18-2009, 12:27 PM
Well, more supernatural I mean. Jacob told me that's what he heard -- that the books veer into the supernatural while the TV series stays more in the real world.

amyzzz
12-02-2009, 08:47 AM
Speaking of Dan Simmons I read the Song of Kali over the summer and although I liked it I never really felt all that scared. Disturbed would be a a good word, but never keep you up at night scared. How would you compare the Song of Kali to Dan Simmon's other works?


This is old, but I finally found Song of Kali at a book store and read it last week. If you liked that one, you might try other horror novels by Dan Simmons like Carrion Comfort or The Terror. The former is about sociopaths with the ability to control other people's bodies, while the latter is about one of the first British expeditions to the North Pole, complete with Esquimaux (that's how they spelled it) and an abominable snowman of sorts -- it's a historical fiction story.

bug on your lip
12-02-2009, 08:50 AM
i want to read about teenage vampires

seandlr
12-02-2009, 08:50 AM
I just finished reading Lakota Woman, by Mary Crow Dog, a memoir of a Native American, and my god, what a great book and an easy read.

amyzzz
12-02-2009, 08:59 AM
i want to read about teenage vampires
Uhh yeah. That was the last book I finished. :D
New Moon. i liked it better than Twilight. I understand suicidal depression.

casey
12-02-2009, 09:19 AM
i <3 books!

i'm reading love is a mixtape now, and i'm almost done with it. it's beautiful!

humanoid
12-02-2009, 09:36 AM
I just read Into Thin Air, John Krakauer's book about the events surrounding the terribly calamitous 1996 mountaineering expedition that he was involved in upon Mt. Everest.

Absolutely riveting from start to finish. I read it in a day and a half and was sad when it finished. It was reported in such a vivid manner that I had this running visual accompaniment in my mind the entire time. I felt like I was watching a film about the ordeal.

Always a lover of mountains myself, this book has inspired a newfound fascination with Everest for me. Climbing in the Himalaya sounds absolutely amazing and life changing, while also possibly the worst idea ever.

menikmati
12-02-2009, 09:37 AM
I wanna get around to finally reading the Beach one of these days...and yes, I realize I'm like 13 years too late already.

bug on your lip
12-02-2009, 09:38 AM
I just read Into Thin Air, John Krakauer's book about the events surrounding the terribly calamitous 1996 mountaineering expedition that he was involved in upon Mt. Everest.

Absolutely riveting from start to finish. I read it in a day and a half and was sad when it finished. It was reported in such a vivid manner that I had this running visual accompaniment in my mind the entire time. I felt like I was watching a film about the ordeal.

Always a lover of mountains myself, this book has inspired a newfound fascination with Everest for me. Climbing in the Himalaya sounds absolutely amazing and life changing, while also possibly the worst idea ever.

that does sound really cool
i love Everest shit too...
i always loved the fact that all the macho bullshit has nothing to do with peaking, it pretty much is just genetic

BlackSwan
12-02-2009, 09:39 AM
I wanna get around to finally reading the Beach one of these days...and yes, I realize I'm like 13 years too late already.

Totally worth it, even if you're 13 years late.

bug on your lip
12-02-2009, 09:39 AM
anyone seen the new illustrated Dylan book?

that looked cool as eff

humanoid
12-02-2009, 09:47 AM
that does sound really cool
i love Everest shit too...
i always loved the fact that all the macho bullshit has nothing to do with peaking, it pretty much is just genetic

if you're into anything related to Everest, climbing or adventure in general, you should read it. It gives a very fascinating look into the expedition itself, the mindset of people who are willing to go to such extremes to achieve some pretty crazy goals and the culture of mountaineering.

There have been a few different perspectives from others involved that have slightly disputed specific details of this disaster, and I am interested in checking those out as well, but they'll be hard pressed to challenge the quality of writing in this book.

mountmccabe
12-02-2009, 10:28 AM
I wanna get around to finally reading the Beach one of these days...and yes, I realize I'm like 13 years too late already.

I like Alex Garland quite a bit. The Beach is a great read.

mikey_dmt
12-02-2009, 10:38 AM
i want to read it but i havent = doors of perseption heven and hell. its aldolous huxly. suposed to be insiteful on mesc. comparing rashional conciousness to perhaps one conciousness no one can scientificly can explain???????





i cant find it though does anyone know where to get it not on the internet??????????????????????

Monklish
12-02-2009, 10:42 AM
Somehow I suspect that Mikey isn't kidding about having ingested a decent amount of dmt.

amyzzz
12-02-2009, 10:46 AM
I think I found a copy of that in the ASU library once when I was researching Chapterhouse's name.

humanoid
12-02-2009, 10:47 AM
i want to read it but i havent = doors of perseption heven and hell. its aldolous huxly. suposed to be insiteful on mesc. comparing rashional conciousness to perhaps one conciousness no one can scientificly can explain???????





i cant find it though does anyone know where to get it not on the internet??????????????????????



read Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck...related subject matter written by a very intelligent contemporary writer. Fascinating stuff.

algunz
12-02-2009, 10:53 AM
if you're into anything related to Everest, climbing or adventure in general, you should read it. It gives a very fascinating look into the expedition itself, the mindset of people who are willing to go to such extremes to achieve some pretty crazy goals and the culture of mountaineering.

There have been a few different perspectives from others involved that have slightly disputed specific details of this disaster, and I am interested in checking those out as well, but they'll be hard pressed to challenge the quality of writing in this book.

Climb is an interesting book written from the perspective of Anatoli Boukreev (sp?) - the guy who went and saved a bunch of them. He's a bit more sympathetic to Scott Fischer than Krakauer was in Air

Also, if you like adventure climbing stories, you might want to check out Touching the Void -The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. It's quite a story.

humanoid
12-02-2009, 11:10 AM
Climb is an interesting book written from the perspective of Anatoli Boukreev (sp?) - the guy who went and saved a bunch of them. He's a bit more sympathetic to Scott Fischer than Krakauer was in Air

Also, if you like adventure climbing stories, you might want to check out Touching the Void -The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. It's quite a story.


I actually have read Touching the Void, and watched the subsequent film as well. That's actually a great story, but I don't remember it well, since I read it over 10 years ago. Maybe I'll revisit it sometime soon.

I definitely want to read Climb really soon though. The copy of Air that I read had a segment detailing the ensuing war of words between Krakauer and Boukreev and the varying perspectives regarding specific details.

One of the next on my list is Ed Viestur's K2 Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain which details a summit expedition that he went on with Scott Fischer in 1992. Viesturs is a fascinating man. Quite the modern adventurer.

algunz
12-02-2009, 11:40 AM
I actually have read Touching the Void, and watched the subsequent film as well. That's actually a great story, but I don't remember it well, since I read it over 10 years ago. Maybe I'll revisit it sometime soon.

I definitely want to read Climb really soon though. The copy of Air that I read had a segment detailing the ensuing war of words between Krakauer and Boukreev and the varying perspectives regarding specific details.

One of the next on my list is Ed Viestur's K2 Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain which details a summit expedition that he went on with Scott Fischer in 1992. Viesturs is a fascinating man. Quite the modern adventurer.


The thing that has always floored me about the Void is the idea that the climber left for dead with a broken leg thought to climb DOWN IN to the crevasse. That to me is fucking crazy. He didn't have much option but still!!!

humanoid
12-02-2009, 11:49 AM
The thing that has always floored me about the Void is the idea that the climber left for dead with a broken leg thought to climb DOWN IN to the crevasse. That to me is fucking crazy. He didn't have much option but still!!!

after his partner cut the rope, dropping him off a cliff with his already broken leg...his options were pretty limited....crazy story indeed

menikmati
12-04-2009, 05:41 PM
This has got me really interested in reading Into Thin Air...I mean I've heard of the story before and seen some documentaries, but I'm def gonna be picking up that book soon. I enjoy climbing/mountain stories...my dad has a few (-148, etc), he used to be a climber back in the 70's...summited most of the Cascade range, but never got further than that. I can't even imagine what type of an experience climbing Everest would be.

rskapcat
12-04-2009, 05:51 PM
i <3 books!

i'm reading love is a mixtape now, and i'm almost done with it. it's beautiful!

CREEPY TWIN! I love that book so much. I actually saw Rob Sheffield multiple times at ATP NY, & I could never summon up the nerve to talk to him, let alone hug him. :(

TomAz
12-04-2009, 07:23 PM
I <3 books 2!

bleep
12-04-2009, 07:29 PM
i want a kindle so bad.

humanoid
12-04-2009, 07:46 PM
i want a kindle so bad.

I really like them in theory, but I don't really want to spend any more time staring at an electronic screen

menikmati
12-04-2009, 07:47 PM
The first time I used one, I wasn't very impressed, and I still don't like them the other few times I've played with them...I guess when I have one in my hands, I get that temptation like I just wanna play around on it instead of actual reading and getting involved with the book/text....but I understand the need for them with all their features...I guess if I had one and used it a lot, my feelings would change.

humanoid
12-04-2009, 07:58 PM
This has got me really interested in reading Into Thin Air...I mean I've heard of the story before and seen some documentaries, but I'm def gonna be picking up that book soon. I enjoy climbing/mountain stories...my dad has a few (-148, etc), he used to be a climber back in the 70's...summited most of the Cascade range, but never got further than that. I can't even imagine what type of an experience climbing Everest would be.

I thought you would probably be interested. It's a pretty great read, I highly recommend it.

I plan to go trekking in the Himalaya at some point, to at least be among the mountains...but I don't think I really need to summit Everest that badly. Maybe a trek to base camp or something, it's a reasonable 17,600 ft...I've done a few easier, not very technical peaks like Shasta, Rainier, and a few Tetons...but Everest is an entirely different story altogether.

bleep
12-04-2009, 08:18 PM
I really like them in theory, but I don't really want to spend any more time staring at an electronic screen
i'm so the opposite. i do most of my daily reading on the computer and rarely look at hard copies unless i have too. i feel almost naked without a scroll button/bar!

humanoid
12-04-2009, 08:35 PM
i'm so the opposite. i do most of my daily reading on the computer and rarely look at hard copies unless i have too. i feel almost naked without a scroll button/bar!

I've never really tried one for an extended amount of time, so I don't really speak from experience on the matter. I just know that with the ridiculous amounts of time many of us spend staring at computer screens/cell phones/TV's/Etc...I'm just reluctant to add one more

I do think they are very cool though and my attitude toward them may gradually change

HowToDisappear
12-04-2009, 08:36 PM
I've been investigating the kindle, the sony reader and the nook. I have friends/family who swear by both the kindle and the sony. All three have their advantages and disadvantages. The nook looks really cool from an aesthetic viewpoint, but no one's had them in hand yet to see how well they actually work. So I'm still undecided.

menikmati
12-04-2009, 08:51 PM
I thought you would probably be interested. It's a pretty great read, I highly recommend it.

I plan to go trekking in the Himalaya at some point, to at least be among the mountains...but I don't think I really need to summit Everest that badly. Maybe a trek to base camp or something, it's a reasonable 17,600 ft...I've done a few easier, not very technical peaks like Shasta, Rainier, and a few Tetons...but Everest is an entirely different story altogether.

I would love to be able to trek in the Himalaya's some day (so expensive to get there though!)...and yeah, just being able to trek up to the base camp would be good enough for me...to look up at Everest and spend a night there, I'd be happy after that.

I'm still planning on trying to get to Yosemite sometime next year and do the Half Dome hike and a few other trails, probably mid June or July (it will be crazy crowded then, but that's just how it is I guess). Heck, I still wanna hike the whole PCT some day in the next 5 years or so...I'd love that..but trying to plan that and find some people who would be serious about it as well is a bit difficult it seems.

humanoid
12-04-2009, 09:20 PM
yeah, I looked into Everest trips a bit a while ago, and I think the cheapest I found was around $32,000 .....and that didn't include international airfare, Nepalese visa, food and a bunch of other costs...so it is rather pricey.....but I still would love to do a trek in the region someday, just to be there. Everest base camp, or maybe the Annapurna Sanctuary..

I'm not exactly sure about the entire PCT....I would love to, but that is an insane commitment. I've read that if you average 20 miles a day, it takes like 4 and a half months... it would be an absolutely amazing experience, but it might be tough to check out of life for 5 months. ...I'm down with some serious backcountry trekking though, I have to get out again pretty soon, probably not until next summer though


sorry everyone...should be in the hiking thread, I know

bleep
12-04-2009, 09:49 PM
I've been investigating the kindle, the sony reader and the nook. I have friends/family who swear by both the kindle and the sony. All three have their advantages and disadvantages. The nook looks really cool from an aesthetic viewpoint, but no one's had them in hand yet to see how well they actually work. So I'm still undecided.
even though my heart at this moment itches to add the kindle to the shopping cart, i need to be patient since i see an ebook as a long-term investment for me. maybe wait to see what kindle 3 has to offer? the nook sounds mighty tempting too.

hendrixfan143
12-04-2009, 10:24 PM
i'm reading with a snuggie book light

JewFace
12-05-2009, 06:10 AM
I'm almost finished with Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children which has instantly become one of my favorite books. I've never read such a vibrant narrative. The words just leap off of the page as though sputtering off a hot frying pan. No wonder this one book has won three different Man Booker prizes over the last few decades.

Anyone care to help me make my next pick? The candidates are...

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

TomAz
12-05-2009, 06:29 AM
I had a Kindle. I didnt' like it.

JewFace
12-05-2009, 06:36 AM
I'm in the market for an e-reader too. Tom, what exactly didn't you like about the Kindle? Was it the first generation?

NY Times just did a lil compare/contrast on the main e-readers:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/technology/personaltech/03EBOOK.html?ref=books

OutOfmYminD
12-16-2009, 08:42 PM
I just finished the first four books of A Song of Ice and Fire. What do I do with my life now?

humanoid
12-16-2009, 08:49 PM
it's over

OutOfmYminD
12-16-2009, 08:59 PM
So it seems, for the past couple weeks I had just been staying in and reading at night. 2Xbeers = the price of one of those books but now my keg is tapped =/

bmack86
12-16-2009, 09:05 PM
I'm almost finished with Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children which has instantly become one of my favorite books. I've never read such a vibrant narrative. The words just leap off of the page as though sputtering off a hot frying pan. No wonder this one book has won three different Man Booker prizes over the last few decades.

Anyone care to help me make my next pick? The candidates are...

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Infinite Jest is an undertaking, but it's worthwhile. I'd go with that if you ahve time.

OutOfmYminD
12-16-2009, 09:17 PM
The Curious Incident... was ok. Easy read though.

Alchemy
01-02-2010, 12:57 PM
I read some books these past few months:
Ovid's Metamorphoses - If you have a good translation, it can be fun in small doses.
Dante Alighieri's Inferno - If you have a good translation, it is a nice and fast read.
Thomas More's Utopia - Sucks.
Emily BrontŽ's Wuthering Heights - A wonderful classic.
Knut Hamsun's Hunger - A little longer than it needed to be, but mostly great.
Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle - It was okay.
Toni Morrison's Sula - It had some fine moments, but was just all right.
Jeanette Winterson's Sexing the Cherry - Meh...
Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve - This one started out grand, but got more and more silly as it went on.
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas - Very gimmicky and silly, but an enjoyable read.
David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress - A tough and extremely repetitive book that is more interesting than enjoyable.
Kathryn Davis' The Thin Place - Pretty good, but didn't want to finish really.
Donald Ray Pollock's Knockemstiff - Excellent and humorous!
John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat - It wasn't bad and was sometimes quite enjoyable.

I am currently reading and enjoying Melville's Moby Dick.

bmack86
01-02-2010, 01:02 PM
Over this break I've read:
Stephen King-Under the Done
Robert Matheson-I Am Legend
Jose Saramago-Death With Interruptions
Dave Eggers-Zeitoun
Someone whose name I can't remember-God is Dead

I thoroughly enjoyed all of them

guedita
01-02-2010, 03:04 PM
Because reading is now my pseudo-profession, I haven't had time or energy to seek out good side reading books. But, I've been slowly savoring The World According to Garp this break. Not my favorite Irving (Prayer for Owen Meany), but very enjoyable.

TomAz
01-02-2010, 03:04 PM
I recently read Big Man by Clarence Clemons. It is one of the worst books I have ever read. Clarence likes women. Clarence likes cigars. Clarence likes to smoke dope. Clarence likes to fly in private jets. Clarence really, really likes to namedrop.

M Sparks
01-02-2010, 03:15 PM
I recently read Big Man by Clarence Clemons. It is one of the worst books I have ever read. Clarence likes women. Clarence likes cigars. Clarence likes to smoke dope. Clarence likes to fly in private jets. Clarence really, really likes to namedrop.

Did you expect anything more from a guy with the least imaginative nickname in rock & roll... who then names his book after himself?

TomAz
01-02-2010, 04:58 PM
I did. I expected information. I got, basically, one tidbit, about how the solo on "Jungleland" was put together. Other than that, it was shit.

roberto73
01-02-2010, 05:17 PM
Because reading is now my pseudo-profession, I haven't had time or energy to seek out good side reading books. But, I've been slowly savoring The World According to Garp this break. Not my favorite Irving (Prayer for Owen Meany), but very enjoyable.

Prayer for Owen Meany is such a fantastic book. I always revisit sections of it every few months.

I just finished T.C. Boyle's Talk Talk. Another winner, this time about identity theft. The guy is a seriously underappreciated talent. One of the high points of my few years in Santa Barbara was bumping into him on the way out of a screening of Miami Vice. Of all the movies I'd expect T.C. Boyle to see on a Friday afternoon, Miami Vice is not it.

chiapet
01-02-2010, 05:26 PM
I had no idea there was a books thread. I'm trying to challenge myself for 2010 to reading 100 books during the year. (That may not seem like a ton but I work at least 60 hours a week). I'm off to a poor start, having made it more than half way through the holiday weekend without picking up a book at all. :P

JewFace, I have a kindle and I like it a lot. It's not the perfect device, but there isn't a perfect one on the market. What I like most are the size and weight (it's the same size height and width as a paperbook but very thin, and weighs less than a magazine); comfortable to hold & page forward button is well located; great battery life when wireless is off; have had good wireless signal everywhere I've tried, even rural Alabama; page refreshes (such as on paging forward) are faster than other devices I looked at; very easy to add your own files (it acts as a usb drive). Allegedly the magazine & newspaper subscription services are amazing though I've not tried it.

What I don't like - while it supports PDF, you don't have control over the size (this might be different in the DX); wish it supported more file formats; the smallest font size is still a little larger than I'd like (I like really small print though -- less frequency page turning). That's it really. The biggest selling point for me was that the other readers I looked at felt awkward to hold. This is more comfortable than even a book.

I use it a lot, though I still buy / borrow books still in addition, and at this point I haven't paid for any content. (Amazon has a ton of free content, as do other sites, and well...).

chiapet
01-02-2010, 05:28 PM
I've been investigating the kindle, the sony reader and the nook. I have friends/family who swear by both the kindle and the sony. All three have their advantages and disadvantages. The nook looks really cool from an aesthetic viewpoint, but no one's had them in hand yet to see how well they actually work. So I'm still undecided.

I have a few friends who were able to get their hands on the Nook and they did not like the way it felt in hand at all. It's apparently a slightly weird shape. I was put off the Nook after finding out that the initial claim that you could "loan" content was bogus (your credit card info is apparently somehow embedded in the file?).

menikmati
01-02-2010, 05:44 PM
100 books seems like a ton to me, maybe two tons.

TomAz
01-02-2010, 06:22 PM
10 tons.

menikmati
01-02-2010, 06:25 PM
My goal is just to finish all the unread books on my shelf. I just finished Into Thin Air (recommended by Humanoid), and have started the Beach. I want to finish Where the Heart Is, reread Grapes of Wrath, read Blink, and a few others before summer begins.

chiapet
01-02-2010, 06:30 PM
8 a month is pretty reasonable for me, but I take public transit so I can read during my commutes. My intention in setting a goal is to spend less time watching tivo....

Alchemy
01-02-2010, 08:18 PM
I have to read a book per week for school. That's a more reasonable thing to do, I think. Except when one of those books is Moby Dick, which is why I am using the winter break for that beast.

humanoid
01-03-2010, 06:49 PM
100 books seems like a ton to me, maybe two tons.


I absolutely love reading, but 100 seems like quite a few to me also

chiapet
01-03-2010, 06:55 PM
Well, come on, they're not all going to be Moby Dick (I've still never read that and hope I can continue to avoid it).

Alchemy
01-03-2010, 07:00 PM
I wouldn't recommend your avoiding of it.

malcolmjamalawesome
01-03-2010, 07:01 PM
Have you considered reading the novelization of Janky Promoters

Hannahrain
01-03-2010, 07:02 PM
Heidi's choice as an empowered female to avoid phallic nomenclature in her literary excursions is absolutely none of your business, Timothy. Please stop trying to force your gender into our collective fertile consciousness.

Hannahrain
01-03-2010, 07:03 PM
(Yesterday I bought Steadman's Alice in Wonderland).

Hannahrain
01-03-2010, 07:03 PM
(You male chauvinist pig).

Hannahrain
01-03-2010, 07:06 PM
*(Steadwomyn).

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
01-03-2010, 07:12 PM
(Yesterday I bought Steadman's Alice in Wonderland).

Steadman has an amazing illustrated version of Animal Farm that everybody should have

http://s8635.gridserver.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/pst0048dd.gif

chiapet
01-03-2010, 07:42 PM
Oh, I just meant, it never looked very interesting to me. I am trying to make my way through some "classics" but so far they've not been very good. Suppose there is a reason they're typically assigned to read in junior high or high school when you haven't had much experience with literature.

I'm on my 3rd book for the year. I managed to pull myself away from Tivo last night and today. :)

mountmccabe
01-03-2010, 08:21 PM
I have started my first book of the year; Great Expectations. Kathy Acker's version, to be clear.

menikmati
01-03-2010, 08:31 PM
I want to read Moby Dick.

Hannahrain
01-03-2010, 08:33 PM
Is that like telling someone you're a friend of Dorothy's?

JustSteve
01-03-2010, 08:42 PM
Over this break I've read:
Stephen King-Under the Done


Got "...Dome" for free off of audible.com, enjoying it so far, think i am around chapter 7.

first time trying out an audio book and i am thoroughly enjoying it. wind my day down by listening to an hour or so a night. in a way i find it easier to picture what is going on this way, as opposed to reading, just close my eyes and absorb the story.

chiapet
01-03-2010, 09:21 PM
I have started my first book of the year; Great Expectations. Kathy Acker's version, to be clear.

I need to put this on my list. I've only read blood & guts and pussy, king of the pirates. Both recommended.

Alchemy
01-03-2010, 10:05 PM
Don't listen to Hannah. She's a woman. Read Moby Dick and buy a gun.

getbetter
01-03-2010, 10:11 PM
when I wake up tomorrow, I'm riding my bike down to the library to get Dante's Inferno.

Derekx
01-03-2010, 11:40 PM
Finally started reading Touching From A Distance. Just got done with the first chapter.

MissingPerson
01-04-2010, 07:49 AM
when I wake up tomorrow, I'm riding my bike down to the library to get Dante's Inferno.

I got a really nice edition with all the illustrations really cheap early last year, and I love it. I like the purdy pictizz.

amyzzz
01-04-2010, 08:42 AM
For Christmas, Jacob got the new Stephen King Under the Dome and the latest Dan Simmons Drood, so those are next on my list after I finish this Frederick Pohl novel The Reefs of Space.

mountmccabe
01-04-2010, 09:14 AM
I need to put this on my list. I've only read blood & guts and pussy, king of the pirates. Both recommended.

I have read the former but not the latter; some time I wanna get the Mekons album for it and listen along.

The other Acker I've read has been In Memoriam To Identity and Empire of the Senless, both of which were stunning and wonderful. They're also far more loose and free and all over the place than Blood & Guts and I latched onto them far more. I lean towards Empire as my favorite - and thus fairly high on my all time list - but I'd need rereads to have any certainty.

Ha.SK
01-04-2010, 07:06 PM
still on the lost symbol but ive made a list of what id like to pickup after im done with it. im heading back in time with my reads....just reading all the classics i wasnt told to read in high school. i feel like ive been cheated. anyways heres the list so far:

animal farm by george orwell
one flew over the cuckoos nest by ken kesey
the grapes of wrath by john steinbeck
emma by jane austen
lolita by vladimir nabokov

the invisible man by hg wells
wuthering heights by emily bronte
the turn of the screw by henry james
breakfast at tiffany's by truman capote
diary of a madman and other sotries by nikolai gogol

les miserables by victor hugo
the time machine by hg wells
a clockwork orange by anthony burgess
a tale of two cities by charles dickens
in cold blood by truman capote

an american tragedy by theordore dresier
atonement by ian mcewan
catch-22 by joseph heller
ubik by philip k dick
1984 by george orwell
little woman by louisa m alcott
sense and sensibility by jane austen

ive seen some of the movies already but i still like to read the books.

guedita
01-04-2010, 07:10 PM
The Turn of the Screw is such a good ghost story, and quite short--you can knock that one out easy. Grapes of Wrath is a must (but I'm a huge Steinbeck fan). Well...all of these are a must!

Next up for me, Elizabeth Costello by J. M. Coetzee.

benhur
01-04-2010, 08:06 PM
The Ambassador's by Henry James is one of those books that I don't think receives enough attention in the mainstream nowadays. I might pick of turn of the screw if that's good too. I can imagine how his writing could make a ghost story particularly interesting.

bmack86
01-04-2010, 08:10 PM
Coetzee is an interesting writer. I liked the one I read by him. Chooses interesting themes.

mountmccabe
01-04-2010, 08:26 PM
the grapes of wrath by john steinbeck
lolita by vladimir nabokov

Fantastic books. I recommend continuing on and reading more by these authors, as well.


wuthering heights by emily bronte
the turn of the screw by henry james
breakfast at tiffany's by truman capote
diary of a madman and other sotries by nikolai gogol

I love me some Gogol. I have sort of wanted to read some James and Capote but never gotten to it. I have wanted to revisit some Bronte - I hated hated hated both sisters in high school - but again, haven't gotten there yet.



a clockwork orange by anthony burgess
catch-22 by joseph heller
ubik by philip k dick


Anthony Burgess has some wild and amazing novels; he was quite something... but he was also very uneven. ACO is good stuff; I can vouch for The Wanting Seed and M/F but the other 7 I've read are hit and miss; there's value there but not necessarily enough that they're worth actually reading.

Catch 22 is one of my favorite novels of all time but I've tried to read two others by Heller and couldn't even get halfway. Not sure what the deal is there.

I've read something like 20 novels (and countless short stories) by Dick; Ubik is great, VALIS is better but The Martian Time-Slip is, in my opinion, his finest work.

Alchemy
01-04-2010, 08:41 PM
I've enjoyed some Rick Moody stories that I've recently read.

humanoid
01-05-2010, 08:37 AM
I just read my first Salmon Rushdie. It was his latest, The Enchantress of Florence, which meandered at times, but was also fascinatingly brilliant at other times as well. Anyone have any further recommendations from his body of work?

Gribbz
01-05-2010, 08:42 AM
I'm reading "A Clockwork Orange" at the moment. I'm liking the way it's written.

guedita
01-05-2010, 08:47 AM
I just read my first Salmon Rushdie. It was his latest, The Enchantress of Florence, which meandered at times, but was also fascinatingly brilliant at other times as well. Anyone have any further recommendations from his body of work?

I liked Fury by him. Very self-referential and an interesting commentary on post-9/11 American consciousness.

Hannahrain
01-12-2010, 12:19 PM
A copy of Prisoners' Inventions was shipped to me yesterday. Here's an excerpt (http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/prisoners_tattoo_gun.gif).

miscorrections
01-12-2010, 12:23 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention I think. I'm reading Bragi Olafsson's The Pets. It's rather sparse and has the most passive protagonist in history and is also really good.

chiapet
01-12-2010, 12:37 PM
My reading has already gotten off track due to work. So far this month, I've read a few light books:

Julie & Julia (like the movie) - this is not the worst book I've read but it just was not very interesting or well written at all. It proposed to be a memoir of the author's attempt to cook her way through Julia Child's french cooking book, and it's partially that, but also a whole lot of not so interesting stories about her friends' sex lives and her background. I picked it up after reading My Life in France, which I do recommend.

Bloodlist - this is the worst book I've ever read. It's a sort of pulp-y vampire story that one of my friends, well knowing my tastes in reading, begged me to read. She said that it will start out kind of slow and silly. It does. But it also continues and ends that way. Her advice is never being accepted on any matter again.

The Hours - I saw the movie when it came out and remember enjoying it. The book is a really quick read (I read this while commuting to and waiting in line for my H1N1 shot, heh). Apparently there is some outrage over the way Virginia Woolf is portrayed but I don't feel that.

Currently reading:
The Liar's Club by Mary Karr
Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen (not really my thing but highly recommended by several people and I'm sort of pre-reading for my mom)
Meltdown Iceland: Lessons on the World Financial Crisis from a Small Bankrupt Island by Roger Boyes (advance copy that I'm finally getting around to reading now)

I am thinking of picking up one of the Jane Austen books I haven't read once I'm done with the first book.

Alchemy
01-12-2010, 12:40 PM
I'm still reading Moby Dick. Not the best book to read for a slow reader.

PotVsKtl
01-12-2010, 12:42 PM
Dune has a dumb ending. Starting House of Leaves.

SoulDischarge
01-12-2010, 12:45 PM
There's a hole in my life where Infinite Jest had been for the past month and a half. I guess I'm going to try out Middlesex next, unless there's an overwhelming consensus that it sucks?

Also, does anyone want to try another book club type thing in a couple of weeks since White Noise kind of fizzled out?

chiapet
01-12-2010, 12:46 PM
I liked Middlesex alright, I'm pretty sure I read it on a plane or something. Light reading.

amyzzz
01-12-2010, 12:46 PM
I also didn't like Bloodlist. I don't think I finished it. Jacob recommended it to me, but sometimes his fantasy novel tastes go beyond what I can tolerate.

I'm currently reading Drood by Dan Simmons which is a historical fiction novel about Charles Dickens and his obsession with an evil half-Egyptian dude from the seedy London underground and Dickens' scandalous love affair with a young actress, as told by his close friend Wilkie Collins. Somewhat entertaining. I think I prefer his sci-fi fantasy a bit more than his historical fiction (although The Terror was fantastic).

amyzzz
01-12-2010, 12:47 PM
There's a hole in my life where Infinite Jest had been for the past month and a half. I guess I'm going to try out Middlesex next, unless there's an overwhelming consensus that it sucks?

Also, does anyone want to try another book club type thing in a couple of weeks since White Noise kind of fizzled out?
I would participate.

Hannahrain
01-12-2010, 12:48 PM
I'll act like I'm going to participate but then when it comes time to read the book I'll forget while still posting inanities in the thread as though I'm involved on anything more than a superficial level. That ok?

miscorrections
01-12-2010, 12:49 PM
My family liked Middlesex, I never read it. Super helpful I know.

I'd do a book club if there was advance notice to get the book, because apparently everyone in Seattle always wants to read the exact same thing as me and I have to wait forever to get anything from the library.

SoulDischarge
01-12-2010, 12:50 PM
Only if you promise that 10% of said inanities are exclamations of amazement at everyone else's dedication to actually reading the book.

Hannahrain
01-12-2010, 12:51 PM
I'm not willing to commit to amazement at this point in time. I am willing to offer a reserved incredulity, but I'm not going to be liberal with my indication of it.

Hannahrain
01-12-2010, 12:52 PM
Oh, and I'm reading Fraud.

guedita
01-12-2010, 12:53 PM
I'm down for a book-club, but it would probably depend on the book suggested.

Middlesex is a good read...some very funny moments. You read the entire book on a plane, chia? It's like 500 pages long!

Gribbz
01-12-2010, 01:02 PM
I finished "A Clockwork Orange" the other day. The majority of the people I've talked to said they preferred the movie. I think I enjoyed the book much, much more.

PotVsKtl
01-12-2010, 01:05 PM
I think most people who enjoy the movie more resent the final chapter of the novel.

Gribbz
01-12-2010, 01:08 PM
I think so too. I resent the fact that Georgie boy and Dim looked like they were in their 30's.

chiapet
01-12-2010, 03:00 PM
Also, does anyone want to try another book club type thing in a couple of weeks since White Noise kind of fizzled out?


I'll act like I'm going to participate but then when it comes time to read the book I'll forget while still posting inanities in the thread as though I'm involved on anything more than a superficial level. That ok?

Ditto to Hannah's answer. I like the idea of book clubs but never participate, mostly because I rarely feel lead to analyze literature and share anything insightful regarding what I read. It's not that I'm incapable but more almost a selfishness and hoarding of whatever I took away from a read.

I'd give it a try though, of course my work has a tend to disrupt anything I plan, so get ready for flakiness.


Middlesex is a good read...some very funny moments. You read the entire book on a plane, chia? It's like 500 pages long!

Is it? It doesn't seem that long. It was a cross-country flight (SF to Atlanta, which is something like 5? 6? hours). I'm a fast reader, particularly when the book is interesting and light (in the sense of not extremely technical or intellectual, ie, just "reading")... and when I don't have distractions. :) Usually I read a couple of books on a cross-country flight. Now I have a Kindle :pulse :pulse :pulse so I only take one or two physical books on trips.


I also didn't like Bloodlist. I don't think I finished it. Jacob recommended it to me, but sometimes his fantasy novel tastes go beyond what I can tolerate.

I'm currently reading Drood by Dan Simmons which is a historical fiction novel about Charles Dickens and his obsession with an evil half-Egyptian dude from the seedy London underground and Dickens' scandalous love affair with a young actress, as told by his close friend Wilkie Collins. Somewhat entertaining. I think I prefer his sci-fi fantasy a bit more than his historical fiction (although The Terror was fantastic).

Bloodlist was the worst book I can ever remember reading. Really. I'm sure I've read something worse but it doesn't come to mind.

Historical fiction with a sci-fi bent is probably my favorite. I read Cryptonomicon in one sitting (granted, while unemployed). It was sooo good. I need to find more decently written steampunk. (Does that exist?)

chiapet
01-12-2010, 03:03 PM
I finished "A Clockwork Orange" the other day. The majority of the people I've talked to said they preferred the movie. I think I enjoyed the book much, much more.

I think I've already said this, but I love the book so much more and have not even watched the movie since I first read the book (!!! that needs to be corrected).

Not sure I've ever encountered a movie that was better than the book. Examples anyone? I always find what I imagine is more intriguing, wilder, more wicked, more engaging than someone else's vision of a story.

SoulDischarge
01-12-2010, 03:05 PM
Rosemary's Baby.

boarderwoozel3
01-12-2010, 03:24 PM
I think I've already said this, but I love the book so much more and have not even watched the movie since I first read the book (!!! that needs to be corrected).

Not sure I've ever encountered a movie that was better than the book. Examples anyone? I always find what I imagine is more intriguing, wilder, more wicked, more engaging than someone else's vision of a story.

So, so true. I've only seen snippets of the film and have no desire to watch the whole thing after having read the book.

Has anyone read Upton Sinclair's Oil? There Will Be Blood has inspired me to read the book and seems like the film may have done it justice. Can anyone confirm/deny?

amyzzz
01-12-2010, 03:26 PM
Lord of the Rings

york707
01-12-2010, 03:27 PM
I'm a big Bill Bryson fan, but I am just now reading (and about to finish) A Walk in the Woods.

Up next is Dean Wareham's autobiography, Black Postcards.

chiapet
01-12-2010, 03:57 PM
I did not like the Lord of the Rings movies compared to the books, Amy. But that may be because I waited until I was an adult to read the books. (I read them right before the first movie came out). In the same week that I read Cryptonomicon ;) I miss being able to read all day and night.

TomAz
01-12-2010, 03:59 PM
That bit where his buddy has a backpack full of twinkies and beer still cracks me up when I think about it.

edit: for york

EastLos01
01-12-2010, 07:03 PM
Just started reading Fahrenheit 451. I've never read it. For some reason this particular read always intimidated me. I saw it on sale at Target and figured, now is as a good as time as any.

PotVsKtl
01-12-2010, 07:07 PM
That's an admirable sentiment Los, but I've found, on the whole, now is most often the worst possible time.

wmgaretjax
01-12-2010, 07:08 PM
ah... good to have you back.

kitt kat
01-12-2010, 07:20 PM
I have to start reading a huge book of Medieval Russian stories for my Russian lit class.

EastLos01
01-12-2010, 07:23 PM
but I've found, on the whole, now is most often the worst possible time.

Too many times thats been the case... I'll see how long it takes me to finish it.

york707
01-12-2010, 07:51 PM
Hey look, the last time I posted in this thread was three years ago.

mountmccabe
01-12-2010, 08:49 PM
Historical fiction with a sci-fi bent is probably my favorite. I read Cryptonomicon in one sitting (granted, while unemployed). It was sooo good. I need to find more decently written steampunk. (Does that exist?)

Holy damn, that is a long sitting. The book took me a week but that is only because I had a sinus infection and missed over a week of work. I want to read that again. Actually, I want to read his new one; I still have not gotten there.



Has anyone read Upton Sinclair's Oil? There Will Be Blood has inspired me to read the book and seems like the film may have done it justice. Can anyone confirm/deny?

I'ven't read but from what I've heard they're entirely different beasts; PTA use Oil as a loose framework.

I have to throw out Blade Runner. I love Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? but Scott created an absolute monster out of it. They're very different - the movie ditches the religion and the main character being human, to start things off - but when forced to put them side by side I'll take the film. Dick wrote many better novels; few people've ever made a better film.


Basically all of my answers would be like this, where the film is not faithful to the book, where the filmmakers took the liberty of creating a unique work rather than trying to faithfully recreate the pages.

Hannahrain
01-14-2010, 09:35 AM
I forgot to say that I just read I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. It was okay. She's clever enough, but she's not very interesting. She gets a measure of recognition for writing the phrase, "Who does a girl have to fuck to get laid in this town?", but otherwise this is probably only one to pick up if someone hands you a used copy and you're just dying to use up some free time.

amyzzz
01-14-2010, 09:42 AM
Damn, that's a good line.

Hannahrain
01-14-2010, 09:59 AM
I wish I wasn't so underwhelmed by contemporary female authors. Sarah Vowell is the only woman I can think of whose new releases are immediately purchased. Anybody on to something I'm not? Any genre.

guedita
01-14-2010, 10:04 AM
I wish I wasn't so underwhelmed by contemporary female authors. Sarah Vowell is the only woman I can think of whose new releases are immediately purchased. Anybody on to something I'm not? Any genre.

Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite authors. Native American (Ojibwa), but she doesn't confine herself solely to that. She writes beautifully, and I have a hard time tearing myself away when I start one of her novels.

chiapet
01-14-2010, 10:36 AM
Holy damn, that is a long sitting. The book took me a week but that is only because I had a sinus infection and missed over a week of work. I want to read that again. Actually, I want to read his new one; I still have not gotten there.

:) Coffee turns me into an insomniac, and when I was not working, I had the luxury of sleeping all day after self-imposed sleep deprivation. I rarely read all day/night now. I don't remember it really taking that long but I was also absolutely in love with the technology part of it, so I couldn't put it down.

PotVsKtl
01-14-2010, 10:58 AM
Banana Yoshimoto.

Hannahrain
01-14-2010, 12:32 PM
Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite authors. Native American (Ojibwa), but she doesn't confine herself solely to that. She writes beautifully, and I have a hard time tearing myself away when I start one of her novels.


Banana Yoshimoto.

Best starting points?

PotVsKtl
01-14-2010, 12:40 PM
I own three of her books but have never read any of them. I just like her name. Do no listen to my recommendation. Although Kitchen is supposed to be her best.

Hannahrain
01-14-2010, 12:43 PM
Good lookin' out.

fatbastard
01-14-2010, 03:03 PM
I finished "A Clockwork Orange" the other day. The majority of the people I've talked to said they preferred the movie. I think I enjoyed the book much, much more.

So did I my brothers.

Hannahrain
01-15-2010, 05:27 PM
I got a box of used books in the mail today. Among them was a very underlined and annotated copy of 1984 with the following post-its stuck inside from someone trying their hardest to keep track of the story and the themes therein. Potential spoilers, sort of, I guess:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4026/4277310153_69fb7b4fa8_b.jpg

I'm not sure what to do with them, but I can't bring myself to throw them out. Especially the last one. I feel like I'm monitoring an important period in some fourteen-year-old's life.

chiapet
01-16-2010, 06:55 PM
Hey boarder, the author I was talking about on NYE but could not remember is John Rechy. He wrote about being gay in Los Angeles in the early 60s, from the point of view of someone who frequently hustled, made a contest of sorts of sleeping with as many guys as possible, had a drug habit, etc. (His writing is not even the tiniest bit similar to Burroughs so I'm not sure why it popped into my mind).

Anyway, it's been a while since I've read his books, but I think I could still recommend City of Night.

fatbastard
01-18-2010, 04:37 PM
I'm not sure if I want to fuck Lily Bart or slap that bitch. There's more to life than money.

MissingPerson
01-18-2010, 04:47 PM
I got a box of used books in the mail today. Among them was a very underlined and annotated copy of 1984 with the following post-its stuck inside from someone trying their hardest to keep track of the story and the themes therein. Potential spoilers, sort of, I guess:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4026/4277310153_69fb7b4fa8_b.jpg

I'm not sure what to do with them, but I can't bring myself to throw them out. Especially the last one. I feel like I'm monitoring an important period in some fourteen-year-old's life.

Whooooa.

chiapet
01-23-2010, 08:04 AM
I've heard several people mention Duma Key, so I'm going to give that a shot. Haven't read Stephen King books since college. Wonder how long it will take to read, since the book weighs a ton and I won't be carrying it around on my commutes.

Finished the other books I was reading, was unimpressed though some here might be interested in the Mary Karr book (The Liar's Club), which is a memoir of the author's childhood growing up in Texas in the 60's with alcoholic parents. The writing style put me off a bit, but it was a quick read.

amyzzz
01-23-2010, 08:12 AM
Duma Key starts out really good -- nice choice, Heidi. Have you read any of his short stories collections? Just After Sunset has some creepy gems in it like "N." and "The Gingerbread Girl."

chiapet
01-23-2010, 08:38 AM
Nothing recent at all -- I think Nightmares & Dreamscapes was the last of his story collections that I'd read.

amyzzz
01-23-2010, 08:40 AM
Everything's Eventual is also a very good short story collection, in case you like that kind of thing.

PotVsKtl
01-25-2010, 12:09 PM
Man, House of Leaves. When you turn the page at 2am and start cackling because the typeface has changed, something genius is going on.

Monklish
01-25-2010, 12:10 PM
Pretty fucking awesome, ain't it?

chiapet
01-25-2010, 12:15 PM
I am almost done with Duma Key. Didn't have much time to read this weekend. (Who am I kidding? I watched season 1 of X-files on DVD instead of reading). It's actually not too bad. Not completely predictable, and I'd forgotten that I like how King intertwines pop music lyrics into the dialogue and story. Maybe like a 2.5 of 5 star book. Unless something changes significantly in the last 100 pages.


Edited to add -- regarding the claim that it wouldn't be feasible to read the 100 books / year thing. I have been trying to pay more attention to how long reading takes in case I was totally delusional, and it seems like it's pretty easy to cover around 75-100 pages per hour (obviously print size and complexity of the story could skew that). So if an average book is around 300 pages, and that should take 3-4 hours to read, I think it will be pretty easy to read around 8 books a month -- somewhere around 25-35 hours at most. I do at least 24 hours of commuting a month.

moomoo
01-25-2010, 12:15 PM
reading House of Leaves as well.. about 400 pages into it. definitely an exciting book-- creeps me the fuck out reading it at night though.

Alchemy
01-25-2010, 01:13 PM
I couldn't get very far into House of Leaves because school came up, but I remember liking what I read.

Also, Hannah, all the recent contemporary female authors I've read are Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter (now dead, so not really contemporary anymore), Jeanette Winterson, and Toni Morrison. They are all either feminists, lesbians, or egomaniacs. If I had to recommend one of them, I'd recommend the first two chapters of Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve. I'm not going to recommend that, though. Instead, I recommend that you revisit Herman Melville's Moby Dick, or the Whale.

MissingPerson
01-25-2010, 01:16 PM
I loved House of Leaves. It's kind of a project. Wouldn't read it again, but I like it's moxy.

AlecEiffel
01-25-2010, 01:29 PM
House of leaves is a good story wrapped in bullshit. The gimmicks get tiresome and most of the Johnny Truant stuff is embarrassingly awful.

algunz
01-25-2010, 01:33 PM
I'm not sure what to do with them, but I can't bring myself to throw them out. Especially the last one. I feel like I'm monitoring an important period in some fourteen-year-old's life.

The fourteen year old has moved on, hopefully. You should too. Recycle them, and you'll feel better.

PotVsKtl
01-25-2010, 01:57 PM
You're boring.

algunz
01-25-2010, 03:06 PM
You're a twat.

Monklish
01-25-2010, 03:08 PM
But he's a LIVELY twat.

algunz
01-25-2010, 03:12 PM
A twat isn't always a bad thing.

fatbastard
01-25-2010, 03:30 PM
I have a recommendation for those with extra fluid.

chiapet
01-25-2010, 08:51 PM
Amy, I liked the book (Duma Key) more than I thought I would. King's writing is too formulaic for me, and the first one hundred or two pages were awfully slow, but there was sufficient creepiness towards the end to make me keep reading. Probably helped that I finished it in a dark apartment, alone, on a rainy night where something keeps blowing against my window going tap tap tap.

Hannahrain
02-03-2010, 10:09 PM
A copy of Prisoners' Inventions was shipped to me yesterday. Here's an excerpt (http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/prisoners_tattoo_gun.gif).

This finally arrived after what appears to have been a lengthy trip of detours. It's a very quick read, written very simply and with zero attempt to embellish the exposition. A large portion of it is not as amazing as the tattoo gun pictured earlier (some entries are as simple as showing the assorted things people use to plug the space underneath the door to their cell), but there are still a good number of ridiculously clever devices (a tiny lathe made from a chess piece and the motor from a cassette player, a food steamer made out of assorted plastic bowls and manipulated electrical devices, several cigarette lighters that utilize the wall socket, a creepy-as-fuck disembodied stunt ass for the lonely inmate, et cetera).

For some reason it's nearly impossible to find a copy online for less than $50 or so without backordering (I guess they only ever did one printing), but if your local library has one it's worth a perusal while you sit in a questionable easy chair and try not to smell the homeless.

chiapet
02-03-2010, 10:51 PM
Working till all hours of the night is impacting my reading schedule, but I did manage to finish a couple more books this week. The only one I'd recommend is Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami. It's a short story collection, which ranges from not-very-entertaining-but-readable, to a few which are fantastically strange. Most are short though. And it's probably the least entertaining Murakami fiction I've read -- yet still able to be recommended, which says a lot.

fatbastard
02-04-2010, 05:14 AM
Band name for next Bradford Cox's next side project.

Jack Merridew and The Head Hunters

chiapet
02-09-2010, 08:40 PM
I'm reading "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman this week, and am enjoying it a lot so far (though I'm only a couple of chapters in). Was a random selection in the featured books shelf at the library.

Also reading "If I Am Missing or Dead" by Janine Latus which started out pretty engagingly with some chlidhood trauma, domestic violence, and mild self-loathing and now is starting to wear me down with chapter after chapter of blah. This is the second book recommended to me by the same friend which was just not very interesting. I am starting to feel like she pushes a type of agenda with her book recommendations rather than just recommending /good/ books.

amyzzz
02-10-2010, 07:41 AM
Under the Dome kinda sucked. And I've moved on to another potentially sucky guilty pleasure book Eclipse. Next up I need to choose a more challenging book. I've still got Drood by Dan Simmons on the back burner.

Are we gonna do the book club thing any time soon?

TomAz
02-10-2010, 08:02 AM
I am reading To Hellholes and Back by Chuck Thompson. I didn't know anything about this guy til I picked up this book, but I am loving it. Guy makes a tourist trip to the Congo, which is an incredibly brave/stupid thing to do. See excerpt below.

Introduction: The Four Horsemen of My Apocalypse


I thought Americans were supposed to be stupid about these things. Ignorant of foreign cultures. Disinterested in international affairs. This, Iíve always figured, was particularly true of AfricaóAmericans presumably have trouble distinguishing between the Kalahari, Sahara, and Luxor on Las Vegas Boulevard. Jay Leno hits the streets to prove what a bunch of insular jackasses we are, and even someone like me, whoís never once laughed at that condescending bit, has to admit heís got a pretty deep reservoir of stars-and-stripes stupidity to trawl.
Which is why it surprises me that when I begin e-mailing friends and family about my upcoming trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I receive in reply a storm of dire and frighteningly specific warnings. Americans, at least my Americans, appear to be quite impressively informed.
From buddy Dave Malley: "The current Atlantic Monthly has a thing about a British biologist who died in the Congo after contracting an illness from monkey feces. Thought you might want to know."
From sister Amy: "Youíre aware thereís a civil war going on there, right?"
From Glasser in Japan, a man hardened to lifeís inequities first as a foot soldier in Vietnam, then as a jewelry salesman in South Central Los Angeles: "The Congo, and you may quote me, is Hell. Only without the interesting people. Pay for a week at the nearest rifle club. Train on an M16 or AK-47. Takes a monkey about two days on either one to begin shooting like Clint Eastwood. Your M16 tends to jam up if you donít keep it clean, but AK ammo weighs a ton, something to think about when youíre humping through a croc-infested swamp with your mortally wounded local guide slung over one shoulder. But donít even think about bringing guns into the country. Theyíre cheaper at the Kinshasa 7-Elevens."
From cousin Michelle, intrepid sufferer of Peace Corps and invasive-parasite abuse: "Do you know about guinea worms? They bore into your skin, then burst and release larvae and infecting cyclops, better known as Ďwater fleas.í If the worm is wrapped around a tendon or so deep that itís not possible to extract it surgically, you have to wait until Ďnormal emergenceí occurs. This means waiting for the worm to burrow out on its own. When I was in Senegal I saw a woman with multiple worms in her leg, breast, and vagina."
From Dr. Bahr, a man Iíd claim as my personal physician had I not personally witnessed his collegiate heyday. "In lieu of your latest effort to impress I donít know exactly who with your carefree spirit of misadventure, Iím pasting some information from the State Departmentís Web site: ĎThe Department of State again warns U.S. citizens against travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Armed groups and demobilized Congolese troops in parts of the country, including Eastern Congo, are known to pillage, carjack, and steal vehicles, kill extra-judicially, rape, kidnap, and carry out military or paramilitary operations. Travelers are frequently detained and questioned by poorly disciplined security forces at numerous roadblocks throughout the country. Public Health concerns also pose a hazard to U.S. citizen travelers for outbreaks of deadly viruses and other diseases which can occur without warning and many times are not rapidly reported by local health authorities. During the months of AugustĖOctober, lab confirmed cases of Ebola were found in the Luebo area of Kasai Occidental Province.í "
Perhaps because he wastes more on- the-job Internet time than anyone who doesnít have an addiction to fantasy football or two girls, one cup, my infamous Asia expat buddy Shanghai Bob began slamming me with daily e-mail warnings featuring links to archived New York Times stories bearing headlines such as "Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War" and "African Crucible: Cast as Witches, Then Cast Out." The latter story dealt with a contagion of Congolese and Angolan children who were being persecuted as witches. One concerned father reportedly injected battery acid into his twelve-year-old sonís stomach in an effort to encourage the boyís evil spirits to find a new home. Later, Bob would keep me informed of proceedings concerning a roundup of Congolese sorcerers accused of shrinking menís penises with special curses.
When I told him I couldnít possibly keep up with his force-feeding regimen of Dark Continent fearmongering, Shanghai Bob wrote me a note that summed up, if in less urbane terms, the prevailing attitude of everyone from my mother to my dental hygienist. (Even the relentlessly chipper Tete from Togo exclaimed, "Africa, itís all bribes!" while scraping my plaque.)
"Iím not trying to scare you, fuck with you, or be a wiseass in any way," Shanghai Bob declared, drawing upon his complete reservoir of personal empathy. "But I think you may want to be kept informed about these things as your trip nears. As Father OíFlaherty always counseled us, thereís no shame in pulling out, even at the last minute."
This is the problem with having a lot of educated, liberal friends. Every one of them has an encyclopedic knowledge of injustices and outrages around the worldóCongo, East Timor, charter schoolsóand jump at any chance they get to tell you how bad everything is out there.
More disconcertingly, my friends seemed to be right. Or at least consistent with expert opinion. A few weeks before going public with my plans for a Congo holiday, Iíd sought the advice of a highly regarded BBC documentary filmmaker named Sam Kiley, himself on his way back to the Congo to shoot more footage in the North Kivu region, the place where that aforementioned civil war was raging.
I had no interest in being an eyewitness to war, but North Kivu had caught my attention for its mountain gorillas and position at the center of Africaís Great Lakes region. As a friend of a friend, I thought Kiley might be a good guy to tag along with for my first trip to Africa. He immediately rejected my plea to join his expedition, then did his best to discourage me from going it alone. From a twenty-minute phone conversation, here are a few of the more memorable moments:
"Congoís not the end of the world, but itís bloody close. As deep bongo as it can be."
"You can get eaten in the Congo."
"You mean by animals?"
"No, by humans. Try to stay off the menu, mate."
"Youíre kidding, of course."
"No, Iím quite fakking serious."
"Congo is very advanced fakking horror. Think Marlon Brando in the final scene of Apocalypse Now and then take some acid and youíre close to it. Iím properly not kidding."*
"All Eastern Congo is a front line. A full-on war is going on."
"Itís not at all rare to come across eight- and ten- and twelve-year-old boys with AK-47s using someone elseís intestines to set up a roadblock."
I wanted to go to Africa because I didnít want to go to Africa. And I didnít want to go to Africa for many excellent reasons. Malaria. Cholera. Bilharzia. Yellow fever. Genocide. AIDS. War. Famine. Rebel attack. River blindness. Lions, hyenas, and other wild animals that occasionally maul and kill even dedicated pacifists. Eighteen hours in the coach cabin of an airplane. The aforementioned worms that nest in human sex organs. National dishes such as "foufou" that cousin Michelle reported on from her latest posting in western Africa as "gelatinous balls of yam or cassava with a thin sauce on top, often slimy okra."
All of which made me want to go. Not counting the eighteen hours.
Allow me to explain. While Iím admittedly a person who cowers instinctively from tests of individual resolve, I am at the same time strangely attracted to them. Like walking a little too far out onto a ledge or agreeing to speak at Rotary Club luncheons (where my little act goes down about as well as a hair in your throat), I often do things that I absolutely know I shouldnít. The Thompson coat of arms is, after all, a man being handed a beer while someone else twists his arm.
But beyond being an admitted contrarianó and, yes, part of the reason Iíd chosen the Congo was because almost no one else wouldó I believe thereís value in doing things the mind cautions against. Two episodes from my adolescent years come to mind. One winter, I agreed to play the part of the little drummer boy in a local Mormon Christmas pageant. (Juneau was small and apparently there were no Mormons in town who could keep 4/4 time.) Several years later, I took mushrooms with my reprobate friend Roger Sinclair and attended a midnight showing of An American Werewolf in London. Trusted advisers had counseled me against becoming involved with either mushrooms or Mormons, and upon making the decision to enter into both of these strange worlds, I was instantly consumed with anxiety and regret. Nevertheless, I plowed through both experiences, found one only slightly more bizarre than the other, and both, once the scarifying events were behind me, at least partially rewarding.
Challenging oneís assumptions doesnít necessarily mean refuting them. I became neither a Latter Day Saint nor addicted to psilocybin. Sometimes itís just as valuable to reaffirm your belief system as it is to disprove it.
The larger point is that one should never let oneís own moral compass go unchecked for long. The world changes too fast. The worst thing is to become stagnant. Comfort is the enemy of creativity. Or, if you prefer your searching personal philosophy from Saul Bellow (who will appear again shortly in the unexpected role of travelerís aid in Africa), "Trouble, like physical pain, makes us actively aware that we are living."
Weíve done a lot to eliminate trouble and physical pain in this country. Like yours, my life is and largely has been too easy. I wouldnít have said or believed this at twenty-five, an age at which I believed high school geometry, female rejection, mean bosses, Ronald Raygun, and the inexplicable hot-rotation popularity of Duran Duran counted as legit personal traumas. In retrospect, I see that Iíve had far too little to complain about. Aside from the fourteen thousand exposures to "New Moon on Monday" and "The Reflex."
Weíve become soft. Like Jell-O. You. Me. Everyone. America. Americans. Too fragile to breath in someone elseís cigarette smoke, ride a bike without a helmet, or play Texas hold íem without a pair of wraparound sunglasses. Weíre turning into a nation of fearful twats, obsessed with supposedly tragic childhoods, lousy parents, career disappointments, social outrages, political grudges, and long lists of personal grievances that until recently were collectively known as the human fucking condition.
Our edges have been beaten away by trophies handed out just for showing up; schools that no longer make kids memorize multiplication tables; doctors who pass out brain meds like Skittles; and therapists who indulge the publicís every impulse to whine and wallow in self-obsession. The pussification of America, promoted by corporate empires with an interest in keeping the nation locked in a state of suspended me-me- me childhood, is especially insulting to anyone with a memory that stretches back to a time when comic books and superheroes were cultural mainstays only for those under twelve years old and our national leaders didnít use words like "bad guys" to describe criminals, misfits, and every third unlikable foreigner.
Years ago in the Philippines, I hired a small catamaran to take me a few miles offshore to Hundred Islands National Park. The first mate was the captainís son. Eight years old. The kid ran around hauling jugs of fuel, dragging anchor chains, rigging fishing gear, and tying half hitches and bowlines like Vasco da Gama. I have no doubt that boy is running his own charter operation today; and that if his apprenticeship had taken place in the United States, social workers would have seized him from the abusive father before heíd had time to learn port from starboard.
If I sound angry itís because Iím no less culturally flabby than anyone else. My problem is that I canít afford to be. For travel writers, maintaining an intrepid reputation is vital in the never-ending quest for more work, and my biggest professional secret is an ugly one: much of the world scares me. Or worries me. Or, at the very least, repels me for no better reason than the extreme physical and social discomfort Iím certain a visit will require. There arenít supposed to be limits on "adventure travel," but until now Iíve privately kept a list of not-for-me destinations where beyond disease, crime, filth, intestinal viruses, and the possibility of rectal bleeding, Iím equally turned off by prejudices against pushy locals, monstrously bad food, paralyzing constipation, and hotel beds with only one pillow (I require two, minimum).
For several years Iíve been appearing periodically on a Canadian radio program hosted by an amiable iconoclast named Andrew Krystal. Like many others, Krystal reads my dispatches from places like Saipan and Kursk and assumes the best/worst of me. This has led him on occasion to introduce me to the "Krystal Nation" as "Indiana Jonesís long-lost son." My limp protests to these pronouncements are meant to project an appealing, boyish humilityó"Heh-heh, not really, Andy, but Iíll admit that brush with the locals in Pago Pago was a close one." In fact, they mask the stuttering false modesty of a semifraud.
International competence is the stock in trade Iíve sold to editors and publishers for years, but like anyone else Iím given to wondering how one does manage to traverse the Congo, one of the largest countries in Africa, when it barely has a functioning government or infrastructure? More worrisome than my own wherewithal is the competence of others. Donít stories of airplanes crashing in remote jungles, tourist-laden buses plunging down ravines, and overloaded ferries sinking to the bottom of oceans come all too frequently from the more "exotic" parts of the world? Is it really wise to travel overland in places where car horns double as brake pedals?
And these are just the obvious concerns. Upon reflection, Africa proves to be the mere tip of a blade of personal paranoia that widens like a bloody cleaver on a butcherís block. Beyond the continent of Robert Mugabe and Idi Amin are dozens of places Iíve heretofore avoided even more assiduously than Dave Matthews albums.
I can probably be pardoned for not getting around to Yak Heritage Days in northern Mongolia or autumn leaf peeping in New Hampshire, but for a guy whoís spent years passing himself off as a well-rounded traveler, three other locations stand out as the most shameful holes in an otherwise respectable resume. You wouldnít think that a man in my position could have managed to avoid not only Africa but also give the slip to India, Mexico City, and, perhaps most astonishing of all, Walt Disney World. Yet year after year I have. And happily.
Not only have I been to none of these traveler touchstones, Iíve diligently avoided them, and for mostly lame reasons. My fear of AIDS, for instance, is dwarfed by my fear of standing in line in the Florida sun next to rotund people from New Jersey and Texas who steadfastly refuse to discipline their little Jacobs, Justins, and Caitlins while they run off their Adderall highs in Frontierland.
And food. Being a picky eater is another of my more emasculating confessions. Few pretrip worries weigh on me like the prospect of being the haole guest of honor at some native banquet presented with a steaming bowl of goat ovaries and baked kittens while a klatch of locals watch in anticipation to see if I merely love the national cuisine, or really love it! Or, worse, figuring out what exactly the discerning palate falls back on in countries where chipotle flavoring has yet to make significant inroads.
But this unholy quartet of locations doesnít merely signify my personal hellhounds. Each of them, and for different reasons, are places many Americans spend their lives turning their backs on. Presumably for good reason. Of the dozens of people Iíve known who have survived India, for instance, not one, not one, has returned without some horror story involving a no-holds-barred bout with a gastrointestinal ailment that rendered them half-blind for days on a damp cot in some reeking backwater "hotel" praying for a merciful and speedy death.
"Itís practically a given that a visiting gut is going to go south at some point on a trip to India." This is the lead sentence of the story that introduced me to Indiaís most widespread reprisal to tourists, a piece in Escape magazine by a writer named Andrea Gappell whose Indian stomach cramps were so painful that she made an emergency visit to a doctor in Agra. The doctor informed her that her appendix was about to burst. After emergency surgery and eight days tethered to an IV dripó"Rows of Indian patients stared at me as they lay flat on sheetless mattresses in the dingy ward"óGappell was released from the makeshift clinic, only to be informed by locals that the doctor whoíd operated on her was notorious for running the old "Your appendix is about to burst; we must operate at once!" scam on panicked travelers felled by severe food poisoning.
Colorful anecdotes like this one are a big reason Iíve never applied for an Indian visa, despite being a big fan of any dish, movie, or stripper with "masala" in the name. No one wants to spend half his vacation laid out in Bangalore. Yet why go to India and not eat the food? Easier just to stay home.
Aside from being a digestively explosive travel destination (though Condť Nast Traveler runs stories about India all the time, so how bad can it be?), India is even more intimidating as a political and economic entity. The value of its stock market doubled in the mid-2000s. In 2007, the Economic Times reported an annual 14 percent rise in Indian manufacturing, the largest national growth on the planet. The countryís stable, well-regulated banks largely escaped the global financial crisis of 2008Ė2009. Business-Week and The Economist routinely refer to India as a tech giant and predict the balance of power in the worldís economy shifting from the United States to China and India in the coming decade.
On a pragmatic level, itís true that Iím worried mostly about myself, but it does seem to me that now is an opportune time to get a close-in look at the challenges we as a nation are up against in the years to come: new diseases; new rivals; new enemies; entitlement seekers pouring across our borders; armies of hypermotivated, tech-savvy workers battling an anachronistic American labor pool whose most potent job-market skill is the self- esteem acquired in "fun" classrooms and on sports fields where everyoneís a star and no one keeps score; an international up- from-the-gutter work ethic that trounces "follow your dreams" with "suck it up, get used to a little disappointment, and find a goddamned job that doesnít play to your dumb ambition to program video games and produce hip-hop records." If, as it certainly feels, the world is closing in around us, it seems worth the trouble to have a look at who and what is on the way.
All this is alarming enough and I havenít even factored in Americaís diminishing reputation abroad. During the week I began planning my daunting year of travel, the reigning Miss USA, a Tennessee stunner named Rachel Smith, was actually booed in a packed theater in Mexico City. Lustily. Not lustfully.
I donít care what side of the political divide you rattle your saber on or what you think of the wondrous Obama ascension, a moment like this demonstrates far more than any flag burning, effigy bashing, or orchestrated protest just how far America has plummeted in the world standings of likable countries (at the moment fighting for last place with North Korea). When one of the quantifiably hottest women out of a population of three hundred million from a country known for flashy displays of its most lurid perversions can parade her perfectly hard, twenty- two-year-old, multiethnic, beauty- queen, bikini- wrapped body in front of an arena filled with partying Mexicans and get booed, you canít help wondering what kind of reception youíre going to get when you accidentally wander into the barrio at two in the morning with your head spinning with tequila and Los Lobos lyrics.
If you pay attention to media drumbeats, of course, you already know that testy pageant crowds are the least of Mexico travelersí concerns. The latest orgy of yanqui panic, fueled by more of those totally reliable State Department travel warnings and a blanket recommendation from university presidents around the country advising students to avoid Mexico during spring breaks, feels less like sober assessment and more like a concentrated effort to paint our next-door neighbor as a terrorist narco-state. Current conventional wisdom is that Mexico doesnít simply present the United States with a drug and illegal alien problem, but with a genuine security threat. From Face the Nationís dyspeptic Bob Schieffer to Rolling Stone magazineó thereís actually less of a difference between the two than youíd imagine, these daysóthereís been a tremendous effort to lump the land of margaritas and mariachi in with the likes of Iran, Pakistan, and Al-Qaeda.
Written by Guy Lawson, the Rolling Stone feature kicked off with an account of a violent drug raid in Mexico City carried out by a hundred federal agents wearing ski masks and armed with assault rifles. It claimed: "The real front in the War on Drugs is not in cities like Tijuana and Ciudad JuŠrez, or in the Sierra Madres, where drug kingpins hide out, but in the corridors of power in Mexico City." Typically, efforts to scare Americans away from Mexico have focused on crime around the U.S.- Mexico border. Now Lawson and plenty of others would have us believe that extreme toxicity also runs wild in the capital. And maybe it does.
"Extreme tourism" means different things to different travelers. Itís often associated with billionaire space tourists and bombastic cable TV hosts who pit themselves, alone and ill-equipped, against the Tasmanian wilderness (save for whatever supplies are required to keep union television crews powered, fed, rested, and safe). For those who would complain that some of the places covered in this book might not meet a strict definition of "extreme," I maintain that anything that gets the traveler out of his or her comfort zone, or forces them to challenge their belief system, fits a fluid criterion.
To some, extreme travel might suggest living in a grass hut in Borneo for six weeks, but if youíre the sort of person who enjoys spending time in grass huts, whatís so extreme about that? No question, prowling the Russian steppe for wolf meat and potato vodka takes a certain amount of admirable grit. Far more frightening to me, though, is the prospect of exploring the comely mermaid fantasy of Arielís Grotto inside the walls of a twenty-sixsquare-mile temple of consumerism dedicated to celebrating synthetic American culture at its overcrowded, fake-dreams, corndog-and-cotton-candy-inhaling worst, pushing a CEO-manufactured, ultraconformist mass "fantasy" presented fait accompli to American children. If it turns out thereís more horror to shrink from in Disney World than in Africa, I for one wonít be all that surprised.
While standing resolutely behind my newfound willingness to face down extreme challenges, I donít want to create unrealistic expectations. This isnít a book about dangling from the end of a rope off a nine-hundred-foot rock face along the south ridge of K2. Youíll not find me dodging bullets and IEDs as I creep with my aide-de-camp Kareem over the border from Pakistan to Afghanistan.
I donít sleep well in the best of circumstances. Iím in reasonably good cardiovascular condition, but I have the arm strength of a man half my weight. Iím leery of heights. Iím not interested in solidifying my reputation as a wisecracking bon vivant by dying young (relatively) and leaving a good-looking (relatively) corpse. You can make your own fairly accurate assumptions about the mettle of a guy who includes Orlando on his primary list of scary places.
But if thereís one lesson Iíve prized from my years of travel itís this: no place is ever as bad as they tell you itís going to be. Government bureaucrats are more concerned with covering their asses by issuing ludicrous "warnings" than with disseminating accurate situation reports. And our "news media"óif you want to call information largely regurgitated from self-interested corporate and government sources "news"óoperates pretty much like your one crazy drunk friend, the guy who has a hysterical public reaction to even the smallest events, exaggerates all of his stories, and gets in a tizzy over every opinion whether he agrees with it or not.
I donít have to be reminded that the world collective is united in its dread of the Congo; that power vomiting on legless beggars is the national sport of India; that Mexico City is a sweltering hole of pollution, disease, cardboard shanties, and homicidal drug syndicates; and that Iíve got some personal issues to work through regarding Florida in general and Disney World in particular. Itís just that for every warning Iíve ever gotten not to do something, someone has always been around to hand me a beer and twist my arm. And, of course, take my money for the privilege of showing me places and things that, while not always pleasant, usually end up leading to some surprising and enlightening discoveries.

* I love idiomatic British-English. Deep fakking bongo. Properly not kidding. Discussions with people who talk like this always make me feel about ten IQ points smarter. I easily would have been one of the hillbilly rustics suckered in by the Duke and King in Huck Finn.

chiapet
02-10-2010, 03:06 PM
Under the Dome kinda sucked. And I've moved on to another potentially sucky guilty pleasure book Eclipse.

I think I'm going to start the Vampire Diaries books this weekend. After I finish my library books. I've been on a reading spree. :)

chiapet
02-10-2010, 04:14 PM
I don't know what your (that's the collective your) feelings are on chick lit, but I read Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella the other day and enjoyed it a lot. She's the author of the Shopaholic books. Very, *very* light read, obviously but the format was different than her other books and the plot line was not 100% predictable. Would be good reading for a flight or something.

weeklymix
02-10-2010, 04:29 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XJsai2hDL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Books like this are what I've been reduced to reading recently because of my major. Do any of you enjoy biographies? If so, could you recommend any perhaps?

chiapet
02-10-2010, 04:40 PM
^^ books like that put me off recreational reading for a long while. I guess I don't really enjoy reading that is purely informational (if it's educational while being entertaining, great).

weeklymix
02-10-2010, 04:43 PM
Well, I guess it won't hurt to get back into some fiction... I guess I'm just nervous about getting back into recreational reading and really don't know where to start. The LSAT is behind me so I have more free time.

Edit: Sorry for the interruption. I'll read the previous pages for some good ideas.

MissingPerson
02-10-2010, 05:05 PM
Congo thing was a good read, Tom.

Useless fact - more Irish soldiers have died in the Congo than in any other country. My grandad served there years ago, a number of his colleagues were ambushed and hacked to death with machetes by a previously friendly tribe. The incident left such an impression on Ireland that to this day, the name of the tribe responsible is used as an incredibly offensive racial epithet in this country.

The more you know.

PotVsKtl
02-10-2010, 05:41 PM
Well House of Leaves kind of went nowhere. I think I'll start Mason & Dixon for the third time.

PotVsKtl
02-10-2010, 05:41 PM
Scratch that, gonna read this Sixty Stories.

roberto73
02-10-2010, 05:42 PM
Barthelme?

PotVsKtl
02-10-2010, 05:42 PM
By recommendation.

Hannahrain
02-10-2010, 05:52 PM
Mason & Dixon is insufferable. I think my abandoned copy of it is propping up a broken plant stand at my parents' house.

humanoid
02-10-2010, 06:04 PM
Mason & Dixon is insufferable. I think my abandoned copy of it is propping up a broken plant stand at my parents' house.

now that's a recommendation

CuervoPH
02-10-2010, 06:10 PM
I still have only read Gravity's Rainbow by Pynchon. I want to read more of his, but judging from previous comments, Mason & Dixon won't be at the top of my list.

Hannahrain
02-10-2010, 06:21 PM
Trey, it might be worth noting that I have a tendency to lean towards I-don't-particularly-love-this on occasion as a lifestyle and that a good many things I've rejected that are currently propping up my parents' belongings might still be considered desirable to you or others. I have strong negative feelings about bagel slicers, you know?

CuervoPH
02-10-2010, 06:26 PM
Hannah, I will note that when I get around to reading another Pynchon. However, I also am not a fan of bagel slicers. I have a bagel slicer. It's called a knife. If I want to avoid bagel-slicing injuries, I pay attention when I'm using said knife.

matildawong
02-10-2010, 07:42 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XJsai2hDL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Books like this are what I've been reduced to reading recently because of my major. Do any of you enjoy biographies? If so, could you recommend any perhaps?


I love biographies. But what kind of people do you want to read about?

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
02-10-2010, 07:45 PM
I've got a biography of Basquiat somebody gave me a year ago as a gift but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I should soon.

SoulDischarge
02-11-2010, 05:22 AM
Read Patty Hearst's book.

PotVsKtl
02-11-2010, 07:57 AM
http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KSMCV1JTL.jpg

Hannahrain
02-14-2010, 06:41 PM
The fourteen year old has moved on, hopefully. You should too. Recycle them, and you'll feel better.

I sent them to Davy Rothbart today. (Fuck you).

Ha.SK
02-14-2010, 09:42 PM
im reading wuthering heights for the first time.

let me just say these characters are the most volatile people and i could never imagine wanting to be around them if they were real. it is pure nonsense the way they act yet im so drawn to the story because its full of so much drama. almost like a spanish novela. its hard for me to put this book down.

Pixiessp
02-14-2010, 09:53 PM
Finished reading Love is a Mixtape about a week ago.
Don't know why it took me so long to get around to it.
Excellent book.

When I got to the part where she dies I had to put the book
down and pace around my house for about a half hour before I could pick it up again. I knew she was going to die but I was still devastated.

TomAz
02-15-2010, 06:23 AM
im reading wuthering heights for the first time.

let me just say these characters are the most volatile people and i could never imagine wanting to be around them if they were real. it is pure nonsense the way they act yet im so drawn to the story because its full of so much drama. almost like a spanish novela. its hard for me to put this book down.

91_jymgH8QY

AlecEiffel
02-15-2010, 09:25 AM
Finished reading Love is a Mixtape about a week ago.
Don't know why it took me so long to get around to it.
Excellent book.

When I got to the part where she dies I had to put the book
down and pace around my house for about a half hour before I could pick it up again. I knew she was going to die but I was still devastated.

I was really worried that my fiance was going to die for about a week after I read this book, but then I read Tarzan and everything went back to normal.

chiapet
02-15-2010, 10:13 AM
Love is a Mixtape is on my list. Maybe that's a good book for vegas trip, then when I've made myself sad reading, I can go gamble and drink and pet show girls until I feel better.


im reading wuthering heights for the first time.

let me just say these characters are the most volatile people and i could never imagine wanting to be around them if they were real. it is pure nonsense the way they act yet im so drawn to the story because its full of so much drama. almost like a spanish novela. its hard for me to put this book down.

I adored that book when I read it (when I was probably 8 or 9 years old). Same with Gone with the Wind and other overly dramatic stuff. Maybe I should not ever read them again... have a feeling the emotion of it will come off too false.

humanoid
02-15-2010, 10:38 AM
I've been forced into reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. A friend let me borrow it and he won't stop harassing me about reading it so he can talk to me about it. So far, it feels like it's following the same structure and patterns that Brown developed for Da Vinci and Angels & Demons. Those books were reasonably fun, if not particularly stimulating intellectually. The frantic chase aspect makes the books fly by though, so I should be done in the next few days, allowing me to move on to something else quickly enough.

The Freemasonry historical aspect of the story is pretty cool, but I just feel like the guy keeps writing the same story, interchanging details.

chiapet
02-15-2010, 10:42 AM
I can't remember if I read that or not. Which says enough, doesn't it?

menikmati
02-15-2010, 11:28 AM
His books read like child novelizations of action movies.

chiapet
02-15-2010, 11:35 AM
I wasn't saying they're not entertaining reads, though, just that they are definitely formulaic to the degree that I can't remember which I've read. I'd read Da Vinci Code only after I'd read Holy Blood, Holy Grail so it was pretty obvious where Brown had gotten his story.

Freemasonry fascinates me, though. I'll take almost any secret society or conspiracy reading. I have shelves full of the stuff. (I shelf them kind of out of the way so people browsing my books don't think I'm completely nuts. Next to my egyptology stuff. :) )

humanoid
02-15-2010, 12:37 PM
I can't remember if I read that or not. Which says enough, doesn't it?

this is his new one that came out in Sept 2009, so I'd hope you'd remember if you read something in that recent of a time frame!!


Yes Menik, you are correct, they do... but as a fun, mindless diversions, they're effective.

Ha.SK
02-15-2010, 01:19 PM
lost symbol = dissapointing ending

and i was really rooting for this book.

humanoid
02-15-2010, 01:24 PM
unfortunately, i feel that about 98% of the books I read tend to have disappointing conclusions.

bmack86
02-15-2010, 01:36 PM
Y'all should read Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. It's a better version of that whole conspiracy stuff.

higgybaby23
02-15-2010, 01:46 PM
I wasn't saying they're not entertaining reads, though, just that they are definitely formulaic to the degree that I can't remember which I've read. I'd read Da Vinci Code only after I'd read Holy Blood, Holy Grail so it was pretty obvious where Brown had gotten his story.

Freemasonry fascinates me, though. I'll take almost any secret society or conspiracy reading. I have shelves full of the stuff. (I shelf them kind of out of the way so people browsing my books don't think I'm completely nuts. Next to my egyptology stuff. :) )

Do you like/have you read anything by Robert Anton Wilson?

chiapet
02-15-2010, 01:51 PM
Y'all should read Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. It's a better version of that whole conspiracy stuff.

No kidding. In the Name of the Rose as well. I really enjoyed all the gnostic and kabbalic references in Pendulum.

chiapet
02-15-2010, 01:55 PM
Do you like/have you read anything by Robert Anton Wilson?

Hail Eris. Of course. I don't think I've ever made it fully through The Illuminatus! though. Maybe it's time to start over.

Down Rodeo
02-15-2010, 02:21 PM
Y'all should read Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. It's a better version of that whole conspiracy stuff.

Yeah, I read this a few months ago. It's fucking great.

Pixiessp
02-15-2010, 10:09 PM
Love is a Mixtape is on my list. Maybe that's a good book for vegas trip, then when I've made myself sad reading, I can go gamble and drink and pet show girls until I feel better.





:thu :thu

higgybaby23
02-16-2010, 08:16 AM
Hail Eris. Of course. I don't think I've ever made it fully through The Illuminatus! though. Maybe it's time to start over.

Hail Eris!:cat

The Cosmic Trigger series is worth checking out. Part one is purposely disjointed, but two and three are more focused.

I made it through Illuminatus once, but don't own a copy. I need to pick that one back up.

My wife bought me the first volume of the Absolute Sandman for my bday. It is incredible!! I collected the comics when they were originally released, but missed the first twelve issues. This book collects the first 20, plus tons of extras.
http://www.publishersweekly.com/articles/images/PWK/20061121/AbsoluteSandman.jpg

Alchemy
02-16-2010, 08:21 AM
I recently finished Samuel Beckett's Molloy and struggled through (although skipping parts of) Malone Dies and the Unnameable. Although Molloy was a great book, the Three Novels make me want to dive into something easy like Dan Brown.

I'm not doing that, however. I am reading The Castle by Franz Kafka, and I am enjoying it immensely.

guedita
02-20-2010, 07:36 AM
So I saw Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief last night with my dad which was actually pretty enjoyable so I jumped on the bandwagon and bought the book. I love Greek mythology, and I think it's awesome that kids are actually learning about it through this series. I haven't read something light hearted (and, well...for 12 year olds) in so long...it's fun. I'm not even burdened with trying to deconstruct the text!

SoulDischarge
03-13-2010, 03:55 AM
Scratch that, gonna read this Sixty Stories.

This book is making me feel dumb. Maybe I'm dumb.


I finally got around to reading Middlesex over the past week. It was alright. The story was engaging enough, but the writing was nothing exceptional. Occasionally the narrator would go into these quick fits of meta self awareness that were really obnoxious, like describing events as though they were film montages or having brief passages explaining the symbolism and just playing around with time in a really boring manner. It's not terrible but it certainly isn't essential.

Also, it looks like the Chicago library has some of those 33 1/3 books. Favorites anyone?

chiapet
03-13-2010, 11:07 AM
See what I mean? Middlesex is what I consider a travel/vacation book. I wouldn't make time to read it in a normal day, but if I'm traveling or on a beach somewhere and have nothing else to occupy my time, I can tear through a ton of mediocre books.

SoulDischarge
03-13-2010, 09:32 PM
The general consensus I'm getting from the internet regarding Barthelme is that he's a good writer because he's not a good writer.

Alchemy
03-13-2010, 10:42 PM
Just finished Thomas the Obscure by Maurice Blanchot.


Zzzzz....

SoulDischarge
03-13-2010, 10:46 PM
I felt the same way about Jude The Obscure. When you're rooting for the protagonist's suicide 20 pages in, you know it's going to be rough sailing.

travolta
03-14-2010, 06:58 AM
reading Shogun again.

guedita
03-14-2010, 11:58 AM
This book is making me feel dumb. Maybe I'm dumb.


I finally got around to reading Middlesex over the past week. It was alright. The story was engaging enough, but the writing was nothing exceptional. Occasionally the narrator would go into these quick fits of meta self awareness that were really obnoxious, like describing events as though they were film montages or having brief passages explaining the symbolism and just playing around with time in a really boring manner. It's not terrible but it certainly isn't essential.

Also, it looks like the Chicago library has some of those 33 1/3 books. Favorites anyone?

I completely agree with you about the montage aspect of Middlesex....I felt like he wrote this book as if he wanted it to be turned into a movie.

As for 33 1/3...I have only read the one on Celine Dion. It was actually really fascinating, because the author's quest is to find out why people like her music, so there's a lot about theories that drive societal relationships and musical taste. I've been wanting to read other books from that series, though...like on artists I actually care about.

wmgaretjax
03-14-2010, 12:05 PM
The general consensus I'm getting from the internet regarding Barthelme is that he's a good writer because he's not a good writer.

I'm not really sure what the internet means by that, but he's easily one of my favorite writers. That collection of short stories has some absolute gold in it.

SoulDischarge
03-14-2010, 01:06 PM
So far it seems to have a lot more aimless stream of consciousness crap than gold. I've only gotten much of anything from one out of every five stories.

Hannahrain
03-14-2010, 05:01 PM
I just read The Fall. I did not care for it. I had so much trouble tolerating Clamence's voice that I found myself resenting the entire book, not just the character. Reading the monologues was surprisingly tedious for such a short book and it left me socially irritated and wanting to be alone. As it got further and further to the end, I started to think that one of the underlying ideas was that I, as a reader, was supposed to be resentful and impatient and that it was going to end with a somehow miraculous first-person account from the speaker as he is being murdered in real-time by the reader (which probably would have made me feel entirely differently about the book as a whole), but I was wrong. I'm a little disappointed about disliking it so much; The Stranger is the only other Camus I've read and I liked it quite a bit. I'm not sure where to go next.

I also just read (which I think I've mentioned here before - I started it a while back but it didn't catch for some reason and I moved on) Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I loved it. It was the exact opposite of my experience with The Fall. I felt that while reading The Fall, it took me a ridiculous amount of time and discipline to trudge through the 150 or so pages of large print despite it not being particularly intellectually challenging (note to Fall-likers, I don't mean that as a disparagement. I mean that the language is flowery but it's not technical, it's conversational), the 650 small-print and relatively technically and historically dense pages of Kavalier and Clay went by like rereading a favorite Roald Dahl from childhood. I will, however, disagree with Tom's review from earlier in this thread where he says that he's ready for the sequel. A lot of what's compelling about it is the particular timeframe in which we see the characters and the toll that moving from one end of that timeframe to the other takes on them, not to mention the important role that World War II plays all throughout. If a sequel were written I'd certainly buy it and hope to like it, but I don't think there's anything wrong with where the book left everything, and I doubt I'd be able to connect to a second chapter as strongly as I did the first.

wmgaretjax
03-14-2010, 05:17 PM
So far it seems to have a lot more aimless stream of consciousness crap than gold. I've only gotten much of anything from one out of every five stories.

Despite the haphazard appearance of his stories at face value, he's pretty meticulous. I've read that collection four or five times and I get more out of it every time through.

It's all undeniably fragmentary, but there is a fairly rich rigor that is duplicated from story to story. It might take a few more stories to click, but once the internal logic is in place, I think they'll digest a little easier.

roberto73
03-14-2010, 07:02 PM
Right now I'm working on Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn. It's pretty great. It's an homage to Hammett/Chandler-style hard-boiled detective stories, only the 1st-person narrator has Tourette's. It sounds like a gimmick, but the way Lethem incorporates it into how the narrator processes the world and attempts to solve the case is inventive and, as the reader learns more about his past, emotionally resonant. I'm about halfway through and excited to see where it goes next.

Also, I'll echo Patrick's general dismissal of Barthelme. I get why he's regarded as highly as he is, but within five minutes of finishing 60 Stories, I could only remember the last one I read. I'm not an inattentive reader. Because I'm a masochist, I read it again a few months later, and it still struck me as style over substance.

TomAz
03-14-2010, 07:22 PM
I also just read (which I think I've mentioned here before - I started it a while back but it didn't catch for some reason and I moved on) Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I loved it. It was the exact opposite of my experience with The Fall. I felt that while reading The Fall, it took me a ridiculous amount of time and discipline to trudge through the 150 or so pages of large print despite it not being particularly intellectually challenging (note to Fall-likers, I don't mean that as a disparagement. I mean that the language is flowery but it's not technical, it's conversational), the 650 small-print and relatively technically and historically dense pages of Kavalier and Clay went by like rereading a favorite Roald Dahl from childhood. I will, however, disagree with Tom's review from earlier in this thread where he says that he's ready for the sequel. A lot of what's compelling about it is the particular timeframe in which we see the characters and the toll that moving from one end of that timeframe to the other takes on them, not to mention the important role that World War II plays all throughout. If a sequel were written I'd certainly buy it and hope to like it, but I don't think there's anything wrong with where the book left everything, and I doubt I'd be able to connect to a second chapter as strongly as I did the first.

All I meant was that I loved the characters and wanted to hear more. You're right, that's probably not adequate grounds for a sequel.

I have Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs here waiting for me but have had a hard time getting interested in it.

TomAz
03-14-2010, 07:27 PM
Lately I've been trying to read Malcom Gladwell's Blink which had a nice premise (non-fiction; about how sometimes our snap judgments are our best) but I'm finding it tiresome. It reads like a business book, and I abhor business books for the most part -- 100 pages to say what could be said, understood, and fully digested in 5 or 10. Disappointing after his What the Dog Saw which I really enjoyed.

wmgaretjax
03-14-2010, 07:28 PM
Also, I'll echo Patrick's general dismissal of Barthelme. I get why he's regarded as highly as he is, but within five minutes of finishing 60 Stories, I could only remember the last one I read. I'm not an inattentive reader. Because I'm a masochist, I read it again a few months later, and it still struck me as style over substance.

Fair enough. "The Balloon" remains one of my favorite short stories ever. Funny enough, the minute after watching Synecdoche, NY it came to mind... I had a chance to ask Kaufman later if he'd ever read it... Turns out it was a formative inspiration for the film. I definitely don't think his writing lends itself well to lasting catharsis.... But I don't think that is a bad thing in and of itself.

Hannahrain
03-14-2010, 10:10 PM
All I meant was that I loved the characters and wanted to hear more. You're right, that's probably not adequate grounds for a sequel.

Okay. Got it. I agree. I already miss Josef Kavalier.


I have Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs here waiting for me but have had a hard time getting interested in it.

I frequently almost buy this because of the cover.

Also, speaking of Roald Dahl (sort of), I decided to start one of his regular fiction collections this evening and it turns out to be an odd blend of sexual debauchery and painstaking descriptions of skin diseases.

SoulDischarge
03-15-2010, 12:45 AM
I actually liked "The Balloon" pretty well. And a few of the other stories I've read that have been a bit more straightforward ("Game" for example). But more often than not the stories have felt like failed experiments that I suppose are noble enough to try, but aren't really worthy of being published and canonized. Some stories feel like he's just free associated words together without showing much insight into any of the characters or exploring any ideas. "Alice" is a good example of that. I think maybe I wouldn't mind it so much if he was consistently funnier, but there are things that feel like jokes falling flat, especially a lot of the endings (a bunch of people talk about random shit and at the end they all hit each other lolololol). I'm going to try to finish it, but it's kind of a slog reading a lot of them in a row. I have a feeling that it might work better as Fifteen Stories or something.

The Fall was my favorite book in high school, but probably because it was my first exposure to existentialism. I remember being slightly less impressed the last time I read it. I should probably run through it again to see where I stand these days. You should try The Plague some time, Hannah. That one is a bit more substantial and engrossing and has some really incredible parts.

wmgaretjax
03-15-2010, 08:44 AM
No doubt a lot of the stories in there are interesting failures.

TomAz
03-15-2010, 08:53 AM
an odd blend of sexual debauchery and painstaking descriptions of skin diseases.

skin diseases as a consequence of said debauchery?

Hannahrain
03-18-2010, 11:40 AM
http://www.powells.com/blog/?p=16818

SoulDischarge
03-18-2010, 11:43 AM
Hemingway. See, they're recommending The Garden of Eden, and I read that.

All by myself, just like a grown up!

Alchemy
03-18-2010, 12:46 PM
I'm still reading Moby Dick. Not the best book to read for a slow reader.

That was 1/12/10. I am still reading Moby Dick and have a long way to go. I have to give a presentation on it this week so I have no choice but to finish the beast.

You know what I'm tired of reading about? The Void. That fuzzy place of non-existence that "characters" sometimes slip into in modernist texts. I have to approach Moby Dick with the mood of impossibilities for my presentation, because my class is inspired by Samuel Beckett.