Anyone read House of Leaves? What did you think? What's your interpretation?
without my contacts in, I thought this thread said "Hey, Boobs"
i am disappointed and moving on...
I will start reading books again when its not required for school.
What do y'all think of the presidential race?
2014 Collaborative Playlist on Spotify.
Cormac McCarthy is fucking boring.
he's really not. he is just subtle and detailed.
dickens is fucking boring. and steinbeck. bleh.
i just read some fucking incredible books for a class on the caribbean diaspora if anyone is looking for something to read...
the dew breaker- edwidge danticat
carnival- robert antoni (based on hemmingway's the sun also rises)
Steinbeck is interesting. McCarthy is fucking boring.
Will also look into some of the other Japanese authors mentioned above.
This sounds like it could be an interesting book. Anyone interested in doing another book club? We don't have to do this one, I'm still up for White Noise.
The Film Club by David Gilmour
When David Gilmour, the Canadian film critic and novelist, told his teenage son, Jesse, that he could drop out of high school if he watched three movies a week at home under his tutelage, Jesse probably thought he was getting a good deal, and David may have believed he had a clever concept for a stunt memoir. In fact, they both got much more: Jesse received a proper (if unconventional) education, and David wrote a touching, witty story about cinema, and how fathers and sons really interact.
In the book (on sale 5/6), the pair watch hundreds of movies, everything from Absolute Power to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, but they learn far more about each other: David watches his career slip off the rails, while Jesse struggles with his earliest romances and minimal job prospects. Eventually, they find that each man is exactly what the other needs in his life at that moment. When the project finally unravels, they’ve learned that an appreciation for art is impossible without an appreciation for their mutual fallibility.
The following is an excerpt from The Film Club (Twelve Books, 2008) by David Gilmour.
I was stopped at a red light the other day when I saw my son coming out of a movie theater. He was with his new girlfriend. She was holding his coat sleeve at the very end with her fingertips, whispering something into his ear. I didn’t catch what film they’d just seen—the marquee was blocked by a tree in full flower—but I found myself remembering with a gust of almost painful nostalgia those three years that he and I spent, just the two of us, watching movies, talking on the porch, a magic time that a father doesn’t usually get to have so late in a teenage boy’s life. I don’t see him now as much as I used to (that’s as it should be) but that was a gorgeous time. A lucky break for both of us.
When I was a teenager, I believed that there was a place where bad boys went when they dropped out of school. It was somewhere off the edge of the earth, like that graveyard for elephants, only this one was full of the delicate white bones of little boys. I’m sure that’s why, to this day, I still have nightmares about studying for a physics exam, about flipping, with escalating worry, through page after page of my textbook—vectors and parabolas—because I’ve never seen any of this stuff before!
Thirty-five years later, when my son’s marks began to wobble in grade nine and toppled over entirely in grade ten, I experienced a kind of double horror, first at what was actually happening, second from this remembered sensation, still very alive in my body. I switched homes with my ex-wife (“He needs to live with a man,” she said). I moved into her house, she moved into my loft, which was too small to accommodate the full-time presence of a six-foot-four, heavy-footed teenager. That way, I assumed privately, I could do his homework for him, instead of her.
But it didn’t help. To my nightly question “Is that all your homework?” my son, Jesse, responded with a cheerful “Absolutely!” When he went to stay with his mother for a week that summer, I found a hundred different homework assignments shoved into every conceivable hiding place in his bedroom. School, in a word, was making him a liar and a slippery customer.
We sent him to a private school; some mornings, a bewildered secretary would call us. “Where is he?” Later that day, my long-limbed son would materialize on the porch. Where had he been? Maybe to a rap competition in some shopping mall in the suburbs or someplace less savory, but not school. We’d give him hell, he’d apologize solemnly, be good for a few days, and then it would all happen again.
He was a sweet-natured boy, very proud, who seemed incapable of doing anything he wasn’t interested in, no matter how much the consequences worried him. And they worried him a great deal. His report cards were dismaying except for the comments. People liked him, all sorts of people, even the police who arrested him for spray-painting the walls of his former grade school. (Incredulous neighbors recognized him.) When the officer dropped him off at the house, he said, “I’d forget about a life of crime, if I were you, Jesse. You just don’t have it.”
Finally, in the course of tutoring him in Latin one afternoon, I noticed that he had no notes, no textbook, nothing, just a wrinkled-up piece of paper with a few sentences about Roman consuls he was supposed to translate. I remember him sitting head down on the other side of the kitchen table, a boy with a white, untannable face in which you could see the arrival of even the smallest upset with the clarity of a slammed door. It was Sunday, the kind you hate when you’re a teenager, the weekend all but over, homework undone, the city gray like the ocean on a sunless day. Damp leaves on the street, Monday looming from the mist.
After a few moments I said, “Where are your notes, Jesse?”
“I left them at school.”
He was a natural at languages, understood their internal logic, had an actor’s ear—this should have been a breeze—but watching him flip back and forth through the textbook, I could see he didn’t know where anything was.
I said, “I don’t understand why you didn’t bring your notes home. This is going to make things much harder.”
He recognized the impatience in my voice; it made him nervous, which, in turn, made me slightly queasy. He was scared of me. I hated that. I never knew if it was a father-and-son thing or whether I, in particular, with my short temper, my inherited impatience, was the source of his anxiety. “Never mind,” I said. “This’ll be fun anyway. I love Latin.”
“You do?” he asked eagerly (anything to get the focus off the missing notes). I watched him work for a while—his nicotine-stained fingers curled around the pen, his bad handwriting.
“How exactly do you seize and carry off a Sabine woman, Dad?” he asked me.
“I’ll tell you later.”
Pause. “Is helmet a verb?” he said.
On and on it went, the afternoon shadows spreading across the kitchen tiles. Pencil tip bouncing on the vinyl tabletop. Gradually, I became aware of a kind of hum in the room. Where was it coming from? From him? But what was it? My eyes settled on him. It was a kind of boredom, yes, but a rarefied kind, an exquisite, almost cellular conviction of the irrelevance of the task at hand. And for some odd reason, for those few seconds, I was experiencing it as if it were occurring in my own body.
Oh, I thought, so this is how he’s going through his school day. Against this, you cannot win. And suddenly—it was as unmistakable as the sound of a breaking window—I understood that we had lost the school battle.
I also knew in that same instant—knew it in my blood—that I was going to lose him over this stuff, that one of these days he was going to stand up across the table and say, “Where are my notes? I’ll tell you where my notes are. I shoved them up my ass. And if you don’t lay the fuck off me, I’m going to shove them up yours.” And then he’d be gone, slam, and that’d be that.
“Jesse,” I said softly. He knew I was watching him and it made him anxious, as if he were on the verge of getting in trouble (again), and this activity, this flipping through the textbook, back and forth, back and forth, was a way of diverting it.
“Jesse, put down your pen. Stop for a second, please.”
“What?” he said. He’s so pale, I thought. Those cigarettes are leaching the life out of him.
I said, “I want you to do me a favor. I want you to think about whether or not you want to go to school.”
“Dad, the notes are at my—”
“Never mind about the notes. I want you to think about whether or not you want to keep going to school.”
I could feel my heart speeding up, the blood moving into my face. This was a place I’d never been to before, never even imagined before. “Because if you don’t, it’s all right.”
“What’s all right?”
Just say it, spit it out.
“If you don’t want to go to school anymore, then you don’t have to.”
He cleared his throat. “You’re going to let me quit school?”
“If you want. But please, take a few days to think about it. It’s a monu—”
He got to his feet. He always got to his feet when he was excited; his long limbs couldn’t endure the agitation of keeping still. Leaning his frame over the table, he lowered his voice as if afraid of being overheard. “I don’t need a few days.”
“Take them anyway. I insist.”
I like books...
So, I'm sitting, waiting for prince on Saturday, and reading a book. Some random guy walks by and asks, "What are you reading?"
"Hollywood...Charles Bukowski," I reply.
"I can't believe you're reading at Coachella."
"I'm waiting for Prince. What am I supposed to do?"
What's a Kindle?
the nice thing about the Kindle is that it's lighter than a book which makes it good to travel with. Plus yuo can get stuff without actually having to drag yourself to the bookstore. Plus the books are a lot cheaper since there's no actual physical book. I dunno that I'd buy one (they're not cheap) but as a gift it's pretty cool.
my mother just sent me love is a mix tape, by robert sheffield.
i haven't started it yet, but it seems pretty interesting. sheffield (critic for the rolling stone) recounts the days of his relationship with his wife prior to her death, through a series of mix tapes.
chances are it will be sentimental drivel that i won't be able to get through, but on a brief skim i did see david bowie and nirvana...we shall see.
Recommended read... Mary Roach - Stiffed, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.
"Upstairs is a working mortuary, and above it are the classrooms and offices of the college, one of the nation's oldest and best-respected*. In exchange for a price break in the cost of embalming and other mortuary services, customers agree to let students practice on their loved ones. Like getting a $5 haircut at the Vidal Sassoon Academy, sort of, sort of not."
Last edited by algunz; 05-02-2008 at 11:51 AM.
I like books too much themselves. Just can't see me enjoying a Kindle.
My wife returned from her trip with the new Eric Alterman book for me. Started it last night. Called "Why we are Liberals".
I just finished reading "The Road". It was my first Cormac McCarthy book, and it was amazing. I'm going to read Blood Meridian next, I think.
Also, this morning I started "On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan (the dude who wrote 'Atonement') and it's really good so far.
I should only read books by authors who have had books made into movies, and whose last name begins with Mc.
"The first time I heard the new single off the Bravery album, I actually cried, and I do not even remember the name of that damn song. It reminded me of this girl I am in love with." - kroqken
Right now I am working through the "Around and About Paris" series by Thirza Vallois, because I hope to go back to Paris at some point next Fall. I will happily take any other suggestions of fiction or non-fiction books set in and around Paris.
i'm trying to finish "the commanding heights" by daniel yergin and joseph stanislaw. there's a PBS special about this as well. it's for my world political and economic systems class.
it's a bit right leaning (which i enjoy, i'm a free market advocate); however the interesting thing about the book is that i find it easier to follow than other political books because there are small tidbits about the lives of the world leaders shaping these systems, and as a behavioral science major it really helps me to remember their names and policies.
anyways, for anyone interested in history and economics, it's worth the read. most of the book focuses on some post WWI, but mainly post WWII government systems. i plan on lending this to my dad when i'm finished
i wish i had time to read books for fun. the return on the native by thomas hardy has been waiting to be read for like two years now
"Breakfast of Champions" by Kurt Vonnegut is currently what I'm reading, along with "The Host" by Stephanie Meyer, and this lovely little book of six word memoirs.
I just finished Blowback by Chalmers Johnson, which was an excellent analysis of American foreign policy blunders in the last half century, specifically focusing on East Asia. His conclusion is that these policy decisions will create serious "blowback" in the form of economic crises, geopolitical conflict, and even terrorist attacks. Considering it was written in 2000, I'd say it was pretty prescient.
did anyone try reading danielewski's second book? the only time I could tell what was going on was during sex scenes. and even then it wasn't always apparent who, or what, or where, just that sex was happening.
Damn, I had high hopes for him. House of Leaves is brilliant, but I did notice he got a bit unsettlingly distracted during the sex scenes. And yeah, there are chapters that you can skip, but I think that's kind of part of the format. It adds to the sense of the thing being some lunatic's scrap book, they didn't know what was worth keeping, so you have to sort it out yourself.
Also, I think I should get a medal for carrying that bastard weight of a think around in my rucksack for weeks so I could read it at work. Danielewski owes me a new shoulder.