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Hannahrain
11-21-2010, 03:27 PM
Other abnormal behaviours involving books include book-eating (bibliophagy), compulsive book-stealing (bibliokleptomania), and book-burying (bibliotaphy).

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Hannahrain
11-27-2010, 04:41 PM
There's a $20 Groupon today that gets you $40 of books from Simon and Schuster's website.

Courtney
11-27-2010, 05:01 PM
If you sign up for Groupon for the first time and use my referral code (http://www.groupon.com/r/uu4972674) because you love me, I get the big bucks (aka $10, which will probably also be spent on books).

:D


Simon & Schuster. Where you can get books like:

wnZERLkbpG4

Alchemy
12-02-2010, 10:45 AM
http://onthebrod.tumblr.com/

http://27.media.tumblr.com/avatar_a7dd9164d181_128.png
On the Bro'd - Jack Kerouac's On the Road, retold for bros.

PotVsKtl
12-02-2010, 10:47 AM
Someone read the Twain autobiography and review it. Thanks.

TomAz
12-02-2010, 10:50 AM
I'm still slogging my way through the Richards autobiography. A lot of it is very interesting but jesus that guy's editor did not do his job. Too many words.

also, he really makes heroin sound very appealing.

bmack86
12-02-2010, 11:06 AM
I'd read the Twain Autobiography if I could get a copy, but I wasn't able to find one anywhere during my book buying trips last week.

Instead I bought The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen and I'm about halfway thru. It's really well done, and even though I don't really like the characters I'm interested to see what happens to them.

amyzzz
12-02-2010, 11:11 AM
Someone read the Twain autobiography and review it. Thanks.
I really want this. The book AND a review, I mean.

edit: Diane Rehm did a show on this yesterday http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2010-12-01/autobiography-mark-twain

Hannahrain
12-02-2010, 12:21 PM
I've been told to expect it for Christmas, but who knows if they actually got a copy before the copies became ungettable.

Hannahrain
12-06-2010, 04:43 PM
http://sampottsinc.com/ij/

Courtney
12-06-2010, 04:48 PM
http://sampottsinc.com/ij/

INEEDTHISINMYLIFEIMMEDIATELY.

Hannahrain
12-06-2010, 04:53 PM
While we're wanting stuff:

http://2ndfloorliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/penguin_postcards.jpg

Vintage Penguin cover postcards.

roberto73
12-07-2010, 12:19 PM
So I just read a certain couple of chapters in A Storm of Swords that left me feeling genuinely ill. I can't believe it. George R.R. Martin has elephantine balls. I can't think of any section of any book I have ever read that hit so unexpectedly.

I'm pretty sure I just got to the part you're talking about. About 3/4 of the way through? Holy cow. It's pretty amazing to realize that he started laying the foundation for this moment over a thousand pages ago in another book entirely.

Mucho Maas
12-09-2010, 11:58 AM
question to those of you familiar with salman rushdie: any recommendations? ever since reading midnight's children i've wanted to delve into his work, but never had the time. looks like i will have time during the next month. i already have satanic verses on the list, and i'm thinking of hitting a few others as well. suggestions?

Hannahrain
12-09-2010, 04:21 PM
Does anybody know anything about whether or not Sam Harris sucks? I just had to buy one of his books for an upcoming class and am wondering whether this is the kind of harbinger you shoot and tile your kitchen over or the kind of harbinger you feed dinner and send home with lovingly packaged leftovers.

bmack86
12-09-2010, 04:51 PM
Last night I finished The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I was highly impressed by it. I thought he portrayed a family crisis in a really fantastic way, and he really understood how his characters worked. Sometimes they came off as caricatures of certain neuroses, but there was enough delving into the motives and drives for the characters that these caricatures developed a level of nuance. I like that I'm not sure if the ending is positive or negative, and that nothing's resolved cleanly, but things do end. I'd highly recommend it.

Alchemy
12-09-2010, 10:27 PM
Does anybody know anything about whether or not Sam Harris sucks? I just had to buy one of his books for an upcoming class and am wondering whether this is the kind of harbinger you shoot and tile your kitchen over or the kind of harbinger you feed dinner and send home with lovingly packaged leftovers.

Letter to a Christian Nation is pretty great. It's pretty much all you need, in terms of The God Delusion and The End of Faith.




http://www.english.ufl.edu/faculty/publications/2008spring/images/hofmann_metamorphosis.jpg

I bought Kafka's The Metamorphosis today. Penguin Classics Graphic Edition. It is one of the greatest book designs ever.

humanoid
12-09-2010, 10:51 PM
question to those of you familiar with salman rushdie: any recommendations? ever since reading midnight's children i've wanted to delve into his work, but never had the time. looks like i will have time during the next month. i already have satanic verses on the list, and i'm thinking of hitting a few others as well. suggestions?

I've only read Midnight's Children, Shalimar the Clown and The Enchantress of Florence.....and i absolutely loved every one of them

I cannot wait to read another one of his books soon

Mucho Maas
12-10-2010, 09:46 AM
I've only read Midnight's Children, Shalimar the Clown and The Enchantress of Florence.....and i absolutely loved every one of them

I cannot wait to read another one of his books soon

excellent....i will see about picking those up. many thanks.

Hannahrain
12-10-2010, 02:28 PM
McSweeney's Advent Calendar Sale is happening (http://store2.mcsweeneys.net/advent). A half-price book from their publishing house every day and a coupon code for a free something else of some sort that is good for a week. Good way to get a couple of gifts at once for very little money. If you scroll down, it shows you what's going on sale for the next couple of days, too.

Courtney
12-10-2010, 02:59 PM
Penguin Classics is killing it with their book design recently.

Alchemy
12-10-2010, 05:33 PM
For Christmas, I am giving my best friend a copy of Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies/The Namesake, and my cousin a copy of Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. I have not completely read any of these books, but I think they'll be major hits.

Alchemy
12-12-2010, 01:09 PM
It's taken me months, but I have finally finished White Noise. I read a ton of short stories in-between, as well as Visions of Gerard by Kerouac, and I also read hundreds of pages of manuscripts and have been writing my own stuff. It feels good to have finished though. I really I enjoyed the book. It was extremely clever and funny.

Next up is Beseiged, a short story collection by James Lasdun.

bmack86
12-12-2010, 01:24 PM
I didn't care much about anything else I read by Don Delillo, but White Noise was a hoot.

I'm reading a book of H.P. Lovecraft short stories as my study break. That man had some twisted visions, and he described them very well.

Alchemy
12-12-2010, 02:33 PM
I didn't care much about anything else I read by Don Delillo, but White Noise was a hoot.

I'm reading a book of H.P. Lovecraft short stories as my study break. That man had some twisted visions, and he described them very well.

Yeah, I have friends that all read Libra this semester for a class and none of them seemed to enjoy it. End Zone sounds interesting to me, but I probably will not get to it anytime soon.

H.P. Lovecraft short stories are superb. He does describe his twisted visions well, sometimes too well, in the case of At the Mountains of Madness... but my favorite ones are those twisted visions that he doesn't describe at all, because they are too horrific.

Courtney
12-14-2010, 05:47 PM
I don't always remember to comment on my book reading in here (and honestly I'm more of a newspapers and magazines sort of reader recently), but I just finished Patti Smith's Just Kids and want to say thanks to Tom for making me want to buy it in the first place.

I suppose that the subject matter alone held enough interest to be compelling to me, but her writing is also eloquent. It's interesting how she progresses stylistically over the course of the book from something a little more factual in the early bits, to something much more poetic in the last few pages. It's good that it works out that way, because the actual content of the book drags a bit in the middle. But the overall story of her relationship with Mapplethorpe is fascinating, especially for anyone who has any knowledge of his early work.

And yes, the William Boroughs anecdote had me chuckling out loud.

samiksha
12-15-2010, 03:37 PM
Whoa. Burroughs. What a coinkidink. I was coming in here to ask if anyone has read The Cat Inside. Because I just did. And I wanna talk about it. Or read about it. Anyone?

I.F.A.
12-15-2010, 04:25 PM
I got my bonus check today, so I just ordered these as my Christmas present to myself. The first two have been languishing on my Amazon wish-list for a while, so I'm quite looking forward to getting them. I recently heard an interview with the author of the last one on NPR, and it sounds really interesting.

Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers
Richard Evans Schultes

Where the Gods Reign: Plants and Peoples of the Colombian Amazon
Richard Evans Schultes

Heaven's Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman
Leigh Eric Schmidt

Alchemy
12-15-2010, 04:53 PM
Whoa. Burroughs. What a coinkidink. I was coming in here to ask if anyone has read The Cat Inside. Because I just did. And I wanna talk about it. Or read about it. Anyone?

I've read it. Not sure I remember anything out of it except the part where he finds the kittens in his luggage and the mom cat tells him to take care of them.

chiapet
12-15-2010, 04:58 PM
I am *still* reading Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson). It's not even that it's a tedious book or really that long (~1000 pages). I can't seem to get into reading lately or find much time at all for reading.

....my TV was broken for over 2 weeks, you'd think I'd have found some free time.

J~$$$$
12-17-2010, 10:11 AM
Couple of questions. Sorry if it has been discussed. I want to switch to an "e-reader". ipad or galaxy? Has anyone used googles new book service?

Sublime
12-18-2010, 02:41 PM
Just finished the Life of Pi - once you get past the first part an amazing read. Still not sure if it's a true story or not but seems to be the case. Definitely worth the read.

chiapet
12-18-2010, 03:47 PM
Good to know! That's one of the next books in the 'to read' pile.

Hannahrain
12-18-2010, 04:03 PM
Definitely isn't a true story.

Hannahrain
12-21-2010, 02:11 AM
Well, just got a Kindle for...Christmannukah? Guess I'm on the bus.

menikmati
12-26-2010, 06:05 PM
I have enough money in giftcards to amazon to get a kindle (the wifi version)...so should I? I want one, but I hate the idea that in April or May, a Kindle 4 will probably be announced, though I guess that's just the business for all electronics. And if I do go for it, should I just spend the extra money to get the 3G version instead?

menikmati
12-26-2010, 06:08 PM
Couple of questions. Sorry if it has been discussed. I want to switch to an "e-reader". ipad or galaxy? Has anyone used googles new book service?

Might as well say you want a tablet device...if you're looking for a dedicated e-reader, you should consider the Kindle or Nook...though the new nook color is basically a tablet light. Do you want a dedicated e-reader, or just an internet/game device that you can browse, text, and occasionally read on?

chiapet
12-26-2010, 06:31 PM
I rarely need to sync my kindle so having 3G (rather than wi-fi) hasn't made a big difference to me. The web browser is extremely basic so I'm not sure how much you'd use it for anything other than downloading books. (Mine is an older one without int'l 3G service, if I had that I might have used it once or twice to check email but not sure that's worth the difference in cost).

menikmati
12-26-2010, 06:52 PM
Yeah I thought that as well...thinking if I go for the wifi only version, I can just spend some extra money on the case with a light instead.

bmack86
12-26-2010, 06:52 PM
Anyone successfully read Ulysses before? I think this is my fourth attempt, and it's the first time where I've gotten through 200+ pages and felt like I've understood what I've read.

Sublime
12-29-2010, 07:49 AM
The Sun Also Rises - great read, let's you into the world of a generation. Ernest sure does have a way with words.

Pillars of the Earth is next on my plate.

Chromezeppelin
12-29-2010, 10:28 AM
the best book i've ever read is Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.

its mostly dry and scientific. i'm no scientist or academic and i was able to understand all of it. he does a great job of explaining everything in a way that a reasonably intelligent person can understand

it took discipline to finish it but it changed the way i look at the world forever.

chiapet
12-29-2010, 11:08 AM
That book was terrible. It's been a decade since I read it so I can't remember all of the specific inaccuracies that annoyed me, but it was not very well researched. It's like the author just filled in the blanks with fictionalized accounts of "history" any time he couldn't find legitimate data to support his premise.

TomAz
12-29-2010, 11:19 AM
Couple of questions. Sorry if it has been discussed. I want to switch to an "e-reader". ipad or galaxy? Has anyone used googles new book service?

I had a Kindle a couple years ago and didn't like it after a while.

I got an iPad for xmas and downloaded a book off Google Books. I am satisfied so far.

daxton
12-29-2010, 11:56 AM
I just started reading Just Kids by Patti Smith today. So far I really like it. It's way past time for me to start leisurely reading novels again.

juloxx
12-29-2010, 12:21 PM
Just finished reading a book called "Stalking The Wild Pendulum". Book was amazing. It was written by a guy that didnt pass kindergarden but grew up to be an extremely respected physicist. This guy writes about such advanced concepts regarding the universe, but due to his lack of formal education he is able to break them down into Laymans terms so that everyone can understand. Then he takes all those concepts and relates em back to consciousness.

Its some cool shit.

Dogvolta
01-05-2011, 09:02 AM
Just finished reading "Full Dark No Stars" by King.
I stopped reading King YEARS ago, probably around "Dreamcatcher" year. I tried reading a couple more of his books since, maybe finished one or two, but have hated them all since.
My mom got me FDNS for Christmas, and it seemed like a quick read so I gave it a shot.
I liked it. Dark (duh), and dirty. The kind of horror I like to read and expect to read from a "horror" author (really though, when was the last *real* horror Kind wrote?). Don't try to answer that question, "horror" is can be up for much interpretation. FDNS was simply just the type of horror that I particularly enjoy.
It had a lot of, what I find, annoying "King-isms", that I just typically find awkward and contrived, but they're minor.

Alchemy
01-05-2011, 09:24 AM
Anyone successfully read Ulysses before? I think this is my fourth attempt, and it's the first time where I've gotten through 200+ pages and felt like I've understood what I've read.

I've only jumped around in it, but I plan on successfully reading it sometimes - especially because I always cite it as one of my favorite works.

http://silverfysh.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/davis-thecollectedstories01.jpg

I've been reading Lydia Davis recently. It's nice to pick up a story and finish it one minute later. Also, the Collected Stories book has such a great design. It is a thick book, but the pages are small. The cover is made of this weird material that kind of feels soft.

Also, I'm expecting David Mitchell's Number9Dream and Ghost Written to arrive in the mail today. I've read and loved everything else he's done.

menikmati
01-05-2011, 09:28 AM
I had a Kindle a couple years ago and didn't like it after a while.

I got an iPad for xmas and downloaded a book off Google Books. I am satisfied so far.

But you're reading/staring at a lcd screen....gonna hurt the eyes after a while. For long periods of reading, I couldn't think of anything better than the e-ink screen (other than an actual physical book of course).

Alchemy
01-05-2011, 09:34 AM
But you're reading/staring at a lcd screen....gonna hurt the eyes after a while. For long periods of reading, I couldn't think of anything better than the e-ink screen (other than an actual physical book of course).

I actually wear sunglasses when I use my computer sometimes, because I spend a lot of hours typing. I wish I could use Word on an e-ink screen. It would make my life 10000000000000000x easier.

Hannahrain
01-05-2011, 09:45 AM
I'm fairly impressed with the Kindle 3 someone gave me recently - I'm still not completely converted and I don't think I ever will be, but it's slim, attractive, and comfortable to read from and the battery life is incredible. Seems like they've struck a chord with this version - I was pretty indifferent toward the previous ones after seeing them.

Chromezeppelin
01-05-2011, 10:22 AM
That book was terrible. It's been a decade since I read it so I can't remember all of the specific inaccuracies that annoyed me, but it was not very well researched. It's like the author just filled in the blanks with fictionalized accounts of "history" any time he couldn't find legitimate data to support his premise.

Are you serious?

PotVsKtl
01-05-2011, 01:53 PM
I can tell this is going to be a fascinating debate.

TomAz
01-05-2011, 02:11 PM
I can tell chiapet is an expert in these things, so I will take her word over the word of a UCLA PhD, the Pulitzer committee, and the Aventis committee.

Hannahrain
01-05-2011, 02:25 PM
*Chia minus ten years.

I just read Mike Birbiglia's book about his problematic sleepwalking. He doesn't translate well to paper, I don't think - he's very good conversationally, but it doesn't read that well off the page - but if you enjoy hearing him speak, you can read it in his voice pretty easily and it improves. Not great literature or anything, but he's an earnest and likable guy who has a pretty fucking crazy disorder, and it's a very quick read.

I read some of Sloane Crosley's new book and it's okay so far, but she seems to walk around in life so she can write about it later. She's clever, but who cares. A lot of people are clever.

I've also been reading some Fitzgerald short stories and I like them.

PotVsKtl
01-05-2011, 02:36 PM
Having an ereader has made it possible for me to finally read the Hitchhiker's Guide series without fear of crippling social deformity. Thur good.

Hannahrain
01-05-2011, 02:44 PM
My mother tried to buy something to her Kindle over Christmas while I was logged in on her computer and she bought it to mine instead. Looks like it's about a farmer who finds a girl's corpse in a field and decides to keep it. So now I have that. Tasteful.

Alligator Bogaloo
02-10-2011, 07:44 AM
Hey, can we discuss graphic novels in here? I searched for a comic book / graphic novel thread but didn't find one. Besides reading a lot of books i also read graphic novels and would like to discuss/recommend some of them.

Paging John....

MissingPerson
02-10-2011, 07:46 AM
Graphic novels FTW, so I vote yes.

zircona1
02-10-2011, 08:02 AM
I'm reading Fast Food Nation again. It's one of my favorite books ever.

roberto73
02-10-2011, 08:48 AM
Currently splitting my time between Justin Cronin's The Passage and Walter Dean Myers' Fallen Angels.

I was a little leery of the former – it's a postapocalyptic vampire novel – but so far it's pretty good. It's better written than it has any right to be, and it deals with the vampiric elements in a fairly novel way. Essentially, it's a virus that the military was trying to mine for bioweapons, and – as these things usually happen – Things Got Out of Control.™ The first two hundred pages are the discovery of the virus and the buildup to the outbreak, then it skips forward to the year 92 A.V. (subtle, that), and we meet an entirely new cast of characters, struggling to survive. The section I read this morning had them wandering down from their mountain hideout and seeing a field of wind turbines in the San Gorgonio Pass, which should be recognizable to all of us Coachella attendees. Fun stuff so far, and grounding it in a real location gives it a nice touch of verisimilitude.

The other book is a Young Adult novel about the Vietnam War. It follows a black kid from Harlem who was drafted and finds himself right in the thick of things. I've been a fan of Myers from way back. He writes to a younger audience without condescending, and he really doesn't pull any punches here. The language and violence is appropriate for the setting, and the really cool thing about the book so far is that it's pretty morally ambiguous. Heavy stuff for younger readers, and it's a prime example of how the best YA Lit is just quality stuff, period, regardless of how old you are.

Alchemy
02-10-2011, 02:15 PM
I've been reading The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. It's pretty good so far.

Hannahrain
02-16-2011, 10:24 PM
Any of you ever read and/or check out nonlinearly The Original of Laura?

Alchemy
02-16-2011, 10:29 PM
Any of you ever read and/or check out nonlinearly The Original of Laura?

I'd never heard of this until now. I'm interested in looking at it. I've only read Invitation to a Beheading. I liked it a lot, though I read it immediately after reading Kafka's The Castle, and it almost felt kind of... I don't know... I definitely don't want to say derivative, but there was a similarity that didn't feel as satisfying in Invitation to a Beheaded as it did in The Castle (even though The Castle lacks the last pages). I read them both in the same week.

Hannahrain
02-16-2011, 10:31 PM
My copy of Invitation actually has a foreword addressing the similarity and saying he had no knowledge of The Castle at the time, but what can you do.

Alchemy
02-16-2011, 10:39 PM
My copy of Invitation actually has a foreword addressing the similarity and saying he had no knowledge of The Castle at the time, but what can you do.

Well, for one, you can send a letter to the Council Chairman about your ignorance of similarities. The Council Chairman can then send a letter that announces the arrival of your original letter to the officials, so that your letter may be received, and then your ignorance can be officially recognized (should they choose to approve).

That's what he could have done.

bmack86
02-16-2011, 10:43 PM
Wait, there's a book that went from a guy wandering up to a completely incomprehensible village to him residing in a school house to him wandering through a purgatory-like hotel attempting to find out about the grand leadership that's not The Castle?

Alchemy
02-16-2011, 10:46 PM
Wait, there's a book that went from a guy wandering up to a completely incomprehensible village to him residing in a school house to him wandering through a purgatory-like hotel attempting to find out about the grand leadership that's not The Castle?

Pretty much. Except that it's a completely incomprehensible jail in a purgatory-like village and he's not attempting to find out about the grand leadership, but rather, when he shall be executed.

bmack86
02-16-2011, 11:00 PM
Ah, so it's a mix of The Castle and The Trial. I might actually have to read that. The worst thing, and also quite probably the best, about Kafka is all the missing pieces and ambiguities of his work. It's incredible for The Trial, and infuriating for The Castle, yet I can't imagine either work work with any more pieces.

PotVsKtl
02-16-2011, 11:13 PM
So, The Unconsoled, then?

bmack86
02-16-2011, 11:14 PM
I just read a one-sentence synopsis of The Unconsoled and am going to purchase it ASAP. Thanks.

Hannahrain
02-16-2011, 11:14 PM
I did the same thing. Cheers.

PotVsKtl
02-16-2011, 11:54 PM
Godspeed. It's pretty merciless.

guedita
02-17-2011, 12:03 AM
I stopped reading The Unconsoled half way through. It's just sitting at my desk at work, staring at me. Luckily I don't think it's that hard of a book to start up again.

PotVsKtl
02-17-2011, 12:09 AM
Who cares, they're going to defund PBS and rape all our children.

guedita
02-17-2011, 12:11 AM
I love PBS! But I can't justify donating to it, because how else would I buy mochalochafrappas every morning? Budgets.

Hannahrain
02-17-2011, 12:13 AM
Current events are covered to my full satisfaction in the Starbucks line every morning. I say nuke the CPB.

Sublime
02-17-2011, 11:34 AM
Pillars of the Earth - amazing read front to back. To imagine all that went into building these Cathedrals during The Anarchy really blows your mind. The ending (last sentence) pretty much defines the future.

menikmati
02-20-2011, 09:40 PM
Just finished Eyewitness Auschwitz, and have to say it's one of the most detailed and hard to read (subject wise) Holocaust books I've come across. Filip Muller's descriptions and accounts of being a sonderkommando (and one of the very few who to have held that position and survived) are very moving yet full of despair. He basically writes about what he did and saw, and how it almost made him choose to end his own life willingly in the gas chambers before a chance encounter. I would def recommend this (along with Five Chimneys, and Survival in Auschwitz) for anyone wanting to read and study up on the Holocaust and its survivors stories.

I really need to read something uplifting next though, which is why I'm picking up Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea.

Also the used book store down the street from me is so awesome. Walked over there yesterday and for under 20 bucks, walked out with a book about the Titanic, 2/3 of the LotR trilogy, The White Bone (which I hear a lot of people hate), among others.

humanoid
02-21-2011, 12:27 PM
Just finished Eyewitness Auschwitz, and have to say it's one of the most detailed and hard to read (subject wise) Holocaust books I've come across. Filip Muller's descriptions and accounts of being a sonderkommando (and one of the very few who to have held that position and survived) are very moving yet full of despair. He basically writes about what he did and saw, and how it almost made him choose to end his own life willingly in the gas chambers before a chance encounter. I would def recommend this (along with Five Chimneys, and Survival in Auschwitz) for anyone wanting to read and study up on the Holocaust and its survivors stories.



Sounds almost exactly like this: Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli

Which was a great read, very heavy, yet fascinating to hear the story from such a unique perspective. Nyiszli supposedly worked directly under Joseph Mengele in the camp.

I need a little something uplifting too...

just finished The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez

and The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer

Just started
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins

menikmati
02-21-2011, 02:01 PM
Sounds almost exactly like this: Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli

Which was a great read, very heavy, yet fascinating to hear the story from such a unique perspective. Nyiszli supposedly worked directly under Joseph Mengele in the camp.


Sounds like it would be interesting...I'll have to pick that one up soon. I really enjoy (though that really sounds like the wrong word to use in this case) books about the Holocaust and its survivors.

Alchemy
02-21-2011, 03:07 PM
I have now finished W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge. I recommend it to anybody that likes France, paintings, aristocracy, and Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums.

The next book I read shall be David Mitchell's number9dream, and that will be it for him (until he publishes something new), as I've read the rest of his books already.

Hannahrain
02-21-2011, 03:19 PM
The other day at Powell's I picked up one of those three-in-one Brautigan compilations so I could read Trout Fishing in America for the first time, but then when I opened the book I automatically flipped to the back and reread In Watermelon Sugar for the first time in a very, very long time and it remains as frank and lovely in its serenity as it ever was. The poetry collection in between the two is still bad.

humanoid
02-21-2011, 03:56 PM
Sounds like it would be interesting...I'll have to pick that one up soon. I really enjoy (though that really sounds like the wrong word to use in this case) books about the Holocaust and its survivors.

It's definitely interesting. I even got my brother (a devout non-reader)to read it, and he loved it.

I have a Nazi\Holocaust fascination as well, so I completely understand. If one were to look at my bookshelves without knowing me, it might leave a strange impression.

stepup2stepout
02-21-2011, 05:35 PM
Just bought a Kindle a few days ago, and started reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe and 1984 by George Orwell.

Yablonowitz
02-21-2011, 06:43 PM
I just started reading The Puce Rutabaga by Benion Festuflaga. It's about a man in the calvary during the Civil War who comes upon a large family of escaped circus midgets who speak in one word sentences. The chief has a pool in the middle of his tent with a faintly orange pulsating jelly fish. It examines the notion of the communal grotesque and challenges the modern agricultural paradigms.

bmack86
02-22-2011, 11:41 PM
So, The Unconsoled, then?

I'm absolutely loving this so far. I just finished Book I and am contemplating ruining my sleep schedule by starting Book II right now.

Courtney
02-25-2011, 01:01 PM
http://s3.amazonaws.com/manmadediy-uploads-production/photos/5092/tumblr_l557idmhr71qczxc6o1_400.jpg

(Better book covers (http://manmadediy.com/chris/posts/823-better-book-covers))

amyzzz
02-25-2011, 01:58 PM
Nice find, Courtney. I am quietly chortling to myself in my cube.

jackstraw94086
02-25-2011, 02:11 PM
Finally finished Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, and boy am I relieved to learn rape is perfectly natural and women enjoy making less money.

Hannahrain
02-25-2011, 05:28 PM
(Better book covers (http://manmadediy.com/chris/posts/823-better-book-covers))

http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ldji6vIOfv1qczxc6o1_400.jpg

bmack86
02-27-2011, 11:27 PM
The Unconsoled was a blast. I think it helped having gone into it with the Kafka reference from this thread, because I read it more as a dream state from the start, and the internal logic-without-logic didn't trip me up too badly. I didn't really like any of the characters, sure, but they were done in very specific ways that worked towards the feel of the book as a whole. Thanks Pot, I'm glad I read that.

RageAgainstTheAoki
02-28-2011, 12:26 PM
http://s3.amazonaws.com/manmadediy-uploads-production/photos/5092/tumblr_l557idmhr71qczxc6o1_400.jpg

(Better book covers (http://manmadediy.com/chris/posts/823-better-book-covers))


I was about to post this sucker in here. Such a great idea.

Sublime
03-01-2011, 05:02 PM
Just started South by South Bronx. Crazy writing style, kinda brilliant. 6 chapters in, I'm hooked.

getbetter
03-01-2011, 05:37 PM
I got hells angeles by Hunter s Thompson hopefully I finish it by this weekend.

Drewbles
03-01-2011, 05:40 PM
I've been reading Financial Accounting and Regulation by Becker. It's riveting! It even comes with study videos, questions, and simulations! What fun!

Emma Ocean
03-02-2011, 12:16 AM
way too short attention span to go back and read all the pages, has anyone read 'the passage' by justin cronin?
was awesome

roberto73
03-02-2011, 05:02 AM
way too short attention span to go back and read all the pages, has anyone read 'the passage' by justin cronin?
was awesome

Ha. You wouldn't have had to look far. I wrote this about it on the last page:



Currently splitting my time between Justin Cronin's The Passage and Walter Dean Myers' Fallen Angels.

I was a little leery of the former – it's a postapocalyptic vampire novel – but so far it's pretty good. It's better written than it has any right to be, and it deals with the vampiric elements in a fairly novel way. Essentially, it's a virus that the military was trying to mine for bioweapons, and – as these things usually happen – Things Got Out of Control.™ The first two hundred pages are the discovery of the virus and the buildup to the outbreak, then it skips forward to the year 92 A.V. (subtle, that), and we meet an entirely new cast of characters, struggling to survive. The section I read this morning had them wandering down from their mountain hideout and seeing a field of wind turbines in the San Gorgonio Pass, which should be recognizable to all of us Coachella attendees. Fun stuff so far, and grounding it in a real location gives it a nice touch of verisimilitude.

I ended up liking it quite a bit. It ultimately went in a direction I didn't predict, and I was excited to hear that Cronin plans The Passage to be the first book in trilogy.

Alchemy
03-02-2011, 07:48 PM
So, I just got the green light to write my master's thesis on the works of David Mitchell. I've never been excited about an academic paper before.

Emma Ocean
03-03-2011, 02:35 AM
Ha. You wouldn't have had to look far. I wrote this about it on the last page:




I ended up liking it quite a bit. It ultimately went in a direction I didn't predict, and I was excited to hear that Cronin plans The Passage to be the first book in trilogy.

Haha, nice :)
Yeah I thought it was a great read, and I too am excited at the prospect of it being a trilogy, cos the ended fucked me up a bit.

Whats fallen angels like?

sames44
03-03-2011, 08:06 AM
A Dance With Dragons will be published on July 12.

http://shelf-life.ew.com/2011/03/03/dance-with-dragons-date/

http://www.georgerrmartin.com/if-update.html

humanoid
03-03-2011, 12:41 PM
Did any of you read Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story?

Had to wait for the paperback....can't justify the hardcover price, even for something I really want to read

amyzzz
03-03-2011, 12:59 PM
way too short attention span to go back and read all the pages, has anyone read 'the passage' by justin cronin?
was awesome
I just downloaded this to my kindle, and it's a pretty good read so far. Thanks for the suggestion.

bmack86
03-03-2011, 02:15 PM
Book thread: should I read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway or The Fortress of Solitude by Lethem first?

Yablonowitz
03-04-2011, 09:15 PM
Book thread: should I read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway or The Fortress of Solitude by Lethem first?

Have you read My Bloody Fecal Cancer yet?

bmack86
03-04-2011, 09:55 PM
Only once, but i was meaning to get back to it to really explore the subtleties of the midget culture as a whole.

Alchemy
03-04-2011, 10:59 PM
I know Lethem's ex-wife. I don't think she likes me very much. I haven't read him. I have't read For Whom the Bell Tolls either, but I've loved everything else of Hemingway's.

bmack86
03-05-2011, 12:34 AM
Same here for Hemingway. This is also noted as amongst his most esoteric works because he was attempting to describe in text how a person in english deals with literal translations of another language they textually understand. The Lethem sounds fun.

Also, I haven't read Aron Ralson's book yet, but when did we turn random chance into heroism? I'm pretty sure that Jack London wrote an incredible short about someone in a similar situation, only it was a cautionary tale about going into deep wilderness solo and the potential consequences of such a journey. It was called To Build A Fire and *Spoiler Alert* he dies.

Hannahrain
03-05-2011, 12:46 AM
Those Titanic fuckers have been milking happenstance for far too long.

bmack86
03-05-2011, 12:51 AM
Was there really heroism on the Titanic outside of the Unsinkable Molly Brown? And hat's barely heroism since she can't be sunk.

Hannahrain
03-05-2011, 12:53 AM
I don't know. I stopped reading the historical account after the cruiseliner chewed off its own arm to escape from David Koresh. Or something like that.

bmack86
03-05-2011, 12:56 AM
Well Hannah, hat's barely heroism.

Hannahrain
03-05-2011, 12:57 AM
You don't know anything about what my hat has been through, Bryan. I've had about enough of your hasty assumptions.

bmack86
03-05-2011, 12:59 AM
My hatsy assumptions are none of your business.

Emma Ocean
03-05-2011, 08:04 PM
Anyone got 'The Art of Looking Sideways'
That book is the fucking shit. The ultimate coffee table book

Alchemy
03-09-2011, 04:30 PM
I just finished reading David Mitchell's number9dream. Pretty excellent, but the ending was a little weird. I felt that it could have ended earlier or gone on for a hundred pages more.

And now, I am going to attempt a daunting task: I shall read Gravity's Rainbow and finish it before April, in time for these seminars on the book given by Stephen Wright (who wrote a superb book called The Amalgamation Polka, which I HIGHLY recommend).

Also, I hate that whenever I talk about David Mitchell or Stephen Wright, people think that I'm talking about comedians.

algunz
03-09-2011, 04:51 PM
Also, I hate that whenever I talk about David Mitchell or Stephen Wright, people think that I'm talking about comedians.

:lool

. . . and, boy, are my arms tired.

menikmati
03-12-2011, 07:39 PM
Finished both Adrift and Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account over the last few weeks.

I really enjoyed Adrift, and liked how it pointed out that all those romanticized rescues at sea like being found by a ship or coming across some deserted island with enough coconuts and other food to keep you alive for a while are really untrue (granted he was drifting across the Atlantic, and not the Pacific)...heck, in his time in his survival raft, he saw 8 or 9 ships pass him by without rescue. And reading about the amount of work it took each day just to keep his raft afloat, water stocked, and food in supply (especially in his condition, starved and covered in boils) was amazing, and showed just how much determination and hope he had to one day get off that raft and tell his story. This really isn't much of a "how to" survival book, and neither is it a "I survived and have a new outlook on life" type deal either...it's really just what we can learn from our strengths/weaknesses, or successes and failures.

As for Auschwitz (thanks to humanoid for the recommendation), it was another tough read, but def a must for anyone looking to study up and/or read survivor's stories in depth. It's interesting (having read Five Chimneys, and Eyewitness Auschwitz) to see how they interconnect and describe some of the same scenarios and events from different viewpoints. I must say though, the ending of this book was actually quite pleasant and very surprising.

Alchemy
03-12-2011, 08:57 PM
So... I don't know that I want to read Gravity's Rainbow right now, after all. I want to read more than one book before I finish this semester.

Premium Roast
03-13-2011, 04:51 PM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Gnaktt13bAk/SZ9t16wczMI/AAAAAAAAAOo/f__ZKFiC48g/s400/God+did+you+mean+to+leave+so+soon.jpg

=

touching and heartwarming picture book

:thu

weareyourfriends
03-13-2011, 08:00 PM
So I just finished reading Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison... Good coming of age/self-discovery kind of novel but it's not really my favorite.

Carolina
03-14-2011, 09:48 AM
Picked up Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris although not his strongest book in my opinion still pretty great. He is doing a pretty extensive book tour (http://www.barclayagency.com/speakers/appearances/sedaris.html)
I'm thinking of going.
Anyone been before to see him?

juloxx
03-14-2011, 10:39 AM
Anyone read the Don Juan books? I just finished reading the 2nd one in the installment. Its cool but I want to know if its worth going through the series. I just ordered Journey to Ixtlan, so I am probably gonna read that one.

weareyourfriends
03-14-2011, 03:08 PM
Picked up Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris although not his strongest book in my opinion still pretty great. He is doing a pretty extensive book tour (http://www.barclayagency.com/speakers/appearances/sedaris.html)
I'm thinking of going.
Anyone been before to see him?

Thanks for sharing the link. I might drive up to SB for his reading at the Arlington. Haven't read Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk but I picked up Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim for the first time in a while and read the last story in the book - SO funny. Try listening to one of his podcasts from NPR. His stories are so much funnier when you can hear him narrating in his dorky/sweet voice!

Alchemy
03-19-2011, 07:08 PM
http://catalog.openletterbooks.org/images/pets_large.jpg

I've started reading this book today and I'm almost halfway through. It's from this publishing company that I found on display in Barns and Noble today called Open Letter Books (http://openletterbooks.org/). They seem to specialize in translating books into English for the first time. You can subscribe for 10 books for $100. Or you can find the books on Amazon for a decent price. Anyway, they have excellent book designs, which is what attracted me to their display. I read the backs of the books and this one seemed excellent:


Back in Reykjavik after a vacation in London, Emil Halldorsson is waiting for a call from a beautiful girl, Greta, that he met on the plane ride home, and he’s just put on a pot of coffee when an unexpected visitor knocks on the door. Peeking through a window, Emil spies an erstwhile friend—Havard Knutsson, his one-time roommate and current resident of a Swedish mental institution—on his doorstep, and he panics, taking refuge under his bed and hoping the frightful nuisance will simply go away.

Havard won’t be so easily put off, however, and he breaks into Emil’s apartment and decides to wait for his return—Emil couldn’t have gone far; the pot of coffee is still warming on the stove. While Emil hides under his bed, increasingly unable to show himself with each passing moment, Havard discovers the booze, and he ends up hosting a bizarre party for Emil's friends, and Greta.

An alternately dark and hilarious story of cowardice, comeuppance, and assumed identity, the breezy and straightforward style of The Pets belies its narrative depth, and disguises a complexity that grows with every page.

menikmati
03-20-2011, 12:29 AM
Finally found "Blood Meridian" at the used book store today (thanks to Alchemy's suggestion). Might be starting it next, haven't decided yet. Just finished Tom McNeal's second novel "To Be Sung Underwater", a book I waited 9 1/2 years for, and did not disappoint.

Alchemy
03-24-2011, 11:13 AM
So I finished The Pets. It was well-written (translated) and the great premise had excellent execution... But... the ending was horrible. It was an ending that was justified, in the slightest way, but it was a relentless ending that made me feel bad.

I am now reading Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

EDIT: Also, by the way, after reading the About the Artist section of The Pets, the writer was apparently the bassist for The Sugarcubes.

Courtney
03-29-2011, 05:47 PM
I finished a couple books over my trip last week, including the 33 1/3 for In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials (trying to keep both my right and left brain occupied).

The In the Aeroplane Over the Sea 33 1/3 is written by Kim Cooper, who apparently is the editor of the magazine Scram, as well as a tour guide for "Esotouric" in Los Angeles. After having read the 33 1/3 for the Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Facing Future, which does such a brilliant job of outlining the specific social and cultural forces at play in the making of the album, I had high expectations. However, Cooper seems more interested in giving a play-by-play of quoted remembrances from the players on the scene at the time, rather than actually deconstructing the album and placing it into a larger context from the unbiased perspective of an outsider. She admits as much by saying that in her initial proposal to Continuum, she was very clear that she did not want to do a detailed reading of lyrics -- however she then goes on to do just that for each track on the album. It seems that Cooper doesn't quite know exactly what she aims to accomplish with the book. Or perhaps she just circles around the issue, trying to create a cohesive story despite failing to speak to Jeff Mangum himself.

Hannahrain
04-05-2011, 03:41 PM
Powells is doing free shipping until the end of the day. No code.

GoodGirlGalaxy
04-05-2011, 03:46 PM
Picked up Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris although not his strongest book in my opinion still pretty great. He is doing a pretty extensive book tour (http://www.barclayagency.com/speakers/appearances/sedaris.html)
I'm thinking of going.
Anyone been before to see him?

I caught him in SB at the Arlington Theater in the Fall of '08, he was fantastic! If he is anywhere near your city, it is a must see/hear. I actually got a couple books signed by him and in one, instead of writing a little something he drew a turtle with Abe Lincoln's head and signed his name. He's just an all-around great person.

Hannahrain
04-06-2011, 05:15 PM
Just learned about this (http://www.mcmenamins.com/events/86626-The-First-Rule-of-Book-Club) today: The First Rule of Book Club, a free coupled book club/movie night/bar meetup held monthly at a McMenamins here in PDX. The schedule for 2011 is:

January - Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (Meeting Feb 7)
February - Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote (Meeting March 14)
March - The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (Meeting April 11)
April - American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Meeting May 9)
May - L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy (Meeting June 13)
June - The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (Meeting July 11)
Summer Kids' Edition: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Meeting July 17, Sunday Matinee)
July - Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Meeting August 8)
August - Women by Charles Bukowski (Barfly Screening) (Meeting September 12)
September - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick (Meeting October 10)
November - Wild At Heart by Barry Gifford (Meeting November 14)
December - The Princess Bride by William Goldman (Meeting December 12 at 6 pm. Kids welcome)

Going to have to hit some of these, I think.

zircona1
04-06-2011, 07:20 PM
Currently reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

nathanfairchild
04-06-2011, 08:09 PM
Just read Burmese Days by George Orwell. Interesting book on British imperialism.

Courtney
04-09-2011, 05:41 PM
Hannah, in case you didn't see this:

An Interview with Book Cover Designer Coralie Bickford-Smith (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/dc/kitchen/great-food-an-interview-with-book-cover-designer-coralie-bickfordsmith--142985)


:pulse :pulse

stuporfly
04-10-2011, 07:26 AM
I finished a couple books over my trip last week, including the 33 1/3 for In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials (trying to keep both my right and left brain occupied).

The In the Aeroplane Over the Sea 33 1/3 is written by Kim Cooper, who apparently is the editor of the magazine Scram, as well as a tour guide for "Esotouric" in Los Angeles. After having read the 33 1/3 for the Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Facing Future, which does such a brilliant job of outlining the specific social and cultural forces at play in the making of the album, I had high expectations. However, Cooper seems more interested in giving a play-by-play of quoted remembrances from the players on the scene at the time, rather than actually deconstructing the album and placing it into a larger context from the unbiased perspective of an outsider. She admits as much by saying that in her initial proposal to Continuum, she was very clear that she did not want to do a detailed reading of lyrics -- however she then goes on to do just that for each track on the album. It seems that Cooper doesn't quite know exactly what she aims to accomplish with the book. Or perhaps she just circles around the issue, trying to create a cohesive story despite failing to speak to Jeff Mangum himself.

I have 21 of those 33 1/3 books (including the NMH one) and I think I've enjoyed maybe half of them. I think the concept is great, but the delivery doesn't always hold up. My favorites are...

http://img2.imagesbn.com/images/14810000/14815361.JPGhttp://img2.imagesbn.com/images/16150000/16155396.JPGhttp://img2.imagesbn.com/images/15160000/15164266.JPGhttp://img2.imagesbn.com/images/17310000/17315973.JPGhttp://img2.imagesbn.com/images/74990000/74997206.JPG

...though a few of the others are also quite good. Sometimes the books veer a bit too far into the realm of stiff academia for my liking. I always prefer to read music writing with a good mix of factual information, social perspective and passion.

I think Continuum has run into problems with their choices a few times as their authors have had a difficult time getting in acceptable drafts in a timely fashion. A few that I've been interested in (like the one about My Bloody Valentine's Loveless) went through more delays than that Spider-Man musical, and at least one I've been waiting for (Television's Marquee Moon) may never come out.

There's a number I haven't read yet that I will eventually get around to. I just picked up the volume about the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka for five bucks at the closing of a Borders store in Manhattan. That was the only book in the series I could find there, though the store was predictably in a state of chaos.

pinkladyam
04-10-2011, 11:09 AM
http://chicklitreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/lit.jpg

chiapet
04-20-2011, 09:56 AM
Hannah, I am finally reading Fool after telling you months ago that I was going to read it. The first chapter put me off the book in such a way that I almost got rid of it. (But I persevered and it has gotten better).


I think I've mentioned this before, but I seem to have some sort of reading material ADD. I can't just pick a book and focus on it and finish it, but instead have been reading at least 4 books in parallel. Like reading from 2-3 books every day and then have a couple that I only read from on weekends. Why do I do this to myself?

Hannahrain
04-20-2011, 10:49 AM
Moore definitely toes a readable/unreadable line at times. There's a whole chunk of his work that I find to be a little TOO playful and have no interest in. The guy won me over with Lamb, though, and they're really quick reads that don't require much of you, so they're good for traveling or public transit or casual lightminded reading. It's certainly not everlasting literature, but it can be fun.

amyzzz
04-20-2011, 10:51 AM
Moore definitely toes a readable/unreadable line at times. There's a whole chunk of his work that I find to be a little TOO playful and have no interest in. The guy won me over with Lamb, though, and they're really quick reads that don't require much of you, so they're good for traveling or public transit or casual lightminded reading. It's certainly not everlasting literature, but it can be fun.
I read that years back, pretty entertaining.

Alchemy
05-06-2011, 08:09 PM
I just handed in my thesis for an MFA in Creative Writing. Too celebrate, I bought John Buchan's The 39 Steps. I desperately need to read something fun after all the density.

benhur
05-06-2011, 08:50 PM
Just started V. by Thomas Pynchon, looking forward to reading it since Inherent Vice was a little bit less Pynchonesque than Gravity's Rainbow and Crying of Lot 49. 150 pages with no main characters and only brief and insignificant reference to who V is...love it.

bmack86
05-06-2011, 09:17 PM
Wait, you enjoyed Gravity's Rainbow? I'll try it again, but it was almost completely boring to me.

PotVsKtl
05-06-2011, 09:21 PM
Nobody actually enjoys Gravity's Rainbow.

PotVsKtl
05-06-2011, 09:22 PM
Although I'm not sure boring is the right word for it.

ods..
05-06-2011, 09:56 PM
Anyone ever read this? Or any Bolano? One of my all-time favs.

http://www.popmassive.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/2666-book-cover-bolano-roberto.jpg

Amazing grasp of plot and character. Incredible novel...

Here's another one of my favs too. Mark Danieleski. The plot isn't as great in this book, but the idea and concept of the entire piece as a work of art is AMAZING. Highly recommended.

http://silverfysh.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/danielewski-05_02-houseofleaves.jpg?w=500&h=334

Amazing use of the page!!! The words on the page react with the story being told.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2751/4254599792_96817f4bc3.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zgtn_B2_4zk/TTCnkrNdNSI/AAAAAAAAB-w/lYIOkoiFn8U/s1600/house+of+leaves.jpg

MissingPerson
05-06-2011, 10:02 PM
I loved it, a lot. Like you say, the plot isn't all that, but it's an amazing exercise that everybody should give a bash at least once, just to see what's possible.

Hannahrain
05-06-2011, 10:03 PM
A Pynchon book can't be less pynchonesque. That's like saying an apple isn't that apple-y.

ods..
05-06-2011, 10:04 PM
Right? The plot is a bit contrived at points, and it reads like a Stephen King novel to some degree (not that that's too bad either). But it is still SUCH a great first read. Sucks you in immediately from the prologue and when it begins deconstructing itself... well haha.

Read it. :D

Hannahrain
05-06-2011, 10:04 PM
I liked HoL too but probably should not have picked a weekend alone in a sprawling middle-of-nowhere partially glass-walled creepish housesitting situation to read it.

ods..
05-06-2011, 10:06 PM
Or a House that's bigger on the inside than the outside.

Minotaur

MissingPerson
05-06-2011, 10:09 PM
Snicker.

It definitely got under my skin at first, I found myself just... you know, checking, when I walked into rooms, but after about halfway through, that kinda wore off.

If the plot was told conventionally, it would be pretty weak, and the Johnny Truant shit is kind of insufferable very quickly, but that said - I usually always make a disclaimer about the plot whenever I recommend it, but I re-read it a while ago, and the subplot about Navidson's photograph was a bit stronger than I remembered, in a media/message/smartypants kinda way.

ods..
05-06-2011, 10:16 PM
I should reread it. I remember the Johnny Truant part being insufferable. But I don't remember the subplot about Navidson's photograph as well as I should.. The first half of the book is a blast. But then it feels like he didn't know how to end it. In fact, I don't remember the ending, so I should really reread. I know it gets very abstract though once they go into that thing etc.....

He needed a better editor I think... other than himself. Writers get too caught up in having to connect every piece of plot together logically instead of focusing on the important things to a reader, like character and emotion within a character.

All of the best short stories and novels (imo, of course) are studies on character first, and plot second. If we just wanted to read escapist bullshit, we would. I read to gain insight into the human condition! It sounds corny, but it's true. I think someone famous said something similar to that.

Hannahrain
05-06-2011, 10:17 PM
The part that really bugged me about the Johnny Truant stuff - though I could've done without the entirety - was the way he stuck the mistakes in there to try to lend authenticity to the character (should of, could of) when really they just made it seem contrived and self-conscious in an "I'm writing like this so you know I write like this" sort of way.

ods..
05-06-2011, 10:18 PM
The part that really bugged me about the Johnny Truant stuff - though I could've done without the entirety - was the way he stuck the mistakes in there to try to lend authenticity to the character (should of, could of) when really they made it seem really contrived and self-conscious in an "I'm writing like this so you know I write like this" sort of way.

Totally Hannah. His character came off as a big cliche, when he started out so weird and mysterious!

Alchemy
05-06-2011, 10:19 PM
Anyone ever read this? Or any Bolano? One of my all-time favs.

http://www.popmassive.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/2666-book-cover-bolano-roberto.jpg

Amazing grasp of plot and character. Incredible novel...

I have never read Bolano, but there were a few people, who upon reading my thesis, asked me, "Have you ever read 2666?" I would say, "No." And they would say, "Oh... I think you would like it."

I should probably read it, but I'm kind of afraid to...

MissingPerson
05-06-2011, 10:26 PM
Once the initial "Oh hey, it's an unreliable narrator" thing wears off, I started skimming over the Johnny bits. The Whalestoe Letters bit is pretty good, but I don't think they all come in every edition etc etc.

The photograph stuff is one of the things kind of wrapped up in the footnotes, and maybe finding out a bit more about the actual photographer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Carter) since I read it last might have been what lent it a bit more muscle this time around.

ods..
05-06-2011, 10:31 PM
Oh righttttt I totally forgot about that plot! The famous picture of that child in Africa... that whole story is crazy.

"The Whalestoe Letters" was released as it's own standalone book which I picked up. Pretty interesting companion piece to the text.

And to Alchemy.... I seriously recommend that book to anyone who loves fiction. Bolano is a master with words and this translation is really incredible. It isn't a book you need (or want) to race to the finish. I gave it to a friend and he read it over the course of a year and a half, loved every page. I read it in about 3 months, but it is very huge.

Cumulative plot, to say the least. Not Aristotelian. At the end you definitely don't go "Oh my god! I get it!" But you sit and think for an hour or two.

PotVsKtl
05-06-2011, 11:57 PM
House of Leaves is a reasonable argument for why film directors shouldn't write novels.

bmack86
05-07-2011, 01:27 AM
2666 is kind of a subtle masterpiece. I love the way it connects to the Juarez killings even as it drifts in and out of that scene.

SoulDischarge
05-07-2011, 04:31 AM
I finished two books recently: David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and Walter Van Tilburg Clark's The Ox-Bow Incident.

The former was typical Wallace. It's a good collection of all his obsessions and seems like it'd be a really effective precursor to reading Infinite Jest if anyone was on the fence about that or had difficulty about starting it. It works as an introduction to his writing style (footnotes and all) and a lot of his common themes. The title essay is definitely the funniest thing in the book, detailing the purgatory at sea of a commercial cruise ship.

The latter is a an exploration about of frontier mob mentality and the true nature of justice. It's pretty good, the characters and plot are well rounded, and it never gets too preachy. I kept thinking about the Bin Laden shooting throughout it, even though it was an entirely different situation.

I just started Howard Zinn's A People's History Of The United States and 50 pages in, I'm already ashamed to be a human being, especially a white male one.

ods..
05-07-2011, 07:27 AM
2666 is a subtle masterpiece. I love the way it connects to the Juarez killings even as it drifts in and out of that scene.

Truth. The Juarez killings section is one of the eeriest part's of a book I've ever read.... Couldn't stop once that part began. 2666 is so well structured.

bmack86
05-07-2011, 10:37 AM
I just finished The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem yesterday. I don't want to say too much about it, but it was a really highly captivating book about a young white kid growing up in 70s black Brooklyn. It's great.

ods..
05-07-2011, 10:41 AM
One of my favorites!!!!!!!

edit: anything lethem.. but that book is AMAZING! he is an awesome story-teller, and writer.

bmack86
05-07-2011, 10:45 AM
I'm thinking about reading Motherless Brooklyn by him as well.

ods..
05-07-2011, 11:10 AM
I liked that one a lot, but Fortress is his best. If you find it (I haven't looked in a while, but I couldn't), he has a great short story called Five Fucks. It's really awesome and existential, but I guess it's tough to find! I should have kept the copy my teacher made for me... fucking sucks.

Fortress of Solitude is one of the better contemporary novels I've read... Such a great and unique story of two friends... and of course there is the entire fantasy/comic book element to the story, that just adds a whole other level of emotion. Lethem weaves the elements of the plot and characters so expertly... Danielewski should have taken lessons here, not only in syntax and diction, but also in plot.

GoodGirlGalaxy
05-08-2011, 03:29 PM
I finished Vanishing and Other Stories by Deborah Willis. A few of the short stories were kind of dull, but the last one is amazing. I think boardies would like that one for its comical and musical aspects.

roberto73
05-08-2011, 03:33 PM
I just finished The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem yesterday. I don't want to say too much about it, but it was a really highly captivating book about a young white kid growing up in 70s black Brooklyn. It's great.

Love this book. Have you read his Motherless Brooklyn? It's a clever twist on noir detective fiction – the protagonist has Tourette's. It's a lot of fun.

Currently reading Tooth and Claw – a collection of T.C. Boyle's short stories. And continuing my concurrent Young Adult Lit selections, I just finished up Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game (which I should have read years ago) and started The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which sounds like it's a romance but is, apparently, about robots.

Alchemy
05-08-2011, 05:32 PM
I finished The 39 Steps in just a few days. Loved it. I recommend it to everybody. It's non-stop suspense and action!

ods..
05-08-2011, 06:53 PM
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game (which I should have read years ago) and started The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which sounds like it's a romance but is, apparently, about robots.

you should check out Idlewild by Nick Sagan (Carl Sagan's son). Some really weird and good sci-fi. I liked it a lot when I was younger and haven't read it since. I need to pick it up again. I think fans of Ender's Game would like it.

ods..
05-10-2011, 07:52 PM
Is there a "writer" thread? Or would there be any want for one...? I figure there must be some writers on the forum.

edit: i'm mostly saying this because I am revising my final portfolio for fiction class and I'm procrastinating by checking the forum.

samiksha
05-10-2011, 07:56 PM
post it

ods..
05-10-2011, 07:59 PM
maybe after i'm done revising I'll post the short story. It's a little long (18 pages double spaced), I doubt most people would read it.. Maybe just some poems.

It would be cool if people were into it and everyone posted poems and gave feedback. Like a little online workshop haha

frizzlefry
05-10-2011, 10:09 PM
So I just finished The Road last night and I'm making my way through Baldwin's Tell it to the man. Seems like a lot of people besides lit majors hated the road, is this true for anyone else, I know the movie sucked but. The book was great

frizzlefry
05-10-2011, 10:14 PM
maybe after i'm done revising I'll post the short story. It's a little long (18 pages double spaced), I doubt most people would read it.. Maybe just some poems.

It would be cool if people were into it and everyone posted poems and gave feedback. Like a little online workshop haha

Would you be keen on the idea of other types of writing than poetry like essays, ones that we actually enjoyed writing

ods..
05-10-2011, 10:23 PM
Would you be keen on the idea of other types of writing than poetry like essays, ones that we actually enjoyed writing

I think that would be cool! Short stories, poetry, plays, essays.. really anything we write that we are proud of? Too lazy to make a thread tonight, but sometime soon.

I get so uncreative over summer without regular class/workshop, so it would be nice to have other creative people around to talk ideas, etc.

Alchemy
05-10-2011, 10:44 PM
There is a short stories thread that algunz made (I think algunz made it), but... it's in the music section...

But instead of making a thread, you should make a social group and invite us into it, so that you don't post your stuff for every randomer to see.

EDIT: Or, I'll just make it now and invite people.

frizzlefry
05-10-2011, 10:48 PM
Good point copyright is a bitch in public forums

GoodGirlGalaxy
05-10-2011, 10:53 PM
So I just finished The Road last night and I'm making my way through Baldwin's Tell it to the man. Seems like a lot of people besides lit majors hated the road, is this true for anyone else, I know the movie sucked but. The book was great

I was (am) a lit major and I've been trying to get into that book but nothing is taking. I'm about 30 pages in, maybe I should dig a little deeper.

GoodGirlGalaxy
05-10-2011, 10:55 PM
There is a short stories thread that algunz made (I think algunz made it), but... it's in the music section...

But instead of making a thread, you should make a social group and invite us into it, so that you don't post your stuff for every randomer to see.

EDIT: Or, I'll just make it now and invite people.

I'd be into that. I've been sort of trying to get back into doing some writing. Like ods.. said, when you're not in school the desire to be creative isn't so prevalent.

Alchemy
05-10-2011, 10:58 PM
I've created it and sent out invitations (check the User CP section, under Social Groups). I just invited some of the people that post in here, but if anybody else wants to join, post in here about it or send me a PM.

Also ods.., where do you go to school? Are you in a MFA program?

ods..
05-11-2011, 06:38 AM
Right now I go to the New School University in New York and i'm trying to get my undergrad in writing. I was just accepted to USD in San Diego, so I'm moving to California for the fall semester. I'm so fucking excited. Manhattan has taken a lot of out of me. I came from the West Coast, so the weather/people/general vibe really messed with me.

Good look on the social group, Alchemy! I'm glad there is some interest for a little workshop group. I'm way down, I wanna read everyone's work.

ods..
05-11-2011, 07:16 AM
Ah! well my short story is definitely too long for the forum haha. About 28,000 characters too long for one post hahaha. Even if I posted it in sections, it would be 28 sections. So until I find a place to post/host it and link you guys, the short story will have to wait. In a bit i'll throw up some poems, though. Those are all short

Alchemy
05-11-2011, 11:50 AM
Right now I go to the New School University in New York and i'm trying to get my undergrad in writing. I was just accepted to USD in San Diego, so I'm moving to California for the fall semester. I'm so fucking excited. Manhattan has taken a lot of out of me. I came from the West Coast, so the weather/people/general vibe really messed with me.

Good look on the social group, Alchemy! I'm glad there is some interest for a little workshop group. I'm way down, I wanna read everyone's work.

Are you for serious!? I am graduating from the New School's MFA Creative Writing (Fiction) Program this month. I love Manhattan, but I can dig what you're saying. I do look forward to going back to Texas this summer - though, I've made many great friends in New York, and I hate to leave when I feel that I've been doing really good for myself in this city... but finances...

ods..
05-11-2011, 11:55 AM
Wow!! That's so tight that you go to New School! Yeah I'm in Eugene Lang now. I'm more geared towards poetry but this year I tried to write some fiction and drama also. New School is great. I think the faculty here are some of the best I've worked with. I've made some good friends, but nothing like my best friends from home..

Also (of course) finances. I cannot afford to live in NY... I can't justify paying exorbitant rent, when I could pay less, and live in a bigger/better/more beautiful house/apt. My rent for my fucking apt is more than most mortgages. It's just too much haha.

I'd love to read some of your work though!!

samiksha
05-12-2011, 07:13 AM
I would like to get in on some group action. I can't promise I will have much to contribute but I do like to talk shop.

Hannahrain
05-12-2011, 02:22 PM
My mother is raving about Steve Earle's freshly released novel. Granted, she's the same mother who excitedly sent me Water for Elephants, but I'm intrigued. Hey Tom, what are your thoughts on Steve Earle tackling magical realism and home abortions in prose? I have an Amazon credit burning a hole in my sternum.

TomAz
05-12-2011, 02:30 PM
so when Earle wrote Doghouse Roses, a short story collection, 10 years ago, I ran out and got it and couldn't even get through half of it. It was not very good.

Now I have read reviews stating that the novel is quite good -- Patti Smith has been quoted -- but I'm still skeptical. I also have never seen The Wire so I haven't seen him act, either. I like him just fine as a really great singer songwriter, I guess.

SoulDischarge
05-12-2011, 02:33 PM
You should probably watch The Wire. It's the best epic novel you'll ever watch.

TomAz
05-12-2011, 02:34 PM
I don't even have HBO.

Hannahrain
05-12-2011, 02:35 PM
One of your kids can probably show you how to stream it illegally.

Hannahrain
05-12-2011, 02:36 PM
Fuck, one of my kids can probably show you how to stream it illegally.

SoulDischarge
05-12-2011, 02:41 PM
I don't even have HBO.

You're getting on in years, and if you go quietly into that black night without having watched it, you're really going to hate yourself for it.

J~$$$$
05-12-2011, 02:46 PM
I bought Demetri Martin's This Is A Book yesterday because NPR told me too.

Hannahrain
05-12-2011, 02:48 PM
He's cute in standup specials. He's worn himself a little thin with expansion beyond that.

Courtney
05-12-2011, 03:03 PM
I bought Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes last week because PRI told me to.

Hannahrain
05-12-2011, 03:05 PM
I love Sarah Vowell, and I really like her approach to history. Good purchase. Have you read Assassination Vacation?

chiapet
05-12-2011, 03:10 PM
I don't write anymore, but I'm glad to heckle give feedback to others when I have time. :)

samiksha
05-18-2011, 09:53 AM
Has anyone read The History of Love? I'm reading it for class and it makes me cry like a baby. Parts of it are too clever for my taste though. I haven't got it all figured out yet but every ones connected somehow and I just... ugh.

Premium Roast
05-18-2011, 09:59 AM
Wrapping up the supposed classic 'The Confessions of Zeno' (pfft) and will be starting Hemingway's 'Across the River and Into the Trees' in preparation for Venice this summer.

chiapet
06-04-2011, 12:59 PM
No one's reading anymore?

I still haven't finished Fool (Christopher Moore), which is my first of his stories, came highly recommended by many friends, and has possibly put me off reading anything more he's written. (I had the same reaction to Palahniuk, so maybe I just don't like the sort of literature my friends like, or pick the wrong book to read first). Have like 80 pages left and I'm determined to just be done with it this weekend.

On the way to a festival last week, I started reading Céline's Journey to the End of the Night, while drunk on airplanes. Apparently I didn't know the premise of the book before taking it on my trip or I likely would have selected something else. Was enjoying it well enough, but I've been in such a dark mood for the past week that I've not been able to continue it.

Hoping to get to the library after the gym, in order to pick up The Red Queen, I'm on this awful historical fiction/romance bent right now. At least the books are light and easily digestible. And it gives me a sense of accomplishment to be able to finish a book in a day or in a weekend.

But I've nothing selected to read that I can really get into. Suggestions? Nothing dark or depressing would work at the moment...

zircona1
06-04-2011, 03:54 PM
Currently reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It's pretty interesting.

ods..
06-04-2011, 04:01 PM
No one's reading anymore?

I still haven't finished Fool (Christopher Moore), which is my first of his stories, came highly recommended by many friends, and has possibly put me off reading anything more he's written. (I had the same reaction to Palahniuk, so maybe I just don't like the sort of literature my friends like, or pick the wrong book to read first). Have like 80 pages left and I'm determined to just be done with it this weekend.

On the way to a festival last week, I started reading Céline's Journey to the End of the Night, while drunk on airplanes. Apparently I didn't know the premise of the book before taking it on my trip or I likely would have selected something else. Was enjoying it well enough, but I've been in such a dark mood for the past week that I've not been able to continue it.

Hoping to get to the library after the gym, in order to pick up The Red Queen, I'm on this awful historical fiction/romance bent right now. At least the books are light and easily digestible. And it gives me a sense of accomplishment to be able to finish a book in a day or in a weekend.

But I've nothing selected to read that I can really get into. Suggestions? Nothing dark or depressing would work at the moment...



I don't know about Fool, but Christopher Moore's Lamb is great. Some of his stuff is really hit or miss, but I love Lamb a lot.

bmack86
06-11-2011, 01:54 AM
A co-worker let me borrow On Chesil Beach, so I read it tonight. It was a quick read, but I thought it developed a really decent atmosphere. I wanted to step back and yell at the characters frequently, but I thought there was a decent amount of restraint shown by McEwan in keeping the characters to their time and place. I wouldn't run out to read anything else by him, but it's a fun, quick little book.

juloxx
06-11-2011, 02:04 PM
What are you guys thoughts on The Doors of Perception? I tried reading that book in 10th grade and it just seemed way to complicated and too hard of a read. Was thinking bout buying it today and giving it another shot? Any worthwhile knowledge that can be taken from it?

bmack86
06-11-2011, 04:48 PM
Today I read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. It's a fictional account of a prisoner's day in a 1950s Steppe Gulag. THe author had been imprisoned in a gulag and his experience shines through in the brutal depiction of the labor, the meager rations, the inhumane treatment and abysmal conditions that these people, who in many instances weren't even political dissidents, were forced to live through. It's a quick read and well worth the time.

ods..
06-11-2011, 04:50 PM
What are you guys thoughts on The Doors of Perception? I tried reading that book in 10th grade and it just seemed way to complicated and too hard of a read. Was thinking bout buying it today and giving it another shot? Any worthwhile knowledge that can be taken from it?

Read it. One of my favorite books. Great for people into psychs.

Premium Roast
06-11-2011, 04:58 PM
planning on reading Hemingway's death themed novel 'Across the River and Into the Trees' while in Venice next month. Not sure if it's a good idea or not. Argh, a drink at Harry's Bar can cure any life & art issues.

chiapet
06-17-2011, 04:19 PM
I feel like I've gotten a little burnt out on reading. I *want* to read, but most things I've tried to start reading have been really uninteresting to me lately. At first, I thought maybe I was just choosing poorly, and put out a call for suggestions for reading material. A bunch of people answered with books that sounded pretty decent from reviews. Practically every person who made a suggestion is someone whose opinions I respect (there were like maybe 2 people whose tastes are suspect and I didn't even bother checking out what they recommended).

.... I hated everything except for 2 suggestions. Like, I couldn't even get 50 pages into these books. I just took a stack of very partially read books back to the library. I ALWAYS make myself finish books, even if they start out slow. I know of 4 books (other than course textbooks) that I've failed to finish reading... and even 2 of those I still plan to read.

What's wrong with me?? I went to the library this morning to get more books I won't read. And picked up a couple of terrible crap fiction books, that I probably will read.

Hannahrain
06-26-2011, 02:45 PM
Well. I guess this is the first paragraph of The Maltese Falcon.


Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller, v. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The "v" motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down from high flat temples in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond Satan. He said to Effie Perine: “Yes, sweetheart?”

I should've gotten Chandler.

Hannahrain
06-26-2011, 04:34 PM
Also: are any of you on Goodreads.com? I just joined and haven't filled much in yet besides preliminarily rating a few of the books in the little questionnaire at the beginning (to be re-rated more scrutinizingly later, I hope), but it seems like it could be a pretty awesome tool for this group of people, not just for reviews and ease of seeing what other people are reading/loving/disliking/abandoning but also for keeping track yourself of things you want to read at some point.

If anybody joins or already belongs, find and befriend me at www.goodreads.com/waywardscience. I'd much rather see opinions from people I actually know.

chiapet
06-26-2011, 04:38 PM
I am, but I mostly just use it as a means of keeping track of what I want to read.

chiapet
07-06-2011, 09:45 PM
Someone recommended The Book of Lost Things to me. I started it without knowing what it's about. It's a take on dark versions of fairy tales but with a bit of a twist. Short, easy read, loved it. (I did have a bit of a start a chapter or two in after realizing it was -not- a children's book).

Alchemy
07-06-2011, 10:05 PM
I am reading Gravity's Rainbow. Oh boy.

menikmati
07-06-2011, 10:26 PM
Just finished the Cider House Rules.

caeden
07-06-2011, 10:43 PM
i really enjoy john irving. i'm currently reading a prayer for owen meany by him. i feel that he makes his characters extremely believable

benhur
07-06-2011, 10:46 PM
I am reading Gravity's Rainbow. Oh boy.

good luck getting past bananas

RageAgainstTheAoki
07-07-2011, 01:01 AM
I am reading Gravity's Rainbow. Oh boy.
I just picked this up from the library yesterday. Looking forward to pretending I enjoyed it.


I just finished Alan Hollinghurst's The Folding Star. I found it strangely affecting, but really indulgent at times; he really gilds the lily in some passages. Anyway, if you're wondering what Death In Venice would be like with a lot of explicit sex, check it out. Does anyone have recommendations on where to start with V.S. Naipul, Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith or Margaret Atwood?

Dogvolta
07-07-2011, 06:47 AM
I just picked this up from the library yesterday. Looking forward to pretending I enjoyed it.


I just finished Alan Hollinghurst's The Folding Star. I found it strangely affecting, but really indulgent at times; he really gilds the lily in some passages. Anyway, if you're wondering what Death In Venice would be like with a lot of explicit sex, check it out. Does anyone have recommendations on where to start with V.S. Naipul, Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith or Margaret Atwood?

I've read 10 novels/diarys/essays of Virginia Woolf. I wouldn't recommend any of them. Her writing is too abstract, obtuse, and experimental with minimal pay off (depending on who you are, how educated you are, and how much you break each sentence/page/passage/chapter/book down).

Still, I guess I would recommend Orlando, Mrs. Dalloway, and Between the Acts. Between the Acts might have been my personal "favorite". All three of those books are relatively easy reads, emphasis on relatively.

For an insane challenge, just start with The Waves. I look back on that book with ZERO fondness.

roberto73
07-07-2011, 07:25 AM
Last week I finished Crime by Irvine Welsh. It's a sequel to his 1998 novel Filth, which was a lot of fun and notable mainly for being partially narrated by a tapeworm living in the protagonist's intestine. Crime was a different beast entirely – more of a straightforward thriller than anything I've seen Welsh do before, which was kind of cool. He's always been an unconventional writer, so to seem him try his hand at a more traditional genre was a lot of fun.

I'm not starting anything in the next few days so I can dive right into A Dance With Dragons next week.

NachoCat
07-07-2011, 08:12 AM
Need a spot for your books?

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/house-of-shelves.html

chiapet
07-07-2011, 08:29 AM
Why yes, I have always wondered what Death in Venice would be like with a lot of explicit sex. On the list. (Actually it was already on my list and I can't remember who recommended it).

Irvine Welsh: I want to like his stories, more than I actually like his stories. Premises that sound fun, and all that. But then, I've only read Crime, Ecstasy and Trainspotting.

chiapet
07-10-2011, 02:52 AM
Apparently Welsh's Ecstasy has been made into a movie that will be released this fall:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1809287/

RageAgainstTheAoki
07-10-2011, 03:11 AM
Why yes, I have always wondered what Death in Venice would be like with a lot of explicit sex. On the list. (Actually it was already on my list and I can't remember who recommended it).


Which one is on your list? Death in Venice or The Folding Star? If it's the latter, skip it and read Hollinghurst's far superior The Line of Beauty. I mean, that's the one he won the Booker for, after all. It's just a much better book in every possible way. Fair warning, Hollinghurst is obsessed with the British class system and gay sex. Think Henry James + a dash of camp humor + lots of anal.

Courtney
07-26-2011, 05:04 PM
Has anyone read Bob Mould's book yet? I'm considering.

MissingPerson
07-26-2011, 05:23 PM
The other day I realised that I now own three copies of exactly the same edition of Mary Shelley's The Last Man.

I've not read a single one.

Hannahrain
07-26-2011, 05:25 PM
Whereas if you were more disciplined you'd have read all three in immediate succession?

Alchemy
07-26-2011, 07:04 PM
good luck getting past bananas


I just picked this up from the library yesterday. Looking forward to pretending I enjoyed it.

I'm about 300 pages in thus far. So far I've mostly enjoyed it. There were some sections that I forced myself through, but most of the sections have been funny and interesting. I love all the songs... It is a bit difficult to tell what is going on at times, but if you just keep going forward, it starts to make sense.

RageAgainstTheAoki
07-31-2011, 11:34 AM
Well, put me in the couldn't finish Gravity's Rainbow camp. Not because of Pynchon's writing, but because some joker tore out about 25 pages from the first third and replaced them with pages from what appeared to be a dismayingly specific guide on female self satisfaction. Or perhaps I just had the special edition.

So, instead, I moved on to Zadie Smith's On Beauty, which I absolutely loved. I can't believe I took so long to read one of her novels. You could probably encapsulate the plot for the entire novel in just a paragraph. Not much happens, but I was captivated throughout the whole thing. It's as much about how she tells the story as it is the story itself. I was struck by how authentic her voice was throughout the novel; whether we were in the thick of a Haitian street gang hustling on a busy street corner or in the middle of stuffy lecture on Rembrandt at an elite liberal arts college. I'm not doing a very good job of paying tribute to Smith's talent, but there are little set pieces throughout in which you're left almost breathless by how beautifully she unwound the truth or emotional core of a moment. She's also got a wicked sense of humor. While the novel centers on the disintegration of a marriage and on the fractured racial, class and spiritual identities of all of the members of that family, it's often really funny.

In the author's notes she pays tribute to E.M. Forster and this really does feel like her modern take on Howard's End with race and sexual politics thrown into the mix.

bmack86
08-01-2011, 11:13 PM
So, hey, Kazuo Ishiguro fans. What do you like, what do you love, what do you hate of his work? I recall Pot and Guedita mentioning The Unconsoled, and that was one of the more incredibly rich novels I've read. I'm mostly through with Never Let Me Go and it's pretty damn gripping as well.

Courtney
08-01-2011, 11:34 PM
Well, put me in the couldn't finish Gravity's Rainbow camp. Not because of Pynchon's writing, but because some joker tore out about 25 pages from the first third and replaced them with pages from what appeared to be a dismayingly specific guide on female self satisfaction. Or perhaps I just had the special edition.

So, instead, I moved on to Zadie Smith's On Beauty, which I absolutely loved. I can't believe I took so long to read one of her novels. You could probably encapsulate the plot for the entire novel in just a paragraph. Not much happens, but I was captivated throughout the whole thing. It's as much about how she tells the story as it is the story itself. I was struck by how authentic her voice was throughout the novel; whether we were in the thick of a Haitian street gang hustling on a busy street corner or in the middle of stuffy lecture on Rembrandt at an elite liberal arts college. I'm not doing a very good job of paying tribute to Smith's talent, but there are little set pieces throughout in which you're left almost breathless by how beautifully she unwound the truth or emotional core of a moment. She's also got a wicked sense of humor. While the novel centers on the disintegration of a marriage and on the fractured racial, class and spiritual identities of all of the members of that family, it's often really funny.

In the author's notes she pays tribute to E.M. Forster and this really does feel like her modern take on Howard's End with race and sexual politics thrown into the mix.

You should read White Teeth next, if you're digging Zadie. It was my favorite book that wasn't assigned as class reading, while I was in college.

guedita
08-01-2011, 11:36 PM
White Teeth is FAR better than On Beauty (which I also loved).

Courtney
08-01-2011, 11:36 PM
I agree.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-01-2011, 11:52 PM
So, hey, Kazuo Ishiguro fans. What do you like, what do you love, what do you hate of his work? I recall Pot and Guedita mentioning The Unconsoled, and that was one of the more incredibly rich novels I've read. I'm mostly through with Never Let Me Go and it's pretty damn gripping as well.

Love this thread. Always reminds me of books I mean to add to my 'to read' list. Ishiguro is definitely an author I need to explore soon.



You should read White Teeth next, if you're digging Zadie. It was my favorite book that wasn't assigned as class reading, while I was in college.


White Teeth is FAR better than On Beauty (which I also loved).

Thanks, ladies! Good to know. I'll definitely be checking out White Teeth in a book or two. Right now I'm on an Alan Hollinghurst kick. I'm reading The Spell. Too early to offer a verdict, but I so like his voice that even if this one turns out to be a bit of a dud, I'll still have had a good time reading it. I can't wait to read his new book, The Stranger's Child, which appears to have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize before even being released.


Joan Didion. Where to start? The Year of Magical Thinking?

menikmati
08-04-2011, 11:49 PM
Just finished another book on the Holocaust, this one being "Doctors From Hell" by Vivien Spitz (who was a court reporter for the Nuremberg trials). It pretty much strictly deals with the trials and details of the human experiments that went on at the concentration camps under the Nazi's watch, citing a lot of witness testimony.

It's pretty gruesome and sad/hard to read at parts...I won't go into any of the details (you can read all about the experiments/trials on wikipedia)...the thing is though, if you've read the wiki articles, then there really isn't much new to find in this book that hasn't been covered elsewhere, but that aside, it was interesting to hear it from the perspective of a woman in her early 20's, about as green as they get, and covering this for her first major trial reporting.

I think for my next book, I'm gonna tackle Lipstadt's "Denying the Holocaust".

GoodGirlGalaxy
08-05-2011, 12:03 AM
Just finished another book on the Holocaust, this one being "Doctors From Hell" by Vivien Spitz (who was a court reporter for the Nuremberg trials). It pretty much strictly deals with the trials and details of the human experiments that went on at the concentration camps under the Nazi's watch, citing a lot of witness testimony.

It's pretty gruesome and sad/hard to read at parts...I won't go into any of the details (you can read all about the experiments/trials on wikipedia)...the thing is though, if you've read the wiki articles, then there really isn't much new to find in this book that hasn't been covered elsewhere, but that aside, it was interesting to hear it from the perspective of a woman in her early 20's, about as green as they get, and covering this for her first major trial reporting.

I think for my next book, I'm gonna tackle Lipstadt's "Denying the Holocaust".

I had a professor that was pretty adamant to have us read a novel called Austerlitz which was an off-kilter interpretation of the Holocaust through the eyes of a Holocaust victim's son who made it out of Nazi territory before the concentration camps were in effect. W.G. Sebald has a weird way of going about this novel, namely that he omits interruptions. It'll seem like Book 18 (Penelope) of Ulysses in that sentences don't end for pages and pages, and to keep track of the young man's journey becomes a challenge of its own.

That said, I'm trying to plow through Infinite Jest by D.F.W. and I'm wondering, is there a sort of pay off to all this madness? Each chapter takes a dozen or so pages to really make sense and then the comedy ensues and then tragedy and comedy sort of intermingle into a sloppy but affecting prose but I still am left thinking: Where's this all going? Any spoiler-free feedback?

amyzzz
08-05-2011, 09:50 AM
That said, I'm trying to plow through Infinite Jest by D.F.W. and I'm wondering, is there a sort of pay off to all this madness? Each chapter takes a dozen or so pages to really make sense and then the comedy ensues and then tragedy and comedy sort of intermingle into a sloppy but affecting prose but I still am left thinking: Where's this all going? Any spoiler-free feedback?
You get a bigger picture as you read more of it. I finished the book this spring, and although a bit exhausting, it was ultimately rewarding. Just take your time reading it if you need to. MAKE SURE you read all the footnotes, especially that long one about all the movies Hal's father made.

chairmenmeow47
08-05-2011, 09:56 AM
recently finished "the time machine did it" by john swartzwelder. it was a super easy read, exceptionally hilarious and perfect for the past four weekends of road trips. if you love his simpsons episodes, you'll love this.

GoodGirlGalaxy
08-05-2011, 09:57 AM
That "movies Hal's father made" has been the only rewarding footnote so far. And the one about the hats. Thanks, amyzzz.

amyzzz
08-05-2011, 05:10 PM
Damnit, I wish I had the book with me to thumb through right now so I could point you to other footnotes. I will try to remember later. And HEY, search this thread for Infinite Jest; there should be other tips in here (from smarter people than I).

chiapet
08-05-2011, 05:33 PM
I just got back from the library with so many books in my satchel that I sort of strained my back carrying them home. Yay books.

Starting with Hideous Kinky which is really short, will probably read it before or after I go out tonight.

Alchemy
08-05-2011, 05:50 PM
Still reading Gravity's Rainbow, though at a much slower rate... Some of the sections I've run into haven't been too exciting.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-05-2011, 08:37 PM
I work near the Central LA Public Library in downtown. I just added the due dates for my books to my Outlook calendar. Wait... confessions thread?

So glad to have that... hunger to read again. Somehow I lost it. Last year I think I read maybe four books for pleasure the entire year. What a fucking philistine.

menikmati
08-05-2011, 09:27 PM
I've read 12 so far this year.

guedita
08-05-2011, 11:30 PM
Erik, is there a reason you are reading Holocuast related books? I've got some great recommendations, also some good Holocaust related theory if you're interested.

menikmati
08-05-2011, 11:39 PM
Erik, is there a reason you are reading Holocuast related books? I've got some great recommendations, also some good Holocaust related theory if you're interested.

No reason I guess, other than the topic just interests me, and it's just something I feel more people should be informed about. I'm always up for recommendations relating to it.

guedita
08-06-2011, 12:05 AM
A part of me still really considers redoing my masters/going back to grad school for Holocuast literature & theory because I love it, in particular the literature written by Holocaust survivors, in which there is a distinct, necessary, and I would argue inescapable blurring of linguistic reality related to the impossibility of recording an event so traumatic--Shosanna Feldman and Dori Laub's Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History sort of paved the way for that school of thought; Giorgio Agamben's Remnants of Auschwitz is also a great starting point if you're interested in theories of testimony and the Holocaust.

Books:
Elie Wiesel - Night (I know that a number of highschools assign this book, and I really think that anyone even remotely interested in the topic should read this. Make sure to get the newest translation by his daughter, Marion Wiesel, it's much more precise)

Imre Kertesz - Fatelessness - He won the Nobel Prize is 2002

Charlotte Delbo - Auschwitz and After - this is a mixture of both personal recollections and fiction; to the point where you can't even decipher the difference and neither can she, and it is fucking haunting

Lucie Auberac - Outwitting the Gestapo - this is actually a really adventurous read about her participation in lLa Resistance in France, and it's quite amazing how much she actually was able to do and get away with solely on the basis of her being a woman and thus unsuspected by the Gestapo

Ruth Kluger - Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered: This is a truly terrifying book to read in terms of her bluntness and honesty about who she became and who she blames for her experience. For me at least, it was the toughest to get through out of what I've listed.

And of course, I always recommend anything by Phillip Roth because I think he's great and I think everything he's written deals directly (even when it is noticeably abstract) with the Holocaust--but in particular if you're interested in a really confusing confrontation of what Jewish Identity is and how it reconciles itself because of the Holocaust, The Counterlife and really any of the Zuckerman novels are great.

guedita
08-08-2011, 11:20 PM
I finished Edith Wharton's Summer today. So far this summer I've also read:

Anil's Ghost - Michael Ondaatje
In Pharoah's Army - Tobias Wolff
The Thing Around Your Neck - Chimamanda Adichie
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Bossy Pants - Tina "Mothafuckin'" Fey

I'm going to start Tim O'Brien's July, July next. I have Catch-22 sitting on my nightstand and I'm 50 pages in but clearly I am procrastinating on getting into the thick of it.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-09-2011, 07:47 AM
I finished Edith Wharton's Summer today. So far this summer I've also read:

Anil's Ghost - Michael Ondaatje
In Pharoah's Army - Tobias Wolff
The Thing Around Your Neck - Chimamanda Adichie
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Bossy Pants - Tina "Mothafuckin'" Fey

I'm going to start Tim O'Brien's July, July next. I have Catch-22 sitting on my nightstand and I'm 50 pages in but clearly I am procrastinating on getting into the thick of it.


Thoughts on any of those? Especially Wharton, Ondaatje and Fey. As for Catch-22, I read it earlier this year. I loved it. But, yeah, for some reason it took me forever to get through it.

Anyone ever read a novel you know is mediocre simply because you love the author's voice? I just finished Alan Hollinghurst's The Spell. It's a novel about desire. It dances around the lives of three different couples all unevenly matched and always with one party far more in love with his partner than the other. I suppose it's a novel about the power of least interest. Anyway, it's a mess and a far more minor work than Hollinghurst's masterpiece, The Line of Beauty. And, yet... the scarily relatable way in which he describes the inner workings of these people's psyches or the throb of dance music in late 90s London clubs is, well, spellbinding.

Dogvolta
08-09-2011, 07:50 AM
Elie Wiesel's Night messed me up when I read it so many years ago. It was the heavy dose of the father/son relationship/tragedy that was a gut kicker for me.
I read Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil this past year. Whether or not it is a "good" book, it indeed is an interesting and unique spin on the Holocaust. Very slow start, but once things start to become apparent it becomes an easier read.

Due to the HBO craze, I decided to re-read Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings, and I just started reading Storm of Swords for the first time a couple days ago. I am thoroughly enjoying myself :)



...Anyone ever read a novel you know is mediocre simply because you love the author's voice? ..

Yes, basically anything and everything ever written by Steinbeck. His masterpieces aside, I love reading his "lesser" work for that exact reason.

SoulDischarge
08-09-2011, 08:12 AM
Seriously, Steinbeck laid down some of the most delectable, naturally flowing prose I've ever read. East Of Eden is one of the most beautifully written things I've come across.

I just started Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood, hoping to dedicate myself to reading quite a bit more, especially with the extra spare time on my hands. We'll see how that goes.