Sorry for all the typos stupid auto correct. I also meant Marvin the robot not margin. Also a good transition book would be the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Can't go wrong with Bradbury.
FYF Fest 8/27 - 8/28
Yesterday I re-finished A Confederacy of Dunces. Last time I read it I was 16, I'm 26 now, and it was every bit as fascinating as I remembered. What I didn't remember was how, every single page, I would laugh out loud at the incredible dialect and fantastic descriptions of characters and locations. It's one of the best books I've read, and if you haven't done so, you really should.
And now I'm re-reading Nadja by Andre Breton. It's so beautifully written and completely surreal.
Those books about terraforming Mars seem especially cool. I like the covers they have on the wikipedia page.
Those are both great.
They couldn't be further apart, though, which is awesome. The best of the Douglas Adams is some of the funniest stuff I've ever read; he is wildly inventive and doesn't let anything get in the way of a joke/good story. The KSR novels are gigantic in scope, well detailed and near-Hard Sci-Fi (that is, he tries to take the science seriously.)
If you are looking for more I might push Philip K Dick (darker, often more psychological and paranormal than science-obsessed, VALIS and Martian Time-Slip are my favorites,) Greg Egan (definitely Hard Sci-Fi, very mathy; Diaspora is my favorite but it might be a tough first-approach to his quantum ontology work, Permutation City might be an easier place to start) and Robert Heinlein (his mid to late Period work was insane; he was a little preachy with his counter-culture/non-conformist ideas but they make great books. I'd push The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress first.)
I don't think I'm hosting a 2016 collaborative playlist.
I'm reading Reamde right now (Neal Stephenson). Trying to figure out what books to take on my upcoming trip.
A Confederacy of Dunces is easily in my top 10 favorite books. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Last edited by algunz; 02-29-2012 at 12:29 PM.
I wasn't crazy about A Confederacy of Dunces, the only thing I laughed at was where he was talking about how every home should have a torture chamber.
We're here to play some Mississippi Delta Blues. We're in a horrible depression, and I gotta admit - we're starting to like it.
If anyone is a YA book fan they should check out The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
I'm about halfway through Gravity's Rainbow. I enjoy it in the moment, but I have to admit that it always feels like a chore when I think about picking it up again.
My doctor told me my blood pressure was too low, so I read this book.
I had to read a ton of white papers and research reports over the last couple of weeks. I needed something light after all of that. In my defense, let me preface this by saying that I work at a media company and publishers send us dozens of new books every week in the hope of getting reviews or mentions. And on that ever growing pile of new books I fished out Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars by Scotty Bowers. Bowers is an octogenarian retiree, former WWII vet and, according to his book, the greatest sex worker in Hollywood history. The book is easily the trashiest, most lurid thing I've ever read. It's filled with the most explicit and ridiculous anecdotes which defy reason. He claims he chose to write the book only after all of the subjects had died and when he was close to the end himself. He claims that from the late 40s to the early 80s he worked as an escort and a... facilitator for some of the biggest stars of screen, stage, and the literati. Some of the claims include...
- Setting Katherine Hepburn up with over 150 women.
- Having a threesome with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor
- Sleeping with an often drunk Spencer Tracy
- Hooking Cole Porter up as the lone bottom in 10-man orgies
- That Charles Laughton had an appetite for post-coital "Nutella" sandwiches
- ...and on and on and on.
It's ridiculous and 99% of it is unverifiable (a few things get verified, like the the longtime partner of Raymond Burr confirming that Bowers set him up with the Perry Mason star), but it's a good trashy read.
Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall is very interesting, for the interested. I'm impressed by Frank Brady's ability to portray Fischer's intertwined brilliance and repugnance without favoring one over the other, particularly given that they were personally acquainted.
Last edited by Hannahrain; 04-12-2012 at 06:56 PM.
Just finished White Teeth, Zadie Smith's celebrated debut novel about racial identity, class and assimilation in post Colonial Britain. It's pretty astonishing to me that a 24 yr old wrote such a fantastic book. No wonder she was the new wonder kid novelist in the early part of the century. She definitely wears her influences on her sleeve -- especially EM Forester. And after recently reading that Nabokov (and Pnin especially) was one of her favorite authors, the influence there is also apparent. I think what she shares most in common with these authors is a biting, but sensitive wit and an incredible ear for different voices. Every voice in this book whether Benghali, Jamaican, cockney, middle class, academic, religious or some combination thereof, feels authentic. She casts a wide net with the characters of three wildly different British families and yet every single person feels so real to me.
I actually went backward and read her most recent novel, On Beauty last year. While White Teeth is an astonishingly good debut novel for any age, to me, On Beauty is a thing of wonder. It's a more mature work than White Teeth. The only downside is that it's very similar to White Teeth. There are so many parallels in themes (racial divide, class distinction, cultural clashes, religion vs academia, the "street" vs classroom) that after reading White Teeth, On Beauty doesn't seem quite as brilliant. That being said, if you haven't read Smith and you're thinking of picking up one of her books, I'd go with On Beauty.
Apparently, Smith is also a creative writing professor at NYU. Man, I'd love to sit it on one of those classes.
Next, I'm diving into Nabokov's Pale Fire. Only my second Nabokov after Pnin. It's probably criminal that I haven't done Lolita yet, but I just can't resist finding out what became of our dear Professor Pnin. (no spoilers, please)
Forgot my book at home while driving out to Palm Springs on Easter Sunday and had fifteen minutes to buy something before Barnes closed at 6pm. Up & down the fictional author aisles at a high pace looking for familiarity, without knowing whom or what to choose. Don't normally do short stories, but purchased 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' by Hemingway as I figured short stories would be good by the pool in between dips and I already knew what I was getting with him. Didn't know that the film 'The Killers' was based on his short until a couple paragraphs in, so that was a nice side surprise. Overall some of the stories were hit or miss, but it did the job the following day.
Last edited by lehorne; 04-19-2012 at 12:24 PM.
a wife, not figuratively, blowing the head off her husband while on African hunting safari? Didn’t do much for me. Sometimes women are better left at base camp.