Probably his most recent book, Half Empty.
Probably his most recent book, Half Empty.
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.
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.
Anybody care to speculate? I'd love to know which up-and-comer's books are going to be insufferable.
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.
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.
I'm sure he already has his plaque ready to be hung by the front door.
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.
Why didn't you like it?
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.
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.
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?
My favorite book I read this year came out late last year:
Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan
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
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.
Yup. Excited about Smith's new book, though I have a hard time believing she'll be able to top On Beauty.
Seriously. Though I'm still partial to White Teeth
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Anyone get books for Christmas? I got two:
Mark Danielewski - The Fifty Year Sword
Junot Diaz - This Is How You Lose Her
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.
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.