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Alchemy
06-21-2012, 02:32 PM
I think he's talking about Douglas Adams, Amy.

amyzzz
06-21-2012, 02:34 PM
Yeah, I thought on that after I posted it. Whoops. I'm not familiar with that book title.

frizzlefry
06-26-2012, 12:49 AM
Sorry I should have been more specific, Alchemy is right, the title isn't that memorable or unique really but does anyone have an opinion on it?

RageAgainstTheAoki
06-30-2012, 11:40 AM
Read a few more books in June...

The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst - The latest book by the wonderful British author. I believe that the US edition didn't come out until this year, which seems unusual for such a popular and acclaimed author. Last year, when the book failed to get shortlisted for the Booker Prize, there was a mini uproar in the UK. I'm not sure it was justified, though. The book has all of the expected Hollinghurst tropes - British class warfare, sexual repression and release, changing mores of evolving (or devolving?) gay culture, the intrigue of life in great British houses - but it lacks the elegant structure of his prior works and their passion, too. He can still turn a phrase masterfully; perhaps better than any contemporary British author, but the book is a slog. I had to fight to finish it. Quite the opposite reaction I've had to all of his prior works. If you've never read Hollinghurst, skip this one and go straight for The Line of Beauty, which actually (and deservedly) won the Booker Prize in '04.

Just Kids by Patti Smith - I wish this had lived up to the hype. Smith has a lovely way with words. There are many passages I had to read twice because of how beautifully she captured a moment between her and Rober Mapplethorpe, but it didn't really add up to much. It was very "this happened, then this happened, then this happened." I will say that the book made me love her even more. The passion she had (and still has) for so many different kinds of fine and performing arts is really infectious. Also, I know a lot of "developing artist" types and Smith's wonderful descriptions of her and Mapplethorpe's artistic development will make me think twice before calling a young artist's efforts vainglorious.

We the Animals debut novel by Justin Torres - I tend to stick with established authors, but I picked this one up last week after a friend was raving about it. I believe Torres published a couple of short stories in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, but this is his first novel. It's kind of a roman a clef about Torres' youth growing up the youngest of three boys of a hot tempered Puerto Rican father and a confused (and possibly mentally ill) American mother who were seemingly trapped in a sometimes violent and passionate relationship. It's a slim 128 pages which you could easily finish in a day or two. The chapters are very short vignettes - almost self-contained short stories - of surviving an unsteady upbringing in which your family is constantly teetering on the edge of disaster. It's beautifully written, concentrated prose in which an almost achingly tender moment between a father, mother and their boys can suddenly careen into rage and confusion. This is an odd way to recommend a book, but if you enjoyed Terence Malick's The Tree of Life - specifically the scenes involving the young brothers - I think you'll love this book. It's a dark, ferocious and tenderly observed little book.

lehorne
07-18-2012, 01:38 PM
Anyone done the ‘Arabian Nights’? Bueno? Not sure if it’s clichéd, but plan on reading them whilst in the Middle East/Africa this summer. Richard Burton translation. Also bought these recently for the pipeline.

Up Above the World by Paul Bowles
Days: A Tangier Diary by Paul Bowles
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Old Man and The Sea by Hemingway
Two Wheels Through Terror: Diary of a South American Motorcycle Odyssey by Glen Heggstad

guedita
07-18-2012, 01:41 PM
I think Bowles is a fantastic writer.

lehorne
07-18-2012, 02:08 PM
Yeah, for sure. Done him like three or four times (i.e. three or four books). Looking forward to 'Up Above the World' as it sounds similarly themed to Ballard's Cocaine Nights, which I really enjoyed. Mystery, drugs, sex, murder, a sense of dread rounding every corner, etc. Not necessarily the normal Bowles fair.

Alchemy
08-07-2012, 09:26 PM
Speaking of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho says, "I'm modern because I make the difficult seem easy, and so I can communicate with the whole world." Also, he says, "One of the books that caused great harm was James Joyce's Ulysses, which is pure style. There is nothing there. Stripped down, Ulysses is a twit."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/06/paulo-coelho-james-joyce-ulysses?newsfeed=true

SoulDischarge
08-07-2012, 11:43 PM
Insipid cunt. I wonder if he knows it's part of his personal legend to suck my fucking dick. And it'll happen too, because if you want something bad enough, the universe will conspire to make it happen.

I've actually started reading on a daily basis again lately. Trying to reach my goal of 30 books by the end of the year, which I am woefully behind on. Here's what I've been reading:

The House Of Sand And Fog by Andres Dubus III. This was enjoyable enough. It seemed like a pretty typical best-seller middlebrow kind of thing, but framing the story as two different protagonists making antagonists out of each other gave it some needed depth. By telling the story from both perspectives and then letting things escalate out of control as both sides just try to hang on to the little they have is a great source of heartbreak. Still, it didn't add up to anything exceedingly memorable, but not a bad book to pass the time.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This I enjoyed a lot. It's a sprawling series of slice-of-life vignettes about a young girl and her family growing up poor in Williamsburg. There's a lot of simple yet profound insight into human nature and the way different types of people behave that reminded me a bit of Steinbeck. It's comical and tragic in equal measures and is a delight to read the whole way through.

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. This was pretty bad and pointless. I wrote a full review and posted it in the book club thread about this book.

And right now I'm making my way through David Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius, which I'm loving and devouring pretty quickly, even it's a little too cute about its self awareness at times.

Hannahrain
08-11-2012, 04:38 AM
David Rakoff died this past week after a long battle with cancer. If you've never read anything of his, I can't recommend him enough. He was truly brilliant, irreverently witty, sometimes uncomfortably honest in his observations, and had a narrative voice all his own. This is a considerable loss for the world of nonfiction. RIP.

SoulDischarge
08-11-2012, 04:49 AM
Suggestions?

Hannahrain
08-11-2012, 04:58 AM
Probably his most recent book, Half Empty. ​

Alchemy
08-11-2012, 12:59 PM
I'd never heard of David Rakoff before, but when he died, quite a few people posted about him on my Facebook. One of my friends said that he ran into Rakoff one day, out of the blue, and that Rakoff told him that he had his manuscript (which he took after leaving an agency or a publisher) on his bedstand, and that he had been reading it little by little because he "didn't want it to end." He seemed like a really amazing guy.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-11-2012, 02:46 PM
This was a sad one. You guys might have heard him on Fresh Air and This American Life or seen him on Letterman or the Daily Show. Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never- Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems was the only collection of his I read, but I remember being rather biting and very funny.

I'm reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and absolutely loving it. Never thought an autistic narrator could be so compelling.

Hannahrain
08-15-2012, 07:29 PM
This was a sad one. You guys might have heard him on Fresh Air and This American Life or seen him on Letterman or the Daily Show. Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never- Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems was the only collection of his I read, but I remember being rather biting and very funny.

He was evidently working on a novel, which will be published next year. I've read pretty much all the nonfiction he's ever written, but only short blurbs and snippets of anything fictional and never anything that wasn't designed specifically as a single serving. It'll be really interesting to see how his hyper-observationalism of situations he experienced translates to situations he's crafted out of nothing.

Unrelated:

https://img.skitch.com/20120816-84yehfpe49c4c93rbrxxb2dcm8.jpg

Anybody care to speculate? I'd love to know which up-and-comer's books are going to be insufferable.

RageAgainstTheAoki
08-16-2012, 08:51 PM
That's so great, Hannah. Funnily enough, I have a friend in Portland who just posted on FB that she was getting a new roommate. A writer. But I checked. It's not this guy.

SoulDischarge
08-16-2012, 09:05 PM
God, false modesty is so revolting. If I were him, I would make it clear up front that I expected a plaque to be installed marking the apartment as the one time residence of one of this epoch's few truly enduring literary talents instead of dropping hints after the lease is already signed.

algunz
08-17-2012, 05:09 AM
I'm sure he already has his plaque ready to be hung by the front door.

PotVsKtl
08-29-2012, 03:39 PM
http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1272926272l/8131491.jpg

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8131491-the-vagina-ass-of-lucifer-niggerbastard

ThatGirl
08-31-2012, 12:11 PM
While on holiday I finally got around to reading The Catcher in the Rye as I never read it in school, and unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. I feel bad saying that but I really didn't like it.

amyzzz
08-31-2012, 12:19 PM
Why didn't you like it?

ThatGirl
08-31-2012, 12:24 PM
I wanted to empathize with Holden's character more, in his feeling isolated and on the outside of the rest of society, in not relating well to others and trying to escape, but at the same time he was reaching out to others that he didn't like very much throughout the whole story. I didn't find him very likeable. And I didn't like the flow of the story and how some some characters were discussed or introduced that I thought would have a stronger significance, where I was left hanging. I didn't feel like I came away with a sense of satisfaction after reading it.

lehorne
08-31-2012, 07:48 PM
some are still very passionate about it well into adulthood. Or they can't think of any other book to say is their favorite. The latter in the majority.

Hannahrain
11-07-2012, 09:32 PM
Somehow we're coming up on the end of the year. Can we get a roundup of everybody's favorite books of 2012 so far?

I didn't many new releases this year, but here are the ones that resonated:

Battleborn - Claire Vaye Watkins
Hope: A Tragedy - Shalom Auslander
Reamde - Neal Stephenson
Lost at Sea - Jon Ronson

What did I miss?

bmack86
11-07-2012, 10:36 PM
My favorite book I read this year came out late last year:

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-08-2012, 01:47 PM
I rarely ready a book when it's first published; too many older ones on the list to get through. I think the only new book I read this year was We the Animals by Justin Tores. Luckily, it was magnificent.


I'm very much loooking forward to reading these 2012 releases:
NW by Zadie Smith
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

guedita
11-08-2012, 02:00 PM
I'm so out of the literate loop I didn't even know Zadie Smith had a new book! Getting my hands on it immediately.

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-08-2012, 02:09 PM
Yup. Excited about Smith's new book, though I have a hard time believing she'll be able to top On Beauty.

Robin
11-08-2012, 02:10 PM
Reamde - Neal Stephenson


I hear great things about this book, but I was falling asleep 70 pages in. Maybe I'll give it another shot later on. If you did enjoy Reamde, then I recommend Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

I recently read 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

guedita
11-08-2012, 02:10 PM
Seriously. Though I'm still partial to White Teeth

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-08-2012, 02:14 PM
White Teeth is a very fine book, but On Beauty felt like a minor miracle to me. One of the most satisfying reads I've ever had.

chiapet
11-08-2012, 02:50 PM
I hear great things about this book, but I was falling asleep 70 pages in. Maybe I'll give it another shot later on.

Don't bother. The first 1/3 or so of the book was the most interesting. I've never met a Stephenson book I hadn't loved before, but I really struggled to make it through the last few hundred pages of this and considered abandoning more than a few times.

lehorne
11-11-2012, 08:12 AM
finishing off Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Not a classic by any means, but there are a few amusing parts (exp: black elevator attendant who grabs his own butt when excited by his own voice). Have 'Points in Time' lined up next.

samiksha
11-11-2012, 09:00 AM
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel


I read this over the summer. I think it isn't as accessible as Fun Home, she goes into a lot of detail about her psychotherapy and a lot of the texts she references are psychoanalytic instead of novels. It was still nice to hear another part of her story and I've been meaning to read it again since it only takes a day or two.

FEELS
12-25-2012, 10:07 PM
I started working at Barnes and Noble a couple months ago and it's awesome, the discount even more awesome. Just finished Hemingway's Complete Short Stories Collection. 650 pages of great writing, of course. If you haven't read this get on it.

Up next is Feeding Back: Conversations With Alternative Guitarists From Proto-Punk to Post-Rock. Interviews with J Mascis, Bob Mould, Tom Verlaine of Television, Johhny Marr, Keith Levene, and many more. Mike Watt endorses it and says it's one of the best books he's read on the matter. So I'm super excited for this!

zircona1
12-26-2012, 07:03 AM
I started working at Barnes and Noble a couple months ago and it's awesome, the discount even more awesome. Just finished Hemingway's Complete Short Stories Collection. 650 pages of great writing, of course. If you haven't read this get on it.

I've read a Hemingway short story collection but I'm not sure if it's the 'complete' one. I'm not crazy about him like some people are, his writing is fine but my mind wanders when reading him sometimes.

Currently I'm reading Gravity's Rainbow for the first time. Just started part 2. It's very dense, there are lots of characters and part 1 didn't seem like there was much action or dialogue. I'm sticking with it, though, b/c it's pretty interesting and occasionally there will be a great scene like Slothrop eating that bad candy he keeps being offered, or him saving Katje from the octopus.

Robin
12-27-2012, 10:02 AM
I'm excited that part 7 of the Silo Series (Second Shift by Hugh Howey)) recently came out. Now to just find time to read it.

bmack86
12-27-2012, 10:07 AM
Anyone get books for Christmas? I got two:

Mark Danielewski - The Fifty Year Sword
Junot Diaz - This Is How You Lose Her

Dogvolta
12-27-2012, 11:50 AM
Between a couple purchases and gifts, this holiday season gave me a nice line-up of books:

Dune, Frank Herbert. I am about 60% through already. I've never heard this before, so I may be totally wrong, but I can't help but see massive amounts of influence from this author in George Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. This was gifted to be from love interest. She agreed to read Battle Royale by Koushun Takami if I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, so I'm giving it a go.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. I purchased this for myself. It has been one of those books I've been waiting and waiting to start. Finally purchased it, read through the faux "forward" the second I got home, I am so so so very excited to get into this book.
Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovksy. Another book I have been wanting to read for a very long time. My mom is an awesome mom and got me this book, along with the game, for christmas. For sure I plan on finishing the book before I even start the game, I've read that they are very unlike, but equally fantastic.


Anyone get books for Christmas? I got two:

Mark Danielewski - The Fifty Year Sword
Junot Diaz - This Is How You Lose Her

The only thing I've read by Junot Diaz is Drown. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I am sure I'll find more of his books. Is it me or his name showing up everywhere lately? I know his latest came out in Sept., but still, I've been seeing his name all over.

algunz
12-27-2012, 12:15 PM
I didn't get any books for Christmas. I'm bummed.

I finally finished Amsterdam. It was an enjoyable read. McEwan's imagery is wonderful, but the ending was predictable and too easy.

TomAz
12-27-2012, 12:29 PM
Anyone get books for Christmas?

I got a Lincoln bio and another bio and the 33 1/3 book on Fear of Music and this:

http://gearpatrol.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/101-essential-rock-records-gear-patrol-full.jpg

samiksha
12-27-2012, 02:47 PM
I bought With the Animals for myself. I bought Zizek's Less Than Nothing for my partner so I'll be sneaking peeks at that. I don't want to finish it before he does.

bmack86
12-27-2012, 02:54 PM
I got a Lincoln bio and another bio and the 33 1/3 book on Fear of Music and this:

http://gearpatrol.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/101-essential-rock-records-gear-patrol-full.jpg

The 13th Floor Elevators album is always so easy to spot in a collection. That book sounds very interesting.

TomAz
12-27-2012, 03:25 PM
oh also I got The Cheesemonger's Kitchen and some interesting looking thing called The Recipe Project by One Ring Zero, which combines recipes and playlists. I don't know who One Ring Zero are (I mean, they're a band, two guys, but other than that, I don't know), but the book is cool. From it I have learned that David Chang at Momofuku has a playlist in his restaurant that includes The Replacements, The Clash, The Kinks, Silver Jews, Palace Music, 801, and Can. I now want to eat there more than I did before, and I have been wanting to eat there for a while now. The book also includes a page called "A Wine Lover's Guide to Mexican Music". This may be the perfect gift.

http://themediajunkie.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/recipe-project.jpg

edit: I just realized this book comes with a CD with a song for each recipe. The music is made by the band and the lyrics are the recipes, word for word. That might be a little much.

amyzzz
12-27-2012, 03:49 PM
Hmph to non-fiction, non-literary books. Hmph I say.

roberto73
12-30-2012, 06:17 AM
I managed to read 65 books in 2012, split between the adult stuff I read for myself and the Young Adult Lit I mainly read for work (although the best of it is strong enough to stand on its own). The best:

Grown-Up Division: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Young Adult Division: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

fatbastard
12-30-2012, 06:22 AM
That's a shitload of books.

FEELS
01-13-2013, 10:07 AM
Up next is Feeding Back: Conversations With Alternative Guitarists From Proto-Punk to Post-Rock. Interviews with J Mascis, Bob Mould, Tom Verlaine of Television, Johhny Marr, Keith Levene, and many more. Mike Watt endorses it and says it's one of the best books he's read on the matter. So I'm super excited for this!

Just finished this. Fucking great, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes those names listed above. (Paging Bmack). The author (David Todd) also interviews Lee Ranaldo, Rowland S. Howard, Jason Pierce, Kim & Kelley Deal, James Williamson, and Lenny Kaye, and more. As well as Michio Kurihara, Christian Fennesz, and Ben Chasney (Never heard of these guys, definitely have to check them out). I like how the book didn't have too much gear talk, just mostly focused on the guitar as a songwriting tool among other things.

FEELS
01-13-2013, 10:08 AM
Up next is As I Lay Dying by Faulkner. Hyped to finally read this :thu

bmack86
01-13-2013, 10:19 AM
Just finished this. Fucking great, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes those names listed above. (Paging Bmack). The author (David Todd) also interviews Lee Ranaldo, Rowland S. Howard, Jason Pierce, Kim & Kelley Deal, James Williamson, and Lenny Kaye, and more. As well as Michio Kurihara, Christian Fennesz, and Ben Chasney (Never heard of these guys, definitely have to check them out). I like how the book didn't have too much gear talk, just mostly focused on the guitar as a songwriting tool among other things.

This sounds awesome awesome awesome.

Michio Kurihara is the guitarist and primary voice behind Ghost, the japanese psych band (not to be confused with approximately 5000 other bands with the same name). Hypnotic Underworld is their magnum opus, one of the most dense and heady psych albums you'll ever hear. He's also been Boris' second guitarist for near on a decade.

Christian Fennesz is an experimental wunderkind. Just get Endless Summer and we'll talk afterwards.

Ben Chasny goes by the name Six Organs of Admittance. He does combinations of folk, psych and garage rock with tons of looping and some pretty intense song structures and volume changes. My favorite (and I'd say the most representative) Six Organs album is School of the Flower. He was also the lead guitarist on the last two Comets on Fire albums, which feature some of the best throwback psych/noise songwriting of the past decade. As a bonus, Comets on Fire reunited to play on the last Six Organs album, although I haven't yet heard it.


Up next is As I Lay Dying by Faulkner. Hyped to finally read this :thu

Love that book.

algunz
01-13-2013, 10:20 AM
Grown-Up Division: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Young Adult Division: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Which one should I start with?

FEELS
01-13-2013, 10:29 AM
This sounds awesome awesome awesome.

Michio Kurihara is the guitarist and primary voice behind Ghost, the japanese psych band (not to be confused with approximately 5000 other bands with the same name). Hypnotic Underworld is their magnum opus, one of the most dense and heady psych albums you'll ever hear. He's also been Boris' second guitarist for near on a decade.

Christian Fennesz is an experimental wunderkind. Just get Endless Summer and we'll talk afterwards.

Ben Chasny goes by the name Six Organs of Admittance. He does combinations of folk, psych and garage rock with tons of looping and some pretty intense song structures and volume changes. My favorite (and I'd say the most representative) Six Organs album is School of the Flower. He was also the lead guitarist on the last two Comets on Fire albums, which feature some of the best throwback psych/noise songwriting of the past decade. As a bonus, Comets on Fire reunited to play on the last Six Organs album, although I haven't yet heard it.

It's such a gem! Stumbled upon it at work and knew I had to snag it. Damn, thanks for the rundowns! Those three actually had the best sections in my opinion, especially Michio. His explanation on what inspired him to write Sunset Notes was perfect. I'm definitely gonna check that out. Endless Summer by Fennesz sounds amazing as well! Ahh these past months have been the best period for music discoveries in my entire life.

samiksha
01-13-2013, 11:37 AM
I finished With the Animals. It was okay. The translator admitted off the bat that the wordplay of the original couldn't translate. I think a literal translation with notes would have been better. As it is, it just gets old. You get used to the weird way he talks and there's not a lot else going on to keep it interesting.

bmack86
01-13-2013, 12:04 PM
Which one should I start with?

Zeitoun is a quick read and will get you fired up as all hell. I loved that book.

roberto73
01-13-2013, 12:22 PM
Ditto. I loved Zeitoun. It's probably my favorite of all those I listed.

I'm currently in a weird "let's read books that were the inspiration for TV and movies" trend. I'm currently reading Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty, and before that I read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (which was also my first exposure to Philip K. Dick) and Dearly Devoted Dexter.

I enjoyed Electric Sheep, but in some ways I felt like I couldn't give it an honest read because I've seen Blade Runner so many times. I find the Dexter series interesting, but the author's strength isn't plotting, which is a problem for a thriller. He does a bang-up job with characterization – I actually prefer most of the characters in the books to their counterparts in the TV series, especially Dexter himself, who's darker and funnier – but the storytelling is sort of scattershot and secondary to Dexter's far more compelling internal monologue.

lehorne
01-13-2013, 02:38 PM
plodding through 'A Farewell to Arms' this afternoon and nearly finished on Book V's Chapter 39. At the same time trying to keep up with Hemingway's boozing. The original drinking game, right? Drink if he orders a beer to have with the morning papers, drink if he tells his woman he loves her, etc. Have a lot more potentially interesting ones in the queue:

Days and Nights by Konstantine Simonov
Doctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb Party - Graham Greene
The Delicate Prey by Bowles (although his last one was for the most part pretty gash)

xuclarockerx
01-13-2013, 03:26 PM
so this finally arrived

http://slog.thestranger.com/files/2008/06/Celine.jpg

Iamwelting
01-13-2013, 03:34 PM
Ditto. I loved Zeitoun. It's probably my favorite of all those I listed.

I'm currently in a weird "let's read books that were the inspiration for TV and movies" trend. I'm currently reading Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty, and before that I read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (which was also my first exposure to Philip K. Dick) and Dearly Devoted Dexter.

I enjoyed Electric Sheep, but in some ways I felt like I couldn't give it an honest read because I've seen Blade Runner so many times. I find the Dexter series interesting, but the author's strength isn't plotting, which is a problem for a thriller. He does a bang-up job with characterization – I actually prefer most of the characters in the books to their counterparts in the TV series, especially Dexter himself, who's darker and funnier – but the storytelling is sort of scattershot and secondary to Dexter's far more compelling internal monologue.

Androids Is the only instance I can think of where I enjoy the movie more than the book. The book is good but isn't nearly as gritty and dark as the movie.

Currently finishing up The World According to Garp and I absolutely love it. Next up is a choice between two books I got for Christmas: A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggars and Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder. Any suggestions? I'll wind up reading both but unsure which one to start off with.

mountmccabe
01-13-2013, 04:06 PM
Do Androids is a very different work than the book, which has been the case for every PKD adaptation other than A Scanner Darkly (one could make an argument for Confessions... being close but). I think the book has a lot more interesting ideas and works well as a book; the film is one of my favorites and has just such a great mood.


You should read more Dick, Roberto. I would push Martian Time Slip, Ubik and V.A.L.I.S.

roberto73
01-13-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks, John. I added a couple of his award-winners to my list (Flow My Tears and The Man in the High Castle), but I much prefer getting recommendations from someone I know whose taste I trust.

I should also add that in addition to Get Shorty I'm reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which I love and which is the most Ray Bradbury thing I've ever read not written by Bradbury himself.

algunz
01-13-2013, 05:59 PM
Thanks gentleman. I have a new book. I'm so excited.

bmack86
01-13-2013, 06:34 PM
Androids Is the only instance I can think of where I enjoy the movie more than the book. The book is good but isn't nearly as gritty and dark as the movie.

Currently finishing up The World According to Garp and I absolutely love it. Next up is a choice between two books I got for Christmas: A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggars and Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder. Any suggestions? I'll wind up reading both but unsure which one to start off with.

I haven't read any Kidder, but I enjoyed A Hologram For the King. It's another of Eggers' thoughtful pieces about modern society. Of all his works, it reminded me the most of They Shall Know Our Velocity in that it's a bit unstable and unknowable much of the time. It was a good read.

SoulDischarge
01-15-2013, 09:59 PM
Re-reading one of the Lovecraft collections and as much as I love him, his stories can get very repetitive. Curious news item -> some cult folklore stuff coinciding with first item -> further personal embroilment with odd goings on -> 20 pages about how the horror is indescribable and not of this world.

I've been trying to do a story a day by Borges but not quite keeping up. It's definitely a better approach than trying to plow through several at once. Short as they are, they pack in more kaleidoscopic ideas than many full length books (some of them pretty much are just his ideas for books condensed into faux-reviews). Completely confounding stuff, but delightfully so.

Dogvolta
01-16-2013, 06:39 AM
Re-reading one of the Lovecraft collections and as much as I love him, his stories can get very repetitive. Curious news item -> some cult folklore stuff coinciding with first item -> further personal embroilment with odd goings on -> 20 pages about how the horror is indescribable and not of this world.

I've been trying to do a story a day by Borges but not quite keeping up. It's definitely a better approach than trying to plow through several at once. Short as they are, they pack in more kaleidoscopic ideas than many full length books (some of them pretty much are just his ideas for books condensed into faux-reviews). Completely confounding stuff, but delightfully so.

At the Mountains of Madness was a very enjoyable read for me.

On a similar note: Anyone here read House of Leaves?
I am about 300 pages in and I am having a fantastic time reading it. Tedious? Yes at times, but I am just taking it all in stride and enjoying it.

bmack86
01-16-2013, 09:32 AM
I loved the main story of House of Leaves and was consistently annoyed by the story about Johnny or Joey or whoever the tattoo guy was. That book has the single best chase scene that will ever be in a novel though. If you haven't read it yet, you'll definitely know what I'm talking about as soon as you get to it.

Hannahrain
01-16-2013, 09:42 AM
I felt the same way. I thought the house story was fantastic and well written, and that the Johnny Truant "look at me I'm writing 'could of' and 'should of' so you can tell this character is a certain type of person" shit was extremely heavy-handed and boring.

Dogvolta
01-16-2013, 09:48 AM
I'm intentionally refraining from letting anything in this book annoy me, otherwise the thousand tangents, footnotes, side stories, and essays (some of which seemingly mean nothing) would make this book a very unpleasant read. Oddly enough, I find Johnny's stories refreshing/funny/sad/interesting.
And I am assuming I haven't got to the chase scene yet, for the only chase I can think of is Holloway and his crew getting lost and being hunted for by Will and the two other guys.
Oh and I appreciated the spoiler free comments from you two :thu

guedita
01-16-2013, 09:50 AM
It took me a few months mostly due to my own sloth but I finished W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz last night. I don't have much to say about it at the moment, but I'll recommend it to anyone interested in the construction of memory and its intersection with trauma. Or, you know, if you enjoy pages-long sentences and intentionally muddled narrative positioning.

Hannahrain
01-16-2013, 09:52 AM
You can't just put the sloth in a cage while you read?

mountmccabe
01-16-2013, 12:35 PM
Cara can't read. Her sloth reads to her but her sloth has got hobbies, too, ya know.

guedita
01-17-2013, 01:34 AM
This is true. The sloth has a disgusting BRAVO TV habit and I'm a known enabler.

lehorne
01-23-2013, 09:26 AM
Just finished 'Doctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb Party' last night. Quality name, average book. A bit of a 'Great Gatsby' knockoff, especially in regard to the mansion, and couldn't help using the same imagery.

SepaGroove
01-23-2013, 09:45 AM
Reading No Reservations by Anthony Bourdain.

He's like the chef version of Hunter S. Thompson.

lehorne
01-23-2013, 09:55 AM
thought it was cool that Bourdain tried and filmed his Yage' experience for the TV show. Check out 'The Yage Letters' by WSB as he was one of the original American explorers of it way back when. Not the most pain free drug...at least initially.

koryp
02-15-2013, 12:28 AM
Just bought this book because I feel like even if I never read it, having it on my coffee table will encourage wonderful conversation.



http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510JLM3BVWL._SL500_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-big,TopRight,35,-73_OU01_SS500_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1468557084)

I'll probably read it.

bmack86
02-23-2013, 08:56 AM
Last night I finished The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I had started it a few years ago and just didn't give a shit, but this time through I was captivated by the story. It's a tale of two sisters from a wealthy family growing up in the 20th century and their perils, interspersed with what seems to be a book called The Blind Assassin telling the story of two lovers who tell each other a science fiction epic between love-making sessions. The book slowly focuses in between these two stories, switching between them rapidly until the denouement reveals a twist that you'll probably see coming and another that you probably wouldn't. Quite a bit more developed than the Handmaid's Tale, I really liked it.

This morning I started The Psychic Soviet, a collection of political-ish writings by Ian Svenonius of The Nation of Ulysses and The Make Up and Chain and the Gang and other bands. His theories are so over the top and ridiculous that they can be hilarious at times (all cultures favor certain beverages as symbols of the nations they have subjugated and conquered) yet he writes them so coherently and convincingly that certain truths ring through. It's a very smart and subversive book, like the rest of his work.

TomAz
02-23-2013, 07:46 PM
Reading No Reservations by Anthony Bourdain.

He's like the chef version of Hunter S. Thompson.

No Reservations, the book, is good, about as interesting as the TV show (which I like a lot). But if you haven't read it, pick up his Kitchen Confidential. That's like mainlining... before he was a star, talking about the industry, seriously interesting shit. You'll never look at sunday brunch the same again.

algunz
02-23-2013, 08:13 PM
So . . . Gone Girl or We Need to Talk About Kevin?

I really enjoyed Zeitoun, which one next?

bmack86
02-23-2013, 09:31 PM
I'm very interested in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Read that and present a book report to us, please.

roberto73
02-24-2013, 05:05 AM
Just finished Eggers' new one, A Hologram for the King, which I loved. Actually, I'm kinda fascinated by it. Not much happens, but it's a serious page-turner. Not sure how Eggers pulled it off, but I plan to read it again to try and figure it out.

And Gunz, read Gone Girl if you just want a solid thriller and Kevin if you want something intricate and deeply disturbing. They're both good, but they're good in very different ways.

mountmccabe
02-24-2013, 05:53 AM
Last night I finished The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I had started it a few years ago and just didn't give a shit, but this time through I was captivated by the story. It's a tale of two sisters from a wealthy family growing up in the 20th century and their perils, interspersed with what seems to be a book called The Blind Assassin telling the story of two lovers who tell each other a science fiction epic between love-making sessions. The book slowly focuses in between these two stories, switching between them rapidly until the denouement reveals a twist that you'll probably see coming and another that you probably wouldn't. Quite a bit more developed than the Handmaid's Tale, I really liked it.

Good to hear. That is on my list.

I am maybe halfway through Ben Marcus' The Flame Alphabet; it is interesting but I am still not sure where things are going. Which, I suppose, is unsurprising for Marcus.

Zafocaine
02-24-2013, 06:31 AM
Ooooo... I like this group. You guys know things, although you're technically limited. I used to read many novels each year. Mostly generic horror, and future fiction. I'm far too picky for most books and writing styles, which I am sorry for. It's my personal limitation. Is anyone here in the process of completing a novel? I just got a smith-corona super silent passed down to me. It's a beautiful machine, and I'm sort of intimidated by it. Ideas have been coming more and more lately (writing is nothing new, but I usually keep it to verses), and I'd like to give it a little attention. Getting back into a reading routine would certainly be healthy, but it seems so much harder to find good books than it does good music. I've basically exhausted Stephen King. Koontz seems like a made for tv movie. Kerouac is pleasant (sprawling endless nonsense has its place in my heart, (fucking) obviously. Walking/ hitching/ driving/ travelling stories are the most special to me. The Stand, The Talisman, On the Road, The Martian Chronicles, The Long Walk), relative, and most relevant. Heller. Huxley. Orwell. Bradbury.

I'd like to get back into reading for a stint before I start putting depth to any story. The message board and random news sources don't cut it. Any suggestions for novels/ articles/ authors/ crazies to look into between now and then-now? I'm sort of obsessed with zombies (through dreams) and time travel (through numbers/ patterns), though I don't plan on writing about either subject at any length until necessary. The machine must be fed. >>>

bmack86
02-24-2013, 10:00 AM
Good to hear. That is on my list.
You'll enjoy it. It takes a bit to really get going with the way it transitions between narrative styles, but once you get into the groove of things it's a brisk read. It definitely made me want to pick up more of her work, as I loved the Handmade's Tale all those years ago when I read it.

algunz
02-24-2013, 10:02 AM
I'm very interested in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Read that and present a book report to us, please.

I opted for this one first. I will report back when finished.

Hannahrain
02-24-2013, 10:02 AM
Ooooo... I like this group. You guys know things, although you're technically limited. I used to read many novels each year. Mostly generic horror, and future fiction. I'm far too picky for most books and writing styles, which I am sorry for. It's my personal limitation. Is anyone here in the process of completing a novel? I just got a smith-corona super silent passed down to me. It's a beautiful machine, and I'm sort of intimidated by it. Ideas have been coming more and more lately (writing is nothing new, but I usually keep it to verses), and I'd like to give it a little attention. Getting back into a reading routine would certainly be healthy, but it seems so much harder to find good books than it does good music. I've basically exhausted Stephen King. Koontz seems like a made for tv movie. Kerouac is pleasant (sprawling endless nonsense has its place in my heart, (fucking) obviously. Walking/ hitching/ driving/ travelling stories are the most special to me. The Stand, The Talisman, On the Road, The Martian Chronicles, The Long Walk), relative, and most relevant. Heller. Huxley. Orwell. Bradbury.

I'd like to get back into reading for a stint before I start putting depth to any story. The message board and random news sources don't cut it. Any suggestions for novels/ articles/ authors/ crazies to look into between now and then-now? I'm sort of obsessed with zombies (through dreams) and time travel (through numbers/ patterns), though I don't plan on writing about either subject at any length until necessary. The machine must be fed. >>>

I expect the professor responsible for your Freshman Lit reading list would happily supply you with the list for the course continuation.

Hannahrain
02-24-2013, 10:04 AM
In earnest this time:

You may enjoy Stanislaw Lem.

bmack86
02-24-2013, 10:06 AM
So what should I do next?

My options are:

Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock'n'Roll Group - Ian Svenonius (His allegedly hilarious and insightful book on rock groups)

Three Novels - Samuel Beckett (Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnameable, three increasingly free-form books that supposedly go together thematically)

Theodore Rex - Edmund Morris (The second in a three-part biography series on Theodore Roosevelt)

IQ84 - Haruki Murakami (??? Just know it was highly recommended by people I trust)

algunz
02-24-2013, 10:20 AM
Supernatural Strategies sounds like fun.

ods..
02-24-2013, 10:40 AM
I expect the professor responsible for your Freshman Lit reading list would happily supply you with the list for the course continuation.

lol

Zafocaine
02-24-2013, 11:49 AM
I expect the professor responsible for your Freshman Lit reading list would happily supply you with the list for the course continuation.

We were pretending for a moment that I respect any of you enough to ask for suggestions based on a select amount of personal information. My bad. I'll pluck around on the typewriter in private ;)


So what should I do next?

My options are:

Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock'n'Roll Group - Ian Svenonius (His allegedly hilarious and insightful book on rock groups)

Three Novels - Samuel Beckett (Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnameable, three increasingly free-form books that supposedly go together thematically)

Theodore Rex - Edmund Morris (The second in a three-part biography series on Theodore Roosevelt)

IQ84 - Haruki Murakami (??? Just know it was highly recommended by people I trust)

Have you read Murakami? He's a high school girl's favorite. I actually found some of it to be pretty cool, but I'll never go back. Just like Bright Eyes, heh.

SoulDischarge
02-24-2013, 12:16 PM
Theodore Rex - Edmund Morris (The second in a three-part biography series on Theodore Roosevelt)

Is a novelization of the Whoopi Goldberg movie of the same name up for consideration?

bmack86
02-24-2013, 12:16 PM
Nope, but I've heard decent things about IQ84. Post-apocalyptic storylines are always going to draw me in, and that seems to be a constant comment on the book.

bmack86
02-24-2013, 12:17 PM
Is a novelization of the Whoopi Goldberg movie of the same name up for consideration?
Hah. I DO have the novelization for Snakes on a Plane. Mostly because, hot damn, who would have ever thought they'd wring a novel out of it.

SoulDischarge
02-24-2013, 12:21 PM
True story: In film school, one of the actresses that starred in one of our shitty student films had also starred in the direct-to-video Snakes On A Train. /brushwithfame

LickTheLizzard
02-24-2013, 12:23 PM
So what should I do next?
Theodore Rex - Edmund Morris (The second in a three-part biography series on Theodore Roosevelt)


If you like Theodore Roosevelt stuff I recommend The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. It is about his exploration of unmapped tributary of the Amazon with Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon.

Zafocaine
02-24-2013, 12:23 PM
Nope, but I've heard decent things about IQ84. Post-apocalyptic storylines are always going to draw me in, and that seems to be a constant comment on the book.

Definitely sounds worth checking out then. Not having a college library at my immediate disposal is a bummer. That's what I get for "independent studies."

bmack86
02-24-2013, 07:52 PM
If you like Theodore Roosevelt stuff I recommend The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. It is about his exploration of unmapped tributary of the Amazon with Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon.

Got that one on the lineup.

Spiritinthesky
02-25-2013, 01:25 PM
Keith Richards - Life. Brilliant.

SoulDischarge
02-28-2013, 12:12 PM
So, I guess this might be the best place to put this. I thought about reteaching myself a lot of math (algebra, geometry, trig, calculus) that I learned in high school but forgot about. I've always kind of enjoyed math, and I've got all sorts of time to kill, especially the two nights a week I work dispatch, so I thought it might be a better use of my time than doing puzzle books or whatever. So I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for math books? I mean, I'm sure I could find some high school text book somewhere (I still have my calculus one from HS but I need to brush up on the others first), but I thought I'd see if anyone knows of anything better?

lehorne
02-28-2013, 02:14 PM
In earnest this time:

You may enjoy Stanislaw Lem.

Thanks. Have eye on these potentially tasty treats: http://www.ebay.com/itm/190803377641?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649 . Star Diaries and The Investigation combo.

FEELS
03-09-2013, 10:40 AM
Up next is As I Lay Dying by Faulkner. Hyped to finally read this :thu

I decided to put this down and revisit it later. My mind has been too restless to deal with the multiple point of views. From what I read it was great though!

I picked up Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer yesterday. The excerpts/ramblings appealed to me... Wow, what an awesome book. This guy was light-years ahead of his time. I love how he'll be describing a "cunt", and then drift off into his thoughts about man and his inability to be free, or how one never experiences a real youth or adulthood, etc.

Hannahrain
03-09-2013, 11:11 AM
I'm reading Euler's Gem - has anybody read it? I'm finding it very engaging, and would love some recommendations for similarly accessible pop math books.

Courtney
03-10-2013, 12:35 PM
Hannah, I do not know what that book is, and mostly all I read these days are horrible business books featuring pop psychology, but I am bumping this thread because I approve of math books and maybe someone else can offer you recommendations.

guedita
03-10-2013, 12:39 PM
I also can't recommend any math books, but I'm happy to report that I am reading more these days. Almost finished with A Confederacy of Dunces, which has been a riot. And I picked up Zadie Smith's Autograph Man and Louise Erdrich's A Plague of Doves at my favorite bookstore last week, both of which I'm looking forward to.

I've had The Golden Notebook on my nightstand for like a year now, but do not in any way feel compelled to open and start that beast.

FEELS
03-10-2013, 12:46 PM
Almost finished with A Confederacy of Dunces, which has been a riot.

Been meaning to read this for forever, heard it's prolly the funniest book.

RotationSlimWang
03-10-2013, 12:49 PM
Everyone tells me that Dunces is the funniest book they've ever read.

Like Catch-22 never fucking existed.

Dogvolta
03-10-2013, 01:15 PM
I also can't recommend any math books, but I'm happy to report that I am reading more these days. Almost finished with A Confederacy of Dunces, which has been a riot. And I picked up Zadie Smith's Autograph Man and Louise Erdrich's A Plague of Doves at my favorite bookstore last week, both of which I'm looking forward to.

I've had The Golden Notebook on my nightstand for like a year now, but do not in any way feel compelled to open and start that beast.

I thought you read all of Erdrich's work already?

guedita
03-10-2013, 01:17 PM
I've never said that, but thank you for assuming.

zircona1
03-10-2013, 03:32 PM
Currently I'm reading Gravity's Rainbow for the first time.

I finished this about 2 weeks ago. I don't think I 'got it'. Do you have to read another book to understand everything that went on?

ods..
03-10-2013, 03:53 PM
Everyone tells me that Dunces is the funniest book they've ever read.

Like Catch-22 never fucking existed.

You're an idiot. Dunces destroys 22. Wow.

SoulDischarge
03-10-2013, 07:53 PM
I also can't recommend any math books, but I'm happy to report that I am reading more these days. Almost finished with A Confederacy of Dunces, which has been a riot. And I picked up Zadie Smith's Autograph Man and Louise Erdrich's A Plague of Doves at my favorite bookstore last week, both of which I'm looking forward to.

I've had The Golden Notebook on my nightstand for like a year now, but do not in any way feel compelled to open and start that beast.

Dunces is definitely at least in the top 5 funniest books I've read, and a contender for #1, but I'll concede Catch-22 as stiff competition. I recently read Zadie Smith's White Teeth and was not impressed. It seemed really tone deaf to how people actually talk and act and would drop and pick up story lines at will to make it's vague not-terribly interesting points about history and family and the past and I'm already yawning. It's an easy read but vastly overrated. I think I read that The Autograph Man was better.

ods..
03-10-2013, 08:09 PM
The guy masturbates to fantasies of his dead dog. Gotta be number one for me.

gam3g3ni3
03-10-2013, 09:28 PM
Currently I'm on a sci fi kick.


Finished Ready Player One and Enders Game last week. Just picked up The Forever War. Then gonna read Wool when I'm finished with that

mountmccabe
03-11-2013, 06:38 AM
I finished this about 2 weeks ago. I don't think I 'got it'. Do you have to read another book to understand everything that went on?

The Pynchon Wiki section on Gravity's Rainbow (http://gravitys-rainbow.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page) has a lot to offer such as a character map, summaries and annotations.

If you want more the above site may or may not link to Zak Smith's page-by-page illustrations (http://www.themodernword.com/pynchon/zak_smith/title.htm) and they in turn may or may not help you understand anything. There are plenty of academic papers (http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=eng_honproj) written on the novel.

But I think you only get into (beyond the first few references that help you keep track of the characters and summarize what is going on) that if you love the novel and want more. The novel should be funny/bizarre/interesting/transcendent often enough to be entertaining regardless of your level of involvement with the text.

bmack86
03-11-2013, 10:45 AM
This thread reminded me that I need to re-read Catch-22, since it's been at least 10 years.

algunz
03-11-2013, 02:49 PM
I need to read Confederacy again. I can't make a fair comparison until I do.

mountmccabe
03-11-2013, 04:12 PM
Also Catch-22 is the funniest book I've ever read*. Also I did the last 200 pages straight, feverish**, staying up until 2 AM, unable to stop***. And then I was shaking so much I couldn't sleep.

Has anyone read any other worthwhile Heller? I forget which one I tried after 22 but it was unbearable.



* Which does not include Dunces.
** For clarity I did not actually have a fever.
*** Even when it turned awful ruining everything.

TomAz
03-11-2013, 04:26 PM
I'm reading Euler's Gem - has anybody read it? I'm finding it very engaging, and would love some recommendations for similarly accessible pop math books.

http://imageshack.us/a/img822/7079/vol1.jpg

lehorne
03-11-2013, 04:32 PM
there is a Heller sequel to Catch 22 I purchased years ago but is getting dust on the book shelf unopened for whatever reason. Received the Stanislaw Lem books today and had been reading chapters of Richard Burton's '1001 Arabian Nights' translation while awaiting them. Just a reminder of how crazy and dignified Arabs are.

bmack86
03-11-2013, 04:39 PM
The sequel to Catch 22 (Closing Time) isn't as good as Catch 22 by a long shot, but it's very readable at least.

SoulDischarge
03-11-2013, 07:14 PM
I read about half of Gold As Gold by Heller and was so disinterested, I gave up.

roberto73
03-15-2013, 04:54 PM
I just finished Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time, which was, frankly, fucking astonishing. Imagine a cross between Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio and West Virginia. Ugly people doing brutal, ugly things in spare, muscular – yet oddly beautiful – prose. It's narrative as a blunt weapon. I'll be reading this one again.

hippityhip
03-15-2013, 05:10 PM
Currently I'm on a sci fi kick.


Finished Ready Player One and Enders Game last week. Just picked up The Forever War. Then gonna read Wool when I'm finished with that

The Forever War is really good. My next read is A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

Zafocaine
03-15-2013, 05:19 PM
Also Catch-22 is the funniest book I've ever read*. Also I did the last 200 pages straight, feverish**, staying up until 2 AM, unable to stop***. And then I was shaking so much I couldn't sleep.

Has anyone read any other worthwhile Heller? I forget which one I tried after 22 but it was unbearable.



* Which does not include Dunces.
** For clarity I did not actually have a fever.
*** Even when it turned awful ruining everything.

Catch 22 is the funniest book I've had the joy of reading. I remember laughing abruptly when reading one of Stephen King's Dark Tower books when Roland called aspirin astin. That was as funny as reading got until I picked up Catch 22. I could only read a few pages at a time before putting the book down and going about my day with a smile. That's delightful reading.

Also read his autobiography, which was interesting. Always wanted to try reading another of his books though.

lehorne
03-28-2013, 09:31 PM
Ijon Tichy is trying to leave the planet while reflecting on his use of an advancing youth machine which made him around nine years old: “To my great horror I discovered in moments of leisure from palace duties I felt an irresistible urge to play tag”.

bmack86
04-17-2013, 10:56 PM
Today I started what is referred to as Samuel Beckett's trilogy of novels: Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnameable. I read part 1 of Molloy in a single sprint, which is definitely how it was intended (It's an 85 page paragraph.) Anyone familiar with Beckett via his plays (Waiting for Godot) would be walking on familiar ground here, as it is a constant fight to reach a final point that is constantly eluding the character. There is a depth to the character that is never developed in Godot, however, and I can't wait to see how it grows in the second half of the novel and the next two, which apparently loosely connect the same character in an increasingly loose, non-narrative existential dive into human despair.

Not easy reading whatsoever, but if you like well-written, insane adventures into truly disturbed and confused people, I'd recommend it just based on the start.

JorgeC
04-18-2013, 07:30 AM
If you like "YA" twilight-ish trash (and i do, btw), i'd recomment Beautiful Creatures. I finished it while on vacation. Easy read (obvs) and the main difference that i liked between this and Hunger Games/Twilight series is that the main character is boy. It's like a bad teen movie, full of high school drama, small town prejudice and nosey neighbors, but with witches and stuff. It's even got an abstinence-only message. Woohoo!

For $7 or so at Target, i went ahead and bought the 2nd book (Beautiful Darkness) to see how Ethan and Lena's "forbidden love" progresses.

guedita
04-24-2013, 11:21 AM
I'm reading The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler right now for a class. It's fun.

I picked this up at a bookstore I wandered into on Valencia yesterday.

guedita
05-06-2013, 11:27 AM
I finished The Big Sleep and, though I'm not well versed in crime fiction by any means, found it precise and engaging and I look forward to devouring the rest of Chandler's Marlowe series.

But now I'm reading Octavia Butler's trilogy, Lillith's Brood (Xenogenesis) Anyone interested in sci fi and intergalactic extraterrestrial genetic engineering would be wise to check it out.

amyzzz
05-06-2013, 11:52 AM
genital engineering?

guedita
05-06-2013, 11:53 AM
Ha, oops...genetic. But, also...

mountmccabe
05-06-2013, 12:04 PM
Interested.


I quit The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus because I was reading it very, very slowly. That is to say rarely choosing to read it. I am now reading Toast, a collection of short stories by Charles Stross (http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/fiction/online-fiction-by-charles-stro.html). Hard sci-fi, techy, post-humany stuff. Some of the stories are great, most of the stories have something great about them so I am happy.

amyzzz
05-06-2013, 12:06 PM
John, I will have to check that out.

mountmccabe
05-06-2013, 12:09 PM
I really liked his novel Accelerando (available as a free ebook (http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/fiction/accelerando/accelerando-intro.html)); "Lobsters" from this collection is a slightly different version of the first chapter from that novel.

roberto73
05-06-2013, 12:38 PM
I recently finished Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You, which is probably the best (or at least my favorite) thing I've read since A Visit from the Goon Squad a couple years ago. I'm not usually given to laughing out loud when I read, but I found this one really funny, with a rich vein of melancholy running underneath, which I always respond to. This was the first thing by Tropper I've read, and now I'm eager to read more.

Now I'm on to Palahniuk's Rant, and I'm experiencing the same love/hate thing I seem to have with all of his work. Basically, I have to get past whatever gimmick he's mining in each book before I can really enjoy it. In this one it's an oral history of a guy who gives rabies to practically everyone he meets. There's also a half-baked attempt at class warfare satire, but it's all a little too scattered to do much for me. Palahniuk's playful and dextrous enough that it's never less than entertaining, but this one feels like a minor work in his bibliography.

fatbastard
05-08-2013, 03:16 PM
Working on blood, bones & butter

unit300021
05-08-2013, 03:36 PM
Started reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time since high school, where I'm pretty sure I just read the Cliff Notes anyways. Started it last night already got about 70 pages in. This is going to be my first book in about 3 years. I'm honestly a little excited about it.

TomAz
05-08-2013, 03:44 PM
I love John Le Carré's Smiley trilogy so much.

algunz
05-08-2013, 05:33 PM
Working on blood, bones & butter

I loved this book.



I'm trying to get through Talk About Kevin and it's sooooo hard.

ThatGirl
05-08-2013, 06:11 PM
My book on transcendental meditation keeps putting me to sleep.

GeezrRckr
05-10-2013, 10:13 AM
hi guys - could someone please give me some tips on which ereader to buy and are there any private trackers that serve books? i'm sure this is a trite conversation to have in this thread, so if someone would kindly PM me, that would be great. i am touring Africa for the summer and want to have a book strategy for the long bus rides. Cheers!

amyzzz
05-10-2013, 10:16 AM
I love my Kindle PaperWhite, has a long battery life, several days worth.

gam3g3ni3
05-10-2013, 02:14 PM
I love my Kindle PaperWhite, has a long battery life, several days worth.

I got my girlfriend one for Christmas.

The paperwhite is amazing. For the price (just get the one w/the ads and save money, can always purchase to turn off later if they really bother you), I think it's $119 and you won't get a better deal. Can read in the sun, can read in the dark, battery lasts forever. You won't be dissapointed. Can sync your smartphone to the bookmarks, download kindle app and you can read on your phone if you forgot your kindle.

amyzzz
05-10-2013, 02:33 PM
Also, when my Kindle broke, I did an online chat and they shipped me a new one which arrived two days later.

gam3g3ni3
05-11-2013, 12:38 PM
Also, when my Kindle broke, I did an online chat and they shipped me a new one which arrived two days later.

Happened to my GF also.

Did yours "freeze" in a corner?

mountmccabe
05-16-2013, 05:59 AM
I finished Toast; the best ones were mostly in the beginning.



But now I'm reading Octavia Butler's trilogy, Lillith's Brood (Xenogenesis) Anyone interested in sci fi and intergalactic extraterrestrial genetic engineering would be wise to check it out.

I started this and am about halfway through the first book and am enjoying it thus far. I had not even considered the pun in the title but hey.

zircona1
05-16-2013, 07:07 AM
Recently finished Mary Roach's Packing For Mars. I know she's got a new one out, but I didn't read the last one. It was pretty entertaining and informative, it certainly doesn't glamorize space travel. I particularly liked the chapter on motion sickness.

I'm currently reading Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Have never read any of her work before, I was assigned to read Beloved in a college class but never finished it.

fatbastard
05-23-2013, 05:33 PM
Struggling with True Believers

malcolmjamalawesome
05-28-2013, 04:41 PM
Has anyone read an H.P. Lovecraft? Is it enjoyable?

bmack86
05-28-2013, 05:18 PM
I loved his stuff. I read a collection of 22 stories. He had a formula, so by the end that started to get fairly obvious, but he's so dark and entertaining that it wasn't a detriment. The Cthulu story is fantastic.

malcolmjamalawesome
05-28-2013, 05:20 PM
This one? http://www.amazon.com/H-P-Lovecraft-Library-America/dp/1931082723/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369790404&sr=8-1&keywords=lovecraft+collection

Alchemy
05-28-2013, 05:29 PM
Has anyone read an H.P. Lovecraft? Is it enjoyable?

I've read quite a few of his stories. Some of his stories – like The Cats of Ulthar, Cool Air, and The Statement of Randolph Carter – are enjoyable in the way that episodes of The Twilight Zone are enjoyable. If you're a fan of the show, I think you'll be a fan of Lovecraft. I've found some of his mythos stories – like The Call of Cthulhu and At the Mountains of Madness – to be interesting, but not as enjoyable as I would've hoped. His writing almost seems to intend on informing rather than entertaining. It can be very dry.

Barns & Noble has a great hardcover with just about everything in it. You have to make sure to get their latest edition of it though, because I think earlier ones have a lot of typos.

Alchemy
05-28-2013, 05:32 PM
Also, I wanted to post in here that I've been reading Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day, little by little, for about a year now. I'm almost on page 800. It's very fun. I'm just a slow reader.

bmack86
05-28-2013, 06:33 PM
This one? http://www.amazon.com/H-P-Lovecraft-Library-America/dp/1931082723/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369790404&sr=8-1&keywords=lovecraft+collection

No, but that has the same stories that I've read, so essentially yes.


I've found some of his mythos stories – like The Call of Cthulhu and At the Mountains of Madness – to be interesting, but not as enjoyable as I would've hoped. His writing almost seems to intend on informing rather than entertaining. It can be very dry.

That's actually one of the reasons I liked those so much. They seem almost like journalism, which was a very great idea at the time and still isn't pulled off quite as convincingly as he did.

roberto73
05-28-2013, 06:57 PM
Also, I wanted to post in here that I've been reading Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day, little by little, for about a year now. I'm almost on page 800. It's very fun. I'm just a slow reader.

I admire this. I'm still recovering from Gravity's Rainbow over a year ago.

Alchemy
05-28-2013, 08:47 PM
That's actually one of the reasons I liked those so much. They seem almost like journalism, which was a very great idea at the time and still isn't pulled off quite as convincingly as he did.

It certainly benefits the feeling that his stories are real lore of our own world, as though we can stumble upon the Necronomicon in some forgotten library in Massachusetts. The pacing just doesn't seem to lend to the horror, for me. It absolutely does read like journalism. Actually, it reminds me a lot of the essays I read in an undergraduate anthropology class that I had.


I admire this. I'm still recovering from Gravity's Rainbow over a year ago.

I read that one too, back in 2011. I actually managed to tackle that over a summer, and then I figured that I would do the same to Against the Day in the summer of 2012. I ended up taking breaks after some of the sections to read other books, and now I'm finally trying to make my way to the end.

Although it's bigger than Gravity's Rainbow, it is a much easier book to follow. I actually know what most of the characters are doing in this one!

ActionComics
06-03-2013, 05:28 PM
Every time i open a book im like "Hey, where are all the pictures at?"
Robopocalypse was ok, i suggest just waiting for the movie. On a side note, it would of been a lot better with pics.

hippityhip
06-03-2013, 05:59 PM
Also, I wanted to post in here that I've been reading Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day, little by little, for about a year now. I'm almost on page 800. It's very fun. I'm just a slow reader.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR0588DtHJA

RageAgainstTheAoki
06-17-2013, 11:10 PM
I can't believe it, but I finally finished Gravity's Rainbow. Only took me a year. Can't say I got it all, but man was that fun. Also recently finished Zadie Smith's NW - officially now my second favorite Smith book behind the perhaps never to be eclipsed On Beauty and Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman which is delightfully loony. Postmodernism before modernism, I guess? I've heard people find it a frustrating and dull read. I was thoroughly entertained.

Hannahrain
06-25-2013, 06:07 PM
Can anybody recommend a good biography of Winston Churchill that isn't a $75 box set?

stinkbutt
06-28-2013, 10:53 PM
I had written off Hemingway because I had only been forced to read "The Old Man and the Sea" and hated it. I just finished "To Have and To Have Not" and loved it, though. Any further recommendations? Any one that knows me knows I am not well read besides maybe comics, so please take it easy on the dickhead bullshit.

bmack86
06-28-2013, 11:12 PM
The only other one I've fully read was The Sun Also Rises, which was always a great novel in my mind. I'd also suggest re-trying The Old Man and the Sea at some point, because it's much better when you want to read it than when you have to.

SoulDischarge
06-28-2013, 11:49 PM
We had to read A Farewell To Arms in high school. I had also written Hemingway off, but we really dug into that and there was so much below the surface I wasn't catching. He's a very easy read but it takes a lot of probing to catch the fullness of what he saying. He's also notorious for his short stories. We had to delve into "Hills Like White Elephants" and "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" for some class in film school and those are both really fantastic.

mountmccabe
06-29-2013, 05:09 AM
Can anybody recommend a good biography of Winston Churchill that isn't a $75 box set?

My father really liked the first two volumes of the $75 boxed set if that means anything.

Also I should remember to get him the third volume for his birthday. I bet he hasn't read it yet.



I had written off Hemingway because I had only been forced to read "The Old Man and the Sea" and hated it. I just finished "To Have and To Have Not" and loved it, though. Any further recommendations? Any one that knows me knows I am not well read besides maybe comics, so please take it easy on the dickhead bullshit.

The latter is the only one I really liked. He's not my thing.

roberto73
06-29-2013, 06:07 AM
I had written off Hemingway because I had only been forced to read "The Old Man and the Sea" and hated it. I just finished "To Have and To Have Not" and loved it, though. Any further recommendations? Any one that knows me knows I am not well read besides maybe comics, so please take it easy on the dickhead bullshit.

I'm a big fan of his short stories, so you might pick up a copy of those. That would give you something manageable and easy to quit if it turns out not to be your thing.

FEELS
06-29-2013, 06:22 AM
Me three with the short stories... I read this (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Short-Stories-Ernest-Hemingway/dp/0684843323/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372515694&sr=8-1&keywords=ernest+hemingway+short+stories) all in one night. Particularly love the stories revolving around his Nick Adams character.

FEELS
06-29-2013, 06:26 AM
So I bought quite a few books recently for some summer readin'.. which one should I start with?

Miss Lonelyhearts/The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Lolita by Nabokov
The Sirens of Titan and Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut
Hunger by Knut Hamsun

canexplain
06-29-2013, 06:46 AM
I love my Kindle PaperWhite, has a long battery life, several days worth.

I bought Susie a Kindle HD Fire a few months ago for her BD and she loves it. I decided to do away with mobile electronic devices cept for photography so I have no clue...cr****

SoulDischarge
06-29-2013, 06:56 AM
Tropic of Cancer.

guedita
06-29-2013, 07:17 AM
Miss Lonelyhearts/Day of the Locust is a quick and breezy read. Those are all great choices, though.....I'd say start with Lolita.

FEELS
06-29-2013, 07:38 AM
Yeah I think I'm gonna start with Day of the Locust. I bought it without knowing the "plot" (the cover looked really cool) and now after researching it sounds really interesting.

Oh and a little recommendation. Robert talked about it in here I think. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. Anyone interested in a really great contemporary read should check it out!

canexplain
06-29-2013, 07:52 AM
The 13th Floor Elevators album is always so easy to spot in a collection. That book sounds very interesting.

Old post I realize. Only you would catch that. Big Pink jumped out at me .....cr****

I don't read a lot but The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov blew me away ....

BTW to understand the series, you would need to read them all I think.

List of books within the Foundation Universe

The Author's Note of Prelude to Foundation contains Asimov's suggested reading order for his science fiction books:[19]

The Complete Robot (1982) and/or I, Robot (1950)
Caves of Steel (1954)
The Naked Sun (1957)
The Robots of Dawn (1983)
Robots and Empire (1985)
The Stars, Like Dust (1951)
The Currents of Space (1952)
Pebble in the Sky (1950)
Prelude to Foundation (1988)
Note: Forward the Foundation (1993) was not yet published, but would have followed Prelude.
Foundation (1951)
Foundation and Empire (1952)
Second Foundation (1953)
Foundation's Edge (1982)
Foundation and Earth (1986)

fatbastard
07-05-2013, 09:05 AM
I've been stuck in the same place of 1q84 for 5 days now.

algunz
07-05-2013, 09:08 AM
I know I'm late to the party on this one, but this is a perfect poolside, beach, summer read.

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee218/alessandragunz/836acf71c66d786eabb3c52651c1515e.jpg

lehorne
07-08-2013, 10:01 PM
featuring Agent Orange.

Awaiting Susan Sontag Against Interpretation Essays in the mail and biding time with more 1001 Arabian Nights stories such as when, after catching her husband laying with the cookmaid, a rich woman searched for and found a lowly common man off the streets to take home as revenge. His dirty body was bathed by her slave girls, fed, made love with the rich woman, and paid fifty gold dinar coins wrapped in a handkerchief to take home. After eight straight days of this repetitious visiting, and the temporary arrival and departure from her husband who had been traveling, she told the common man "I swore an oath that I assuredly would do adultery with the foulest and filthiest man in Baghdad...Spent four days going round about the city in quest of one who should answer to this description, but found none fouler nor filthier than thy good self". Dang, that's cold.

bleep
07-09-2013, 10:14 PM
I've been stuck in the same place of 1q84 for 5 days now.
I have a bookmark resting within the pages of Chapter 10 for almost two years now. I just got tired of slogging through page after page, and gave up trying to finish 1Q84.

Robin
07-10-2013, 08:11 AM
I recently finished Joyland by Stephen King. It was a good book. The only downside was that I started reading it thinking it was a horror/thriller, so I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't. I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more if I didn't go into it with that mindset.

swiftmaggot
07-10-2013, 08:24 AM
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.
Read this.

lehorne
07-10-2013, 08:58 AM
No.

JorgeC
07-15-2013, 08:14 AM
Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Typical Gaiman, child stumbles into the supernatural, conquers evildoears and learns about himself. Beautifully written, the house/town is based on Neil's own childhood and he wrote it for his wife (Amanda Palmer), it's a great quick read.

guedita
07-23-2013, 09:27 PM
I'm here to share the exciting news with RageAgainsttheAoki and any other Zadie Smith fan that she's writing a sci fi novel.

bmack86
07-23-2013, 10:00 PM
Over the past three nights I read the Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt. It's a humorous dark western set in the gold rush era featuring two paid assassins tracking a job from Oregon down to San Francisco. It's excellent, funny yet heavy and full of weird quirk. Highly recommended.

RageAgainstTheAoki
07-23-2013, 10:19 PM
I'm here to share the exciting news with RageAgainsttheAoki and any other Zadie Smith fan that she's writing a sci fi novel.

Hmm. I, um, I'm not sure what to make of that. I'm intrigued. I suppose now that the Supreme Court has announced the end of racism and inequity, Smith probably has to find new subject matter.

Just finished The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Really enjoyed it. Roy certainly knows how to make the English language incredibly colorful.

Tonight I'm starting Dreadful, David Margolick's new biography of forgotten mid-century American novelist John Horne Burns.

gmoneyak
07-25-2013, 12:50 PM
I'm quite enjoying this as a coffee table book, 75% off at Barnes & Noble right now.

http://images.urbanoutfitters.com/is/image/UrbanOutfitters/25864141_000_b?$zoom$

ThatGirl
07-27-2013, 05:12 AM
Just picked up Beyond Belief, the story of the niece of the man that took over for L Ron Hubbard as the head of Scientology after L Ron died. She gradually left the faith, after spending her entire life in it, and committing herself to the Sea Org from age 7. I'm only a few chapters in but it's pretty interesting so far.

thelastgreatman
07-27-2013, 05:27 AM
I just recently finally finished Imperial Bedrooms, Bret Easton Ellis's sequel to Less Than Zero. I have owned this book since it came out in paperback, well over a year and a half ago. It has taken this long to finish--despite being quite short as novels go--because it was so fucking tedious that the only time I ever read any of it were circumstances where I found myself stuck somewhere in absolutely desperate need of reading material and it was one book that stayed in my car.

Less Than Zero has always been my least favorite of his works (I have a great deal of affection for the man and his writing, though there are several places where he deserves to be fairly criticized even in his best works) and when the initial announcement was made that his next work was going to be a sequel to it all I could think was, "WHY? WHAT IN THE FUCK WOULD POSSIBLY MAKE YOU WANT TO REVISIT THIS COMPLETELY VAPID, CHARACTERLESS FUCKING SCENE THAT YOU'D CREATED WHEN YOU WERE JUST A COLLEGE STUDENT. YOU COCKSUCKER."

If you liked Less Than Zero, you're a dumb fuck, but you'll probably like Imperial Bedrooms too.

fatbastard
08-05-2013, 04:09 PM
Gone Girl...that crazy bitch

algunz
08-05-2013, 05:01 PM
Fuck, I only have 3 weeks of break.

bmack86
08-05-2013, 06:36 PM
If you liked Less Than Zero, you're a dumb fuck.

Full stop. That book was horrible. Especially when compared to some of his other works.

fatbastard
08-20-2013, 09:17 PM
Telegraph Avenue - kareem mother fucking abdul jabbar

TomAz
08-21-2013, 06:47 AM
Beyond Belief


Imperial Bedrooms ... Less Than Zero


These are all Elvis Costello song names.

birdiearch
08-21-2013, 09:59 AM
Currently listening to The Sea Wolf by Jack London.
The narrator is horrible.

bmack86
08-21-2013, 10:44 AM
Currently listening to The Sea Wolf by Jack London.
The narrator is horrible.

You know, there's an easy solution to this: reading.

SoulDischarge
08-21-2013, 10:50 AM
That's like, when the narrator is, like, in your head, right?

amyzzz
08-21-2013, 11:44 AM
God, she is fourteen.

birdiearch
08-21-2013, 12:24 PM
Really people??
No audiobooks?
I don't get what my age has anything to do with this.
I'm actually 13; thanks for rounding up, Amy.

(Or I guess I should be thanking Tom.)

amyzzz
08-21-2013, 12:30 PM
Are you really 13? My daughter is 13. I don't want to think about anyone my daughter's age reading this message board.:confused:

birdiearch
08-21-2013, 12:32 PM
+10 sarcasm points for me!

TomAz
08-21-2013, 12:33 PM
Her profile says she's 25, amy, and "her profile don't lie".

TomAz
08-21-2013, 12:34 PM
+10 sarcasm points for me!

sarcasm is more effective when you don't cop to it. Keep the people guessing.

guedita
08-21-2013, 12:35 PM
Also, being asked a clarifying question by Amyzzz is - 20 points.

birdiearch
08-21-2013, 12:35 PM
Sorry, just needed to calm Amy the fuck down.


Wait, who assigns these point values anyways??? ....Tom perhaps?

TomAz
08-21-2013, 12:37 PM
amy is the least of your worries on here.

birdiearch
08-21-2013, 12:38 PM
I've noticed!

Hannahrain
08-21-2013, 12:40 PM
Keep a close record of your points. You might want something from the holiday catalog.

guedita
08-21-2013, 12:41 PM
Hannah sometimes sells brief witticisms and single words for points. Wait until she offers a bundle package.

birdiearch
08-21-2013, 12:42 PM
Ooooh I'm intrigued!

TomAz
08-21-2013, 12:46 PM
Hannah has the best words of anyone on the board. It's not even close.

amyzzz
08-21-2013, 12:48 PM
I looked up her profile though. I must have done it wrong. surprise, surprise.

Hannahrain
09-03-2013, 05:48 PM
Question: should the Philip Marlowe books be read in order, or do they essentially stand alone? I've only read The Big Sleep so far.

guedita
09-03-2013, 06:05 PM
It's my understanding that they stand alone -- Chandler wasn't necessarily consisted with the character's development. I also read The Big Sleep earlier this year and have been meaning to read more Chandler.

Currently I am reading Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray on my smart phone, which is proving to be daunting because I really fucking hate reading on my phone but am trying to commit to trying out the format in full once, so I'm making rather slow progress. Enjoying reading a physical copy of Wuthering Heights much more.

SoulDischarge
09-03-2013, 06:07 PM
Funny, I read both of those this year and read The Big Sleep last year. I love how over the top Wuthering Heights is with its misery and Heathcliff's unpleasantness.

Hannahrain
09-03-2013, 06:08 PM
It seems like the general consensus is that The Long Goodbye should come last, because it demonstrates Chandler's conscious dissection of the genre he helped to create. I haven't been able to find out much else via google from anyone whose opinion seems particularly trustworthy. I guess I'll risk it.

SoulDischarge
09-03-2013, 06:27 PM
Wait, shit, that might be the one I read. In any case, I'm pretty sure you can read them in any damned order you like and not miss too much. The genre is so firmly embedded in what we consume now that you already know the tropes he's dissecting. I found that the same thing was applicable to Watchmen when I read that, which is supposed to be for comic aficionados, but I still felt like I got a lot of what it was skewering.

roberto73
09-03-2013, 06:28 PM
I've only read The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye. It's been a while, but, like Cara mentioned, I don't remember thinking I'd missed anything by not reading any of the intervening books. 'Course, Goodbye is so labyrinthine I would've been confused regardless of how much of Chandler's work I'd read.

I recently finished Dan Simmon's Drood, which is a pretty remarkable exercise in voice and using the historical record to tell a compelling (and creepy) story centered on the final years of Charles Dickens' life. Long story short: told in the dead-accurate voice of 19th Century author (and Dickens' collaborator and rival) Wilkie Collins, Simmons uses real events from Dickens' life (his involvement in a tragic locomotive accident; the writing of his final works and participation in a speaking tour that nearly killed him; his clandestine affair with a much younger actress) to explore the author's obsession with a disfigured murderer who lives in London's sewers. It's a pretty amazing melding of fact and fiction, and I'm not kidding when I say that Simmons absolutely nails Collins' voice (take a peek at his novel The Moonstone, referenced heavily here, to see what I'm talking about). I'm not easily creeped out, but sections of this are seriously disturbing. Simmons does this kind of thing better than anyone I can think of.

zircona1
09-03-2013, 06:33 PM
I recently finished Dan Simmon's Drood, which is a pretty remarkable exercise in voice and using the historical record to tell a compelling (and creepy) story centered on the final years of Charles Dickens' life. Long story short: told in the dead-accurate voice of 19th Century author (and Dickens' collaborator and rival) Wilkie Collins, Simmons uses real events from Dickens' life (his involvement in a tragic locomotive accident; the writing of his final works and participation in a speaking tour that nearly killed him; his clandestine affair with a much younger actress) to explore the author's obsession with a disfigured murderer who lives in London's sewers. It's a pretty amazing melding of fact and fiction, and I'm not kidding when I say that Simmons absolutely nails Collins' voice (take a peek at his novel The Moonstone, referenced heavily here, to see what I'm talking about). I'm not easily creeped out, but sections of this are seriously disturbing. Simmons does this kind of thing better than anyone I can think of.

Have you read The Terror? That's the only one of his I've read. Took me a long time to finish it, but I thought it was fantastic.

I'm currently reading Mary Roach's Gulp.

santasutt
09-03-2013, 07:23 PM
The Good House by Ann Leary is an easy and enjoyable read and somewhat poignant for those of us who:

live in New England and feel the local color in our bones,

enjoy the drink and question one's own consumption from time to time,

emerged from broken families.


Surprised that Meryl has snatched up the role as Hildy Good in the film version............said nobody.

roberto73
09-04-2013, 02:33 AM
Have you read The Terror? That's the only one of his I've read. Took me a long time to finish it, but I thought it was fantastic.


Yeah, that was the first of his I read. Similar to what I learned about Dickens in Drood, I learned more about being a 19th Century sailor from The Terror than I thought I would.

ThatGirl
09-04-2013, 10:57 AM
Hannah sometimes sells brief witticisms and single words for points. Wait until she offers a bundle package.
I'm still waiting for my personal Latin motto. Will she bundle this in?

Hannahrain
09-04-2013, 01:26 PM
It was an unlimited time offer, which is to say I get an unlimited amount of time to deliver before you're allowed to be sore about waiting.

Hannahrain
09-04-2013, 01:27 PM
You're allowed to be sore about other stuff, though. Want to see a sock full of quarters?

ThatGirl
09-04-2013, 01:33 PM
No that's ok, I'll keep waiting.

fatbastard
09-04-2013, 03:43 PM
Just took back Jack Rakove's Revolutionaries to the library. He talkie talkie way too much to enjoy.

birdiearch
09-05-2013, 09:40 AM
Just started re-reading Brave New World. Messssed up.
Also picked up Animal Farm, but really wanted 1984. :/

guedita
09-05-2013, 09:49 AM
Cool. Who's your Language Arts teacher and what period?

birdiearch
09-05-2013, 10:03 AM
Haha, I read these all in 10th grade.

Chyeah! Let's get a soda pop after class!

mountmccabe
09-09-2013, 04:51 PM
I am a bit behind so I am reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson now. In this 2012 novel he plays his libertarian fantasy by contriving characters to design a fantasy role playing game. Then, feeling lazy or nostalgic makes the bad guys the Russian mob. Eventually I hear he throws in Islamic terrorists, too but I don't think I'm going to continue.

There are too many strikes against this novel. I don't like fantasy. I don't like video games. I don't like libertarianism. I don't hate academia. And I don't like the casual misogyny that has crept (?) into his works.

One of the main characters, Zula, is a woman and she even has interiority... by which I mean she muses on how much she likes masculinity and how great it is that some man (like the strongest Stephenson avatar, Richard) will be manly and save her. Sorry to use the word "muses" but that reminds me: those that remember Charlene from Cryptonomicon will recognize The Five Muses (more Furies than Muses), five ex-girlfriends that haunt Richard's mind. They mostly come up when Richard and/or Stephenson wants to put a (woman's) face to some feminist/liberal/academia concept he's skewering/being revolted by/attacking.

He's a good writer and I loved Anathem (which was well abstracted, not happening in this universe) but this one is frustrating me. And part of me wants to stick out the two more weeks the last 800 pages would take but I just don't want to deal with all the baggage he's carrying.

kvnty
09-09-2013, 04:54 PM
anybody ever finish Infinite Jest? I'm 200 pages in and don't know if I should soldier forward or give up and read The Shining sequel.

TheVelvetSmudge
09-09-2013, 04:59 PM
Just started re-reading Brave New World. Messssed up.
Also picked up Animal Farm, but really wanted 1984. :/

What's messed up about Brave New World? I try not to react to a book until I've finished it, though that's not always entirely possible. Like girldita indicated, those are some middle school/ high school classics, though I had to read Brave New World on my own time, and found it to be very much my type of story. I would suggest reading 1984 first, as it's not quite as whimsical a read as Brave New World, though that could just be me. Try Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 also. The book is MUCH better than the film. Also a big fan of his Martian Chronicles.

SoulDischarge
09-09-2013, 05:11 PM
anybody ever finish Infinite Jest? I'm 200 pages in and don't know if I should soldier forward or give up and read The Shining sequel.

Soldier forward. Although I think I finally got hooked about 100 pages in, so maybe it's just not for you? Give it another 100. Amongst all the obfuscation and footnotes and vocabulary words-of-the-day, there are some really memorable, direct passages that rank among the finest in literature (especially some of the stuff about addiction) even if piecing the whole thing together doesn't seem very fun to you.

kvnty
09-09-2013, 05:52 PM
Soldier forward. Although I think I finally got hooked about 100 pages in, so maybe it's just not for you? Give it another 100. Amongst all the obfuscation and footnotes and vocabulary words-of-the-day, there are some really memorable, direct passages that rank among the finest in literature (especially some of the stuff about addiction) even if piecing the whole thing together doesn't seem very fun to you.

I will give it another 100 pages. It has made me laugh out loud several times and do like some of the characters (though some I loathe when I see it's their section coming up). That 25-page footnote nearly killed me.

bmack86
09-09-2013, 06:53 PM
(Almost) every character becomes worthwhile by the end of the book. The first time I tried reading it I wasn't sold, but my second go through completely hooked my within 200-250 pages. The long footnotes can be annoying, but they can also be really enjoyable diversions or elucidations on points that you don't realize until later. The footnote with the filmography is extremely helpful to build an understanding of the larger timeline, for example, and to describe the years in subsidized time.

kvnty
09-09-2013, 07:13 PM
(Almost) every character becomes worthwhile by the end of the book. The first time I tried reading it I wasn't sold, but my second go through completely hooked my within 200-250 pages. The long footnotes can be annoying, but they can also be really enjoyable diversions or elucidations on points that you don't realize until later. The footnote with the filmography is extremely helpful to build an understanding of the larger timeline, for example, and to describe the years in subsidized time.

Plus some of those film titles and descriptions (and the fucked up recurring actors) really makes me appreciate the father. My god, what a lunatic genius. It's starting to remind me of A Confederacy of Dunces, which is my all-time favorite read.

So glad I've finally found people who have finished it.

SoulDischarge
09-09-2013, 09:19 PM
There's a site with detailed annotations for every page that explains some of the more obscure references and defines some of the deep cut words. It's an invaluable resource for making it through that book.

http://infinitejest.wallacewiki.com/david-foster-wallace/index.php?title=Infinite_Jest_Page_by_Page

This is useful too:

http://infinitesummer.org/archives/215

kvnty
09-10-2013, 02:16 PM
There's a site with detailed annotations for every page that explains some of the more obscure references and defines some of the deep cut words. It's an invaluable resource for making it through that book.

http://infinitejest.wallacewiki.com/david-foster-wallace/index.php?title=Infinite_Jest_Page_by_Page

This is useful too:

http://infinitesummer.org/archives/215

Thanks so much. It really is a different way of reading fiction.

Finished another 30 pages last night and think I can do this.

amyzzz
09-10-2013, 02:23 PM
Keep going! If I can do it, you can do it! Such a terrific book.

kvnty
09-10-2013, 03:26 PM
The wheelchair assassins crack my shit up.

fatbastard
09-15-2013, 11:19 AM
Piper Kerman – Orange is the new black

Prison cheesecake

1. Prepare a crust of crushed graham crackers mixed with 4 pats of margarine stolen from the dining hall. Bake it in a Tupperware bowl for about a minute in the microwave and allow it to cool and harden.

2. Take 1 full round of laughing cow cheese, smash it with a fork, and mix with a cup of vanilla pudding until smooth. Naturally mix in 1 can of creamora, even though it seems gross. Beat viciously until smooth. Add lemon juice from the squeeze bottle until the mixture starts to thicken. Note. This will use most of the plastic lemon.

3. Pour into the bowl atop the crust and put on ice in your Bunkie’s cleaning bucket to chill until ready to eat.

RageAgainstTheAoki
10-08-2013, 09:54 PM
I must admit that I don't read a great deal of poetry. I'm almost always drawn to novels, but at the urging of a few friends, I picked up Jack Gilbert's Collected Poems last week. Total knock-out. I found more than a few of the poems deeply moving. They're often bleak and painful works dealing with death, separation and solitude, but there's also a lovely juxtaposition of the lyrical and the everyday in so many of them. When thumbing through the book, this was the first poem I stopped on. I was instantly hooked.


The Abandoned Valley | Jack Gilbert
Can you understand being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the well
so you could feel something down there
tug at the other end of the rope?

zircona1
10-09-2013, 05:38 AM
I'm trying this book again. I've had it on my shelf for several years, tried reading it long ago but gave up quickly. I'm about 60 pages in now.

http://usableness.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/godel-escher-bach.jpg

Baby Sandwich
10-09-2013, 08:57 AM
just in time for the holidays

http://www.nashvillescene.com/binary/0d2c/1381271137-51egjmsgsel._sy344_bo1_204_203_200_.jpg

Amazon - Horny Ghost Of Osama Bin Laden: Rise Of The Ghost (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1490372091/trashybooks-20?tag=gawkeramzn-20&ascsubtag=[type|link[postId|1442971305[asin|1490372091[authorId|5722373954280962685)


Simply stated, this book is a masterpiece that will surely go down as a classic for the ages to sit along side such literary mainstays as The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye, Hitler's Homosexual Zombie Corpse, and The Grapes of Wrath. It's difficult to convey the sheer genius of this book without ruining the nuances and mysteries it contains, but one thing that deserves special mention is that the imagery of Osama's ghost is incredibly layered and complex serving to become analogies for many things all at once. On the surface he seems superficial and nothing more than a B rate movie monster, but readily apparent is that he also represents the futility of living in a modern era. Upon re-reading, one discovers that even that is only a veil for the inadequacies of a mother's love in an era of modern technology. Even further down the rabbit hole however, it becomes unavoidable that at his core, Osama's horny ghost is a simple message, "Love each other"'

TomAz
10-09-2013, 09:23 AM
I'm trying this book again. I've had it on my shelf for several years, tried reading it long ago but gave up quickly. I'm about 60 pages in now.


spoiler alert: they all die in the end.

zircona1
10-09-2013, 10:14 AM
Funny, I don't remember Hitler's Homosexual Zombie Corpse in any English classes.

algunz
10-09-2013, 12:31 PM
I read that with my 7th graders, and they really seem to love it. Quite a discussion starter.

shermanoaksyo
10-30-2013, 01:51 PM
http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1176055306l/587413.jpg

This'll make most of you giggle continuously for ~2 days of reading.

JorgeC
11-08-2013, 12:21 PM
Picked up Guillermo Del Toro's "The Strain" used at Amoeba. anyone read this book and/or the followups?

lehorne
11-08-2013, 01:36 PM
About to start Vladimir Bartol’s ‘The Alamut’ featuring an abundance of hashish, “living dagger” boy assassins, ancient Persian empires, crazed Mongols, remote mountaintop fortresses, hashish. *Hold on*.

thelastgreatman
11-08-2013, 03:37 PM
Any authorities on John O'Hara in the house? He was in my father's top three authors and I'm feeling a passionate need to return to a more classic style of modern American literature so he seems like a good option, but can't really recall the specific works Pops was most fond of. I remember Appointment in Samara being mentioned a couple of times. Any pointers would be appreciated.

FEELS
11-09-2013, 11:03 PM
http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1176055306l/587413.jpg

This'll make most of you giggle continuously for ~2 days of reading.

Really like the cover. Will check this out!

stinkbutt
11-09-2013, 11:17 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for a good mystery book? I haven't read many, if any at all. I just got an urge to read one as of late, though.