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Dogvolta
08-09-2011, 08:11 AM
East of Eden will always and forever be one of the greatest novels I have ever read. Each character was SO fleshed out and REAL.

amyzzz
08-09-2011, 09:29 AM
Try The Winter of Our Discontent by Steinbeck. Heartbreaking.

guedita
08-09-2011, 10:19 AM
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.



I'm a bit of a Wharton nerd so I enjoy any and everything of hers, even her works that undoubtedly could have used a bunch of editing. But, Summer is pretty concise and reads more like an extended novella than an outright novel. If you haven't read anything by her I wouldn't suggest it as a starting point because she's got better things out there, but if you like her style and typical content then it's a pleasing book.

I really loved The English Patient back when I read it in high-school but Anil's Ghost didn't catch my interest in the same way. I'm totally unfamiliar with the Sri Lankan Civil War that is sort of the basis for the novel and with the landscape and people, but rather than drawing me into the story I always felt at a distance...it felt overwrought most of the time.

Bossy Pants is BOSS. If you like Tina Fey you should of course read it.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-09-2011, 11:53 AM
I'm a bit of a Wharton nerd so I enjoy any and everything of hers, even her works that undoubtedly could have used a bunch of editing. But, Summer is pretty concise and reads more like an extended novella than an outright novel. If you haven't read anything by her I wouldn't suggest it as a starting point because she's got better things out there, but if you like her style and typical content then it's a pleasing book.

Bossy Pants is BOSS. If you like Tina Fey you should of course read it.

I have to admit, I've never read any Wharton. Sophie's choice for a Wharton noob: Age of Innocence v. The House of Mirth? This is veering a little off topic (sorry folks) but as a Wharton nerd, I wonder what you make of the film adaptations. Have you seen Terrence Davies' House of Mirth with Gillian Anderson? It's so beautifully done and Anderson is a knockout. Such a heartbreaking performance.

As for Bossy Pants, if you'd told me it was the worst thing you'd ever read, I'd still be putting a hold on it. Though, unfortunately, it looks like it's going to be a while before I get to it...

http://i52.tinypic.com/1z9nqa.jpg

chiapet
08-09-2011, 12:04 PM
^^ I freaking adore library browsing by internet. I keep looking at this thread thinking I should read the dozen books I have checked out before my other holds become available.

guedita
08-09-2011, 12:20 PM
Yes, I thought Terrence Davie's Age of Innocence was well done, even though I wasn't too crazy with the performance of the actor who played Selden. I honestly love House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence with equal vigor, so I couldn't advise you on which one to start with. I will say this though, people tend to misread House of Mirth quite frequently. So if you start, and you'd like some criticism to go along with the novel that might sort of lead you in a different interpretative direction, let me know.

atom heart
08-10-2011, 05:11 PM
I'm a year into reading the new translation of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Shit just got real.

Age of Innocence was required reading in high school, so at the time I was not too thrilled to read it and I found the discussions of society particularly hard to get through. Then I started reading Proust which turned into this humongous observation piece on French aristocratic society and some how I've managed to get this far.

Hannahrain
08-11-2011, 09:39 PM
I'm reading Frank: The Voice. I can't remember the last time I've found a book so poorly written so goddamn interesting. 800 pages of bad writing and fascinating subject matter.

Hannahrain
08-12-2011, 08:32 AM
This guy talks about Sinatra's penis for two and a half pages and also throws in some butt stuff. What is this I don't even.

I.F.A.
08-12-2011, 08:38 AM
Central LA Public Library in downtown.

That's always been one of my dream libraries to work in.

Dogvolta
08-12-2011, 10:34 AM
That's always been one of my dream libraries to work in.

Take drive to Cerritos and check out their library. I WISH I had a library like that as a child. I swear I would have never left.

Hannahrain
08-16-2011, 03:20 PM
Local stationer Scout Books (producer of small Field Notes/Moleskine Cahier style pocket notebooks) is doing a cute thing with some classic short stories:

http://www.scoutbooks.com/shop/american-shorts-subscription/

amyzzz
08-16-2011, 03:37 PM
WANT

GoodGirlGalaxy
08-16-2011, 03:43 PM
Read The Hunger Games Trilogy. Sucky.

Courtney
08-17-2011, 09:42 PM
Local stationer Scout Books (producer of small Field Notes/Moleskine Cahier style pocket notebooks) is doing a cute thing with some classic short stories:

http://www.scoutbooks.com/shop/american-shorts-subscription/

Aw, I love this. And only $30 for a subscription, including shipping! Fantastic.

Courtney
08-17-2011, 09:46 PM
On my book front, I recently finished Hemingway's final, unfinished novel Garden of Eden. It's fabulously trashy and full of lots of good gender-bending, erotic triangles and copiously luscious descriptions of food, alcohol and the sweet luxury of a life of leisure.

Right now I'm about half way through Sarah Thornton's Seven Days in the Art World. It doesn't provide much in the way of surprises to someone who has been working in the field for the past 10 years, but it might be of interest for more casually curious readers.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-28-2011, 11:32 PM
About half way through A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul. This book's a damn masterpiece. This is probably a shallow observation, but at times it reminds me of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. Naipaul may be a raging sexist, but he's a damn fine writer.

Alchemy
08-29-2011, 06:46 AM
I'm on the final section of Gravity's Rainbow.

So close!

JorgeC
08-29-2011, 02:27 PM
Just flew in to DC and got thru the first 200 pages of Games of thrones. Officially hooked.

Alchemy
08-31-2011, 02:22 PM
VICTORY!

I have finished Gravity's Rainbow. I was pretty much confused throughout the entire ride, but it was all well worth the time. I loved the ending, even though I'm not sure that I understand it - well, I'm not sure that I understand any of it. I need to read some papers on the book and see if some of my ideas are on track or not. My problem was that I would forget which characters were affiliated with which groups. And I'm not sure why some groups were involved with some things, or why some characters did certain things... It's a hell of a book...

amyzzz
08-31-2011, 04:17 PM
I felt that way after Infinite Jest.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-31-2011, 06:59 PM
Infinite Jest and Gravity's Rainbow are on hold for me at the library. Those two one after the other? Probably not the power move.

samiksha
09-01-2011, 09:20 AM
How many times must one person read Frederick Douglas? I'm about to do it for the fifth time. Do you guys ever reread books? There are some books I would like to reread, but I never have time. I end up having to on occasion because of school. I'm also going to be rereading The Awakening.

For pleasure right now I'm reading Naked Lunch, Nausea, Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams and Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. I read an excerpt from The Uncanny which I found really interesting so I thought I'd look over some other stuff, but the first 100 pages of Jokes has been filled with just categorizing a ridiculous number of jokes. Check out 20 pages of jokes about wordplay. Here's an example, but its not quite right so here's another one. Why show me the first one at all Sigmund. Why.

Naked Lunch I'm enjoying so far. I'm only about 30 pages in but I feel very sort of crowded when I read it. I can't wait to finish it.

I'd like to read Lacan but I can't find him in any bookstores so far. Yes, I could order it online, but I like frequenting those places and checking in.

chiapet
09-01-2011, 09:31 AM
I'm feeling a little guilty because I can't even seem to get through Game of Thrones. I have 3 library books checked out, all overdue, and I have no intention of returning them until I'm done. (I blame my library for capping overdue charges fairly low).

Alchemy
09-01-2011, 09:55 AM
Infinite Jest and Gravity's Rainbow are on hold for me at the library. Those two one after the other? Probably not the power move.

I've never read Infinite Jest, but if it's like Gravity's Rainbow, you'll probably want to put a light-reading buffer between the two. Gravity's Rainbow made my head feel heavy... but then again, now I feel as though I can read anything (except maybe Finnegan's Wake). I bought Against the Day... but I'm going to save that for next summer. I'm going to read Around the World in 80 Days next.


Naked Lunch I'm enjoying so far. I'm only about 30 pages in but I feel very sort of crowded when I read it. I can't wait to finish it.

I had to force myself through most of this book. Though, there are parts of the book that I really enjoyed... like some Dr. Benway parts... but that's a tough book to get to. I think a lot tougher than Gravity's Rainbow even, because Naked Lunch is a lot of the same over and over and over...

TomAz
09-01-2011, 10:12 AM
I've been reading this. I am enjoying it. I like rock bios though.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JAV28GtaYog/TiTZDF032-I/AAAAAAAAEys/O9njO-z_tD0/s1600/david%2Bbowie%2Bstarman.jpg

samiksha
09-01-2011, 12:58 PM
I had to force myself through most of this book. Though, there are parts of the book that I really enjoyed... like some Dr. Benway parts... but that's a tough book to get to. I think a lot tougher than Gravity's Rainbow even, because Naked Lunch is a lot of the same over and over and over...

Yeah, we'll see. Right now I'm just enjoying the language. Because of the classes I've been taking I've been reading recently published books where everyone is just trying to be clever and there's not much to distinguish the writing style of one author from another. And, you know, reading and writing so many academic critiques. It just gets boring.

Alchemy
09-01-2011, 03:05 PM
Bill Burroughs definitely has a voice of his own. I like his short stories and I also loved Junkie. I'm glad that I read Naked Lunch. It's just that, at the end of it, I sort of sighed and said, "It's over."

Hannahrain
09-04-2011, 09:09 PM
I'm putting this in here for the board's writers (at the eleventh hour - sorry) for lack of a more relevant-seeming place. McSweeney's is closing their annual column contest on Friday and the winners get $500 and a guaranteed year of publication on the site.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/our-3rd-annual-column-contest

RageAgainstTheAoki
09-05-2011, 12:59 AM
I work with a guy who used to be a regular contributor to McSweeney's. Funniest guy in the office by far.

Just finished A House For Mr. Biswas. One of the best things I've read in years. Dark, wickedly funny, strangely moving. Naipaul is quite a writer. Cracking open Gravity's Rainbow tomorrow. Hope I can make it through the whole thing.

Alchemy
09-05-2011, 07:20 AM
Just finished Around the World in 80 Days as part of my journey in collecting and reading the Classic Boys' Adventures - Penguin Books (http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/cs/uk/0/penguin_sets/classic_boysadventures.html). It was a funny and fun book. It was also my post-Gravity's Rainbow book, so it felt incredibly easy to read. I conquered it in just a few days, actually.

Next up, I'm going to read Haruki Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman short story collection.

chiapet
09-05-2011, 09:00 AM
Read Imperial Bedrooms on Saturday. It wasn't great, but it made me want to go back and re-read all of Ellis's other books. I'm reading Let the Right One In and Hideous Kinky right now. Neither is extremely engaging, but I'm trying to just push through them. Next up is the 2nd book of the Song of ice and Fire series and The Satanic Verses.

Alchemy - that story collection was really uneven... but there were some really beautiful stories in it that made it worth the read.

Courtney
09-08-2011, 06:41 AM
I love Alchemy's book choices.

Courtney
09-08-2011, 06:43 AM
I read Paul Auster's Travels in the Scriptorum on my flight from Honolulu to Houston last night. It's a quick 150 pages, and the majority of the book seems like it's building to something good, but in my opinion the ending was a bit of a disappointment. Not Auster's finest work.

guedita
09-08-2011, 08:08 AM
I feel like the last Auster I read was The Music of Chance and I was similarly disappointed. The New York Trilogy is dear to my heart, though.

guedita
09-08-2011, 08:17 AM
I'm reading Guy de Maupassant's Bel Ami, which is only further solidifying my admiration of his way with words. His short story "Claire de Lune" is my all time favorite. Also I guess it's getting released as a film this year starring Edward Cullen. Vampires Francaise.

Premium Roast
09-12-2011, 02:19 PM
On the Hemmingway tip right now. So far, and over half way through, 'A Call to Arms' isn't really making an impact the way 'Across the River..." did. Have 'Islands in the Stream' on tap after that.

Due to inventory control selling all my rock books if anyone is interested before I throw em up on eBay. Each is $8 with shipping cept for the Iggy and Suede which I guess are collectors items ($150?! Jeez. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Suede-Love-and-Poison-Authorised-Biography-/120767434286?pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item1c1e4cce2e ) and open to offers (take $20 each).

List: http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2010-2/1353915/IMAGE_156.jpg . All in good condition cept the Roses one is missing back cover. Book next to Andy Taylor's Wild Boys is 'Transformer' (Lou Reed).

Alchemy
09-13-2011, 08:49 PM
Alchemy - that story collection was really uneven... but there were some really beautiful stories in it that made it worth the read.

After finishing it, I kind of agree with you. I will say that I loved most of it though. As a collection, it seemed to just be a round up of stories, and perhaps, not something intended to be read all at once. It's my first Murakami. It did the trick. I really want to read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle now... I actually met this guy once who is friends with Murakami and goes to baseball games with him.


I love Alchemy's book choices.

:)

I like my reading list to cycle between a literary book, a genre book, short stories, and then back to a literary book. That way I don't fry my brain. I need to start adding non-fiction into this mix. I have some books on Lebanon that I want to read, but you know... that's not as fun. I just need to do it.




Next up, I'm going to visit one of my favorite writers, that good old boy, Jack Kerouac, with his ridiculous novel Visions of Cody.

RageAgainstTheAoki
09-14-2011, 12:44 PM
I'm just 90 pages into Gravity's Rainbow and I'm absolutely loving it. Yes, I think I have things figured out on page 80 and then on page 82 I have no clue what's going on; constant state of flux, but man, what a voice Pynchon has. I regret putting this off for so long. I guess I'm kind of surprised at how much I'm enjoying it. I figured this was the book that every cute, over-educated, craft-beer swilling, mustachioed twenty-something cherished so I'd probably find it cloying and inaccessible. Instead, I'm utterly charmed by the damn thing. Can't wait to be deeper in.

zircona1
09-14-2011, 01:04 PM
How many times must one person read Frederick Douglas? I'm about to do it for the fifth time. Do you guys ever reread books? There are some books I would like to reread, but I never have time. I end up having to on occasion because of school. I'm also going to be rereading The Awakening.

In college, I had three classes that had Heart of Darkness on the reading list. I dropped the third class partly b/c it was on there. I've never liked that book. The only books I've reread from cover to cover are Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Fast Food Nation and The Deep.

Currently reading the Steig Larsson trilogy, almost done with Played With Fire.

Alchemy
09-14-2011, 01:06 PM
Gravity's Rainbow gets better and better as you read further and further. So much insanity in that book.

RageAgainstTheAoki
09-14-2011, 10:57 PM
In college, I had three classes that had Heart of Darkness on the reading list. I dropped the third class partly b/c it was on there. I've never liked that book.

Yeah, I never cared for Heart of Darkness either. It's ubiquity on high school and college reading lists was damn annoying, too.




Gravity's Rainbow gets better and better as you read further and further. So much insanity in that book.

Noted!

Dogvolta
09-16-2011, 06:26 AM
Yeah, I never cared for Heart of Darkness either. It's ubiquity on high school and college reading lists was damn annoying, too.





Noted!

Throughout high school and getting a degree in English/Creative Writing in college I have somehow never been assigned to read that book in any class. Go figure.

chiapet
09-16-2011, 06:57 AM
Finally finished Let the Right One In. One of the most tedious books I've ever read. The first couple of chapters were sort of interesting, but it went downhill really quickly. Now, today, I need to finish Hideous Kinky and then I'm getting started on The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie) and the uhm 2nd book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Alchemy
09-16-2011, 01:56 PM
So, I decided Visions of Cody was not the kind of thing to read so soon after Gravity's Rainbow. I'm going with the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, instead.

zircona1
09-16-2011, 06:10 PM
Now, today, I need to finish Hideous Kinky and then I'm getting started on The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie) and the uhm 2nd book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

I tried reading The Satanic Verses twice and quit, I could not get into it at all.

chiapet
09-16-2011, 06:23 PM
What was your complaint of it? I've heard it's the least good of his works... but I haven't read anything he's written yet.

RageAgainstTheAoki
09-16-2011, 06:26 PM
Finally finished Let the Right One In. One of the most tedious books I've ever read. The first couple of chapters were sort of interesting, but it went downhill really quickly. Now, today, I need to finish Hideous Kinky and then I'm getting started on The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie) and the uhm 2nd book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Very curious about the Rushdie. I've only read one of his novels; need to dig deeper.



So, I decided Visions of Cody was not the kind of thing to read so soon after Gravity's Rainbow. I'm going with the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, instead.

Love love love Portrait...

TomAz
09-17-2011, 09:13 AM
so I picked up this book the other day, and just opened it

http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/imager/bob-mould-lets-the-light-come-through/b/original/3560472/5577/BobMouldBook71_resized.jpg

On the very first page -- 3rd paragraph of the preface -- he starts talking about attending, and playing, Coachella. He says he has attended every year since 2005. He talks about playing the Gobi tent in 2009. And he talks about getting kicked out of an all-male clothing optional Palm Springs resort that same weekend.

zircona1
09-17-2011, 12:05 PM
What was your complaint of it? I've heard it's the least good of his works... but I haven't read anything he's written yet.

I just thought it was boring, I couldn't really understand what was going on.

hools
09-17-2011, 12:12 PM
TomAz, that book sounds interesting, i'll have to check it out my next trip to B&N

anyways, all i've been reading lately are books for my english class. we're focusing on Michael Chrichton's work; just read Eaters of the Dead, and now on Jurassic Park. great reads so far, i like the differential point of views.

any Vonnegut/Palahniuk fans in here? they're two of my favorite authors, i was wondering if anyone could recommend an author with their dark humor/outrageous writing styles?

Devin the Dude
09-17-2011, 12:19 PM
Currently reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Thoughts on Douglas Adams?

guedita
09-17-2011, 12:25 PM
TomAz, that book sounds interesting, i'll have to check it out my next trip to B&N

anyways, all i've been reading lately are books for my english class. we're focusing on Michael Chrichton's work; just read Eaters of the Dead, and now on Jurassic Park. great reads so far, i like the differential point of views.

any Vonnegut/Palahniuk fans in here? they're two of my favorite authors, i was wondering if anyone could recommend an author with their dark humor/outrageous writing styles?

Bukowski, of course. Every read Bukowski. Even the ladies.

VigoTheCarpathian
09-17-2011, 12:41 PM
Bukowski for sure and also Burroughs and Dostoyevsky and Norman Mailer.

VigoTheCarpathian
09-17-2011, 12:46 PM
Or this book

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3fmbmaLi718/S7yD4jzoaRI/AAAAAAAABkk/yhcqPYfBixc/s1600/Vanity+Fair+Book.jpg

mountmccabe
09-17-2011, 02:53 PM
Currently reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Thoughts on Douglas Adams?

I find his work utterly hilarious. I would like to re-read that series again - it has been a long time! - as he is also imaginative and crazy, which goes well with the funny.

The first three books are amazing, the next one is quite good and Mostly Harmless is, well, an apt title.

The Original Radio Scripts (http://www.amazon.com/Hitch-Hikers-Guide-Galaxy-Scripts/dp/0330419579/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316298729&sr=8-1) are amazing (with fantastic commentary.) As are the actual radio shows. These came first, of course, and were done nearly off the cuff and he reworked where the story went when he wrote the books but these are no less funny.

The Infocom text-based computer game (http://www.douglasadams.com/creations/infocomjava.html) was quite amusing if more difficult to get through.

The BBC series had its moments but there the limitations (budgetary, mostly) are for me more distracting than charming.

The much more recent feature film had its moments as well but they muddled with things enough that it felt off for me much of the time.


His Dirk Gently books are quite good if in a slightly different vein.

Alchemy
09-17-2011, 05:53 PM
any Vonnegut/Palahniuk fans in here? they're two of my favorite authors, i was wondering if anyone could recommend an author with their dark humor/outrageous writing styles?

I'm sure you would enjoy Donald Ray Pollock's Knockemstiff. He's been on a book tour with Palahnuik. It's a pretty good book. Very dirty and dark. I had the great pleasure of reading it one week, and then the next week, hear him read one of the stories and then talk to my class about things - such as writing, publishing, the future... He's a nice guy, too. He signed all our books and then came out with us to our lovely bar.

hools
09-18-2011, 11:01 AM
Bukowski, of course. Every read Bukowski. Even the ladies.


Bukowski for sure and also Burroughs and Dostoyevsky and Norman Mailer.

definitely a fan of Bukowski. i loved Ham on Rye, i needa pick up his pieces on his views on women, ha

i have Naked Lunch by Burroughs, haven't delved into it just yet though. i'll give Dostoyevsky and Mailer a look at as well.


I'm sure you would enjoy Donald Ray Pollock's Knockemstiff. He's been on a book tour with Palahnuik. It's a pretty good book. Very dirty and dark. I had the great pleasure of reading it one week, and then the next week, hear him read one of the stories and then talk to my class about things - such as writing, publishing, the future... He's a nice guy, too. He signed all our books and then came out with us to our lovely bar.

very dirty and dark, just what i need haha :) thanks for all the recommendations y'all!

Devin the Dude
09-18-2011, 12:00 PM
I find his work utterly hilarious. I would like to re-read that series again - it has been a long time! - as he is also imaginative and crazy, which goes well with the funny.

The first three books are amazing, the next one is quite good and Mostly Harmless is, well, an apt title.

The Original Radio Scripts (http://www.amazon.com/Hitch-Hikers-Guide-Galaxy-Scripts/dp/0330419579/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316298729&sr=8-1) are amazing (with fantastic commentary.) As are the actual radio shows. These came first, of course, and were done nearly off the cuff and he reworked where the story went when he wrote the books but these are no less funny.

The Infocom text-based computer game (http://www.douglasadams.com/creations/infocomjava.html) was quite amusing if more difficult to get through.

The BBC series had its moments but there the limitations (budgetary, mostly) are for me more distracting than charming.

The much more recent feature film had its moments as well but they muddled with things enough that it felt off for me much of the time.


His Dirk Gently books are quite good if in a slightly different vein.

Useful information. Will be reading more of his works after I finish everything by Neil Gaiman (except those lame comics he writes).

Dogvolta
09-19-2011, 06:16 AM
Useful information. Will be reading more of his works after I finish everything by Neil Gaiman (except those lame comics he writes).

Neverwhere is easily one of my top reads, ever. I thoroughly enjoy all of his books.
And careful, don't knock Sandman. That series holds some of Gaiman's top notch stories. The depth, character arch, development, and grand scale of the all of the characters is superb.

TomAz
09-19-2011, 06:42 AM
TomAz, that book sounds interesting

so far (about 6 chapters in) I've gotten some insights but there's a fair mount of stuff that i'd have to say is pretty boring. "So then we went to (midsized midwestern city) and played a show in a little club called (whatever). After the show we hung out with (people i've never heard of) and they were really supportive." Typical memoir filler, I guess, but there seems more of it than the norm here.

Devin the Dude
09-19-2011, 10:33 AM
Neverwhere is easily one of my top reads, ever. I thoroughly enjoy all of his books.
And careful, don't knock Sandman. That series holds some of Gaiman's top notch stories. The depth, character arch, development, and grand scale of the all of the characters is superb.

It is impossible for me to get over any of the literary or otherwise cheesiness of Gaiman's comic book writing. Sandman is trash.

PotVsKtl
09-28-2011, 03:30 PM
It's now official--Stephen is working on Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. This weekend Steve read an excerpt from this at his appearance at George Mason University. They have given us permission to post their taping of the event here on Steve's site which we will do as soon as we receive the file. Dr. Sleep's plot includes a traveling group of vampires called The Tribe which is part of the passage he read from.

http://www.stephenking.com/index.html

amyzzz
09-28-2011, 03:36 PM
I SAW THAT ON THE TV IN MY WORK ELEVATOR. SO EXCITED!!

PotVsKtl
09-28-2011, 03:41 PM
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lnb4oyKlLt1qza0zy.jpg

RageAgainstTheAoki
09-28-2011, 03:44 PM
It will be a miracle if I finish Gravity’s Rainbow before my 2nd library renewal. Might have to buy this one. In other news, I’m now number 173 on the wait-list for Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants. 173. Ah, Los Angeles Public Library, it turns out that there is a limit to my love.

PotVsKtl
09-28-2011, 03:46 PM
It will be a miracle if I finish Gravity’s Rainbow
...

RageAgainstTheAoki
09-28-2011, 04:06 PM
Actually, I’m surprised to find that I'm really enjoying it. From everything I'd ever read about the book, I'd assumed I'd find it cloying and precious. Instead, I find it really engaging. Although, I have to admit, it’s unlike any other reading experience I’ve had. While I’m reading a passage, I find myself completely engrossed, but because of how Pynchon jumps all over the place I don’t find myself compelled to go back to the book regularly. I have to push myself to crack it open every day, but once I’m a few sentences in, I’m hooked again. Never quite experienced that before.

RageAgainstTheAoki
10-09-2011, 03:41 PM
I know this is probably more appropriate for that other thread, but no one talks about books and culture over there.




Librarians checked out in 'Men of the Stacks' calendar (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/29/librarians-men-of-the-stacks-calendar?newsfeed=true)

Group of male library workers bids to remake dowdy image of their profession with glamorous catalogue

Alison Flood
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 September 2011 09.01 EDT

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/BOOKS/Pix/pictures/2011/9/29/1317301234656/Men-of-the-Stacks-007.jpg

A group of male librarians is attempting to overthrow the cliché of the bespectacled, permanently shushing female library worker with the publication of a Calendar Girls-style calendar.

Featuring clothed as well as unclothed models, the "Men of the Stacks" 2012 calendar brings together 12 photographs of American librarians, from January's Zack (naked but for a strategically placed book, glasses, finger to his lips) to December's Gabriel (shirtless, brushing his teeth in the mirror). Its creators point out that the American library profession is 80% white and 72% female, with "tens of thousands of librarians expected to reach age 65 in the next five years".

"The Men of the Stacks project was first conceived a couple of years ago after learning of the publication of another library-themed calendar," they explain. "Our first reaction to that calendar? 'Well, cool but…where are all the men?'

"There is an entire population of professional librarians out there who disagree with the way the library profession is perceived in contemporary media outlets and in the historical consciousness of the American mind. Different people and different associations will use different means to try to change those perceptions. This is ours."

Von, a librarian, PhD student and June's (topless) model, said that "we can't just leave it to others to tell the people who we are; that's why the stereotypes about librarians continue to flourish. We have to be the ones to go out there and tell people who we are. It's not enough to complain about inaccurate images of librarians; we must be able to present alternative, positive images in movies, books and, yes, blogs." And, obviously, in calendars.

All proceeds from the $19.99 (£13) calendar will go to the It Gets Better project, an initiative established by author Dan Savage to let gay teenagers who are bullied about their sexuality know that life will improve.

Premium Roast
10-09-2011, 03:53 PM
won't be buying that. Good cause though.

menikmati
10-09-2011, 03:54 PM
It will be a miracle if I finish Gravity’s Rainbow before my 2nd library renewal. Might have to buy this one. In other news, I’m now number 173 on the wait-list for Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants. 173. Ah, Los Angeles Public Library, it turns out that there is a limit to my love.

You would actually sign up on a wait list for Tina Fey's book? Jesus Christ...

Hannahrain
10-09-2011, 04:10 PM
I know this is probably more appropriate for that other thread, but no one talks about books and culture over there.

That photo doesn't paint too accurate a picture of the rest of the calendar (http://menofthestacks.com/category/gallery). Goggly McDog's pretty cute, though.

chiapet
10-09-2011, 06:25 PM
I enjoy the winter months.

weeklymix
10-09-2011, 11:01 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51vd0w-viWL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/Worm-First-Digital-World-War/dp/1455825247)

RageAgainstTheAoki
10-10-2011, 01:09 AM
won't be buying that. Good cause though.

Nor will I. I have a couple of friends who are librarians. It just made me giggle thinking of them in this state.



I enjoy the winter months.

Ditto.



You would actually sign up on a wait list for Tina Fey's book? Jesus Christ...

If this is going to turn into one of those "women are inherently unfunny" things, no thanks.

Hannahrain
10-18-2011, 04:44 PM
John Hodgman's new book of nonsense is imminent and he's doing a tour with some pretty fucking spectacular guests. I can't really imagine that an evening in his presence would be anything less than delightful, so here's the tour information, ensmallened for reading ease and otherwise written in a truly infuriating style I pretend to tolerate because he's just so darn lovable:



TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, in BROOKLYN
At 8PM I will be appearing at THE BELL HOUSE
149 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

GUESTS shall include:
JONATHAN COULTON
PAUL RUDD
WYATT CENAC
DAVID REES
and CYNTHIA HOPKINS
TICKETS are $30
EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL courtesy POWERHOUSE ARENA.


—WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, in CHICAGO
At 8PM I will be appearing at the SECOND CITY ETC stage
1608 North Wells Street, Chicago IL

MY GUESTS shall include:
PETER SAGAL
MALORT
and MORE

TICKETS are $27 and are available by calling 312-337-3992.
EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL, courtesy THE BOOK STALL.



—THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, in ST. LOUIS
At 7PM I will be appearing at the MAD ART GALLERY, a former police station (!)
2727 South 12th Street, St Louis MO
TICKETS are $25

EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL, courtesy SUBTERRANEAN BOOKS.



—FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, in LOS ANGELES
At 8:30PM I will be appearing at LARGO AT THE CORONET
366 North La Cienega Boulevard, LA, CA

MY GUESTS shall include:
MR. PAUL F. TOMPKINS
MR. JOHN RODERICK
and MR. RICH SOMMER

TICKETS are $35

EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL, courtesy BOOK SOUP.



—SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6, in PORTLAND, OREGON
At 7PM I will be appearing at MCMENAMINS BAGDAD THEATER (sic)
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

MR. JOHN RODERICK shall be joining me again, among OTHER GUESTS.

TICKETS are $25

EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL, courtesy POWELL’S, of course.



—MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, in SEATTLE
At 7:30PM, I will be appearing at TOWN HALL
119 8th Avenue, Seattle WA
MR. JOHN RODERICK shall conclude his section of the tour with me here in his home city.

TICKETS are $25

EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL, courtesy THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK CO.



—TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, in AUSTIN, TEXAS
At 7PM I will be appearing at BOOK PEOPLE
603 North Lamar, Austin TX

I WILL BE JOINED by that prodigal son of Austin: NEAL POLLACK
AND THERE WILL ALSO be a mustache contest. FOR SERIOUS.

TICKETS go on sale November 1 and cost $25 for EXTREMELY LIMITED SEATING and a copy of the book THAT IS ALL.

$5 STANDING ROOM TICKETS will also be available, which $5 is applicable against the purchase of the book THAT IS ALL.



—WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, in DURHAM, NC
At 7:30 PM, I will be appearing at the DURHAM ARMORY
220 Foster Street, Durham, NC

MR. DAVID REES will also be talking and sharpening pencils as only he can.

TICKETS are $25

EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL, courtesy THE REGULATOR BOOKSHOP



—FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, in ASHEVILLE, NC
At 7PM, I will be appearing at the ASHEVILLE COMMUNITY THEATER
35 East Walnut Street, Asheville, NC

MY GUESTS shall be announced soon.

TICKETS are $30

EACH TICKET INCLUDES one copy of the book THAT IS ALL, courtesy MALAPROP’S



—MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, in MANHATTAN
At 7PM I will be appearing at BARNES & NOBLE in Union Square
33 East 17th Street, New York, NY

THIS EVENT IS FREE and requires no ticket. It would be nice if you bought a book, however.



—TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, in BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS, my home-town

At 6PM I will be appearing at The COOLIDGE CORNER Theater, WHERE ONCE I WORKED

290 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

TICKETS are $25

AND I CAN NOW ANNOUNCE that we will be joined by
MR. TED LEO of “T. Leo & the Pharmacists.”
YOUR FIRST TICKET includes a copy of the book THAT IS ALL. You may also by a SECOND TICKET without a book for only $5.

ALL BOOKS come courtesy of the BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH.



—ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, in SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA

At 8PM I will be appearing at the FITZGERALD THEATER

THIS PROGRAM will be a special presentation of the Minnesota Public Radio Program “WITS”

HOSTED BY JOHN MOE and musicked by JOHN MUNSON, and with special guests
JOHN DARNIELLE
KEVIN MURPHY and
BILL CORBETT

TICKETS are $23 for members and $25 for non-members.

BOOK ARE NOT INCLUDED in the price of the ticket, but will be available for sale at the venue via COMMON GOOD BOOKS.

MissingPerson
10-18-2011, 04:46 PM
Finally you two can run away together as destiny intended.

Hannahrain
10-18-2011, 04:59 PM
While I like the cut of that jib very much, I don't think it'd be fair to subject the rest of the world to the subsequent discussions that would inevitably somehow wind up on public radio. This week on Inexplicably Indulged Tedium: Hodgman and Rain go to Staples and discuss the pros and cons of different types of paper fasteners for three hours while chuckling at everything for no apparent reason! It's insufferable! Right after Science Friday.

Alchemy
11-01-2011, 07:39 PM
I'm 100 pages into Ulysses. Good time!

bmack86
11-27-2011, 08:22 PM
Anyone jumped into The Instructions by Adam Levin yet? It's a huge novel about a 10 year old Jewish-American super-genius with a messianic complex and (what seems to me) some severe anger issues. I started it yesterday and have had a hard time putting it down. The kid never comes across as a kid, which is a bit distracting, but I'm really enjoying the story and the characters so far. Delightfully odd.

ods..
11-27-2011, 08:43 PM
Anyone jumped into The Instructions by Adam Levin yet? It's a huge novel about a 10 year old Jewish-American super-genius with a messianic complex and (what seems to me) some severe anger issues. I started it yesterday and have had a hard time putting it down. The kid never comes across as a kid, which is a bit distracting, but I'm really enjoying the story and the characters so far. Delightfully odd.

Hate. Happens way too often in fiction.

bmack86
11-27-2011, 10:49 PM
Honestly, I don't think the kid is supposed to in this instance though. The way the character is written, he is supposed to be a hyper-aware kid who is (at very least convinced that he might be) an extremely developed jewish scholar.

roberto73
11-28-2011, 04:34 AM
Just finished Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, which is quite possibly the best book I've read in the last ten years. The book jacket summary makes it sound like it's all about music, which is what originally hooked me, but it's not really about music at all, at least not to the extent that the press implies. Instead, it takes two characters – a record exec and his assistant – and proceeds to tell their stories, as well as the stories of various people associated with them.

It's a lot of fun structurally. Each chapter focuses on a particular character, and then the next chapter deals with a different character from the previous chapter. It cuts back and forth in time, occasionally touching base with the two main characters, but the beauty of the book is that its trajectory is completely unpredictable. It actually resembles a series of loosely-connected short stories more than a traditional novel.

Attempting to summarize the book makes it sound sort of confusing, and by not getting into the details of the stories themselves it probably doesn't sound particularly interesting. But it's great, and the cumulative power of the individual threads – and seeing how they come together in the end – is pretty impressive.

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-28-2011, 07:13 AM
Just finished Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, which is quite possibly the best book I've read in the last ten years. The book jacket summary makes it sound like it's all about music, which is what originally hooked me, but it's not really about music at all, at least not to the extent that the press implies. Instead, it takes two characters – a record exec and his assistant – and proceeds to tell their stories, as well as the stories of various people associated with them.

It's a lot of fun structurally. Each chapter focuses on a particular character, and then the next chapter deals with a different character from the previous chapter. It cuts back and forth in time, occasionally touching base with the two main characters, but the beauty of the book is that its trajectory is completely unpredictable. It actually resembles a series of loosely-connected short stories more than a traditional novel.

Attempting to summarize the book makes it sound sort of confusing, and by not getting into the details of the stories themselves it probably doesn't sound particularly interesting. But it's great, and the cumulative power of the individual threads – and seeing how they come together in the end – is pretty impressive.


Nice. This one's on my list. I was looking for some light reading, so I'm starting Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking today.

Alchemy
11-28-2011, 11:24 AM
I just got that Jennifer Egan book for free when I went to Barns and Noble to pick up Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Karen Russel's Swamplandia. I heard Russel read the beginning of her book last year, and it seemed like it's pretty great - although, I've heard from some friends that it kind of drops off as you go further.

I'm still only about a fourth done with Ulysses though, so I still need to do that before I do anything else.

PotVsKtl
12-06-2011, 11:37 AM
IQ84? Anybody? Nobody?

zircona1
12-06-2011, 11:55 AM
I'm currently reading this, I saw it at a book sale for $0.50 and thought, "hmmm, this looks interesting."

http://i43.tower.com/images/mm100608534/timothy-leary-biography-robert-greenfield-paperback-cover-art.jpg

Premium Roast
12-06-2011, 12:35 PM
about to start 'A Hundred Camel Fuckers in the Courtyard' by Paul Bowles

JClemy
12-06-2011, 01:02 PM
I'm probably late to the party on this one but I've been reading Russel Brand's "My Booky Wook". He's actually quite intelligent and stupid at the same time. It's amazing what drug addicts can do when they put their minds to it.

It's quite funny. I definitely recommend checking it out.

frizzlefry
12-06-2011, 03:19 PM
Mudbound is a good read for anybody who enjoyed Grapes of Wrath. Had to read that for my War Lit class. It might be an unfair and crass comparison, they are written in different formats and concern rather different parts of American history. A bunch of the characters in Mudbound is like a darker and more flawed version of Grapes set during and after WWII. The characters are just as rich and more realistic as they are set against the macro effects of WWII on the home front. Oh, and racism is a theme in this too. Just wanted to advertise one of the better reads from my semester

MissingPerson
12-06-2011, 03:54 PM
I'm probably late to the party on this one but I've been reading Russel Brand's "My Booky Wook". He's actually quite intelligent and stupid at the same time. It's amazing what drug addicts can do when they put their minds to it.

It's quite funny. I definitely recommend checking it out.

It is, it's great. He's got a marvellous turn of phrase, I almost cried laughing more than once.

Alchemy
12-06-2011, 04:04 PM
Amazon has paperbacks of James Joyce's Dubliners on the cheap. I bought four copies and it cost me $6. I'm going to give them out to some people on Christmas.

jackstraw94086
12-06-2011, 04:11 PM
about to start 'A Hundred Camel Fuckers in the Courtyard' by Paul Bowles

you'd be wise to keep any insights you gain from this book to yourself.

Premium Roast
12-06-2011, 04:29 PM
We’ll see. After a slow turd of a Hemingway in ‘Islands in the Stream’, I’m giving Mr. Bowles another round. Enjoyed ‘Let It Come Down’ and ‘Sheltering Sky’. Also interested in picking up his recently released autobiographic ‘Travels’ collection.

Courtney
12-06-2011, 04:38 PM
Just finished Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, which is quite possibly the best book I've read in the last ten years. The book jacket summary makes it sound like it's all about music, which is what originally hooked me, but it's not really about music at all, at least not to the extent that the press implies. Instead, it takes two characters – a record exec and his assistant – and proceeds to tell their stories, as well as the stories of various people associated with them.

It's a lot of fun structurally. Each chapter focuses on a particular character, and then the next chapter deals with a different character from the previous chapter. It cuts back and forth in time, occasionally touching base with the two main characters, but the beauty of the book is that its trajectory is completely unpredictable. It actually resembles a series of loosely-connected short stories more than a traditional novel.

Attempting to summarize the book makes it sound sort of confusing, and by not getting into the details of the stories themselves it probably doesn't sound particularly interesting. But it's great, and the cumulative power of the individual threads – and seeing how they come together in the end – is pretty impressive.

I also read this last month. I picked it up at an airport because it was the only thing on the table that didn't look totally inane, so I didn't have high expectations. But it's actually excellent. I enjoyed the playful exploration of different writing styles and formats, and also the way that you could read it and sort of half pay attention and enjoy it, or pay a lot of attention and get quite a bit more out of it.

roberto73
12-06-2011, 05:48 PM
Courtney, I remember you chastising me eons ago when I was Board Member of the Week for not including any women in my list of favorite authors. Look at how much progress I've made in just five short years! From no authors to one book by one author. I'm a feminist icon.

Courtney
12-06-2011, 05:49 PM
Ha! Did I really? I don't even remember that.

Why is your member title foof?

roberto73
12-06-2011, 05:51 PM
Why is your member title foof?

You would have to ask someone in charge. It mysteriously changed and I'm still waiting for someone to explain the insult.

Courtney
12-06-2011, 05:52 PM
Mysterious insults? I don't know who could possibly be behind that. ;)

RageAgainstTheAoki
12-06-2011, 06:30 PM
I'm reading The Year of Magical Thinking right now. Oh Lordy is Joan Didion making me grateful to have all of my loved ones alive and well.

softbulletin
12-06-2011, 07:05 PM
Have you read any other Didion?

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is excellent as well.

Starraven
12-06-2011, 07:21 PM
I'm trying to read the girl with the dragon tattoo before the move comes out.

frizzlefry
12-06-2011, 07:54 PM
Amazon has paperbacks of James Joyce's Dubliners on the cheap. I bought four copies and it cost me $6. I'm going to give them out to some people on Christmas.

I wish you were my friend

bmack86
12-06-2011, 08:07 PM
IQ84? Anybody? Nobody?

I'm going to read it over my winter break hopefully. I've got to finish The Instructions first.

Alchemy
12-06-2011, 08:24 PM
I wish you were my friend

Haha. It's a cheap gift... or a priceless gift.

On a slightly bigger effort, I am going to give a close companion of mine a copy of The Crying of Lot 49. It will be delivered in a package envelope. The stamp will be a U.S. postal stamp with a black feather drawn in. The envelope will have written: REPORT ALL OBSCENE MAIL TO YOUR POTSMASTER. And, of course, inside will be a note, asking for sex (a threesome, preferred), and to get in touch with me through WASTE only.

-o-<]]

D.E.A.T.H.

Courtney
12-28-2011, 10:26 AM
Why is this Kindle (http://www.redtag.com/deal/804780822.aspx?uwb=DOTDR111228) only $69? Is there something wrong with it?

Hannahrain
12-28-2011, 10:28 AM
They're probably phasing out the keyboard model. That's the one I have, though, and I feel no need to upgrade to a new e-reader anytime soon even after checking out both the Touch and the Fire this past weekend (despite thinking the Fire is pretty cool as an entirely separate more-like-a-tablet thing).

JustSteve
12-28-2011, 10:34 AM
it's also a refurb.

chiapet
12-28-2011, 10:35 AM
Edit: I guess that's not exactly the one I have - I have the 3G one. No wi-fi. It's nice for travel but not so nice at home (I have to transfer stuff over via USB). I'd typed a long thing about it not working well with PDFs, charts/graphs, etc, too. Yea. I love it otherwise. ;)

zircona1
12-28-2011, 11:13 AM
My folks got me a Nook Tablet for my birthday.

Alchemy
12-31-2011, 12:10 PM
Even though I haven't finished Joyce's Ulysses (414/783), I've started to read Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad. I'm enjoying it so far. I'm 75 pages in. It's a nice change of pace from Ulysses, that's for sure. Ulysses has had some extraordinary parts, but not the part I'm currently in, which reads like a big legalese riddle. I peeked at the next section, and it also seems like it could make my brain explode, which is why I've decided to take a break from it.

RageAgainstTheAoki
12-31-2011, 12:27 PM
Ulysses is on my list. It's funny, I actually know the closing passage very well thanks to Kate Bush. I love what Joyce wrote about the word "yes".

Just finished The Year of Magical Thinking. It's been a busy month at work, so it took me forever to finish it. It was so clear-eyed, stark, unflinching. I guess with the subject matter (the death of her husband and the near death of her daughter) I was expecting it to be much more weepy. I'm glad it wasn't. It was probably much more affecting with Didion's somewhat cool approach than it would have been as a chest-pounding sob fest.

Courtney
01-01-2012, 10:14 PM
I just finished Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes, an irreverent history of Hawaii circa 1887.

I like Sarah Vowell. I like her writing I've heard on This American Life, and I liked hearing her speak when she came to the Hawaii Book and Music Festival last year. But here's the thing: this book was a disappointment. The passages on her experiences in contemporary Hawaii -- her interactions with Native Hawaiian activists and her recalling of pithy comments by her nephew Owen -- sing. But by the end of the book, the actual history-telling devolves into a prolonged and overly-laborious research report of whatever she spent all her time reading in the Mission Houses archives. I wish she could have maintained her snarky, acerbic voice throughout the book instead of noticing the rising page count half way through and then breathlessly racing pack in everything before the finish.

Alchemy
01-02-2012, 09:51 AM
Just finished Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad. I liked it, but I wasn't crazy about it. I'm a little baffled about how the Pulitzer works. I think I wasn't crazy about it, because it just reminded me of David Mitchell's books - especially his first novels, Ghostwritten, number9dream, and Cloud Atlas. She experiments with form like he does, although in slightly different ways. She also looks to the future like he did in Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas. The form of Egan's book is actually a lot like Ghostwritten.

But something that Egan did better than those three Mitchell books is making a lot of great characters. I loved most of them. Very few sections didn't move me a lot, but even then, I don't know if any sections fell flat. Like Mitchell, some of Egan's "futuristic" parts were the low points for me (the very last part, more so)... but Egan did have some of her best ideas in those parts. Mitchell's ideas of the future always felt too science-fiction, but Egan's is a bit frighteningly real. Of course, in Mitchell's defense, I'm thinking of Ghostwritten more than Cloud Atlas, and Ghostwritten was written about ten years before A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Whatever about that future stuff, though. It was the stories that took place now and in the past that I liked about Egan's book. There were some really great stories dealing with all the great topics, like death and love and failure and success. And, of course, the music is great. I think everybody on this board would appreciate how she writes about music.

I don't think I'd read it again, but I'm glad that I read it.

Courtney
01-02-2012, 03:21 PM
Phenomenally weird Baudelaire prose poem translated into a phenomenally weird youtube:

HzorawrVg3w

Courtney
01-03-2012, 10:56 AM
I finished Baudelaire's Twenty Prose Poems last night. I learned that my french is not nearly as good as it used to be.

VigoTheCarpathian
01-03-2012, 11:47 PM
I'm one third through Jane Eyre by Charlatte Bronte and so far it's about the most beautiful writing I've ever had the pleasure to read.

RageAgainstTheAoki
01-04-2012, 09:22 AM
Phenomenally weird Baudelaire prose poem translated into a phenomenally weird youtube:
HzorawrVg3w

Oh God that was dreadful. Brings to mind some of the misguided student film projects I was involved in back in college. I actually read a Baudelaire collection in college. The Flowers of Evil, I think. Some very sexually charged stuff as I recall. I'm sure it doesn't really compare to reading it in the original language, though.

boarderwoozel3
01-16-2012, 11:20 PM
bump

I'm reading Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. It's unbelievably informative. And yes, I'm a dork.

4356

bmack86
01-16-2012, 11:26 PM
I just read Habibi, the new graphic novel from Craig Thompson, the guy who wrote Blankets. It was pretty damn good, especially considering the themes he deals with in a graphic novel. I thought the imagery really added to the telling of the story, made it more weighty and real. Heavy themes and some really awesome qu'ranic stories.

roberto73
01-17-2012, 03:26 AM
Yesterday I finished reading Tom Perotta's Little Children. If you've seen the movie you know what you're getting, which probably sounds like an insult but is really a compliment directed to the folks who adapted the novel. The biggest difference is that Ronnie (the pedophile who lives with his mother) is much less sympathetic in the book. In fact, the one big change from book to movie deals with his character. In the film, for those who have seen it, Ronnie does something big toward the end – something horrific and over-the-top that acts as a catalyst for Larry the cop's partial redemption, as well as casting Ronnie as a pitiable, broken human. Know which scene I'm talking about? It's a showstopping moment, but it's not in the book. At all. The scene that is (and I won't give it away) is much more ambiguous (and therefore more realistic), but probably wouldn't have played as well on the big screen.

Anyway. For those who haven't seen the movie, Little Children is an effective take on the "look how fucked up suburbia is" genre. Perotta – in his typically dry, unadorned style – focuses on the immaturity of the characters and makes the case that no matter how old we get, we make mistakes because we're still essentially the same person we were at 10 years old.

I've also read a boatload of Young Adult Lit for work, the standout of which is called The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams. It's a troubling story about a young girl in a polygamist cult who learns she's going to be forced to marry her 60-year-old uncle. It's not at all lurid or sensational. Instead, there's a lot of good stuff in it about free will, loyalty, and the transporting power of literature. YA has seriously come a long way since the Hardy Boys.

weeklymix
01-17-2012, 06:19 AM
Name drop moment, my family is pretty good friends with the actor who played Ronnie. I know the scene you're talking about & read the book. Thought the exact same thing. Definitely not as explicit in the book.

chiapet
01-17-2012, 06:46 AM
I'm reading Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. It's unbelievably informative. And yes, I'm a dork.

4356

I hated that book so much. A lot of the ideas he tries to present as facts are... not. I've heard some of his other books are better, but I was so annoyed with him after Guns, Germs and Steel that I haven't picked up any of his others. :)

casey
01-17-2012, 07:52 AM
Name drop moment, my family is pretty good friends with the actor who played Ronnie. I know the scene you're talking about & read the book. Thought the exact same thing. Definitely not as explicit in the book.

He's Rorschach too, yeah?

I haven't read Little Children but I really, really loved how the film was done and since then the book has been on my 'need to read' list. Maybe after I finish A Visit from the Goon Squad...

OnlyNonStranger
01-17-2012, 08:23 AM
Dude i went to the bookstore and saw $35 coverprice and decided to put the book back... That's just OUTRAGEOUS!?! It's not like an oversized book with lots of glossy pictures... Not a textbook in college...

I called my local library and added my name to the short waiting list to check out the book instead
-shrugs-

I got it on my kindle for like $14. Pretty sweet as I have literally no space for a huge hardback book to be floating around my house after I've finished it. I still have to finish Inheritance, just to appease my high school self. Then I was thinking about rereading the Hobbit as I haven't read it since grade 9. Then who knows.

Hannahrain
01-17-2012, 08:33 AM
I just finished Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes, an irreverent history of Hawaii circa 1887.

I like Sarah Vowell. I like her writing I've heard on This American Life, and I liked hearing her speak when she came to the Hawaii Book and Music Festival last year. But here's the thing: this book was a disappointment. The passages on her experiences in contemporary Hawaii -- her interactions with Native Hawaiian activists and her recalling of pithy comments by her nephew Owen -- sing. But by the end of the book, the actual history-telling devolves into a prolonged and overly-laborious research report of whatever she spent all her time reading in the Mission Houses archives. I wish she could have maintained her snarky, acerbic voice throughout the book instead of noticing the rising page count half way through and then breathlessly racing pack in everything before the finish.

With the exception of Assassination Vacation, which I loved, I tend to find her a lot more enjoyable when she's discussing something she's very passionate about instead of something very heavily researched - she seems to allow herself a little more room for playfulness in the writing. Take The Cannoli is good, and contains some of the stories you've probably liked on the radio as well as others written in that same manner. Try that one.

Speaking of TAL contributors, the new Shalom Auslander book is imminent. I'm excited.

weeklymix
01-17-2012, 10:54 AM
Currently reading:
http://bookswithoutanypictures.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/demons.jpg

If you plan on reading any Bulgakov, Tolstoy, Pasternak, Gogol, Dostoevsky, or Chekhov please do yourself a favor and get the English translations by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. They really don't compare to anybody else.

boarderwoozel3
01-17-2012, 04:01 PM
I hated that book so much. A lot of the ideas he tries to present as facts are... not. I've heard some of his other books are better, but I was so annoyed with him after Guns, Germs and Steel that I haven't picked up any of his others. :)

O rly? I was under the impression that it's considered one of the seminal texts on the subject. Can you remember any specific parts of his argument that you objected to or any texts that provide alternative explanations?

VigoTheCarpathian
01-17-2012, 07:00 PM
The sex scene in Little Children. The sex scene. that damn sex scene.

RageAgainstTheAoki
01-17-2012, 07:45 PM
Business trip all this week. I'm finally in St. Paul after nearly 4 hours of delays on connecting flights. The good news? Someone left a copy of Bossypants in the beside table drawer. Bible's still there. This is the perfect kind of light reading I could use this week. Looking forward to some... LOL?

chiapet
01-17-2012, 09:09 PM
O rly? I was under the impression that it's considered one of the seminal texts on the subject. Can you remember any specific parts of his argument that you objected to or any texts that provide alternative explanations?

It's been ages since I read it (like almost 15 years) - we read it during my undergrad (in biological anthropology), and at the time, I was far more familiar with the topics at hand than I am (or recall) now -- so I don't remember the specifics. My main objection that so very much of the book is not factual (he presents his ideas -- that's fine -- but offers little/no evidence), yet he writes in a way that clearly is intended to make the reader believe that the information is proven. It's a non-fiction book yet has no direct references cited? (He includes a list of "further reading" which does not make direct citations and does not state which information he obtained from which texts). His suppositions were, largely, poorly thought out and ill-supported, and trying to backtrack the sources he claims to have used to prove his statements is nearly impossible. That alone prevents me from taking his work seriously.

I looked at it as miscategorized fiction, and something that was intended to be consumed by a casual reader, not as a scientific read. It irritates me that he got a Pulitizer in non-fiction for it. :)

Suppose at some point I should re-read it and see if it still bothers me so much, but I'm kind of unwilling to do so....

Alchemy
01-19-2012, 04:14 PM
I scored some excellent first edition hard cover copies of Don Delillo's Underworld, Libra, and Mao II on eBay today - the whole bundle for $26. I'm excited. I really enjoyed White Noise.

Alchemy
01-25-2012, 09:41 PM
I've been reading The Broom of the System (about halfway through). This is my first David Foster Wallace. I didn't realize how great of a writer he is. The first section of the book was so tense and crazy... Really good stuff. After I finish it, I'm going to continue with Ulysses. I've gone too far to abandon it.

SoulDischarge
01-29-2012, 03:34 PM
I have a $50 B&N gift card that I've been to indecisive to spend yet (I bought the latest Amy Sedaris book but I'm going to return it as there's not a whole lot of content in it). I don't really like buying novels since I can always get them from the library and don't re-read stuff often enough to warrant buying a book at full price. I was thinking of picking up some short story collections so I could soak them up over time. Any suggestions? I'd prefer longer collections by masters of the form, or if you know of any good anthology books. I already have collections by Lovecraft, Flannery O'Connor, Borges, Poe, Kafka.

fatbastard
01-29-2012, 03:41 PM
Just finished Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad. I liked it, but I wasn't crazy about it. I'm a little baffled about how the Pulitzer works. I think I wasn't crazy about it, because it just reminded me of David Mitchell's books - especially his first novels, Ghostwritten, number9dream, and Cloud Atlas. She experiments with form like he does, although in slightly different ways. She also looks to the future like he did in Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas. The form of Egan's book is actually a lot like Ghostwritten.

But something that Egan did better than those three Mitchell books is making a lot of great characters. I loved most of them. Very few sections didn't move me a lot, but even then, I don't know if any sections fell flat. Like Mitchell, some of Egan's "futuristic" parts were the low points for me (the very last part, more so)... but Egan did have some of her best ideas in those parts. Mitchell's ideas of the future always felt too science-fiction, but Egan's is a bit frighteningly real. Of course, in Mitchell's defense, I'm thinking of Ghostwritten more than Cloud Atlas, and Ghostwritten was written about ten years before A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Whatever about that future stuff, though. It was the stories that took place now and in the past that I liked about Egan's book. There were some really great stories dealing with all the great topics, like death and love and failure and success. And, of course, the music is great. I think everybody on this board would appreciate how she writes about music.

I don't think I'd read it again, but I'm glad that I read it.

I sat in the back of the geffen contemporary yesterday and watched a bunch of videos from punk artists performing at the mabuhay gardens.

roberto73
01-29-2012, 04:28 PM
I was thinking of picking up some short story collections so I could soak them up over time. Any suggestions? I'd prefer longer collections by masters of the form, or if you know of any good anthology books. I already have collections by Lovecraft, Flannery O'Connor, Borges, Poe, Kafka.

Some off my shelf, in order of personal preference: Carver, Hempel, Hemingway, Faulkner, Cheever.

Alchemy
01-29-2012, 07:30 PM
I would second Hemingway. He has amazing short stories... Chekhov is often considered the "master of the form," and for good reason... I recently read Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and loved it. I don't know how it stands amongst his other stuff, because it's all I've read of his - so far - but I really enjoyed it... I would also recommend George Saunders' Pastoralia, which pretty much sealed the deal on my wanting to be a writer. His other books are good, but that one is the best one.

Hannahrain
01-30-2012, 12:32 PM
I'm not very well-read when it comes to the world of short stories, but I really like Shalom Auslander's short stories (Beware of God is the collection title) and am very much looking forward to picking up his new novel (Hope: A Tragedy). I also bought on impulse Ben Loory's Stories For the Nighttime and Some for the Day last week after reading a review that said "If Mother Goose and Philip K. Dick had a love child and Richard Brautigan raised him in Watermelon Sugar, he might write stories like Ben Loory." If it's true, it's a damn good thing that never happened because holy fucking bloody hell, this book is garbage. He's got sentence flow like a crate of rusty hammers.

Hannahrain
01-30-2012, 12:34 PM
Also would have accepted "like a hate of crusty rammers."

Premium Roast
01-30-2012, 12:43 PM
picked up Paul Bowles 'Travels' book just finishing off the "Batism of Solitude" chapter the other day. Hope to experience it this summer in egypto. Also interesting, and funny, when he descibes natives dancing and celebrating the rain...even if it ends up flooding them.

le bapteme de la solitude

"Immediately when you arrive in the Sahara, for the first or the tenth time, you notice the stillness. An incredible, absolute silence prevails outside the towns; and within, even in busy places like the markets, there is a hushed quality in the air, as if the quiet were a conscious force which, resenting the intrusion of sound, minimizes and disperses sound straightaway. Then there is the sky, compared to which all other skies seem faint-hearted efforts. Solid and luminous, it is always the focal point of the landscape. At sunset, the precise, curved shadow of the earth rises into it swiftly from the horizon, cutting it into light section and dark section. When all daylight is gone, and the space is thick with stars, it is still of an intense and burning blue, darkest directly overhead and paling toward the earth, so that the night never really grows dark.

You leave the gate of the fort or town behind, pass the camels lying outside, go up into the dunes, or out onto the hard, stony plan and stand awhile, alone. Presently, you will either shiver and hurry back inside the walls, or you will go on standing there and let something very peculiar happen to you, something that everyone who lives there has undergone and which the French call le baptême de la solitude. It is a unique sensation, and it has nothing to do with loneliness, for loneliness presupposes memory. Here, in this wholly mineral landscape lighted by stars like flares, even memory disappears; nothing is left but your own breathing and the sound of your heart beating. A strange, and by no means pleasant, process of reintegration begins inside you, and you have the choice of fighting against it, and insisting on remaining the person you have always been, or letting it take its course. For no one who has stayed in the Sahara for a while is quite the same as when he came.

Perhaps the logical question to ask at this point is: Why go? The answer is that when a man has been there and undergone the baptism of solitude he can't help himself. Once he has been under the spell of the vast , luminous, silent country, no other place is quite strong enough for him, no other surroundings can provide the supremely satisfying sensation of existing in the midst of something that is absolute.

He will go back, whatever the cost in comfort and money, for the absolute has no price."

SoulDischarge
01-30-2012, 05:04 PM
I ended up getting collections by Chekhov, O. Henry, Faulkner, and Cheever.

Alchemy
01-30-2012, 05:44 PM
Good ones. I've never read any O. Henry. Cheever's "The Swimmer" is a classic short story - one that is discussed in every creative writing class, I'm sure. Does your Chekhov have "The Husband"? I don't know if that one is included in many of the collections, but it is fantastic.

roberto73
01-30-2012, 05:48 PM
When it comes to short story collections, I was completely remiss in not mentioning Harlan Ellison's The Essential Ellison. I've sort of outgrown him, but that book is in the top five books that directed my trajectory as reader.

ods..
01-30-2012, 05:54 PM
When it comes to short story collections, I was completely remiss in not mentioning Harlan Ellison's The Essential Ellison. I've sort of outgrown him, but that book is in the top five books that directed my trajectory as reader.

YES.

My aunt gave me a signed copy for one of my bdays. Amazing.

SoulDischarge
01-31-2012, 02:58 AM
I read The Road in a day and a half. It was pretty bleak and pretty good. I'm just happy to be caught up with the zeitgeist of 5 years ago.

Hannahrain
02-02-2012, 01:49 PM
There's a new collection of previously unpublished Vonnegut (While Mortals Sleep) as of last week or so. I'm not starting it yet since I can pick up my ordered book club book tomorrow, but the first page of the first story feels immediately very Breakfast-y, which is a good sign. I didn't read the last posthumous collection, but I really liked Armageddon in Retrospect. Anybody else grab this or plan to? Thoughts?

zircona1
02-02-2012, 05:37 PM
Currently reading:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QRdzkaIzwSg/TvsaMBYylZI/AAAAAAAAA5k/kACXaHfUiO4/s1600/i-want-my-mtv-book-p.jpg

Alchemy
02-06-2012, 08:32 PM
I finished David Foster Wallace's The Broom of the System. I thought it was alright. It had an awesome start, but it didn't do much for me down the road. By the end, I was just trying to finish it.

Premium Roast
02-08-2012, 07:38 AM
ordered this last night for "name your price" niner. Have the prior one that went to '59.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41v8GBxHuiL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

roberto73
02-12-2012, 02:20 PM
Blasted through Dave Eggers' Zeitoun, which was heartbreaking and enraging. I knew about the effects of Hurricane Katrina in an abstract way (news coverage of floods, looting, etc.), but Eggers' painstaking research and interviews with the title family brought it home in a way I never expected. And it certainly sheds some light on why we needed to be a little more outraged at Obama's recent decision re: the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. If Zeitoun teaches us anything, it's that it's all too possible.

Now I'm going to dive into Gravity's Rainbow, which I fully expect to still be wading through a year from now.

RageAgainstTheAoki
02-12-2012, 03:44 PM
Now I'm going to dive into Gravity's Rainbow, which I fully expect to still be wading through a year from now.

Let us know how you're doing with it. I was reading it in December, but didn't finish it before my extended library loan was over. I had a strange experience with the book. Every time I picked it up, it only took me a paragraph or two to get completely enraptured again. But, the second I put it down, I was never compelled to pick it up again. Even though I only made it less than half-way through (thus far), I'm still convinced that it's one of the most brilliant things I've read. I'm going to go back to it when done with the January book club selection and The Handmaid's Tale.

softbulletin
02-12-2012, 06:08 PM
I read Gravity's Rainbow in the first couple weeks of January. It's one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Definitely a chewy read at points, but very satisfying, even if I got lost more than a few times.

Just finished The Marriage Plot by Eugenides, it started slow, but when he gets into the Foster Wallace doppelganger's story more in-depth, it picks up. Really liked the ending as well.

Started Portnoy's Complaint today, and it's hilarious.

Alchemy
02-14-2012, 05:57 PM
I read Gravity's Rainbow over the summer and loved it (parts of it, at least, as I read - but by the end, the whole of it).

I am going to resume Joyce's Ulysses. 414 pages down, 369 pages to go...

Hannahrain
02-14-2012, 06:14 PM
Local stationer Scout Books (producer of small Field Notes/Moleskine Cahier style pocket notebooks) is doing a cute thing with some classic short stories:

http://www.scoutbooks.com/shop/american-shorts-subscription/

They've finished this series and now are selling a boxed set. My paypal finger is itchy.

http://www.scoutbooks.com/shop/good-ink-american-shorts-box-set/

I also sort of want one of the tiny bound copies of the Constitution, but they only come in sets of three. Three Constitutions is too many.

RageAgainstTheAoki
02-15-2012, 11:04 PM
Starting The Handmaid's Tale tonight. Excited!

bmack86
02-15-2012, 11:30 PM
I loved that book.

Alchemy
02-16-2012, 08:30 AM
It was the only book I enjoyed back in high school English, when I hated to read.

roberto73
02-16-2012, 09:11 AM
Let us know how you're doing with it. I was reading it in December, but didn't finish it before my extended library loan was over. I had a strange experience with the book. Every time I picked it up, it only took me a paragraph or two to get completely enraptured again. But, the second I put it down, I was never compelled to pick it up again. Even though I only made it less than half-way through (thus far), I'm still convinced that it's one of the most brilliant things I've read. I'm going to go back to it when done with the January book club selection and The Handmaid's Tale.

I'm a little over 100 pages into Gravity's Rainbow, and this is more or less how I feel. It's clearly brilliant, and I'd forgotten how funny Pynchon is, but I find it an easier book to admire than to love.

Alchemy
02-16-2012, 09:32 AM
Keep at it and force yourself onward. As you approach the end, many of the wild mysteries start to unravel, and it keeps getting better and better.

RageAgainstTheAoki
02-23-2012, 11:28 AM
I'm almost done with The Handmaid's Tale. Absolutely loving this book. Literally couldn't put it down last night. Stayed up way past my bedtime devouring chapter after chapter. If the books I have on hold don't become available this week, I think I'm going to move on to some Virgina Woolf. Where should one start? Mrs. Dalloway?


Hopefully Guedita won't yell at me for this one...

http://aestheticoctopus.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/three-woolf-tshirt1.jpg

MoSetsfire
02-23-2012, 11:41 AM
I just got done reading The Savage city. it was fantastic.

http://www.amazon.com/Savage-City-Race-Murder-Generation/dp/0061824550/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330029674&sr=8-1

Alchemy
02-23-2012, 12:15 PM
If the books I have on hold don't become available this week, I think I'm going to move on to some Virgina Woolf. Where should one start? Mrs. Dalloway?

I had started Mrs. Dalloway, enjoyed it, and yet I did not finish it. (It was during undergrad, and I was just really busy.) But yeah, I think that one is probably the place to start.

RageAgainstTheAoki
02-25-2012, 11:44 PM
Thanks, Alchemy. Finished The Handmaid's Tale earlier today. Probably the best book on heterosexual dating I've read. I had to force myself to stop reading it before bed or I'd end up staying up all night. Will definitely be reading more Margaret Atwood in the future. Has anyone seen the film adaptation? I'm going to check it out; especially since Harold Pinter wrote the screenplay. It probably read a bit differently in a post 9/11 world than it did when originally published.

mountmccabe
02-26-2012, 06:09 AM
Virginia Woolf has some very good short fiction; that might give you a good feel. "Monday or Tuesday" (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29220) more or less shows her mature style.

I did not love Mrs Dalloway but it is quite wonderful and I should probably revisit it at some point. To The Lighthouse is longer and denser and one of my favorite books ever. I also love The Waves but that one has even less to grab on to so I wouldn't start there.

hippityhip
02-27-2012, 07:14 AM
Recent books I've read:
Just Kids - Patti Smith
Rant - Chuck Palahniuk
Soledad Brother - George Jackson
Post Office - Charles Bukowski
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

All amazing reads especially the last one by Junot; don't sleep on that one.

RageAgainstTheAoki
02-27-2012, 07:22 AM
You and Mr. Diaz on a first-name basis? ;)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is on my list -- looking forward to it.

hippityhip
02-27-2012, 09:08 AM
You and Mr. Diaz on a first-name basis? ;)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is on my list -- looking forward to it.

Haha I really enjoyed this book and hope you do too. Very funny and well written. It will make you into a believer of Fukú.

Hannahrain
02-27-2012, 09:17 AM
I enjoyed it, too, though it's been a while. I think it was still new when I read it. I remember it getting a lot of criticism that seemed to stem more from the fact that it became a bestseller than what was actually going on between the covers.

Alchemy
02-28-2012, 08:21 PM
I am getting some John Carter of Mars books tomorrow. I am severely lacking in science fiction and fantasy books, and since I'm a fan of adventure novels, it seemed good to start with some Edgar Rice Burroughs. I'm going to guess that those books are more adventure than science fiction, but perhaps that will ease the transition. The only science fiction novel I've read is Solaris and the science fiction segments in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten. Solaris changed my life... As far as fantasy, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings a very long time ago, and I recently read A Game of Thrones - the latter was quite addicting. I've also read a lot of H. P. Lovecraft, which sort of seems to resemble fantasy at times.

Are there any fun genre books like this that you all recommend?

hippityhip
02-28-2012, 09:24 PM
I am getting some John Carter of Mars books tomorrow. I am severely lacking in science fiction and fantasy books, and since I'm a fan of adventure novels, it seemed good to start with some Edgar Rice Burroughs. I'm going to guess that those books are more adventure than science fiction, but perhaps that will ease the transition. The only science fiction novel I've read is Solaris and the science fiction segments in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten. Solaris changed my life... As far as fantasy, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings a very long time ago, and I recently read A Game of Thrones - the latter was quite addicting. I've also read a lot of H. P. Lovecraft, which sort of seems to resemble fantasy at times.

Are there any fun genre books like this that you all recommend?

Here are my recommendations my friend:

Do read the Hithhiker's guide series. It is composed of six books. I've had the pleasure of reading 5 of the six. They are by the author Douglas Adams. Very funny and awesome reads. Margin the robot is my favorite. Don't let the shitty hitchhikers movie fool ya.

For something more serious and really good try these three books. Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars all by Kim Stanley Robinson. They are about terraforming Mars. Sorry I'm typing this on my phone so can't get I to too much detail but look them up yourself. You might enjoy these reads. These three books won a bunch of awards back when they were written in the early 90s if I remember correctly.

Hope this helps!

ods..
02-28-2012, 09:30 PM
Getting so much good reading done this semester. I love my class on Milton. Halfway through Paradise Lost... amazing as fuck.

ods..
02-28-2012, 09:30 PM
I ended up getting collections by Chekhov, O. Henry, Faulkner, and Cheever.

Niiiiiiice. Love all these... Chekhov is definitely one of my all-time favorites

hippityhip
02-28-2012, 09:31 PM
Sorry for all the typos stupid auto correct. I also meant Marvin the robot not margin. Also a good transition book would be the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Can't go wrong with Bradbury.

bmack86
02-28-2012, 09:31 PM
Yesterday I re-finished A Confederacy of Dunces. Last time I read it I was 16, I'm 26 now, and it was every bit as fascinating as I remembered. What I didn't remember was how, every single page, I would laugh out loud at the incredible dialect and fantastic descriptions of characters and locations. It's one of the best books I've read, and if you haven't done so, you really should.

And now I'm re-reading Nadja by Andre Breton. It's so beautifully written and completely surreal.

ods..
02-28-2012, 09:34 PM
Yesterday I re-finished A Confederacy of Dunces. Last time I read it I was 16, I'm 26 now, and it was every bit as fascinating as I remembered. What I didn't remember was how, every single page, I would laugh out loud at the incredible dialect and fantastic descriptions of characters and locations. It's one of the best books I've read, and if you haven't done so, you really should.

And now I'm re-reading Nadja by Andre Breton. It's so beautifully written and completely surreal.


YESSSSS. Bmack i'm convinced we have nearly the same taste. Incredible. Love that fucking book, laugh at loud at every page. I also tell every person I meet to read it.

caeden
02-28-2012, 09:37 PM
i tried to read a confederacy of dunces in high school, but couldn't really get into it. i should retry it sometime here in the semi-near future

Alchemy
02-29-2012, 08:30 AM
Here are my recommendations my friend:

Do read the Hithhiker's guide series. It is composed of six books. I've had the pleasure of reading 5 of the six. They are by the author Douglas Adams. Very funny and awesome reads. Margin the robot is my favorite. Don't let the shitty hitchhikers movie fool ya.

For something more serious and really good try these three books. Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars all by Kim Stanley Robinson. They are about terraforming Mars. Sorry I'm typing this on my phone so can't get I to too much detail but look them up yourself. You might enjoy these reads. These three books won a bunch of awards back when they were written in the early 90s if I remember correctly.

Hope this helps!

Thanks! The Hitchhiker's Guide series sounds very promising. I believe Barns & Noble has all the series compiled into one of their leather-bound tomes. I'll have to pick that up. I recently got their H. P. Lovecraft one, and it's nice to have a book that has all the stories together.

Those books about terraforming Mars seem especially cool. I like the covers they have on the wikipedia page.

mountmccabe
02-29-2012, 08:50 AM
Those are both great.

They couldn't be further apart, though, which is awesome. The best of the Douglas Adams is some of the funniest stuff I've ever read; he is wildly inventive and doesn't let anything get in the way of a joke/good story. The KSR novels are gigantic in scope, well detailed and near-Hard Sci-Fi (that is, he tries to take the science seriously.)

If you are looking for more I might push Philip K Dick (darker, often more psychological and paranormal than science-obsessed, VALIS and Martian Time-Slip are my favorites,) Greg Egan (definitely Hard Sci-Fi, very mathy; Diaspora is my favorite but it might be a tough first-approach to his quantum ontology work, Permutation City might be an easier place to start) and Robert Heinlein (his mid to late Period work was insane; he was a little preachy with his counter-culture/non-conformist ideas but they make great books. I'd push The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress first.)

Alchemy
02-29-2012, 08:56 AM
Excellent, thanks! I've read Phillip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, which I thought was good.

SoulDischarge
02-29-2012, 09:14 AM
Anyone who doesn't love Confederacy can go fuck themselves.

chiapet
02-29-2012, 09:52 AM
I'm reading Reamde right now (Neal Stephenson). Trying to figure out what books to take on my upcoming trip.

ods..
02-29-2012, 11:05 AM
Anyone who doesn't love Confederacy can go fuck themselves.

...the dude masterbates to his dog, he loves it so much....

Comic gold right there

algunz
02-29-2012, 11:26 AM
A Confederacy of Dunces is easily in my top 10 favorite books. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. :lool

zircona1
02-29-2012, 11:48 AM
I wasn't crazy about A Confederacy of Dunces, the only thing I laughed at was where he was talking about how every home should have a torture chamber.

zircona1
02-29-2012, 11:49 AM
Getting so much good reading done this semester. I love my class on Milton. Halfway through Paradise Lost... amazing as fuck.

I took a Milton class in college, it ended up being one of the best courses I ever took.

bmack86
02-29-2012, 12:09 PM
I wasn't crazy about A Confederacy of Dunces, the only thing I laughed at was where he was talking about how every home should have a torture chamber.

Seriously, every single time Jones shows up I was crying with laughter. Woah!

downingthief
02-29-2012, 12:15 PM
Getting so much good reading done this semester. I love my class on Milton. Halfway through Paradise Lost... amazing as fuck.

I still love Paradise...I have a copy that was published in 1875, and is in amazing condition. One of my fave possessions.

downingthief
02-29-2012, 12:17 PM
Those are both great.

They couldn't be further apart, though, which is awesome. The best of the Douglas Adams is some of the funniest stuff I've ever read; he is wildly inventive and doesn't let anything get in the way of a joke/good story. The KSR novels are gigantic in scope, well detailed and near-Hard Sci-Fi (that is, he tries to take the science seriously.)

If you are looking for more I might push Philip K Dick (darker, often more psychological and paranormal than science-obsessed, VALIS and Martian Time-Slip are my favorites,) Greg Egan (definitely Hard Sci-Fi, very mathy; Diaspora is my favorite but it might be a tough first-approach to his quantum ontology work, Permutation City might be an easier place to start) and Robert Heinlein (his mid to late Period work was insane; he was a little preachy with his counter-culture/non-conformist ideas but they make great books. I'd push The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress first.)

You and I have had this discussion before...Valis is indeed great, but it did take me awhile to get into it. So much so, I had to start the book over again after being almost half way into it. Once I did that, I was hooked.

ods..
02-29-2012, 02:15 PM
I still love Paradise...I have a copy that was published in 1875, and is in amazing condition. One of my fave possessions.

Ooooo, that sounds like a sick book. I would love an old copy... especially since my anthology is now covered in notes.

Still can't really fathom that Milton wrote Paradise as a blind man. Dictating it to his daughter. Like what?

hippityhip
02-29-2012, 08:13 PM
Still can't really fathom that Milton wrote Paradise as a blind man. Dictating it to his daughter. Like what?

Word?! That's super gangster.

amma_sol
02-29-2012, 08:14 PM
If anyone is a YA book fan they should check out The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

Alchemy
02-29-2012, 08:54 PM
I did 100 pages of A Princess of Mars today. It's fantastic. I will definitely check out John Carter at the movies, even though the trailers have discouraged me a lot.

roberto73
03-01-2012, 03:06 AM
If anyone is a YA book fan they should check out The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

Tell me more. I read a lot of YA for work, but the cover (which I am, despite the old saying, judging the book by) doesn't look like it would appeal to me.

I'm about halfway through Gravity's Rainbow. I enjoy it in the moment, but I have to admit that it always feels like a chore when I think about picking it up again.

Alchemy
03-03-2012, 08:50 PM
A Princess of Mars was a great read. I'm going for the long haul in finally finishing Joyce's Ulysses.

RageAgainstTheAoki
03-08-2012, 04:23 PM
My doctor told me my blood pressure was too low, so I read this book.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Sm1yjSCTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


Problem solved.

RageAgainstTheAoki
03-20-2012, 08:18 AM
I had to read a ton of white papers and research reports over the last couple of weeks. I needed something light after all of that. In my defense, let me preface this by saying that I work at a media company and publishers send us dozens of new books every week in the hope of getting reviews or mentions. And on that ever growing pile of new books I fished out Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars by Scotty Bowers. Bowers is an octogenarian retiree, former WWII vet and, according to his book, the greatest sex worker in Hollywood history. The book is easily the trashiest, most lurid thing I've ever read. It's filled with the most explicit and ridiculous anecdotes which defy reason. He claims he chose to write the book only after all of the subjects had died and when he was close to the end himself. He claims that from the late 40s to the early 80s he worked as an escort and a... facilitator for some of the biggest stars of screen, stage, and the literati. Some of the claims include...

Setting Katherine Hepburn up with over 150 women.
Having a threesome with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor
Sleeping with an often drunk Spencer Tracy
Hooking Cole Porter up as the lone bottom in 10-man orgies
That Charles Laughton had an appetite for post-coital "Nutella" sandwiches
...and on and on and on.



It's ridiculous and 99% of it is unverifiable (a few things get verified, like the the longtime partner of Raymond Burr confirming that Bowers set him up with the Perry Mason star), but it's a good trashy read.

Hannahrain
04-12-2012, 06:19 PM
Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall is very interesting, for the interested. I'm impressed by Frank Brady's ability to portray Fischer's intertwined brilliance and repugnance without favoring one over the other, particularly given that they were personally acquainted.

RageAgainstTheAoki
04-18-2012, 11:39 PM
Just finished White Teeth, Zadie Smith's celebrated debut novel about racial identity, class and assimilation in post Colonial Britain. It's pretty astonishing to me that a 24 yr old wrote such a fantastic book. No wonder she was the new wonder kid novelist in the early part of the century. She definitely wears her influences on her sleeve -- especially EM Forester. And after recently reading that Nabokov (and Pnin especially) was one of her favorite authors, the influence there is also apparent. I think what she shares most in common with these authors is a biting, but sensitive wit and an incredible ear for different voices. Every voice in this book whether Benghali, Jamaican, cockney, middle class, academic, religious or some combination thereof, feels authentic. She casts a wide net with the characters of three wildly different British families and yet every single person feels so real to me.

I actually went backward and read her most recent novel, On Beauty last year. While White Teeth is an astonishingly good debut novel for any age, to me, On Beauty is a thing of wonder. It's a more mature work than White Teeth. The only downside is that it's very similar to White Teeth. There are so many parallels in themes (racial divide, class distinction, cultural clashes, religion vs academia, the "street" vs classroom) that after reading White Teeth, On Beauty doesn't seem quite as brilliant. That being said, if you haven't read Smith and you're thinking of picking up one of her books, I'd go with On Beauty.

Apparently, Smith is also a creative writing professor at NYU. Man, I'd love to sit it on one of those classes.

Next, I'm diving into Nabokov's Pale Fire. Only my second Nabokov after Pnin. It's probably criminal that I haven't done Lolita yet, but I just can't resist finding out what became of our dear Professor Pnin. (no spoilers, please)

lehorne
04-19-2012, 12:21 PM
Forgot my book at home while driving out to Palm Springs on Easter Sunday and had fifteen minutes to buy something before Barnes closed at 6pm. Up & down the fictional author aisles at a high pace looking for familiarity, without knowing whom or what to choose. Don't normally do short stories, but purchased 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' by Hemingway as I figured short stories would be good by the pool in between dips and I already knew what I was getting with him. Didn't know that the film 'The Killers' was based on his short until a couple paragraphs in, so that was a nice side surprise. Overall some of the stories were hit or miss, but it did the job the following day.

Alchemy
04-19-2012, 05:10 PM
Just wait until you hit the last story in that collection. It might be my favorite short story of all time.

lehorne
04-21-2012, 02:21 PM
a wife, not figuratively, blowing the head off her husband while on African hunting safari? Didn’t do much for me. Sometimes women are better left at base camp.

Alchemy
04-21-2012, 05:57 PM
What!? That is such a fantastic story (and not because the wife shoots her husband - though that is icing on the cake).

RageAgainstTheAoki
04-29-2012, 11:24 PM
Just finished Nabokov's Pale Fire. I can see why Larry McCaffery gave it the top spot in his Greatest Hits: 100 English Language Books of Fiction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_Century%E2%80%99s_Greatest_Hits:_100_English-Language_Books_of_Fiction) list, which he compiled in response to the Modern Library's top 100. I probably wouldn't give it the same ranking, but I really enjoyed it. It's quite unlike anything I've read. If Pnin gave us the unreliable narrator, then Pale Fire gives us the delusional and probably criminally insane narrator. It's great fun (you can tell that Nabokov took enormous pleasure in writing this one) and a wonderful little puzzle that's fairly easy to solve because our narrator is, well, a nutcase. A really, really gay nutcase, too -- in case you're into that kind of thing.

Bottom line, if you enjoyed Pnin, I think you'll really like this book. Speaking of Professor Pnin, he does make the briefest blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance, but you won't learn anything new about him. The book would be a great achievement for any writer, but considering that English was Nabokov's third language, it's a wonder. The man was clearly a genius. I'll definitely be reading more Nabokov after this, but next I'm on to A Confederacy of Dunces.

Hannahrain
04-29-2012, 11:36 PM
I don't know that English was exactly his "third" language - I'm pretty sure he was raised in a multilingual household and grew up speaking it. Not that I'm saying the book isn't impressive. It really is.

RageAgainstTheAoki
04-30-2012, 09:06 AM
Appears you're right, Hannah. Silly assumption, I suppose. It appears he was triilingual from an early age.

cosmia
04-30-2012, 05:08 PM
Currently reading Breakfast with Socrates and Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women.

Alchemy
04-30-2012, 07:56 PM
I've been reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It's amazing.

hippityhip
04-30-2012, 08:19 PM
I'm on a Bukowski binge right now. Currently reading Factotum.

bmack86
04-30-2012, 10:30 PM
I've read some winners recently. In the last month I tore thru Lamb by Christopher Moore (Fantastic, laugh out loud novel about Jesus), The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Incredibly stark and agonized telling of the year after Didion's husband died, most of which their adult daughter spent in intensive care) and Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan (One of the best things I've ever read, a spectacular collection of essays by a great new voice.) I'm currently reading Satantango by Laszlo Krasznahorkai. I just reached the end of the first half, was just blown absolutely away by the last chapter. In ones past, it's focused on one or two narrators building towards a common goal of meeting at the bar to wait for some arriving people. In the last chapter, the narrator swirls from one person to the next in a fevered pitch as they wait for the arriving folk in common. The constant motion is done very deftly, considering this is a translation, and I really highly recommend tracking this down already. Can't wait for the second half.

Oh, and look up Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan. It's great. Like really great.

ods..
04-30-2012, 10:32 PM
Lamb is a fucking riot. The best Christopher Moore novel by far.

bmack86
04-30-2012, 10:45 PM
I read it on a plane, and people were looking at me because I was laughing so much.

But seriously everyone, read Pulphead. It's a fantastic collection of essays that start as completely random but start to link into a loose story about how we digest information and how little we actually understand about what's happening around us. I loved each essay, and the way they're arranged makes for a fantastic larger statement on the idea of how we look at our world currently. As a bonus, the essays are frequently hilarious and always on creatively captivating topics. Most memorable were the ones on the Christian Rock fest, the profile of Axl Rose and the one where he goes with archaelogoists/anthropologists through underground caves in Tennessee(?) where ancient native american tribes painted some really wild and amazing tribal art. You like reading? You'll like this.

juloxx
05-01-2012, 08:48 AM
Was thinking of picking up "The Illuminatus" trilogy today. Is this recommended? Have any of you read it?

zircona1
05-01-2012, 11:31 AM
I'm reading Blood Meridian. I really like the writing and the descriptions of the brutality, but I'm having trouble keeping track of the characters and how many of them are in the party besides Toadvine, the kid, the judge, etc.

One great thing about e-readers (or at least the Nook) is that if there's a word you don't know, you can just highlight it and press a button that brings up its definition. I've been doing it quite a bit with BM.

Alchemy
05-01-2012, 01:05 PM
I had the same problem with Blood Meridian. It took me a while, but eventually I got the hang of who everybody was. It's a great book. It's crazy, because despite all the ongoing brutality and violence, there were still later parts in the book that made me feel terrible. It doesn't allow you to become numb.

lehorne
05-01-2012, 01:16 PM
Bukowski binge

How apropos. Drank from his cup a few years ago.

And bought that book you guys were raving up a few pages back. ‘Confederacy of Dunces’ and it better be fucking funny. Or I’m suing GV.

guedita
05-01-2012, 01:34 PM
I'm on a Bukowski binge right now. Currently reading Factotum.

One of my favorite quotes of his, taken from Tales of Ordinary Madness


I had this suicide complex and these heavy depressive fits and I couldn't stand crowds of people and, especially, I couldn't bear standing in a long line waiting for anything. And that's all society is becoming: long lines and waiting for something.

RageAgainstTheAoki
05-01-2012, 02:19 PM
How apropos. Drank from his cup a few years ago.
And bought that book you guys were raving up a few pages back. ‘Confederacy of Dunces’ and it better be fucking funny. Or I’m suing GV.

Reading it right now, actually. I was equally skeptical because just about everyone I know over 7 raves about it. That always makes me a tad suspicious. They're right, though. I'm only 1/3 of the way through and it is just pure joy. Stayed up way past my bedtime last night devouring chapter after chapter. You'd have to be a total clod not to enjoy it.

lehorne
05-01-2012, 06:39 PM
Well, well, what a coinkidink.

Other things are lined up now, so think I’m going to save it for air travel this summer. Some light, cheery fare to pass the time as I am generally not very comfortable on planes*. Commercial Aircraft, shitholes with wings.

*Unless I get fed drinks. Hey, there’s Part II of the plan!

ods..
05-01-2012, 06:41 PM
All this talk about Confederacy of Dunces has me wanting to read it again. I'll pick it up sometime this summer, once finals are over. Most hilarious book I've ever read... Disgusting and out there and everything I like in literature.

RageAgainstTheAoki
05-01-2012, 06:47 PM
Have the Confederacy of Dunces fans on here also read Neon Bible?

ods..
05-01-2012, 06:54 PM
Yep. Also good, but not nearly as polished. Understandable since he wrote Neon when he was like 16 I believe?

Hatinisbad
05-01-2012, 07:21 PM
Just finished reading The Lean Startup. It was OK, some good ideas on creating a successful startup but not one of my top 10 business books.
Just started reading A Game of Thrones, pretty good so far

Hatinisbad
05-01-2012, 07:25 PM
I'm reading some crazy fantasy epic by Stephen R Donaldson about a leper. I think it's called Lord Foul's Bane. I hate the book, but my husband loves the damn series so much that I should probably at least finish the first book in the series.

I read these in college. One of my favorites series. But because of a terrible scene near the beginning of the book between the main character and a young girl I can't recommend it.

hippityhip
05-01-2012, 09:28 PM
One of my favorite quotes of his, taken from Tales of Ordinary Madness "I had this suicide complex and these heavy depressive fits and I couldn't stand crowds of people and, especially, I couldn't bear standing in a long line waiting for anything. And that's all society is becoming: long lines and waiting for something."

So damn good.

RageAgainstTheAoki
05-12-2012, 04:22 PM
Loved Confederacy of Dunces. Everything you guys said was true. Though I did think the last 1/5th of the book kind of floundered. I just started The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, which won him the Booker prize a couple of years ago. Enjoying it so far. Appears to be a wicked, funny and unflinching look at lower class life in modern day India.

On Thursday I was dragged to a reading of the Aloud series at the LA Central Library. Firstly, feel like such a fool, but I had no idea the library was that big. We just kept walking and waking until we were much deeper in the building than I'd ever been. I guess I just visit the front desk and the main fiction/lit section on the top floor. Was wondering why a major city's library seemed so small. Anyway, the author being interviewed was graphic novelist and cartoonist Alison Bechdel. I have no interest in comic culture nor have i read a graphic novel, but the experience changed my mind. She was funny, insightful and almost awkwardly earnest. The discussion focused on her new book which is about her relationship with her mother, but her first book Fun Home sounds really interesting. It's a graphic memoir about her father's double-life as a closeted gay man who committed suicide after she came out as a lesbian. She showed slides from both books and it was really interesting to see how she left some things unsaid and let the images continue the story.

zircona1
05-13-2012, 10:29 AM
I found a used copy of Johnny Cash's Man in Black at a record store not too long ago. Since it was only $5 and out of print, I bought it. I'll probably be reading that next.

Alchemy
05-15-2012, 08:16 PM
This will probably do better here than with its own thread:

IT'S RAINING DIPLOMATIC MEXICAN WRITERS

Goodbye, Carlos Fuentes...

Carlos Fuentes, The Art of Fiction No. 68 (http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3195/the-art-of-fiction-no-68-carlos-fuentes#.T7K1AzUvJrs.twitter)

caeden
05-16-2012, 06:55 PM
This will probably do better here than with its own thread:

IT'S RAINING DIPLOMATIC MEXICAN WRITERS

Goodbye, Carlos Fuentes...

Carlos Fuentes, The Art of Fiction No. 68 (http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3195/the-art-of-fiction-no-68-carlos-fuentes#.T7K1AzUvJrs.twitter)

not gonna lie... i thought he was already dead

Jman4321
05-16-2012, 08:05 PM
Just finished Nabokov's Pale Fire.

I find Pale Fire astounding. The fact that he wrote the poem in the beginning as well, which is really fucking good, is always something that impresses me. Go for Speak, Memory next. It's an autobiography that works with the same kind of unpacking of memory and unreliability that Pale Fire does.

algunz
05-17-2012, 08:57 AM
This will probably do better here than with its own thread:

IT'S RAINING DIPLOMATIC MEXICAN WRITERS

Goodbye, Carlos Fuentes...

Carlos Fuentes, The Art of Fiction No. 68 (http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3195/the-art-of-fiction-no-68-carlos-fuentes#.T7K1AzUvJrs.twitter)

I was surprised there hadn't been any mention of this yet. I should have known to come here first. RIP :(

RageAgainstTheAoki
05-17-2012, 11:41 AM
I find Pale Fire astounding. The fact that he wrote the poem in the beginning as well, which is really fucking good, is always something that impresses me. Go for Speak, Memory next. It's an autobiography that works with the same kind of unpacking of memory and unreliability that Pale Fire does.

It's on my GoodReads list. Thanks!

bmack86
05-22-2012, 12:31 AM
Tonight I read John Fante's Ask the Dust. The foreward is from Bukowski, describing how it was THE pivotal novel in shaping his writing style. Those familiar with Bukowski can definitely see it. Fante's writer is more manic than Chinaski, but he nevertheless embodies a certain idyll of the novelist working for his craft. It's fitting that this would be the first one Bukowski read, as he mirrored it in his first novel, Post Office. In both, the character/author has a few published works and is doing menial labor (or nothing) and scraping by through bars in LA. In both, they bang chicks out of their league and then get drunk, act like assholes and then succeed/fail simultaneously. Both end in similar fashion. And, both are brutally well written. If you are a Bukowski fan, I highly recomind reading Ask the Dust. If you like LA fiction, ditto. And, basically, if you like blunt, well written fiction, it's worth your time.

SoulDischarge
05-22-2012, 12:54 AM
We had to read that for my shitty film school English class and I fucking loved it. We also had to read The Alchemist though, which is still the shittiest book I've ever read.

Poor Yorick
05-22-2012, 01:22 AM
I just finished my first Nabokov -- The Pale Fire. It is, without a doubt, unlike anything I've ever come across. The meta-aesthetics at work in the text (or the '3 texts' - prologue, poem, commentary) contain some of the most mind-bending literary dynamics I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

As a personal introduction to this thread, here are my 10 favorite pieces of literature (too early to add the aforementioned text):

1) In Search of Lost Time by Proust
2) Ulysses by Joyce
3) Infinite Jest by DFW
4) Twilight of the Idols / The Anti-Christ by Nietzsche
5) The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevky
6) The Fall by Camus
7) The Denial of Death by Becker
8) The Sound & The Fury by Faulkner
9) The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro
10) Kafka On The Shore by Murakami

RageAgainstTheAoki
05-23-2012, 02:08 AM
Yeah, I really enjoyed Pale Fire as well. [Minor spoiler ahead...] But once it was pretty obvious that we were dealing not only with an unreliable narrator but a delusional and even deranged narrator, it felt like we weren't going anywhere. Everything was beautifully and elaborately composed, though. Don't know if you caught this, Poor Yorick, but we actually had a book club for Nabokov's Pnin (http://www.coachella.com/forum/showthread.php?51874-Pnin-February-2012-Book-Club-Discussion&highlight=pnin) earlier this year. Perhaps not a resounding success, but it was fun to try and figure the puzzle out with everyone as we went along. I still can't believe I haven't read Lolita. It's on the list, but I try to avoid doing back-to-back with authors.

Ulysses and The Sound & The Fury are two of my favorites as well. Remains of the Day and Infinite Jest are on the 'to read' list for sure.

Poor Yorick
05-24-2012, 09:20 PM
I'm pretty sure I already complimented you on the username, but once again, *standing ovation*. You should think about embarking on the literary journey that is Infinite Summer[.org]. Besides all the great secondary criticisms, analyses, interviews, et cetera et cetera , there's a few really helpful tips and strategies to reading the novel that will really enrich the experience. I couldn't agree with you more about Pale Fire: While it is a compelling, thought-provoking, and even ground-breaking text from an academic (re: completely cerebral) perspective, the story sort of plateaued around the middle [SPOILER ALERT] when it's suggested that Botkin & Kinbote are (most likely) one-in-the-same and that we're (probably) dealing with a paranoid schizophrenic.

I did not catch the Pnin book club, but I'll be reading it after I complete Lolita this weekend. (I actually prefer to read works by the same author back-to-back). I studied the novel college (without reading it) and figured it was about time I opened it up. To sum up my experience with the text thus far in a single word: stimulating. I feel complicit in the dirty deeds of our narrator when I say a text has never aroused me more in my life.

bmack86
05-24-2012, 11:02 PM
I just finished reading Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson. It's a collection of short stories about heroin addicts, and it's really compelling. He has a very direct style, and the stuff the people get into is pretty intense. There are a few characters with clear mental illness that he really brings to life. I would highly recommend it.

RageAgainstTheAoki
05-24-2012, 11:14 PM
I'm pretty sure I already complimented you on the username, but once again, *standing ovation*. You should think about embarking on the literary journey that is Infinite Summer[.org]. Besides all the great secondary criticisms, analyses, interviews, et cetera et cetera , there's a few really helpful tips and strategies to reading the novel that will really enrich the experience. I couldn't agree with you more about Pale Fire: While it is a compelling, thought-provoking, and even ground-breaking text from an academic (re: completely cerebral) perspective, the story sort of plateaued around the middle [SPOILER ALERT] when it's suggested that Botkin & Kinbote are (most likely) one-in-the-same and that we're (probably) dealing with a paranoid schizophrenic.

I did not catch the Pnin book club, but I'll be reading it after I complete Lolita this weekend. (I actually prefer to read works by the same author back-to-back). I studied the novel college (without reading it) and figured it was about time I opened it up. To sum up my experience with the text thus far in a single word: stimulating. I feel complicit in the dirty deeds of our narrator when I say a text has never aroused me more in my life.


You are mad as the sea and wind when both contend, PY. I hate this long, unwieldy username, but I'm stuck with it now. It was just a strong reaction to that cretin's appearance with the Bloody Beetroots back in '09. Anyway, I much prefer my other username, BROKENDOLL.

Thanks for the tip on infinitesummer.org - bookmarked it for later.

I just finished The White Tiger which was a total blast. Highly recommended if you're looking for a breezy, darkly funny quick read. It captures the dark underbelly of Indian society in the age of globalization. It's also kind of an antidote to the usual romance associated with the sub-continent -- no swirling saris, fragrant mangoes and spiritual enlightenment by the Ganges in this one. I'm starting The Stranger's Child, the new Alan Hollinghurst novel, tomorrow. Really looking forward to this one, though I can't imagine Hollinghurst ever surpassing the brilliant The Line of Beauty.

roberto73
05-25-2012, 02:30 AM
I just finished reading Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson. It's a collection of short stories about heroin addicts, and it's really compelling. He has a very direct style, and the stuff the people get into is pretty intense. There are a few characters with clear mental illness that he really brings to life. I would highly recommend it.

Good to know you liked this. I read Johnson's Tree of Smoke a couple months ago and thought it was fantastic. Set during the Vietnam War it's sort of a treatise on loss – loss of life, loss of conviction, loss of loyalty, loss of spirit – and has some amazing stretches of battle-weary dialogue that practically beg to be read aloud. I've got Jesus' Son on my shelf but all I know about it is I saw the movie years ago when it was in theaters and vaguely remember liking it.

I've read a bunch of stuff since I last posted something here. The standout is probably James Ellroy's Blood's a Rover. Ellroy needs to be experienced by everyone at least once. His prose is like a shot of pure adrenalin – it makes the hard-boiled noir of Hammett and Chandler look as ornate and ostentatious as Austen and Brönte. The plot of Blood's a Rover is almost beside the point – it's the third part of a trilogy that does audacious, exciting things with American history. In this case we get Howard Hughes' takeover of Vegas; the aftermath of the JFK, RFK, and MLK assassinations; political revolution in the Dominican Republic and Haiti; J. Edgar Hoover's paranoia of Communists and black militant groups; and a little dose of voodoo to spice things up. It's seriously exciting stuff.

hippityhip
05-25-2012, 05:52 PM
Tonight I read John Fante's Ask the Dust. The foreward is from Bukowski, describing how it was THE pivotal novel in shaping his writing style. Those familiar with Bukowski can definitely see it. Fante's writer is more manic than Chinaski, but he nevertheless embodies a certain idyll of the novelist working for his craft. It's fitting that this would be the first one Bukowski read, as he mirrored it in his first novel, Post Office. In both, the character/author has a few published works and is doing menial labor (or nothing) and scraping by through bars in LA. In both, they bang chicks out of their league and then get drunk, act like assholes and then succeed/fail simultaneously. Both end in similar fashion. And, both are brutally well written. If you are a Bukowski fan, I highly recomind reading Ask the Dust. If you like LA fiction, ditto. And, basically, if you like blunt, well written fiction, it's worth your time.

I think this is why I love Bukowski. My life in a nutshell.

Thanks for the info on John Fante. I will definitely read Ask the Dust

hippityhip
05-25-2012, 05:53 PM
This will probably do better here than with its own thread:

IT'S RAINING DIPLOMATIC MEXICAN WRITERS

Goodbye, Carlos Fuentes...

Carlos Fuentes, The Art of Fiction No. 68 (http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3195/the-art-of-fiction-no-68-carlos-fuentes#.T7K1AzUvJrs.twitter)

This made me all sorts of sad.

Hannahrain
06-19-2012, 12:44 PM
I...what?

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n6205MEi2tI/T9P449kgFKI/AAAAAAAAK9I/0rhBqXltb5k/s1600/America+You+Sexy+Bitch.JPG

guedita
06-19-2012, 01:28 PM
We had to read that for my shitty film school English class and I fucking loved it. We also had to read The Alchemist though, which is still the shittiest book I've ever read.

I don't know how I missed this post, but I need to support this statement. This guy recommended The Alchemist to me, and I had every intention of having sex with him, and then I read the book and I was like you are an asshole. A fucking asshole.

algunz
06-19-2012, 02:46 PM
I never read The Alchemist because the title and plot sound tedious. Was I right in my assumption?

Those that like to eat, travel, and cook should read Blood, Bones, & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.

SoulDischarge
06-19-2012, 03:21 PM
Depends on how you feel about the phrase "personal legend."

Alchemy
06-19-2012, 03:22 PM
Am I tedious, Gunz? ;)

The Alchemist isn't tedious at all. It is extremely simple, actually. It's like any other fable. I was disappointed that it wasn't really about alchemy, or that it didn't really use alchemy in a clever way. It just had alchemical flavors.

Originalbob
06-19-2012, 11:27 PM
I just received Amphigorey -- Fifteen Books By Edward Gorey an hour ago from a nice coworker of mine. It's funny, I was looking into buying a Edward Gorey book or two after viewing his Gashlycrumb Tinies poster a month back. I've only thumbed through it, but it's dark, disturbing and funny--a category of media I really enjoy.

lehorne
06-20-2012, 06:52 AM
The used copy of Martian Chronicles I received in the mail smells like Grandfather's den.

Also picked up Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, which is supposed to be a crackup, featuring an appliance salesman turned secret agent.

frizzlefry
06-21-2012, 01:24 PM
About to finish Mostly Harmless and I'm pretty depressed that Adams had to die. Should I read Salmon of Doubt or will that just disappoint? The fact it wasn't written by him puts me off.

amyzzz
06-21-2012, 01:26 PM
What the fuck, did you just give out a spoiler? Or is that the author's name?