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FOT Community => General Discussion => Topic started by: Rainer on April 13, 2007, 11:30:05 PM

Title: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 13, 2007, 11:30:05 PM
Dear FOT Brain Trust,

Watcha read? Watcha reading?

My faves:

Life: A User's Manual by Georges Perec
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Knickerbocker's History of New York by Washington Irving
The Devil And Sonny Liston by Nick Tosches
Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis
The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut and Helen Scott
The Jesus Mysteries by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

Currently Reading:

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on April 14, 2007, 12:37:02 AM
currently reading:
"left behind" by tim lahaye & jerry jenkins (its christian fiction week in library school ;-)

also was reading "the lucifer effect" (philip zimbardo) for like 1 day before i realized i can't recreationally read right now.

recently recommended to me & on my 'to read' list:
"the devil in the white city" by eric larson
"manhunt: 12 day chase for lincoln's killer" by james l. swanson

(pointless?) book title contest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6553497.stm
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: John Junk on April 14, 2007, 05:29:54 AM
Later on I'll edit this and put the right author's names in... maybe.

Favorite books ever (some of them) in no particular order:
Books of short stories by T. Coraghessen Boyle. 
Drop City was good, but not an all time fave....

Civilwarland In Bad Decline - George Saunders

This Is It - Alan Watts

The Possessed, a.k.a. The Devils - Dostoevsky

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace

Sons And Lovers - D.H. Lawrence

Journey To The End Of The Night - Celine (I could never read this now, but at the time it changed my life)

Minor Histories - by Mike Kelley

Behind The Mouse - multiple authors, anthropological essays about Disney World.

Currently Reading:

The Decline And Fall of the Roman Empire - Edward Gibbon

Nero - Some Guy

Surrealism and the Politics of Eros - Alyce Mahon

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Roman Empire

The Book - Alan Watts (hey, I got it at the Henry Moore Library in Big Sur, and got a special stamp in it)

Also just trying to keep up with my subscriptions to the New Yorker and Harpers.  It's a lot of type.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 14, 2007, 07:56:03 AM
Rainer, one of my biggest work-related regrets is that I didn't get to work on that Perec book.  Godine first started considering it when I was working there (Perec was still alive at the time, I do believe):  I read the original and was in charge of getting a couple of outside readers to review it.  At the time, it was too ambitious a project for the company to take on.  I was very pleased when I saw that David had finally pubished it, but by the time he did I was long gone. 

Ah well.  Tongue or pen . . .
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on April 14, 2007, 08:05:18 AM
Let's see what am I currently reading:

For future review over at Bookgasm:

The End of The Story - Clark Ashton Smith
Bloodlines - F. Paul Wilson
Shakedown - Charlie Stella
Big Ike  - Andrew Fenady
What's So Funny - Donald Westlake
Stone Rain - Linwood Barclay
Covet - Tara Moss
Tailed - Brian Wiprud
The Big Bamboo - Tim Dorsey
2 Stark House books

About to be sent another package of stuff can't remember whats in it

On top of the regular crap I read for my column comin up on my one year writing for the site.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on April 14, 2007, 08:31:03 AM
Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis

BINGO!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on April 14, 2007, 01:18:02 PM

This is only tangentially related to this thread, but sometime this week I recalled that Best Show segment in which Mawky Ramone discussed his newfound career of writing romantic Harlequinesque novels.  The line that cracked me up, in which he explained how prolific he had become:  "These stories write themselves..."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 14, 2007, 02:37:23 PM
Quote
Rainer, one of my biggest work-related regrets is that I didn't get to work on that Perec book.

Godine! Geez Looweez ... "not too shabby." There is a literary rockstar on the board.

I'm curious about how translations get published. Did Godine commission the David Bellos translation?  Or did Bellos obtain rights from Perec to translate his book and just take it upon himself to look for a publisher?  Were you reading the raw Bellos translation or the original La Vie mode d'emploi)? 

I also love the Bellos Perec bio, A Life In Words.  I bought it at a library booksale for 50 cents (it had never been checked out and was stamped INSUFFICIENT INTEREST). 

Omar is David Bellos to Scharping's Perec.  Did I say that correctly? :)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 14, 2007, 04:07:21 PM
I was reading the French original, which David (I don't mean to be a name dropper, but he'll always be David to me--hell, the man owes me a letter, even!) had picked up at the Frankfurt Book Fair (I think) and passed on to me to read myself and to send out to various readers for review.  As I said, I was no longer working at Godine when the translation finally came out--it's a big book, and Godine was and probably still is perennially poor, since the books cost so much to make, what with the fancy production standards, so David probably had to scrounge around for grant money.  I'm sure he commissioned Bellos to do the translation, though.  In my experience, few translators translate on spec; they wait for a publisher to hire them.

I'm sort of amazed Godine rings bells for you, actually.  For a small press, it's well known, but many have never heard of it.  It's where I got my start in the biz.  I think my biggest achievement there was to work with Richard Howard when he was translating Les Fleurs du Mal (you'll find me lurking in the acknowledgments).  'Twas a proud day for the press when the book won the National Book Award.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 14, 2007, 05:51:26 PM
I've placed a hold on that edition of "The Flowers of Evil" at my local library.  I'm all giddy now.  The "Godine" label resonates for me in the same way that "John Peel" does for many music fans (myself included).  I've always thought that Godine must have been either a trust fund kid or living hand to mouth.  BTW, I neglected to include another Godine classic on my best-of list:

http://godine.com/isbn.asp?isbn=0879234490

I was introduced to Godine via Perec via Paul Auster's "The Art of Hunger" that includes a review of LAUM.  Perec figured prominently in my marriage proposal.  I wedged the ring into the book and motioned my soon-to-be fiance over to ask her "what does this mean in English?"  Whereupon she saw the teensy rock I could barely afford. Alright, take your finger out of your throat ...

As far as name-dropping goes, I was an uncredited "transcriber" of a volume of "poetry" that Hyperion published in the mid-90s.  If I told you who the author was, I would have to kill you, and violence ain't my bag.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 14, 2007, 06:19:18 PM
Quote
(pointless?) book title contest:

Emily, when I discovered that "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification" won the award for oddest book title, my first thought was that Davezilla needs to ramp it up and cash in:

<< Update 4/14/2007: Unbeknowst to the poster, attempting to access the root level of a recommended link reveals NSFW stuff >>

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on April 14, 2007, 07:31:06 PM
good lord.

i just had the shocking experience of stumbling upon an explicit website while trying to navigate back to the home page of freakwatchers.com.

i'm not offended or anything, i was just caught off guard.

***
anyway, i just wanted to say, thanks for the info about Godine. i want to learn more about printing history & typography - so its cool to see an entire section devoted to it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 14, 2007, 07:34:17 PM
Great thread!

I just finished Norman Mailer's "The Executioner's Song," and am now reading Flannery O'Connor's "Wise Blood". I read her complete collected short stories in high school but never got a chance to read the novel.

Favorites:

I, Claudius--Robert Graves
The Winshaw Legacy (What A Carve Up)--Jonathan Coe
Waterland--Graham Swift
Shamela/Joseph Andrews--Henry Fielding
The French Lieutenant's Woman--John Fowles
Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies--Reyner Banham
Moscow to the End of the Line--Venedikt Eerofeyev

I'm obsessed with the website www.goodreads.com.  It's a library/book-cataloguing site that also has a social networking function.  My user name is susannahlaura, if anyone is interested in creating a library. I'm in the process of editing mine, it's surprisingly fun!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on April 14, 2007, 07:46:30 PM
cool link!  that reminds me of this one i just found out about:

http://bookmooch.com/

i'm not signed up yet, but probably by the summer..
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 14, 2007, 08:25:23 PM
Quote
i just had the shocking experience of stumbling upon an explicit website while trying to navigate back to the home page of freakwatchers.com.

Sorry about your less than desirable browsing experience. Believe me, I had no idea. Let's forget about this unfortunate hiccup, shall we? Books anyone?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on April 14, 2007, 09:27:50 PM
no need to apologize.

i should have included this emoticon :-O to help make light of the situation in my post.
it was just unexpected, was like "woah! what happened!?! where am i?"

then i laughed a lot.
overall, it was funny.
:-)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 14, 2007, 09:52:54 PM
Quote
no need to apologize.

Wheew!  Thanks. I'm rather sensitive about slips like this. :)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 14, 2007, 09:56:12 PM
Quote
I'm obsessed with the website www.goodreads.com.

This looks to be an awesome eBay-less redistribution service.  Have you ever used it? I've got tons of books that need love.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 15, 2007, 10:14:33 AM
Since the local library doesn't want all the Godine books I have sitting in boxes upstairs (some of them sadly mildewed, having spent years in my parents' garage), someday I'll post a list of titles here to see if any of you want them.  All I ask is that you pay the postage (there will be no handling charge). 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jed on April 15, 2007, 03:21:29 PM
Currently Reading:
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco
Collected Short Stories by Ernest Hemmingway
Genealogy of Nihilism by Connor Cunningham

Favorite Books:
The Brothers Karamazov
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
The Violent Bear it Away, Flannery O'Connor
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
Confessions, St. Augustine

Want to Read Soon:
I should finally read some Vonnegut. Any suggestions on the best place to start? Breakfast of Champions? Also, I have wondered if Confederacy of Dunces is worth reading (I'm skeptical) and anything by Tom Wolfe. What's "your take" on them?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 15, 2007, 09:39:19 PM
Quote
I have wondered if Confederacy of Dunces is worth reading

Absolutely.  Read it now.

Quote
I should finally read some Vonnegut.

Me too.  I haven't read anything by Vonnegut.  For some bizarro reason, I am always confusing him with Tom Robbins.  You can blame the art directors for that.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emerson on April 15, 2007, 10:34:58 PM
I've never gotten through Life: A User's Manual, but Species of Spaces floors me. Methinks it'd be easier on the non-initiate.

I'm also fond of Tosches in general.

Other recommendations:
Terry Southern - Red Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes
Snell & Gail Putney - The Adjusted American
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
Jim Thompson - Bad Boy
Todd Dills - Sons of the Rapture

~EmD
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 15, 2007, 11:12:45 PM
Quote
Jim Thompson - Bad Boy

I had more tops than slots!  Love that  book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jason on April 15, 2007, 11:51:11 PM
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien is still my favorite book. The only reason I ever read Flannery O'Connor was that her books are nearly always next to O'Brien's and it piqued my interest.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 16, 2007, 10:26:02 AM
Re: Terry Southern--I didn't know he'd written much other than the screenplay for "Dr. Strangelove" and "Candy," which I love.  I'll definitely have to check out his other books.

Both my mom and dad had separate copies of "Candy," which I read when I was 12 and got so embarrassed for both of them that I stole both books and hid them (though I read the novel on the sly, obviously.)  Evidence of parental sexuality was too painful for my pre-adolescent self to bear...anyone else ever do something like that?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 16, 2007, 10:44:51 AM
I didn't hide the book, but I remember scouring Beauvoir's The Second Sex for salacious material when I was wee.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 16, 2007, 12:35:26 PM
Quote
Evidence of parental sexuality was too painful for my pre-adolescent self to bear...anyone else ever do something like that?

I found a copy of Rod McKuen's "Listen to the Warm" in my Dad's desk. Not sure if the volume contained Rod's "kitten" poems or something bluer, but I shut the drawer and decided to play with my Dr. Lizard action figure instead. 

BTW my father's favorite book was and is "On War" - by Carl von Clausewitz.  Strange bedfellows.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emerson on April 16, 2007, 02:22:25 PM
Re: Terry Southern--I didn't know he'd written much other than the screenplay for "Dr. Strangelove" and "Candy," which I love.  I'll definitely have to check out his other books.

Both my mom and dad had separate copies of "Candy," which I read when I was 12 and got so embarrassed for both of them that I stole both books and hid them (though I read the novel on the sly, obviously.)  Evidence of parental sexuality was too painful for my pre-adolescent self to bear...anyone else ever do something like that?

Southern was rather prolific during his day. He had weaknesses for speed-driven overwriting and cutesy-poo namedropping. But there's a lot of great comedy in there, some of which is powerfully dark, even now. Compared to any of the Beats, he's wildly underrated.

During the warm, vivid dawn of my sexuality, I caught mad shit for stashing my mom's copy of Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, which is, unfortunately, a terrible book.

~EmD
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on April 16, 2007, 02:55:40 PM

(http://media.npr.org/programs/day/features/2006/jun/heat/cover.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Adventures-Pasta-Maker-Apprentice-Dante-Quoting/dp/1400041201)


Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford.  Best food-related book since Steve Almond's Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America (http://www.amazon.com/Candyfreak-Journey-through-Chocolate-Underbelly/dp/1565124219).  These books would make for a nice doublebill -- Grindhouse non-fiction -- as they manage to touch on some similar themes.  George Saunders on Candyfreak:

"This book will, yes, make you hungry, but it will also make you grateful-for wit, for self-effacing humor, for joyful obsessiveness, for the precise and loving use of language to crack open and celebrate our oddness-in short, for a writer as funny and big-hearted as Steve Almond. It's about candy, yes, but also it's about America, which seems to be Bigging itself towards mediocrity as it flees from the quirky virtuosic individuality on which it was founded, and of which this book is such a wonderful example."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on April 16, 2007, 03:19:43 PM
Quote
If you give a teenage boy a candy bar with a ruler on the back of the package, he will measure his dick

Okay, now I have to read this book. Thanks for the tip, Omar.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 16, 2007, 03:35:15 PM
"Candyfreak" is fantastic, and not only because there's a large discussion on the history of the PEANUT CHEW in it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on April 16, 2007, 04:08:11 PM
Is the peanut chew a NJ/Philly thing?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jed on April 16, 2007, 08:33:39 PM
Is the peanut chew a NJ/Philly thing?

When I moved to Philadelphia I had to hear about how great Philadelphia is as evidenced by its distinctive products--Cheesesteaks, violent sports fans, Tasty Kakes, and Peanut Chews, Pork Roll--almost every day.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 17, 2007, 04:26:45 PM
Yeah, they are.  The great thing about "Candyfreak" is that not only does it discuss the author's personal obsession with candy, but it examines a bunch of regional candies, and the history of candy in America in-depth.  He visits factories all over the country and talks to their owners about the difficulties they encounter in trying to continue candy production when faced by competition from Hershey, Nestle, etc.  It's a really great read.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: PatrickChew on April 17, 2007, 05:26:46 PM
Quote
Is the peanut chew a NJ/Philly thing?

The Peanut Chew is a universal treat.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: zonny the nun on April 18, 2007, 11:12:27 PM
Two of my favorite contemporary writers are Amanda Filipacchi (Love Creeps) and Jonathan Ames (What's Not to Love?; Wake Up, Sir!).

I happen to be reading David Copperfield at the moment.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 20, 2007, 12:17:01 AM
Quote
Two of my favorite contemporary writers are Amanda Filipacchi (Love Creeps) and Jonathan Ames (What's Not to Love?; Wake Up, Sir!).


I loved "Wake Up, Sir!"  Read it in Baltimore last year. I lived in NYC in the early 90s and loved Jonathan Ames' columns in the New York Press. That was a very, very good newspaper for a five year period.

PS: As you read "Wake Up, Sir!" were you able to visualize Jeeves as something other than:

(http://www.tvheaven.ca/jeeves1.JPG)

or

(http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/8/86/250px-A_Bates.jpg)

or

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y27/Slacky-boy/Picture003.jpg)

?

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: zonny the nun on April 20, 2007, 01:49:54 AM
For better or worse, Stephen Fry will always be my mental Jeeves.

Have you read What's Not to Love? It collects Ames's New York Press columns.

I hope this link isn't too explicit for a family-oriented message board, but here's a contest he organized to determine the world's most phallic building:

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/phallic/contest.php

(I live around the corner from the winner.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: John Junk on April 20, 2007, 02:30:57 AM
Oh man, I hate Jonathan Ames.  Maybe I'm just a prude.  He's the guy that writes filth, right?  Like Filthy Laurie type stuff?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on April 20, 2007, 06:43:00 AM
Ooh, someone nominated the world's ugliest building, China Grill (http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/phallic/chinagrill.php). That building is hiddy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: zonny the nun on April 20, 2007, 08:46:19 AM
He's the guy that writes filth, right? 

Well, he's no Dennis Cooper--also one of my favorites, by the way.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 20, 2007, 12:30:49 PM
Zonny,

Did you ever go see Ames do his "Octopussy" show?  Think that was the name ...

JWH,

Ames is nowhere near as potty-mouthed as Laurie. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jason on April 20, 2007, 12:52:28 PM
"What mighty ills have not been done by Woman?  Who was't betrayed the Capitol? A woman. Who lost Marc Antony the world?  A
woman. Who was the cause of a long ten years' war and laid at last  old Troy  in  ashes? Woman. Deceitful, damnable, destructive Woman."

I love Wodehouse, and Waugh and all that jazz.

Should I read that Ames book?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on April 20, 2007, 12:59:14 PM
To add to my pile of to be read:

The New Destroyer: Guardian Angel - Warren Murphy & James Mullaney
Spy Wars - Tennent H. Bagley
Jack London's Tales Of Cannibals And Headhunters (the most un pc book cover in a long time)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 20, 2007, 01:36:45 PM
Should I read that Ames book?

I enjoyed it, but it ain't not no Wodehouse nor even not nor Waugh.

What do you think of Somerset Maugham, Mr. Crazy Foot?  And Trollope?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Dorvid Barnas on April 20, 2007, 03:11:52 PM
Always several years late to the book party, I just this year read these.  Loved them all.

Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex

J.S. Foer - Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close
             - Everything is Illuminated*

Mike Daisey - 21 Dog Years
                 
*great book, awful movie
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 20, 2007, 03:27:27 PM
             - Everything is Illuminated*

*great book, awful movie

But it was awfully quiet, so I found it to be a fine backdrop to a nap.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: zonny the nun on April 20, 2007, 04:25:28 PM
Did you ever go see Ames do his "Octopussy" show?

I did not. It must have been fun. I did see one of the recent variety shows he's put on with Moby.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: zonny the nun on April 20, 2007, 04:34:22 PM
I love Wodehouse, and Waugh and all that jazz.

Should I read that Ames book?

It's very funny but not Wodehouse-esque aside from borrowing the Jeeves character. Have you read Sarah Caudwell?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: zonny the nun on April 20, 2007, 04:47:22 PM
Shamela/Joseph Andrews--Henry Fielding

My box turtle's name is Shamela.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jason on April 20, 2007, 05:09:12 PM
Sarah, I never read either of them. I like the wacky, zany, zippy stuff from the 20s through 40s.
I was up to about book 5 in the 12 book A Dance to the Music of Time series by Anthony Powell, a real hoot.
I guess the US equivalents that float my boat would be Ring Lardner, Nathaniel West and someone else I can't remember.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 20, 2007, 06:17:19 PM
I like the wacky, zany, zippy stuff from the 20s through 40s.

Well, no Trollope, then.  But you might enjoy some Maugham.  He can be nicely cynical, and I remember finding some of his stuff fun.  A tad sentimental, perhaps, but not always.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 20, 2007, 11:22:52 PM
Let's keep this thread floating, floating, flloating out to sea ... we'll catch up to our selves on the other side.

Anybody read Robert Musil's unfinished "The Man Without Qualities"?  Your opinion?

John E. Woods' translations of Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain kind of give me that same special something that Musil provides --- the translations are worlds away from the text-book versions most libraries keep on the shelves.  The downside of visual Musil is that he is almost a dead-ringer for Weiner Cheney.

Musil is a paella of psychological / historical / spiritual / philosophical / political prose. If that makes your mouth water, check out his stuff.


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on April 22, 2007, 03:59:49 AM
I am usually a horrible reader, but the last couple of weeks I've picked up a whole bunch of books for no apparent reason. I hope to turn at least some of them into reviews:

Blackwater by Jeremy Scahill (really excited/terrified about this one!)
Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music by Barker/Taylor (the TSOYA interview peaked my interest)
Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops by James Robert Parish (populist but pretty entertaining)

Also, a ton of stuff with titles like Political Film: The Dialectics of Third Cinema; British Cinema in the Fifties: Gendre, Genre and the New Look; Animation and America and Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made...

Haven't read any fiction in ages... latest was probably some James Lee Burke novel.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on April 22, 2007, 08:41:44 PM
We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live, collected nonfiction of Joan Didion
-- Miami
-- Political Fictions
I'm pretty late to the Joan Didion party, and I can't say that I was too impressed by "Play As It Lays," but I had pretty high expectations.  Her book "The Year of Magical Thinking" got me a lot more interested in her nonfiction stuff.  I couldn't put Miami and Political Fictions down.  (Interestingly, when she was young, Didion was quite the Goldwater Conservative, but has drifted toward the left politically over the years.)

The Long Tail:  Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, by Chris Anderson.  Interesting, not the kind of book I usually read.

I just picked up Night Life, by Laurie Anderson, a fine book of illustrations with very short narrative descriptions.  In an introduction to the book, she writes:  "In 2005, I was on tour traveling alone and performing a solo show "The End of the Moon."  Over many months my dreams gradually became extremely vivid and relentless:  headless singing squirrels, cavernous spaces, disasters, a series of unstoppable stories.  I began to draw my dreams literally out of self-defense."  This book really inspires me to pull out my sketch pad and get to work.   I also just noticed -- the book is dedicated "to Lou." 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 22, 2007, 09:09:36 PM
Quote
I also just noticed -- the book is dedicated "to Lou." 

My old boss.  I was his personal assistant from 1990 to 93.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jason on April 22, 2007, 09:41:38 PM
Quote
I also just noticed -- the book is dedicated "to Lou." 

My old boss.  I was his personal assistant from 1990 to 93.

Really?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 22, 2007, 09:43:08 PM
Indeed.  My salad days, huffing it up to Barney Greengrass to get Lou a Bagel with Nova.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 22, 2007, 10:39:30 PM
Quote
J.S. Foer - Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close

OK, now I am going to definitely read this book.  You and an old college friend have both recommended it ...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Josh on April 22, 2007, 10:58:09 PM
Quote
J.S. Foer - Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close

OK, now I am going to definitely read this book.  You and an old college friend have both recommended it ...
Ooh I really really liked that too!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 22, 2007, 11:03:52 PM
Quote
Ooh I really really liked that too!

That makes three. I'm going to have to call in sick tomorrow and read this beast.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emerson on April 23, 2007, 02:39:24 PM
I can't decide whether Foer is a "Give me an f-ing break" thing for me or an "I don't get it" thing, but I'm am not a fan. It just seems like a lot of cute kids and Eggersian self-indulgence.

The Man Without Qualities, on the other hand, I love. The social commentary hasn't aged particularly well, but the style and the characters sucked me right in.

~EmD


Let's keep this thread floating, floating, flloating out to sea ... we'll catch up to our selves on the other side.

Anybody read Robert Musil's unfinished "The Man Without Qualities"?  Your opinion?

John E. Woods' translations of Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain kind of give me that same special something that Musil provides --- the translations are worlds away from the text-book versions most libraries keep on the shelves.  The downside of visual Musil is that he is almost a dead-ringer for Weiner Cheney.

Musil is a paella of psychological / historical / spiritual / philosophical / political prose. If that makes your mouth water, check out his stuff.



Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 23, 2007, 10:46:55 PM
I haven't read "The Man Without Qualities," but it's sitting on my shelf next to Svevo's "Zeno's Conscience" and a few other books...

Just started reading "The Recognitions" by William Gaddis; I've never read anything by him before.  Is anyone familiar with him, and is it good?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on April 23, 2007, 11:09:03 PM
Quote
I haven't read "The Man Without Qualities," but it's sitting on my shelf next to Svevo's "Zeno's Conscience" and a few other books...

Zeno's Conscience!  Forgot about that one.  A very funny book indeed.  I read the Everyman's Library translation and couldn't put it down. 

Someone else will have to chime in on Gaddis.  Know the name, but haven't read him.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emerson on April 24, 2007, 09:44:02 AM
Gaddis = "difficult." His books are about language as much as they're "about" anything else. Recommend if you like Joyce.

~EmD
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on May 07, 2007, 10:39:58 AM
I just realized that my favorite books are all science fiction. Here's a list:

We (http://www.amazon.com/We-Yevgeny-Zamyatin/dp/0380633132/ref=sr_1_2/104-5208379-6029538?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178546885&sr=1-2), by Yevgeny Zamyatin. I linked the Mirra Ginsburg translation because I favor it over the Clarence Brown interpretation. I think Ginsburg did a better job of retaining Zamyatin's voice. I understand that there is a new translation (http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Library-Classics-Yevgeny-Zamyatin/dp/081297462X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-5208379-6029538?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178546973&sr=8-1), but I haven't read it yet. I'll give it a try.

Star Maker (http://www.amazon.com/Maker-Early-Classics-Science-Fiction/dp/0819566934/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-5208379-6029538?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178547995&sr=8-1), by Olaf Stapledon. I took a class in science fiction literature with Patrick McCarthy, who edited this edition. I consider it to be an agnostic space adventure, and I love it. The ending actually made me cry.

Valis (http://www.amazon.com/Valis-Philip-K-Dick/dp/0679734465/ref=pd_bbs_2/104-5208379-6029538?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178548542&sr=1-2), The Divine Invasion (http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Invasion-Philip-K-Dick/dp/0679734457/ref=pd_sim_b_1/104-5208379-6029538?ie=UTF8&qid=1178548542&sr=1-2), and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (http://www.amazon.com/Transmigration-Timothy-Archer-Philip-Dick/dp/0679734449/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b/104-5208379-6029538?ie=UTF8&qid=1178548542&sr=1-2), all by Philip K. Dick. I love this trilogy. Love it, love it, love it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on May 08, 2007, 03:50:00 PM
Has anyone seen this book? 

http://www.amazon.com/Me-Write-Book-Bigfoot-Memoir/dp/0452286859

It's called "Me Write Book:  It Bigfoot Memoir".   I just looked at it in a store for a few minutes this past weekend.  I was going to buy it, but did not since there was a nightmarish line and only one surly clerk etc. etc. 

Anyway, the book looked really funny and had me laughing in no time.  I ordered one for myself from Amazon. 

I am giving serious consideration to getting my hands on another copy of this book and its companion volume and contributing them to a silent auction that my non-profit organization is having next week.  I probably should contribute something more conventional and less off-the-wall.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on May 26, 2007, 05:29:15 PM
Magnificent.

http://special-1.bl.uk/treasures/festivalbooks/BookList.aspx
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Gregory on May 27, 2007, 12:09:47 AM
a few of my favorites, with descriptions, courtesy of amazon.com

You Can't Win - Jack Black (not that one)

The favorite book of William Burroughs. A journey into the hobo underworld, freight hopping around the still Wild West, becoming a highwayman and member of the yegg (criminal) brotherhood, getting hooked on opium, doing stints in jail or escaping, often with the assistance of crooked cops or judges. Our lost history revived.


Ask the Dust - John Fante

Ask the Dust is a virtuoso performance by an influential master of the twentieth-century American novel. It is the story of Arturo Bandini, a young writer in 1930s Los Angeles who falls hard for the elusive, mocking, unstable Camilla Lopez, a Mexican waitress. Struggling to survive, he perseveres until, at last, his first novel is published. But the bright light of success is extinguished when Camilla has a nervous breakdown and disappears . . . and Bandini forever rejects the writer's life he fought so hard to attain.



How To Write Short Stories: With Samples - Ring Lardner

Ring Lardner (1885-1933) was a well-known humorist and sports writer living in Chicago. In 1924, F. Scott Fitzgerald arranged for How to Write Short Stories to be published and more attention was then paid to Lardner’s work.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Josh on May 29, 2007, 09:11:59 AM
I'm obsessed with the website [url=http://www.goodreads.com]www.goodreads.com[/url].  It's a library/book-cataloguing site that also has a social networking function.  My user name is susannahlaura, if anyone is interested in creating a library. I'm in the process of editing mine, it's surprisingly fun!


I'm in (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/59774), although, in a Jen Kirkman-esque move, I will not be listing my self-help books.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on May 30, 2007, 01:50:34 PM
http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/App/homepage.cfm?moduleid=42&appname=288

is anyone else going to Book Expo?

just wondering.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Josh on June 01, 2007, 09:35:50 AM
Here (http://www.creativereview.co.uk/crblog/penguin-by-designers-david-pelham/)'s a transcript of a talk given by designer David Pelham on working at Penguin in the late sixties, excerpted from the new book Penguin by Designers (http://www.penguincollectorssociety.org/pubs.htm#bydesigners). (from Design Observer (http://www.designobserver.com/archives/025617.html))

Quote
It was at this meeting that I suggested that the time may have come to break free completely from existing constricting grids and perceive each front cover as a blank canvas upon which carefully chosen artists might express themselves within the negotiable bounds of a particular title or author identity. The Penguin brand identity would then rely wholly upon retaining orange, blue or green spines, and by placing Tschichold’s magnificent symbol in the top right corner of the front and back covers, unless there was a good design reason for placing it elsewhere. These suggestions were well received and for the following six months Sir Allen would sit alongside me at my desk in Harmondsworth for an hour or so almost daily, keeping a sharp eye on how the new look was developing. Here are three covers utilising existing images.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Dorvid Barnas on June 06, 2007, 06:48:21 PM
I forgot to answer Omar's Tim O'Brien question from another thread. 
My favorite O'Brien books are The Things They Carried, Going after Cacciato, and July,July.

While I'm here, I recently re-read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Fascinating. Have you read it yet, Emily? (You mentioned you had it on deck.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on June 06, 2007, 09:13:25 PM

While I'm here, I recently re-read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Fascinating.


Great book well worth rereading
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: erika on June 06, 2007, 11:50:43 PM
I'm reading Children of Men, which is pretty good.

A really good summer read (it's fun!) is the Zombie Survival Guide. It's amazing. And trust me when I say this isn't the type of book I usually go for.
http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/zombiesurvivalguide/

Another fun one I picked up for a few bucks is "I Keee You!" which is a collection of black and white cartoons depicting things people have overheard in and around Baltimore. It's not really Baltimore-specific... just very funny. Fun coffee table book.

Favorites: Lolita, The Jungle, Brave New World, Blindness, Virgin Suicides, The Lovely Bones

I like books!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: evan (giggles) on June 07, 2007, 04:14:12 AM
I'm reading a few books at the moment, including Crowley's "Diary Of A Drug Fiend" and Faulkner's "Absalom Absalom!" (which is taking some time, what with the having to re-read sentence that go on, and on, and on, without relent, for entire paragraphs, some of them even pages, just like this sentence).

I studied Russian Literature so my favorites in that genre include: "The Master and Margarita", "The Steel Bird And Other Stories", "Dead Souls", "The Idiot", "Pale Fire", and "Envy". Other than that, I like Raymond Carver's short stories (the "Where I'm Calling From" collection) ... Louis-Ferdinand Celine "Journey To The End Of Night" ... Tim O'Brien "The Things They Carried" ... Leonard Cohen "Beautiful Losers" ... Don Delillo "Libra" ... DH Lawrence "Sons And Lovers" ...

More I'm forgetting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on June 07, 2007, 07:23:17 AM
In the process of reading Rum Punch - Elmore Leonard. Just finished Killtown - Richard Stark and Little Boy Blue - Edward Bunker
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on June 07, 2007, 09:04:13 AM
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Amplituden on June 07, 2007, 09:51:44 AM
Wow this is great.

I ordered a bunch of the books listed here from my library.

I like lots of Canadian authors like Robertson Davies, Margret Lawrence, Alice Munroe, Michael Ondaatje and others. 

My favorite author is probably John Steinbeck but I feel like saying that in this discussion is akin to saying my favorite band is the Beatles.

Anyways, thanks for all the reading suggestions.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on June 08, 2007, 12:26:54 AM
I forgot to answer Omar's Tim O'Brien question from another thread. 
My favorite O'Brien books are The Things They Carried, Going after Cacciato, and July,July.

While I'm here, I recently re-read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Fascinating. Have you read it yet, Emily? (You mentioned you had it on deck.)


hi Dorvid,

thanks for asking.

As of now I've only read page one. I have it for a month though, so i plan to get through it.

I actually just read (in this weeks NYer) a short piece by Miranda July and i have to say it is one of the most "fresh" things i have read in a while. unfortunately its not available online. (but if you dont subscribe to the nyer, your local library may ;-)

the story is called "Roy Spivey" and it is quite funny.
check it out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bobby. on June 08, 2007, 08:48:45 PM
I've just started reading Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, but What Is The What by Dave Eggers just came out here so I must get that soon. Also waiting on my copy of John Collier short stories to arrivé.


{eh hem.. Harry Potter: The Showdown is next month too!}
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Amplituden on June 18, 2007, 01:26:22 PM
Just finished that "Love Creeps" book.  It was pretty good, apparently its going to be made into a movie.  I could imagine that, its pretty short on dialog long on stalking.

I am now reading "The Devil in the White City" and that is pretty amazing so far.

Thanks for the book tips, keep 'em coming.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on June 18, 2007, 02:35:48 PM
I loved the ferris wheel interlude in Devil in the White City.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on June 24, 2007, 03:33:12 PM
Erik Larson has a relatively new book, "Thunderstruck" also highly recommended by my book loving peers.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on June 25, 2007, 09:05:17 AM
I thought Brian Johnson penned "Thunderstruck."

Ah ah ah ah ah ahahah.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: octopus volcano on June 27, 2007, 11:16:55 AM
I started reading Rutger Hauer's autobiography "All Those Memories" yesterday.  The title is in the blade runner font. He seems like a cool guy- he built an apartment (complete with plumbing) into an 18-wheeler so he and his wife could drive around Europe to whatever shoots he was on, still staying cozy.
I've been rereading  "Alan Partridge: Every Ruddy Word: All the Scripts: from Radio to TV and Back" while commuting to work on the bus and it still makes me laugh out loud.
I've been meaning to reread "Confessions of Zeno" by Italo Svevo, I think it's in my top ten.  Along with "Fat City" by Leonard Gardner.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Tim K in DC on June 27, 2007, 12:08:25 PM
I just got my hands on Hollywood Babylon and Hollywood Babylon II at a yard sale. I've also been reading sections of Thom Jones's short fiction collection Sonny Liston Was A Friend Of Mine. Some of it drags, but it's not bad.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on June 27, 2007, 12:12:35 PM
I just got my hands on Hollywood Babylon and Hollywood Babylon II at a yard sale. I've also been reading sections of Thom Jones's short fiction collection Sonny Liston Was A Friend Of Mine. Some of it drags, but it's not bad.


I'm a big fan of Thom Jones's Cold Snap collection (http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Snap-Stories-Thom-Jones/dp/0316472573).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on June 27, 2007, 02:03:35 PM
"No One Belongs Here More Than You : Stories" (http://noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com/) by Miranda July is my new favorite book.

I love it so much because it is funny and also because her story telling is so unique.

Just check it out!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on June 27, 2007, 02:46:24 PM

I'm a big fan of Thom Jones's Cold Snap collection ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Snap-Stories-Thom-Jones/dp/0316472573[/url]).


Cold Snap left me cold. Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son is more up my alley.

Also, I've really been enjoying P. G. Wodehouse. I can recommend Right Ho, Jeeves and Code of the Woosters (in that order, one follows the other).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: John Junk on June 27, 2007, 06:24:38 PM
"No One Belongs Here More Than You : Stories" ([url]http://noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com/[/url]) by Miranda July is my new favorite book.

I love it so much because it is funny and also because her story telling is so unique.

Just check it out!


I got this e-mail one day:

"hello again!
Miranda and the artist group Jan Family are doing a special project for
Another Magazine. Jan Family has given Miranda instructions for a
portrait. These were their instructions:

>>> 'Gather as many people as you can that look like you and stand closely
together'

We don't know anyone who looks like Miranda, so....

OPEN CALL: MIRANDA JULY LOOK-ALIKES! MEET US AT 4PM, THIS SATURDAY JUNE
23, IN ELYSIAN PARK IN LOS ANGELES! WEAR WHAT YOU THINK MIRANDA MIGHT
WEAR! COME STAND CLOSELY TOGETHER! MEET YOUR SISTERS!

For details, visit myspace.com/mirandajuly on Friday.

sincerely,
the secretary

PS: Jan Family is an artist collective based in London, they make really
great videos and photos. The picture on the UK edition of Miranda's short
story collection is by Jan Family:"

--and thus my like affair with the works of Miranda July drew to a close.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on June 27, 2007, 06:37:40 PM
I'm currently reading Henry Darger: Disasters of War, which features several excerpts from his "Vivian Girls" epic. I wanted to read it after viewing a Henry Darger painting at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. I've fallen in love with it. I can see myself getting obsessed with him in the same way I was completely infatuated with Anaïs Nin. How can I get my hands on a complete edition of The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion? Yes, I realize this book was never completed... But still! I want to read all of it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Josh on June 27, 2007, 08:27:58 PM
AFAIK it's out of print and pretty expensive ($400+).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: John Junk on June 27, 2007, 08:38:34 PM
I'm currently reading Henry Darger: Disasters of War, which features several excerpts from his "Vivian Girls" epic. I wanted to read it after viewing a Henry Darger painting at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. I've fallen in love with it. I can see myself getting obsessed with him in the same way I was completely infatuated with Anaïs Nin. How can I get my hands on a complete edition of The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion? Yes, I realize this book was never completed... But still! I want to read all of it.

Isn't that book supposed to be like 4,000 pages long?  I bet in like 15 years Taschen will put out an edition of like 200 of those for 2 grand a pop or something.  Until then, I am pretty sure that exerpts are all you'll be able to get your hands on for a while.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on June 28, 2007, 10:47:00 AM
Isn't that book supposed to be like 4,000 pages long?

Something like that. He wasn't quite right in the head.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on July 02, 2007, 12:35:36 PM
I am currently slogging my way through "Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia," but I want to recommend the fun book I read before that.  It's called "But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous," by Rolling Stone writer/former MTV2 VJ Jancee Dunn. I read it in about 2 hours in Barnes & Noble while waiting for some friends, so it's a really light, entertaining book. Dunn grew up in Chatham, NJ and details her career as a Rolling Stone writer, and later as a correspondent for Good Morning America...lots of funny gossip about various celebrities without being malicious. The first concert she attended was THE HOOTERS, which she describes in a suitably awed tone. There's also a great part where she relates what her first time on Ecstasy was like...she spent it expounding upon her theory of Charlotte Bronte's death to her date. As a complete dork, I loved it.

There are some spots that are a little hackneyed, but overall a great quick read for the summer.  Here's Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/But-Enough-About-Me-Adventures/dp/B000NNX1XW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/105-8358117-6816439?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183394033&sr=8-1
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on July 02, 2007, 01:03:11 PM
I would also strongly recommend A Confedeacy of Dunces.

This year I have read Mountains Beyond Mountains. Rudy Rucker's Mathematicians In Love (and started Frek and the Elixer, but got waylaid by my 14-year-old's summer reading list, which I will talk about in a minute,) and throughout the winter I got caught up in a John D McDonald fest, focusing on the Travis McGee novels.

When Vonnegut died, I went back and re-read Slapstick and Slaughterhouse Five.

My favorite books of all time are probably Catch-22, A Prayer For Owen Meany, Slaughterhouse 5, a collection of Raymond Carver short stories whose name doesn't come to me, and Raymond Smullyan's To Mock a Mockingbird. I will remember others as soon as I hit the send button.

Like I said, I decided to read my son's summer reading list (he's in Honors English at the high school sophomore level.) So far I have finished Ayn Rand's Anthem (yes, she's a fascist,) Kennedy's Profiles in Courage (more interesting than I remembered,) The Iliad (tougher to force myself to read than I remember,) Sophie's World, which I haven't started, and can't remember the author.

After that, I have agreed to give War and Peace another try; I have failed at that task twice before. I am also interested in getting back into some Philip K Dick, now that many of his concerns about privacy and individualism are increasingly hot topics.

I probably left out my favorite book; it'll come to me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 02, 2007, 01:54:26 PM
Dave,

I think Ayn Rand is a hyper-individualist rather than a fascist.  She just considers modern-American style capitalism-lite to be close enough to socialism/communism/fascism that she decries it.

You can certainly argue that her ideas are bad and awful, but I don't think you can make the case for her being fascist in any sense but the knee-jerk World-Trade protester cry of "fascist!".  Sorry to nitpick, and for heaven's sake I don't want to start a debate where I have to take the uncomfortable role of defending Objectivism, which I don't actually believe in.

buffcoat
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on July 02, 2007, 02:39:21 PM
I got caught up in a John D McDonald fest, focusing on the Travis McGee novels.

About to finally delve into his work*. Got a stack of his stuff dirt cheap from one of the used places I go to. Including the book that would be made into Cape Fear.


*Purple Place For Dying
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on July 02, 2007, 05:31:19 PM
A Prayer for Owen Meany?! Say it ain't so, Dave from Knoxville. This is very close to being one of my most hated books of all-time (recently dislodged from the top spot by Richard Ford's Independence Day). I hated that little brat from the moment he started spewing his platitudes in all caps. And the set-up for the big finale where Irving has to spend an entire page describing a bathroom was the worst (btw, I thought the mediocre Will Ferrell movie, Stranger Than Fiction, borrowed liberally from Irving for its "big" climax).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on July 02, 2007, 05:46:25 PM
Sorry to disappoint, B_Buster, I'm sure you're a great d00d, but I gotta be true to myself, sappy or not. I don't know what's going to happen when Tom finds out I like both Zappa and Steely Dan.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on July 03, 2007, 06:31:58 AM
I liked A Prayer for Owen Meany, too, Dave.  You know, you might like Handling Sin, by Michael Malone.  It's sweet, too.  And, I think, very funny.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: LostInReno on July 06, 2007, 01:14:37 AM
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Needs to be checked out. Its the story of the uncommon hero.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on July 06, 2007, 08:02:14 AM
Chuck Palahahahahniurgggggggghk is an FWD.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on July 06, 2007, 08:37:56 AM
Chuck Palahahahahniurgggggggghk is an FWD.
plus his books can be read in like one sitting (a little under two hours)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Tim K in DC on July 14, 2007, 05:54:16 AM
Last week I finished The Book of Ralph by John McNally and promptly started a second read of it. I was laughing the whole time. So good. A fictionalized account of growing up in a working class Chicago-outlying town in the late 70s which, by virtue of its era (if not area, except perhaps for Richard from Chicago), should be something to which much of the FOT demographic should be able to relate. The bulk of the book is set in McNally's protagonist's junior high school days, but it is one of three time frames that get covered (grade school and 30-something post-professionalhood being the other two) and he just seems to nail the voice and perspective with accuracy. I love to read, but I'm not a lit crit expert, so forgive my pedestrian take on this stuff. But suffice to say, McNally is one of my new favorites and I can't wait to read more from him. http://www.bookofralph.com (http://www.bookofralph.com)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: TL on July 14, 2007, 10:08:19 AM
My mind is currently being blown page after page by the new David Eggers book, "What is the What?"  It's a semi-fictionalized autobiography of a guy named Achack Deng, a/k/a Valentino, who found himself caught up in the Sudanese civil war and wound up trekking across the country and eventually to America as one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan."  Really heavy.  Not exactly beach reading...
Valentino (http://www.valentinoachakdeng.com/ (http://www.valentinoachakdeng.com/)) is real, but, as the Wikipedia entry says, "...the book is typical of Eggers' style: blending non-fictional and fictional elements into a nonfiction novel or memoir. By labeling the book a novel, Eggers says, he freed himself to re-create conversations, streamline complex relationships, add relevant detail and manipulate time and space in helpful ways -- all while maintaining the essential truthfulness of the storytelling."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: SpaceBootz on August 09, 2007, 03:27:03 PM
Has anyone read House of Leaves? I've been thinking about picking it up..
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bobby. on August 09, 2007, 04:13:08 PM
Harry Potter 7 was one of the most exciting books I've ever read! Now I'm reading Pete Doherty's 'Books of Albion'.

Annnnd next is 'What is the What'. TL has me feeling good about it!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on August 09, 2007, 06:48:09 PM
Has anyone read House of Leaves? I've been thinking about picking it up..

I have actually read it twice. I recommend it if you don't judge me later.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: PatrickChew on August 10, 2007, 11:32:15 AM
Has anyone read House of Leaves? I've been thinking about picking it up..

I have actually read it twice. I recommend it if you don't judge me later.

I've tried reading that a few times and I think I like it in theory, but...it's weird.

I just finished Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson and it put me in the mood to whip someone with a chain.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: SpaceBootz on August 10, 2007, 11:44:49 AM
I have actually read it twice. I recommend it if you don't judge me later.

Oho! A recommendation from Dave! That's all I needed!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: John Junk on August 10, 2007, 12:22:23 PM
I read Justine by the Marquis de Sade.  It wasn't as "pornographic" as I expected, except with its redundant structure, but I suppose if you love torture scenes, you'd get off on this book.  I was also reading a copy from 1968, so I'm thinking it may have been significantly watered down in translation.  I've casually leafed through new translations of this guy's stuff and it's just a toilet-mouthed filth parade.  Hmmm...

I also just finished reading The Book by Alan Watts.  I've always been a big Alan Watts fan.  Something about his approach to zen and philosophy really resonates with me.  There's nothing particularly earth shattering in this book, but I believe that's the point.  I read 90% of it on El Matador beach in Malibu two days ago and I got a fierce, fierce sunburn.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on August 10, 2007, 01:45:18 PM
I'm currently reading Fingersmith because I like historical fiction, and I also like lesbians. If I could describe this book in one word, it would be "saucy."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on August 10, 2007, 01:46:37 PM
I just finished Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson and it put me in the mood to whip someone with a chain.

Check out this book called HELLS ANGELS: INTO THE ABYSS by Yves Lavigne. He ws a undercover informat for the FBI. Really gives you a better insight into the club.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on August 11, 2007, 01:31:40 PM
Oh, what fun! A twist! I confess, I did not truly see it coming and feel a bit foolish for it. That's what I get for not reading the pull quotes and teasers on the back of the book, eh? I like a surprise.

Suky Tawdry is a great name for a band. Ooh, or the Fucksters! Also a great band name.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Putin on August 11, 2007, 02:17:31 PM
i'm reading vampire books. I just finished up Carmilla by J.S. LeFanu and now i'm reading Dracula. 19th century ghost stories are a load of awesome.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Dan B on August 11, 2007, 04:45:39 PM
I'm reading No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.  It's good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on August 11, 2007, 06:27:11 PM
I'm reading No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.  It's good.

It's awesome not just good
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on August 16, 2007, 12:33:45 AM
Currently reading Low Life : lures and snares of old New York by Luc Sante
I listen to a lot of audio books because I'm in my car a lot.  Recent/current  The Night Gardner by George Pelecanoes, Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol, Tales from the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Dan B on August 16, 2007, 12:51:05 AM
I'm reading No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.  It's good.

It's awesome not just good
Oh yeah it is.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Deric W. Haircare on August 16, 2007, 07:59:30 PM
Have y'all read any other McCarthy stuff? I rocketed through about 7/9 of the Border Trilogy a few months ago and abruptly stopped. What I read was really good. I'm wondering how No Country... compares. From what I've heard, Blood Meridian and The Road are the winners.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Deric W. Haircare on August 16, 2007, 08:03:01 PM
I also just finished reading The Book by Alan Watts.  I've always been a big Alan Watts fan.  Something about his approach to zen and philosophy really resonates with me.  There's nothing particularly earth shattering in this book, but I believe that's the point.

Yeah, I have a feeling that it wouldn't resonate as much as an adult. But when I was 15 and didn't know my ass from my elbow, it totally knocked me on my elbow.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on August 16, 2007, 08:10:36 PM
Have y'all read any other McCarthy stuff? I rocketed through about 7/9 of the Border Trilogy a few months ago and abruptly stopped. What I read was really good. I'm wondering how No Country... compares. From what I've heard, Blood Meridian and The Road are the winners.

Suttree is justly considered a masterpiece but you need to start Blood Meridian, like, tonight. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: John Junk on August 16, 2007, 09:17:01 PM
I also just finished reading The Book by Alan Watts.  I've always been a big Alan Watts fan.  Something about his approach to zen and philosophy really resonates with me.  There's nothing particularly earth shattering in this book, but I believe that's the point.

Yeah, I have a feeling that it wouldn't resonate as much as an adult. But when I was 15 and didn't know my ass from my elbow, it totally knocked me on my elbow.

Yeah you took the words right out of my mouth.  It's great for people who don't know anything about philosophy yet.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on August 16, 2007, 09:40:53 PM
Have y'all read any other McCarthy stuff? I rocketed through about 7/9 of the Border Trilogy a few months ago and abruptly stopped. What I read was really good. I'm wondering how No Country... compares. From what I've heard, Blood Meridian and The Road are the winners.

Suttree is justly considered a masterpiece but you need to start Blood Meridian, like, tonight. 
I would Chris L but I've got other stuff that takes precendent like some smelly old must paperback that will turn out to be uttter crap*.





*actually I'm about to start The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Laughing Policemen.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on August 17, 2007, 07:16:40 AM
The Laughing Policemaen.

Sjöwall and Wahlöö!  I went through a kick about twenty-five years ago when I read a million of their books (this was before I lost my ability to enjoy reading mysteries).  Good stuff, I thought.  I'll be curious to see if you agree, Bruce.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 17, 2007, 09:22:19 PM
Hello, FOTs!  Long-time lurker, first-time poster!

Right now I'm reading Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, which is a bit of a slog but probably worth it.  I've also been getting into Stanley Elkin and Octavia E. Butler lately (specifically elik's The Living End and Butler's terrifying Parable of the Sower).  Other recent favorites are anything and everything by George Saunders, Deborah Eisenberg's Twilight of the Superheroes, and Shelley Jackson's Half Life. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Petey on August 17, 2007, 11:03:56 PM
I'm currently reading Henry Darger: Disasters of War, which features several excerpts from his "Vivian Girls" epic.

i wished they released all of that shit yo.

right now im reading. nevermind i finished reading it Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. it was really good. I was suprised because his other books were surreal and stuff and they were only aaight but this was reallllllllly good. the sexual parts were kind of corny but what you gonna do son. im gonna try to read the divine comedy next.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on September 09, 2007, 11:57:10 PM
I had to do some re-reading in preparation for the classes I'm teaching, and just finished "The Catcher in the Rye."  I haven't read it in about 13 years, but I still liked it.

Spent yesterday in the Santa Monica Public Library re-reading Reyner Banham's "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies."  Banham defends LA heavily against Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford et al.--the anti-sprawlists, and celebrates LA as "autotopia," and the home to major works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra and re-located Bauhaus architects.  It's a fairly quick read, considering it treats an entire history of urban planning, and is really witty and charming.  Banham wrote the book "Brutalism: Ethics or Aesthetics," on which I based my entire senior thesis in 2006, and which I'll be damned if I can remember anything about now.

Just started Mervyn Peake's "Gormenghast" trilogy with the first volume, "Titus Groan." This is one of those series of books I should have read as a child, when I was reading Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" series (and of course LOTR, please don't hate me), but I never made it. Here's hoping it's good, though!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Josh on September 10, 2007, 12:02:10 AM
Banham wrote the book "Brutalism: Ethics or Aesthetics," on which I based my entire senior thesis in 2006, and which I'll be damned if I can remember anything about now.

Theory and Design in the First Machine Age is good stuff. How'd you get a hold of that Brutalism book?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on September 10, 2007, 03:24:17 PM
It was buried somewhere in the 2nd floor of my university's Fine Arts library.  I think you can also get it online if you order it from amazon.co.uk or alibris.com.  Yay for architecture!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Josh on September 10, 2007, 03:35:21 PM
It was buried somewhere in the 2nd floor of my university's Fine Arts library.  I think you can also get it online if you order it from amazon.co.uk or alibris.com.  Yay for architecture!

Lucky!
It's OOP and $$$$$$.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on September 11, 2007, 05:42:23 PM
*actually I'm about to start The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Laughing Policemen.

Wow. You're reading stuff I read 30 years ago. I can't say it holds up the way Suttree and Blood Meridian does. I know you're committed to pulp, Bruce, but reading the good stuff once in a while isn't going to kill ya.

I'm reading Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke and it's terrific! I recommend to pulp readers and non-pulp readers alike. It's got a heavy Apocalypse Now vibe going on. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on September 11, 2007, 05:46:45 PM
1. those books are part of the column I write
2. I do read "good" stuff also just don't cover it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on September 11, 2007, 06:08:08 PM
I'm just bustin balls, B. Seriously, though, does The French Connection really need new readers at this late date? It's got to be a little moldy compared to recent big drug bust books, no?

Life is short is all I'm sayin.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on September 11, 2007, 07:05:27 PM
I'm just bustin balls, B. Seriously, though, does The French Connection really need new readers at this late date? It's got to be a little moldy compared to recent big drug bust books, no?

Life is short is all I'm sayin.

Ok but those would not have fit my 70's cinema motif for that column.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on September 12, 2007, 05:55:20 PM
Tree of Life got a pretty ecstatic review in the NYT Book review last week or the week before, I'll definitely have to check that out.

I covered a colleague's 7th grade English class today (the school I work at is 6-12) and talked about "The Outsiders" with them. I realized it's one of the books I read while I was still in single-digits...how weird is that? I feel so old and I'm only 23.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Vambo on October 05, 2007, 12:04:53 AM
"the devil in the white city" by eric larson

Interesting premise and hyped to no end here in Chicagoland, but it may be the flattest piece of prose I've ever read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Vambo on October 05, 2007, 12:15:59 AM
As I scrolled through this thread, my peripheral vision kept reading "Favre Books".  Yikes.

All time fave is probably Robertson Davies "What's Bred In The Bone".

My favorite current books are C.J. Sansom's Shardlake mysteries.

I'm currently two thirds through Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on October 05, 2007, 02:10:13 PM
As I scrolled through this thread, my peripheral vision kept reading "Favre Books".  Yikes.

What not a fan of the reading tastes of Green Bay's QB
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Phantom Hugger on October 05, 2007, 02:23:19 PM
The best book that had me laughing out loud in public: Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

He's the guy from Roger and Me shooting basketball, talking about the nervous breakdown he suffered while working for GM. No Michael Moorish finger wagging here, just hilarious writing about dosing the boss' sandwiches, violent poets, drunken lunchbreak rampages and the Quality Cat! Scoop it up if you can find it, Ive loaned out all the copies Ive ever owned and now I cant find it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on November 06, 2007, 06:48:07 PM
The following books just fell out of my bag:

Shakespeare--Othello (teaching copy, Signet Classics edition)
Franklin Bruno--Armed Forces (33 1/3 album series)
William Golding--Lord of the Flies (Riverhead Books critical edition with introduction by EM Forster!)
Euripides--Medea and Other Plays (Oxford World Classics edition; edited and translated by James Morwood)
Greenhaven Press Literary Companion's Readings on Medea
Clinton Heylin--From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World

That about sums it up.  I need to get out more.  What about everyone else?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on November 06, 2007, 07:08:36 PM
I am rereading Josephine Tey.  I'm on The Daughter of Time now, having finished A Shilling for Candles, The Singing Sands, and To Love and Be Wise.  Two more to go after this, and then I have to start deciding what to read again. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 06, 2007, 11:14:28 PM
Susannah, the confluence of plays and music nerd books in your bag makes me hope we get each other as Secret Santas (assuming that I am not getting that plane from Laurie).

I'm supposed to be reading Darwin's Origin of Species for a play I'm writing, but I'm so fried at the moment that I'm doing a lot of piecemeal reading.  It's my least favorite kind, but about all that I'm up for at the moment.  I have actually just purchased two books that fit the fill perfectly: WFMU's The Best of LCD book and, also from Princeton Architectural Press, Taking Things Seriously by Josh Glenn and Carol Hayes, which is a series of 75 photos and short essays about weird fetish objects that people own.

Has anyone else heard the rumor that Negativland is doing an Entourage book?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on November 07, 2007, 07:09:07 AM
I am on a George Saunders kick; in the past 3 weeks I read The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, and I've started In Persuasion Nation. Fun stuff, if you hate humanity like I do. I am also writing interactive internet tutorials for Stewart's Calculus: Concepts and Contexts Volume 3. Anybody else read that barrel of laughs? My favorite part is "When is the monkey speeding up? When is the monkey slowing down?"
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: octopus volcano on November 07, 2007, 10:56:50 AM
I am on a George Saunders kick; in the past 3 weeks I read The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, and I've started In Persuasion Nation. Fun stuff, if you hate humanity like I do.

I recently got to talk to George Saunders after a reading- he was a real swell guy.  He mentioned that Steve Coogan expressed interest in him writing an American version of Cruise of the Gods

I highly recommend Pastoralia !
 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 07, 2007, 01:12:17 PM
I am on a George Saunders kick; in the past 3 weeks I read The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, and I've started In Persuasion Nation. Fun stuff, if you hate humanity like I do.

Dave, just as I consider Saunders to be one of the great humanist writers of our time, I would characterize you as one of the great humanist Best Show callers of our time.

And weirdly?  Every time you call, I visualize you as looking pretty much exactly like George Saunders, glasses and scruffy strawberry-blonde-gray-flecked-beard and everything.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on November 07, 2007, 03:56:02 PM
That's a nice dream, Jasongrote.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 07, 2007, 04:21:07 PM
It's really true.  I think you called the first time I ever listened, and ever since then you've looked exactly like Saunders, but actually with a little more hair.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: TL on November 07, 2007, 05:29:46 PM
My favorite current books are C.J. Sansom's Shardlake mysteries.

I'm completely obsessed with these!!  I bought the first one based on the blurbs by PD James and Colin Dexter, and was HOOKED!  I blazed through the other two as well, and am now waiting with baited breath for the fourth...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 07, 2007, 07:06:10 PM
Current: I'm obsessed with Continuum's 33 1/3 series. For those unfamiliar with the series, each pocket-sized volume concerns itself with a classic album. There are about 40 or 50 them and I've probably read about 20. I've run across a few duds so far (the volumes about the debut Ramones LP and U2's Achtung Baby were disappointing), but most of them are good to great.

Favorites: I don't know that I can give a definitive list of all-time favorites, but if I were to try, it would probably include these:

1. The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
2. Light in August - William Faulkner
3. In the Hand of Dante - Nick Tosches
4. Last Exit to Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr.
5. The Sweet Forever - George Pelecanos
6. When the Sacred Ginmill Closes - Lawrence Block
7. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 - Sue Townsend
8. American Tabloid - James Ellroy
9. The Road - Cormac McCarthy

That's all I can come up with right now.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on November 07, 2007, 10:17:46 PM
Long live Adrian Mole, Pandora, Nigel, Bert, Pauline and "Dog!"  I love those books.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 07, 2007, 11:14:38 PM
Although, looking back at that list now, the Adrian Mole book does seem hilariously out of place among the McCarthys, Selbys, and Ellroys.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Denim Gremlin on November 08, 2007, 12:33:56 AM
Although, looking back at that list now, the Adrian Mole book does seem hilariously out of place among the McCarthys, Selbys, and Ellroys.

Adrian Mole is one of my favorites ever too. I'm reading The Road right now and it's knocking me out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on November 08, 2007, 08:04:27 AM
Current: I'm obsessed with Continuum's 33 1/3 series. For those unfamiliar with the series, each pocket-sized volume concerns itself with a classic album. There are about 40 or 50 them and I've probably read about 20. I've run across a few duds so far (the volumes about the debut Ramones LP and U2's Achtung Baby were disappointing), but most of them are good to great.

Read Mike McGonigal's one on My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. Mike McGonigal is a nice man.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 08, 2007, 12:59:42 PM
Current: I'm obsessed with Continuum's 33 1/3 series. For those unfamiliar with the series, each pocket-sized volume concerns itself with a classic album. There are about 40 or 50 them and I've probably read about 20. I've run across a few duds so far (the volumes about the debut Ramones LP and U2's Achtung Baby were disappointing), but most of them are good to great.

Read Mike McGonigal's one on My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. Mike McGonigal is a nice man.

Laurie, you know Yeti Mike too?  The world shrinks yet again.  I'd also recommend Kim Cooper and Douglas Wolk's 33 1/3 books.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on November 08, 2007, 01:07:31 PM
Three more good 33.3333s:

- Michael T. Fournier's Double Nickels on the Dime

- Eric Weisbard's Use Your Illusion I and II 

- Marc Woodworth's Bee Thousand
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on November 08, 2007, 01:39:49 PM
Current: I'm obsessed with Continuum's 33 1/3 series. For those unfamiliar with the series, each pocket-sized volume concerns itself with a classic album. There are about 40 or 50 them and I've probably read about 20. I've run across a few duds so far (the volumes about the debut Ramones LP and U2's Achtung Baby were disappointing), but most of them are good to great.

Read Mike McGonigal's one on My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. Mike McGonigal is a nice man.

Laurie, you know Yeti Mike too?  The world shrinks yet again.

It's a small world afterall.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Beth on November 08, 2007, 03:15:41 PM
I'm reading George Eliot's Daniel Deronda right now. It's for class but it's seriously amazing.
Speaking of older books, I find that I have a neverending problem finding good novels that were recently written. It's really difficult to weed out the crappy stuff. Does anyone have any recommendations for good recent books? I'm attempting to stay up on things. I think the last few newer books I enjoyed were Jonathan Safron Foer's "Everything is Illuminated" and Ruth Ozeki's "My Year of Meats".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 08, 2007, 04:32:42 PM
Beth, here are some recent (as in, in the last decade) books you might like:

Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, You Don't Love Me Yet, Fortress of Solitude, and Men and Cartoons
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections
Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Nathan Englander's The Ministry of Special Cases
Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Shelley Jackson's Half-Life
Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies
Whatever that recent collection of 3 Rick Moody novellas is called

They've also been around for a while, but Philip Roth, Luc Sante, Don DeLillo, and Thomas Pynchon are all still writing interesting stuff.

Personally, I've really been into semi-forgotten obscure and/or experimental writers lately: David Markson, Frederic Tuten, Stanley Elkin, Flann O'Brien, Leonard Michaels, Roberto Bolano.  And Donald Barthelme, though he's kind of famous and obscure at the same time.  Some of these guys might be on the weird side, depending on your tastes.

Oh, and if you like sci-fi, Octavia E. Butler's work is amazing and terrifying.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on November 08, 2007, 05:46:54 PM
Love the Barthelme, although, I very often don't know what the hell he's talking about.

I always recommend Fred Exley's "A Fan's Notes."  Great book by a guy who had exactly one book in him (and wrote three).


Is Bee Thousand the source material for Bee Movie?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 08, 2007, 07:00:08 PM
Is Bee Thousand the source material for Bee Movie?

Seinfeld totally stole that role out from under Robert Pollard.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on November 08, 2007, 07:26:08 PM
Actually, speaking of that (not to derail), I vaguely remember hearing about Bee Movie a couple of years ago; there were some ruckus in Swedish papers about a couple of Swedish screenwriters who claimed they pitched the idea to Spielberg and Seinfeld way back when, who then allegedly stole it and et cetera. Never heard more about that - guess they're taken care of.

I'm reading I Am America (and So Can You!). I like it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jason on November 08, 2007, 09:13:42 PM
Flann O'Brien

...is my literary hero.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 08, 2007, 11:13:18 PM
Laurie, have you read the Loveless 33 1/3 book? I hadn't planned on reading that one - in fact, I'd been advised to avoid that specific volume. However, if I'm hearing it's good, I may reconsider.

All three of the ones Omar mentioned are good. I really liked volume on Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea as well.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on November 08, 2007, 11:22:40 PM
I really liked volume on Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea as well.
THats the only one I've really liked. The Replacements one is a total letdown.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 08, 2007, 11:28:30 PM
Of the ones I've read recently, Doolittle and Murmur are really good. The Murmur actually turned me around on the album, which I'd never much liked before. The Exile on Main St. and Notorious Byrd Brothers books are excellent as well.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on November 13, 2007, 03:21:15 PM
I'm taking four reading courses this semester, so I haven't had a lot of time to read for pleasure. Luckily, I've been reading some pretty good stuff in my classes:
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
Duane's Depressed, Larry McMurtry
Seven Guitars, August Wilson
Buried Child, Sam Shepard
Angels in America, Tony Kushner

This thread has provided me with a lot of stuff to check out, though, so thanks everybody!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Beth on November 13, 2007, 04:47:50 PM
Beth, here are some recent (as in, in the last decade) books you might like:

Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, You Don't Love Me Yet, Fortress of Solitude, and Men and Cartoons
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections
Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Nathan Englander's The Ministry of Special Cases
Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Shelley Jackson's Half-Life
Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies
Whatever that recent collection of 3 Rick Moody novellas is called

They've also been around for a while, but Philip Roth, Luc Sante, Don DeLillo, and Thomas Pynchon are all still writing interesting stuff.

Personally, I've really been into semi-forgotten obscure and/or experimental writers lately: David Markson, Frederic Tuten, Stanley Elkin, Flann O'Brien, Leonard Michaels, Roberto Bolano.  And Donald Barthelme, though he's kind of famous and obscure at the same time.  Some of these guys might be on the weird side, depending on your tastes.

Oh, and if you like sci-fi, Octavia E. Butler's work is amazing and terrifying.


a late thank you for this. I'll use my winter break well.

I read The Human Stain by Phillip Roth back in high school, and I remember enjoying it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 14, 2007, 11:32:29 PM
I'm taking four reading courses this semester, so I haven't had a lot of time to read for pleasure. Luckily, I've been reading some pretty good stuff in my classes:
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
Duane's Depressed, Larry McMurtry
Seven Guitars, August Wilson
Buried Child, Sam Shepard
Angels in America, Tony Kushner

This thread has provided me with a lot of stuff to check out, though, so thanks everybody!

Interesting selection there, rover96.  You a theater major?  Tony Kushner is my boy.

a late thank you for this. I'll use my winter break well


My pleasure!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on November 14, 2007, 11:42:54 PM
I'm taking four reading courses this semester, so I haven't had a lot of time to read for pleasure. Luckily, I've been reading some pretty good stuff in my classes:
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
Duane's Depressed, Larry McMurtry
Seven Guitars, August Wilson
Buried Child, Sam Shepard
Angels in America, Tony Kushner

This thread has provided me with a lot of stuff to check out, though, so thanks everybody!

Interesting selection there, rover96.  You a theater major?  Tony Kushner is my boy.

No, I'm just taking an American Drama course this semester, along with Fiction, Poetry and the American Novel. The drama course has been the most consistently interesting of the bunch, however. Hopefully I'll be able to delve into some other stuff in this area when I have a little more free time.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on November 15, 2007, 10:31:29 AM
I just started my first Cormac McCarthy book (All the Pretty Horses).  I'm only a little way into it, and my back is already up.  Am I completely misguided to think of him as a more prolix Hemingway?  And are run-on sentences a recurring schtick?  If so, yuck:  I'm not a fan of writing that calls attention to itself.  It is possible,after all, to craft beautiful language that doesn't in effect mug for the camera.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on November 15, 2007, 01:37:59 PM
Sarah, did you ever read that essay that was in The Atlantic a few years back called "A Reader's Manifesto?"  Takedowns of McCarthy, Proulx, DeLillo and some others:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200107/myers

Some of the criticisms leveled will definitely validate your opinions toward McCarthy, but I think a lot of people were turned off by the mock-seriousness of the article.  Interesting, though.

I'm teaching "Medea" after Thanksgiving break, I'm so excited!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on November 15, 2007, 02:16:17 PM
I just started my first Cormac McCarthy book (All the Pretty Horses).  I'm only a little way into it, and my back is already up.  Am I completely misguided to think of him as a more prolix Hemingway?  And are run-on sentences a recurring schtick?  If so, yuck:  I'm not a fan of writing that calls attention to itself.  It is possible,after all, to craft beautiful language that doesn't in effect mug for the camera.


I understand completely. I read the first part of "The Crossing", and the language/structure was offputting to me as well.

I'd recommend "The Road" or "No Country For Old Men" - the writing style is totally different than his earlier novels; much more stripped-down and direct. "No Country For Old Men", in particular, doesn't have an ounce of fat on it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on November 15, 2007, 02:28:53 PM
Thanks for the link, Susannah.  I feel less like the little boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes" now--although, come to think of it, he, too, finds he's not alone in the end.  And the quotations in that article alone have persuaded me not to continue with All the Pretty Horses.  Phew.  There's a reprieve.

I don't like DeLillo, either.  I want writing to be transparent, authors to be invisible.  Failing that, I'll take clumsy writing with neat ideas, spot-on characterizations, and a good story over overworked bluster any day of the week.  It's one of the reasons I'm so fond of Neal Stephenson, despite the clumsiness of some of his language.

Now I have to find something fun to read on my shelves.  But next time I go to the library I will look for No Country or The Road.  I'm a sucker for postapocalyptic scenarios, so perhaps the latter will tickle my fancy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on November 17, 2007, 01:21:45 AM
Quote
Now I have to find something fun to read on my shelves

As if.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on November 17, 2007, 08:48:10 AM
Hmm?  Just what do you imagine my bookshelves are like?  I assure you, they're pretty much a desert.  All those Godine books you covet are in boxes upstairs--and they can't really count as "fun reads" in any case--and otherwise I'm not much of a book acquirer or keeper.  Stuff is the bunk.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Eric on November 17, 2007, 12:12:49 PM
I could use some fun reads too, Sarah. My 'Literary Analysis' class has centered completely around Russian literature, mostly concerning death and pretty much devoid of any humor. Jeeze...I'm not saying they've been completely useless, I actually enjoyed Notes from the Underground and Invitation to a Beheading, in particular. But yea, they don't exactly inspire you to run a marathon...definitely wouldn't mind offsetting them with something lighter.

For the record, I know barely anything about literature - classical or contemporary - despite being an English major. This thread humbles me in a big way. The last book I read for pleasure was a biography of Harry Houdini. Somewhat regrettably, I've spent a  disproportionate amount of my free time obsessing over music and movies instead.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on November 17, 2007, 04:58:54 PM
Quote
Just what do you imagine my bookshelves are like?  I assure you, they're pretty much a desert.

Hate to admit it, but I envisioned you living in your own Hay-on-Wye.  With blue inkwells and quills set up strategically throughout the house.  Now I'm picturing you living in Jack Nicholson's barren white apartment at the end of Carnal Knowledge.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on November 17, 2007, 05:47:09 PM
Hate to admit it, but I envisioned you living in your own Hay-on-Wye.  With blue inkwells and quills set up strategically throughout the house.  Now I'm picturing you living in Jack Nicholson's barren white apartment at the end of Carnal Knowledge.


It's no Hay-on-Wye but here is one of my many bookcases:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a19/minder125/Brucesbookcollection003.jpg)


(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a19/minder125/Brucesbookcollection004.jpg)

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a19/minder125/Brucesbookcollection005.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on November 17, 2007, 06:10:09 PM
Quote
It's no Hay-on-Wye but here is one of my many bookcases:

Looks like you've got Careless Love there.  I've always meant to read that.  Any good?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on November 17, 2007, 07:28:34 PM
Quote
It's no Hay-on-Wye but here is one of my many bookcases:

Looks like you've got Careless Love there.  I've always meant to read that.  Any good?

It's the second part of the Elvis bio its a fantastic. Read both parts.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 18, 2007, 10:01:29 AM
I second the recommendation of Last Train to Memphis & Careless Love. I really loved both parts, though Careless Love had a bunch more stuff I didn't know.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on November 18, 2007, 10:21:28 AM
Now I'm picturing you living in Jack Nicholson's barren white apartment at the end of Carnal Knowledge.

I wish!

You would have loved the Godine offices back when I worked there:  the company was in the basement of an old brownstone in Back Bay (in Boston, for any philistines out there).  Lots of built-in dark wood shelves--probably mahogany or something fancy like that--loaded with books dating from the very beginning of the press, as well as various other typographical wonders from David's collection.  I seem to recall there was a Persian rug in his office.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on November 24, 2007, 09:58:01 PM
Quote
You would have loved the Godine offices back when I worked there:  the company was in the basement of an old brownstone in Back Bay (in Boston, for any philistines out there).  Lots of built-in dark wood shelves--probably mahogany or something fancy like that--loaded with books dating from the very beginning of the press, as well as various other typographical wonders from David's collection.  I seem to recall there was a Persian rug in his office.


Apparently, Godine isn't just a quirky champion of off-the-beaten-track books, but also a stickler for printing method/quality.  Found this interesting article that also includes the only available picture of Godine on the Internet:

http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/david_godine_publisher_with_a_spine_news_50_9041.html
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on November 25, 2007, 12:18:27 AM
I second the recommendation of Last Train to Memphis & Careless Love. I really loved both parts, though Careless Love had a bunch more stuff I didn't know.

Careless Love is good, but his increasing degradation just goes on and on for hundreds of pages.  More than a little depressing. 

For some reason, a part of that book that stuck with me is Elvis acting out most of the movie "Across 110th Street" in his living room.   
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: TVD on November 25, 2007, 02:51:59 AM
Bukowski's my favorite writer despite BS superstar Paul F. Tompkins badmouthing him :/
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 25, 2007, 09:27:13 AM
Quote
Careless Love is good, but his increasing degradation just goes on and on for hundreds of pages.  More than a little depressing.

True. But the parts about the 68 Comeback Special are awesome. That (and the couple of albums he made around the same time) are my favorite period of Elvis, so I was glad to read about that.


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on November 25, 2007, 11:02:27 AM
Apparently, Godine isn't just a quirky champion of off-the-beaten-track books, but also a stickler for printing method/quality.


Oh, I thought you knew this already and that's why you like his books so much.  Yeah, he got into the biz because he loves the physical objects that are books.  He was a printer/typesetter first.  That's why so many earlier Godine books are pretty mediocre contentwise.  But they last: even the crappiest is printed on acid-free paper and has a sewn binding.  At least that was the case when I was there.

Quote
Found this interesting article that also includes the only available picture of Godine on the Internet:
[url]http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/david_godine_publisher_with_a_spine_news_50_9041.html[/url]


Ha, I just found the same article the other day when I was looking for a picture of the Dartmouth street office for you.  It made me sad to see David older.  And so uncharacteristically tidy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 25, 2007, 01:48:54 PM
I like the bookshelf-posting.  To give you an idea of my unfortunate book compulsion, these two photos of the books in my bedroom, so stored because they're on my reading list, were taken in February 2005:

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/3/5127845_04a5ae2aa9.jpg)

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/3/5127422_5cfffb3713.jpg)

In the nearly three years since then, I've read exactly seven of these books (as well as many others, but the point is I've made hardly any headway).

This is the regular living room bookshelf, and I've read most of these.  I'm really just putting it here to antagonize the John Junk.

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/31/49841857_a7e885c6e4.jpg)


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on November 25, 2007, 03:32:06 PM
Quote
Careless Love is good, but his increasing degradation just goes on and on for hundreds of pages.  More than a little depressing.

True. But the parts about the 68 Comeback Special are awesome. That (and the couple of albums he made around the same time) are my favorite period of Elvis, so I was glad to read about that.


I love the passage of Dr. Elvis, when Priscilla overdoses.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on November 25, 2007, 03:35:21 PM
Jasongrote skip the LeCarre, I feel his books are a bit longwinded and go nowhere fast. Having read a few of his longer works I know of what I speak. Nice to see that HC of Kavalair and Clay
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 25, 2007, 04:48:10 PM
Really?  I feel like I've got to at least attempt The Spy Who Came in From The Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, though it may take me years.  I'm not as big on plot in books, though - I do enjoy the Graham Greene-style intrigue.

I'm a huge fan of Kavalier and Clay...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 25, 2007, 05:19:53 PM
The Plot Against America is worth reading. It kinda unravels a bit at the end, as if Roth realized he'd written himself into a corner, but it's still a very enjoyable journey.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on November 25, 2007, 05:48:59 PM
I'm a huge fan of Kavalier and Clay...

Yes! Genius.
Did you read Yiddish Policeman's Union?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on November 25, 2007, 05:52:08 PM
Really?  I feel like I've got to at least attempt Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, though it may take me years.  I'm not as big on plot in books, though - I do enjoy the Graham Greene-style intrigue

It's better as a mini series. I read the book years ago and forced myself to finish it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 25, 2007, 09:41:15 PM
I'm a huge fan of Kavalier and Clay...

Yes! Genius.
Did you read Yiddish Policeman's Union?

Not yet - I'd like to check it out but I've been kinda underwhelmed by everything he's written since K & C - which is not to say he's not an amazing writer, we should all be so lucky to have one work of art that good in our lives (not to mention the ones he wrote before that, which were also pretty great), but I get the sense he's just having fun.  Which is perfectly legitimate, of course, but I've only got so much reading time.

Really?  I feel like I've got to at least attempt Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, though it may take me years.  I'm not as big on plot in books, though - I do enjoy the Graham Greene-style intrigue

It's better as a mini series. I read the book years ago and forced myself to finish it.

I'll check it out, but I probably won't stick with it if it bores me.  Though right now I'm reading Darwin's Origin of the Species as research for a play I'm writing, so I have a high threshold.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on December 14, 2007, 01:30:15 AM
I just bought a load of books to read over Christmas break:

- Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy
- Russell Banks, Rule of the Bone
- Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano and October Ferry to Gabriola
- Stendhal, The Red and the Black
- Ellen Gilchrist, In the Land of Dreamy Dreams

I don't know where to start. I still have about twenty other books on my shelf that I've never touched.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on December 14, 2007, 01:08:50 PM
I just bought a load of books to read over Christmas break:

- Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy
- Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano
- Stendhal, The Red and the Black
 

Well those three are pretty fun easy reads
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on December 14, 2007, 02:35:50 PM
You want to know what like in the south is really like?

George Singleton, people. I would start with The Half-Mammals of Dixie.

Tonight I start on JG Ballard's Crash.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on December 14, 2007, 04:03:20 PM
I just bought a load of books to read over Christmas break:

- Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy
- Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano
- Stendhal, The Red and the Black
 

Well those three are pretty fun easy reads

Well, I've got these on the shelf I could start instead:

- Knut Hamsen, Hunger
- Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song
- W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage
- Frank Norris, The Octopus
- John Updike, In the Beauty of the Lilies

Ew, boy. Maybe I'll start with Rule of the Bone, eh?

I used to be smart, but now I'm just stupid.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Vambo on December 16, 2007, 11:29:33 AM
- W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

I haven't read this yet, I've blasted through three anthologies of his short stories, and they're wonderful.  The semi-autobiographical Ashendon stories are excellent.

Maugham is a master of the haymaker line--one that just cold-cocks you in the face and knocks you flat.  Two have stayed with me for years--the first is from one of the aforementioned Ashendon stories, and it's the line where the captured spy's dog dies at the moment of the spy's execution.  The second is from the story "The Human Element", where the one character confesses, awkwardly and out of the blue, "I'm so desperately alone."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 16, 2007, 03:34:14 PM
Tonight I start on JG Ballard's Crash.

God help you, Dave.  I hope you're not easily susceptible to the willies.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on December 16, 2007, 04:10:59 PM
Tonight I start on JG Ballard's Crash.

God help you, Dave.  I hope you're not easily susceptible to the willies.
loved the book hated the film it was a valiant try though
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on December 17, 2007, 11:36:34 AM
I am about halfway through. I can't say whether I am getting anything satisfying from it or not. I need more time.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: octopus volcano on December 17, 2007, 02:07:04 PM
I just finished After Dark by Haruki Murakami.  A minor gem.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jason on December 17, 2007, 02:24:14 PM
I seem to recall there was a Persian rug in his office.

I'd like to hear more about this Persian rug please, either here or in a new thread.
Thanks in advance.

Jason.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on December 17, 2007, 09:05:38 PM
I began 'The Damned United' (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Damned-Utd-David-Peace/dp/0571224334/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197943506&sr=8-1) today, which is great, though only Jason may be aware of Brian Clough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Clough) - he am legend.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on December 18, 2007, 11:05:58 AM
He died on my birthday.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Josh on December 18, 2007, 12:19:08 PM
He died on my birthday.

Will the circle be unbroken? (Is that a goth song?)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 18, 2007, 12:41:56 PM
I'm a huge fan of Kavalier and Clay...

Yes! Genius.
Did you read Yiddish Policeman's Union?

I haven't yet, but I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback, which might have already happened - but I have a huge backlog right now anyway...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on December 18, 2007, 11:57:57 PM
Am spending my Christmas break reading "War and Peace."  Is that really as sad as I think it sounds?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 19, 2007, 12:14:35 AM
Am spending my Christmas break reading "War and Peace."  Is that really as sad as I think it sounds?

Not at all.  I carried it around with me all summer in 2006 (not, like, on the subway, but I traveled a lot and brought it with me) and never actually read the damn thing.  Maybe we should start a FOT book club, except that I'm already about 50 pages into Origin of the Species.  Talk about sad.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on December 19, 2007, 12:35:54 AM
Hey, my sister and father both say that book's a cracking read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on December 19, 2007, 09:27:53 AM
Still plowing through Crash, now praying for a quick end. I will say one thing for these gentlemen; they are enthusiastic about their automobiles!!!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on December 19, 2007, 10:36:40 AM
I've been reading three books at once.  All about the same basic theme, in their own ways.  All non-fiction.

- Eat Pray Love, at the insistence of a lady friend.
- Stumbling On Happiness.  Accidentally ordered the book on CD rather than the book.
- The Black Swan.

The first is pretty good - she has a light, funny and interesting writing style.  It's about how (in this case) one woman can have a lot of the things that are supposed to make people happy and still be miserable, then go looking for her own happiness in different ways.  I'm a cynic, but actually reading the book I found myself generally sympathizing with her.

The second is absolutely fascinating.  It's about the science surrounding what makes us happy.  It covers memory, how we predict the future, etc.  It's truly eye-opening the ways that our own brains do not work the way they're supposed to, and how wrong we are in the things that we feel certain about.  I highly recommend it - particularly the CD version, because you'll be riding along in the car saying, "Wow, I never realized that, but it's completely true."

The third is the most powerful.  If "Stumbling Towards Happiness" is about how wrong the individual human brain is, "The Black Swan" is about how wrong the collective human brain is.  The thesis is that we invent certainty and patterns and predictive reliability where there are only uncertainty, chaos and randomness.  And then we make wrong decisions based on those wrong assumptions.  The things we do to be safe are the things that make us most unsafe.

Especially for you business types, and those interested in politics, culture, and so on, this book should change your life.  He's a very digressive writer, which can be frustrating, but overall the thesis is so amazing that you can't help but be wowed.


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 19, 2007, 12:24:30 PM
Still plowing through Crash, now praying for a quick end. I will say one thing for these gentlemen; they are enthusiastic about their automobiles!!!

Oh, Dave, I wish there was some way this could be the only review of that book ever written.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ughwhy on December 19, 2007, 12:46:21 PM
He died on my birthday.

Jacques Cousteau died on my birthday. I took it personally.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on December 19, 2007, 01:45:37 PM
I'm a huge fan of Kavalier and Clay...

Yes! Genius.
Did you read Yiddish Policeman's Union?

I haven't yet, but I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback, which might have already happened - but I have a huge backlog right now anyway...
My mother gave up on the book and she grew up in a house where Yiddish was spoken all the time. Sadly the only yiddish I know are the words I scream in traffic.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 19, 2007, 02:07:31 PM
Not even food?  I made matzo brei last night - what a great meal.  You can totally tell it was invented in some shetl somewhere where they had to stretch out their food - one egg, one matzo, some water and some salt (and some oil to fry it in) and it sits in your stomach like a rock for a week.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: John Junk on December 19, 2007, 03:19:01 PM
Am spending my Christmas break reading "War and Peace."  Is that really as sad as I think it sounds?

I read that.  It took me like a year.  I'm not sure if it was worth it or not, except I guess I get bragging rights.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on December 19, 2007, 07:27:00 PM
I read the Constance Garnett translation of "Anna Karenina" when I was about sixteen, but had been reading about the new Pevear/Volokhonsky "War and Peace" translation for a few years and decided to hold off until it came out.  I read the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of "The Brothers Karamazov" last year and liked it...so far "War and Peace" is good, but I think I'll probably wind up liking "Karenina" more.

Why do I even both posting on here?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on December 19, 2007, 09:08:41 PM
I started reading Moon Dust today, it's an account of the nine living men who've walked on the moon, and how it's affected them.. So far, so good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on December 23, 2007, 03:18:16 AM
I just received a fun Christmas gift from a far-flung friend in Philadelphia: "Bizarre Books: A Compendium of Classic Oddities," by Russell Ash and Brian Lake.  It's exactly that--titles from the last 100+ years that are truly weird and entertaining, organized by categories like "Double Entendre Titles--They Didn't Mean It," "Science & Scientific Theories," "Religion & Beliefs," "Nature: Fauna," etc.  Some examples of my favorites so far:

"Life and Laughter 'midst the Cannibals" (1926)
"The Little I Saw of Cuba" (1899)
"So Your Wife Came Home Speaking In Tongues!  So Did Mine!" (1973)
"How To Be Happy Though Married" (1885)
"A Letter to the Man Who Killed My Dog" (1956)
"Understand Your Tortoise" (1980)
"We All Killed Grandma" (1954)

Perfect for the wacky English teacher/writer/college student in your life.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on December 23, 2007, 08:54:52 AM
I want to read reviews of all of these.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on January 30, 2008, 08:54:36 PM
I've had the Persepolis box set sitting on my shelf. After reading that it's been made into an Oscar nominated movie and seeing Marjane Satrapi on The Colbert Report, I decided to rip open the shrink wrap today. I just finished it. Let me tell you how affecting this true story was for me: I've never cried so hard at the end of a book's conclusion. Not once. I've read sad books, I've cried, but I don't think I've ever sobbed. The sum of it had a really strong impact on me. I cried so hard it freaked out my cat, who was sleeping next to me. She put her nose in my face three times to see what's up, purred and rubbed against me in an attempt to comfort me, walked over me, jumped when my jobs jolted her off my back, and nipped my arm when none of the usual stuff worked. The nip actually worked. I laughed.

It's not a total sob fest the whole way through. I only cried during one other part, and I managed to keep it together as I was out and about in public at the time. It's just... tough. And frustrating. It makes you want to do something, and I feel like I should, but I don't know what I can do to help. It's so complicated and fucked up, and there are people just stuck in the middle of all of this fundamentalist bullshit, and that's the point of the book. And it worked. I think everyone should read it. I think it's an important book, whatever that means. I can't recommend it highly enough.

I don't know if I have the strength to start Persepolis 2 tonight. I do want to see the movie this weekend, though. It's only playing at one whole movie theater in Miami, which is bullshit, but it's close enough to me anyhow. And I want to see it even though one of the characters -- most likely, Marji, the author herself -- in the adaptation sniffs, "ABBA is for wimps."  :)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on January 30, 2008, 09:08:21 PM
Laurie I just started Persepolis, too - we can have a Floriscussion about it shortly!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on January 31, 2008, 06:40:28 PM
Finished "War and Peace" a few weeks ago and have been reading Oliver Sacks's "An Anthropologist on Mars" ever since.

I love this thread!  I definitely need to read "Persepolis" now.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Denim Gremlin on January 31, 2008, 07:04:09 PM
i read persepolis a couple of years ago. didn't really do anything for me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dania on January 31, 2008, 08:56:06 PM
I read a few of those books and I absolutely loved them!  Then I forgot about them..   Then I heard about the film because there was a feature in The Reader on how it isn't playing anywhere in Chicago.  Rats!  Consider yourself blessed to have it showing at least somewhere in your vicinity. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: <<<<< on January 31, 2008, 10:03:19 PM
Re: Vonnegut, I enjoyed Bluebeard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluebeard_%28novel%29) a great deal.

Also very much share a fondness for Donald Barthelme.  He tickles my love for Kafka without also depressing me horribly.  I mean, from an existential standpoint, he got it right.  It all should be something to have a laugh about.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on February 03, 2008, 09:24:43 PM
Quote
It's no Hay-on-Wye but here is one of my many bookcases:

Looks like you've got Careless Love there.  I've always meant to read that.  Any good?

It's the second part of the Elvis bio its a fantastic. Read both parts.

Just finished Part 1, Last Train to Memphis.  Really great. Love the bit about the Teddy Bear named Pelvis.




Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: folksnake on February 03, 2008, 09:50:12 PM
Just finished Part 1, Last Train to Memphis.  Really great. Love the bit about the Teddy Bear named Pelvis.

I love that book. The second book gets sadder and sadder as it goes along, with less and less magic. Be careful, Rainer, if you go on to that one.
But the beginning of his story....ahh, there was magic.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on February 03, 2008, 10:01:06 PM
Quote
I love that book. The second book gets sadder and sadder as it goes along, with less and less magic. Be careful, Rainer, if you go on to that one.

OK, now you (and ChrisL) have sold me on it.  I shall read it on the plane. :)

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Laurie on February 03, 2008, 10:14:55 PM
Re: Vonnegut, I enjoyed Bluebeard ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluebeard_%28novel%29[/url]) a great deal.


Ooh, I Bluebeard, too. Then again, I also loved Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bloody_Chamber). I even like the Charles Perrault version. I think I just love the Bluebeard fairy tale for some reason. I mean, I'm really in love with the song "Bluebeard" by Would-Be-Goods. Listen! (http://mp3space.com/file/10134/03_-_bluebeard)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on February 04, 2008, 12:31:45 AM
Am re-reading "Rebecca" on this somewhat cold, rainy evening.  Do any men enjoy this book, or is its appeal limited to women only?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on February 04, 2008, 07:04:18 AM
Am re-reading "Rebecca" on this somewhat cold, rainy evening.  Do any men enjoy this book, or is its appeal limited to women only?
I liked it Susannah see its not all about Hard Boiled Noir for me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on February 04, 2008, 07:56:05 AM
I just finished George Singleton's Why Dogs Chase Cars, (many reasons are given; my favorite is that, lacking opposable thumbs, they can not tie a noose) a hilarious easy read featuring around 15 interconnected short stories tracking the growth and mental development of Mendal Dawes, a resident of Forty-Five, South Carolina, who realizes, almost as soon as he develops self-awareness, that he must get out. I recommend it highly.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on February 04, 2008, 08:32:31 AM
Read over the past week:

The Doomsters - Ross Macdonald
Missing - Karin Alvtegen
A DEVIL FOR O'SHAUGNESSY/THE THREE-WAY SPLIT - Gil Brewer
THE CRAZY SCHOOL - Cornelia Read
NEPTUNE NOIR - Edited by Rob Thomas (a collection of essays about a certain girl detective)

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ericluxury on February 07, 2008, 04:30:48 PM
I agree that Persepolis is a great series of graphic novels. Both of them were fantastic and sad.

Anyone here read the comics/graphic novels of Jason? For some reason he hasn't gotten the respect or recognition that Chris Ware and Dan Clowes and those guys get, despite being better than all of those guys. My favorite is still the first one, Hey, Wait and his newest The Last Musketeer, but even his lesser ones are fun. They are all such fast reads that its kind of a bummer. You pay $14 and its over very quickly. Its tough though because unlike many graphic novelists, its lean work and the excess fat is mostly cut off. If you spend 20 minutes, you can read any of his books in a comic book store but I've bought them all because he's my favorite.

Recent books that I read or re-read that were great are..
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein which is one of my favorites ever. Its about the anarchist take over of the moon. There are a few cheesy things about it, but I love it.
Check The Technique is a book of the liner notes of classic hip hop albums and its great. Like a collection of mini 33 1/3's. The best part about it is that you realize how whether or not its still true, the rappers and producers back then were a bunch of music nerds. It might be societal racism that I never questioned but I never thought of that.

and probably a few more...i feel that it might be presumptous as a new member to bring up too many.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on February 08, 2008, 12:45:59 AM
Jason the cartoonist (as opposed to the board mod, or me, though I like both of us) is great and I buy his comics, too.  Hey, Wait is completely heartbreaking.  I think he's just younger than Ware and Clowes, and also Norwegian.  Crimestick might have something to say about why that makes him somehow inferior.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ericluxury on February 08, 2008, 09:58:15 AM
Yeah, but Chris Ware and Dan Clowes and Adrien Tomine had early success. All of them have more showy drawing styles than Jason. I personally love his style though.
However, not having too much success in comics might not be a good thing. Clowes has abandoned comics to write mediocre screenplays, Ware comics and drawings have gotten so ornate as to be hardly readable and Tomine has produced maybe 30 pages in the last 6 years. Cartoons are like stand-up in that way, lots of people want to abandon it as soon as they become good enough to get success in other areas.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on February 08, 2008, 10:05:55 AM
I am finishing off George Saunders, his book of essays called The Braindead Megaphone. It's entertaining enough, but it doesn't approach his fiction, at least so far. He does include a nice tribute called Vonnegut in Sumatra. Saunders is often compared to Vonnegut (which I think does both a mild disservice, but whatever.) The piece acknowledges how Slaughterhouse Five turned his preconceptions about literature inside out. (Basically, he didn't need to have a dictionary by his side to understand it, and in the face of making actual points, it still manages to be fun, at least mostly.) Very nice.

It occurred to me this morning that I have never read Twain. Or Dickens, outside of A Tale of Two Cities. There really just are too many books, aren't there? Let's stop producing them for a few years, writers, to allow readers to catch up.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on February 08, 2008, 11:12:19 AM
I am currently reading "A Tale of Two Cities" at this very moment, trying to decide whether or not I want to teach it next year!

A poll that combines this thread, the thread about high school, and requires the power of the FOT Brain Trust: what stuff did you love reading in high school? What did you hate? Why?  I'm trying to get a better handle on things my students enjoy.  Right now they complain about everything.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on February 08, 2008, 12:15:37 PM
Off the top of my head, I remember loving Catch-22, Dostoyevsky, Henry Miller, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, and science fiction.  More might come back to me after I sleep on it.  It was so very long ago.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on February 08, 2008, 12:28:14 PM
Like Sarah, I loved Catch-22and then Something Happened, and lots and lots of science fiction (particularly Heinlein, who I can barely stand to read anymore, Harlan Ellison, Arthur C Clarke, Michael Moorcock.) I read lots of serial stuff, Conan, Doc Savage, that sort of stuff. Creem magazine, obsessively. I discovered Vonnegut my junior year. Classic horror, Frankenstein, Dracula, stuff like that. And for some reason, Art Buchwald. Did I mention stuff? I read every Beatles biography I could find in the 9th and 10th grades (I remember being shocked at John Lennon's repeated use of the phrase "piss off", and even more so, that such language was tolerated in a book held by the public library.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on February 08, 2008, 01:05:48 PM
Quote
Finished "War and Peace" a few weeks ago and have been reading Oliver Sacks's "An Anthropologist on Mars" ever since.

I heard there's a new translation of W&P out now thats supposed to be the bomb. I read a lot of short Tolstoy stuff last year and loved it all, maybe it's time for me to tackle the main event finally.

I just finished Oliver Sacks' new one, "Musicophilia" recently. Full of great music-related neurological disorders that all sound like the names of DC hardcore bands: Amusia, Dysharmonia, etc. Fun stuff.









(People still say "the bomb", right?)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on February 08, 2008, 01:18:09 PM
Ah, clarification: what did you read in school, what did you like or dislike, and why?  If you hated having to read "Pride and Prejudice," for example, did you hate the book itself or the way it was taught?

Usually what happens is my students complain about the text in question when it is assigned, then grudgingly admit that reading it doesn't make them want to gouge their eyes out entirely once they've gotten through it a little bit.   

I'm curious to know since the FOT are a pretty literary bunch; I also know that being an avid reader does not necessarily equal success in high school English.  I'm trying to figure out how to foist things I loved onto them without having them resent me or hate reading forever.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on February 08, 2008, 01:36:56 PM
I agree it might help to throw something like Slaughterhouse-5 or Catch-22 into the mix.  Unless they're complete drones they should respond to those.  Maybe even 1984.  Something with numbers.

A Tale of Two Cities is the only book I ever bought cliffs notes for.  It was a summer assignment in high school and I was havin' nothing doing.  Dickens is pretty much anathema to teenagers; I've still never read him. 

I think kids are pretty much going to initially resent having these impenetrable-looking texts foisted upon them no matter what.  As you said, in many cases it probably contributes to a lifelong resentment of reading and an ignorance of literature's transcendent potential.  I'm certainly no teacher, but maybe you do have to just try to relate the stories and characters as much as possible to your students' self-involved worldview.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on February 08, 2008, 01:37:28 PM
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I didn't like Huckleberry Finn (didn't even finish it), The Great Gatsby, or Madame Bovary when I had to read them in high school (I subsequently came to love them all later). I thought A Farewell to Arms was just OK.

I liked The Catcher in the Rye, but later came to dislike it.

Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan were my favorites during my high school years, but only Vonnegut was taught in my high school (and none of my teachers assigned Slaughterhouse-Five). Do any FOTs even know who Richard Brautigan is today? Or am I giving myself away as an old hippie?

Maybe short stories or novellas would work better with kids' short attention spans. I still remember fondly reading and seeing the movie versions of The Lottery, An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge, and Bartleby the Scrivener (actually, I was exposed to these in the 8th grade).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on February 08, 2008, 02:24:00 PM
I really enjoyed the following that we read in HS

Great Expectations, Julius Caesar, Antigone, The Crucible, and Native Son all come to mind. The book I could not stand was The Marble Faun.

A friend of mine teaches english on L.I. I know he has a varied reading list in his class. Next time I speak to him I'll ask about his list.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Don from Astoria on February 08, 2008, 02:25:43 PM
I am currently reading "A Tale of Two Cities" ... what stuff did you love reading in high school? What did you hate?

Sidney Carton: the original Stroszek?

I'll 22nd everyone's affection for Catch-22.

I actually liked A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.  (David Copperfield was the brick of a book that broke me; its length had me heading for the classics section at Blockbuster.)

Also enjoyed

The Great Gatsby - beautiful writing
A Farewell to Arms - there's a compact, barebones stoicism to Hemingway's writing that forces the reader to supply the emotions
The Catcher in The Rye - he's not going to tell you about that "David Copperfield crap." This one might read better had Salinger not retreated from society, and had it not become the go-to book for more than one disturbed assassin.  
I liked Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions a good deal, but please note it includes drawings of a nazi flag and an asshole.
In later years I really enjoyed Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust, a wickedly observed book that I believe was a repository for his venom after a divorce.  There's also something nice in there for those who don't like Dickens.

I found some merit/enjoyment in most all assigned readings (brown nose!) though I found it hard to slog through the dense writing of Henry James' Turn of the Screw, and I remember thinking The Red Badge of Courage was just gross.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on February 08, 2008, 03:18:07 PM
Dickens is pretty much anathema to teenagers

Yep. I've had teachers try to make him interesting at me for years, and every time it's gone over like a lead balloon (not just with me but with every student). I know I'm probably going to start liking his books (much) later in life, but this is not the case for the hundreds of med school students my school breeds every year.

Going to school with them, I've started to figure out that what you want when you haven't been a reader your whole life, when you're coming to books, is a mirror. Kids I know devour gossip girl books and similar YA junk because they're not "school books"--they're about kids like them, but richer and more interesting (/slutty/creepy/drunk) and dramatic. Not to say that we should put Gossip Girl in the curriculum or anything, but I think they might be a lot more engaged if there was something that...reflected, you know? Great Expectations might be okay because there are crushes in it and stuff, but everybody loves Catcher in the Rye (or hates it, but can talk about it) because it's about a confused teenager. Like them. The more directly relatable it is, the more of a mirror, the easier it is to read and be engaged in, and then once people start liking books they have to read for school then they are more willing to branch out into other, less relatable things.

All this, of course, is also informed by my 28 years as a successful english teacher. What do I know? Yeesh.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on February 08, 2008, 04:10:16 PM
Let's see, I recall reading Great Expectations and Romeo and Juliet in the ninth grade.  We must have read more, but I can't recall.  I liked both just fine.

I don't remember reading anything during my few months in the tenth grade, but then I was high most of the time.

My eighth grade reading was more interesting:  A Man for All Seasons, Beowulf (from which I culled a still-favorite insult: "misbegotten son of a foul mother").  Also, however, Travels with Charley, which I hated.

But what I liked really shouldn't count, because I was a compulsive reader already and so was pretty much happy to read whatever I was given.  I suspect this is true of many on this board.  I remember that when a cousin of mine was complaining to me about English class--he was about thirteen at the time--and I tried to think what kinds of books might appeal to him, I figured soft porn would probably do the trick.  But I suspect school boards would frown on that.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Don from Astoria on February 08, 2008, 04:21:44 PM
Dickens is pretty much anathema to teenagers

Yep. I've had teachers try to make him interesting at me for years, and every time it's gone over like a lead balloon

Are you sure you're not talking about Dikkens with two k's, the well-known Dutch author?

I remember being a sucker for Dickens' grabs at the heartstrings.  Like in Great Expectations, that earnest letter Joe sends to Pip, who has since distanced himself from his provincial beginnings and fancies himself a sophisticated young urbanite.  Or Sidney Carton's fate in ATOTT.

We at least have to give him credit for inspiring a Bill Murray movie.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on February 08, 2008, 05:13:34 PM
Are you sure you're not talking about Dikkens with two k's, the well-known Dutch author?

Thank you John for a great chuckle I have that whole bit somewhere in my apt.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on February 09, 2008, 03:06:10 PM
I didn't even read The Scarlet Letter in class (later came to appreciate, if not love it), but I enjoyed Animal Farm a great deal, probably because I was and am obsessed with Soviet history (I was a weird kid).

I read Vonnegut on my own and didn't discover Joseph Heller until my 20s, but I concur with everyone else that they would be good choices.  I'm a big Twain fan, too.  Ditto for Melville, though I don't know if high school is the best age for him.

Other stuff:

Dave, I totally agree re. Saunders as an essayist - he's like the Bizarro-world David Foster Wallace, in that his fiction is so amazing but his essays merely readable.

Eric Luxury, don't forget all of that New Yorker work that Tomine is doing.  Also, Clowes has that weekly strip in the NY Times Magazine.  He's not really that much less productive than in the early days of Eightball - didn't that only come out a couple of times a year?  I also think that Jason has come onto the scene at a time when alt-cartooning has become more mainstream, which paradoxically makes each new cartoonist less noticeable, if that makes sense.  But I can't blame cartoonists for bailing on a medium that pays so horribly (Pantheon editions of graphic novels notwithstanding).  If I was independently wealthy and not indentured to the elaborate scam that is the Tisch School of the Arts, I'd write weird experimental plays for the rest of my life, but as it is I'll probably have to jump ship at the first opportunity.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on February 10, 2008, 08:00:18 PM
My pastor has suggested the start-up of a "serious" reading group, to spur discussion of ideas and issues that don't traditionally come up in church. So far, sounds pretty good. He wants to start with The Brothers Karamazov. Suddenly I am paranoid that I will look like an idiot. Should I/could I get through it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on February 10, 2008, 08:59:01 PM
My pastor has suggested the start-up of a "serious" reading group, to spur discussion of ideas and issues that don't traditionally come up in church. So far, sounds pretty good. He wants to start with The Brothers Karamazov. Suddenly I am paranoid that I will look like an idiot. Should I/could I get through it?

I am making a point to read that this year.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on February 10, 2008, 09:38:22 PM
If I can do it, anyone can.
And I did it, and it's a great book - probably my favorite, actually.

Plus, you can't look like an idiot for reading, unless you show up with a copy of The Idiot instead of the assigned Brothers Karamazov.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ughwhy on February 10, 2008, 10:04:02 PM
I am finishing off George Saunders, his book of essays called The Braindead Megaphone. It's entertaining enough, but it doesn't approach his fiction, at least so far. He does include a nice tribute called Vonnegut in Sumatra. Saunders is often compared to Vonnegut (which I think does both a mild disservice, but whatever.) The piece acknowledges how Slaughterhouse Five turned his preconceptions about literature inside out. (Basically, he didn't need to have a dictionary by his side to understand it, and in the face of making actual points, it still manages to be fun, at least mostly.) Very nice.

I got a copy of Megaphone for December Wishes Holiday, and I was a little disappointed in it...though I probably could have called it, since half of the book is Saunders' "Shouts and Murmurs" pieces, and anyone who even gets in breathing distance of S&M gets dusted with the tragic unfunny. I thought the best parts were the longer bits--particularly the article about his trip to Dubai and the one about his time with the Minutemen. I like how he's very honest about how both excursions defied his progressive expectations.

The infamous Mr. Jesse Thorn did an interview with Mr. Saunders on TSOYA a few months back that's definitely worth a listen--he talks about the reason behind Megaphone basically being his realization that his politics were creeping into his fiction. In a way, these essays were meant to help him separate the two, get one out in one place so he could write good stories.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on February 10, 2008, 10:31:15 PM
My Saunderthon was a direct result of that interview, especially Saunder's puzzled delight that he received an award for geniuses.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on February 11, 2008, 08:29:25 AM
My pastor has suggested the start-up of a "serious" reading group, to spur discussion of ideas and issues that don't traditionally come up in church. So far, sounds pretty good. He wants to start with The Brothers Karamazov. Suddenly I am paranoid that I will look like an idiot. Should I/could I get through it?

I loved it at age fifteen, Dave.  I have no doubt I'd enjoy it less now (I like everything to be easy in my old age).  But I have faith in you.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: <<<<< on February 11, 2008, 10:59:22 AM
Dostoevsky is amazing.  Don't worry too much about how "heavy" it is Dave, just enjoy the read.  I'm sure your pastor will help place it within the context of the church.  Afterall, if everyone "got it" then your pastor wouldn't have anything to teach regarding it.  :)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on February 17, 2008, 12:07:31 PM
I've been slogging through Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke for about a month now and with about 200 pages left I'm kind of regretting it, particularly since I've heard the ending is also a let-down.  The Tet Offensive sequences and pretty much all the scenes with the Houston brothers are great, and the dialogue is often fantastic, but the oodles of vague, ponderous plotting and general narrative aimlessness are wearying.  I'd been meaning to read more of Johnson's work for years since I read Jesus' Son (I have a bad habit of restricting myself to only a couple of an author's works), but it looks like I should've kept to the shorter stuff.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on February 17, 2008, 01:24:38 PM
Dostoevsky is amazing.  Don't worry too much about how "heavy" it is Dave, just enjoy the read.  I'm sure your pastor will help place it within the context of the church.  Afterall, if everyone "got it" then your pastor wouldn't have anything to teach regarding it.  :)


The biggest obstacle to Dostoevsky for me is the names. He's even worse than Faulkner or Garcia Marquez in the "most confusing character names" listings. Part of the problem with Dostoevsky is the way Russian names are constructed, but still.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on February 17, 2008, 01:34:40 PM
I am a reading a Michael Chabon book called Summerland, that blends baseball, Norse mythology, and native-American folklore. It's intended for smart kids, so it's an easy read, Harry Potterish in many ways. After that I think I am going to continue working my way through Cormac McCarthy's works with his second novel, Outer Dark. But I might lose heart and pick up something else first.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Gilly on February 17, 2008, 02:21:09 PM
I am a reading a Michael Chabon book called Summerland, that blends baseball, Norse mythology, and native-American folklore. It's intended for smart kids, so it's an easy read, Harry Potterish in many ways. After that I think I am going to continue working my way through Cormac McCarthy's works with his second novel, Outer Dark. But I might lose heart and pick up something else first.

I liked Summerland a lot.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on February 18, 2008, 07:27:14 PM
Just finished The Instant Enemy - Ross Macdonald one of the darkest noirs I've read in a long time. It's severely one of the most depressing in the whole Lew Archer series.

About to start an Italian collection of Crime fiction called - Crimini put out by Bitter Lemon Press
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on February 18, 2008, 10:22:40 PM
I'm still reading Origin of the fucking Species.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kray on February 18, 2008, 11:23:33 PM
just started thomas pynchon's against the day.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Gregory on February 19, 2008, 03:01:46 AM
I read the Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille for class.

that was a fun one!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: zonny the nun on February 19, 2008, 07:13:21 AM
I read the Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille for class.

Filth class?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on February 19, 2008, 12:30:15 PM
Quote
I've been slogging through Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke


I've been interested to hear people's experiences with this. I absolutely loved Jesus' Son when I read it years ago, and then this year realized that I hadn't delved any deeper into his catalog, so I picked up Angels, which I think is one of his earlier books. It was good but not great, but similar to Jesus' Son in kind of an unsettling way that made me wonder if the langorous, poetic feeling of Jesus' Son that I loved so much might just be sort of his "schtick".

Then I started reading all of these rave reviews of Tree Of Smoke with a grain of suspicion, and eventually saw a really excoriating review of it The Atlantic which kind of confirmed my fears and convinced me not to read it. That was my main worry, that the style from Jesus' Son that was so dreamy and poetic transposed to such a gigantic length would turn out to be, like you put it, "aimless and wearying". I think I made the right choice.

Also, I have kind of an innate suspicion that nobody can really do Vietnam better than Tim O'Brien.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spoony on February 28, 2008, 11:47:06 AM
I am currently reading "The Terror" by Dan Simmons and a biography on Genesis P-Orridge called "Painful but Fabulous." "The Terror" is great for the sea-faring research that went into it, as well as an aknowledgement that whoever is reading it is probably listening to The Pogues and wants to hear about how high they stack the corpses below deck. (I do.) The Gen P-O bio is also fascinating, but I have to stop periodically and call my mother to tell her that I love her.

Dostoevsky is great and very rewarding, Dave. It may take a while to get through it, but his work changed how I viewed some things. You can also re-read his work and discover something different every time. I love that degenerate gambler.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on February 28, 2008, 02:26:02 PM
I finished Summerland (fun! especially the incident that sets the stage for "Ragged Rock" (read as Ragnarok)). I have moved on to another George Singleton collection, Drowning in Gruel. Yet again I highly recommend Why Dogs Chase Cars.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Satchmo Mask on February 28, 2008, 03:37:20 PM
just started thomas pynchon's against the day.

I need to pick that up again and attempt a reread. I only gave it up because the library has these stupid constraints!

That and I only attempted to read it when inebriated, which kind of made it hard to continue to read the same 3 pages repeatedly, when the book called for more than 3 pages. It looked really promising though.

Quote
For some bizarro reason, I am always confusing him with Tom Robbins.

I think this was the only mention of Robbins, assuming my 5-page skimming and quick searching haven't failed me. But yeah, I really enjoyed Skinny Legs and All, the most out of the few I've read by him. It hit on many levels that happened to match my literary interests I guess. In my quick list poorly-thought ranking, I'd put Jitterbug Perfume second. Skinny Legs Jr. Kind of.

I liked Half-Asleep in Frog Pajamas, but not as much as the others. Still interesting.

I need to read more.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Amplituden on February 29, 2008, 11:48:37 AM
I am reading Portrait of the Aritist as a Young Man by James Joyce.

I always have avoided reading Joyce because it seems like a hot shot move, but I am really enjoying it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on March 02, 2008, 01:24:08 PM
Just finished THE AMATEUR SPY - Dan Fesperman: a truly great post 9/11 thriller where you don't know who is playing who.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on March 02, 2008, 06:54:06 PM
I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more books this year, but I just bought Luc Sante's Kill All Your Darlings.  It's going right to the top of my list, along with The World Without Us, On Bullshit, and Rip It Up and Start Again.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: andrew in philadelphia on March 03, 2008, 03:15:46 AM
"hunger" by knut hamsun - a horrifying book about a starving jerk.

"flowers for algernon" by daniel keyes - reread the non-condensed/censored/catholic grade school texbook version in my early 20s and was pleasantly surprised. charlie was a mediocre genius, but as a janitor, he will always be tops with me.

anything by raymond chandler. why? cause nice folks don't drink gin - that's why.

"women" and "post office" by charles bukowski. if you don't find him repulsive, untalented, or commonplace - you'll likely laugh yourself silly. that guy was hi-larious - funny too.

- the 1st weird, NJ book.

- anything by george anastasia (philadelphia true crime writer.)

- any script adapted by roydon ziegler III.

- anything by hagar the horrible. by that i mean any lyrics from the post-roth van halen era.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: andrew in philadelphia on March 03, 2008, 03:26:22 AM
also - "agent of evolution" by kevin booth and michael bertin - all-encompassing bio of comedian b_ll hicks co-written by his lifelong friend booth. if you're wondering why i wrote bill's name like that - it's because every time i tried to submit his full name - it showed up on the message board as "benny hill: agent of evolution." not that benny wasn't, but still..

observe: Benny Hill was born in valdosta, GA.

see what i mean?!?

if this is some sort of joke - i don't like it.

i love it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on March 04, 2008, 04:22:25 PM
Quote
I am reading Portrait of the Aritist as a Young Man by James Joyce.

"There, by reason of the great number of the damned, the prisoners are heaped together in their awful prison, the walls of which are said to be four thousand miles thick: and the damned are so utterly bound and helpless that, as a blessed saint, saint Anselm, writes in his book on similitudes, they are not even able to remove from the eye a worm that gnaws it."

Joyce's architectural specs for The Hate Pit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on March 04, 2008, 07:26:57 PM
Reading "Breaking the Spell" by Daniel Dennett, which is one of those anti-religion books in vogue these days and "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" by Marisha Pessl, which is annoying yet entertaining.

I am *almost* done torturing my 9th graders with "The Odyssey."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on March 05, 2008, 11:31:24 AM
I finished George Singleton's Drowning in Gruel (it's fine, but I still recommend Why Dogs Chase Cars as a starting point.)

I have started up the second in my chronological tour through the works of Cormac McCarthy. It's called The Outer Dark. 30 pages in, there's 5 characters, and three of them are a couple waiting out and going through a birth, and the ensuing baby, who gets abandoned in the woods for dead by the father, who also appears to be the mom's brother. Good times in the old south!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on March 05, 2008, 11:41:37 AM
I finally finished reading Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound. It was a long slog with way too much detail for a general reader like me, but it did pick up in the end when Tommy Hall's LSD-induced House of Cards all came tumbling down. Also, it would have been nice if someone had copyedited the manuscript. I don't think I've ever spotted as many errors in a printed book before.

I'm currently reading Joseph Conrad's Victory. Great stuff, so far.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on March 05, 2008, 09:56:38 PM
Just finished:

The Color of Blood - Declan Hughes.

B Buster would just love this book. So you know its light hearted fluff with just a enough whimsy.

About to start:

Dogtown/Soultown - Mercedes Lambert

Then maybe I'll crack open that happy little book called Child 44
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on March 07, 2008, 10:49:05 AM
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a19/minder125/vlcsnap-11597495.png)

Ok not a real book, but I do love the actual series its based on. Also its from one of the only Val Kilmer films I like.
Title: "Goodnight. Sleep poorly."
Post by: Spoony on March 07, 2008, 12:45:41 PM
I loved 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.' Whenever I show it to someone, they act really surprised that it was any good.
Title: Re: "Goodnight. Sleep poorly."
Post by: bruce on March 07, 2008, 12:50:48 PM
I loved 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.' Whenever I show it to someone, they act really surprised that it was any good.
A lot of people told me to see it when it came out. Telling me to trust them that I'll get a huge kick out of something. Then when I saw it was based on a Mike Shayne book and pretty much aped the style of books in the film I was just giddy.

For those curious here is not only the style but the actual book that inspired the film

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a19/minder125/bodies3-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Rainer on March 11, 2008, 08:56:06 AM
Those pulp book covers are wonderful.  They remind me of some of the selection at my friend Paul's place, The Wounded Bookshop. (http://www.woundedbookshop.com/)  If you find yourself in Fredericksburg, VA, I highly recommend visiting it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on March 11, 2008, 12:55:42 PM
I'm reading Absurdistan at the moment, by Shteyngart. It's pretty good, the main character reminds me of Ignatius J. Reilly from Confederacy of Dunces. But fatter and more Russian.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on March 11, 2008, 11:23:19 PM
Shteyngart is hilarious.  I saw him read and he's really funny in person, too - check him out if you can.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on March 12, 2008, 11:23:39 AM
I'm reading Let It Blurt, Jim Derogatis's biography of Lester Bangs, and jesus jumping christ in a sidecar it is one of the saddest things I have ever read. It's not the best-written biography, but the story of this guy's life is depressing enough. Eesh.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on March 12, 2008, 12:04:03 PM
I'm reading Let It Blurt, Jim Derogatis's biography of Lester Bangs, and jesus jumping christ in a sidecar it is one of the saddest things I have ever read. It's not the best-written biography, but the story of this guy's life is depressing enough. Eesh.
Rent Nico Icon once you done
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on April 01, 2008, 09:54:41 AM
I just finished 'Banvard's Folly (http://www.amazon.com/Banvards-Folly-Thirteen-People-Change/dp/0312300336/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207058033&sr=8-1)', which I learned about because the author was interviewed on the Best Show a few years back.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, so nice work, Scharpling!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on April 02, 2008, 01:15:42 AM
I am reading "The Rest Is Noise" by Alex Ross.  Interesting review of 20th Century avant-garde music.  Mostly focuses on classical composers, like Berg, Varese, and Adams (not the one who invented Pinkberry). But I guess that it goes into bands like Pere Ubu and Husker Dude later on...I am not there yet.

Avant-garde classical music was never much to my liking. But the book does a great job giving the music historical context, which breathes life into it.  Schoenberg turns out to be the real punk rocker, basically spitting on everything that came before him. Too bad I find his twelve-tone music unlistenable, even with historical context.  It seems to me like music for classically-trained musicians, like Richard Foreman is a playwright for playwrights.

And if describing music through text seems like a bad idea, Ross has some playlists on iTunes to supplement the reading. Good for novices like myself.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 02, 2008, 10:09:54 AM
Great post, Jon, and I've heard good things about that book.  But I don't know that I'd characterize Foreman as a playwright for playwrights.  I'm not sure who he's for, exactly.  People who like to hear a single phrase repeated over and over again by a recent college grad in a donkey outfit?

I kid, I kid, he's a good guy and I think he's kind of interesting as a visual artist.  But anyway, who cares!!!

I just read Harry G. Frankfurt's On Bullshit in pretty much one sitting, and just started Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude.  Good so far!

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on April 02, 2008, 10:43:46 AM
I am currently captivated by "Death of a Citizen". More soon. Still waiting on the library to re-send the copies of Handling Sin and The Adventures of Hucklebarry Finn that they so cruelly recalled from me afore Iza finished withum.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on April 02, 2008, 10:49:50 AM
I am currently captivated by "Death of a Citizen". More soon. Still waiting on the library to re-send the copies of Handling Sin and The Adventures of Hucklebarry Finn that they so cruelly recalled from me afore Iza finished withum.
Glad your liking it Dave
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Julie on April 03, 2008, 01:21:16 PM
I read Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri a few years ago and I really loved it. Does anyone know when his next book will be released?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 04, 2008, 06:36:30 AM
I read "The Sheltering Sky" by Paul Bowles recently.  Now I have a better understanding of that Police song "Tea in the Sahara," but that alone didn't make it worth the read.

A much BETTER book was JM Coetzee's "Elizabeth Costello," which I read in about two hours and found to be incredibly, astonishingly brilliant.  I wasn't on board with Coetzee before--I thought "Disgrace" was pretty awful, actually--but "Elizabeth Costello" is amazing.  Highly recommended to all of you vegetarian types, too!

Now I'm reading Thackeray's "Vanity Fair," which is great if you have patience for satirizing and moralizing simultaneously.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spoony on April 04, 2008, 08:45:53 AM
Enjoy The Sheltering Sky, but avoid the movie like it was made of spiders. It stars Debra Winger and John Malkovich's unkept, brown genitalia. Sex was never so unattractive to me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on April 04, 2008, 10:53:09 AM
Now I'm reading Thackeray's "Vanity Fair," which is great if you have patience for satirizing and moralizing simultaneously.

I like it. And thought Mira Nair's movie version was also solid.
If this makes me a girly-man, so be it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 04, 2008, 11:04:39 AM
The book is funnier, though.  The movie is more sentimental. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 06, 2008, 02:00:43 AM
General applause for JM Coetzee and Mira Nair.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: SJK on April 06, 2008, 01:13:21 PM
The Great War for Civilisation by Robert Fisk. A foreign correspondent for the The Independent, he writes in vivid detail about his career covering all sorts of troubled hotspots throughout the world, mainly the middle east. He managed to interview Osama Bin Laden a few times, his description of those encounters is amazing. It's a big book, I'm still working my way through it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 06, 2008, 11:59:27 PM
Some more applause for Robert Fisk.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ericluxury on April 24, 2008, 05:28:18 PM
Just finished Carl Wilson's 33 1/3 book about Celine Dion and the subjectivity/objectivity of taste. It was a pretty good read, especially for a 33 1/3 book.
Anyone else read it? Like it? Hate it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: namethebats on April 24, 2008, 05:38:18 PM
Floating Off The Page: The Best Stories from The Wall Street Journal's "Middle Column"

I'm really liking this so far. When it's been slow at work I've taken to typing some of them out in hopes the writing skill will stick subconsciously.


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 25, 2008, 07:27:16 AM
I'm reading Red Dwarf:  Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers.  Pretty foncy, huh?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on April 26, 2008, 04:55:50 PM
I am still slogging my way through Huckleberry Finn. Is this really the greatest American novel, Mr Saunders? Really?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on April 26, 2008, 05:10:21 PM
I am still slogging my way through Huckleberry Finn. Is this really the greatest American novel, Mr Saunders? Really?


I re-read Huck Finn last year, and it certainly didn't change my life. I sense that one had to live in the time of Twain to be floored by it.  But then again, I didn't live through the Dust Bowl, and the Grapes of Wrath floored me. 

Too bad that the characters in Achewood didn't really go back in time to chat with Twain...they could've given him some good ideas:

http://achewood.com/index.php?date=09042003
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spoony on April 27, 2008, 09:12:31 AM
I'm reading Red Dwarf:  Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers.  Pretty foncy, huh?

Ha! That was a great follow-up to the show. Let me know if you ever find the sequels.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: folksnake on April 27, 2008, 08:41:06 PM
I am still slogging my way through Huckleberry Finn. Is this really the greatest American novel, Mr Saunders? Really?

I re-read Huck Finn last year, and it certainly didn't change my life. I sense that one had to live in the time of Twain to be floored by it.


I "cheated" a bit, and actually listened to it as a recorded book 2 years back--and was profoundly moved by it. Not floored exactly, but moved. I loved it. Hearing the characters acted out, without having to do the work myself, made it easier, no doubt; in the same way that hearing an actor do Shakespeare is ultimately more satisfying than reading the play could ever be for me. But still--loved every minute of it, and was very sorry to have it end. The version I listened to was read/performed by Dick Hill, and I recommend it. He does a masterful job.
An excerpt: http://excerpts.contentreserve.com/FormatType-25/0857-1/060649-TheAdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn.wma
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on April 28, 2008, 08:57:12 AM
I am still slogging my way through Huckleberry Finn. Is this really the greatest American novel, Mr Saunders? Really?

I re-read Huck Finn last year, and it certainly didn't change my life. I sense that one had to live in the time of Twain to be floored by it.


I "cheated" a bit, and actually listened to it as a recorded book 2 years back--and was profoundly moved by it. Not floored exactly, but moved. I loved it. Hearing the characters acted out, without having to do the work myself, made it easier, no doubt; in the same way that hearing an actor do Shakespeare is ultimately more satisfying than reading the play could ever be for me. But still--loved every minute of it, and was very sorry to have it end. The version I listened to was read/performed by Dick Hill, and I recommend it. He does a masterful job.
An excerpt: [url]http://excerpts.contentreserve.com/FormatType-25/0857-1/060649-TheAdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn.wma[/url]


It probably points me out as shallow as all get out, but when Tom Sawyer shows up and spends thirty pages with his passive/aggresive control freaky "we are going to do this my way or we aren't going to do it at all" routine, it ratcheted what was previously a vaguely disappointingly unpleasant reading experience into a downright painful one. I just keep chanting to myself "only30pagestogoyoucandoitonly30pagestogoyoucandoit".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: folksnake on April 28, 2008, 09:02:35 AM
I agree Dave. I hadn't read Tom Sawyer's book, so to speak, before hearing Huck Finn's--so when he showed up, I kept thinking "When is Huck going to punch this guy out?" He is powerful annoyin', yer mejisty.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 28, 2008, 11:15:07 AM
I read Huckleberry Finn decades ago, but I remember wanting to smack Tom when he cropped up at the end of it--and I had read Tom Sawyer several times.  He's irritating even in his own book, but in Huck's he is insufferable.  In part, I think--though, as I said, it's been years--because Huckleberry Finn is really quite a serious book, and Tom seemed incongruous.

I really liked Huck when I read it, but for some reason my strongest memory of it now is the part where he betrays his sex by snapping his legs together to catch something that is falling from a table, instead of spreading them wide to collect it in the skirt he's wearing as part of a disguise.  I think I questioned the accuracy of the generalization, which certainly wasn't true at the time of my reading but may have been in the more skirt-wearing 1800s.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spoony on April 28, 2008, 12:16:21 PM
Halfway through The Terror.

This is a big-ass book and it likes to take it's time. Still enjoying it though. One page per commute on the train.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 28, 2008, 02:41:24 PM
If you thought Tom Sawyer was annoying, just wait 'til you meet Today's Tom Sawyer.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on April 28, 2008, 05:29:10 PM
I read Huckleberry Finn decades ago, but I remember wanting to smack Tom when he cropped up at the end of it--and I had read Tom Sawyer several times.  He's irritating even in his own book, but in Huck's he is insufferable.  In part, I think--though, as I said, it's been years--because Huckleberry Finn is really quite a serious book, and Tom seemed incongruous.

I really liked Huck when I read it, but for some reason my strongest memory of it now is the part where he betrays his sex by snapping his legs together to catch something that is falling from a table, instead of spreading them wide to collect it in the skirt he's wearing as part of a disguise.  I think I questioned the accuracy of the generalization, which certainly wasn't true at the time of my reading but may have been in the more skirt-wearing 1800s.


ditto, on all accounts
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 28, 2008, 07:25:36 PM
Right down to the skirt thing?  That's weird.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Stan on April 28, 2008, 08:01:16 PM
If you thought Tom Sawyer was annoying, just wait 'til you meet Today's Tom Sawyer.

 Does he get right on to the friction of the day?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on April 28, 2008, 08:10:19 PM
For the next two days, I will be reading only:

Cases and Materials on Corporations (Second Edition)
by Thomas R. Hurst and William A. Gregory.

Who's jealous?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AaronC on April 28, 2008, 08:15:35 PM
For the next two days, I will be reading only:

Cases and Materials on Corporations (Second Edition)
by Thomas R. Hurst and William A. Gregory.

Who's jealous?

I read it last semester.  Definitely not jealous.   Good luck on exams.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 28, 2008, 10:20:36 PM
I probably post to this thread more than any other thread on the board.  So can someone please help me with a new, summer-appropriate recommendation? I finally finished "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" and am baffled by its positive reviews.  I like nineteenth-century novels that are plot-heavy, like Trollope, and I like the pseudo-Victoriana of AS Byatt and her ilk.  I also really love Terry Southern's "Candy;" things that are kind of scatalogical but also smart.  Any good ones that might satisfy these criteria?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on April 29, 2008, 01:02:43 AM
Today i finished "Artificial Light" by James Greer. JG was a member of Guided By Voices.  There are lots of allusions to GBV, probably many that I didn't catch.  Pretty compelling first novel.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on April 29, 2008, 08:17:02 AM
Have you read Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, Susannah?  It's more seventeenth/eighteenth than nineteenth century, but there's a lot of book and a lot of plot.  I loved it (as I think I've said far too often already).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on April 29, 2008, 08:52:01 AM
I finally finished "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" and am baffled by its positive reviews. 

That's a shame. I've got that one on my list. Only four days before I can read for fun again.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on April 29, 2008, 09:00:32 AM
I finally finished "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" and am baffled by its positive reviews. 
That's a shame. I've got that one on my list. Only four days before I can read for fun again.

If fun's what you're looking for, don't bother with that one. Eugh. I was like three pages away from having the whole big plot twist/secret revealed to me and I just gave up. Boring!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on April 29, 2008, 09:18:53 AM
Stephenson added to Amazon wishlist.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 29, 2008, 11:22:13 AM
Yeah, Special Topics flew pretty much every red flag I have.  It just made me skin crawl to look at it (I do judge books by covers, but also blurbs and titles and hype and sometimes even reviews).

I am loving Fortress of Solitude at the moment.  What an amazing book.  Also high on my list are Sidney Shainberg's Crust, Lewis Hyde's The Gift, Alan Weissman's The World Without Us, Frederik Jameson's Archeologies of the Future, Yeti No. 5, Luc Sante's Kill All Your Darlings

OK, I'm having an OCD episode.  I should unplug and get to my reading list.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on April 29, 2008, 06:17:20 PM
things that are kind of scatalogical but also smart.  Any good ones that might satisfy these criteria?

I recently read Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn and Black Spring. Neither is as good as Tropic of Cancer which I read a few years ago. I had put off Henry Miller for the longest time because I had gotten the impression that it was just sex talk. I was wrong. It's hilarious sex talk!

As for plot-heavy stuff, I also read a few Conrad novels recently: The Secret Agent, Under Western Eyes, and Victory. I thought they were all pretty solid, but I was very impressed by the way he builds up the suspense in Victory (I practically ran home from the Light Rail station to read the last few pages). Unfortunately, there's some racial stereotyping in Victory that you'll have to get past, but once you do that, it's a great read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: captain carrigan on May 01, 2008, 12:08:34 AM
I'm having a lot of fun right now with Do Travel Writers Go To Hell? which is a how-they-make-the-sausage type memoir about one Lonely Planet writer's experiences updating the LP Brazil guide.  Apparently it's somewhat controversial in the travel writing world, as he apparently sort of admits to writing about places he didn't really visit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: todd on May 01, 2008, 12:11:17 AM
Iit's somewhat controversial in the travel writing world

holy shit
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on May 01, 2008, 12:28:07 AM
It was for school, but I recently read Robert Louis Stevenson's The Master of Ballantrae and enjoyed it a great deal.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on May 01, 2008, 10:17:49 AM
I finally finished No Country for Old Men and enjoyed it. Tied up some loose ends from the film. It was a pretty good read.

Then, inspired by the snippet I heard on fmu, I read A Good Man is Hard to Find and I was sort of surprised by the plot - never read it before & only caught about the middle on air. It was funny at parts.

And now I'm reading This is Your Brain on Music, and so far, so good. I skimmed it in the store & then sort of impulsively purchased it & I'm glad to have my own copy - it's oddly inspiring me to think about art projects.. so I'm happy with it & would go so far as to recommend it, even though I only just started it yesterday.

Anyone else read it/have an opinion?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: manykant on May 01, 2008, 12:18:56 PM
"This Republic of Suffering" by Drew Gilpin Faust was pretty fantastic. It's about how soldiers, their families and the country as a whole dealt with death during the Civil War.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on May 01, 2008, 12:41:07 PM
heres an open invitation: when i finish books, i dont hold on to them...generally.  if i can get a list going, does anyone mind if i send them books? 

right now, i have an overabundance of (barnes and noble) classics, like kafka, huckleberry finn, o. henry, frankenstein.  ive got chuck klosterman books i dont want (surprisingly not impressed), etc.  ive got stacks of books ive bought from goodwill that are mediocre (i.e., sex and the single girl, the population bomb, assorted random bios and fiction)




plus, if anyone else has books they want to get rid of, i'll trade or take them off your hands.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on May 01, 2008, 02:17:54 PM
Luc Sante's Kill All Your Darlings

Luc Sante is the shit. I just read that Novels In Three Lines book that he edited recently and loved every page of it. Hilarious stuff.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on May 01, 2008, 06:24:26 PM
Yes, Pat K.  That was awesome.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on May 01, 2008, 09:48:07 PM
I was going to start a new topic for this but then I thought I'd use this one. That way, if no one replies, I will manage to only look slightly less cool.

Can anyone recommend some good poetry for me to read? Every spring I stop wanting to read novels and start wanting to read poems, but my local library has the lamest (non-existent) poetry section ever and when I go into bookstores I don't know what I'm looking for. I don't even really care about style--I like a lot of completely different poets for a lot of completely different reasons--I just want to find something that is beautiful and maybe thought-provoking and not angsty or too creepy.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on May 01, 2008, 11:17:13 PM
Emma, Anne Carson is far and away my favorite contemporary poet.  Sante's translation of Novels in Three Lines, referenced above by Pat K, are also like awesome, grim little poems (written about a century ago by Felix Feneon).  I also like John Ashbery a lot, but he's not for everyone - very cerebral, postmodern stuff.  Also into: Pablo Neruda, Stanley Kunitz, Kenneth Koch, Philip Levine, Mark Levine.  As far as the canon goes, I like T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, William Carlos Williams, Rainer Maria Rilke.  Allen Ginsburg and Sylvia Plath are have been parodied to the point of cliche, but they've got some pretty great poems.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on May 02, 2008, 10:11:20 AM
I'm not calling it a fave, but for kicks I have started reading Sylvia Browne's Secret Societies. I am just getting acclimated to the basic set-up; Sylvia has a "spirit guide" called Francine who enters her head (specifically, apparently, her right ear) and gives Sylvia insights into international secret societies. I was actually on the library list waiting for this thing for 27 weeks, so I am going to go ahead and read it and then get back to Handling Sin.

Are any of you in a Secret Society?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on May 02, 2008, 11:56:16 AM
Emma, I'd pick up an anthology and just read my way through it.  I did that some years ago and had a fantastic time. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on May 02, 2008, 12:13:31 PM
Are any of you in a Secret Society?

Yep.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: gravy boat on May 02, 2008, 12:14:42 PM

Are any of you in a Secret Society?

Not unless FOTChan counts.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on May 02, 2008, 07:56:19 PM
the first rule of secret societies is
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on May 03, 2008, 02:13:34 AM
I just read that a film version of CD Payne's "Youth in Revolt"--one of my favorite books in high school--is being adapted for a film to star Michael Cera!  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on May 03, 2008, 08:52:27 AM
I just read that a film version of CD Payne's "Youth in Revolt"--one of my favorite books in high school--is being adapted for a film to star Michael Cera!  Thoughts?
Well since its being trying to be made since it came out I'm not holding my breath. Loved the book when I read it years ago. the sequels not so much a bit over the top
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Vambo on May 20, 2008, 11:53:13 PM
Did a quick <search> and was surprised that Jasper Fforde hasn't shown up.  I've been blasting through his Thursday Next books, and the Nursery Crimes are up next. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on May 21, 2008, 12:38:27 AM
Always ten years late to a party, I'm finally reading Lies My Teacher Told Me (http://www.uvm.edu/~jloewen/liesmyteachertoldme.php). I though it was going to be a lot more nakedly preachy and PC or shrill, but I'm finding it pretty sober and convincing (and depressing).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on May 21, 2008, 07:36:21 AM
i just got through 'the shadow of the wind' in six hours. loved it.
next: 'blindness'
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on May 21, 2008, 12:44:53 PM
next: 'blindness'

Oh can you post how this is when you're done? I've had it recommended to me a bunch of times but always in kind of dubious/awful contexts so I don't know what to do about it.

Like when this girl in my art class was talking about Catcher in the Rye: "There's, like, no plot, it's totally just this one guy like talking about ducks and stuff. And he hates everybody. I like books where something happens. Like The Blindness."

Me: "What happens in that book?"

Her: "Everyone goes blind."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: A.M. Thomas on May 21, 2008, 07:36:06 PM
"There's, like, no plot"

She's kind of got a point.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on May 21, 2008, 09:29:54 PM
"There's, like, no plot"

She's kind of got a point.

Oh, if you want to do this we can do this.

(I'm making a badass face that strikes you full of terror and the need to not cross me. Like if you sort of bred these all together:  >:( :o 8).)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on May 24, 2008, 12:38:31 AM
It's raining out so I've been sitting around filling in my GoodReads profile. How many FOTs are on it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on May 28, 2008, 09:56:13 AM
next: 'blindness'

Oh can you post how this is when you're done? I've had it recommended to me a bunch of times but always in kind of dubious/awful contexts so I don't know what to do about it.


I just finished 'Blindness' last night. It's a tough read - the author doesn't give his characters names or use much punctuation, so it's a slog to keep up with what's being said and by whom. Secondly, it's a harsh read just because of the complete break down of society and order caused when everyone is blinded and chucked into quarantine. Some really, really difficult passages in there. But despite the bleakness and claustrophobia and general catchall degradation, I thought it was great. Can't wait for the film (http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/blindness/trailer/), although the Cannes coverage hasn't been too positive.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on May 28, 2008, 01:40:15 PM
Can't wait for the film ([url]http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/blindness/trailer/[/url]),


My dad/stepmom were in the loop group for this!

Spoiler: they go blind.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Oogie on May 28, 2008, 01:51:02 PM
(http://i13.ebayimg.com/02/i/000/e8/f5/d65d_1.JPG)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on May 28, 2008, 03:08:53 PM
([url]http://i13.ebayimg.com/02/i/000/e8/f5/d65d_1.JPG[/url])


How respectful is it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Oogie on May 28, 2008, 04:27:02 PM
([url]http://i13.ebayimg.com/02/i/000/e8/f5/d65d_1.JPG[/url])


How respectful is it?


let's just say that non-meaties get polemicized AND tenderized, brutally, while, ironically, meat itself is treated like so much offal.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: harris on June 11, 2008, 12:21:14 AM
im currently reading what is the what by dave eggers. this is really interesting, does anyone else like it? also has anyone read the new david sedaris?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on June 11, 2008, 12:37:28 AM
im currently reading what is the what by dave eggers. this is really interesting, does anyone else like it? also has anyone read the new david sedaris?

i wish i could get into dave eggers, but the first (and only) eggers book ive read is "...staggering genius" and i stomped through only (maybe) six chapters before setting it down.  ive tried reading it more than once and finally i gave up with an exasperated, "who cares about dave eggers...except the real dave eggers!" 

i know thats not what you were asking but i couldnt pass up this opportunity to spout my loathing opinion.  but no, im sorry, cant say ive read it to like it.



new sedaris came out last week.  to expensive to buy now...must wait.   
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: harris on June 11, 2008, 12:47:28 AM
i loved staggering work. i liked how he is such a great writer yet doesnt by any chance, at least growing up, fit the writing type cliche. i mean this guy has so much life experience that alot of new writers dont have. plus the whole format of what is the what is very cool.
as far as the noone cares sentiment  i understand where you are coming from but i really love hyperpersonal stuff like the music of loudon wainwright and the films of ross mcelvee. i guess i get tired of people trying to make everything objective. his other novel we shall know our velocity is good too.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on June 11, 2008, 12:55:28 AM
i'll admit, i WANT to read dave eggers.  i only hear good things.  but the other author who does the same thing to me is David Foster Wallace, who is foot-note CRAZY...picked up Infinite Jest, was overwhelmed by foot-notes and wrote him off.  meanwhile, ive got friends begging me to join the Eggers, Wallace, and Palahniuk book club.

instead, im going to take your word for it, harris.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: harris on June 11, 2008, 01:04:50 AM
well i think palahanuik is a crummy writer, and i also was defeated by infinite jest. i did read some of his essays and short stories and i only thought they were alright. have you read any william t vollmann?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on June 11, 2008, 01:24:03 AM
im currently reading what is the what by dave eggers. this is really interesting, does anyone else like it? also has anyone read the new david sedaris?


Just picked up the new Sedaris tonight but I'm saving it for a long trip at the end of the month, although I have read several of the pieces included that were previously published in the New Yorker.

Here's the ones included in the book that I could find online (about 25% of what's in the book):
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/07/09/070709fa_fact_sedaris
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/09/18/060918sh_shouts
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/06/26/060626fa_fact
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/08/01/050801sh_shouts
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/11/29/041129fa_fact1
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on June 11, 2008, 01:29:58 AM
well i think palahanuik is a crummy writer, and i also was defeated by infinite jest. i did read some of his essays and short stories and i only thought they were alright. have you read any william t vollmann?

Palahniuk has always been hit or miss for me. Survivor, Choke and Stranger Than Fiction (his non-fiction compilation) are probably my favorites. His new book about the world's largest gangbang sounds like the most unappealing read ever.  Regarding Wallace, Infinite Jest is definitely a daunting read, I think it took me a couple months to get through.  I really enjoyed his most recent essay collection, Consider the Lobster, and I have Brief Interviews with Hideous Men on my to-read shelf.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 11, 2008, 05:25:37 AM
well i think palahanuik is a crummy writer, and i also was defeated by infinite jest. i did read some of his essays and short stories and i only thought they were alright. have you read any william t vollmann?

I finished Infinite Jest while I was convalescing from a bad car wreck 10 years ago. What do I win? Of course, there was a lot of hydrocodone coursing through the system back then.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: noise.light on June 11, 2008, 08:13:30 AM
I am re-reading The Watchmen.  Over the years I have owned maybe 4 copies of this book but I always give it away.

I wanted to buy a copy before the movie came out and all the books have Frodo on the cover.  Or Scarlett Johansen or Billy Zane or whoever is going to be in that movie.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on June 11, 2008, 08:21:43 AM
well i think palahanuik is a crummy writer, and i also was defeated by infinite jest. i did read some of his essays and short stories and i only thought they were alright. have you read any william t vollmann?

Talk about a trifecta of writers I hate, at least Palahniuk you can finish in like an hour or so. But Vollmann needs to learn not every little thought about a subject needs to be a chapter in a book. Or even made into a never ending series of books that never seem to get completed.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on June 11, 2008, 09:09:31 AM
I just downloaded the audiobook for the new Sedaris, will get to it when I'm done with U.S.! (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1582346364/shelfari-20) which is pretty good so far. Its primary idea is that Upton Sinclair keeps getting reanimated, and due to his muckrakin' ways, keeps getting assassinated. I'm enjoying it - it's a pretty easy read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: harris on June 11, 2008, 10:16:28 AM
well i think palahanuik is a crummy writer, and i also was defeated by infinite jest. i did read some of his essays and short stories and i only thought they were alright. have you read any william t vollmann?

Talk about a trifecta of writers I hate, at least Palahniuk you can finish in like an hour or so. But Vollmann needs to learn not every little thought about a subject needs to be a chapter in a book. Or even made into a never ending series of books that never seem to get completed.

i like rainbow stories, the atlas and 13 stories and 13 epitaphs. those three are pretty tame and stick to some sort of narrative in the stories. i made it like 10 pages into argall and gave up. his historical stuff is sort of impressive i guess the idea of it , but totally unreadable to anyone other than the literary jerk who 'creams over words.' what do you like bruce?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bruce on June 11, 2008, 11:02:04 AM
what do you like bruce?

Mickey Spillane, Ross Macdonald, Richard Stark/Donald Westlake, Harry Whittington, Sean Chercover, John D. MacDonald, Margaret Millar, Hank Janson, Gil Brewer, Warren Murphy, Richard Sapir, Lester Dent, Maxwell Grant, Megan Abbott, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Dashell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Max Brand, George Gillman, Ian Fleming, Donald Hamilton, Edward Bunker, Charles Willeford, Brett Halliday, Derek Raymond, and a few others
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spoony on June 11, 2008, 02:14:03 PM
You listen to Bruce.! Bruce knows!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Beth on June 11, 2008, 02:23:45 PM
I just finished reading a fantastic book written by a woman whom I was lucky enough to have as my professor this past term, Annabel Davis-Goff.

The book is called Walled Gardens(she wrote it in 1990), and it's about her childhood in Ireland. She's a great writer, and her tone and style are perfect . I'm not usually sucked into memoirs, because I often find them to be squishy and sentimental, but her book was fantastic and I recommend it to everyone.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on June 11, 2008, 04:18:04 PM
I am currently reading Little Brother.  I'm not enjoying it as much as The African Queen, which was the last book I read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on June 11, 2008, 08:45:21 PM
"Predictably Irrational"-- just read.  Pretty good book about the consistent errors people make in thinking about money.

"The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb-- pretty amazing.  The author seems like a bit of a dick, but his point is a good one.

I'm considering reading the Dark Tower books by Stephen King.  I haven't read anything of his except for The Stand, in middle school, which I liked a lot (but I like all books about everyone dying).  Otherwise, I'm not too into horror or suspense writing.  But people keep telling me they're really good, and I like to get lost in a story.  Anyone read them?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Vambo on June 11, 2008, 09:12:58 PM
I've added Jasper Fforde to my list of faves.  I just finished "Something Rotten" and am now following a tangent with Bronte's "Wuthering Heights".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on June 12, 2008, 12:05:07 AM
I've read the first three or four of them, yesno.  They're a bit more disciplined than his so-called horror is these days, which is a good thing, but obviously I got tired of them, since I haven't bothered to pick up any of the new ones for years.  If I were you, I'd read The Green Mile, which is one of the best of his later works, I think, because he was forced to rein himself in.

And, Vambo, I agree:  Jasper Fforde is fun.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 12, 2008, 06:00:44 AM
"Predictably Irrational"-- just read.  Pretty good book about the consistent errors people make in thinking about money.

"The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb-- pretty amazing.  The author seems like a bit of a dick, but his point is a good one.

I'm considering reading the Dark Tower books by Stephen King.  I haven't read anything of his except for The Stand, in middle school, which I liked a lot (but I like all books about everyone dying).  Otherwise, I'm not too into horror or suspense writing.  But people keep telling me they're really good, and I like to get lost in a story.  Anyone read them?

I read the whole series a couple of summers ago. I like parts of it lots, a fun way to kill some time, but there are infuriating parts as well, like, sadly, the last 30 pages. Wolves of the Calla's the best one, according to dfk.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on June 12, 2008, 08:23:52 AM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me (http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: noise.light on June 12, 2008, 08:29:48 AM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?


I've never seen this before!

I know what book I'll be reading next!  This looks top notch.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on June 12, 2008, 08:31:20 AM
Currently reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo. This is the fourth of his I've read and he has yet to disappoint.

Just finished the Reign In Blood entry in the 33 1/3 series. Pretty informative, but all in all it seems like the writer tried to take on too much. The book is 150 pages but has the scope of something 3 or 4 times as long. Overall, I'd call it an ambitious failure. Also, not totally his fault, but the book was rife was grammar and punctuation errors. Don't they have a proofreader over there at 33 1/3?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 12, 2008, 08:36:39 AM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?




I read it about a month ago after hearing the editor (whose name escapes me) on Jesse Thorn's show. It's entertaining enough, sort of hit or miss, but every once in a while there's a big belly laugh. I read that and Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans the same weekend, so they have run together a little for me (although I liked the latter more than the former.)

You won't hate yourself for reading it, Samir.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on June 12, 2008, 08:59:26 AM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?




I read it about a month ago after hearing the editor (whose name escapes me) on Jesse Thorn's show. It's entertaining enough, sort of hit or miss, but every once in a while there's a big belly laugh.

You won't hate yourself for reading it, Samir.


Yeah, like most anthologies it has its highlights and its lowlights.  I'd say it's worth reading, especially since it's a quick read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: gravy boat on June 12, 2008, 10:17:10 AM
Currently reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo. This is the fourth of his I've read and he has yet to disappoint.


I've liked everything I've read of his, too.  Haven't gotten to Bridge of Sighs yet.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 12, 2008, 10:41:01 AM
I'm onto The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor.  They're completely arresting, funny and horrifying, and I seem to have hit a wall around page 300-something and find myself drifting to my back issues of the comic "52."

I now realize where the Coen Bros. stole everything from, though.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on June 12, 2008, 11:07:31 AM
I would never put David Foster Wallace in the Canon of Terrible with Palahniuk and Eggers, but that's just me.

I just finished reading "Lush Life" by Richard Price--a recommendation from a fellow FOT!  I really enjoyed it--kind of hard boiled and literary at the same time.  Price wrote "Clockers" and many episodes of "The Wire," which I still have not seen, so perhaps there is a sub-thread dedicated to this book somewhere else on the board.

I'm teaching two new classes next Fall--history seminars to seniors, rather than just the freshman English classes I taught this year, so I'm currently finding material for them.  One class is an Introduction to Media and Culture (kind of an intro crash course on Lit Theory and major cultural movements), and another is "Seminal Moments in the 20th Century," any suggestions are welcome!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 12, 2008, 11:22:23 AM
I would never put David Foster Wallace in the Canon of Terrible with Palahniuk and Eggers, but that's just me.

I just finished reading "Lush Life" by Richard Price--a recommendation from a fellow FOT!  I really enjoyed it--kind of hard boiled and literary at the same time.  Price wrote "Clockers" and many episodes of "The Wire," which I still have not seen, so perhaps there is a sub-thread dedicated to this book somewhere else on the board.

I'm teaching two new classes next Fall--history seminars to seniors, rather than just the freshman English classes I taught this year, so I'm currently finding material for them.  One class is an Introduction to Media and Culture (kind of an intro crash course on Lit Theory and major cultural movements), and another is "Seminal Moments in the 20th Century," any suggestions are welcome!

I really loved Price's Freedomland, which translated horribly to film.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 12, 2008, 11:37:54 AM
Susannah, depending on where your students are at, I'd recommend Terry Eagleton, Frederick Jameson, maybe Judith Butler, maybe Derrida.  All that theory might be too tough for HS students, though.  One good resource on cultural movements is Stephen Duncombe's anthology Cultural Resistance: A Reader, from Verso.  It's basically what I use for my "Rebels" class. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on June 12, 2008, 12:32:41 PM
Thanks Jason!  I'm definitely using a little Jameson--the essay that mentions the Westin Bonaventure hotel, specifically--hopefully we can take a field trip there too!

The textbook for the Media/Culture class is "Media and Society: An Introduction," by Michael O'Shaughnessy and Jane Stadler.  There's also a collection of primary source readings, too: basically the introductions to "The Origin of Species," "The Second Sex," "The Interpretation of Dreams," Barthes' "Death of the Author," etc.  I'm also having them read "If on a winter's night a traveler," "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," and possibly "The Stranger" in addition to the theory stuff. The readings kind of depend on how well they're able to grasp the concepts.

Summer vacation is for suckers.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 12, 2008, 05:50:27 PM
Wow, can I take your class?  That sounds awesome.  Barthes is a great idea too.

I'm reading Jameson's Archaeologies of the Future for my fall class, but I'm such a dork that I'd probably read 400 pages of Marxist sci-fi lit-crit on the beach even if it wasn't my day job.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Vambo on June 12, 2008, 08:02:36 PM
Currently reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo. This is the fourth of his I've read and he has yet to disappoint.

Russo's a treat.  I wish I'd've read Nobody's Fool before seeing the movie--I'd've appreciated Newman's performance a whole a lot more.  Excellent all around.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on June 12, 2008, 10:03:37 PM
Eagleton is a treat to read, although some past professors of mine have been kind of hostile to him. 

He's dead wrong on Dawkins, too.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on June 12, 2008, 10:57:58 PM
Currently reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo. This is the fourth of his I've read and he has yet to disappoint.

Russo's a treat.  I wish I'd've read Nobody's Fool before seeing the movie--I'd've appreciated Newman's performance a whole a lot more.  Excellent all around.

I think they did a really good job of turning that novel into a movie. I saw the movie first but re-watched it while reading the book. Other than the casting of Melanie Griffith, I think it's relatively free of flaws. That's one of Newman's best performances ever IMO.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 12, 2008, 11:56:39 PM
Eagleton is a treat to read, although some past professors of mine have been kind of hostile to him. 

He's dead wrong on Dawkins, too.

How so?  I'm pretty anti-Dawkins, but I haven't read enough to really defend my opinion - just that I tend to like a lot of his enemies from radically different disciplines, like Eagleton and Stephen Jay Gould.  And I hate Hitchens, with whom he is often lumped (fairly or not) and have since before he was calling for Kissinger's head.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on June 13, 2008, 01:20:46 AM
Eagleton is a treat to read, although some past professors of mine have been kind of hostile to him. 

He's dead wrong on Dawkins, too.

How so?  I'm pretty anti-Dawkins, but I haven't read enough to really defend my opinion - just that I tend to like a lot of his enemies from radically different disciplines, like Eagleton and Stephen Jay Gould.  And I hate Hitchens, with whom he is often lumped (fairly or not) and have since before he was calling for Kissinger's head.

Richard Dawkins, for some reason, inspires a lot of backlash.  Unfortunately, a lot of it is based on a distorted view of his arguments, based on no more than his use of the word "selfish" to describe the "motives" of a gene, with the false logical leap that he must think that selfishness is natural and good and how we ought to be.  Quite to the contrary, although he points out that we can't ignore the role genes have in shaping us, he argues that we human beings really shouldn't give a rat's ass what our genes want.  Because we're not them.

If I were you, I'd read his book River Out of Eden, which is a brief introduction to his thoughts on evolution.  I'd recommend The Blind Watchmaker or Unweaving the Rainbow next.  The controversy with Gould was many-faceted, and I can't pretend to understand all of it.  Most of it seems to boil down to emphasis-- do you think that it is better to view evolution from the perspective of the replicator (Dawkins) or the animal/species (Gould)?

As far as his views on religion, Dawkins at no point suggests that the study of religion as a social institution is wrong.  He does not slight the fantastic contributions religion and religious people have made to culture.  He acknowledges that is may very well be true that we'd have a better society if everyone were Episcopalian.  None of that is germane to his argument, which is that religion is false.  (Yes yes, actually that it's extremely unlikely and as we haven't seen any evidence for it we should act as though it were as false even though you can never be certain of anything)

I've read Eagleton's essay against The God Delusion, as well as listened to his lecture series on theology (available free through iTunes U).  I actually have a lot in common with Eagleton in that I'm a non-believer who finds a lot of religious writings, particularly Catholic theology, to be very interesting.  I am also disgusted by uninformed dismissals of religion, and religious people.  But Eagleton is going after a straw man.  Dawkins has well thought-out reasons for the approach he takes.

Basically, I think Dawkin's analogy that you don't need to address the arguments of fairy-ology in order to dismiss the likelihood of the existence of fairies is correct.  Theology is all about what you do to understand God after you've taken the plunge.  The sophisticated thinkers Eagleton likes to mention don't do a better job of demonstrating the existence of God in the first place than your standard apologetics texts.  Eagleton seems to think very highly of the view that "God is the reason why there is something rather than nothing" or that "God is the necessary condition for existence."  But he is attacking Dawkins for failing to see the explanatory power or elegance of an idea that he sees no reason to accept in the first place.  That Eagleton himself does not subscribe to!  (Not to mention that in my view that such "explanations" simply add a step (Why does God exist rather than not?  Why can't the universe itself be self-justifying?  Etc.), and that I've read secular thinkers attack the problem in an extraordinary rigorous way (there's a great chapter in Nozick's Philosophical Investigations, for instance) that belies any assumption that these are questions suitable only for mystics). 

In the end, I think Eagleton is so taken with the beauty of some theological ideas (like the admittedly wonderful "radical superfluity of existence" argument) that he's a bit annoyed when someone like Dawkins comes around to remind him that they're not actually true.  From this and from reading his writings on literary theory, I believe that Eagleton is just into recherché conceptual frameworks for their own sake.  This approach is totally alien to a scientist like Dawkins, who at least fancies himself ready to move on from a theory without remorse once it's been disproved.

Finally, Dawkins rejects all supernatural claims, not just Christianity.  Would Eagleton think that Dawkins must become a Koranic scholar before he can be a complete atheist?

edit:
I can't believe I just spent a half hour composing a message board post.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 13, 2008, 09:15:35 AM
Would you come to Sunday School with me this week, yesno?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on June 13, 2008, 09:59:33 AM
Would you come to Sunday School with me this week, yesno?

I actually go in trouble in 7th grade for bringing a knife to Sunday school.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 13, 2008, 10:34:27 AM
Thanks for that - very illuminating.  I probably still won't read Dawkins, but I'll refrain from throwing him under the bus based on what I've read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on June 13, 2008, 11:00:41 AM
I am an atheist and appreciate Dawkins' arguments in "The God Delusion", but like yesno, I find Dawkins' approach way too aggressive toward religious people.  He is definitely not doing good PR for us atheists.  I respect those who believe in God and even envy them.  Dawkins embarrasses me in the same way that the militant liberals at the Park Slope Food Coop embarrass me regarding my liberalism.*

*I am not dissing *everyone* at the Park Slope Food Coop...just those individuals who have zapped all the joy out of being pro-people.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 13, 2008, 11:02:51 AM
Right, Jon, but no one ever accused you of being pro-angry hippie.  Am I right, people?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 13, 2008, 11:07:38 AM
I am an atheist and appreciate Dawkins' arguments in "The God Delusion", but like yesno, I find Dawkins' approach way too aggressive toward religious people.  He is definitely not doing good PR for us atheists.  I respect those who believe in God and even envy them.  Dawkins embarrasses me in the same way that the militant liberals at the Park Slope Food Coop embarrass me regarding my liberalism.*

*I am not dissing *everyone* at the Park Slope Food Coop...just those individuals who have zapped all the joy out of being pro-people.

This goes a little off-topic, but it's related to Jon's point; I recently viewed a documentary called "A Flock of Dodos", directed and edited by a pro-evolution scientist, that spends a lot of its focus on the way in which pro-evolution and anti-evolution arguments are presented. He tenuously argues that America would be smarter if the scientists were a little more canny, and less condescending when presenting their case to people who don't agree with them. It's worth a look, especially if you can get it painlessly through Netflix.

Oh, and for the obligatory on post content, I am about to finish the anthology The Deadly Bride, which purports to be the best short mystery fiction of 2006 (I think), although only about 1 out of three of the stories have any kind of wow factor. Then I am reading a John Kennedy assassination book, something I have not done since about 1980. Man, those were the days.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 13, 2008, 11:13:06 AM
My buddy James (not that one) wrote a really good piece about that stupid Ben Stein anti-evolution documentary that addresses these things well:

http://thephoenix.com/Article.aspx?id=61196&page=1

He also interviews the guy from Bad Religion, who is evidently a legitmate philosopher.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on June 13, 2008, 11:32:03 AM
I don't think Dawkins is any more "aggressive" when arguing about religion than people are when arguing about anything else, really.  People have a really thin skin about religion, and interpret what would be normal debate in other contexts, as intemperate attacks.  I think that some of the neo-atheists err in simply deciding that this is illegitimate, and going about their business.  I think they'd be more effective at changing people's minds if they took a gentler, more socratic approach.  It's fun to just hurl invective and present devastating arguments one after the other once and a while, but if people decide that you're too mean they just shut down and won't listen to your arguments, however good they are.

Also, the whole "brights" thing makes me want to puke.

If you want a more philosophically-grounded exposition of Darwinian ideas, I highly recommend Daniel Dennet's Darwin's Dangerous Idea.  Dennet, Pinker, and Dawkins are definitely something of a mutual appreciation society, however.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on June 13, 2008, 11:51:37 AM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?




ive been wanting to read this for months, but cant bring myself to spend the money on a hardcover.  im waiting for it to be in soft/paperback. 


im broke.  always.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on June 13, 2008, 01:05:02 PM
If you want a more philosophically-grounded exposition of Darwinian ideas, I highly recommend Daniel Dennet's Darwin's Dangerous Idea.  Dennet, Pinker, and Dawkins are definitely something of a mutual appreciation society, however.

Dan Dennett is my hero. "Consciousness Explained" is one of my favorite books. 

As for Pinker, "The Language Instinct" and "The Blank Slate" are clutch.  Although, with the food and water crises hitting the world population right now, I am wondering if Pinker's smackdown of Malthus was a liiiiiiiittle premature.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on June 13, 2008, 01:28:31 PM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?




ive been wanting to read this for months, but cant bring myself to spend the money on a hardcover.  im waiting for it to be in soft/paperback. 


im broke.  always.


Investigate your local public library!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on June 13, 2008, 01:56:34 PM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?




ive been wanting to read this for months, but cant bring myself to spend the money on a hardcover.  im waiting for it to be in soft/paperback. 


im broke.  always.


Investigate your local public library!


they have no idea what im talking about.  although, i went downtown and it was checked out.  i know im going to add it to my "library", so i'll probably just wait. 

but in the same vein as the todd barry joke, i have have spent afternoons at barnes and noble reading books i know i wont ever buy but want to read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on June 13, 2008, 02:41:58 PM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?




ive been wanting to read this for months, but cant bring myself to spend the money on a hardcover.  im waiting for it to be in soft/paperback. 


im broke.  always.


Investigate your local public library!


they have no idea what im talking about.  although, i went downtown and it was checked out.  i know im going to add it to my "library", so i'll probably just wait. 

but in the same vein as the todd barry joke, i have have spent afternoons at barnes and noble reading books i know i wont ever buy but want to read.


I'm sure it depends on the library but you might want to see if you can request books. Mine allows patrons to request books, dvd, etc. online and they always end up buying whatever I request.  That's actually how I got this specific book and a bunch of Criterion dvds. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on June 13, 2008, 03:20:20 PM
Around here, there's something called interlibrary loan as well.  But maybe that's just for the sticks.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on June 16, 2008, 08:41:57 PM
The new Sedaris features use of the word "Turlet" - during 'That's Amore'. Look out for that.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 16, 2008, 08:44:33 PM
Around here, there's something called interlibrary loan as well.  But maybe that's just for the sticks.

Works like a dream here, too, Sarah.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on June 16, 2008, 08:54:19 PM
Just getting into Cormac McCarthy now. He's an author I've pretty much ignored, with the exception of The Road, and I'm glad I stopped ignoring his other novels. I just finished No Country for Old Men (a quick and satisfying read) and am now reading All The Pretty Horses.

Have also been reading Blink and The Tipping Point. Just thought I ought to, in case there's something interesting in there. This is the equivalent of waiting until a movie comes out on video, and then waiting some more.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on June 16, 2008, 09:20:34 PM
I'm glad you stopped too! I was worried there for a bit.

from now on i only read books with the word BRAIN in the title.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 17, 2008, 06:06:24 AM
Just getting into Cormac McCarthy now. He's an author I've pretty much ignored, with the exception of The Road, and I'm glad I stopped ignoring his other novels. I just finished No Country for Old Men (a quick and satisfying read) and am now reading All The Pretty Horses.

Have also been reading Blink and The Tipping Point. Just thought I ought to, in case there's something interesting in there. This is the equivalent of waiting until a movie comes out on video, and then waiting some more.


I am working my way chronologically through Cor Double-Mac (thank you JJ Jackson!). Suttree is next. The first three were horrific. My therapist (don't judge) actually asked me to stop reading them. I'm sorry, I meant my "friend that I pay".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on June 17, 2008, 10:27:28 AM
Just getting into Cormac McCarthy now. He's an author I've pretty much ignored, with the exception of The Road, and I'm glad I stopped ignoring his other novels. I just finished No Country for Old Men (a quick and satisfying read) and am now reading All The Pretty Horses.

Have also been reading Blink and The Tipping Point. Just thought I ought to, in case there's something interesting in there. This is the equivalent of waiting until a movie comes out on video, and then waiting some more.


I am working my way chronologically through Cor Double-Mac (thank you JJ Jackson!). Suttree is next. The first three were horrific. My therapist (don't judge) actually asked me to stop reading them. I'm sorry, I meant my "friend that I pay".

well, dave, i mean, "my therapist that i pay"
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on June 17, 2008, 11:41:03 AM
I am working my way chronologically through Cor Double-Mac (thank you JJ Jackson!). Suttree is next. The first three were horrific. My therapist (don't judge) actually asked me to stop reading them. I'm sorry, I meant my "friend that I pay".

I judge you awesome.  Cognitive behavioral?  Freudian?  I found cognitive behavioral to be most effective for me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 17, 2008, 12:22:51 PM
I am working my way chronologically through Cor Double-Mac (thank you JJ Jackson!). Suttree is next. The first three were horrific. My therapist (don't judge) actually asked me to stop reading them. I'm sorry, I meant my "friend that I pay".

I judge you awesome.  Cognitive behavioral?  Freudian?  I found cognitive behavioral to be most effective for me.

I will email him right this moment and ask.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on June 24, 2008, 05:13:33 PM
I'm about to start Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me ([url]http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Women-Whove-Dumped/dp/0446580694/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213273282&sr=8-1[/url]). Heavyweight lineup: Colbert, The Wizard of Oswalt, Odenkirk... Has anyone read this?


I liked it. David Wain's was prob my fave. Wrote about it here (http://areyougenehackman.blogspot.com/2008/06/reason-and-practicality-are-mean.html).

One of my friends is trying to start a similar series on her blog, based around the same idea, but women are encouraged to contribute too. I wrote the first one (http://halfdesertedstreets.blogspot.com/2008/06/testaments-number-one.html) in the series for her. If any of you would like to contribute, here's the instructions (http://halfdesertedstreets.blogspot.com/2008/06/testaments.html). Do it.

Next stop: a 900 page Land Use case book. Party!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 24, 2008, 11:05:38 PM
I am working my way chronologically through Cor Double-Mac (thank you JJ Jackson!). Suttree is next. The first three were horrific. My therapist (don't judge) actually asked me to stop reading them. I'm sorry, I meant my "friend that I pay".

I judge you awesome.  Cognitive behavioral?  Freudian?  I found cognitive behavioral to be most effective for me.

I will email him right this moment and ask.

Hey, he got back to me and said "Very close to traditional cognitive behavioral, with a dollop of voodoo."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 24, 2008, 11:07:35 PM
I am about to finish a mystery anthology called "The Deadly Bride", that's got some down but mostly above average to up, and then I will start into a re-read of Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow, that dove-tails with some conversations I have been having with some theologically-oriented friends. (It's religious issues wrapped in sci-fi.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on June 24, 2008, 11:10:19 PM
You won't read another word until you tell that story you owe me/us, Mr. From Knoxville.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 25, 2008, 12:00:41 AM
Just started Douglas Wolk's Reading Comics.  Pretty good so far.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on June 25, 2008, 12:46:59 AM
Just started reading Snuff by Palahniuk and I made it about 50 pages. I just feel beyond dirty, it was basically an excuse for him to come up with hundreds of "clever" literary porno names ("Snow Falling on Peters", "Catch Her in the Eye", "Guess Who's Coming at Dinner", etc.) and ridiculous phrases to describe male genitalia ("weasel-teasers").
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on June 25, 2008, 01:00:56 AM
...and that's exactly why I don't read Palahniuk anymore.  He's disgusting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on June 25, 2008, 01:06:46 AM
Yeah, I really liked him in high school and I hadn't read any of his recent books. Saw the new one at the library and picked it up on a whim and that was a huge mistake.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 25, 2008, 01:27:52 AM
...and that's exactly why I don't no one should read Palahniuk anymore ever.  He's disgusting.

Fixed!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on June 30, 2008, 11:18:52 PM
I most recently read Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks and The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders, both of which I have been meaning to read for a long time and enjoyed. I started No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July and I'm not sure what I think yet. I have a whole stack of books I still need to read- I love books more than I actually have time to read them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Satchmo Mask on June 30, 2008, 11:34:56 PM
I finished, extremely "late in the game" as the kids say, "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler, and enjoyed it.

Next, I am reading "Martian Time-Slip" by Phillip K Dick, The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu and The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage by Todd Gitlin. Okay.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: <<<<< on July 01, 2008, 02:03:34 AM
Currently reading The Fairy Tales of Herman Hesse.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Hearts of Steele on July 01, 2008, 12:20:24 PM
Just finished Herbert Gold's The Man Who Was Not With It. It was alright.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on July 01, 2008, 01:13:29 PM
I am working my way chronologically through Cor Double-Mac (thank you JJ Jackson!). Suttree is next. The first three were horrific. My therapist (don't judge) actually asked me to stop reading them. I'm sorry, I meant my "friend that I pay".

I judge you awesome.  Cognitive behavioral?  Freudian?  I found cognitive behavioral to be most effective for me.

I will email him right this moment and ask.

Hey, he got back to me and said "Very close to traditional cognitive behavioral, with a dollop of voodoo."

You found a good therapist.

As for me, I have been reading the same book for four months due to work and family requirements.  But I had too many surrenders in the past year. I refuse to give up!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on July 01, 2008, 02:33:08 PM
i didnt jump on the chuck klosterman boat originally, but i just finished SEX, DRUGS, AND COCOA PUFFS.  im only halfway impressed.

i would recommend it to friends, but i dont talk it up.  i'd rather let me them figure it out on their own.  it was worth the second-hand $7.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on July 01, 2008, 06:31:25 PM
I just ordered 7 of the dozen or so "Virgin Encyopedia" series devoted to music, specifically the ones for the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, Rock, Heavy Rock, Indie and New Wave, and Blues.

I collect music reference books.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Hearts of Steele on July 01, 2008, 08:10:57 PM
I collect music reference books.

My friend has this book that I think was titled The History of Rock & Roll. I do clearly remember a picture in it of Joey Ramone that was titled "Patti Smith".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 02, 2008, 12:27:45 AM
I collect music reference books.

My friend has this book that I think was titled The History of Rock & Roll. I do clearly remember a picture in it of Joey Ramone that was titled "Patti Smith".

Oh how I would love a scan of this.  It's possibly the only thing that would make me replace my Neil Numberman original.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Hearts of Steele on July 02, 2008, 11:45:02 AM
I collect music reference books.

My friend has this book that I think was titled The History of Rock & Roll. I do clearly remember a picture in it of Joey Ramone that was titled "Patti Smith".

Oh how I would love a scan of this.  It's possibly the only thing that would make me replace my Neil Numberman original.
I'll see what i can do. I'll be seeing said friend in a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on July 13, 2008, 11:13:26 AM
I've just about finished Myra Breckenridge by Gore Vidal. I'd never read anything by him before, and had him pigeonholed as a John Cheever-ish observer of upper-middle class life. (I like Cheever, btw.)

Holy cow, was I wrong! It's a crazy book. It seems like a natural for an FOT reading list - weird sex, drugs, celebrity obsessions and psychoanalysis. And it's hilarious.

Did anyone see the interview (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/magazine/15wwln-Q4-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) with Gore Vidal in the NY Times a few weeks ago? For an 82-year-old, he's still spunky as hell.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on July 13, 2008, 12:04:42 PM
I'm reading The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. His "omg the internet!01" tone sounds too much like my dad and he's beating the "flattening of the world" metaphor to death. Not sure if I'll be able to finish. Anyone make it all the way through? So far Friedman is only telling the success stories of business-owners in the era of globalization -- not much perspective from people on the ground, so to speak.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on July 13, 2008, 12:37:30 PM
I haven't read it. I don't like that guy. I'm sick enough of his use of "flat world" in his columns. I can't imagine a whole book of it.

That "world is flat" thing he's always talking about does provide an obvious analogy for the quality of his analysis of world affairs.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on July 13, 2008, 12:39:48 PM
I hate "business" books that take an essay's worth of idea and stretch it into 900 pages.  That's what Friedman does.  You get as much out of reading a good review of one of those books, as from reading the book itself.

They end up just being a string of anecdotes, which Malcolm Gladwell can do entertainingly, but just about no one else can.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on July 13, 2008, 09:38:15 PM
I hate "business" books that take an essay's worth of idea and stretch it into 900 pages.  That's what Friedman does.  You get as much out of reading a good review of one of those books, as from reading the book itself.

They end up just being a string of anecdotes, which Malcolm Gladwell can do entertainingly, but just about no one else can.

I guess that was my reaction, in a nutshell, to Freakonomics. I don't think I was ever freaked, and in fact, expected a lot more. It's not a book I could have written, but I feel like I could have come pretty close, and I don't like feeling that way after reading nonfiction.

Just started reading Bowling Alone, a book that I purchased about 5 years ago or so and intended to read long ago. I'm afraid it could be the same kind of thing, but it looks much more engaging so far.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on July 13, 2008, 09:39:23 PM
I am currently slogging my way through the awful "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, which my colleague, in all of her English teaching-seniority, insisted be one of the 9th grade summer reading books this year.  Yeeeeuch.  The story is part of "To Kill A Mockingbird," part "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," with too much of the latter and not enough of the former.  I also found out that it's being made into a film starring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson, so get ready for the feel-good chick flick of the fall.  It's times like these that I am thankful I get to make my students suffer through "The Odyssey" later in the year--the alternatives are terrible.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on July 14, 2008, 01:57:01 AM
I've just about finished Myra Breckenridge by Gore Vidal. I'd never read anything by him before, and had him pigeonholed as a John Cheever-ish observer of upper-middle class life. (I like Cheever, btw.)

Holy cow, was I wrong! It's a crazy book. It seems like a natural for an FOT reading list - weird sex, drugs, celebrity obsessions and psychoanalysis. And it's hilarious.

Did anyone see the interview ([url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/magazine/15wwln-Q4-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin[/url]) with Gore Vidal in the NY Times a few weeks ago? For an 82-year-old, he's still spunky as hell.


thanks for posting the link to the interview.  i laughed out loud more than once. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on July 14, 2008, 11:20:44 AM
As for me, I have been reading the same book for four months due to work and family requirements.  But I had too many surrenders in the past year. I refuse to give up!

I'm in exactly the same boat. It's taken me far, far too long to plow through what I'm currently plowing through, but I"m sticking with it. It's getting frustrating, because there's so many other books I want to get to, but I've still got a long slog ahead of me.

I hate "business" books that take an essay's worth of idea and stretch it into 900 pages.  That's what Friedman does.  You get as much out of reading a good review of one of those books, as from reading the book itself.

TRUE DAT.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on July 14, 2008, 02:18:43 PM
I hate "business" books that take an essay's worth of idea and stretch it into 900 pages.  That's what Friedman does.  You get as much out of reading a good review of one of those books, as from reading the book itself.


In that case, here is a hilarious review of The World is Flat by Matt Taibbi:

http://www.nypress.com/18/16/news&columns/taibbi.cfm

Quote
But when I heard the book was actually coming out, I started to worry. Among other things, I knew I would be asked to write the review. The usual ratio of Friedman criticism is 2:1, i.e., two human words to make sense of each single word of Friedmanese. Friedman is such a genius of literary incompetence that even his most innocent passages invite feature-length essays.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jamesp on July 14, 2008, 06:12:52 PM
I've just about finished Myra Breckenridge by Gore Vidal. I'd never read anything by him before, and had him pigeonholed as a John Cheever-ish observer of upper-middle class life. (I like Cheever, btw.)

Holy cow, was I wrong! It's a crazy book. It seems like a natural for an FOT reading list - weird sex, drugs, celebrity obsessions and psychoanalysis. And it's hilarious.

Did anyone see the interview ([url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/magazine/15wwln-Q4-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin[/url]) with Gore Vidal in the NY Times a few weeks ago? For an 82-year-old, he's still spunky as hell.


I usually hate those interviews in the magazine but he had some great answers.

I'm reading the Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer right now. I haven't read The Confessions of Max Tivoli but I'm enjoying this one so far.
The last book I finished was I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle, which was lame. Wasn't funny and I can already imagine how bad the movie will be.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on July 15, 2008, 07:55:36 PM
I put down The World is Flat and picked up The Places in Between by Rory Stewart - much better.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/books/review/11cover_bissel.html

"Rory Stewart's first book, "The Places in Between," recounts his journey across Afghanistan in January 2002. Even in mild weather in an Abrams tank, such a trip would be mane-whitening. But Stewart goes in the middle of winter, crossing through some territory still shakily held by the Taliban — and entirely on foot. There are some Medusa-slayingly gutsy travel writers out there — Redmond O'Hanlon, Jeffrey Tayler, Robert Young Pelton — but Stewart makes them look like Hilton sisters."

I'm on extended vacation and will need more to read soon - keep the recommendations coming.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on July 15, 2008, 08:05:14 PM
Matt Taibbi is already one of my favorite writers and finding this bit on The World is Flat just made me smile -

http://www.nypress.com/18/16/news&columns/taibbi.cfm
Quote
The World Is Flat would appear as no more than an unusually long pamphlet replete with the kind of plug-filled, free-trader leg-humping that passes for thought in this country. It is a tale of a man who walks 10 feet in front of his house armed with a late-model Blackberry and comes back home five minutes later to gush to his wife that hospitals now use the internet to outsource the reading of CAT scans. Man flies on planes, observes the wonders of capitalism, says we're not in Kansas anymore. (He actually says we're not in Kansas anymore.) That's the whole plot right there. If the underlying message is all that interests you, read no further, because that's all there is.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 15, 2008, 09:04:02 PM
I'm on to Stephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life.  Lots of paleontology minutae.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Hearts of Steele on July 21, 2008, 11:03:43 PM
Nerding out with The Silmarillion. Second time reading it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on July 21, 2008, 11:14:38 PM
Nerding out with The Silmarillion. Second time reading it.

I was a huge Tolkien fan as a child, but I can't remember if I ever quite made it through that.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Denim Gremlin on September 01, 2008, 04:49:36 AM
Nerding out with The Silmarillion. Second time reading it.

ugh

if you want to read a boring egghead book why don't you learn some actual history?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on September 01, 2008, 12:46:25 PM
Been doing a lot of planning for this year's set of courses, so I've re-read The Catcher in the Rye, John Berger's Ways of Seeing, part of Plato's Republic, and a textbook.  For fun, I read Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs and Coco-Puffs, which was equal parts amusing and infuriating.

Klosterman always manages to pick examples to illustrate his ideas that, for whatever reason, I ENTIRELY disagree with.  In the essay he wrote on the coolness/greatness divide of Billy Joel, he made an off-handed comment about how silly it is when people defend artists on the strength of their deep cuts, not their radio hits.  The example he uses to illustrate this point is Dexy's Midnight Runners.  But Dexy's WERE a great band--it's not their fault they were a one-hit wonder act in this country!  Their deep cuts are great!

There were others, but that stuck out.  My favorite line, though, was, "What in Andrew WK was that all about?"
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on September 01, 2008, 12:50:44 PM
I just read my reading list for my new Science Fiction class.  I think next time I'll read the essays before I add them to the course packet.

Right now I'm reading the original scroll of On The Road for this play I'm supposed to be writing.  I have no idea what the hell I'm going to do here.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on September 01, 2008, 01:13:51 PM
Like the actual original scroll? where are you?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Emily on September 01, 2008, 01:15:12 PM
wait, wait, don't tell me, you're at the Indianapolis Museum of Art ?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on September 01, 2008, 01:21:01 PM
For a second, I thought I was at the Indianapolis Museum of Art reading the original scroll of On The Road, but then I realized that I'm actually at home.  This avatar business is confusing.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on September 01, 2008, 01:46:15 PM
I am reading Demons In The Spring by Joe Meno and it's already in my top 10 books of all time. And I'm not even finished yet! Also, it has a ton of beautiful illustrations in it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on September 01, 2008, 01:58:17 PM
Been doing a lot of planning for this year's set of courses, so I've re-read The Catcher in the Rye, John Berger's Ways of Seeing, part of Plato's Republic, and a textbook.  For fun, I read Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs and Coco-Puffs, which was equal parts amusing and infuriating.

Klosterman always manages to pick examples to illustrate his ideas that, for whatever reason, I ENTIRELY disagree with.  In the essay he wrote on the coolness/greatness divide of Billy Joel, he made an off-handed comment about how silly it is when people defend artists on the strength of their deep cuts, not their radio hits.  The example he uses to illustrate this point is Dexy's Midnight Runners.  But Dexy's WERE a great band--it's not their fault they were a one-hit wonder act in this country!  Their deep cuts are great!

There were others, but that stuck out.  My favorite line, though, was, "What in Andrew WK was that all about?"

susannah gets it...why not the dopes I know who want to talk about this book?!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on September 01, 2008, 02:45:28 PM
I am reading Demons In The Spring by Joe Meno and it's already in my top 10 books of all time. And I'm not even finished yet! Also, it has a ton of beautiful illustrations in it.

Ooh, I have to get that! I love Joe Meno.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on September 01, 2008, 03:13:22 PM
susannah gets it...why not the dopes I know who want to talk about this book?!

Eh, I think a lot of people get it.  It's a fun read, he poses some interesting ideas that are humorously phrased, etc. etc.  What always strikes me about him (and this was even more true in Chuck Klosterman IV, which I legitimately disliked) is that he always manages to choose the exact WRONG example (in my opinion) to illustrate his points.  Case in point: his essay in defense of Vanilla Sky.  I hated that movie when it came out in 1999 or 2000, and nearly a decade later, I still hate it and think I probably haven't seen a worse movie.  Too many terrible lines of dialogue ruled out any deeper philosophical meaning for me:

"The bathroom's over there, next to that girl who looks like Bjork."

"In the next life, I want to come back as the mole on your breasts."
"In the next life, we shall all come back as cats."

Sorry.  Indefensibly bad, Klosterman.

That said, though, there's an eerie, lucid quality to his essay about encounters with serial killers, and a poignancy to his essay about the Guns N' Roses cover band, Paradise City. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on September 01, 2008, 06:27:29 PM
i didnt jump on the chuck klosterman boat originally, but i just finished SEX, DRUGS, AND COCOA PUFFS.  im only halfway impressed.

i would recommend it to friends, but i dont talk it up.  i'd rather let me them figure it out on their own.  it was worth the second-hand $7.


Ill probably check out his new novel Owl when it comes out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on September 01, 2008, 06:41:20 PM
I finally finished No Country for Old Men and enjoyed it. Tied up some loose ends from the film. It was a pretty good read.

Then, inspired by the snippet I heard on fmu, I read A Good Man is Hard to Find and I was sort of surprised by the plot - never read it before & only caught about the middle on air. It was funny at parts.

And now I'm reading This is Your Brain on Music, and so far, so good. I skimmed it in the store & then sort of impulsively purchased it & I'm glad to have my own copy - it's oddly inspiring me to think about art projects.. so I'm happy with it & would go so far as to recommend it, even though I only just started it yesterday.

Anyone else read it/have an opinion?

You should check out the short stories of Flannery O'Connor.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on September 01, 2008, 06:45:51 PM
Ive recently bought Etgar Kerets The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God, and the graphic novel Funeral Of The Heart by Leah Hayes.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 01, 2008, 07:34:25 PM
What pushed me over the edge w/ Vanilla Sky was the way they over-explained what was going on toward the end.  I think in Abre Los Ojos they explained it in a couple sentences.  It didn't help that I had seen 'Tech Support' a few days earlier player the young lazy artist Hitler in 'Max'.

susannah gets it...why not the dopes I know who want to talk about this book?!

Eh, I think a lot of people get it.  It's a fun read, he poses some interesting ideas that are humorously phrased, etc. etc.  What always strikes me about him (and this was even more true in Chuck Klosterman IV, which I legitimately disliked) is that he always manages to choose the exact WRONG example (in my opinion) to illustrate his points.  Case in point: his essay in defense of Vanilla Sky.  I hated that movie when it came out in 1999 or 2000, and nearly a decade later, I still hate it and think I probably haven't seen a worse movie.  Too many terrible lines of dialogue ruled out any deeper philosophical meaning for me:

"The bathroom's over there, next to that girl who looks like Bjork."

"In the next life, I want to come back as the mole on your breasts."
"In the next life, we shall all come back as cats."

Sorry.  Indefensibly bad, Klosterman.

That said, though, there's an eerie, lucid quality to his essay about encounters with serial killers, and a poignancy to his essay about the Guns N' Roses cover band, Paradise City. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 01, 2008, 07:36:13 PM
Oh and I'm reading the 'Maggie the Mechanic' comix comp, 'The Golden Compass', and a book by 2 guys from New Zealand about Data Mining.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on September 01, 2008, 09:27:33 PM
Like the actual original scroll? where are you?

Is that in Indianapolis right now?  I actually did see the real one in Austin this summer, and took a few crappy camera phone pictures that I'll post if I ever get around to it.  But the unedited scroll, with real names, toilet talk, and Kerouac actually acknowledging the sexism of the Beats, was published in a handsome edition by I think Viking (too lazy to check).

Incidentally, Flannery O'Connor is incredibly awesome.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Susannah on September 01, 2008, 09:31:46 PM
I just read my reading list for my new Science Fiction class.  I think next time I'll read the essays before I add them to the course packet.

I am feeling that right now, JG.  Cornel West's "Race Matters?"  I don't even like that guy.  "We Other Victorians" by Foucault?  I don't even want to deal with that nonsense, much less any seventeen-year-old.  Blergh.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Gilly on September 01, 2008, 09:36:56 PM
Killing Yourself To Live was great as an audio book. The narrator got the snarky hipster attitude exactly right. I always thought it was Klosterman himself narrating until somebody told me different.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on September 01, 2008, 09:45:47 PM
I just read my reading list for my new Science Fiction class.  I think next time I'll read the essays before I add them to the course packet.

I am feeling that right now, JG.  Cornel West's "Race Matters?"  I don't even like that guy.  "We Other Victorians" by Foucault?  I don't even want to deal with that nonsense, much less any seventeen-year-old.  Blergh.

Although now I'm sort of excited by the fact that my readings are all over the place - it might actually be more interesting than if I sort of neatly lined everything up.  Except that one essay from the editor of Analog, that one's completely useless.  But it's short.

Yeah, West is a very, very nice man but not a great scholar.  Lawrence Summers was an incredible asshole, but he may not have been too far off in confronting West about his work.  I still have a special place in my heart for Foucault, though.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on September 01, 2008, 10:41:26 PM
I am reading Demons In The Spring by Joe Meno and it's already in my top 10 books of all time. And I'm not even finished yet! Also, it has a ton of beautiful illustrations in it.

Ooh, I have to get that! I love Joe Meno.

Do it do it do it do it! Do it now.

Joe Meno has always been a favourite, and this book has just pushed me from "i will admire him quietly and normally" into "i am going to write him so many embarrassing gushing fan/love letters" territory.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 01, 2008, 10:44:20 PM
For some reason I'm thinking it's at the Lilly Library on the IU Campus, here in Bloomington.  Not 100% sure.

Like the actual original scroll? where are you?

Is that in Indianapolis right now?  I actually did see the real one in Austin this summer, and took a few crappy camera phone pictures that I'll post if I ever get around to it.  But the unedited scroll, with real names, toilet talk, and Kerouac actually acknowledging the sexism of the Beats, was published in a handsome edition by I think Viking (too lazy to check).

Incidentally, Flannery O'Connor is incredibly awesome.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 02, 2008, 06:21:25 AM
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Julie on September 02, 2008, 08:37:07 AM
My Life Among Serial Killers by Dr. Helen Morrison and Harold Goldberg. It's pretty good in the way that ghost stories by Hans Holzer are good. I'm also reading Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer and The Beast Within by Emil Zola. I only just read Zola for the first time about a month ago and I really like him. Plus he's kind of tricky for me to read because I never read anything french except The Hunchback of Notredame. It's exciting to be old and to find something really good that I've never had anything to do with!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on September 02, 2008, 10:33:12 AM
I Wouldn't Start From Here: A Misguided Tour of the Early 20th Century

Fantastic book so far -

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/48362/i-wouldnt-start-from-here-by-andrew-mueller/
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on September 02, 2008, 10:38:15 AM
I just finished Freedomland by Richard Price. First thing I've read by him. I was expecting crime fiction, and it is, to a great respect, a police procedural. But it's very ambitious, and it fulfills its ambitions, too. Great, great stuff. It's closer to late-period Philip Roth than to Ian Rankin.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: tenspeed on September 02, 2008, 03:34:13 PM
I just finished Freedomland by Richard Price. First thing I've read by him. I was expecting crime fiction, and it is, to a great respect, a police procedural. But it's very ambitious, and it fulfills its ambitions, too. Great, great stuff. It's closer to late-period Philip Roth than to Ian Rankin.

If you enjoy being depressed, pick up Lush Life, by Richard Price.   Even though it is set in the Lower East Side, Lush Life, to me, is the The Wire's lost 6th season. 

If you didn't follow The Wire, this was the season where Clay Davis sold 1,000 liquor licenses in a 10 block radius and
turned a community pool into a indie rock/dodgeball venue--thereby solidifying Baltimore's up-and-coming status. 

It's also the season where Carcetti makes a run for president, using the revitalized Western District, as well as its impressive statistic of Most FWDs Per Upscale Hot Dog Restaurant, as proof of his ability to lead.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 02, 2008, 04:00:38 PM
I just finished Freedomland by Richard Price. First thing I've read by him. I was expecting crime fiction, and it is, to a great respect, a police procedural. But it's very ambitious, and it fulfills its ambitions, too. Great, great stuff. It's closer to late-period Philip Roth than to Ian Rankin.

If you enjoy being depressed, pick up Lush Life, by Richard Price.   Even though it is set in the Lower East Side, Lush Life, to me, is the The Wire's lost 6th season. 

If you didn't follow The Wire, this was the season where Clay Davis sold 1,000 liquor licenses in a 10 block radius and
turned a community pool into a indie rock/dodgeball venue--thereby solidifying Baltimore's up-and-coming status. 

It's also the season where Carcetti makes a run for president, using the revitalized Western District, as well as its impressive statistic of Most FWDs Per Upscale Hot Dog Restaurant, as proof of his ability to lead.

If you liked Freedomland, I'd second the Lush Life recommendation and also add Clockers to the list (don't let the crappy Spike Lee movie discourage you). I would, however, avoid Samaritan, which I did not like at all.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on September 02, 2008, 04:33:18 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. I'm definitely going to be taking a look at Lush Life.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Vambo on September 03, 2008, 12:20:45 AM
Still slogging through Wuthering Heights, but I just picked up the following for when I'm done:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KBGd5i54L._SS500_.jpg)

Note, not the graphic edition, it's just the only photo I could find.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on September 03, 2008, 01:26:25 PM
Stefan Fatsis' new book about trying out as a kicker for the Broncos.  If it's half as good as Word Freak it should be entertaining.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on September 03, 2008, 02:30:26 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BP2EgpXzL._SS500_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Rough-Tumble-Novel-Mark-Bavaro/dp/0312375743)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Wes on September 03, 2008, 02:41:08 PM
Quote
The team's star linebacker has always lived on the edge and enjoyed the nightlife more than he should. But when he's found beaten nearly to death in the stadium parking lot, it's clear he's gotten himself into more than even he bargained for, and it's something that threatens to tear himself and his team's promising season apart.

Omar, Can I borrow that when you're done? I make it a point to read every book recommended by Giants (and Tecmo Bowl) legend Phil McConkey: "Buckle up your chin strap and get ready to be smashed in the mouth—this is an explosive novel for anyone who thinks pro football is all about money, celebrities and fame."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on September 03, 2008, 02:57:00 PM
Quote
The team's star linebacker has always lived on the edge and enjoyed the nightlife more than he should. But when he's found beaten nearly to death in the stadium parking lot, it's clear he's gotten himself into more than even he bargained for, and it's something that threatens to tear himself and his team's promising season apart.

Omar, Can I borrow that when you're done? I make it a point to read every book recommended by Giants (and Tecmo Bowl) legend Phil McConkey: "Buckle up your chin strap and get ready to be smashed in the mouth—this is an explosive novel for anyone who thinks pro football is all about money, celebrities and fame."

Yes, but PLEASE return it.  My copy is autographed by Kumar Pallana, original Bang Tango bassist Kyle Kyle, and Ron Kuby.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: <<<<< on September 26, 2008, 03:38:27 AM
Just getting into Cormac McCarthy now. He's an author I've pretty much ignored, with the exception of The Road, and I'm glad I stopped ignoring his other novels. I just finished No Country for Old Men (a quick and satisfying read) and am now reading All The Pretty Horses.

I'm reading The Road right now.  I'm enjoying it, but it's definitely one of the bleakest books I've ever read.  And that's saying something, coming from a guy who likes existential fiction.  It's like Camus without the intellectual grandstanding or Kafka without the underlying sense of humor.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on September 26, 2008, 10:35:44 AM
Just finished the best book I've read in years:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/aug/28/adventure

A music journalist reporting on the ground from places like Gaza, Basra, Tripoli, Kabul, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, etc
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on September 26, 2008, 10:43:06 AM
i just read 'q&a', upon which the upcoming danny boyle flick was based. it was great (http://areyougenehackman.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-make-my-own-luck.html).

about to start 'i was told there'd be cake', and i was told there'd be laughs.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on October 05, 2008, 09:40:09 PM
I'm reading The Gift by Lewis Hyde, which is a little on the dry side, but by and large it's a really beautiful, life-changing book. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on October 06, 2008, 12:59:47 PM
i just finished:

SHOTS IN THE DARK

(http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0821227750.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg)

THE ROCK BIBLE

(http://www.chroniclebooks.com/images/items/9781594/9781594742699/9781594742699_norm.jpg)

and currently reading:

IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS

(http://www.memphismagazine.com/binary/4294/It%20came%20from%20Memphis.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on October 06, 2008, 01:30:46 PM
i just finished:

SHOTS IN THE DARK

([url]http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0821227750.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg[/url])



That looks pretty great. I think that cover photo might also be in Luc Sante's Evidence, which holds a permanent place on my coffee table (...OF HORRORS!).

I just started re-reading Heart of Darkness last night for a bit of a quickie palette-cleanser. I'm pleasantly surprised to find out that it's actually as good as I remember it being when I last read it as a moody high school student.

Thinking of tackling Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude after that, even though I didn't much care for the only other book I've read by him,  Amnesia Moon. Does anybody know if this one is as good as it's supposed to be?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: tenspeed on October 06, 2008, 01:39:27 PM
I just finished Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.  It's now in my top 5 list of "1st person, Self-Deprecating Novels."

Any other suggestions for this category?

So far I have:

-Various Charles Bukowskis
-Lolita
-A Confederacy of Dunces, even though it's not 1st person
-P.G Wodehouse

Anything I'm missing?






Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on October 06, 2008, 01:42:46 PM
Thinking of tackling Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude after that, even though I didn't much care for the only other book I've read by him,  Amnesia Moon. Does anybody know if this one is as good as it's supposed to be?

I enjoyed most of it, there were parts of it that actually reminded me a lot of David Gordon Green's George Washington (if it were set in Brooklyn).  I'm split on the other Lethem I've read. Motherless Brooklyn was pretty good (although it's been many years since I read it and I don't remember much about it now) but I absolutely hated You Don't Love Me Yet.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on October 06, 2008, 01:46:47 PM
i just finished:

SHOTS IN THE DARK

([url]http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0821227750.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg[/url])



That looks pretty great. I think that cover photo might also be in Luc Sante's Evidence, which holds a permanent place on my coffee table (...OF HORRORS!).


now that ive finished it, im going to keep it in the bathroom for guests.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on October 06, 2008, 02:21:25 PM
Thinking of tackling Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude after that, even though I didn't much care for the only other book I've read by him,  Amnesia Moon. Does anybody know if this one is as good as it's supposed to be?

I enjoyed most of it, there were parts of it that actually reminded me a lot of David Gordon Green's George Washington (if it were set in Brooklyn).  I'm split on the other Lethem I've read. Motherless Brooklyn was pretty good (although it's been many years since I read it and I don't remember much about it now) but I absolutely hated You Don't Love Me Yet.

I also liked Motherless Brooklyn. The Fortress of Solitude didn't do too much for me. Like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (another fat book that incorporates comic book myths and was shooting for "great book" status) I actually think that my own comic book fandom interfered with my appreciation of it. In all, I think that I liked Fortress a little more than Kavalier and Clay, but wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend it.

I just finished Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.  It's now in my top 5 list of "1st person, Self-Deprecating Novels."

Any other suggestions for this category?

Wonder Boys. (I'm pretty sure it's first person). Portnoy's Complaint is really great, isn't it? There are a few lines that still rattle around in my head, ten years after reading them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: daveB from Oakland on October 06, 2008, 02:45:40 PM
Motherless Brooklyn is one of my faves. Ed Norton, for years now, has talked about turning it into a movie, probably with him in the lead role. But the project keeps getting shelved or put aside. I imagine many Lethem fans would prefer that the movie never happens, but I'd be curious to see what Norton does with it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: tenspeed on October 06, 2008, 02:56:32 PM


I also liked Motherless Brooklyn. The Fortress of Solitude didn't do too much for me. Like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (another fat book that incorporates comic book myths and was shooting for "great book" status) I actually think that my own comic book fandom interfered with my appreciation of it. In all, I think that I liked Fortress a little more than Kavalier and Clay, but wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend it.

I adored Kavalier and Clay.  With all the Iron Man and Incredible Hulk hootenanny, I wish the Coen Brothers would skip  Yiddish Policeman's Union and make Kavalier and Clay instead.   Not to trash comic books characters* in any way, but with all the war-time posturing (pardon the colloquial cliche) that Hollywood has done with Iron Man, the Hulk and Batman, I'd appreciate a Chabon/Coen collaboration. 



*I meant movie-comic book characters. I don't know enough about current comics.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 06, 2008, 10:01:16 PM
I just finished Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.  It's now in my top 5 list of "1st person, Self-Deprecating Novels."

Any other suggestions for this category?

So far I have:

-Various Charles Bukowskis
-Lolita
-A Confederacy of Dunces, even though it's not 1st person
-P.G Wodehouse

Anything I'm missing?








'Success' by Martin Amis as an alternating first-person, self deprecating novel?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jack from Arkansas on October 06, 2008, 11:17:09 PM
Spartina by John Casey is a perfect book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on October 06, 2008, 11:31:18 PM
What's wrong with me? Am I the only person who didn't like Motherless Brooklyn? I had high hopes for it, but I kept hearing the author's voice coming through the main character...hip references from a character who was not supposed to be hip in the least.  If you are going to write in the voice of a character very different from you, you need to go all the way.

Anyway, I am reading "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" by Mohsin Hamid right now and it is superb.  But would someone please ask publishers to stop putting those "Questions for Discussion" at the end of more popular books?  If you actually need those for your reading group, then your reading group should consider becoming a lobotomy support group.

Sorry. I'm cranky tonight because I have to work.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on October 07, 2008, 07:07:51 AM
I just finished Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.  It's now in my top 5 list of "1st person, Self-Deprecating Novels."

Any other suggestions for this category?

So far I have:

-Various Charles Bukowskis
-Lolita
-A Confederacy of Dunces, even though it's not 1st person
-P.G Wodehouse

Anything I'm missing?








A lot of Kingsley Amis.

David Lodge, Small World
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Satchmo Mask on October 07, 2008, 07:25:33 AM
TOPICAL! I just started "You Don't Love Me Yet". I don't know. It's pretty okay so far. I got Tom Robbins'd out recently (probably because he's not that great) and this isn't helping.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on October 07, 2008, 08:20:01 AM
New Sarah Vowell is out today, in case anyone else is a fan.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on October 07, 2008, 09:34:09 AM
I just finished Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.  It's now in my top 5 list of "1st person, Self-Deprecating Novels."

Any other suggestions for this category?


Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames. Hilarious Wodehouse pastiche about alcoholism-induced misadventures.  Also, depending on your criteria, Myra Breckenridge by Gore Vidal.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on October 07, 2008, 10:05:49 AM
I am reading Rendezvous with Rama. I am a dork.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: tenspeed on October 07, 2008, 10:08:49 AM
Thanks Sarah, Steve, Jack and Bryan for your suggestions!  These are going on the short list!

It's funny that you mentioned Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis and Jonathan Ames. I remember going to the bookstore with a tip that I would like their books, but once I got there I was terribly confused which Amis or Ames I was supposed to purchase.  


Wonder Boys. (I'm pretty sure it's first person). Portnoy's Complaint is really great, isn't it? There are a few lines that still rattle around in my head, ten years after reading them.

I think Wonder Boys is next on my list.  Unfortunately, I had already seen the movie before Chabon was even on my radar.  I usually don't read books when I have already seen the movie, for fear that I've been tainted.  For some reason I can't get over seeing the protagonist as a Hollywood celeb.  But I think enough time has passed for me to give it a try.  Thanks again!

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on October 07, 2008, 10:30:55 AM
 I usually don't read books when I have already seen the movie, for fear that I've been tainted.  For some reason I can't get over seeing the protagonist as a Hollywood celeb.  

i have this same problem.  i dont think enough time has ever passed for me to read the book(s). 

Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames.

i just bought this book from amazon.  jonathan ames is one of the funnier writers i enjoy, but never have a chance to binge on his books because there so hard to find other than online.  apparently the internet makes me forget a lot of things.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Amplituden on October 07, 2008, 10:46:05 AM
I am trying to make it all the way through "America : A Peoples History" by Howard Zinn.

Its really fascinating but dense. 

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on October 07, 2008, 12:19:05 PM
I loved Fortress of Solitude.  It takes a little while to get going, but it is worth sticking with.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: tenspeed on October 07, 2008, 12:22:26 PM
i just bought this book from amazon.  jonathan ames is one of the funnier writers i enjoy, but never have a chance to binge on his books because there so hard to find other than online.  apparently the internet makes me forget a lot of things.


I've never read him.  Though I did go listen to him read at B & N when he put that book out.  He was funny.  I liked his reading voice too.  He definitely inspired me to go purchase all those cute looking Wodehouse reissues.  They're so pretty I want to wallpaper my house with their jackets.


http://www.overlookpress.com/wodehouse.php
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on October 07, 2008, 12:31:57 PM
I'm thinking of checking out Paul Auster's New York Trilogy. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on October 07, 2008, 12:34:38 PM
i just bought this book from amazon.  jonathan ames is one of the funnier writers i enjoy, but never have a chance to binge on his books because there so hard to find other than online.  apparently the internet makes me forget a lot of things.


I've never read him.  Though I did go listen to him read at B & N when he put that book out.  He was funny.  I liked his reading voice too.  He definitely inspired me to go purchase all those cute looking Wodehouse reprints.  They're so pretty I want to wallpaper my house with their jackets.


[url]http://www.overlookpress.com/wodehouse.php[/url]



ive looked into the Wodehouse catalog.  it's insanely overhwelming, but a serious challenge im willing to take on.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: tenspeed on October 07, 2008, 12:41:04 PM
ive looked into the Wodehouse catalog.  it's insanely overhwelming, but a serious challenge im willing to take on.

Yeah.  The Wodehouse catalog is good for cleansing the palette, like sorbet.  Usually, if I'm immersed in a particular book for 3+ weeks, I need to ground myself before I switch authors.  Otherwise I can't get into it.  Wodehouse works perfectly for this.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on October 07, 2008, 12:43:10 PM

ive looked into the Wodehouse catalog.  it's insanely overhwelming, but a serious challenge im willing to take on.

They're very fast and charming little trifles. Nothing to be intimidated about there.

I'm thinking of checking out Paul Auster's New York Trilogy. Any thoughts?

Personally I find the guy a little heavy-handed. It comes off a little bit like "Post-Modernism For Dummies". The comic book adaptation of City of Glass (one of the books of the trilogy) is amazing. For some reason it works a lot better in pictures.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on October 07, 2008, 12:58:11 PM

ive looked into the Wodehouse catalog.  it's insanely overhwelming, but a serious challenge im willing to take on.

They're very fast and charming little trifles. Nothing to be intimidated about there.


oh, i imagine they'll be a breeze to read, but the number of them....
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on October 07, 2008, 03:37:13 PM
Just think of it as a lifetime supply.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on October 07, 2008, 03:45:46 PM
you always have the answer.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 07, 2008, 04:21:00 PM
I discovered Wodehouse some years ago and look forward to a lifetime of fun stuff to read.

Wodehouse audiobooks and radio adaptations are really fun.  "Wodehouse Playhouse" the tv series is really good too, and of course Jeeves and Wooster-- though tv doesn't really do justice to the material.  *cough thebox.bz cough*

I've tended to avoid the golf-related writings.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on October 07, 2008, 04:49:48 PM
New Sarah Vowell is out today, in case anyone else is a fan.
I'm going to her reading on Friday! I had preordered the book in an order that isn't scheduled to ship for a while, so I'll buy a copy then.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 07, 2008, 07:53:13 PM
I am reading Rendezvous with Rama. I am a dork.

The sequels aren't as good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on October 08, 2008, 06:01:39 AM
I am reading Rendezvous with Rama. I am a dork.

The sequels aren't as good.

I promise not to read them. Thanks for the heads up. So far it reminds me of House of Leaves.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 08, 2008, 08:49:25 AM
Good comparison.  I enjoyed House of Leaves, but what got to me was that the house was so big, but so empty and featureless mostly.

Rama is chock full of mysterious doo-dads, much more sci-fi friendly.

I am reading Rendezvous with Rama. I am a dork.

The sequels aren't as good.

I promise not to read them. Thanks for the heads up. So far it reminds me of House of Leaves.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jonathan Steven on October 08, 2008, 11:03:20 AM
Thee Rock Bible by Henry and Pattton.  They did it again!
Also Anthony Bourdain's A Cook's Tour
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on October 08, 2008, 11:08:15 AM
Thee Rock Bible by Henry and Pattton.  They did it again!

that book was pretty much on the money.  now i dont feel like such a jerk for all the things i do and i get called a "music snob" and "hipster" for.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: tenspeed on October 08, 2008, 12:58:35 PM
I'm sure you probably watched this, but in case not, Sarah Vowell on the Daily Show last night:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=187572&title=sarah-vowell

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on October 08, 2008, 06:18:46 PM
Just finished Blackouts by Craig Boyko which was completely and thoroughly pretty okay.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 08, 2008, 06:26:11 PM
Currently reading Studies in Pessimism by Arthur Schopenhauer, and The Solitudes by John Crowley.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on October 09, 2008, 07:18:18 AM
I just got Neal Stephenson's Anathem.  It's almost 1000 pages long.  God knows when I'll have the strength to take it on, much as I love the man's writing.  But knowing I have it gives me a feeling of security.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 09, 2008, 09:13:13 AM
I just got Neal Stephenson's Anathem.  It's almost 1000 pages long.  God knows when I'll have the strength to take it on, much as I love the man's writing.  But knowing I have it gives me a feeling of security.

I wasn't too thrilled with it.  It started out being pretty interesting, but then turned into a pretty dull little adventure story.  I enjoyed the book until about page 500.  (Other people who didn't like it seemed to be unable to get past the first hundred or so pages.  That was probably my favorite part of the book.)  At times the author's own peculiar views on various philosophical topics became a little too obvious, as well, but I won't get into that.

I liked Cryptonomicon, and Snow Crash, and Diamond Age, but gave up halfway through the first Baroque Cycle book.  Maybe if you liked those, you'll like this.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on October 09, 2008, 09:14:26 AM
I loved the Baroque Cycle, so I have hope.  If my thumbs can handle it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on October 09, 2008, 09:36:37 AM
I am reading "Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman, and I am laughing my ass off. 

(http://bfgb.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/soon-i-will-be-invincible.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on October 09, 2008, 10:22:33 AM
I am reading "Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman, and I am laughing my ass off. 

([url]http://bfgb.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/soon-i-will-be-invincible.jpg[/url])


It's definitely a really fun read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Satchmo Mask on October 09, 2008, 10:39:25 AM
"You Don't Love Me Yet" was pretty okay, as I said before. I could definitely see how people wouldn't like it. I do think he's a good writer. It did feel a little too Tom Robbins-y though.

On the other hand, I just finished "The Song is You" by Megan Abbott and really, really loved it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Gore Marie on October 09, 2008, 10:59:37 AM
I am reading Women on the Verge: Seven Avante Garde Plays from 1993.   I waver between reading it seriously and enjoying it and and reading it as if it is a satire of wacky erotic feminist theater and giggling/enjoying it.  It really can go either way.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on October 09, 2008, 11:31:01 AM
I just got Neal Stephenson's Anathem.  It's almost 1000 pages long.  God knows when I'll have the strength to take it on, much as I love the man's writing.  But knowing I have it gives me a feeling of security.


XKCD was not so into it:
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/fiction_rule_of_thumb.png)
"I'm lookin' at YOU, Neal Stephenson."

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 09, 2008, 11:42:00 AM
I liked the made up words.  But Neal Stephenson can't write a story where he just tells you that a guy goes to the 7-11 to buy a soda.  He's got to put you in the guy's shoes as he goes to buy a soda, step by detailed step. The guy has to have an adventure where he's set on by motorcycle bandits on the way.  Also the motorcycle bandits contribute nothing to the overall story.  When the guy finally arrives at the 7-11, the clerk and the guy discuss the halting problem and double-entry bookkeeping.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jake8jazz on October 09, 2008, 11:51:28 AM
Just finished The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - very good read!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on October 09, 2008, 12:42:02 PM
I'm reading my favorite author, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio.

Why?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 09, 2008, 12:48:16 PM
I'm reading my favorite author, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio.

Why?

Yes, what I love most about his work is how un-isolated and non-insular it is.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on October 09, 2008, 12:59:35 PM
Nobel Prize judges looooove him.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on December 15, 2008, 11:36:30 PM
Just started Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe.  The author thanks Jason Grote in the acknowledgments, so his every word is suspect.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 19, 2008, 12:47:29 PM
Just started Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe.  The author thanks Jason Grote in the acknowledgments, so his every word is suspect.

Hey, that's my buddy.  I love that book.  Sometimes it seems like it doesn't know whether it wants to be an 05/06-type "what progressives should do now" book in the mold of What's The Matter with Kansas or Don't Think of an Elephant and more of an academic theoretical text, but I pretty much agree 100% with the ideas in there, and I appreciate that he keeps the ideas accessible to the average reader.  Not everybody feels up for reading Žižek 100% of the time.

For me: just started Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives and am totally digging it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on December 19, 2008, 05:08:50 PM
I'm reading 'I Have Fun Everywhere I Go' by Mike Edison, which I think I first heard about in this very thread. There are some nice stories (define nice) about our old pal Kevin Allin.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on December 19, 2008, 08:16:28 PM
For me: just started Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives and am totally digging it.

I started this a couple nights ago; it is pretty awesome. The section where Garcia Madero wonders through the Fonts' house in the dark and eats all their food is AMAZING.

Gets a little smutty from there on, but in a good way.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 19, 2008, 08:48:47 PM
For me: just started Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives and am totally digging it.

I started this a couple nights ago; it is pretty awesome. The section where Garcia Madero wonders through the Fonts' house in the dark and eats all their food is AMAZING.

Gets a little smutty from there on, but in a good way.

Yes!  I just read that same passage.  This is like an accidental book club! 

That belongs on a "move titles I don't want to see" thread: "The Accidental Book Club."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: theaidan on December 19, 2008, 09:19:00 PM
Currently reading J.G. Farrell's The Singapore Grip.

The whole Empire Trilogy (Troubles, Siege of Krishnapur) is an amazing piece of work. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pete from oz on December 20, 2008, 03:49:42 AM
I'm reading The Lucifer Effect by Phillip Zimbardo which has been pretty interesting.  I'm also reading a bunch of comics as well - just finishing up with Stuck Rubber Baby, which took a long while to get going but had a really strong ending. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on December 20, 2008, 08:56:36 AM
I'm reading "Invitation to a Beheading (Nabokov), Jimmy McDonough's biography of Neil Young, and "George, Being George."

The Nabokov is part of a larger thing - I'm trying to read through his stuff in more or less chronological order.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on December 20, 2008, 08:09:41 PM
Just started Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe.  The author thanks Jason Grote in the acknowledgments, so his every word is suspect.

Hey, that's my buddy.  I love that book.  Sometimes it seems like it doesn't know whether it wants to be an 05/06-type "what progressives should do now" book in the mold of What's The Matter with Kansas or Don't Think of an Elephant and more of an academic theoretical text, but I pretty much agree 100% with the ideas in there, and I appreciate that he keeps the ideas accessible to the average reader.  Not everybody feels up for reading Žižek 100% of the time.


Just finished it. I'm persuaded.  I have reservations about some of the people and organizations mentioned, but not his use of their example. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on December 20, 2008, 08:32:31 PM
(http://www.yahyabirt.com/images/the_reluctant_fundamentalist.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 20, 2008, 10:32:50 PM
Just started Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe.  The author thanks Jason Grote in the acknowledgments, so his every word is suspect.

Hey, that's my buddy.  I love that book.  Sometimes it seems like it doesn't know whether it wants to be an 05/06-type "what progressives should do now" book in the mold of What's The Matter with Kansas or Don't Think of an Elephant and more of an academic theoretical text, but I pretty much agree 100% with the ideas in there, and I appreciate that he keeps the ideas accessible to the average reader.  Not everybody feels up for reading Žižek 100% of the time.

Just finished it. I'm persuaded.  I have reservations about some of the people and organizations mentioned, but not his use of their example. 

Mind if I ask who and why?  I'm just curious -- totally fine if you don't feel like sharing.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on December 21, 2008, 03:18:52 PM
I am enjoying Richard Wright's Black Boy. It's very good. It is also interesting to read it and for me to think, "I can see how this influenced Native Son."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on December 21, 2008, 03:24:57 PM
in addition to the stuff i mentioned earlier, i also started the league of extraordinary gentlemen/black dossier thing. slow going, though: i spend way too much time poring over the panels for references that i know i am missing. i am very glad there's an annotated guide online ...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on December 21, 2008, 08:49:41 PM
Jimmy McDonough's biography of Neil Young

One of the greatest books EVAH. I must've read it three times.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on December 21, 2008, 08:54:25 PM
Just started Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe.  The author thanks Jason Grote in the acknowledgments, so his every word is suspect.

Hey, that's my buddy.  I love that book.  Sometimes it seems like it doesn't know whether it wants to be an 05/06-type "what progressives should do now" book in the mold of What's The Matter with Kansas or Don't Think of an Elephant and more of an academic theoretical text, but I pretty much agree 100% with the ideas in there, and I appreciate that he keeps the ideas accessible to the average reader.  Not everybody feels up for reading Žižek 100% of the time.


Just finished it. I'm persuaded.  I have reservations about some of the people and organizations mentioned, but not his use of their example. 

Mind if I ask who and why?  I'm just curious -- totally fine if you don't feel like sharing.
Sure.  Critical Mass, for one.  Plenty of people do vital work that requires them to be punctual.  What if a home health care provider needs to give someone medication on the hour, but can't because of a CM ride?  Or working people who just need to be on time?  Disrupting these people's lives doesn't seem ethical to me, and I wouldn't want an entity whose aims and values I share to be the guilty party.  These are misgivings I have, not a blanket condemnation. 

Rev. Billy has an air of sanctimony, even as he mocks it. More power to the guy if it's working.

The last example is Michael Moore , but with him I'm doing what Duncombe is arguing against.  The emotional arguments that I'm suspicious of are a big part of his appeal.




Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on December 26, 2008, 04:41:24 PM
As a fan of end-of-the-world literature, Earth Abides by George Stewart has been on my radar for a long time.  I stayed up until 4 am last night reading it, and woke up and didn't get out of bed until finishing it.  So I'd say it's pretty good.

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/140/327822640_5ccf8dae38.jpg?v=0)

(I wish I had that edition.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on December 26, 2008, 05:30:55 PM
I got DeLillo's Underworld for Christmas, and holy s-hit that thing is a brick. I had no idea.

I'll probably finish it in 2010. Check in with you then.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on December 26, 2008, 06:36:01 PM
I got DeLillo's Underworld for Christmas, and holy s-hit that thing is a brick. I had no idea.

I'll probably finish it in 2010. Check in with you then.

Have you read 'White Noise'?  Probly a better starting point w/ DeLillo....
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on December 26, 2008, 06:38:48 PM
Yeah, I've read White Noise (loved it), and Falling Man, so I'm very excited to get more into his stuff.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on December 26, 2008, 06:59:16 PM
Yeah, I've read White Noise (loved it), and Falling Man, so I'm very excited to get more into his stuff.

Libra is my favorite.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on December 26, 2008, 07:25:11 PM
I own that! Says a lot about my terrible reading habits that it's been sitting on the shelf for at least a year.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on December 26, 2008, 09:01:51 PM
DeLillo kind of annoys me, and Underworld wasn't as good as all the hype it got upon release, but the prologue is amazing.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on December 26, 2008, 09:49:38 PM
i have actually thrown copies of "white noise" and "mao ii" across the room. some of the most dreadfully (self-) serious writing i have ever attempted to read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on December 28, 2008, 01:33:04 PM
For me: just started Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives and am totally digging it.

I started this a couple nights ago; it is pretty awesome. The section where Garcia Madero wonders through the Fonts' house in the dark and eats all their food is AMAZING.

Gets a little smutty from there on, but in a good way.

Yes!  I just read that same passage.  This is like an accidental book club! 

That belongs on a "move titles I don't want to see" thread: "The Accidental Book Club."

I just got 2666 for Xmas. Am looking forward to reading it.

There's a UK tv series called "The Book Group" that's really very good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on December 28, 2008, 06:24:48 PM
I am enjoying Richard Wright's Black Boy.

Hey, I just found out there's a book by this name, too!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on December 29, 2008, 09:25:00 PM
I am enjoying Richard Wright's Black Boy.

Hey, I just found out there's a book by this name, too!

Hay-O!

Thanks, Humor Buddy!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on December 29, 2008, 11:42:46 PM
I am enjoying Richard Wright's Black Boy.

Hey, I just found out there's a book by this name, too!

Hay-O!

Thanks, Humor Buddy!

I don't understand what's happening here.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 31, 2008, 08:26:39 AM
I am enjoying Richard Wright's Black Boy.

Hey, I just found out there's a book by this name, too!

Hay-O!

Thanks, Humor Buddy!

I don't understand what's happening here.

It's OK, there's not really anything to understand.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on December 31, 2008, 09:37:18 AM
I am enjoying Richard Wright's Black Boy.

Hey, I just found out there's a book by this name, too!

Hay-O!

Thanks, Humor Buddy!

I don't understand what's happening here.

It's OK, there's not really anything to understand.

It was just a silly little joke, as if "Richard Wright's Black Boy" was a person rather than a book, and Keith Whitener was somehow enjoying him, like, for instance, I am enjoying this discussion. Then Steve of Bloomington did a terrific Ed McMahon impression, as if this might pass as a joke on some alternate-reality version of The Tonight Show, from the Carson years. Then Grote threw in a "nothing to see here, move along" comment. And now I am explaining the joke to the best of my ability, which undermines it to some degree, but I never really expected it to show up in Milton Berle's next joke book anyway, so it's OK.

I can also explain maths confusion. Just let me know.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on December 31, 2008, 12:54:53 PM
If you have any interest in historical memoirs, I can't recommend Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand's autobiography 'Memoirs from Beyond the Grave' highly enough. That thing blew my mind. It's incredibly hard to find in English except in abridged versions; I became aware of it after reading Paul Auster's 'The Book of Illusions', in which it's referenced a number of times (though there it's called Memoirs of a Dead Man).

This guy was a regular 18th century Forrest Gump, if Forrest Gump had been a highly celebrated aristocratic politician and novelist. He played a part in the French and American Revolutions, the reign of Napoleon, and various political upheavals in the 1800s.

If that still sounds dry, the book is super-readable and very modern in its structure: he uses flash-forwards and often reexamines events from multiple later vantage points, and through the whole thing he obsesses over his own approaching death, and the gradual disappearance of everything he's known in life, in a very moving and poetic way.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jack from Arkansas on December 31, 2008, 06:33:48 PM
My brother-in-law beat me at chess so many times in a row over the holidays.  I've decided it's time to step it up and purchased Silman's Reassess Your Chess.  Those suckers at Yahoo Games won't know what hit them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cleveland jonah on January 02, 2009, 01:08:26 PM
Devil In The White City - Erik Larson
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on January 02, 2009, 02:11:14 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on January 02, 2009, 06:15:28 PM
Planet of Slums by Mike Davis. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: gravy boat on January 02, 2009, 09:46:27 PM
My brother-in-law beat me at chess so many times in a row over the holidays.  I've decided it's time to step it up and purchased Silman's Reassess Your Chess.  Those suckers at Yahoo Games won't know what hit them.

Did he say "Jack, I've literally been in a thousand chess matches"?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on January 16, 2009, 12:18:12 PM
"Holidays in Hell" by PJ O'Rourke. I understand that it's supposed to be funny, but I can't say I've laughed. He just seems glib and obnoxious.

A book I mentioned previously, "I Wouldn't Start from Here" accomplishes everything I was expecting from O'Rourke's book -

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21814090-5003900,00.html

aka, it's well-reasoned, well-researched and funny without being irritating.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on January 16, 2009, 06:44:59 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

Ben Nichols lead singer of Lucero just released a solo album based upon that novel.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on January 16, 2009, 06:50:31 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

Ben Nichols lead singer of Lucero just released a solo album based upon that novel.

true story.

Last Pale Light in the West, straight outta Memphis. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on January 16, 2009, 08:29:47 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

Ben Nichols lead singer of Lucero just released a solo album based upon that novel.

true story.

Last Pale Light in the West, straight outta Memphis. 

The Earth album Hex; or Printing in the Infernal Method is sorta based on Blood Meridian as well. It's an instrumental album, but the several of the song titles are lifted directly from its chapter headings and the sound is very evocative of the novel's world as well.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on January 16, 2009, 08:42:42 PM
Planet of Slums by Mike Davis. 

Mike Davis is a gifted writer. Agree with his perspectives or not, it's well worth checking out his stuff, especially his books about L.A. The lens through which he sees and analyzes both the world and the world of southern California is fascinating and his writing well worthwhile.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on January 16, 2009, 08:45:06 PM
I'm making my way through The Autobiography of Malcolm X and The Best American Magazine Writing from 2004.

There was a great piece by Katherine Boo called The Marriage Cure (http://www.newamerica.net/publications/articles/2003/the_marriage_cure). The background for the piece is that some time ago the Bush Administration made a push for funding programs that would encourage marriage amongst the poor as a means of combating poverty. I think that to equate marriage with improved finances would be reductionist. Poverty is the result of not one cause but many and is perpetuated by a cornucopia of elements rather than by a single mechanism. All of the stimuli that lead to poverty are interrelated and stretch backward through time, often spanning generations. Simply put: there's a lot more to poverty than being poor, just as there's a lot more to a poor person than their poverty. That's one reason I enjoyed this article so much. The Marriage Cure allows readers to learn just how deep poverty's causes run and how far its influences extend by observing the lives of two African American women living in Oklahoma City as they attempt to make use of the matrimony remedy.

This anthology is great so far and I shall certainly pick up more installments. Right now I'm in the middle of an article written by Tucker Carlson--who the book refers to as "the whitest man in America". The piece is about going on a piece keeping mission to Liberia with Al Sharpton and Cornel West. It's insane and feels like it would make a great movie: http://tinyurl.com/carlson-sharpton
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on January 16, 2009, 08:56:54 PM
I mostly read graphic novels.  My attention span is all shot from these internets.  Also our library has the best graphic novel section ever.

Recently: Ordinary Victories by a French dude (Manu Larcenet), covers the rise of Facist politicians in France and the story of a successful photographer who decides to quit doing what made him famous and brought in the recognition and money, thumbs up.

Also Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Kim Deitch.  I liked it but on the other hand knowing about the history of animation I wavered between thinking it was cool he'd based a character on Windsor McKay and had references to the 'makin' 'em move' short in there, and wondering why he didn't just do a straight history of Animation type thing.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on January 16, 2009, 09:50:11 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

That book ruined me.  It gave me nightmares for weeks. 

Easily the most disturbing book I've ever read. 

Also one of the best.  I don't go for the gruesome stuff, either. 

Re-reading the Road (teaching it this semester).  Amazing, amazing book. 

I read Clout Atlas recently, by David Mitchell.  Engrossing, tremendous book. 

Hurray BOOKS!
Ike
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on January 16, 2009, 09:52:29 PM
Yeah, I've read White Noise (loved it), and Falling Man, so I'm very excited to get more into his stuff.

Libra is my favorite.

End Zone is great.  Easily his most accessible, too. 

White Noise is a nearly perfect book, right up until the last 20 pages or so.  Then, well...I'm still not sure, actually. 

I have yet to finish Underworld.  I'm fine with "the tome", but I can't crack the code on that one. 

Ike
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on January 16, 2009, 10:42:32 PM
Right now I'm in the middle of an article written by Tucker Carlson--who the book refers to as "the whitest man in America". The piece is about going on a piece keeping mission to Liberia with Al Sharpton and Cornel West. It's insane and feels like it would make a great movie: [url]http://tinyurl.com/carlson-sharpton[/url]


Thanks for the link. That article is kind of awesome and and succeeded in making me relate to / enjoy the writing of Tucker Carlson. Gonna go scrub my brain with steel wool now.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on January 16, 2009, 11:07:59 PM
Right now I'm in the middle of an article written by Tucker Carlson--who the book refers to as "the whitest man in America". The piece is about going on a piece keeping mission to Liberia with Al Sharpton and Cornel West. It's insane and feels like it would make a great movie: [url]http://tinyurl.com/carlson-sharpton[/url]


Thanks for the link. That article is kind of awesome and and succeeded in making me relate to / enjoy the writing of Tucker Carlson. Gonna go scrub my brain with steel wool now.


Yeah, it's like he lived his life in a movie for a week. I loved the interactions between Carlson and the Nation of Islam members. All the little details are great, like when he describes the guerrillas as 14 year old transvestites waging war while dressed in women's clothing or that the two guys from the Nation of Islam are both named James Muhammad (and one of them professes a love of photography, claiming that if he had another chance at life he'd love to work at National Geographic.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on January 16, 2009, 11:59:05 PM
When I lived in Atlanta, I worked with a Nation of Islam guy also named James Muhammed. He was always trying to sell issues of The Call to co-workers and was probably more full of shit than anyone I've ever met, eventually cheating on his wife and moving up to Virginia. He was nice, though, and never once called me a white devil.

Here's a bit about those cross-dressing rebels -

http://www.slate.com/id/2086490/
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: A.M. Thomas on January 17, 2009, 03:16:24 AM
I just finished Atmospheric Disturbances (http://www.amazon.com/Atmospheric-Disturbances-Novel-Rivka-Galchen/dp/0374200114) by Rivka Galchen.  The novel begins, "Last December a woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife."  It kind of putters out at the end, but I liked it.

I'm now on Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=cuisines+of+the+axis+of+evil&x=0&y=0) by Chris Fair.  It's part international cookbook, part international travel memoir.  I love reading about North Korea.

I can't believe I haven't participated in this thread until now.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on January 17, 2009, 12:07:52 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

That book ruined me.  It gave me nightmares for weeks. 

Easily the most disturbing book I've ever read. 

Also one of the best.  I don't go for the gruesome stuff, either. 


Yeah, that book was rough stuff. It's a good book, but I'm 100% sure I'll never read it again. Like you say, the most disturbing thing I've ever read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on January 17, 2009, 12:23:54 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

That book ruined me.  It gave me nightmares for weeks. 

Easily the most disturbing book I've ever read. 

Also one of the best.  I don't go for the gruesome stuff, either. 


Yeah, that book was rough stuff. It's a good book, but I'm 100% sure I'll never read it again. Like you say, the most disturbing thing I've ever read.

I'm at page 200 or so, and every so often I'll find myself flipping to the author photo and staring into his mild, content face, and thinking, who is this maniac?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on January 17, 2009, 05:28:57 PM
Planet of Slums by Mike Davis. 

Mike Davis is a gifted writer. Agree with his perspectives or not, it's well worth checking out his stuff, especially his books about L.A. The lens through which he sees and analyzes both the world and the world of southern California is fascinating and his writing well worthwhile.
Planet of Slums was pretty mind blowing. :o  City of Quartz is also worthwhile.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on January 17, 2009, 05:42:26 PM
I just finished a Swedish non-fiction book called "Swedish Mafia". You may laugh, but it's pretty unsettling stuff. The rise of prison gangs, organized crime families, biker gangs, Balkan clans, etc. Very thorough book written by two reporters who've been covering this shit for years. Not alarmist, but with the subject matter you don't really need to be. It's also an indictment against Swedish law enforcement, who's been sleeping on the job for the last 40 years and is now faced with an overwhelming problem.

Anyway, a good read.

Now I'm starting on Let the Right One In, which was given to me as a birthday gift a couple of years ago. I figured I have to read the book before I see the film, because if I do it the other way around, I'll never get to the book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on January 17, 2009, 11:07:24 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

That book ruined me.  It gave me nightmares for weeks. 

Easily the most disturbing book I've ever read. 

Also one of the best.  I don't go for the gruesome stuff, either. 


Yeah, that book was rough stuff. It's a good book, but I'm 100% sure I'll never read it again. Like you say, the most disturbing thing I've ever read.

I'm at page 200 or so, and every so often I'll find myself flipping to the author photo and staring into his mild, content face, and thinking, who is this maniac?

The only thing I can think of that's comparable in terms of bleakness is The Room by Hubert Selby Jr. Not that his other stuff is a terribly lighthearted, but that's a whole new level of ugly.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on January 18, 2009, 02:56:19 AM
I just finished a Swedish non-fiction book called "Swedish Mafia". You may laugh, but it's pretty unsettling stuff. The rise of prison gangs, organized crime families, biker gangs, Balkan clans, etc. Very thorough book written by two reporters who've been covering this shit for years. Not alarmist, but with the subject matter you don't really need to be. It's also an indictment against Swedish law enforcement, who's been sleeping on the job for the last 40 years and is now faced with an overwhelming problem.

Anyway, a good read.

Now I'm starting on Let the Right One In, which was given to me as a birthday gift a couple of years ago. I figured I have to read the book before I see the film, because if I do it the other way around, I'll never get to the book.

I once wondered if there was a Scandinavian mafia in the U.S. at any point in history. Now I know where to look -- Sweden!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on January 30, 2009, 10:04:22 AM
Just finished The Areas of my Expertise, which is, as you would guess, a laff at minute, and Grant Morrison & Dave McKean's Arkham Asylum, which feels cheesy and dated in that late-80s Vertigo way.  It's a good reminder, though, that Grant Morrison never had an unadulterated genius period - evidently he's done great stuff alongside hack work his whole career.

Currently on Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine which is great - sorry, y/n, not sorry at all, TNR.  The shock therapy metaphor is a little strained - Milton Friedman et. al did indeed use that phrase, but it's more of a cliche in policy circles than an actual doctrine, as far as I can tell - but it's an amazing piece of journalism and actually really suspenseful.  I find myself burning through it and constantly wanting to get back to it, which is not something I could say about most lefty journalism.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on January 30, 2009, 10:41:55 AM
This follows Jason's post nicely. I am currently reading this, and you won't be amazed to hear that it's pretty ace.

(http://blog.syracuse.com/shelflife/2008/09/more411.jpg)

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on January 30, 2009, 11:06:46 PM
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That's some heavy shit.

That book ruined me.  It gave me nightmares for weeks. 

Easily the most disturbing book I've ever read. 

Also one of the best.  I don't go for the gruesome stuff, either. 


Yeah, that book was rough stuff. It's a good book, but I'm 100% sure I'll never read it again. Like you say, the most disturbing thing I've ever read.

I'm at page 200 or so, and every so often I'll find myself flipping to the author photo and staring into his mild, content face, and thinking, who is this maniac?

The only thing I can think of that's comparable in terms of bleakness is The Room by Hubert Selby Jr. Not that his other stuff is a terribly lighthearted, but that's a whole new level of ugly.

i've read "blood meridian" (twice!). what i'm reading now outdistances cormac, i think: roberto bolano's "2666," specifically chapter four, "the part about the crimes." i'm about 80 pages into that chapter and if things continue on their present course, i do not think i will need to read the word "rape" again for about 26 years.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on January 31, 2009, 12:05:11 PM
i've read "blood meridian" (twice!). what i'm reading now outdistances cormac, i think: roberto bolano's "2666," specifically chapter four, "the part about the crimes." i'm about 80 pages into that chapter and if things continue on their present course, i do not think i will need to read the word "rape" again for about 26 years.

I finally finished off Blood Meridian last week, and as much as I've heard only great stuff about 2666, based on your description I don't think I can face it just yet. I need something lighthearted for now... I'm thinking John Hodgman's latest, perhaps.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on January 31, 2009, 01:16:42 PM
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.  I wonder what that guy would have thought about Twitter.

Also listening to the audiobook of Black Boy by Richard Wright, as this thread dictates.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on January 31, 2009, 05:05:34 PM
i've read "blood meridian" (twice!). what i'm reading now outdistances cormac, i think: roberto bolano's "2666," specifically chapter four, "the part about the crimes." i'm about 80 pages into that chapter and if things continue on their present course, i do not think i will need to read the word "rape" again for about 26 years.

I finally finished off Blood Meridian last week, and as much as I've heard only great stuff about 2666, based on your description I don't think I can face it just yet. I need something lighthearted for now... I'm thinking John Hodgman's latest, perhaps.

YEP AND YEP. 

It is very good, but crushing my brains.  I had to put it down. 

I picked up Plainsong by Kent Haruf and Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson.  I just finished the Road, again, as I'm teaching it this semester. 

Lately I've been immersed in LOTS of short fiction: Gish Jen, Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Denis Johnson, Murakami (butchered his name, I'm sure--the After the Quake collection is wonderful), and about 392828 more. 

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Dan B on January 31, 2009, 07:41:02 PM
I'm taking a 20th Century Lit class called The Grotesque . The booklist is pretty amazing.
A few Edgar Alan Poe short stories
Flannery O'Connor - A Good Man is Hard to Find and other stories
Henry James - Turn of the Screw/ The Aspern Papers
Cormac Macarthy - No Country For Old Men
Nabokov - An Invitation to a Beheading
Patrick Suskind - Perfume
Paul Auster - The New York Trilogy
O'Connor - The Violent Bear it Away
and we also have to watch Vertigo.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on January 31, 2009, 10:37:13 PM
About to start in on David Copperfield. I will become cultured, even if it kills me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: SJK on February 01, 2009, 10:52:41 AM
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.  I wonder what that guy would have thought about Twitter.
There is a lot packed into that short read, dense and very interesting. I downloaded a lecture from him sometime ago, smart guy.

Working on a book called, The Geometry of Love by Margaret Visser. It is toying with my agnostic/atheist tendency.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on February 01, 2009, 12:07:12 PM
I'm taking a 20th Century Lit class called The Grotesque . The booklist is pretty amazing.
A few Edgar Alan Poe short stories
Flannery O'Connor - A Good Man is Hard to Find and other stories
Henry James - Turn of the Screw/ The Aspern Papers
Cormac Macarthy - No Country For Old Men
Nabokov - An Invitation to a Beheading
Patrick Suskind - Perfume
Paul Auster - The New York Trilogy
O'Connor - The Violent Bear it Away
and we also have to watch Vertigo.

Now THAT sounds like a great, great class. 

Enjoy it.  Do not drink while you read for this class. 




Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ben on February 22, 2009, 07:50:57 AM
'how puppies grow' by millicent selsam is a pretty good read, highly recommended.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on February 22, 2009, 08:23:13 AM
About to start in on David Copperfield. I will become cultured, even if it kills me.

I love Dickens! He is one of my very favorites, and has been since I was 9.

I am currently reading A Clockwork Orange, and after that I have a book called
My Lobotomy by Howard Dully.
Has anyone read this? I am wondering if it will be fascinating, or just weird.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on March 23, 2009, 05:31:16 PM
currently reading:

The Rest is Noise -- Alex Ross

slow going, but only because I have to stop listening all the time to listen to the music he's talking about.

Is There a God -- Richard Swinburne

very well-argued book from a committed Christian.  he makes a number of really astonishing assumptions and mischaracterizations and so on and ultimately I think his argument is profoundly flawed.  But still, it's a pleasure to read something so insistently contrary.


Just read:

The Mote in God's Eye:  a really good sci-fi novel.  Spin:  ditto.  Hominids:  awful, awful novel with fascist utopian undertones.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Big Plastic Head on March 23, 2009, 05:46:01 PM

The Mote in God's Eye:  a really good sci-fi novel.


I read Lucifer's Hammer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer%27s_Hammer) by the same two authors back in the 80's. Mostly what I remember about it is that a comet hits the earth and a surfer in LA catches the giant tsunami produced by the comet and rides the wave until he smacks into a building in downtown. I thought that was SO funny when I was younger.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on March 23, 2009, 07:13:18 PM
Right now:

Twitter API: Up and Running (my twitter account SoundSystemSDC gets thanked in the acknowledgement section, yay me)
Ivan Bratko's Prolog Book
Return Engagement (Settling Accounts: Book 1): Alternate history book, WWII is the US vs the CSA, who are committing a holocaust against black people
Spark by Eric Hagerman (how to keep your brain from deteriorating in old age)
Tropical Truth by Caetano Veloso (account of the Tropicalia movement etc)
The Vinland Sagas
The Bible (it was free on the Kindle...actually, Deuteronomy)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on March 24, 2009, 02:10:50 AM
About to start in on David Copperfield. I will become cultured, even if it kills me.

I love Dickens! He is one of my very favorites, and has been since I was 9.

Yeah, I never started reading this thing.

Right now I'm about a hundred pages into Nick Flynn's Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. I like this one - I may even finish it.

From there, on to either Edward Dahlberg's Because I Was Flesh or something from the Flann O'Brien Complete Novels collection. (Which I'm only considering reading because it's a part of the Everyman's Library, and I'm an Everyman!*)

* Not THE Everyman.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JBillington on March 24, 2009, 04:30:15 AM
Rabbit, Run - John Updike

I got a 40+ year old copy that has the price in old (british) money - 4 shillings. I have to read it quickly before it falls to pieces.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JBillington on March 24, 2009, 07:57:31 AM
I'm also reading Roger Wilmut's "Didn't you kill my Mother-In-Law?", a book about the Alternative comedy boom in the UK in the late 70s/early 80s. So far, I am finding out that many of the comedy heros of my youth are unbearably pretentious people.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on March 24, 2009, 10:33:03 AM
Spin:  ditto. 

Yeah, I loved this one too. I just read Carl Wilson's contribution to the 33 1/3 series "Let's talk about love". I was pre-disposed to be suspicious of it, but I wound up really enjoying it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on March 24, 2009, 12:19:37 PM
So far, I am finding out that many of the comedy heros of my youth are unbearably pretentious people.

Names, please.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on March 24, 2009, 08:01:18 PM
I have begun to read Wodehouse's Leave It to Psmith. We will see if I stick with it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on April 10, 2009, 12:42:47 PM
Which Robert Bolano book should I read first:  The Savage Detectives or 2666?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Wes on April 10, 2009, 02:53:18 PM
Which Robert Bolano book should I read first:  The Savage Detectives or 2666?

I haven't read 2666 yet so I can't comment on that, but if it helps your decision at all, The Savage Detectives is not a noir novel about The Macho Man. I found that out the hard way.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on April 10, 2009, 03:09:55 PM
Which Robert Bolano book should I read first:  The Savage Detectives or 2666?

Between those two, Savage Detectives is the way to go. From what I've heard, 2666 is best appreciated after you've read everything else by Bolano, so you might want to check out his other stuff first and save that for last.

I'm going through a "Fun Reading" phase right now. Trying to slog through David Copperfield wasn't doing it for me anymore. Right now I'm reading Live From New York. I'm about a hundred pages in, and the main points seem to be "Oh, the drugs!" and "Man, is this Chevy Chase guy a dick or what?"

Up next is either The Kid Stays in the Picture or that one book about Heaven's Gate.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on April 10, 2009, 04:49:19 PM
I have begun to read Wodehouse's Leave It to Psmith. We will see if I stick with it.

You'd be nuts if you didn't. Very funny book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on April 10, 2009, 07:07:14 PM
Seconding THEE Buster  Wodehouse's "Uncle Fred in the Springtime" had me talking with a loquacious English accent for weeks.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on April 11, 2009, 12:06:40 PM
I just finished "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan.  I found the book to be simultaneously enlightening and enraging.

On the enlightening side, it was full of fascinating facts about human food consumption and the food industry (e.g. Research suggests that Americans tend to judge when a meal is complete by external cues, like their plate being empty. Many other cultures tend to judge when a meal is complete by internal cues, like their stomach being "almost full"). I learned a boat-load of information that I will never forget.

On the enraging side, the author relies heavily on the "noble savage" myth (i.e. ancient cultures were more peaceful and healthier than modern humans) that I think Steven Pinker debunked quite well in his book "The Blank Slate."  In Pollan's book, the myth takes the form of "eating the foods of one hundred years ago is the path to health." Total rubbish in my opinion. Sure, growing your own garden and eating locally raised food guarantees no creepy unpronounceable ingredients. But the author ignores the ugly fact (and trust me, I am no fan of Monsanto) that without factory farming, vast swaths of the world's population would have nothing to eat, and many cases of food poisoning have come from eating organic because of the lack of regulation.  Before you think I am some corporate, republican monster, I try to eat organic and I am a vegetarian. But I do not like to see my side, like this author, come across as intellectual elitists.  Explain the benefits of eating organic, locally grown food, but also admit it has flaws, darn it!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on April 11, 2009, 12:21:45 PM
I think the questions of "how to eat healthy" and "how to make sure billions don't starve" are separate for the moment.

I'm on board with you that genetic engineering and the green revolution are wonderful points for the latter, and more of the food purists should recognize this.  But, I don't think that the factory farming of animals is needed to feed people in the sense of keeping them alive--just in the sense of giving them the food they want to eat.  And many of the pseudo-foods Pollan complains about aren't keeping anyone alive, either.

Also, I love snack cakes.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on April 11, 2009, 01:50:11 PM
I don't think that the factory farming of animals is needed to feed people in the sense of keeping them alive--just in the sense of giving them the food they want to eat.  And many of the pseudo-foods Pollan complains about aren't keeping anyone alive, either.

Also, I love snack cakes.

100% agreed on all counts. The first two thirds of the book, when he talks about food versus foo-like substances, are very solid. It's the end of the book - when he is focusing on growing your own produce versus buying it at the store - when I think the wheels fall off. It veers dangerously into snob territory.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: hugman on April 12, 2009, 12:03:42 AM
I'm very excited to have just discovered that Paul Feig has books out. Got Superstud from the library today.


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on April 12, 2009, 10:03:26 AM
...foo-like substances...

Ew buoy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 13, 2009, 02:40:03 PM
About the food thing, I wonder if that's actually true that processed food has enabled more hungry people to eat.  That's certainly true in industrialized countries, especially the USA, but I would hazard a guess that in countries like India, Kenya, or South Korea the move to more industrialized methods of food production has helped certain segments of the population while hurting many more.  I can't quote anything on this, but I do know that the massive worldwide explosion of slums is largely due to rural farming areas being economically devastated, causing people to move to the cities looking for work, and that this mirrors what happened in the US between the Civil War and the Great Depression.  That said, it's definitely dumb to romanticize farm life, and Pollan definitely has a blind spot when it comes to actual poor people -- just because lots of Americans are fat doesn't mean that lots of other Americans aren't hungry.

Also, Jon, I think that should be the name of your Foo Fighters cover band.

Currently reading a DJ Spooky anthology from MIT Press for this film project I'm working on.  I gotta say that it's kind of a fail as a book, but there are some pretty decent individual essays in it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on April 13, 2009, 02:55:55 PM
I think you need to draw a distinction between processed food and the "green revolution"/industrialized plant agriculture.  Food grown using pesticides and nitrogen fertilizer might not get a nice certification but it's hardly the same as a Tastykake.

Whether or not these technologies have, on balance, decreased human misery, stuff like the Haber process (I IMBD'd that) definitely help us grow more food on less land (in the short term at least).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 13, 2009, 03:11:50 PM
Yeah, good point.  The devastation of which I speak probably has a lot more to do with economics than farming methods (as did the similar pattern in the US from the 1870s to the 1930s).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JBillington on April 13, 2009, 03:47:49 PM


Up next is either The Kid Stays in the Picture

This is much more enjoyable if you know what Bob Evans sounds like then read it in his voice. Is it? You bet it is.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on April 13, 2009, 04:58:05 PM


Up next is either The Kid Stays in the Picture

This is much more enjoyable if you know what Bob Evans sounds like then read it in his voice. Is it? You bet it is.

A fact is a fact is a fact is a fact.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: nec13 on April 13, 2009, 10:18:46 PM
I haven't read the Evans book. But I thought the documentary of the same name was excellent.

Has anyone read the book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" by Peter Biskind? Really interesting book about Hollywood in the 60's and 70's. Although, it has a tendency to get a bit "tabloid-y" at times.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Denim Gremlin on April 14, 2009, 12:14:12 AM
I haven't read the Evans book. But I thought the documentary of the same name was excellent.

Has anyone read the book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" by Peter Biskind? Really interesting book about Hollywood in the 60's and 70's. Although, it has a tendency to get a bit "tabloid-y" at times.

easy riders is a great book, but if you think thats tabloid-y read Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger, you ain't seen nothin yet
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on April 14, 2009, 09:19:25 AM
I wonder if that's actually true that processed food has enabled more hungry people to eat. 

Well, my understanding is that the Food and Agriculture arm of the U.N., the W.H.O., World Bank, IMF, etc. work together to distribute food to third world countries (of course, because corrupt, self-interested governments get involved, this can get derailed). And much of that food comes from U.S. overabundance. In Kenya, for example, the staple food for many families is "unimix" - a concoction of corn oil and milk powder imported from other nations by the U.N.  I am talking partially from knowing, and partially out of my ass. I would need to investigate further.

Now I'll shut up about "In Defense of Food."  The Bob Evans book sounds like much more fun.

Also, Jon, I think that should be the name of your Foo Fighters cover band.

That is a damn good idea, Jason. I think the name is good enough to justify the band! You're on drums.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on April 14, 2009, 10:06:09 AM

Well, my understanding is that the Food and Agriculture arm of the U.N., the W.H.O., World Bank, IMF, etc. work together to distribute food to third world countries (of course, because corrupt, self-interested governments get involved, this can get derailed). And much of that food comes from U.S. overabundance. In Kenya, for example, the staple food for many families is "unimix" - a concoction of corn oil and milk powder imported from other nations by the U.N.  I am talking partially from knowing, and partially out of my ass. I would need to investigate further.


I'm also mostly uninformed, but my impression is that third world governments would prefer to receive cash, but the US insists on donating grain which it has subsidised massively, which screws up the markets in the countries receiving this aid, and discourages local grain production. Also, I've read that smaller farmers in Asia who adopt industrial methods see their incomes fall, even if their yields rise.

At one point Pollan says (more or less convincingly) that organic farming is actually more productive per acre than intensive agribusiness type farming. Doesn't this suggest that his attitude is not in fact terribly elitist? Especially since a huge portion of the grain we raise is used to feed animals instead of people - which is obviously grossly inefficient.

I think that much of the reason organic food is much more expensive than conventionally-grown food is because 1) it can be - it has a cachet with the middle-class, and they (uh, that would be "we," actually) are willing to pay for it; and 2) many producers aren't big enough yet to take advantage of economies of scale.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: hugman on April 14, 2009, 02:06:49 PM
If you are interested in this whole food debate, watch this:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6262083407501596844

But don't watch it unless you're ready to wrestle with the desire to murder the board of directors at Monsanto.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on April 15, 2009, 10:46:35 AM
Also, Jon, I think that should be the name of your Foo Fighters cover band.
That is a damn good idea, Jason. I think the name is good enough to justify the band! You're on drums.

I hope you like Buddy Rich!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on May 08, 2009, 01:58:37 PM
I just finished Siva Vaidhyanathan's Copyrights and Copywrongs, which was actually pretty great -- a truly interdisciplinary study that includes pretty much all of my favorite nerd obsessions: music, literature, technology, cultural studies, politics.  And also law, with which I am not really obsessed. 

Then I just tore through book one of the comic DMZ, which was pretty awesome, and better than I'm finding the monthly comic (which I started picking up on Laurie's recommendation, I think).

Now, in a possibly futile attempt to keep myself sane during this movie project, I'm reading a Writers' Guild Fund benefit anthology wherein screenwriters write about their first jobs.  It's called The First Time I Got Paid For It, and I picked it up for 2 bucks in a used bookshop in either Austin or Berkeley.  So far it sucks, but I've only read the William Goldman and Alan Alda essays.  I think I'll try reading it out of order.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on May 08, 2009, 02:30:34 PM
Now, in a possibly futile attempt to keep myself sane during this movie project, I'm reading a Writers' Guild Fund benefit anthology wherein screenwriters write about their first jobs.  It's called The First Time I Got Paid For It, and I picked it up for 2 bucks in a used bookshop in either Austin or Berkeley.  So far it sucks, but I've only read the William Goldman and Alan Alda essays.  I think I'll try reading it out of order.

I don't know anything about that book, but per APMike's Twitter "The First Time I Paid For It" will be the topic on next week's Mike Show.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on May 08, 2009, 02:41:20 PM
Grote, you may not be interested in law. But law is interested in you.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on May 08, 2009, 03:08:33 PM
Oh, the law has taken an interest in me more than once.  But if I admit that I am actually interested in it beyond even the most casual way, then I'll start obsessing about how I should have gone to law school instead of getting a goddamn MFA.

That is awesome re. Twitter.  I haven't been on it in a few days.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on May 14, 2009, 06:33:30 PM
Bump.  That Writers' Guild book was a dud, so I switched to the first book of Kurt Busiek's Astro City.  I go back and forth on Busiek, but I have to admit that it was pretty great.

Currently reading the Toronto-based philosopher Mark Kingwell's book on architecture, Concrete Reveries.  I first discovered his stuff in Harper's and I love it.  I'm a little obsessed with architecture and city planning.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on May 14, 2009, 09:32:06 PM
I'm reading Will Cuppy's "The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody."  Hilarious.  He takes real (?) facts (?) from history and just skewers everyone, starting with the Egyptians and making it through to Colonial times.

It's remarkably risque and pointed, given the fact that it was published in the early 50s.  Good stuff!

http://books.google.com/books?id=6y_KcpjsFpQC&dq=Will+Cuppy&printsec=frontcover&source=an&hl=en&ei=oMQMSsvbNKCm8QS0-9jQDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#PPA39,M1
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on May 14, 2009, 10:49:07 PM
'The Drunkard's Walk'
 In The Drunkard's Walk, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, change, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives. By exposing the true nature of chance and the psychological illusions that cause us to misjudge the world around us, Mlodinow provides the tools we need to make more informed decisions.

Leonard Mlodinow (PhD University of California-Berkeley) teaches about randomness to future scientists at Caltech. He has written for the television series MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Previous books include Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace, Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life, and, with Stephen Hawking, A Briefer History of Time.


Wonderful book, a little math heavy (HEY DAVE), but really encourages one to acquire a basic understanding of probability theory.

BONUS:
Gave me something to admire about Marilyn vos Savant.  A high IQ means nothing unless it comes with integrity.
She's got it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on May 14, 2009, 10:54:19 PM
The Handmaid's Tale. It's pretty suspenseful!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Regular Joe on May 15, 2009, 07:52:08 PM
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Bar none the most depressing book I've ever read. Reminiscent of Catcher in the Rye, which I hated. Still, I can't put it down!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: nec13 on May 23, 2009, 06:27:00 PM
Is there anyone here that has read or is currently reading the book "Nixonland," by Rick Perlstein? If there is, I would be interested to hear your thoughts because I am thinking about checking it out from the library. Because it is 700 pages long, I want to know if it would be worth my time to read it. The literary scribes seem to love it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on May 23, 2009, 06:43:59 PM
I just started "Filthy Lucre: Economics for People who Hate Capitalism". I'm only about 40 pages in, but so far I love it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on May 23, 2009, 07:03:45 PM
(http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/Shy422/Book%20covers/Deathwatch.jpg)

I haven't read any books like this since I was a teenager reading Alan Dean Foster novelizations of R-rated movies I couldn't get in to see.  But a friend mailed me a copy and said it was a blast, so why not?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on May 23, 2009, 08:34:44 PM
Anybody ever read The Moviegoer i just bought it and was wondering if it was any good?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: hugman on May 23, 2009, 08:45:37 PM
Paul Feig's SUPERSTUD was a superdud. I've never seen such a collection of awful similes. "my heart was pounding like a loan shark beating on a deadbeats door." ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww berrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrother.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on May 23, 2009, 11:57:19 PM
Is there anyone here that has read or is currently reading the book "Nixonland," by Rick Perlstein? If there is, I would be interested to hear your thoughts because I am thinking about checking it out from the library. Because it is 700 pages long, I want to know if it would be worth my time to read it. The literary scribes seem to love it.

I didn't get to read it all, but what I read, I loved. His earlier book about Barry Goldwater didn't do as much for me, but Nixonland really is exceptional.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: nec13 on May 24, 2009, 12:05:54 AM
Thank you Matt.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on May 24, 2009, 12:13:09 AM
Paul Feig's SUPERSTUD was a superdud. I've never seen such a collection of awful similes. "my heart was pounding like a loan shark beating on a deadbeats door." ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww berrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrother.

You didn't like the time when he tried to blow himself?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on May 24, 2009, 01:03:26 AM
Just finished Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. I liked No Country for Old Men and thought that The Road was super over-rated (seriously, every time something interesting pops up the guy and his kid just walk around it, which is more realistic but doesn't really make too interesting a story) but after reading the book most call his masterpiece I have finally jumped on the bandwagon of Cormac McCarthy. The character of the judge is so indelible and there quite a few tableaux from the novel I can't get out of my head.

He does come off like a complete prick in interviews and such.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: A.M. Thomas on May 24, 2009, 03:03:17 AM
Shit, I loved The Road so much.  I love it's simplicity.

I'm reading a book about clouds.  It's called The Book of Clouds.  Mammatus clouds rule!

(http://www.dphotojournal.com/wp-content/daily/mammatus-clouds.jpg)

(http://www.missouriskies.org/june13_storm/mammatus.jpg)

(http://www.monkeytime.org/Site%20Images/mammatus.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on May 24, 2009, 03:54:56 PM
I am reading The Road right now as a matter of fact. Haven't gotten very far yet, though.

Someone just checked this out at the library! : "How the Japs Fight"
I can't find it anywhere online, otherwise I'd post a pic of the cover.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on May 24, 2009, 04:14:28 PM
I am reading The Road right now as a matter of fact. Haven't gotten very far yet, though.

Someone just checked this out at the library! : "How the Japs Fight"
I can't find it anywhere online, otherwise I'd post a pic of the cover.



This is the back cover
(http://www.wwedaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/yokozuna008.jpg)

and the front is Mr. Fuji throwing salt in someone's eyes.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on May 24, 2009, 06:51:50 PM
....how did you know?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on May 24, 2009, 07:31:35 PM
Shit, I loved The Road so much.  I love it's simplicity.

Agreed. Although very different, I have not seen stripped down prose like that since James Ellroy's "White Jazz."

I openly wept at the end.

I'm reading a book about clouds.  It's called The Book of Clouds.  Mammatus clouds rule!

Those are amazing! I am trying to write a book right now, and I think "mammatus clouds" just made it in. Thank you!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: A.M. Thomas on May 24, 2009, 08:57:14 PM
Shit, I loved The Road so much.  I love it's simplicity.

Agreed. Although very different, I have not seen stripped down prose like that since James Ellroy's "White Jazz."

I openly wept at the end.

"I'VE GOT THE FLAME IN ME."

What an incredible line.  When I read that, I imagined Tom screaming it to motivate himself after a series of bad calls.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on May 25, 2009, 01:04:52 AM
Shit, I loved The Road so much.  I love it's simplicity.

Agreed. Although very different, I have not seen stripped down prose like that since James Ellroy's "White Jazz."

I openly wept at the end.

"I'VE GOT THE FLAME IN ME."

What an incredible line.  When I read that, I imagined Tom screaming it to motivate himself after a series of bad calls.

Considered reading it around the time it came out but when i saw the trailer for the film i got excited and went out and bought it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on May 25, 2009, 02:57:41 PM
Considered reading it around the time it came out but when i saw the trailer for the film i got excited and went out and bought it.

Oh man, will you be disappointed.

I'm about to start on Blood Meridian, as soon as it comes in the mail. I'm reading it for the AV Club's new book club, Wrapped Up In Books. The last - and first - selection was Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, which was a pretty fun read but somewhat frustrating on a narrative level. Too many plots points not given proper impact and the like. I'd recommend it, though.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on May 25, 2009, 03:07:00 PM
Considered reading it around the time it came out but when i saw the trailer for the film i got excited and went out and bought it.

Oh man, will you be disappointed.

I'm about to start on Blood Meridian, as soon as it comes in the mail. I'm reading it for the AV Club's new book club, Wrapped Up In Books. The last - and first - selection was Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, which was a pretty fun read but somewhat frustrating on a narrative level. Too many plots points not given proper impact and the like. I'd recommend it, though.

I also frequent The AV Club and am looking forward to their Book Club take on Blood Meridian.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on May 25, 2009, 05:40:47 PM
Considered reading it around the time it came out but when i saw the trailer for the film i got excited and went out and bought it.

Oh man, will you be disappointed.

I'm about to start on Blood Meridian, as soon as it comes in the mail. I'm reading it for the AV Club's new book club, Wrapped Up In Books. The last - and first - selection was Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, which was a pretty fun read but somewhat frustrating on a narrative level. Too many plots points not given proper impact and the like. I'd recommend it, though.


What by the film?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on May 25, 2009, 05:49:05 PM
Considered reading it around the time it came out but when i saw the trailer for the film i got excited and went out and bought it.

Oh man, will you be disappointed.

I'm about to start on Blood Meridian, as soon as it comes in the mail. I'm reading it for the AV Club's new book club, Wrapped Up In Books. The last - and first - selection was Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, which was a pretty fun read but somewhat frustrating on a narrative level. Too many plots points not given proper impact and the like. I'd recommend it, though.


What by the film?

I think he means that the trailer for the movie has a lot more action than was present in the book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on May 25, 2009, 05:51:40 PM
Considered reading it around the time it came out but when i saw the trailer for the film i got excited and went out and bought it.

Oh man, will you be disappointed.

I'm about to start on Blood Meridian, as soon as it comes in the mail. I'm reading it for the AV Club's new book club, Wrapped Up In Books. The last - and first - selection was Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, which was a pretty fun read but somewhat frustrating on a narrative level. Too many plots points not given proper impact and the like. I'd recommend it, though.


What by the film?

I think he means that the trailer for the movie has a lot more action than was present in the book.

Oh yeah i figured that much from the things ive heard. Im not into action films anyway.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on May 25, 2009, 06:35:38 PM
Considered reading it around the time it came out but when i saw the trailer for the film i got excited and went out and bought it.

Oh man, will you be disappointed.

I'm about to start on Blood Meridian, as soon as it comes in the mail. I'm reading it for the AV Club's new book club, Wrapped Up In Books. The last - and first - selection was Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, which was a pretty fun read but somewhat frustrating on a narrative level. Too many plots points not given proper impact and the like. I'd recommend it, though.

I also frequent The AV Club and am looking forward to their Book Club take on Blood Meridian.

In his book 'How To Read and Why' (much better and more sophisticated than the title might suggest) Harold Bloom has a wonderful essay on this book, which he places on par with Moby Dick. After I finished the novel I was blown away by the control of language and imagery, but shocked and upset as well, and confused over what, exactly, McCarthy was attempting to do; Bloom's essay really helped me grasp what I'd just gone through.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on May 31, 2009, 11:39:41 PM
Just finished Marilynne Robinson's Home, a mostly worthy sequel to Gilead, one of the most serenly beautiful books of recent years.

I may put off The Brothers Karamazov for the umpteenth time to catch up on some classic crime fiction, of which I've read unaccountably  little beyond Chandler.  Recommendations welcome.    I watched THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE last week and the dialogue was so sharp it made we want to check out the book, which doesn't often happen for me after watching a film adaptation first. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on May 31, 2009, 11:49:54 PM
I may put off The Brothers Karamazov for the umpteenth time to catch up on some classic crime fiction, of which I've read unaccountably  little beyond Chandler.  Recommendations welcome.

I really enjoyed Hammett's Red Harvest and The Maltese Falcon. Also, if you want something super breezy but also super fun, check out any of the Fletch books by Gregory MacDonald. Yup, the movies were based on them. Sort of.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on June 01, 2009, 12:37:18 AM
Just read The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever.  Very, very good.  Starting Creation, Gore Vidal.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: A.M. Thomas on June 01, 2009, 02:35:01 AM
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of 'must-read' classics out there.  There's just not enough time in life.

I'm starting The Savage Detectives tonight.  Exciting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on June 01, 2009, 06:37:02 AM
I may put off The Brothers Karamazov for the umpteenth time to catch up on some classic crime fiction, of which I've read unaccountably  little beyond Chandler.  Recommendations welcome.    I watched THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE last week and the dialogue was so sharp it made we want to check out the book, which doesn't often happen for me after watching a film adaptation first. 

I'd recommend any of Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder books. When the Sacred Ginmill Closes is probably my favorite, but just about all of them are worth reading.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on June 01, 2009, 09:39:39 AM
Patricia Highsmith's Ripley books are really, really good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 01, 2009, 10:13:01 AM
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of 'must-read' classics out there.  There's just not enough time in life.

I'm starting The Savage Detectives tonight.  Exciting.

Yeah, the other day I actually tried to calculate the amount of time it would take me to read all the books in my shelf of books I want to read next.  It was paralyzing.

Taking a quick breather to catch up on The New Yorker and Harper's, but did anyone catch the Jonathan Lethem story in the former?  It's about a female pit bull.  I thought about leaving it for Tom, but it's definitely too soon -- the story made me well up, and I've never even laid eyes on Dogmo.  In any case, it's a great short story.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on June 01, 2009, 05:18:19 PM
I may put off The Brothers Karamazov for the umpteenth time to catch up on some classic crime fiction, of which I've read unaccountably  little beyond Chandler.  Recommendations welcome.

I really enjoyed Hammett's Red Harvest and The Maltese Falcon. Also, if you want something super breezy but also super fun, check out any of the Fletch books by Gregory MacDonald. Yup, the movies were based on them. Sort of.

I'd also add Hammett's The Thin Man which I'm reading now. I think I already like it better than the two mentioned above (mainly because it's funnier). Denis Johnson's Nobody Move was a fun literary thriller similar to No Country for Old Men (McCarthy seems to have started a trend; Pynchon's got something similar coming out in August called Inherent Vice). Jim Thompson is also great crime fiction. Pop. 1280 is my favorite, but The Killer Inside Me is also great. After The Thin Man, I thought I'd dive a little deeper into Elmore Leonard for the summer (Hombre, Swag, La Brava, and Killshot).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on June 01, 2009, 06:36:38 PM
I enjoyed Norman Mailer's "Tough Guys Don't Dance."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AaronC on June 01, 2009, 06:59:31 PM
The Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam.  It is about the 1979 Portland Trailblazers. When the author died, ESPN raved about this book, calling it one of the all-time best sports books. Maybe you had to have grown up with these players, but I think this book is boring. I'm 75 pages in and the season hasn't even started.  I don't think I'll finish it. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: cutout on June 01, 2009, 07:16:34 PM
George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on June 01, 2009, 07:28:12 PM
I may put off The Brothers Karamazov for the umpteenth time to catch up on some classic crime fiction, of which I've read unaccountably  little beyond Chandler.  Recommendations welcome.

I really enjoyed Hammett's Red Harvest and The Maltese Falcon. Also, if you want something super breezy but also super fun, check out any of the Fletch books by Gregory MacDonald. Yup, the movies were based on them. Sort of.

I'd also add Hammett's The Thin Man which I'm reading now. I think I already like it better than the two mentioned above (mainly because it's funnier). Denis Johnson's Nobody Move was a fun literary thriller similar to No Country for Old Men (McCarthy seems to have started a trend; Pynchon's got something similar coming out in August called Inherent Vice). Jim Thompson is also great crime fiction. Pop. 1280 is my favorite, but The Killer Inside Me is also great. After The Thin Man, I thought I'd dive a little deeper into Elmore Leonard for the summer (Hombre, Swag, La Brava, and Killshot).

I got a Hammett collection that has 5 books and it's been a great read so far (I finished Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).

I've only read the newish Leonard books, basically the ones that all became movies and I like him a lot.  Mike, after you read Killshot, I hope you check out the new straight to DVD Mickey Rourke adaptation.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on June 01, 2009, 08:18:02 PM
I have given up on difficult reading. I am running through the Spenser series.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on June 01, 2009, 08:23:18 PM
I have given up on difficult reading. I am running through the Spenser series.

Edmund?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on June 07, 2009, 11:43:28 AM
Just finishing Zadie Smith's On Beauty. I have mixed feelings about the political side of the book, but she's absolutely brilliant when she details the subtle psychological details and power struggles in a simple conversation.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on June 07, 2009, 12:42:07 PM
I have given up on difficult reading.

Me, too.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on June 07, 2009, 01:41:51 PM
I'm reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins "for my job." It's terrific!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on June 07, 2009, 03:37:15 PM
I'm making my way through The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James for a summer class. What a slog!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 08, 2009, 10:58:06 AM
I have at least five books that I got 2+ years ago and have just been carrying around with me, and now that I have a little time to breathe I'm going to read them.  The first one is Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, and honestly I'm not sure what I think of it.  It's a brisk, clear read, and I'm glad such a good writer has dealt so honestly with the topics of death and grief, but I'm finding something about Didion's cool WASPish nobility really hard to connect with.  Maybe I've just read way too much about it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on June 08, 2009, 02:41:17 PM
I don't know Grote I heard a large portion of that book on tape.  I was struck by how the only people she had to support her were employees or other forms of hired help.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pidgeon on June 08, 2009, 04:11:53 PM
Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Trotskie on June 08, 2009, 05:37:57 PM
Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, and honestly I'm not sure what I think of it.

Did you read/like Play It As It Lays?  I just started it the other day; so far really into it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 08, 2009, 06:23:46 PM
Fredericks:  I'm only halfway through it, and plan to finish it, so maybe I just need to give it more of a chance.

Trotskie: I think I've read a couple of essays from that?  Maybe I'm thinking of a different book of hers, but so far I've only read a couple of Didion essays.  That one is on my list, though.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 09, 2009, 04:19:34 PM
OK, you guys are right.  The Year of Magical Thinking is a great book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jerrygrit on June 09, 2009, 11:17:58 PM
Hey readers--

We're going to start reading Ulysses next Tuesday as an online reading collective/social media experience ... http://wanderingrox.wordpress.com (http://wanderingrox.wordpress.com)

We'd love to get your involvement if you're up for some more substantive summer reading.

--Jerry
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on June 10, 2009, 12:46:56 AM
Sorry if I'm repeating, but this thread was too long to read through.  And I am lazy and inconsiderate.  I just started _The Time Waster Letters_.  Other than that, any Iris Murdoch fans out there?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: mcphee from the forum on June 10, 2009, 08:46:21 AM
Not to follow Pastor Josh with this, but I'm currently reading Bertrand Russell's "Why I am Not a Christian." Hoping to follow it up with William James's "Varieties of Religious Experience" but I may just read some Al Jaffee books or something to cleanse the palate.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: mcphee from the forum on June 10, 2009, 08:48:41 AM
Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, and honestly I'm not sure what I think of it.

Did you read/like Play It As It Lays?  I just started it the other day; so far really into it.

Play it As it Lays is great. I'm also a big fan of Slouching Towards Bethlehem (esp the title essay and the essay about John Wayne), and The White Album (the essay itself, not the whole book) is one of my favorite pieces of writing ever. Maybe it's just because I was raised in LA, but it really captures the strange creepiness of that city. Plus she makes fun of the Doors a lot.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on June 10, 2009, 10:47:08 AM
I think the title is "Slouching Towards Gomorrhah," McPhee.  The author is Robert Bork.

He gives us all the whatfor for our dirty, dirty thoughts.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: mcphee from the forum on June 10, 2009, 12:48:08 PM
Shouldn't you be writing up Dressed to Kill right about now?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on June 10, 2009, 02:47:23 PM
I just finished "Blue Boy" by Rakesh Satyal.
You should go to the library and check it out.
It is a very poignant book about a 12 yr old Indian boy in Ohio struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. He also happens to believe that he is Krishna, reincarnated.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on June 10, 2009, 04:11:17 PM
Shouldn't you be writing up Dressed to Kill right about now?


Shhh, you're giving it away!  Maybe I think Dynasty is the next best.  Who DOESN'T want to hear Ace Frehley sing Mick Jagger?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on June 10, 2009, 09:55:56 PM
I am reading 'Misquoting Jesus', which is about the history of the Bible and the many hands and languages it has been through.

That and 'Physical Computing', which is about hooking up sensors and motors and whatnot to little microchips which leads into building world conquering robots and all that.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on June 10, 2009, 11:15:06 PM
You should go to the library and check it out.

i agree with this statement. your continued patronage keeps me employed!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on June 10, 2009, 11:55:31 PM
I am reading 'Misquoting Jesus', which is about the history of the Bible and the many hands and languages it has been through.

That and 'Physical Computing', which is about hooking up sensors and motors and whatnot to little microchips which leads into building world conquering robots and all that.

I really enjoyed "Misquoting Jesus" myself.  The guys who do the Reasonable Doubts podcast use this kind of info to debate Xian apoolgists.

Re: 'Physical Computing' we may be Robuts already.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on June 11, 2009, 03:44:49 AM
Quote from: fonpr link=topic=761.msg117628#msg117628 date=

Re: 'Physical Computing' we may be Robuts already.


Some of us more likely than others, but you're pretty low on that list, Fredericks.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on June 11, 2009, 09:44:36 AM
I am reading 'Misquoting Jesus', which is about the history of the Bible and the many hands and languages it has been through.

That and 'Physical Computing', which is about hooking up sensors and motors and whatnot to little microchips which leads into building world conquering robots and all that.

I really enjoyed "Misquoting Jesus" myself.  The guys who do the Reasonable Doubts podcast use this kind of info to debate Xian apoolgists.

Re: 'Physical Computing' we may be Robuts already.


So far it's (Misquoting) enjoyable. Hard to argue w/ a guy who went whole hog and learned Greek and Hebrew. He takes that stuff pretty seriously.

I often feel like a robot. I hesitate to use the term 'Meat Robot', but 'Wetware' is not much better...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on June 11, 2009, 01:36:40 PM
I loved Misquoting Jesus.  I just picked up his new one, and, at five pages in, I think it's going to be just as good.  Anyone else read it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on June 11, 2009, 05:22:36 PM
Quote from: fonpr link=topic=761.msg117628#msg117628 date=

Re: 'Physical Computing' we may be Robuts already.


Some of us more likely than others, but you're pretty low on that list, Fredericks.


Hey Buffy,

Did you compliment me?

Mind= confused.


What do you know about the Psychologist from Watchmen?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on June 11, 2009, 10:27:05 PM
Quote from: fonpr link=topic=761.msg117628#msg117628 date=

Re: 'Physical Computing' we may be Robuts already.


Some of us more likely than others, but you're pretty low on that list, Fredericks.


Hey Buffy,

Did you compliment me?

Mind= confused.


What do you know about the Psychologist from Watchmen?




I like you, Fredericksy, warily.  Don't take that personally - wary is more or less the buffcoat Way.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 11, 2009, 11:05:00 PM
Just started Simon Reynolds' Rip Up and Start Again: Postpunk, 1978-1984.  Liking it so far.  Anyone else here read it?

Yeti #7 and J.G. Ballard's Super-Cannes just came in the mail today.  I'm pretty psyched for both.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on June 12, 2009, 12:03:47 AM
Just started Simon Reynolds' Rip Up and Start Again: Postpunk, 1978-1984.  Liking it so far.  Anyone else here read it?

i started it, and life got in the way - so i only made it 70-80 pages in. i liked it a lot, though, and it's on my get-back-to-it list. i also peeked ahead to the chapter about the fall, which only made me want to purchase mark e. smith's book. and any other book about the fall.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on June 12, 2009, 10:22:38 AM
Just started Simon Reynolds' Rip Up and Start Again: Postpunk, 1978-1984.  Liking it so far.  Anyone else here read it?

Yeti #7 and J.G. Ballard's Super-Cannes just came in the mail today.  I'm pretty psyched for both.

I loved Super-Cannes. It was the first Ballard I read, I think, and it made me an instant fan.

I like you, Fredericksy, warily.  Don't take that personally - wary is more or less the buffcoat Way.

Hey, I just started The Buffcoat Way! It's good so far.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Jack from Arkansas on June 12, 2009, 10:45:27 AM
I'm finishing Game of Kings by Michael Weinreb.  It's about kids who attend Edward R. Murrow High School and are on the elite chess team there.  Some of the best players are barely going to graduate and are just as interested in making money playing cards.
     Next on my queue is Power Makers.  It's about how steam and electric power changed the world.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on June 12, 2009, 11:57:21 AM
Just started Simon Reynolds' Rip Up and Start Again: Postpunk, 1978-1984.  Liking it so far.  Anyone else here read it?

i started it, and life got in the way - so i only made it 70-80 pages in. i liked it a lot, though, and it's on my get-back-to-it list. i also peeked ahead to the chapter about the fall, which only made me want to purchase mark e. smith's book. and any other book about the fall.

Yeah, I'm about 30 pages in, and I like it, but it's pretty freaking dense.  Not dense as in academic (though, in true postpunk fashion, it is that), but dense as in music-nerd.  It makes an interesting companion to Our Band Could Be Your Life, though: after 1976-77, the UK went in an art-school/pop direction, whereas the US went into a more populist but noisier one.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Poughkeepsie on June 13, 2009, 02:53:22 AM
Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations by Simon Rich

After hearing him on Seven Second Delay I thought I'd throw him some business. Nice fun read! Short and sweet.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: icepants on June 18, 2009, 12:43:12 AM
Just started Simon Reynolds' Rip Up and Start Again: Postpunk, 1978-1984.  Liking it so far.  Anyone else here read it?

i started it, and life got in the way - so i only made it 70-80 pages in. i liked it a lot, though, and it's on my get-back-to-it list. i also peeked ahead to the chapter about the fall, which only made me want to purchase mark e. smith's book. and any other book about the fall.

Yeah, I'm about 30 pages in, and I like it, but it's pretty freaking dense.  Not dense as in academic (though, in true postpunk fashion, it is that), but dense as in music-nerd.  It makes an interesting companion to Our Band Could Be Your Life, though: after 1976-77, the UK went in an art-school/pop direction, whereas the US went into a more populist but noisier one.

Please kill me is a entertaining read.  If you like those two.

I am a big fan of band bio's lately.  Reading the Soft Machine one right now just read the replacements one and previous to that I read the No Wave Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. book
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Julie on June 18, 2009, 09:43:08 AM
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It's like watching the six hour A&E Pride and Prejudice with my big brother.

(http://thekidsgotmoxie.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on June 18, 2009, 01:12:11 PM
I keep on meaning to get this to read! Tell me if it is totally worth it, Julie.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bonnaventure on June 18, 2009, 01:50:25 PM
I am bobbing back and forth between "The Artificial Man" by L.P. Davies and "Understanding Media" by Marshall MCluhan

Both pretty good reads so far, The Artificial Man was a impulse buy because it was cheap, a first print and the cover is amazing.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/d/l-p-davies/artificial-man.htm
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on June 18, 2009, 09:57:35 PM
nabokov, "bend sinister." amazing, his ability to refigure sensation. with one exception ("invitation to a beheading"), i have been nothing less than dazzled by every word writ by the guy. one of - if not THE - best?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on June 19, 2009, 10:01:49 AM
nabokov, "bend sinister." amazing, his ability to refigure sensation. with one exception ("invitation to a beheading"), i have been nothing less than dazzled by every word writ by the guy. one of - if not THE - best?

Agreed Pale Fire might be the single greatest work of literature in English.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on June 19, 2009, 02:33:09 PM
nabokov, "bend sinister." amazing, his ability to refigure sensation. with one exception ("invitation to a beheading"), i have been nothing less than dazzled by every word writ by the guy. one of - if not THE - best?

Agreed Pale Fire might be the single greatest work of literature in English.

Thirded. I've read Pale Fire, Lolita, Pnin, Despair and Speak, Memory, and all are among my favorite books.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on June 19, 2009, 03:00:50 PM
nabokov, "bend sinister." amazing, his ability to refigure sensation. with one exception ("invitation to a beheading"), i have been nothing less than dazzled by every word writ by the guy. one of - if not THE - best?

Agreed Pale Fire might be the single greatest work of literature in English.

Thirded. I've read Pale Fire, Lolita, Pnin, Despair and Speak, Memory, and all are among my favorite books.

i'm about halfway through all of it. i've been reading his novels in the order they were published. it's interesting to watch the same images/fixations pop up again and again; the puzzles get more fun with each new book. people who write VN off as a manipulative grump unburdened by human emotions (i've heard this complaint, or ones like it, several times) must not be reading the same books as me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on June 19, 2009, 03:16:18 PM
nabokov, "bend sinister." amazing, his ability to refigure sensation. with one exception ("invitation to a beheading"), i have been nothing less than dazzled by every word writ by the guy. one of - if not THE - best?

Agreed Pale Fire might be the single greatest work of literature in English.

Thirded. I've read Pale Fire, Lolita, Pnin, Despair and Speak, Memory, and all are among my favorite books.

i'm about halfway through all of it. i've been reading his novels in the order they were published. it's interesting to watch the same images/fixations pop up again and again; the puzzles get more fun with each new book. people who write VN off as a manipulative grump unburdened by human emotions (i've heard this complaint, or ones like it, several times) must not be reading the same books as me.

Yeah -- that complaint doesn't fly with me either. In particular, Pnin seems to me an incredibly engaging and sympathetic character study.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on June 19, 2009, 05:20:51 PM
The Annotated Lolita is amazing.  The games that man played with language and meaning are astounding.  I certainly needed a guide to find them, let alone understand them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on June 19, 2009, 05:57:21 PM
The Annotated Lolita is amazing.  The games that man played with language and meaning are astounding.  I certainly needed a guide to find them, let alone understand them.


cough (http://www.friendsoftom.com/forum/index.php/topic,4714.msg98308.html#msg98308)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on June 20, 2009, 09:39:18 AM
If I had a hat, I would doff it to you.  If I had six hats, I would doff them all to you.   If I had fifteen hats, then I would have a lot of hats.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: nec13 on July 01, 2009, 10:26:15 PM
I'm currently into the third chapter of "Nixonland" by Rick Perlstein. It's a good read, thus far. It also confirms what I had long suspected about Richard Nixon, he was a brilliant, but paranoid creep.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on July 01, 2009, 10:30:44 PM
Just finished up Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Uniform Union. His ability to blend genre and literature so effortlessly never fails to impress me. I loved the little glimpses into the alternate history of the book, too (for example, the main character's favorite movie is Orson Welles's version of Heart of Darkness). I will say that it kind of stalled out right before the big reveal of the mystery that started the book but it coasted into a satisfying ending.

*Fixed that for myself.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on July 02, 2009, 12:41:46 AM
Just finished up Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Uniform. His ability to blend genre and literature so effortlessly never fails to impress me. I loved the little glimpses into the alternate history of the book, too (for example, the main character's favorite movie is Orson Welles's version of Heart of Darkness). I will say that it kind of stalled out right before the big reveal of the mystery that started the book but it coasted into a satisfying ending.

Chabon is anohter favorite.  I was first introduced to his work though the film adaptation of Wonder Boys  I'm amazed at how confident he is in releasing lesser works after Kavalier and Klay.  Everything since has been good, but not as good.  Lots of writers get so hung up on topping their masterpiece tht they never manage to publish anything.  Gentlemen of the ROad is pretty good, too.  They way this medieval questing tale becomes a theological treatise is fascinating.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 02, 2009, 12:44:50 AM
Speaking of alternate-universe Jews, I polished off Philip Roth's The Plot Against America in two days.  What an awesome read.  Now I am on to Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which is OK but not great. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on July 02, 2009, 09:48:23 AM
Speaking of alternate-universe Jews, I polished off Philip Roth's The Plot Against America in two days.  What an awesome read.  Now I am on to Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which is OK but not great. 



I thought of Perkins' book when I read this article.



http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/article.php?article=25758
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on July 02, 2009, 10:31:54 AM
I am reading Sherlock Holmes for the first time, which is a trip. Next up is David Dark's The Sacredness of Questioning Everything. I love the premise, but I hope the writing style is less clumsy than the title.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on July 02, 2009, 11:45:56 AM
The new Kasper Hauser books, Obama's Blackberry and Weddings of the Times, are very funny.

Just started reading Blood Meridian, looking forward to all the bloodshed everyone keeps warning me about.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on July 02, 2009, 12:33:42 PM
I am reading Sherlock Holmes for the first time, which is a trip. Next up is David Dark's The Sacredness of Questioning Everything. I love the premise, but I hope the writing style is less clumsy than the title.

I read the first volume of the Complete Collected Sherlock Holmes. It was pretty good but for some reason took me forever to get through. I'd read a story and then read something else. On and on.

I really love how casual Sherlock Holmes is about his cocaine use. He's just like "I'm bored so I do coke".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on July 02, 2009, 12:56:54 PM

I really love how casual Sherlock Holmes is about his cocaine use. He's just like "I'm bored so I do coke".

Something tells me the upcoming Guy Ritchie version of Holmes will be extremely faithful in that respect. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bakersfieldchimp on July 02, 2009, 03:19:50 PM
Just started Calvino's "The Castle of Crossed Destinies", and it's already pretty great.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on July 02, 2009, 04:45:02 PM
The new Kasper Hauser books, Obama's Blackberry and Weddings of the Times, are very funny.

Just started reading Blood Meridian, looking forward to all the bloodshed everyone keeps warning me about.

There are Kasper Hauser books? Besides SkyMaul(?) I mean?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on July 02, 2009, 06:37:33 PM
I finally just bought and started This Is Your Brain on Music, which I've been meaning to get for years (it's exactly what I'm interested in- I'm a biopsychology and music major). I've only really read the section that largely consists of going over basic music things I already know so far, but it's interesting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on July 02, 2009, 07:28:56 PM
Hammett's The Thin Man. It's my first crack at his stuff and he's much funnier than I would have guessed. Though on the surface the style is very simple and direct, it's so compact that it took me a few hours of slogging before I finally got the hang of it.

'She was small and blonde, and whether you looked at her face or at her body in powder-blue sports clothes, the result was satisfactory.'
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on July 02, 2009, 10:52:33 PM
Hammett's The Thin Man. It's my first crack at his stuff and he's much funnier than I would have guessed. Though on the surface the style is very simple and direct, it's so compact that it took me a few hours of slogging before I finally got the hang of it.

'She was small and blonde, and whether you looked at her face or at her body in powder-blue sports clothes, the result was satisfactory.'

While Hammett generally has a wit in his work, don't expect the funny in his other works like there is in The Thin Man. But I highly recommend Red Harvest.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on July 03, 2009, 02:13:10 PM
The new Kasper Hauser books, Obama's Blackberry and Weddings of the Times, are very funny.

Just started reading Blood Meridian, looking forward to all the bloodshed everyone keeps warning me about.


There are Kasper Hauser books? Besides SkyMaul(?) I mean?


Yeah, they just came out a few weeks ago.  Obama's Blackberry got some interesting press (http://www.avclub.com/articles/iranian-state-tv-mistakes-sketchcomedy-troupe-for,28803/) when an Iranian state TV network reported that the group had actually hacked into his Blackberry and were sharing sensitive exchanges.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on July 03, 2009, 02:15:12 PM
Hammett's The Thin Man. It's my first crack at his stuff and he's much funnier than I would have guessed. Though on the surface the style is very simple and direct, it's so compact that it took me a few hours of slogging before I finally got the hang of it.

'She was small and blonde, and whether you looked at her face or at her body in powder-blue sports clothes, the result was satisfactory.'

While Hammett generally has a wit in his work, don't expect the funny in his other works like there is in The Thin Man. But I highly recommend Red Harvest.

Red Harvest is the only one of his books I've finished so far, but it's really great.  I'm curious to read The Thin Man, Maltese Falcon, etc. because I'm so familiar with their movie adaptations I'm wondering if I'll like the stories more.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on July 03, 2009, 05:26:55 PM
Hammett's The Thin Man. It's my first crack at his stuff and he's much funnier than I would have guessed. Though on the surface the style is very simple and direct, it's so compact that it took me a few hours of slogging before I finally got the hang of it.

'She was small and blonde, and whether you looked at her face or at her body in powder-blue sports clothes, the result was satisfactory.'

While Hammett generally has a wit in his work, don't expect the funny in his other works like there is in The Thin Man. But I highly recommend Red Harvest.

Red Harvest is the only one of his books I've finished so far, but it's really great.  I'm curious to read The Thin Man, Maltese Falcon, etc. because I'm so familiar with their movie adaptations I'm wondering if I'll like the stories more.

It's been a few years but I'm pretty sure the book version of the Maltese Falcon and the movie version with Bogart are nearly identical. I can't remember any glaring differences. And they're both worth your time.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on July 03, 2009, 08:17:03 PM
I just finished Nick Tosches's HELLFIRE last week. Holy moley, what a terrific book.

I got three more Tosches books from the library: THE DEVIL AND SONNY LISTON, KING OF THE JEWS and POWER ON EARTH. I will be reading them in that order (though I might move KING OF THE JEWS to the front of the line, since I suspect it's a biography of me).

I checked out his MySpace as well. Ew buoy. His fans? Kinda creepy - they call him "Saint Nick". He's a musician as well, and he has his Boxmasters-caliber rock posted there for all to enjoy. And if you needed another reason to dock a couple points from this guy, here's a great two-line poem he posted a while back:

     "Just Say Yes"
     By Nick Tosches

     Talk to your kids about drugs.
     Tell them where to cop.

And I have no doubt he actually believes it. Maybe I should burn these books instead...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on July 04, 2009, 04:08:50 AM
Insomnia. There's no emoticon here for what I am feeling... :-\ maybe.

Some of my faves:

The Crazyladies of Pearl Street - Trevanian (set in my home town of Albany!)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
The Giver - Lois Lowry
Sons and Lovers - D. H. Lawrence
V. - Thomas Pynchon
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
Youth in Revolt - C. D. Payne
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway

Just finished:

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Starting:

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

In the middle of:

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
The Stranger - Albert Camus

Will Read Soon:

Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
The Other Boleyn Girl - Phillipa Gregory
The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
Insect Dreams The Half Life of Gregor Samsa - Marc Estrin

Most Ridiculous Book I've Ever Read:

Friends: A Love Story - Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on July 04, 2009, 09:44:48 AM

Just finished:

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Starting:

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

In the middle of:

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
The Stranger - Albert Camus


So you're a simultaneous reader? Me too. When I was younger I used to sometimes have six or seven on the go at once, but now it's more like three. Even now, though, a book will occasionally fall off my radar and I'll find it in a bedside table drawer months later, half-read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on July 04, 2009, 06:01:05 PM
I just finished The Angel Riots by Ibi Kaslik and I'm feeling really really disappointed. Like, way more than I should be. All the reviews and profiles I'd read before the book were really complimentary, plus I keep hearing all about how great she is and the book was nominated for a Trillium prize and everyone I know who's met her says she is scary nice, so. The whole book was just super melodramatic and kind of humourless and overwritten and I had a ton of problems with it and I probably should not care so much, blah blah blah.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on July 04, 2009, 09:32:34 PM
I just finished Nick Tosches's HELLFIRE last week. Holy moley, what a terrific book.

I got three more Tosches books from the library: THE DEVIL AND SONNY LISTON, KING OF THE JEWS and POWER ON EARTH. I will be reading them in that order (though I might move KING OF THE JEWS to the front of the line, since I suspect it's a biography of me).

I'm a huge Tosches fan and, unfortunately, you started at the top of the mountain and there's nowhere to go but down. Of the three books you have, I'd read Power on Earth first since it's the best of the group. King of the Jews is incredibly frustrating and definitely one of his lesser efforts - I'd recommend leaving it for last or even skipping it entirely. Most of the interesting thoughts and insights are things he's said elsewhere.

If you're looking to stick with biographies, you definitely need to read Dino.

His three novels all kinda sorta exist within the crime fiction world. In the Hand of Dante is his most ambitious (and, in my opinion, best) novel, but it tends to polarize readers. Although it uses a lot of crime fiction elements, it's a very unique and weird book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on July 04, 2009, 10:51:52 PM
I have a problem w/ simultaneous/parallel reading, too.

It only got worse when I got a kindle. I don't think I'll ever finish a book again, although I do still plow through graphic novels.



Just finished:

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Starting:

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

In the middle of:

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
The Stranger - Albert Camus


So you're a simultaneous reader? Me too. When I was younger I used to sometimes have six or seven on the go at once, but now it's more like three. Even now, though, a book will occasionally fall off my radar and I'll find it in a bedside table drawer months later, half-read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on July 04, 2009, 11:40:10 PM
Just finished:

(http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n61/n306787.jpg)

And them immediately started:

(http://thedecaturminute.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/ft_stjohn.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on July 04, 2009, 11:46:10 PM
I have a problem w/ simultaneous/parallel reading, too.

It only got worse when I got a kindle. I don't think I'll ever finish a book again, although I do still plow through graphic novels.



Just finished:

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Starting:

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

In the middle of:

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
The Stranger - Albert Camus



So you're a simultaneous reader? Me too. When I was younger I used to sometimes have six or seven on the go at once, but now it's more like three. Even now, though, a book will occasionally fall off my radar and I'll find it in a bedside table drawer months later, half-read.



I read multiple books simultaneously up until this year. I just got frustrated because I could never finish any of the books I was reading. One at a time, people, one at a time.

Oh- and I am rereading (http://www.sd68.k12.il.us/schools/orchard/LMC/abarat.jpg)
It is a superb YA book! Barker's supposedly just finished the 3rd book in the series, which I cannot wait for. And the paintings/illustrations are GORGEOUS.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on July 05, 2009, 12:44:02 AM
Yeah I usually have a few books I'm reading at any given time, but I do usually finish them (with the exceptions of Atlas Shrugged, War & Peace, and Anna Karenina). I have a book club so I kind of have to read the book for that, and then I'll pick up whatever else I'm reading in between. But then, for example, Infinite Jest is a huge book and doesn't travel well for me because I take the subway and ride my bike everywhere, so I'll pick up a physically smaller book to read on the train and before I know it I'm reading 3 or 4 books at a time.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on July 05, 2009, 11:35:06 AM
I just finished Nick Tosches's HELLFIRE last week. Holy moley, what a terrific book.


One of the greatest biographies OR rock books ever written.  Engrossing from word one.  I don't know how many times I've "gifted" this book to people. 

Clinton Heylin's "Behind the Shades", while exhaustive, is excellent as well.  SLOW towards the middle section.  You know, the period with all the great albums. 


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 07, 2009, 12:02:01 AM
Just finished Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.  I can't recommend it, really, but I am going to give it to the Roanoke, VA Goodwill in the hopes that someone who doesn't already know that "free trade" is a scam might stumble onto it.  It's readable and more or less informative.

Now reading Grief Lessons: Four Plays, which are some lesser-known Euripides plays translated by Anne Carson.  Anne Carson is fucking awesome.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on July 07, 2009, 08:29:23 AM
Mick Foley's Tietam Brown. It's... OK. Funny at times in a manic kind of way, but it feels like a YA novel with a lot of graphic sex thrown in. It received a surprising amount of serious critical praise when it came out, and the author used to be a pro wrestler who went by the name Mankind (pretty famous I think), so I was intrigued enough to give his first novel a try. Now I think a lot of the praise came out of the critics' surprise that this guy knows how to put a sentence together.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on July 07, 2009, 10:24:02 AM
I just finished The Angel Riots by Ibi Kaslik and I'm feeling really really disappointed. Like, way more than I should be. All the reviews and profiles I'd read before the book were really complimentary, plus I keep hearing all about how great she is and the book was nominated for a Trillium prize and everyone I know who's met her says she is scary nice, so. The whole book was just super melodramatic and kind of humourless and overwritten and I had a ton of problems with it and I probably should not care so much, blah blah blah.


I haven't read her books, but I have noticed all the good buzz. I was given a copy of her first book by a friend and didn't read it - it just looked like a teensploitation book dressed up as upmarket fiction. I've also heard she's a very nice, cool person. I'm sorry to hear her writing is as crummy as I'd suspected.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on July 07, 2009, 11:18:53 AM
Mick Foley's Tietam Brown. It's... OK. Funny at times in a manic kind of way, but it feels like a YA novel with a lot of graphic sex thrown in. It received a surprising amount of serious critical praise when it came out, and the author used to be a pro wrestler who went by the name Mankind (pretty famous I think), so I was intrigued enough to give his first novel a try. Now I think a lot of the praise came out of the critics' surprise that this guy knows how to put a sentence together.

I read that book a while ago right around when it first came out. I remember it being probably the most depressing book I've ever read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 07, 2009, 03:20:40 PM
I've been subbing in all the Choose Your Own Adventures I never read as a kid.  Thanks, eBay!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: BVS on July 07, 2009, 06:54:09 PM
Just finishing up Nelson George's THE DEATH OF RHYTHM AND BLUES - i like it quite a bit, but i'm glad i read the introduction where he says that he talks about musicians/albums/songs that have specific relevance to him and didn't try and be comprehensive, because there are a ton of really important holes in the narrative.  But overall, i really enjoy it. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on July 08, 2009, 01:08:18 AM
I've been subbing in all the Choose Your Own Adventures I never read as a kid.  Thanks, eBay!

I just referenced one of those CYOA stories yesterday- the one with the Statue of Liberty. That one wasn't one of my favorites, because at one point your adventure could end up with you dangling from the spike of Lady Liberty's crown, and since I'm afraid of heights, just imagining what that could be like tore my nerves to shreds when I was little.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on July 08, 2009, 01:15:43 AM
I loved those.  Ever read any of the Time Machine books?  They were CYOA for older readers.  Not as good, but still neat.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on July 08, 2009, 02:41:26 AM
The only Clive Barker book I've read was The Thief of Always, when I was a tween. I liked it, and it freaked me out. I couldn't remember the title, but I remember the cover distinctly:

(http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n0/n1792.jpg)



Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: pscan on July 08, 2009, 05:23:57 AM
I just read the first 100 pages of Wally Lamb's latest book (The Hour I First Believed), and I'm giving up after 100 pages or so. It's one of those books where every personal detail given about a character ends up being something horrible, and usually sexual. Gross. And a disappointment.

On the other hand, started reading The Invention of Hugo Cabaret. What a lovely book. It's heavily illustrated, and the drawing are really transporting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Wes on July 08, 2009, 09:12:29 AM
I've been subbing in all the Choose Your Own Adventures I never read as a kid.  Thanks, eBay!

This should definitely be the next review thread on the board. But only if you have a copy of either Vampire Express or Space Vampire, which were the high points of the series. This had nothing to do with them being about vampires, by the way. That was just a coincidence.

If nothing else, I think we should at least have a "best Choose Your Own Advenutre cover" thread.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 08, 2009, 07:29:23 PM
I'm for that.

Finished the Greek plays, now onto Obama's Dreams From My Father.  So far it's as good as everyone says it is.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 08, 2009, 09:57:32 PM
I've been subbing in all the Choose Your Own Adventures I never read as a kid.  Thanks, eBay!

This should definitely be the next review thread on the board. But only if you have a copy of either Vampire Express or Space Vampire, which were the high points of the series. This had nothing to do with them being about vampires, by the way. That was just a coincidence.

If nothing else, I think we should at least have a "best Choose Your Own Advenutre cover" thread.

I have copies of every single effing one, Wes(ley).  And all the Time Machine books AND the D&D Endless Quest books.  I went a little nuts in the early days of eBay.  After I paid $50 for a Nerf Golf set from 1984 I had to let it go for awhile.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on July 08, 2009, 11:06:43 PM
I just read Amazon's paper on Dynamo. For the hell of it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Wes on July 08, 2009, 11:30:47 PM
I've been subbing in all the Choose Your Own Adventures I never read as a kid.  Thanks, eBay!


This should definitely be the next review thread on the board. But only if you have a copy of either Vampire Express or Space Vampire, which were the high points of the series. This had nothing to do with them being about vampires, by the way. That was just a coincidence.

If nothing else, I think we should at least have a "best Choose Your Own Adventure cover" thread.


I have copies of every single effing one, Wes(ley).  And all the Time Machine books AND the D&D Endless Quest books.  I went a little nuts in the early days of eBay.  After I paid $50 for a Nerf Golf set from 1984 I had to let it go for awhile.


Did you get any of the Wizards, Warriors & You books? I remember them being the finest of the choose your own adventure style books. I was always the Warrior, though, because the Wizard was kind of a douche.

This site (http://www.gamebooks.org/show_series_images.php?id=30) has covers of the whole CYOA series, including the shitty reissue covers and Australian variant covers. I think the spinoff thread needs to happen now. Also, I never knew there was a sequel to Space Vampire. Now I know why my life has felt empty all these years.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on July 09, 2009, 12:33:33 AM
I've been subbing in all the Choose Your Own Adventures I never read as a kid.  Thanks, eBay!

This should definitely be the next review thread on the board. But only if you have a copy of either Vampire Express or Space Vampire, which were the high points of the series. This had nothing to do with them being about vampires, by the way. That was just a coincidence.

If nothing else, I think we should at least have a "best Choose Your Own Advenutre cover" thread.

I have copies of every single effing one, Wes(ley).  And all the Time Machine books AND the D&D Endless Quest books.  I went a little nuts in the early days of eBay.  After I paid $50 for a Nerf Golf set from 1984 I had to let it go for awhile.

Does anyone else remember the Zork CYOA-style books?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 09, 2009, 01:15:45 AM
Did you get the magic sneakers from the Prince of Kaldorn?














I have em all.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: orator on July 09, 2009, 01:21:22 AM
Reading Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. Cool book. I think it was the inspiration for Yojimbo/Fist Full of Dollars ect.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on July 09, 2009, 10:44:32 AM
im reading a book on overpopulation that i havent decided if i like yet.  although i did notice that i paid more for it at goodwill than the price it has printed on the cover.

oh, brother.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 09, 2009, 11:25:33 AM
I've been subbing in all the Choose Your Own Adventures I never read as a kid.  Thanks, eBay!


This should definitely be the next review thread on the board. But only if you have a copy of either Vampire Express or Space Vampire, which were the high points of the series. This had nothing to do with them being about vampires, by the way. That was just a coincidence.

If nothing else, I think we should at least have a "best Choose Your Own Adventure cover" thread.


I have copies of every single effing one, Wes(ley).  And all the Time Machine books AND the D&D Endless Quest books.  I went a little nuts in the early days of eBay.  After I paid $50 for a Nerf Golf set from 1984 I had to let it go for awhile.


Did you get any of the Wizards, Warriors & You books? I remember them being the finest of the choose your own adventure style books. I was always the Warrior, though, because the Wizard was kind of a douche.

This site ([url]http://www.gamebooks.org/show_series_images.php?id=30[/url]) has covers of the whole CYOA series, including the shitty reissue covers and Australian variant covers. I think the spinoff thread needs to happen now. Also, I never knew there was a sequel to Space Vampire. Now I know why my life has felt empty all these years.



I'm very familiar with Mr. Katz' fine site, which dates way back.

You can pick up all the books at half.com for more or less the price of shipping.




I liked "Which Way Books" from Archway paperbacks (the cookie people?).  A fat guy made you STICK YOUR HAND IN A BOX FULL OF SCORPIONS.  That's what kids are missing these days.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Hearts of Steele on July 09, 2009, 10:21:22 PM
Trudging through "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I just started chapter 3 (aka pg 93).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 12, 2009, 08:53:24 PM
Trudging through "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I just started chapter 3 (aka pg 93).

It would be awesome if this was a choose your own adventure book.

I'm about 30 pages away from the end of Obama's Dreams From My Father, and it kinda ran out of steam a little while ago, but I'm so close to the end I might as well finish it.  In any case, it's still a lot better than most books written by politicians.  I think after this I'm going to catch up with my unread back issues of Yeti.  I have a bad habit of getting issues of journals and not getting around to reading them until long after I'm not really into them anymore.  Every so often I'll force myself through a back issue of McSweeney's just to feel like I'm getting my money's worth (though there usually are a handful of good pieces in each issue, even if the presentation feels too-cute and dated).  Tin House and The Baffler, on the other hand, still hold up pretty well.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on July 12, 2009, 09:13:48 PM
Reading Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. Cool book. I think it was the inspiration for Yojimbo/Fist Full of Dollars ect.

That book rocks, as do all the movies -- have you seen Last One Standing with Bruce Willis & directed by Walter Hill?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on July 12, 2009, 10:02:13 PM
I'm for that.

Finished the Greek plays, now onto Obama's Dreams From My Father.  So far it's as good as everyone says it is.

I read The Audacity of Hope and thought it had a great message that he kind of reworded a bunch of times until it was long enough to be a book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 12, 2009, 11:53:00 PM
Yeah, I'm not going anywhere near Audacity of Hope.  That's more like an actual politician book.  I don't know that Dreams From My Father could have come out once Obama started running for major office.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on July 13, 2009, 02:50:18 AM
Yeah, I'm not going anywhere near Audacity of Hope.  That's more like an actual politician book.  I don't know that Dreams From My Father could have come out once Obama started running for major office.


This is the only political book I can recommend.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51qWl2f2XEL._SS500_.jpg)

I actually do have "The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro Agnew" which is just blank pages.  Get it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 13, 2009, 10:31:17 AM
I have a vague memory of reading that Agnew gag in MAD 400 years ago.  Was it a real book, too?

Did Dole release that as a campaign lead-up?  I would be awesome if he wrote the intro to a guide for swinging in 1976, one for a book about finding the g-spot in 1988, and then this one in 1996.

Sorry everybody. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on July 13, 2009, 10:58:36 AM
I have a vague memory of reading that Agnew gag in MAD 400 years ago.  Was it a real book, too?

Yeah, I bought it at a library sale about 4 years ago.  I wish I could report that it had library stickers and stuff on it, meaning it had sat uselessly on the shelves for 30 or so years, but it was pristine.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 13, 2009, 11:04:44 AM
I think you mean christine.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on July 13, 2009, 11:12:18 AM
I have a vague memory of reading that Agnew gag in MAD 400 years ago.  Was it a real book, too?


You can get it used for two buck plus four for shipping on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Wit-Wisdom-Spiro-T-Agnew/dp/B000KOT46W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247497873&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on July 14, 2009, 06:43:12 PM
(http://web3.twitpic.com/img/17422344-af942756cb0e1ad7ec2aff3bc73a2f61.4a5d09d9-scaled.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on July 15, 2009, 12:55:22 AM
I'm giving Gravity's Rainbow another shot. I don't know if I'll make it through.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on July 15, 2009, 01:34:00 AM
Currently reading Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough about Geoffry Canada and the Harlem Children's Zone. Kind of slow but really good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Satchm0 on July 15, 2009, 03:23:56 AM
Starting Remainder by Tom McCarthy. Anyone read it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on July 15, 2009, 07:48:00 AM
Starting Remainder by Tom McCarthy. Anyone read it?

I loved this book. I'm not saying any more about it though.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on July 15, 2009, 11:48:56 AM
Just finished:

(http://a6.vox.com/6a00b8ea0723f51bc000e398de684e0005-500pi)

I enjoyed it. A simple story, but the circus / Great Depression history makes it interesting. It's a quick read, fast-paced.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on July 15, 2009, 12:22:17 PM
If you haven't joined already, these are great:

http://www.librarything.com/ (http://www.librarything.com/)

http://www.paperbackswap.com (http://www.paperbackswap.com)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on July 15, 2009, 12:35:30 PM
im on http://bookcrossing.com
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on July 15, 2009, 01:11:55 PM
I'm on Bookmooch.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on July 15, 2009, 02:16:42 PM
I'm on Bookmooch.

Cool site.  That's where I tracked down Harmony Korine's A Crack Up at the Race Riots, Strom Thurmond's ultra-rare Filibustering for Dummies, and The 1990s Alternative Rock 'n Roll Music Coloring Book with a forward by Lisa Kennedy Montgomery.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Louis Lame on July 15, 2009, 02:22:50 PM
I just started reading The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy, I'm huge fan of his other stories and so far this one delivers. Super eerie, sort of other worldly feeling read but he has such a pragmatic way of telling stories you can burn through his works no problem.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on July 15, 2009, 02:39:17 PM
(http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/I-Drink-Reason-David-Cross/dp/0446579483)

I read the first 30 pages last night.  I didn't care for any of the text on those pages.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on July 15, 2009, 02:54:47 PM

I read the first 30 pages last night.  I didn't care for any of the text on those pages.

Is it not so good, then? I was wondering ...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bakersfieldchimp on July 15, 2009, 02:56:39 PM
Just started The King in Yellow-- you know you're in for a great read when the person who wrote the introduction openly admits that the author has somewhat deservedly begun to fade into obscurity.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on July 15, 2009, 02:59:36 PM
David Cross is good on TV shows.  But his comedy routines make me want to pour poison into the porches of my ears. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on July 15, 2009, 03:03:04 PM
If you haven't joined already, these are great:

[url]http://www.librarything.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.librarything.com/[/url])

[url]http://www.paperbackswap.com[/url] ([url]http://www.paperbackswap.com[/url])


LibraryThing's unsuggester is my favorite e-tool.

http://www.librarything.com/unsuggester/

I am so glad that the second most opposite of Lords of Chaos (http://www.librarything.com/work/50009) (a great book) is The Tipping Point.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on July 15, 2009, 03:07:39 PM

I read the first 30 pages last night.  I didn't care for any of the text on those pages.

Is it not so good, then? I was wondering ...

Based on these pages, I would recommend avoiding the book.  The stuff I read included a staggeringly unfunny preface about not wanting to write the book, and a few short chapters featuring "rants" that were also not funny or remotely insightful.  One of these rants was a bizarre attack on cops that seemed better suited to the first Body Count record.   Cross is also not a fan of fat and/or lazy people.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on July 15, 2009, 03:12:30 PM

Based on these pages, I would recommend avoiding the book.  The stuff I read included a staggeringly unfunny preface about not wanting to write the book, and a few short chapters featuring "rants" that were also not funny or remotely insightful.  One of these rants was a bizarre attack on cops that seemed better suited to the first Body Count record.   Cross is also not a fan of fat and/or lazy people.

I just read a few pages on amazon, and I see what you mean. I was hoping for something better after hearing that he explained his Jim Belushi hatred in the book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: iAmBaronVonTito on July 15, 2009, 03:24:49 PM
David Cross is good on TV shows.  But his comedy routines make me want to pour poison into the porches of my ears.  

i like his stand-up but after awhile, i admit, it gets old and tired hearing about how much he hates or loathes whatever he's on a rant about.  yes, we get it, you think religion is a load of shit.

on the other hand, it doesnt stop me from listening to his albums and watching everything he's involved with.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: timmx on July 15, 2009, 03:27:21 PM
Nathan Rabin, who wrote this article http://www.avclub.com/articles/portraits-of-awesomeness-3-scharpling-wurster,8635/ (http://www.avclub.com/articles/portraits-of-awesomeness-3-scharpling-wurster,8635/) has a new book out called "The Big Rewind."

From what I've read I'd highly recommend it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on July 15, 2009, 10:41:52 PM
The religious aspect may turn you off, but that's a shame, because this

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee183/gaughin/41t4rn-RhDL_SL500_AA240_.jpg)

is fan-fucking-tastic.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on July 15, 2009, 11:40:39 PM
Nathan Rabin, who wrote this article [url]http://www.avclub.com/articles/portraits-of-awesomeness-3-scharpling-wurster,8635/[/url] ([url]http://www.avclub.com/articles/portraits-of-awesomeness-3-scharpling-wurster,8635/[/url]) has a new book out called "The Big Rewind."

From what I've read I'd highly recommend it.

That just came from Amazon! I haven't started it yet.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: slipperyslope on July 16, 2009, 03:39:48 AM
If you want something "different", heady, gritty but still accessible..
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall changed my reading forever. I can't appreciate a work of fiction anymore because this was so good, and everything else is weak to me. You've been warned.


http://www.amazon.ca/Raw-Shark-Texts-Steven-Hall/dp/0002008408
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on July 16, 2009, 11:58:15 AM
If you want something "different", heady, gritty but still accessible..
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall changed my reading forever. I can't appreciate a work of fiction anymore because this was so good, and everything else is weak to me. You've been warned.


[url]http://www.amazon.ca/Raw-Shark-Texts-Steven-Hall/dp/0002008408[/url]


This is a WATCHMEN spin-off, I take it? One of the detectives' diaries or something like that?

I picked up some books yesterday: Don DeLillo's UNDERWORLD and Henry Miller's SEXUS and PLEXUS. And a couple of weeks before that, I picked up Richard Price's LUSH LIFE and a couple others, none of which I've touched since. I'm calling a moratorium on purchasing new books until I read every one I own that I haven't read. This should keep me busy for the next three years.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on July 16, 2009, 02:14:58 PM
The religious aspect may turn you off, but that's a shame, because this

([url]http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee183/gaughin/41t4rn-RhDL_SL500_AA240_.jpg[/url])

is fan-fucking-tastic.


I liked his The Gospel According to America.  I'll check this out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Hearts of Steele on July 16, 2009, 03:52:13 PM
Trudging through "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I just started chapter 3 (aka pg 93).

It would be awesome if this was a choose your own adventure book.

Except all the adventures end the same way. Prison/work camp.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on July 16, 2009, 04:28:40 PM
"speak, memory," nabokov.

and also that doug kenney bio in about an hour or two. real time!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 16, 2009, 04:30:21 PM
I started "Lolita" two days ago.

We'll see if all the fuss about Vladdy is justified.  Oh, yes, we will see.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Dan B on July 16, 2009, 04:48:15 PM
While I haven't read Lolita, Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading is my jam.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on July 16, 2009, 04:55:43 PM
buffcoat: do tell as ye proceed!

dan b: i liked "invitation to a beheading" plenty but it still sits below the rest of his books for me. a second read will probably remedy my ranking! (it's been a bit but the descriptions of the soon-to-be-beheaded's family - his wife, in particular - i recall as being awfully funny and also so so sad at the same time; that's what sticks with me. also, the warden, and the STBB's fellow prisoner.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on July 16, 2009, 05:14:11 PM
Reading Pale Fire now.  It's Nabokov Summer Jam '09.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on July 16, 2009, 05:31:49 PM
Read Camus's The Stranger for the first time. On to The Metamorphosis, also for the first time. I guess it's a classic existentialist kind of week.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on July 16, 2009, 05:45:27 PM
Read Camus's The Stranger for the first time. On to The Metamorphosis, also for the first time. I guess it's a classic existentialist kind of week.

mr nabokov has a very nice essay (sorta) on "the metamorphosis" in his "lectures on literature." with pitchers!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: nec13 on July 16, 2009, 05:53:36 PM
Still trudging through this:

(http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss153/penguino67/nixonland.jpg)

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on July 16, 2009, 05:55:56 PM
Two-thirds of the way through Eye Mind: Paul Drummond.  
The Elevators are recording Easter Everywhere.  
No mention of Johnny Winter yet.  I'm surprised he's gotta be in there somewhere.

Would be done with it but I read Drunkard's Walk cover to cover once I started it was all I wanted to read.

Chapters 9 and 10  were eye opening.

Apple had to make Itunes' Random Play less random so people would think it was random.

Hah, I like stuff like that.

Warning - while you were typing a new reply has been posted. You may wish to review your post.

Hah... I like stuff like that too.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on July 16, 2009, 06:21:35 PM
I'm reading a Leni Reifenstahl bio. God she was loony tunes.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: sleepytako on July 16, 2009, 06:53:26 PM
I'm working, slowly, through City of Quartz, Mike Davis' scalding, Marxist history of Los Angeles. It's a bit old, but very thought provoking and explains the the strange malaise and lack of culture that made growing up and living here stressful and depressing for me.

http://www.versobooks.com/books/cdef/d-titles/davis_m_city_of_quartz.shtml
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fletcher munson on July 16, 2009, 07:02:33 PM
I'm reading a Leni Reifenstahl bio. God she was loony tunes.

Ever see the movie?  That chick had nice legs.
(http://i705.photobucket.com/albums/ww57/afamilyofturtles/lenireifensthal.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fletcher munson on July 16, 2009, 07:03:56 PM
I'm working, slowly, through City of Quartz, Mike Davis' scalding, Marxist history of Los Angeles. It's a bit old, but very thought provoking and explains the the strange malaise and lack of culture that made growing up and living here stressful and depressing for me.

[url]http://www.versobooks.com/books/cdef/d-titles/davis_m_city_of_quartz.shtml[/url]


I'm reading Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey.  Totally depressing stories that take place in L.A.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on July 16, 2009, 07:22:03 PM
I'm reading a Leni Reifenstahl bio. God she was loony tunes.

Ever see the movie?  That chick had nice legs.
([url]http://i705.photobucket.com/albums/ww57/afamilyofturtles/lenireifensthal.jpg[/url])


Sure have. I've got a weird obsession w/her.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on July 16, 2009, 09:35:50 PM
I started "Lolita" two days ago.

We'll see if all the fuss about Vladdy is justified.  Oh, yes, we will see.

Pale Fire is better.  Lolita is an amazing book, but not his best.  Even if you don't like it, keep plugging away at Nabokov.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on July 16, 2009, 09:37:27 PM
I'm reading a Leni Reifenstahl bio. God she was loony tunes.

Ever see the movie?  That chick had nice legs.
([url]http://i705.photobucket.com/albums/ww57/afamilyofturtles/lenireifensthal.jpg[/url])


Sure have. I've got a weird obsession w/her.


It has to be said, Triumph of the Will is an amazing film.  Breathtaking and inspiring.  Inspiring for evil, but she could direct the hell outta shit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 16, 2009, 10:25:12 PM
Additional cheers for Mike Davis and Nabokov.  I'm heading back to NYC this weekend -- I was planning on picking up Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek while I'm up there, because I'm about a quarter mile from Tinker Creek, but maybe I'll pick up some Nabokov too.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on July 17, 2009, 01:23:20 AM
i have an idea what book i may NOT be reading if there is not a marked improvement soon: josh karp's biography of doug kenney, "a futile and stupid gesture." it is painful to read. PAINFUL. you know the worst A&E writer for your local alternative weekly? the one who will occasionally find an interesting story but muck it up in the telling to such a degree that you begin to question the worth of what inspired such bad writing? imagine he/she churned out 400-odd pages on that subject.

man.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Big Plastic Head on July 17, 2009, 02:43:52 AM
I have been saving the latest Hodgman book for my vacation. Which starts tomorrow. No, I am not braggin'. But I am REALLY looking forward to it. His first was so much fun. I think the biggest laugh in the first book was when I was reading the "700 Hobos" part, reading all these great hobo names and then arriving at the hobo name of Terry Gross (http://www.e-hobo.com/hoboes/i/65282424).

Goddamn that's funny.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 17, 2009, 11:34:30 AM
I have been saving the latest Hodgman book for my vacation. Which starts tomorrow. No, I am not braggin'. But I am REALLY looking forward to it. His first was so much fun. I think the biggest laugh in the first book was when I was reading the "700 Hobos" part, reading all these great hobo names and then arriving at the hobo name of Terry Gross ([url]http://www.e-hobo.com/hoboes/i/65282424[/url]).

Goddamn that's funny.


The great and terrible thing about a Hodgman book is that it is unruinable.  I thought and thought but I can't figure out how to spoil it for you.

Have a fun read, damn you.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on July 17, 2009, 11:51:57 AM
I have been saving the latest Hodgman book for my vacation. Which starts tomorrow. No, I am not braggin'. But I am REALLY looking forward to it. His first was so much fun. I think the biggest laugh in the first book was when I was reading the "700 Hobos" part, reading all these great hobo names and then arriving at the hobo name of Terry Gross ([url]http://www.e-hobo.com/hoboes/i/65282424[/url]).

Goddamn that's funny.


I really want to read it, but I assume the paperback will have some extra stuff, so I'm waiting on it.  Have fun on vacation!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on July 17, 2009, 06:12:13 PM
Her movie about the Olympics was good, too, although it promoted Fascist ideals by showing all the studly dudes.

I saw that documentary 'The Horrible, Wonderful Life Of Leni Riefenstahl'. It was interesting but she sure wasn't about to admit she'd screwed up in it (not even about using the concentration camp gypsies in a film).

I'm reading a Leni Reifenstahl bio. God she was loony tunes.

Ever see the movie?  That chick had nice legs.
([url]http://i705.photobucket.com/albums/ww57/afamilyofturtles/lenireifensthal.jpg[/url])


Sure have. I've got a weird obsession w/her.


It has to be said, Triumph of the Will is an amazing film.  Breathtaking and inspiring.  Inspiring for evil, but she could direct the hell outta shit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: slipperyslope on July 18, 2009, 08:46:16 AM
If you want something "different", heady, gritty but still accessible..
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall changed my reading forever. I can't appreciate a work of fiction anymore because this was so good, and everything else is weak to me. You've been warned.


[url]http://www.amazon.ca/Raw-Shark-Texts-Steven-Hall/dp/0002008408[/url]


This is a WATCHMEN spin-off, I take it? One of the detectives' diaries or something like that?

I picked up some books yesterday: Don DeLillo's UNDERWORLD and Henry Miller's SEXUS and PLEXUS. And a couple of weeks before that, I picked up Richard Price's LUSH LIFE and a couple others, none of which I've touched since. I'm calling a moratorium on purchasing new books until I read every one I own that I haven't read. This should keep me busy for the next three years.


I assure you it is nothing like anything at all related to the Watchmen. It's something much more surreal, intimate and interesting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2009, 03:45:06 PM
I may put off The Brothers Karamazov for the umpteenth time to catch up on some classic crime fiction, of which I've read unaccountably  little beyond Chandler.  Recommendations welcome.


I'm about to start in on this list (http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/biblio/checklist.html). It's not exclusively crime fiction, but the genre is definitely well-represented. I'd add Hammett's short story collection NIGHTMARE TOWN to the list as well.

I look forward to finishing a third of RED HARVEST before I move on to something else.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 27, 2009, 04:02:38 PM
Heh heh, "crime fiction."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: emma on July 27, 2009, 06:34:12 PM
I read Brief Interviews With Hideous Men for the first time on my vacation, and now I just keep reading it over and over again.
I tried to read something a librarian recommended to me (http://www.blackthenovel.moonfruit.com/#/the-hustle/4520851664), but it really really really really sucked so I just went back to DFW.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on July 28, 2009, 09:20:05 PM
Don't be a proud father, buffcoat.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on July 29, 2009, 03:54:37 AM
I read Brief Interviews With Hideous Men for the first time on my vacation, and now I just keep reading it over and over again.
I tried to read something a librarian recommended to me ([url]http://www.blackthenovel.moonfruit.com/#/the-hustle/4520851664[/url]), but it really really really really sucked so I just went back to DFW.


I hate to say things like 'considering his recent suicide the stories take on even more weight', but there are a couple of stories in that book I'm not sure I could go back and re-read now. They were great stories, though.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 31, 2009, 10:44:07 AM
Currently reading Rushkoff's book, Life, Inc.  It's a little bit of a slog, but pretty good.  And I'm actually learning things, which is really saying something, considering I devour anti-corporate books like candy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on July 31, 2009, 05:09:39 PM
(http://www.littlebrown.co.uk/assets/images/EAN/Large/9780316029957.jpg)

The Bar Exam: IT'S OVAH!

This one is first on the stack for my catch-up.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on July 31, 2009, 06:18:58 PM
Currently reading Rushkoff's book, Life, Inc.  It's a little bit of a slog, but pretty good.  And I'm actually learning things, which is really saying something, considering I devour anti-corporate books like candy.


I'm going to read some anti-academic books to balance the score.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on July 31, 2009, 08:32:04 PM
Currently reading Rushkoff's book, Life, Inc.  It's a little bit of a slog, but pretty good.  And I'm actually learning things, which is really saying something, considering I devour anti-corporate books like candy.


I'm going to read some anti-academic books to balance the score.

Are there even such things?  I don't think Allan Bloom counts.  I think I'd totally be into them if there were, academia sucks. 

Also, sorry if you're a corporation, Buffcoat.  I thought you were a single dude.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: nec13 on July 31, 2009, 08:41:15 PM
Currently reading Rushkoff's book, Life, Inc.  It's a little bit of a slog, but pretty good.  And I'm actually learning things, which is really saying something, considering I devour anti-corporate books like candy.


I'm going to read some anti-academic books to balance the score.

Are there even such things?  I don't think Allan Bloom counts.  I think I'd totally be into them if there were, academia sucks.  

Also, sorry if you're a corporation, Buffcoat.  I thought you were a single dude.

Would the screeds polemics of David Horowitz count as anti-academic books?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 02, 2009, 02:26:52 PM
I just read Dan Clowes' 'David Boring'. I like his work, but after the Ghost World movie I can't help noticing all the women the protaganist wants do look kind of like Scarlet Johanssen. This book came out before that movie, though.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on August 02, 2009, 03:38:10 PM
I can't help noticing all the women the protaganist wants do look kind of like Scarlet Johanssen.

What a weirdo!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 02, 2009, 04:04:39 PM
I can't help noticing all the women the protaganist wants do look kind of like Scarlet Johanssen.

What a weirdo!

Clowes or me?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on August 02, 2009, 06:20:45 PM
I can't help noticing all the women the protaganist wants do look kind of like Scarlet Johanssen.

What a weirdo!

Clowes or me?

Both of you, probably. But I was just making a dumb joke, trying to be ironic - you know, saying that someone would have to be a real weirdo to be attracted to the Scarlett Johansen type.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on August 02, 2009, 07:34:45 PM
Currently reading Rushkoff's book, Life, Inc.  It's a little bit of a slog, but pretty good.  And I'm actually learning things, which is really saying something, considering I devour anti-corporate books like candy.


I'm going to read some anti-academic books to balance the score.


Are there even such things?  I don't think Allan Bloom counts.  I think I'd totally be into them if there were, academia sucks.  

Also, sorry if you're a corporation, Buffcoat.  I thought you were a single dude.

The Buffcoat Corporation accepts your apology, pending approval by Our legal department.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 02, 2009, 09:14:00 PM
Yeah, that is a pretty boringly obvious attraction.

In the book, though, mainly it's that the dude likes big butts and he cannot lie. The Johannsen thing is maybe just Clowes' style.

I can't help noticing all the women the protaganist wants do look kind of like Scarlet Johanssen.

What a weirdo!

Clowes or me?

Both of you, probably. But I was just making a dumb joke, trying to be ironic - you know, saying that someone would have to be a real weirdo to be attracted to the Scarlett Johansen type.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on August 07, 2009, 01:07:16 AM
My daughter talked me into reading "The Giver", a Newbery winner; it's written at about an eighth grade level, but it describes a fairly inventive dystopian world. Very entertaining!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: icepants on August 07, 2009, 03:37:48 AM
My daughter talked me into reading "The Giver", a Newbery winner; it's written at about an eighth grade level, but it describes a fairly inventive dystopian world. Very entertaining!

One of the first books I ever read.  Pretty great.  Might explain why I enjoy Vonnegut so much these days.  I'm currently in the middle of the richard yates book revolutionary road.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AndrewVDill on August 07, 2009, 10:10:16 AM
I just started reading "The Snakehead".  It's a really fascinating look at decades of human smuggling into NYC's Chinatown.  Reading it makes a big impact on me, since I've either lived or worked or student taught in Chinatown for the past 4 years, but I highly recommend it to anyone.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Hearts of Steele on August 07, 2009, 10:25:20 AM
"The Punk Encyclopedia" by Brian Cogan. Pretty good, lotta nice pictures, and an entry about everyone's favorite FOT Punk Ted Leo!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 07, 2009, 04:46:37 PM
'The Russian Debutante's Handbook' by Gary Shteyngart. I liked 'Absurdistan', and so far I like this.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on August 07, 2009, 04:53:44 PM
Dashiell Hammett's RED HARVEST. I think we could all stand to be a little more like the Continental Op. I know I could.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on August 07, 2009, 07:33:30 PM
'The Russian Debutante's Handbook' by Gary Shteyngart. I liked 'Absurdistan', and so far I like this.

I too like Absurdistan and have been meaning to read Russian Debutante ... lemme know if you like it as much ...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 07, 2009, 09:36:11 PM
My daughter talked me into reading "The Giver", a Newbery winner; it's written at about an eighth grade level, but it describes a fairly inventive dystopian world. Very entertaining!

I suspect that a lot of the public schools in NJ assign this, as every semester I have to deny 3 or 4 students' proposals to write papers on it.

About a month ago, in a used bookstore in DC, I found a copy of Robert A. Heinlein's 1980 novel The Number of The Beast, which I read and liked when I was 11.  It is the worst piece of shit I have ever read.  I got about 150 pages in, thinking I could find whatever I liked about it as a kid (probably just parallel universes and descriptions of boobs), and eventually got so outraged that I tore the goddamn thing in half. 

Life, Inc actually turned out to be pretty great, if bleak.  While on vacation in The Outer Banks, I bought an anthology of ghost stories called Spooky South.  You Southerners are awesomely insane!  Or at least you used to be!  Now I'm reading Syd Field's Four Screenplays, which is actually a lot better than his more famous book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on August 07, 2009, 10:43:00 PM
Try Flannery O'Connor if you haven't or haven't in awhile.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 09, 2009, 09:49:26 PM
Try Flannery O'Connor if you haven't or haven't in awhile.

Yep, read her complete stories about a year ago.  She's one of my favorites.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on August 09, 2009, 10:29:20 PM
I am reading "Tigers of the Snow" by Jonathan Neale.  Interesting book about climbing in the Himalayas, but from the point of view of the Sherpa.  How they deal with American and European aristocrats out to kill themselves is beyond me.

This book specifically documents a fateful ascent of Nanga Parbat by Nazis in the 30's.  You kinda wish throughout the whole book that the Sherpa would do the world a favor and ditch these assholes somewhere near the summit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on August 11, 2009, 10:30:22 AM
My daughter talked me into reading "The Giver", a Newbery winner; it's written at about an eighth grade level, but it describes a fairly inventive dystopian world. Very entertaining!

I suspect that a lot of the public schools in NJ assign this, as every semester I have to deny 3 or 4 students' proposals to write papers on it.

About a month ago, in a used bookstore in DC, I found a copy of Robert A. Heinlein's 1980 novel The Number of The Beast, which I read and liked when I was 11.  It is the worst piece of shit I have ever read.  I got about 150 pages in, thinking I could find whatever I liked about it as a kid (probably just parallel universes and descriptions of boobs), and eventually got so outraged that I tore the goddamn thing in half. 



I had the same experience with "Time Enough for Love". I was so impressed by it in the 7th grade.

I have read three books on Game Theory in the last week so I could have something to put in the "Professional Development" portion of my self-evaluation.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on August 11, 2009, 11:01:32 AM
I'm reading Boob Jubilee, which is good (pieces from the Baffler) but DEFINITELY not what I was hoping for.

Best part:  I got it used and it came with a little slip of paper inside reading "Happy 90th Birthday! Love, Ellen".
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on August 11, 2009, 12:48:40 PM
I just started it, but Pynchon's Inherent Vice is a lot of fun.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on August 11, 2009, 12:53:57 PM
I just started it, but Pynchon's Inherent Vice is a lot of fun.

Yeah, I'm someone who's given up on Gravity's Rainbow twice but I'm 40-some pages into this and already really enjoying it. I'm getting Big Lebowski vibes off of it. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on August 11, 2009, 01:26:36 PM
I just started it, but Pynchon's Inherent Vice is a lot of fun.

Yeah, I'm someone who's given up on Gravity's Rainbow twice but I'm 40-some pages into this and already really enjoying it. I'm getting Big Lebowski vibes off of it. 

I have also given up on Gravity's Rainbow twice but IV is on deck and I'm looking forward to it. I'm currently reading The Crying of Lot 49 since I thought it might function as a Pynchon gateway and so far it's delivering.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on August 11, 2009, 01:35:12 PM
I loved The Crying of Lot 49 and have since started and put down every other of his novels, finding them either incpmprehensible or boring.  I'll take a look at his new one.  What do you mean by Big Leibowski vibes?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on August 11, 2009, 01:42:09 PM
It's been quite a while since I read The Crying of Lot 49 but I don't remember enjoying it that much. The only previous Pynchon book I read with enjoyment was Vineland and that's considered one of his worst. Gravity's Rainbow was over my head and Mason and Dixon wore me down (even though it contained some very good bits).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on August 11, 2009, 01:52:36 PM
I loved The Crying of Lot 49 and have since started and put down every other of his novels, finding them either incpmprehensible or boring.  I'll take a look at his new one.  What do you mean by Big Leibowski vibes?

Like I said, I just started but they both feel like Chandler supplanted with stoners and the main character has some Dude-like qualities.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on August 11, 2009, 02:50:24 PM
I'm currently reading The Crying of Lot 49 since I thought it might function as a Pynchon gateway and so far it's delivering.

Yeah, that's a good way to put it ... I've given up on the last couple (Mason Dixon, Against the Day) but I hear Inherent Vice is purty good and way less ... Pynchon-y ... than his other books.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Big Plastic Head on August 11, 2009, 03:30:33 PM
My two favorite parts of Gravity's Rainbow:

The Disgusting English Candy Drill (http://foner.www.media.mit.edu/people/foner/Fun/gravity.html)

The Story of Byron the Bulb (http://www.cse.psu.edu/~dhking/byron.html)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on August 11, 2009, 03:42:16 PM
About a month ago, in a used bookstore in DC, I found a copy of Robert A. Heinlein's 1980 novel The Number of The Beast, which I read and liked when I was 11.  It is the worst piece of shit I have ever read.  I got about 150 pages in, thinking I could find whatever I liked about it as a kid (probably just parallel universes and descriptions of boobs), and eventually got so outraged that I tore the goddamn thing in half. 

I just had sorta similar experience reading through Naked Lunch for the first time. That is, I feel like if I had read it in grade school my mind would have been completely blown. But as an adult who is not that impressed with constant aimless descriptions of sexual torture and ejaculation, my verdict is: BAN IT AGAIN.

On the positive side, I'm reading Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird right now and really enjoying it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on August 11, 2009, 04:24:59 PM
I just had sorta similar experience reading through Naked Lunch for the first time. That is, I feel like if I had read it in grade school my mind would have been completely blown. But as an adult who is not that impressed with constant aimless descriptions of sexual torture and ejaculation, my verdict is: BAN IT AGAIN.

QUICK LITERARY QUIZ!

Steely Dan is either (choose one):

a) A dildo in Naked Lunch, or
b) two dildos from Bard College

buh-dump-BUMP-tsssst!

I think you don't read Naked Lunch so much as you turn the pages, mimicking the act of reading. It's really the only way to get through it.

On the positive side, I'm reading Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird right now and really enjoying it.

I've never seen "Painted Bird" and "positive" used in the same sentence, but there you go.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on August 11, 2009, 04:43:04 PM
I think you don't read Naked Lunch Burroughs so much as you turn the pages, mimicking the act of reading. It's really the only way to get through it.

Fixed.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on August 11, 2009, 06:40:13 PM
Junky was all right, if that's your bag.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on August 11, 2009, 07:10:47 PM
Junky is worth reading.  Queer is interesting, too.  Probably my favorite Burroughs book was by Bill, Jr. though.

The stuff with the little Mexican boys bothered me too much, eventually, so I dropped WSB.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on August 12, 2009, 12:39:13 AM
Do comics count for this thread?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on August 12, 2009, 12:44:23 AM
Do comics count for this thread?
I would think so, since the thread title is Favorite Books/Currently Reading. Comics would fall into the "currently reading", so I would say you're safe. There are comic threads, though.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fletcher munson on August 12, 2009, 09:14:11 AM
Do comics count for this thread?
Yes, and so do lifestyle magazines.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 12, 2009, 09:49:51 PM
My two favorite parts of Gravity's Rainbow:

The Disgusting English Candy Drill ([url]http://foner.[url=http://www.media.mit.edu/people/foner/Fun/gravity.html]www.media.mit.edu/people/foner/Fun/gravity.html[/url][/url])

The Story of Byron the Bulb ([url]http://www.cse.psu.edu/~dhking/byron.html[/url])


I like when he goes down the toilet and can diagnose all his classmate's psychological problems based on what he sees there...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 12, 2009, 09:50:58 PM
The movie of Naked Lunch was pretty amusing.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 14, 2009, 01:59:56 PM
It's been quite a while since I read The Crying of Lot 49 but I don't remember enjoying it that much. The only previous Pynchon book I read with enjoyment was Vineland and that's considered one of his worst. Gravity's Rainbow was over my head and Mason and Dixon wore me down (even though it contained some very good bits).

Take this with a grain of salt (I heard it from a guy I only know on the internet, and he said to take it with a grain of salt himself - like, his nephew played on a softball team with Pynchon's son, one of those kinds of stories) but anyway according to him Vineland is Pynchon's favorite of his own novels.

Also, a Naked Lunch aside -- I still have the copy I read at age 19, and my wife had to read it for grad school.  But then she noticed that like 30 pages were missing from the last third.  So I said, oh no, it's not going to make any sense now!  I crack myself up.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 14, 2009, 10:03:02 PM
I quite liked Vineland. 'You're running around doing all this hippie clown shit, but one day you're going to have to die just like everybody else.'
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dnk on August 16, 2009, 06:49:43 PM
Currently reading:
AS SHE CLIMBED ACROSS THE TABLE by Jonathan Lethem
Grant Morrison's run on DOOM PATROL

On deck:
V by Thomas Pynchon

I've been wanting to read Pynchon for a long time. I read THE CRYING OF LOT 49 last summer and liked it, but I've been putting off reading his longer books because of how I read about how they're such endeavors. Hopefully I'll be able to read it before classes start up again. How long does it generally take you guys to finish a Pynchon novel? (maybe also include average time to finish a book of similar length by another author)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 16, 2009, 08:34:55 PM
V will probably take you like 3-4 months, but I think it's worth it.  It's the first Pynchon I ever attempted, and I thought it was a lot of fun, and totally surprising.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dnk on August 16, 2009, 09:03:59 PM
V will probably take you like 3-4 months, but I think it's worth it.  It's the first Pynchon I ever attempted, and I thought it was a lot of fun, and totally surprising.

Wow, I was not expecting that. Did you read other books at the same time or have lots of work (schoolwork or at-home-work-from-work or something)? Or did you just bring yourself along slowly because of the density?

Would it be difficult to try to read during the school year?

Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 16, 2009, 09:55:06 PM
I was just living my life at the time, but it's a big book and kind of impossible to read quickly.  Though on the other hand, it's written in a way where it's kind of impossible to follow everything that's going on, so maybe you won't miss much by skimming.  I think it would be OK to read during school as long as you didn't have to do a lot of reading for class and such.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on August 16, 2009, 10:35:42 PM
Do comics count for this thread?

Just call them graphic novels. I read Night Fisher the other night, also Ghost of Hoppers.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on August 17, 2009, 11:24:36 PM
Do comics count for this thread?

Just call them graphic novels. I read Night Fisher the other night, also Ghost of Hoppers.

In that case I'm reading about 5 graphic novels a week.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on August 17, 2009, 11:31:01 PM
I'm reading the new Nick Hornby, 'Juliet, Naked', and I have to say, it's pretty ace.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on August 17, 2009, 11:36:06 PM
I read A Long Way Down. I loved it until the end.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dnk on August 18, 2009, 01:00:09 AM
I was just living my life at the time, but it's a big book and kind of impossible to read quickly.  Though on the other hand, it's written in a way where it's kind of impossible to follow everything that's going on, so maybe you won't miss much by skimming.  I think it would be OK to read during school as long as you didn't have to do a lot of reading for class and such.

Gotcha. I'm going to be taking either one or two English classes because I'm planning on minoring in English, so we'll see how it works out.

Do comics count for this thread?

Just call them graphic novels. I read Night Fisher the other night, also Ghost of Hoppers.

Only if they actually are though. One of my pet peeves is when people say "graphic novels" when they're really just "comics" that were collected in a trade or hardcover. I'm not saying that I think there's no such thing as a "graphic novel," I'm just saying that if my mind were to Venn diagram it, all graphic novels are comics, but not all comics are graphic novels.

I just finished reading Grant Morrison and Richard Case's run on DOOM PATROL last night. It's absolutely phenomenal. I can't believe I've lived so much of my life without having read it. It's probably my second or third favorite Morrison work (after ALL STAR SUPERMAN, and maybe WE3), although I will be reading THE INVISIBLES this week and hope it tops everything else.

Do comics count for this thread?

Just call them graphic novels. I read Night Fisher the other night, also Ghost of Hoppers.

In that case I'm reading about 5 graphic novels a week.


Are they actually graphic novels or do you mean monthly comic books (or just collected trades or HCs)? Whatever the case, what are you reading and what do you think about them?

I'm reading the new Nick Hornby, 'Juliet, Naked', and I have to say, it's pretty ace.

Oh cool, I didn't know he had a new book out. I will be sure to check it out. Books are one medium I always wish I was more up to date on. I find that even my favorite authors have novels fly right by my radar for a good while until I randomly happen by their Wikipedia page. So I started trying to make a note of it whenever I see one has an upcoming book.

What NEW books are you guys looking forward to reading?

-Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 - It got rave reviews in Japan, but no English translation has been announced yet.
-Jonathan Lethem's CHRONIC CITY - I'm a big Lethem fan. September.
-Dave Eggers's THE WILD THINGS - A long novel adaptation to go along with the upcoming movie he co-wrote. He's said that the novel is more his story and the movie is more Spike Jonze's. I can't wait for either. (Eggers also just released ZEITOUN, a nonfiction book about a Syrian man in New Orleans during and after Katrina; that was pretty good)

Yeesh. Long post.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on August 18, 2009, 06:25:33 AM
What NEW books are you guys looking forward to reading?

Blood's a Rover, the new James Ellroy, which comes out next month. It's the third installment in his Underworld USA Trilogy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on August 18, 2009, 10:35:17 AM
I am reading Mark Twain's Following the Equator v. I. I love it so far, his insights into traveling are surprisingly fresh and thought-provoking.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on August 18, 2009, 10:59:29 AM
What NEW books are you guys looking forward to reading?


"When a new book comes out, I read an old one."

Samuel Rogers (attributed in Recollections of The Table Talk of Samuel Rogers, to which is added Porsoniania, 1856)

On the other hand.

"But this rather priggish saying, like so many of the sayings about books, has always struck me as offensive. The affectation of being behind the times is no more admirable than a strained endeavor to be ahead of them."

Edmund Lester Pearson, The Independent and Weekly Review, Feb. 18, 1922
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on August 18, 2009, 11:01:00 AM
Are they actually graphic novels or do you mean monthly comic books (or just collected trades or HCs)? Whatever the case, what are you reading and what do you think about them?

I'm just reading monthly comics. I agree with your position on graphics novels and comics, I was making a humorous reference to Steve's comment.

I guess my favorite thing that I'm reading now is Chew, it's fairly original and the art is pretty cool. I read Spiderman #600 which was good for the various "Covers you'll never see" section. Oh and I'm loving Kick Ass and can't wait for a new issue.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on August 18, 2009, 01:16:48 PM

-Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 - It got rave reviews in Japan, but no English translation has been announced yet.
-Jonathan Lethem's CHRONIC CITY - I'm a big Lethem fan. September.
-Dave Eggers's THE WILD THINGS - A long novel adaptation to go along with the upcoming movie he co-wrote. He's said that the novel is more his story and the movie is more Spike Jonze's. I can't wait for either. (Eggers also just released ZEITOUN, a nonfiction book about a Syrian man in New Orleans during and after Katrina; that was pretty good)

This plus the new Ellroy are on my list - i have so much reading to do for my job that I haven't been able to read anything else in months.

The new Nabokov put together from the notes he wanted burned.
There's also a book on Second City coming out - looks like it's done in the same kind of style as the SNL book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 19, 2009, 08:27:57 AM
Jonathan Lethem is awesome.

I have a bad habit of buying books as soon as they come out and holding onto them for years.  Here's an example: I bought a full-price copy of Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up And Start Again in 2005, still hadn't read it when I saw it half-price at Powell's in 2007, and finally got around to reading it a couple of months ago.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on August 19, 2009, 11:47:51 AM
Jonathan Lethem is awesome.

Agreed - I forgot I'm actually reading Motherless Brooklyn right now along w/a few other things - I read it a while ago but have forgotten much of it so I started it again a few weeks ago.

I have a bad habit of buying books as soon as they come out and holding onto them for years.  Here's an example: I bought a full-price copy of Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up And Start Again in 2005, still hadn't read it when I saw it half-price at Powell's in 2007, and finally got around to reading it a couple of months ago.

Did you like it? I had a hard time w/that one ... I don't think I liked his writing style.

I am also about 1/5 of the way into When Giants Walked the Earth, a new Led Zep bio. It's alright.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Creekmore_Banks on August 19, 2009, 12:07:02 PM
Currently reading:

Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth
Fat City-Leonard Gardner (loved the movie so much, started reading the book after hearing good things about it during Patton Oswalt's quiz on TBS)
Point to Point Navigation-Gore Vidal

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 21, 2009, 11:00:48 PM
Auntie Christina: I liked Rip It Up OK, but I know what you mean -- the approach is so obsessive and completist that it feels suffocating sometimes, like he just HAS to cram in every single pop band from 1978-84.  Sometimes this leads to some really interesting/bizarre trivia -- like, who knew that Bow Wow Wow was Malcolm McLaren's big project after the Sex Pistols and that the lead singer was a 12-year-old Burmese British girl that he pretty much abused?  But sometimes the book is like being trapped in the kitchen at a party with an obsessive music fan.  It made me think of how Our Band Can Be Your Life just stuck to something like 10 bands -- I'm sure Michael Azzerad wanted to cram in plenty of bands he didn't mention, but it made for a clearer and more focused book.

Also, I didn't realize this until the Wurster postpunk call, but a lot of those bands kinda sucked.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on August 22, 2009, 12:58:30 AM
Currently 2/3 into The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano.  Keeping all the characters straight isn't easy but the book is enjoyable.

Currently 1/8 into the audio book version of The Israel Lobby
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on August 22, 2009, 09:30:24 AM
I.F., if it helps, you don't really need to keep track of most of the characters, just a couple of them, and then the two who never speak: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima.  I really dug that book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: icepants on August 23, 2009, 04:10:05 PM
Do the FOT like Paul Auster?  I'm a big fan of city of glass.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on August 23, 2009, 06:25:43 PM
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. 
Super, super confused by this book.  I think, honestly, Pynchon got obsessed by the Big Lebowski and decided to give it the Crying of Lot 49 treatment.  It twists and turns in exactly the same way.  I'm not seeing much "psychedelic" noir yet, but I'm only 100 pages in.  The most readable, by far, of anything I've read by him. 

Parts are very, very funny. 

Ike
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on August 23, 2009, 09:28:31 PM
I am reading 'Youth in Revolt' - it's pretty okay, but I feel a little too old for it. Some funny bits.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on August 31, 2009, 12:06:03 AM
During my time working at Knoebels Amusement Park, whenever I'd find some free time I'd work on reading All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. That book was a trudge. It won the Pulitzer and I'm not sure why. It had nothing new to say about politics (guess what, any idealistic candidate eventually has to lower himself into the muck of politics to get things done) and in fact had little to nothing to with politics for a book that is praised for its depiction of said arena. The book read as if Warren tried to have some big deep meaning in every other paragraph. In other words, the whole book consisted of purple prose. Oh and there was the fifty page section about the narrator's great-uncle that had literally no bearing on the main plot at all.

And for all the trouble the book gave me, I couldn't let myself put it down. First, if I start a book, I have to finish it. That's the way I'm made and I can't change. Second, I couldn't let this specific book win. Every time I sat down with a few free minutes I'd see the horrible red glow emanating from the book cover daring me to continue down the literary road and once again enter the purgatory that was the plot of the book.

For my first post back from my hiatus this is a poorly written one, but this book really gets to me. Do not read. Thumbs down.

Do the FOT like Paul Auster?  I'm a big fan of city of glass.
I read Man in the Dark by Paul Auster and really dug the first hundred pages but thought it ended very weakly.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on August 31, 2009, 11:49:15 AM
I'm now on to Mingering Mike, a book which I received from our own Chris L as my Secret Santa present last year. Interesting stuff - here's an intro (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/02/arts/music/02MIKE.html?ex=1178856000&en=ca85ca04a5c8cd1d&ei=5070) if you don't know the saga.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512prDAGkRL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on August 31, 2009, 03:35:00 PM
I am reading Stanislaw Lem's "Mortal Engines", but I am NOT a nerd!







Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on August 31, 2009, 05:40:59 PM
I am reading 'Youth in Revolt' - it's pretty okay, but I feel a little too old for it. Some funny bits.

Definitely a book that is best read as an adolescent. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, saw it twice. Not sure if it's out yet but if and when it is - see it! Zack Galifianakis is great in it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on August 31, 2009, 05:44:32 PM
I am reading Stanislaw Lem's "Mortal Engines", but I am NOT a nerd!

I read Solaris a long time ago. Pretty mind-altering stuff!








Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on August 31, 2009, 05:48:37 PM
is anyone here a fan of pete dexter? i think he's sort of totally amazing. and he has a new book, which i cannot pry from my wife's hands, coming out in the next few weeks. i am very much looking forward to it, having long ago exhausted my supply of his novels.

just finished the new pynchon. soggy in the middle but strong beginning and end. makes me wanna read james crumley and "gravity's rainbow" again.

about to finish "the chocolate war," and then i dunno what!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on August 31, 2009, 07:25:24 PM
Finished Frankenstein last night. Read it for my Victorian Monsters senior seminar class but it was on my pile of books to read anyway. Not too bad. Has the bad Victorian habit of giving nearly every character a deep back story and using a lot of exclamation points when they speak. I was a bit thrown off by how much and how eloquently the creature spoke. But worth a read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on August 31, 2009, 09:53:16 PM
Just finished The Road. I liked it a lot.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on August 31, 2009, 10:08:43 PM
Finished Frankenstein last night. Read it for my Victorian Monsters senior seminar class but it was on my pile of books to read anyway. Not too bad. Has the bad Victorian habit of giving nearly every character a deep back story and using a lot of exclamation points when they speak. I was a bit thrown off by how much and how eloquently the creature spoke. But worth a read.

Not to be contrary, but Frank N. Stein is the worst book I ever read.  The long passages about the English countryside and the Rhone valley are interminable.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on September 01, 2009, 09:44:59 AM
I'm now on to Mingering Mike, a book which I received from our own Chris L as my Secret Santa present last year. Interesting stuff - here's an intro ([url]http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/02/arts/music/02MIKE.html?ex=1178856000&en=ca85ca04a5c8cd1d&ei=5070[/url]) if you don't know the saga.



I got to meet Mingering Mike at a gallery show of his work in DC a few years ago. He was all done up in a crazy disguise that included a long curly wig, huge sunglasses that took up most of his face and a big fake putty nose. The funny thing was that he ended up looking like a real-life version of on of his album covers.


Do the FOT like Paul Auster?  I'm a big fan of city of glass.


City of Glass is phenomenal. I'm also a fan of the movie he did, Smoke although it's obviously not in the same league.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on September 01, 2009, 10:15:07 AM
Do the FOT like Paul Auster?  I'm a big fan of city of glass.

City of Glass is phenomenal. I'm also a fan of the movie he did, Smoke although it's obviously not in the same league.

I liked City of Glass, too. I liked David Mazzuchelli's comic book adaptation even better though. The rest of Auster's books haven't done much for me.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: bakersfieldchimp on September 02, 2009, 12:49:14 AM
I just finished The Crying of Lot 49, and I liked it, but man, if that's his most accessible book... hoo boy!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on September 02, 2009, 12:51:44 AM
I just finished The Crying of Lot 49, and I liked it, but man, if that's his most accessible book... hoo boy!

Inherent Vice is now Pynchon's most accessible book and it may also be the most enjoyable. Recommended.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on September 02, 2009, 01:05:06 AM
Pynchon and accessability work well.  I'llcheck it out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 02, 2009, 06:27:43 AM
I agree with APMike - Inherent Vice is Pynchon's most accessible and enjoyable. Just finished it.

Next, I'm onto some light hilarity, Child of God-style.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on September 02, 2009, 09:32:09 PM
Just finished The Long March by William Styron.  Meh.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: panasonicyouth on September 02, 2009, 11:31:57 PM
Let The Right One In. It's pretty damned impressive.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 03, 2009, 11:27:32 AM
I am reading Stanislaw Lem's "Mortal Engines", but I am NOT a nerd!

I read Solaris a long time ago. Pretty mind-altering stuff!


The movie (Tartovsky one) is not too shabby, either.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Big Plastic Head on September 03, 2009, 11:37:11 AM
I am reading Stanislaw Lem's "Mortal Engines", but I am NOT a nerd!

I read Solaris a long time ago. Pretty mind-altering stuff!


The movie (Tartovsky one) is not too shabby, either.

Ha! Me and a friend were just discussing the differences between the book and the Tarkovsky film. Weird.

And nerdy. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 03, 2009, 11:43:56 AM
I am reading Stanislaw Lem's "Mortal Engines", but I am NOT a nerd!

I read Solaris a long time ago. Pretty mind-altering stuff!


The movie (Tartovsky one) is not too shabby, either.

Ha! Me and a friend were just discussing the differences between the book and the Tarkovsky film. Weird.

And nerdy. 

This is where I admit I've never read the book.

<ducks>
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on September 03, 2009, 10:59:48 PM
Let The Right One In. It's pretty damned impressive.

I've watched the movie. The book is worth the read? I figured it would be but it's nice to get a confirmation.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dnk on September 07, 2009, 12:58:17 AM
Do the FOT like Paul Auster?  I'm a big fan of city of glass.

City of Glass is phenomenal. I'm also a fan of the movie he did, Smoke although it's obviously not in the same league.

I liked City of Glass, too. I liked David Mazzuchelli's comic book adaptation even better though. The rest of Auster's books haven't done much for me.

I've been meaning to read Auster's New York Trilogy, Mazzuchelli's CITY OF GLASS adaptation, and Mazzuchelli's slightly-less-related ASTERIOS POLYP. I have really high hopes for all of them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 07, 2009, 10:32:19 AM
I heard Flann O'Brien's 'The Third Policeman' is an incredible book, so I picked it up at the library.

IamBaronVonTito highly recommends the book, also.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on September 07, 2009, 11:56:42 AM
I heard Flann O'Brien's 'The Third Policeman' is an incredible book, so I picked it up at the library.

IamBaronVonTito highly recommends the book, also.


As do I.  Highly.   

I also concur that Pynchon's Inherent Vice is funny and accessible. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Scot on September 08, 2009, 07:45:20 PM
just finished "trainspotting." just started rereading "american tabloid," and then it's on to a reread of "the cold six thousand," and then i should be done in time for "blood's a rover." SUPER jealous of folks who have the opportunity to see james ellroy act batshit on his upcoming tour ...
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on September 09, 2009, 09:59:58 AM
I like it so far.

(http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on September 09, 2009, 05:50:57 PM
I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Me! on September 09, 2009, 06:45:54 PM
Reading The Kennedy Curse by Edward Klein.

Ted Kennedy died a day after I started it, oops!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 09, 2009, 09:36:27 PM
Comedians don't exactly have a great track record in the book department. I liked Woody Allen's book OK, but otherwise I am really wracking my brain trying to think of a comedian's book where I could read more than 3 pages at a time.

I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Me! on September 09, 2009, 09:59:55 PM
Comedians don't exactly have a great track record in the book department. I liked Woody Allen's book OK, but otherwise I am really wracking my brain trying to think of a comedian's book where I could read more than 3 pages at a time.

I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!


I like all of Chris Elliott's books.  Born Standing up by Steve Martin is good too.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on September 09, 2009, 10:24:43 PM
Comedians don't exactly have a great track record in the book department. I liked Woody Allen's book OK, but otherwise I am really wracking my brain trying to think of a comedian's book where I could read more than 3 pages at a time.

I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!


I like all of Chris Elliott's books.  Born Standing up by Steve Martin is good too.


CRUEL SHOES.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on September 09, 2009, 11:29:13 PM
Okay, terribly lowbrow and all, but I have really been enjoying the Dresden Files.  I'm a good ways into the second novel, and they're a lot of fun.  Far more detective than magic, but very good about obeying rules.  I'd recommend them to anyone with a taste for pulp.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on September 10, 2009, 08:49:30 AM
O4L: I've been listening to the audiobook, and there are some nice touches on there. Les Savy Fav perform the list of quirks for an indie filmmaker, and the intro is read by old chum H. Jon Benjamin. I've heard that there are a lot of spelling/grammar mistakes in the printed edition, I'm spared from those on the audio, which is nice. It's definitely uneven - but I liked sections of it a lot. The scrapbooking expose was funny, but the character stuff, even as Kenny Dupree, isn't. I'm about halfway in so far, more full appraisal to follow. REMAIN ON TENTERHOOKS.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Omar on September 10, 2009, 09:10:48 AM
O4L: I've been listening to the audiobook, and there are some nice touches on there. Les Savy Fav perform the list of quirks for an indie filmmaker, and the intro is read by old chum H. Jon Benjamin. I've heard that there are a lot of spelling/grammar mistakes in the printed edition, I'm spared from those on the audio, which is nice. It's definitely uneven - but I liked sections of it a lot. The scrapbooking expose was funny, but the character stuff, even as Kenny Dupree, isn't. I'm about halfway in so far, more full appraisal to follow. REMAIN ON TENTERHOOKS.

I can see how the audio version would be preferable to the error-laced print version.  On the page it seemed like a lot of very half-assed/recycled material (in a recent interview Cross admitted that he had no real desire to write a book until a literary agent suggested it) that offered little new insight into his comedic worldview that could not be found in much better form on his two comedy recordings.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: orator on September 10, 2009, 09:24:09 AM
I'm determined to read at least a couple pages of Moby Dick a day. I think this is my third time trying to get through it, and I'm sure I'll fail again.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spalding on September 10, 2009, 09:43:11 AM
I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!


Is he still mad about them mean kids from high school?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 10, 2009, 12:28:48 PM
OK, I can see Cruel Shoes - can check out Born Standing Up. I hadn't seen or heard of Chris Elliott's books, but being a fan of his from the Letterman days on, I'll look for them.

Comedians don't exactly have a great track record in the book department. I liked Woody Allen's book OK, but otherwise I am really wracking my brain trying to think of a comedian's book where I could read more than 3 pages at a time.

I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!


I like all of Chris Elliott's books.  Born Standing up by Steve Martin is good too.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Me! on September 10, 2009, 12:51:55 PM
Chris Elliott's books are insanely silly.  They are pretty much weird reworks of history with him being involved or past family members being involved somehow.  The ones I've read are "The Shroud of the Thwacker" which is a parody of Jack The Ripper.  He has a great funny role for Teddy Roosevelt and just a perfectly hilarious view on what the 1880s in New York was like.

Into Hot Air is about his climb to Mount Everest with the likes of Michael Moore and Tony Danza.  It's a hilarious book and like I said before, they're both silly and very absurd.  

OK, I can see Cruel Shoes - can check out Born Standing Up. I hadn't seen or heard of Chris Elliott's books, but being a fan of his from the Letterman days on, I'll look for them.

Comedians don't exactly have a great track record in the book department. I liked Woody Allen's book OK, but otherwise I am really wracking my brain trying to think of a comedian's book where I could read more than 3 pages at a time.

I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!


I like all of Chris Elliott's books.  Born Standing up by Steve Martin is good too.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on September 10, 2009, 05:25:17 PM
Daddy's Boy, especially the rebuttals, had me in stitches.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on September 10, 2009, 09:06:04 PM
Just finished up Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, the first John Carter of Mars book. It was pretty great for a classic pulp adventure. The most interesting (and utterly disturbing) part was his use of a racist point of view to discredit eugenics.

Plus has this banging Penguin edition:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Q62HVIDOL._SS500_.jpg)

I'm grading a Science Fiction class and so I'm going to be reading a lot more SF to which I'm extremely looking forward.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 10, 2009, 10:14:29 PM
I am sold! Everest w/ Michael Moore and Tony Danza. That's all you had to tell me.

Chris Elliott's books are insanely silly.  They are pretty much weird reworks of history with him being involved or past family members being involved somehow.  The ones I've read are "The Shroud of the Thwacker" which is a parody of Jack The Ripper.  He has a great funny role for Teddy Roosevelt and just a perfectly hilarious view on what the 1880s in New York was like.

Into Hot Air is about his climb to Mount Everest with the likes of Michael Moore and Tony Danza.  It's a hilarious book and like I said before, they're both silly and very absurd.  

OK, I can see Cruel Shoes - can check out Born Standing Up. I hadn't seen or heard of Chris Elliott's books, but being a fan of his from the Letterman days on, I'll look for them.

Comedians don't exactly have a great track record in the book department. I liked Woody Allen's book OK, but otherwise I am really wracking my brain trying to think of a comedian's book where I could read more than 3 pages at a time.

I like it so far.

([url]http://ebookstore.sony.com/comingsoon/i-drink-for-a-reason/image_s4.jpg[/url])


Really?  I think this is one of the worst books ever written.  As @clarencethomas might say, Cross needs to ZIP IT!


I like all of Chris Elliott's books.  Born Standing up by Steve Martin is good too.


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on September 14, 2009, 01:13:24 PM
wrote about the cross book: http://bit.ly/18SMCP
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on September 15, 2009, 07:55:11 AM
I saw him at the Brooklyn Book Festival but chickened out and didn't talk to him.  He seemed to perk up a little bit at my WFMU shirt, too - I know he likes the station.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on September 15, 2009, 08:05:18 AM
I saw him at the Brooklyn Book Festival but chickened out and didn't talk to him.  He seemed to perk up a little bit at my WFMU shirt, too - I know he likes the station.

Who, Mickey Dolenz?


I can't be bothered to scroll up.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on September 15, 2009, 08:30:53 AM
I've been stuck in a Stanislaw Lem rut for a few weeks. Much of it is readable and fun, other parts might as well be in his native Polish.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ian on September 15, 2009, 02:10:35 PM
i bought the audiobook for the cross book, in which he chastises the listener for being lazy and "part of the problem" multiple times for choosing it over the print version

i wanted to hear a comedian's delivery of his writing (ie franken's audiobooks are amazing)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AlizaEss on September 15, 2009, 02:17:21 PM
Oh god, I attend one Gathering of the FOT and now find myself crawling into even the non-Best Show related threads... :p

I couldn't slog through all 64 pages of this so apologies if this book has already been mentioned. But it seems like everyone on this board would be a huge fan of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" if you haven't read it already.

Interested in metaphors comparing Trujillo's Dominican dictatorship to the rise of Sauron? With a protagonist that has a body like Ignatius in "Confederacy of Dunces," the teenage angst of Holden Caulfied, and the comic book love of a Patton Oswalt?

Seriously one of the best books I've ever read, although it's quite sad so I can't get up the gumption to read it again yet. "Confederacy of Dunces" also might be one of my most favorite books ever.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: gravy boat on September 15, 2009, 03:20:32 PM
. . it seems like everyone on this board would be a huge fan of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" if you haven't read it already.

Interested in metaphors comparing Trujillo's Dominican dictatorship to the rise of Sauron? With a protagonist that has a body like Ignatius in "Confederacy of Dunces," the teenage angst of Holden Caulfied, and the comic book love of a Patton Oswalt?

Seriously one of the best books I've ever read, although it's quite sad so I can't get up the gumption to read it again yet. "Confederacy of Dunces" also might be one of my most favorite books ever.

Very good book, very good author (and raised in NJ).  Tom actually took an on-air call about this when Junot won the Pulitzer Prize as another example of New Jersey Beats New York. 

I just finished "Winner of the National Book Award" by Jinxy Willet. It's up there with "Confederacy..." for humor/pathos in my opinion.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 15, 2009, 06:09:26 PM
Fully entrenched in Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Of the four I've read, it's the most blatantly Faulknerian, but it's also the most pleasurable to read. It's nasty and horrific, of course, but kinda fun.

Did I just call Cormac McCarthy "fun"? I think AP Mike may've spiked my pizza last week.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 15, 2009, 06:21:01 PM
I second the 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' recommendation. I was worried it would be geexploitation, but it was so much deeper than that.

Oh god, I attend one Gathering of the FOT and now find myself crawling into even the non-Best Show related threads... :p

I couldn't slog through all 64 pages of this so apologies if this book has already been mentioned. But it seems like everyone on this board would be a huge fan of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" if you haven't read it already.

Interested in metaphors comparing Trujillo's Dominican dictatorship to the rise of Sauron? With a protagonist that has a body like Ignatius in "Confederacy of Dunces," the teenage angst of Holden Caulfied, and the comic book love of a Patton Oswalt?

Seriously one of the best books I've ever read, although it's quite sad so I can't get up the gumption to read it again yet. "Confederacy of Dunces" also might be one of my most favorite books ever.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on September 16, 2009, 12:04:01 AM
Fully entrenched in Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Of the four I've read, it's the most blatantly Faulknerian, but it's also the most pleasurable to read. It's nasty and horrific, of course, but kinda fun.

Did I just call Cormac McCarthy "fun"? I think AP Mike may've spiked my pizza last week.

It's the only Cormac McCarthy book I've read yet, and I loved it.  I couldn't get through "All the Pretty Horses" (an Imus favorite, by the way--my dad's a big fan of the I-Man).

I want to give The Road a shot, but I'm steeling up the courage.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 16, 2009, 06:44:44 AM
Fully entrenched in Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Of the four I've read, it's the most blatantly Faulknerian, but it's also the most pleasurable to read. It's nasty and horrific, of course, but kinda fun.

Did I just call Cormac McCarthy "fun"? I think AP Mike may've spiked my pizza last week.

It's the only Cormac McCarthy book I've read yet, and I loved it.  I couldn't get through "All the Pretty Horses" (an Imus favorite, by the way--my dad's a big fan of the I-Man).

I want to give The Road a shot, but I'm steeling up the courage.

The Road is actually a very easy read. You can probably make it through in a day or two. The one to prepare for is Blood Meridian. It was so unpleasant that I'm not sure whether or not I liked it.
No Country For Old Men is good but kind of unnecessary if you've seen the movie since they are almost identical. I haven't tried with any of the Border Trilogy since I've been warned away more than once.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on September 18, 2009, 11:36:37 AM
After Patton Oswalt's Italo Calvino reference during his last appearance on the show, I asked for a recommendation. He suggested Invisible Cities which I'm just about done with (it's a very fast read). Strange and wonderful stuff (I recommend the William Weaver translation). Similar in some ways to Jorge Borges who I like very much.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: schep22 on September 18, 2009, 11:52:41 AM
After Patton Oswalt's Italo Calvino reference during his last appearance on the show, I asked for a recommendation. He suggested Invisible Cities which I'm just about done with (it's a very fast read). Strange and wonderful stuff (I recommend the William Weaver translation). Similar in some ways to Jorge Borges who I like very much.

I actually just picked up some Borges (Ficciones) at a used book sale.  For some reason, I'm intimidated by it.  Is this a good place to start with him?  Is my apprehension warranted at all?

By the way, I'm currently reading The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders.  I'd read Pastoralia prior to this, but this is a collection of his non-fiction.  I'm pretty early on in it, but it's very readable and enjoyable so far.

I read the big SNL oral history (Live From New York) before that.  Enjoyable, but it could have been trimmed to about 50 pages.  ("Lorne was distant.  We stayed up late working on the show.  Chevy Chase was an ass.  The show sucks now/is better than it's ever been.")
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: jbissell on September 18, 2009, 12:08:07 PM
The one to prepare for is Blood Meridian. It was so unpleasant that I'm not sure whether or not I liked it.

I've been slowly reading it for a while now and that's a pretty accurate representation of my feelings as well.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on September 18, 2009, 12:09:52 PM
After Patton Oswalt's Italo Calvino reference during his last appearance on the show, I asked for a recommendation. He suggested Invisible Cities which I'm just about done with (it's a very fast read). Strange and wonderful stuff (I recommend the William Weaver translation). Similar in some ways to Jorge Borges who I like very much.

The Baron in the Trees
If on a winter's night a traveler...

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on September 18, 2009, 12:19:15 PM
I actually just picked up some Borges (Ficciones) at a used book sale.  For some reason, I'm intimidated by it.  Is this a good place to start with him?  Is my apprehension warranted at all?

That's a good place to start, but it doesn't contain my favorite story, The Aleph. Because his stuff is so unusual and unique, I wouldn't call him an easy writer, but once you get a taste for the strange worlds he creates, you'll want to read it all.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on September 18, 2009, 12:23:51 PM
Similar in some ways to Jorge Borges who whom I like very much.


Fixed!

You're welcome.

Signed,
 
Sarah
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on September 18, 2009, 12:39:13 PM
I've only read Borges' collected stories, so I don't remember what's in Ficciones.  If it has "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" then you're in for a treat.  He's pretty accessible, no matter where you start.

The Braindead Megaphone!  I've been trying to remember the name of that book for a while now.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 18, 2009, 02:14:40 PM
Borges is one of those I-hear-him-mentioned-everywhere-but-have-yet-to-read-him guys.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on September 18, 2009, 10:58:53 PM
By the way, I'm currently reading The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders.  I'd read Pastoralia prior to this, but this is a collection of his non-fiction.  I'm pretty early on in it, but it's very readable and enjoyable so far.

The Braindead Megaphone is great! I haven't actually read any other of his books- I should get on that. Recommendations, anyone?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on September 18, 2009, 11:00:59 PM
No excuse not to read Borges.  He's written a small handful of easily readable short stories.  Some essays, some poems.  Read that mofo.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 18, 2009, 11:18:48 PM
No excuse not to read Borges.  He's written a small handful of easily readable short stories.  Some essays, some poems.  Read that mofo.

I will!

I'm on it!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: screamdracula on September 19, 2009, 12:21:48 AM
--I'm reading Easy Riders Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind. The number of JAW DROPPING moments are uncountable.

--Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games. If you're a fan of The Wire, this book is a bit like The Wire in Mumbai. Insanely good.

--I went on a crime novel jag recently:
By Dennis Lehane: A Drink Before the War, Prayers for Rain. (Seamus award winner!)
By James Lee Burke: Just read one. They're all the same.
By Castle Freeman Jr.: Go With Me. A brief, weird, violent fantasy. Read it in an hour and think about it forever.
Best in Show: Friends of Eddie Coyle. George V. Higgins. He makes it hard to read ANY other crime novelists.

Note: I expected to like The Mad Ones by Tom Folsom and Seriously Funny by Gerald Nachman and thought they were over stylized.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on September 19, 2009, 12:38:53 PM
I'm reading Malcolm Gladwell right now.  I just finished "Outliers" and "The Tipping Point" before that.  Reading "Blink" right now.  Pretty much my favorite author right now.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on September 20, 2009, 06:54:50 AM
By the way, I'm currently reading The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders.  I'd read Pastoralia prior to this, but this is a collection of his non-fiction.  I'm pretty early on in it, but it's very readable and enjoyable so far.

The Braindead Megaphone is great! I haven't actually read any other of his books- I should get on that. Recommendations, anyone?

Oh boy, I love his short fiction. I would start with Civilwarland in Bad Decline, but Pastoralia is great too. Here's my obligatory annual nod to Jesse Thorpe for introducing me to Saunders via the Soil of Young America.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 20, 2009, 01:03:37 PM
The new(ish) issue of n+1.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on September 20, 2009, 06:13:21 PM
I'm reading Malcolm Gladwell right now.  I just finished "Outliers" and "The Tipping Point" before that.  Reading "Blink" right now.  Pretty much my favorite author right now.

I LOVED Tipping Point and Blink. Haven't read Outliers yet. Blink changed the way I thought about people, I guess I mean to say it made me rethink my first impressions.

I am reading THIS, which has an awesome cover-
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QE7DD9P5L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

back cover-
(http://www.dorothyparker.com/images/portable_back.jpg)

I've never read any Dorothy Parker, I honestly only picked this one because I thought the cover was awesome.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on September 20, 2009, 09:07:46 PM
By the way, I'm currently reading The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders.  I'd read Pastoralia prior to this, but this is a collection of his non-fiction.  I'm pretty early on in it, but it's very readable and enjoyable so far.

The Braindead Megaphone is great! I haven't actually read any other of his books- I should get on that. Recommendations, anyone?

Oh boy, I love his short fiction. I would start with Civilwarland in Bad Decline, but Pastoralia is great too. Here's my obligatory annual nod to Jesse Thorpe for introducing me to Saunders via the Soil of Young America.

Thanks! (I bought The Braindead Megaphone after hearing him on TSOYA too.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on September 20, 2009, 09:27:57 PM
Borges is so fucking great.  I second "Pierre Menard..." and "The Aleph," and would add "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbus Tertius" and "The Library of Babel."  I would also recommend all the Calvino so far, plus Cosmicomics and Mr. Palomar.  And incidentally, Calvino and Borges were buddies.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on September 20, 2009, 09:58:45 PM
This is a pretty routine point, but I get the same kind of pleasure from reading Borges (or Calvino to a lesser extent) as I get from really good sci-fi.  The way they just take some weird idea and run with it.  Bad sci-fi authors write about dumb ideas poorly, and of course some sci-fi is just adventure stories in space.

Where Borges seems to take his ideas from history, literature, theology, and philosophy, your Iain Banks takes his from science.  (Social science is included in here are the best sci-fi always has visions of weird societies.  Ken MacLeod is great at projecting things like left libertarianism into the future where humans interact with space lizards.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on September 20, 2009, 10:05:45 PM

The future where humans interact with space lizards.


I've done that.


They look amazingly like regular earth-lizards.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on September 20, 2009, 11:00:14 PM
This is a pretty routine point, but I get the same kind of pleasure from reading Borges (or Calvino to a lesser extent) as I get from really good sci-fi.  The way they just take some weird idea and run with it.  Bad sci-fi authors write about dumb ideas poorly, and of course some sci-fi is just adventure stories in space.

Where Borges seems to take his ideas from history, literature, theology, and philosophy, your Iain Banks takes his from science.  (Social science is included in here are the best sci-fi always has visions of weird societies.  Ken MacLeod is great at projecting things like left libertarianism into the future where humans interact with space lizards.)


Yesno, perfectly put. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dnk on September 21, 2009, 12:39:39 AM
Oh god, I attend one Gathering of the FOT and now find myself crawling into even the non-Best Show related threads... :p

I couldn't slog through all 64 pages of this so apologies if this book has already been mentioned. But it seems like everyone on this board would be a huge fan of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" if you haven't read it already.

Interested in metaphors comparing Trujillo's Dominican dictatorship to the rise of Sauron? With a protagonist that has a body like Ignatius in "Confederacy of Dunces," the teenage angst of Holden Caulfied, and the comic book love of a Patton Oswalt?

Seriously one of the best books I've ever read, although it's quite sad so I can't get up the gumption to read it again yet. "Confederacy of Dunces" also might be one of my most favorite books ever.

I liked OSCAR WAO. I was led to believe one of my classes this semester had the book on the syllabus, but it doesn't. I have a decent Spanish vocabulary, but I wonder how people with no background would fare with the random words thrown in there. Obviously context helps a lot for the most part, but I remember thinking to myself at random times that even with context, somebody that hadn't taken a Spanish class would probably not understand this sentence, sometimes paragraph if the word was important.

Fully entrenched in Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Of the four I've read, it's the most blatantly Faulknerian, but it's also the most pleasurable to read. It's nasty and horrific, of course, but kinda fun.

Did I just call Cormac McCarthy "fun"? I think AP Mike may've spiked my pizza last week.

It's the only Cormac McCarthy book I've read yet, and I loved it.  I couldn't get through "All the Pretty Horses" (an Imus favorite, by the way--my dad's a big fan of the I-Man).

I want to give The Road a shot, but I'm steeling up the courage.

The Road is actually a very easy read. You can probably make it through in a day or two. The one to prepare for is Blood Meridian. It was so unpleasant that I'm not sure whether or not I liked it.
No Country For Old Men is good but kind of unnecessary if you've seen the movie since they are almost identical. I haven't tried with any of the Border Trilogy since I've been warned away more than once.

Haha damn. I was planning on running through a lot of McCarthy this summer and decided on starting with BLOOD MERIDIAN. What little I read was very unpleasant for me. I got 25-30 pages in and decided I'd rather read something else, and then never went back to McCarthy over the summer. So THE ROAD is a good starting point?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on September 21, 2009, 05:21:57 AM
Oh god, I attend one Gathering of the FOT and now find myself crawling into even the non-Best Show related threads... :p

I couldn't slog through all 64 pages of this so apologies if this book has already been mentioned. But it seems like everyone on this board would be a huge fan of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" if you haven't read it already.

Interested in metaphors comparing Trujillo's Dominican dictatorship to the rise of Sauron? With a protagonist that has a body like Ignatius in "Confederacy of Dunces," the teenage angst of Holden Caulfied, and the comic book love of a Patton Oswalt?

Seriously one of the best books I've ever read, although it's quite sad so I can't get up the gumption to read it again yet. "Confederacy of Dunces" also might be one of my most favorite books ever.

I liked OSCAR WAO. I was led to believe one of my classes this semester had the book on the syllabus, but it doesn't. I have a decent Spanish vocabulary, but I wonder how people with no background would fare with the random words thrown in there. Obviously context helps a lot for the most part, but I remember thinking to myself at random times that even with context, somebody that hadn't taken a Spanish class would probably not understand this sentence, sometimes paragraph if the word was important.

Fully entrenched in Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Of the four I've read, it's the most blatantly Faulknerian, but it's also the most pleasurable to read. It's nasty and horrific, of course, but kinda fun.

Did I just call Cormac McCarthy "fun"? I think AP Mike may've spiked my pizza last week.

It's the only Cormac McCarthy book I've read yet, and I loved it.  I couldn't get through "All the Pretty Horses" (an Imus favorite, by the way--my dad's a big fan of the I-Man).

I want to give The Road a shot, but I'm steeling up the courage.

The Road is actually a very easy read. You can probably make it through in a day or two. The one to prepare for is Blood Meridian. It was so unpleasant that I'm not sure whether or not I liked it.
No Country For Old Men is good but kind of unnecessary if you've seen the movie since they are almost identical. I haven't tried with any of the Border Trilogy since I've been warned away more than once.

Haha damn. I was planning on running through a lot of McCarthy this summer and decided on starting with BLOOD MERIDIAN. What little I read was very unpleasant for me. I got 25-30 pages in and decided I'd rather read something else, and then never went back to McCarthy over the summer. So THE ROAD is a good starting point?

Yes! It's much more uplifting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on September 21, 2009, 04:55:34 PM
I'm reading Malcolm Gladwell right now.  I just finished "Outliers" and "The Tipping Point" before that.  Reading "Blink" right now.  Pretty much my favorite author right now.
I LOVED Tipping Point and Blink. Haven't read Outliers yet. Blink changed the way I thought about people, I guess I mean to say it made me rethink my first impressions.


Yes!  He is one of my favorite authors.  I can't wait to finish Blink.  I feel like after every book of his that I read, I can apply his theories immediately because they are so well explained by the end of the book.  Have you ever read The Black Swan?  I could not get through it but it reminds me of The Tipping Point, only Gladwell was easier for me to understand.

I started a lot of books this summer that I'm not sure I will ever finish: A Lotus Grows in the Mud by Goldie Hawn, The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, I'll Scream Later by Marlee Matlin and The Walking Tour by Kathryn Davis.  Davis is by far the most challenging author for me on that list and it takes me a really long time to read her work.  I read The Thin Place and getting through that was really rewarding. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 21, 2009, 07:06:20 PM
Oh god, I attend one Gathering of the FOT and now find myself crawling into even the non-Best Show related threads... :p

I couldn't slog through all 64 pages of this so apologies if this book has already been mentioned. But it seems like everyone on this board would be a huge fan of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" if you haven't read it already.

Interested in metaphors comparing Trujillo's Dominican dictatorship to the rise of Sauron? With a protagonist that has a body like Ignatius in "Confederacy of Dunces," the teenage angst of Holden Caulfied, and the comic book love of a Patton Oswalt?

Seriously one of the best books I've ever read, although it's quite sad so I can't get up the gumption to read it again yet. "Confederacy of Dunces" also might be one of my most favorite books ever.

I liked OSCAR WAO. I was led to believe one of my classes this semester had the book on the syllabus, but it doesn't. I have a decent Spanish vocabulary, but I wonder how people with no background would fare with the random words thrown in there. Obviously context helps a lot for the most part, but I remember thinking to myself at random times that even with context, somebody that hadn't taken a Spanish class would probably not understand this sentence, sometimes paragraph if the word was important.

Fully entrenched in Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Of the four I've read, it's the most blatantly Faulknerian, but it's also the most pleasurable to read. It's nasty and horrific, of course, but kinda fun.

Did I just call Cormac McCarthy "fun"? I think AP Mike may've spiked my pizza last week.

It's the only Cormac McCarthy book I've read yet, and I loved it.  I couldn't get through "All the Pretty Horses" (an Imus favorite, by the way--my dad's a big fan of the I-Man).

I want to give The Road a shot, but I'm steeling up the courage.

The Road is actually a very easy read. You can probably make it through in a day or two. The one to prepare for is Blood Meridian. It was so unpleasant that I'm not sure whether or not I liked it.
No Country For Old Men is good but kind of unnecessary if you've seen the movie since they are almost identical. I haven't tried with any of the Border Trilogy since I've been warned away more than once.

Haha damn. I was planning on running through a lot of McCarthy this summer and decided on starting with BLOOD MERIDIAN. What little I read was very unpleasant for me. I got 25-30 pages in and decided I'd rather read something else, and then never went back to McCarthy over the summer. So THE ROAD is a good starting point?

I would say either THE ROAD or CHILD OF GOD are good starting points since they're both fairly short and easy to get through in a matter of days. They're both grisly and violent and unpleasant (although, in spite of Dave's sarcasm, I would actually call THE ROAD an uplifting book in the end), but nothing like the depths of depravity you'll experience in BLOOD MERIDIAN. They're like intro courses. If you're still interested after finishing one or both, move on to BLOOD MERIDIAN if you're still interested (and, in spite of how awful and unpleasant it is, I will say that I do think it's worth reading).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on September 22, 2009, 04:15:52 PM
Did I leave my sarcasm on this thread? I been looking for it everywhere.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on September 22, 2009, 04:18:12 PM
I've been meaning to read some Gladwell, especially after his guest spot in Scary-Go-Round, but I'm lead to believe he's a little psuedosciencey.  Should I check him out?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on September 22, 2009, 04:24:30 PM
I've been meaning to read some Gladwell, especially after his guest spot in Scary-Go-Round, but I'm lead to believe he's a little psuedosciencey.  Should I check him out?

I would recommend him to anyone.  If anything, he is a good stepping off point for people interested in sociology who don't know a lot about it, like me.  When I was in NYC this summer, I was talking to a clerk at the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore near NYU who didn't really like him because he's supposed to have stolen a lot of his ideas and his writing is too redundant.  When I asked the clerk who he could recommend, he didn't come up with anybody, so I just continue to read Gladwell.  I certainly can apply his theories to daily life.  Quick read, on top of that. 


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dnk on September 22, 2009, 05:40:11 PM
By unpleasant, I was talking much more about the prose and writing style itself rather than subject matter. I simply did not enjoy reading it. But if you guys just mean unpleasant subject matter, do McCarthy's other books read similarly?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 22, 2009, 07:20:37 PM
By unpleasant, I was talking much more about the prose and writing style itself rather than subject matter. I simply did not enjoy reading it. But if you guys just mean unpleasant subject matter, do McCarthy's other books read similarly?

I was referring to subject matter. I don't find McCarthy's writing style unpleasant at all - once you get used to his eccentricities regarding punctuation, I would say that the writing itself is one of the biggest pleasures of reading McCarthy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on September 23, 2009, 10:28:17 AM
Apologies to those who like him, but I think Gladwell is kinda full of shit.  He basically takes a counterintuitive but interesting point, then cherry-picks evidence that supports it and ignores evidence to the contrary.  He is certainly an entertaining writer (I have always been able to finish the articles of his I've read, even while scoffing at them), but I can't bring myself to take him seriously.

I am currently on my way to the NYPL at Lincoln Center to read a bunch of Neil LaBute plays.  I hate Neil LaBute plays, but it's for a project.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: colonel panic on September 23, 2009, 10:39:39 AM
I like the way Gladwell writes but at the end of anything I read from him I have to ask "so?".

"their are outliers". ok.

"some decisions are made instantaneously". fine.

"some other dude invented stuff at the SAME TIME". so?

There's never any closure. Just more questions.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on September 23, 2009, 10:58:14 AM
I was going to sort of make fun of Gladwell but chickened out.  Grote broke the ice. Honestly, though, he's okay if you consider his origins as a magazine writer, whose job is to hype whatever he's writing about.  He takes research and blows it up beyond what the actual researchers who came up with it would ever do. 

I haven't read Outliers, and, although it's obvious the fact that success owes a lot to luck and circumstance, and then to hard work second, strikes me as being very, very worth saying, in a day where people believe we have a "meritocracy" contrary to all the evidence. (#1 predictor of how you'll turn out in life is how rich your parents are, not your own "merit."  Also, there is less social mobility in the US and Britain than continental Europe.  I've met plenty of smart people who think that we have a nation where smart, energetic poor people do better in life than dumb rich lazy people.)

If you like modern  "secret hidden truth of whatever" authors, I'd recommend "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely and everything Nassim Nicholas Taleb has written.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on September 23, 2009, 11:36:56 AM
I was going to sort of make fun of Gladwell but chickened out.  Grote broke the ice. Honestly, though, he's okay if you consider his origins as a magazine writer, whose job is to hype whatever he's writing about.  He takes research and blows it up beyond what the actual researchers who came up with it would ever do. 

I haven't read Outliers, and, although it's obvious the fact that success owes a lot to luck and circumstance, and then to hard work second, strikes me as being very, very worth saying, in a day where people believe we have a "meritocracy" contrary to all the evidence. (#1 predictor of how you'll turn out in life is how rich your parents are, not your own "merit."  Also, there is less social mobility in the US and Britain than continental Europe.  I've met plenty of smart people who think that we have a nation where smart, energetic poor people do better in life than dumb rich lazy people.)

If you like modern  "secret hidden truth of whatever" authors, I'd recommend "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely and everything Nassim Nicholas Taleb has written.


The Black Swan will change your life.  It may very well make it worse and more depressing, but it will change it.  Sway: The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behavior and The Drunkard's Walk are two other really eye-opening examples in the genre.

The message of all these books is basically, "No one knows anything," which is a hard pill to swallow, even for a hardened cynic.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 23, 2009, 01:35:04 PM
 I've met plenty of smart people who think that we have a nation where smart, energetic poor people do better in life than dumb rich lazy people.

Ew boy. A couple years in corporate America and you'll see what a load of crap that is. Unless by 'do better' you are talking about intrinsic sense of self-worth and contentment with life or something.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on September 23, 2009, 02:03:22 PM
The people who are most successful in life are the ones most interested in pushing the idea that it's solely due to their own merits.  The fact that daddy was rich or connected had nothing to do with it.  I'm sure that bonehead John Kerry (I'm being bipartisan here) would have gotten into Yale no problem if he wasn't a Forbes.

I don't think you can get any closer to an actual "meritocracy" though in the real world, unless you raise all kids in Brave New World-style nurseries.  People will always help their kids, and life is fundamentally arbitrary and unfair.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: wood and iron on September 23, 2009, 02:41:09 PM
Science fiction class reading update:

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon was fantastic. Deals with next human evolution which doesn't seem too ingenious of an idea now but in the 50's when this was published I'm sure it was astounding. Not only are there extremely interesting ideas, his style of writing is fantastic and very literary. The beginning seems almost Faulkner-esque.

Also, seems to be the basis for X-men and according to my professor Chris Claremont has said as much.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on September 23, 2009, 02:55:12 PM
I started The Black Swan a few years ago.  I'll have to go back and pick it up again. 

It's interesting to hear everyone's opinion on Gladwell.  I don't know too much about the genre but I just enjoy talking about books I'm reading.

I also want to re-read "Youth in Revolt" before the movie comes out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 23, 2009, 04:04:00 PM
I like the way Gladwell writes but at the end of anything I read from him I have to ask "so?".

"their are outliers". ok.

"some decisions are made instantaneously". fine.

"some other dude invented stuff at the SAME TIME". so?

There's never any closure. Just more questions.




Heh, I did a blog post 50 years ago on 'books that tell you all they're going to tell you in their title':

http://wordsofadvice4young.blogspot.com/2007/10/if-youve-read-title-youve-pretty-much.html (http://wordsofadvice4young.blogspot.com/2007/10/if-youve-read-title-youve-pretty-much.html)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on September 23, 2009, 11:32:50 PM

The message of all these books is basically, "No one knows anything," which is a hard pill to swallow, even for a hardened cynic.


No it isn't.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AndrewVDill on September 23, 2009, 11:50:45 PM
Why do you say that?

The message of all these books is basically, "No one knows anything," which is a hard pill to swallow, even for a hardened cynic.


No it isn't.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on September 23, 2009, 11:56:50 PM
What do you mean by "it" here, F. Ricks?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on September 24, 2009, 06:02:50 AM
What do you mean by "it" dhere, F. Ricks?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on September 24, 2009, 09:00:31 AM
What do you mean by "it" here, F. Ricks?


Dat hard pill, dere.


Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on September 24, 2009, 09:22:23 AM
(http://i.biblio.com/z/516/341/9780316341516.jpg)

Reads like one of Spike's daytime programs.  Everyone's backstabbing and sleeping around.

Favorite god: Bacchus
Favorite titan: Prometheus (kind of a no-brainer, that one)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: namethebats on September 24, 2009, 10:32:10 AM
I just finished Jennifer 8. Lee's "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures In The World Of Chinese Food." I'd recommend it for anyone curious about how Chinese cuisine changed when it came to America. I like her writing style, and there's plenty of fun tidbits (the D.C. boardinghouse where John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices planned Abraham Lincoln's assassination is now a Chinese restaurant called Wok n Roll).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on September 24, 2009, 04:07:42 PM
I just finished Jennifer 8. Lee's "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures In The World Of Chinese Food." I'd recommend it for anyone curious about how Chinese cuisine changed when it came to America. I like her writing style, and there's plenty of fun tidbits (the D.C. boardinghouse where John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices planned Abraham Lincoln's assassination is now a Chinese restaurant called Wok n Roll).

I had dismissed her purely on the basis of her middle name. It's a very annoying affectation. Glad to hear it's interesting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spoony on September 24, 2009, 05:49:56 PM
In an effort to catch up withe the rest of you well-read humps, I've started reading a collection of Lovecraft stories.

I'm very much enthralled with the Brooklyn of yesteryear. All overgrown swamps and graveyards. If he were a alive now he would re-write "The Lurking Fear" to be about coke withdrawl the day before a job interview at The Strand Bookstore.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on September 24, 2009, 06:05:30 PM
In an effort to catch up withe the rest of you well-read humps, I've started reading a collection of Lovecraft stories.

I'm very much enthralled with the Brooklyn of yesteryear. All overgrown swamps and graveyards. If he were a alive now he would re-write "The Lurking Fear" to be about coke withdrawl the day before a job interview at The Strand Bookstore.



And "The Horror at Red Hook" would be that new IKEA. <cue rimshot>
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on September 25, 2009, 09:27:15 AM
I finally got an NY library card because, for the first time, I'm doing research for a project where I don't actually want to own the books (in this case, commercially successful "realistic" plays).  The first one was Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, which was offensive to me not because it's sexist or fattist or whatever but because it's shockingly fucking incompetent and moronic.  The second was Adam Rapp's Red Light Winter, which (aside from being deeply misogynistic, whereas Fat Pig just pretends to be) was actually a pretty good read.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on September 27, 2009, 08:10:13 PM
I'm thinking of reading James Ellroy's latest, "Blood's A Rover."  I have enjoyed the four other books of his that I've read, but man does James Ellroy bug me in real life.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCSGrwqIszk[/youtube]

In a Q&A about the book on the Facebook Ellroy fan page, he refers to the "Beethovian greatness" of the book. He also says, "Meticulousness, diligence, profoundly rigorous work habits all contributed to the greatness of this novel. During the odd moments that my super-human resolve faltered, I stared at the numerous portraits of Beethoven that adorn my pad."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on September 27, 2009, 10:22:54 PM
I acquired 2 collections of Borges' stories. So far, so good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: thom on September 27, 2009, 11:05:27 PM
I acquired 2 collections of Borges' stories. So far, so good.
Library of Babel FOR THE WIN!
His short stories are a great example of how good writing can excuse a tired premise. I'd imagine a fair share of his sci-fi concepts were fresh at the time but now it's all been done and it's still a good read. Hey! Good job Borges!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 28, 2009, 06:31:02 AM
I'm thinking of reading James Ellroy's latest, "Blood's A Rover."  I have enjoyed the four other books of his that I've read, but man does James Ellroy bug me in real life.

[youtube][url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCSGrwqIszk[/url][/youtube]

In a Q&A about the book on the Facebook Ellroy fan page, he refers to the "Beethovian greatness" of the book. He also says, "Meticulousness, diligence, profoundly rigorous work habits all contributed to the greatness of this novel. During the odd moments that my super-human resolve faltered, I stared at the numerous portraits of Beethoven that adorn my pad."


I know what you mean, but it's pretty clearly an affectation. It's part of a strutting, attitudinizing public persona. I think so, anyway. Anyway, I don't let it bother me any more than when Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard or Cassius Clay (you probably know him as Muhammad Ali) calls himself "the greatest."

I'm about 100 pages into Blood's a Rover. If you like the others you've read (especially if American Tabloid or The Cold Six Thousand are part of that list), I'd say check it out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on September 28, 2009, 10:19:40 AM
I'm reading Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" so you don't have to.


So far it's exactly the same as the other two.  Which is to say, entertaining but incredibly, specifically formulaic.  

The first chapter is a 3rd person omniscient description of mysterious, nameless, physical freak who is intent on serving a dark purpose and bringing down something powerful.  I must say I'm surprised by that twist.


Another thing: am I the only one who assumes that Dan Brown writes the novels using "Dan Brown" as the main character and then does a find-and-replace with Robert Langdon?  Somebody do a search for "Dna Brwon."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on September 28, 2009, 11:04:00 AM
I know this is the books thread, but just sayin': If anybody out there has never heard any of the music Dan Brown made before he became the most important novelist of the century, it's essential. "976-Love", from his smash hit CD "Angels and Demons", is absolutely sidesplitting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on September 28, 2009, 12:22:04 PM
Just finished Midnight Pleasures, a collection of Robert Bloch short stories. I was kind of surprised at how unimaginative and formulaic it was; all of the characters spoke in a sort of a broad pre-Mad-Men 50's style, but then there would be the occasional reference to Ronald Reagan or Michael Jackson. Those references were the only real surprise in the book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: orator on September 28, 2009, 02:22:35 PM
Reading A Farewell To Arms by Hemingway, about two-thirds through. I'm enjoying it, but some of the writing feels goofy and some of the dialogue, especially between the protagonist and the love interest, is cheesy.

Probably going into Cormac McCarthy's All The Pretty Horses after this, or maybe The Sun Also Rises.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on September 28, 2009, 05:00:48 PM
I'm thinking of reading James Ellroy's latest, "Blood's A Rover."  I have enjoyed the four other books of his that I've read, but man does James Ellroy bug me in real life.

[youtube][url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCSGrwqIszk[/url][/youtube]

In a Q&A about the book on the Facebook Ellroy fan page, he refers to the "Beethovian greatness" of the book. He also says, "Meticulousness, diligence, profoundly rigorous work habits all contributed to the greatness of this novel. During the odd moments that my super-human resolve faltered, I stared at the numerous portraits of Beethoven that adorn my pad."


I know what you mean, but it's pretty clearly an affectation. It's part of a strutting, attitudinizing public persona. I think so, anyway. Anyway, I don't let it bother me any more than when Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard or Cassius Clay (you probably know him as Muhammad Ali) calls himself "the greatest."

I'm about 100 pages into Blood's a Rover. If you like the others you've read (especially if American Tabloid or The Cold Six Thousand are part of that list), I'd say check it out.


Thanks MOS.  I've read The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and American Tabloid.  In other words, I've started but not finished two of his multi-book series.

You're probably right about Ellroy's public persona.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on September 28, 2009, 05:32:36 PM

Thanks MOS.  I've read The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and American Tabloid.  In other words, I've started but not finished two of his multi-book series.

You're probably right about Ellroy's public persona.

Yah me too - I read him early on but never got around to the series ... and RE his persona, did anyone read My Dark Places? From what I remember it's pretty much his explanation for why he is the way he is.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on September 28, 2009, 10:08:20 PM

Thanks MOS.  I've read The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and American Tabloid.  In other words, I've started but not finished two of his multi-book series.

You're probably right about Ellroy's public persona.

Yah me too - I read him early on but never got around to the series ... and RE his persona, did anyone read My Dark Places? From what I remember it's pretty much his explanation for why he is the way he is.

Yeah, I read My Dark Places. Pretty, uh, dark. His writing has REALLY changed since his early stuff and style sometimes threatens to overtake content (and often does in The Cold Six Thousand) but I'm pretty onboard with it anyway. American Tabloid is my favorite, but I'm not done with Blood's a Rover yet.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on September 30, 2009, 01:44:54 AM
Reading A Farewell To Arms by Hemingway, about two-thirds through. I'm enjoying it, but some of the writing feels goofy and some of the dialogue, especially between the protagonist and the love interest, is cheesy.

Probably going into Cormac McCarthy's All The Pretty Horses after this, or maybe The Sun Also Rises.
I am completely unable to differentiate A Farewell To Arms from The Sun Also Rises in my mind- I have the differences between the locations okay, but that's about it- and I can never remember the titles. It's probably because we read them back to back in high school.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on September 30, 2009, 06:19:54 AM
I finally got an NY library card because, for the first time, I'm doing research for a project where I don't actually want to own the books (in this case, commercially successful "realistic" plays).  The first one was Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, which was offensive to me not because it's sexist or fattist or whatever but because it's shockingly fucking incompetent and moronic.  The second was Adam Rapp's Red Light Winter, which (aside from being deeply misogynistic, whereas Fat Pig just pretends to be) was actually a pretty good read.

I was trying to read a play a week, seeing as how I don't read enough of them, and started with "How I Learned to Drive" by Paula Vogel.  It disturbed me but I really wish I could have seen Mary Louise Parker in the role. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Petey on October 01, 2009, 05:15:36 AM
Reading A Farewell To Arms by Hemingway, about two-thirds through. I'm enjoying it, but some of the writing feels goofy and some of the dialogue, especially between the protagonist and the love interest, is cheesy.

Probably going into Cormac McCarthy's All The Pretty Horses after this, or maybe The Sun Also Rises.

That's dissapointing. I only read For Whom and it's one of my favorite books. If even his most famous books are corny though, I probably shouldn't even bother listening to my Across the River and Into the Trees audiobook. =[
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on October 01, 2009, 10:43:50 PM
I just finished the David Cross audiobook which would have been like listening to his stand up without an audience and would have been fine but throughout the entire recording he constantly berated the listener for not buying the book (by the way, the audiobook was five dollars more than the hardcover). I understand that reading a book is better and cooler than listening to an audiobook but I work fifty hours a week (for a meager wage I might add) and have kids to raise when I get home so lately listening to audiobooks at work is really the only way I can "read". I like David Cross as a comedian and when he's in something besides the latest CGI kidfest movie I usually like him as an actor but does he just think that if your career and/or lifestyle doesn't permit one to read that they should just stay dumb?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on October 01, 2009, 11:17:32 PM
I have a friend who loves comedy and also happens to be severely dyslexic.  He bought Cross's book from audible, and he was so angry that he was berated for listening instead of reading.  I think Mr. Cross might have lost two fans out of this.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dnk on October 02, 2009, 12:33:35 PM
I just finished the David Cross audiobook which would have been like listening to his stand up without an audience and would have been fine but throughout the entire recording he constantly berated the listener for not buying the book (by the way, the audiobook was five dollars more than the hardcover). I understand that reading a book is better and cooler than listening to an audiobook but I work fifty hours a week (for a meager wage I might add) and have kids to raise when I get home so lately listening to audiobooks at work is really the only way I can "read". I like David Cross as a comedian and when he's in something besides the latest CGI kidfest movie I usually like him as an actor but does he just think that if your career and/or lifestyle doesn't permit one to read that they should just stay dumb?

I have a friend who loves comedy and also happens to be severely dyslexic.  He bought Cross's book from audible, and he was so angry that he was berated for listening instead of reading.  I think Mr. Cross might have lost two fans out of this.

Yeah, that's messed up. How does he berate the listener? Just randomly interjecting that they should be reading? What else is changed from book to audiobook?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on October 02, 2009, 12:40:36 PM
You know, fans of alternative comedy are the last people I would expect to be offended by Mr Cross's politically insensitive anti-audiobook screed. In fact, given Cross's love of jokes that fold in on themselves, your reaction to this setup might be the punchline to his intentional joke that we wouldn't even know existed were it NOT for the discussion that follows this type or reaction.

Or something.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 02, 2009, 01:24:53 PM
I don't really see the difference between listening to an audiobook and reading something, provided you give the audiobook the same level of attention.

His standup sucks so I can't imagine the book is very good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on October 02, 2009, 03:04:57 PM
You know, fans of alternative comedy are the last people I would expect to be offended by Mr Cross's politically insensitive anti-audiobook screed. In fact, given Cross's love of jokes that fold in on themselves, your reaction to this setup might be the punchline to his intentional joke that we wouldn't even know existed were it NOT for the discussion that follows this type or reaction.

Or something.

It could be, but I think it's just more likely that David Cross is a dick.  Nothing I've seen of his suggests he has any skill at subtlety.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 02, 2009, 04:05:52 PM
I picked up The Watchmen at the library. I hear it's a lot better than the movie.

Also 'Kafka Americana', short stories from Carter Scholz/Jonathan Lethem re: what if Kafka came to America? So far I've only read the 'Kafka moves to Hollywood and writes the initial draft of 'It's a Wonderful Life'', and I liked that well enough. 'The Judgment' gradually mutates into the much-loved Christmas movie.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on October 02, 2009, 04:49:16 PM
Cinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons from the Movies

Dean Sluyter.


I'm halfway through and I like it a great deal.

I may modify my anti-Hollywood stance for a while.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on October 02, 2009, 08:43:12 PM
I just finished the David Cross audiobook which would have been like listening to his stand up without an audience and would have been fine but throughout the entire recording he constantly berated the listener for not buying the book (by the way, the audiobook was five dollars more than the hardcover). I understand that reading a book is better and cooler than listening to an audiobook but I work fifty hours a week (for a meager wage I might add) and have kids to raise when I get home so lately listening to audiobooks at work is really the only way I can "read". I like David Cross as a comedian and when he's in something besides the latest CGI kidfest movie I usually like him as an actor but does he just think that if your career and/or lifestyle doesn't permit one to read that they should just stay dumb?

I have a friend who loves comedy and also happens to be severely dyslexic.  He bought Cross's book from audible, and he was so angry that he was berated for listening instead of reading.  I think Mr. Cross might have lost two fans out of this.

Yeah, that's messed up. How does he berate the listener? Just randomly interjecting that they should be reading? What else is changed from book to audiobook?

He would just mention that in a certain section of the book a word was in quotes and that the listener should have bought the book. Then he would describe the way something appeared on a page and say something like "I don't understand why you didn't just buy the book, it's kind of lazy and rude". At one point I think he said something to the effect of "It's ridiculous that i have to hold your hand through this" I don't know it could have been a joke at the very end of the last cd after the audio credits there is a conversation between he and the producer about a part of the book that he apparently had not recorded and he said "I don't want to read it, no, fuck 'em" BUT the one redeeming factor is that there was a section of the book that was 6 pages long of his suggestion for quirks in quirky indy film characters, he didn't want to read it so he had Les Savy Fav compose a song with that section as lyrics. Made it kind of worth while. I did see he and Todd Glass live recently and it was a great show. I DO like his stand up and thought it was the best of his stand up yet. He's one of those guys that I like but never want to meet because it seems that he'd be a giant asshole and ruin Mr. Show and Arrested Developement for me forever.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on October 07, 2009, 02:09:55 PM
Just to offer a different perspective to the "David Cross is an asshole" thing: I've met the man in London when he was performing there, and he couldn't have been nicer or more generous to me. Superfriendly, bought me beer and chatted for a good hour. Maybe I caught him on a particularly good day, but there it is.



Anyway, that's not why I checked out this thread. What I was supposed to say was that Amazon is finally introducing the Kindle here in Europe, and I sort of want to try it. Anyone got one? Tried it? Good/bad experience?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 07, 2009, 04:44:16 PM
I use the Kindle (and Stanza) apps on my iPhone for convenient anywhere reading. I can't see lugging around an extra device. Maybe good for vacations, but vacations for me always include book shopping. In any event the screens aren't that great. Grey on grey. The big one would be killer for comics if it were color.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on October 07, 2009, 04:48:26 PM
I use the Kindle (and Stanza) apps on my iPhone for convenient anywhere reading. I can't see lugging around an extra device. Maybe good for vacations, but vacations for me always include book shopping. In any event the screens aren't that great. Grey on grey. The big one would be killer for comics if it were color.

I have a Sony eReader and I hate it. I don't need any more things to carry around.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Martin on October 07, 2009, 05:05:32 PM
Good point. Didn't know there was a Kindle app for the iPhone. Guess screen size is a drawback on the iPhone, but other than that... yeah.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on October 07, 2009, 05:09:33 PM
Anyway, that's not why I checked out this thread. What I was supposed to say was that Amazon is finally introducing the Kindle here in Europe, and I sort of want to try it. Anyone got one? Tried it? Good/bad experience?

I've looked at Kindles over peoples' shoulders. It looks too dark to me. I'm sticking with books.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 07, 2009, 05:58:30 PM
Good point. Didn't know there was a Kindle app for the iPhone. Guess screen size is a drawback on the iPhone, but other than that... yeah.

The screen size is a drawback but in normal reading conditions I prefer it over the e-ink things I've read from.  The page flips instantly on my phone, so that's an advantage over the Kindle, too. I don't know where this business about backlit screens being tough on the eyes comes from.  Big e-ink, I guess.  A bright screen hurts my eyes in the dark, but you can always turn it down.  The main thing is resolution, and modern smartphones have really good resolution.

The battery thing is a plus for the Kindle, but you know what else has a really good battery life? Books.  Books, and remote controls, also. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Spoony on October 07, 2009, 10:38:54 PM
Well, I'm about a quarter way into this Lovecraft book, and I hate him.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 07, 2009, 11:33:08 PM
The only things I don't like on the Kindle are technical papers or books, or graphic novels.

For novels and newsfeeds and such, it's really nice.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AlizaEss on October 09, 2009, 01:12:53 PM
What?! Kindle has graphic novels? That sounds kind of terrible.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 09, 2009, 01:24:45 PM
Heh heh, no it does not offer graphic novels (which would be terrible). I was just citing that as an example of something the Kindle just can't do.

That heh heh is kind of creepy, but I'm trying to break the :) habit.

What?! Kindle has graphic novels? That sounds kind of terrible.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on October 09, 2009, 02:37:17 PM
Graphic novel on the Kindle = person typing out 'heh heh.'
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 09, 2009, 03:02:46 PM
I managed to display some comics on a Sony Reader.  Only half a page fit one at once.  Wasn't terrible, wasn't great.

Comiczeal is as good as you can get with reading comics on the iPhone.  (You have to scale the pages to a resolution that doesn't lose any detail, and switch to a different format; .cbz files choke up a low RAM device.) It's not really worth it, you have to flick around so much to read a single page.  Nothing short of seeing the full, full resolution page all at once really works for reading comics with electricity.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on October 09, 2009, 03:09:00 PM
I usually skip the graphics and just read the word ballooons anyway. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 09, 2009, 06:12:57 PM
Graphic novel on the Kindle = person typing out 'heh heh.'

oof.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on October 09, 2009, 07:04:21 PM
I usually skip the graphics and just read the word ballooons anyway. 

When I was a big comics reader (mostly Marvel, when I was a kid), I realized one day after plunking down $500-$600 in all, I am not at all a visual learner, and I was doing just this; reading the text just as quickly as I could just to get through the thing. So I quit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 09, 2009, 07:47:58 PM
I linger over the wonderful illustrations. Or at least take note of them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on October 09, 2009, 11:13:42 PM
I linger over the wonderful illustrations. Or at least take note of them.

Yeah, I have to examine the pics. Comic books would be pretty short without them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on October 09, 2009, 11:15:29 PM
Oh and I'm currently about halfway through Slaughterhouse 5 which I'm loving so far. I know I should have read it a long time ago but better late than never.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on October 10, 2009, 12:41:00 AM
Oh and I'm currently about halfway through Slaughterhouse 5 which I'm loving so far. I know I should have read it a long time ago but better late than never.

Excellent; I just suggested it, for the sixth straight year, as my college's Common Book. I am ignored there as much as I am everywhere else.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on October 10, 2009, 01:22:49 PM
Dave, you're aces in my book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on October 11, 2009, 02:37:19 AM
Love Slaughterhouse 5.  Like Cat's Cradle even better.

I just got this book from my boss called: The Portable DO IT!: 172 essential excerpts from the #1 New York Times bestseller DO IT! Let's Get Off Our Butts  She said, "I saw this book and I immediately thought of you."  It's pretty stellar and I'm hoping not also a joke about my productivity.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on October 11, 2009, 09:37:34 PM
Finished The Lost Symbol.  Good airplane read, very fast.  But it's the damn same as at least the two other books of his I've read.  And you see the plot twists coming.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on October 15, 2009, 01:25:24 PM
And you see the plot twists coming.

Let me guess - he finds the symbol, right?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on October 21, 2009, 12:12:46 PM
Any suggestions for a SOLID collection of short fiction, for use in a college-level creative writing course?  I'm looking at something that will provide a stylistic models, as well as some diversity in narrative structures. 

So far I'm considering E. Annie Proulx's Close Range and Robert Olen Butler's Good Scent from a Strange Mountain are on the list. 

Thank you very much.

Ike
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on October 21, 2009, 12:15:14 PM
Just finished BLOOD'S A ROVER by James Ellroy, which was terrific. I've decided to move onto some lighter fare, so have started Pete Dexter's PARIS TROUT.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: kittykittymeowmixhead on October 21, 2009, 01:18:55 PM
I rarely read short fiction but I read about E. Annie Proulx's Close Range - seems like a great choice to me.

I am reading Wonder Boys. I loved the movie, but hadn't read the book yet. The movie is very close to the book, but it's worth reading if only for the stuff about the life of a writer and the 'midnight disease'. I'm not a writer (though I've tried), but I identify with them for some reason. I love when writers write about writers and writing :)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 21, 2009, 03:45:52 PM
I read the James Sturm graphic novel about Satchel Paige. I did not read it on a Kindle, although as the illustrations are black and white I suppose I could have lived with it. I have also read his graphic novel about the traveling Jewish baseball team, and the one about a 19th century revival where a couple punk's a minister by asking him to revive their dead child. He's very much into the historical graphic novels.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on October 21, 2009, 04:18:09 PM
I rarely read short fiction but I read about E. Annie Proulx's Close Range - seems like a great choice to me.

I am reading Wonder Boys. I loved the movie, but hadn't read the book yet. The movie is very close to the book, but it's worth reading if only for the stuff about the life of a writer and the 'midnight disease'. I'm not a writer (though I've tried), but I identify with them for some reason. I love when writers write about writers and writing :)

I watched the movie last week.  I liked it quite a bit.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on October 21, 2009, 04:36:05 PM
I rarely read short fiction but I read about E. Annie Proulx's Close Range - seems like a great choice to me.

I am reading Wonder Boys. I loved the movie, but hadn't read the book yet. The movie is very close to the book, but it's worth reading if only for the stuff about the life of a writer and the 'midnight disease'. I'm not a writer (though I've tried), but I identify with them for some reason. I love when writers write about writers and writing :)

I love the movie, but I hated the book.  I love everything else he's written, but Wonder Boys seemed to fail to me.  Although i saw in it the experiments he was conducting that really worked out in Kavalier and Klay.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on October 21, 2009, 07:36:39 PM
Just finished Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Fantastic, very moving and technically ingenious -- sort of an inversion of Great Expectations set in an alternate-reality present day England (more or less).

One of the best new books I've read in the past few years.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on October 21, 2009, 08:20:29 PM
Just finished Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Fantastic, very moving and technically ingenious -- sort of an inversion of Great Expectations set in an alternate-reality present day England (more or less).

One of the best new books I've read in the past few years.

yeah, that's a really good book. i kept thinking about it for weeks afterward.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on October 21, 2009, 08:45:46 PM
Is now a good time to mention that I don't OWN a television?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on October 21, 2009, 08:50:11 PM
Is now a good time to mention that I don't OWN a television?
Yep.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on October 21, 2009, 09:22:39 PM
I'm about halfway through When Engulfed in Flames. My feelings on it are mixed so far.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on October 21, 2009, 09:27:15 PM
May I mention: I don't even own a book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on October 21, 2009, 09:36:31 PM
I'm about halfway through When Engulfed in Flames. My feelings on it are mixed so far.

You and I might have reached similar conclusions but I'll wait till you're done to say.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on October 21, 2009, 10:58:54 PM
I haven't read it, but I have the audiobook.  It seemed to mark a new maturity for Mr. Sedaris.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on October 22, 2009, 09:46:10 AM
Since you asked, here's what I thought of 'Engulfed in Flames' - http://areyougenehackman.blogspot.com/2008/06/all-beauty-you-will-ever-need.html

I just got through this audiobook. Surprisingly serious, reflective and not insane.

(http://23.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_krqtugKTyn1qzt30so1_500.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on October 22, 2009, 10:56:23 AM
Since you asked, here's what I thought of 'Engulfed in Flames' - [url]http://areyougenehackman.blogspot.com/2008/06/all-beauty-you-will-ever-need.html[/url]

I just got through this audiobook. Surprisingly serious, reflective and not insane.

([url]http://23.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_krqtugKTyn1qzt30so1_500.jpg[/url])


His tweets are also pretty special.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: snogrog on October 22, 2009, 12:39:41 PM
Since you asked, here's what I thought of 'Engulfed in Flames' - [url]http://areyougenehackman.blogspot.com/2008/06/all-beauty-you-will-ever-need.html[/url]

I just got through this audiobook. Surprisingly serious, reflective and not insane.

([url]http://23.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_krqtugKTyn1qzt30so1_500.jpg[/url])


Does he read it or is it a more serious narrator? I'm hoping it's Patrick Stewart.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on October 22, 2009, 12:45:43 PM
I've been re-reading all my Chris Ware stuff.  Got into the first Rusty Brown last night.  That dream scene in Jimmy Corrigan where he has to shoot his tiny horse make me sob every time.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: whaleplane on October 22, 2009, 02:22:41 PM
I haven't read it, but I have the audiobook.  It seemed to mark a new maturity for Mr. Sedaris.
I much prefer the audiobook versions of Sedaris' work. Especially when it's a live recording. He adds just enough for it to be rather rewarding.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on October 22, 2009, 11:23:19 PM
I've been re-reading all my Chris Ware stuff.  Got into the first Rusty Brown last night.  That dream scene in Jimmy Corrigan where he has to shoot his tiny horse make me sob every time.

The last issue of Acme, from late 2008 I believe -- the one with the sci-fi story as its first half -- was incredible.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on October 23, 2009, 12:38:40 AM
I've been re-reading all my Chris Ware stuff.  Got into the first Rusty Brown last night.  That dream scene in Jimmy Corrigan where he has to shoot his tiny horse make me sob every time.

The last issue of Acme, from late 2008 I believe -- the one with the sci-fi story as its first half -- was incredible.

Agreed.  I love how Ware takes what seems like a diversion and makes it a central part of a large, decade-long story.  I'm a tennsy bit pissed that the next issue doesn't seem to be coming out any time soon.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on October 23, 2009, 01:58:14 AM
I haven't read it, but I have the audiobook.  It seemed to mark a new maturity for Mr. Sedaris.
I much prefer the audiobook versions of Sedaris' work. Especially when it's a live recording. He adds just enough for it to be rather rewarding.

I agree, Sedaris' work is storytelling so it seems so much more natural to listen to him read it. I feel the same way about Jonathan Ames.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on October 23, 2009, 08:51:38 AM
I picked up a copy of "Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception" after yesno mentioned it in the thread about "New Hope for the Ape Eared." 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on October 23, 2009, 09:04:41 AM
I picked up a copy of "Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception" after yesno mentioned it in the thread about "New Hope for the Ape Eared." 

And?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on October 23, 2009, 10:14:57 AM
I just Google Books'd that for the quote, which I had read/heard elsewhere. So I hope it's  good.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on October 23, 2009, 03:34:50 PM
I picked up a copy of "Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception" after yesno mentioned it in the thread about "New Hope for the Ape Eared." 

And?

I'm only on page 20, and it's still the introduction.  It's a little beyond my scope but the "vital lie" part comes from Ibsen so I can relate a little to that.

I just Google Books'd that for the quote, which I had read/heard elsewhere. So I hope it's  good.

Pretty good so far.  I'll let you know.
 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: buffcoat on October 23, 2009, 05:56:57 PM
"Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior" is a pop science take on this same subject (I think).  Pretty dang interesting.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on October 24, 2009, 01:32:31 PM
"Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior" is a pop science take on this same subject (I think).  Pretty dang interesting.

I'll put it on my list.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on October 24, 2009, 02:27:22 PM
Onto NOBODY MOVE by Denis Johnson. Fun little genre exercise.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: schep22 on October 26, 2009, 10:47:48 AM
Well, I finished reading Ficciones (Borges) last week.  It was one of those experiences where I can say that I enjoyed it, but I don't really know why, and I know that I didn't get everything out of it that I should have.

Part of the problem, I think, is that I read it in one hour lunchtime increments while people microwaved nasty leftovers around me.  I found that nearly every story had me completely confused at the beginning, but ultimately clicked in the end.  And (I'm embarrassed to admit this) checking the Wikipedia summaries after completing each story was invaluable.

I'm reading "And Here's the Kicker" by Mike Sacks now.  It's a book of interviews with top comedy writers on "their craft".  I'm enjoying it, and I was happy to see that the Scharpling & Wurster albums get a nod in the "Further Recommendations" section at the back.

Unrelated note:  Living in Cincinnati, I was happy that I got to wear my black (with orange) WFMU "bird" t-shirt to the Bengals/Bears game yesterday and look like I completely fit in.  Although, admittedly, I was afraid that the blob next to me was going to engage me in an unwanted discussion/inquisition about it.  Lucky for me, he instead chose to repeatedly try to sell me an open Bud Light that he didn't think he could finish.  Turns out, he could.  Quite easily.

p.s.  Not sure why I put "their craft" in quotes.  I guess I just have a hard time using the word "craft" when it's not in the same sentence as "yarn" or "glitter."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on October 26, 2009, 10:52:28 AM
Onto NOBODY MOVE by Denis Johnson. Fun little genre exercise.

I liked this book a lot.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on October 26, 2009, 11:05:04 AM
schep22, you do need to take your time with Borges -- one of his short stories is like a novel.  But his stuff is kinda mindblowing, so it's like you can't really wrap your head around it at first.  Even when you do get it it feels like you aren't.

As for me: more shitty plays for this project I'm working on.  But I just got Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City and I can not wait to read it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on October 26, 2009, 12:02:38 PM
Now reading SABBATH'S THEATER by Philip Roth. Like the other Roths that I've read from the same period, the prose is utterly mesmerizing. I'm not sure where the story is going yet, but I'm enjoying the writing so much that I kinda don't care.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on October 26, 2009, 02:58:49 PM
I am working through Fan-of-the-Best-Show Nathan Rabin's book THE BIG REWIND.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on October 26, 2009, 03:18:50 PM
I am reading a book full of Ramones interviews. Did you know the Ramones were straight-A students? Yeah, I'm pretty sure they lied about that, too.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on November 05, 2009, 05:15:50 PM
I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy's Golden Era

A fun book to read.  Mostly covers the 70s Improv/Comedy Store era, a time when Leno was an edgy young comic and Letterman was still doing standup himself.

Also, Richard Lewis' story is very interesting and entertaining, although I didn't buy the book thinking 'alright, the complete story of Richard Lewis, before Curb Your Enthusiasm'.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on November 05, 2009, 05:21:57 PM
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee183/gaughin/gaunt.jpg)

Of the five stories in this collection, three were very good, one was sort of tedious, and the last one was just silly.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on November 05, 2009, 09:44:31 PM
Now reading SABBATH'S THEATER by Philip Roth. Like the other Roths that I've read from the same period, the prose is utterly mesmerizing. I'm not sure where the story is going yet, but I'm enjoying the writing so much that I kinda don't care.

That is one of his few novels I've still never gotten around to. I kind of overdosed on his stuff about ten years ago and haven't loved some of his more recent work, but the mid-career stuff is his best, I think, so I really ought to go back and check that one off my list. Of all his books I think 'American Pastoral' and 'The Counterlife' are my favorites. And 'Portnoy's Complaint', of course. It's as endlessly funny to me as the first Pee Wee movie.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on November 05, 2009, 10:36:18 PM
I skimmed thru Portnoy's Complaint when I was supposed to be studying for a math test once.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on November 05, 2009, 10:44:11 PM
Almost through with The Great Gatsby.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 06, 2009, 08:15:50 AM
Now reading SABBATH'S THEATER by Philip Roth. Like the other Roths that I've read from the same period, the prose is utterly mesmerizing. I'm not sure where the story is going yet, but I'm enjoying the writing so much that I kinda don't care.

That is one of his few novels I've still never gotten around to. I kind of overdosed on his stuff about ten years ago and haven't loved some of his more recent work, but the mid-career stuff is his best, I think, so I really ought to go back and check that one off my list. Of all his books I think 'American Pastoral' and 'The Counterlife' are my favorites. And 'Portnoy's Complaint', of course. It's as endlessly funny to me as the first Pee Wee movie.

AMERICAN PASTORAL is my favorite of the ones I've read. I really liked THE HUMAN STAIN as well. The one from this period that didn't do much for me is OPERATION SHYLOCK.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 06, 2009, 03:28:41 PM
I'm reading I Can't Go On, I'll Go On a career-spanning, 700+ page Samuel Beckett reader.  I'm looking forward to hearing from all the other FOT who are also currently reading this.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on November 06, 2009, 03:58:35 PM
Now reading SABBATH'S THEATER by Philip Roth. Like the other Roths that I've read from the same period, the prose is utterly mesmerizing. I'm not sure where the story is going yet, but I'm enjoying the writing so much that I kinda don't care.


That is one of his few novels I've still never gotten around to. I kind of overdosed on his stuff about ten years ago and haven't loved some of his more recent work, but the mid-career stuff is his best, I think, so I really ought to go back and check that one off my list. Of all his books I think 'American Pastoral' and 'The Counterlife' are my favorites. And 'Portnoy's Complaint', of course. It's as endlessly funny to me as the first Pee Wee movie.


AMERICAN PASTORAL is my favorite of the ones I've read. I really liked THE HUMAN STAIN as well. The one from this period that didn't do much for me is OPERATION SHYLOCK.


I agree with crumbum, but I'd throw Operation Shylock onto my "best" list. Maybe it's just because it was the first one I read by him, but it made me an instant fan. I checked out after "The Dying Animal".

I just heard a lengthy interview with Roth on CBC Radio's Writers & Company. It's a good listen. There's a flash player here (http://www.cbc.ca/writersandcompany/audio.html) and podcast here (http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/index.html?arts#writersandcompany).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on November 06, 2009, 08:02:46 PM
I just heard a lengthy interview with Roth on CBC Radio's Writers & Company. It's a good listen. There's a flash player here ([url]http://www.cbc.ca/writersandcompany/audio.html[/url]) and podcast here ([url]http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/index.html?arts#writersandcompany[/url]).


I just downloaded this about two minutes ago. Pretty exciting -- Eleanor Wachtel is one of the best interviewers around and Roth can be an entertaining grump.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on November 06, 2009, 10:13:57 PM
Now reading SABBATH'S THEATER by Philip Roth. Like the other Roths that I've read from the same period, the prose is utterly mesmerizing. I'm not sure where the story is going yet, but I'm enjoying the writing so much that I kinda don't care.

LOVED Sabbath's Theater.  Amazing prose. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AlizaEss on November 09, 2009, 02:24:36 PM
I'm reading I Can't Go On, I'll Go On a career-spanning, 700+ page Samuel Beckett reader.  I'm looking forward to hearing from all the other FOT who are also currently reading this.

Had to read his book "Molloy" for school a few years ago. The plot loop that folded back in on itself was amazing. Don't want to give too much away, but I did enjoy it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 09, 2009, 04:43:54 PM
That's on my list too.  I do love Beckett. 

There's a lot of unreadable -- not Beckett-unreadable, but just plain unreadable -- stuff in the first third of this, mostly juvenalia, but I'm a completist so I read it anyway.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pastor Josh on November 09, 2009, 05:08:50 PM
I'm reading I Can't Go On, I'll Go On a career-spanning, 700+ page Samuel Beckett reader.  I'm looking forward to hearing from all the other FOT who are also currently reading this.

I carried that with me everywhere in high school.  I haven't read Beckett in so long.  I need to get that back out.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Joe Rogaine on November 11, 2009, 09:01:11 PM
The Gorch chapter is especially great.

(http://18.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ksy4ozZMcK1qz515bo1_500.jpg)




Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Matt on November 11, 2009, 10:21:28 PM
Currently reading:
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2422/3854191254_722bd55c37.jpg)

Up next: ATOMIC OBSESSION: NUCLEAR ALARMISM FROM HIROSHIMA TO AL QAEDA by John Mueller.

I'm in one of those moods lately.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: oncegompedtwiceshy on November 12, 2009, 05:56:51 PM
James Ellroy seems like a creep but I'm reading the final part of the Underworld series right now. Blood's a Rover. Its actually tough for me to get into this one although I had no problems with the others. It may have more to do with the fact that I watched/read some of his recent interviews than it does with the quality of the writing.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 12, 2009, 06:52:46 PM
James Ellroy seems like a creep but I'm reading the final part of the Underworld series right now. Blood's a Rover. Its actually tough for me to get into this one although I had no problems with the others. It may have more to do with the fact that I watched/read some of his recent interviews than it does with the quality of the writing.



I liked Blood's a Rover a lot. Ellroy does seem like a creep in interviews, but keep in mind he was the same creep when he wrote the other books. Plus it's hard to know when he's been serious in his interviews/public appearances. Someone called in recently reporting that they'd seen him at a book reading where he was saying things like "Rodney King deserved that beating" and kinds of other inflammatory shit, but I've read interviews where he was asked about his apparent political conservatism and he says something like "I just say that shit to fuck with people."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: oncegompedtwiceshy on November 12, 2009, 07:20:46 PM
James Ellroy seems like a creep but I'm reading the final part of the Underworld series right now. Blood's a Rover. Its actually tough for me to get into this one although I had no problems with the others. It may have more to do with the fact that I watched/read some of his recent interviews than it does with the quality of the writing.



I liked Blood's a Rover a lot. Ellroy does seem like a creep in interviews, but keep in mind he was the same creep when he wrote the other books. Plus it's hard to know when he's been serious in his interviews/public appearances. Someone called in recently reporting that they'd seen him at a book reading where he was saying things like "Rodney King deserved that beating" and kinds of other inflammatory shit, but I've read interviews where he was asked about his apparent political conservatism and he says something like "I just say that shit to fuck with people."

Yeah Im going to stick with it. I've also read that he's just trying to fuck with people, I guess that some of the sentiments expressed coupled with some of the less savory characters in the books can put a bad taste in mouth so to speak
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on November 12, 2009, 11:16:01 PM
About to start Stephen Colbert's book. Has anyone read it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on November 13, 2009, 12:37:28 AM
That's on my list too.  I do love Beckett. 

There's a lot of unreadable -- not Beckett-unreadable, but just plain unreadable -- stuff in the first third of this, mostly juvenalia, but I'm a completist so I read it anyway.

I've read a lot of Beckett, too. My favorite is Murphy. My least favorite is Watt (which I believe was written when he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and it shows).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 13, 2009, 01:31:55 PM
There's some Watt in here.  Now I'm curious.

I'm about halfway through a 100-page excerpt from Molloy (which I also own and intend to read in its entirety) and totally love it.  It's genuinely hilarious in a Mike Show kind of way -- counting the farts, running over the dog who was about to be put to sleep anyway, the parrot who says fuck you. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: B_Buster on November 13, 2009, 01:43:23 PM
Yeah, the Beckett trilogy is quite a reading experience. I liked the bit about sucking stones in Molloy.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on November 13, 2009, 01:45:44 PM
Yeah, that's great.  I want to try it and see if I lose weight.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on November 13, 2009, 04:13:50 PM
Yeah, that's great.  I want to try it and see if I lose weight.

You will if you don't swallow 'em.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on November 15, 2009, 10:11:55 AM
I am reading I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey by Paul Rudnick.
I like him better than David Sedaris, who I don't like very much.
But this book is just cute, nothing more, really.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on November 15, 2009, 01:23:44 PM
I am reading I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey by Paul Rudnick.
I like him better than David Sedaris, who I don't like very much.
But this book is just cute, nothing more, really.

David Sedaris has kind of milked that thing as far as it can go, which, good for him I suppose.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: ChrisRawk on November 15, 2009, 01:33:26 PM
I just finished 'My Custom Van', Michael Ian Black's book which was very, very funny.  Anyone else read it?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: gravy boat on November 15, 2009, 02:16:32 PM
I am reading I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey by Paul Rudnick.
I like him better than David Sedaris, who I don't like very much.
But this book is just cute, nothing more, really.

Rudnick used to do movie reviews for some magazine, written as the suburban wife of a dentist. They were great.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on November 15, 2009, 04:38:50 PM
I just finished 'My Custom Van', Michael Ian Black's book which was very, very funny.  Anyone else read it?

I've always wanted to. He posted many of those essays as blogs on myspace a long time ago but I will definitely check it out one day.

I went to our local library book sale and got Goldie Hawn's "Lotus Grows in the Mud" so I can finish it this week and I also picked up Terry Goodkind's "Wizard's First Rule," which is what the Sword of Truth series is based on.  I read it a long time ago and still haven't finished all the books but, I'm trying to give it another go.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on November 23, 2009, 03:19:31 PM
Still reading "Vital Lies, Simple Truths" by the way.  It's taking quite a while.  I'm really enjoying it though.  Lots of talk about schemas and lacunas and Freud.  I'm pretty certain it's helping me understand why I can only absorb the first five minutes of "Democracy Now!"

I have the Malcolm Gladwell book, "What the Dog Saw," on hold request at the library.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on November 23, 2009, 04:23:28 PM
Currently into THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC, the latest by Richard Russo. So far it's great, although the portrayal of the parents makes me uncomfortable, at least partially because I fear I will one day become them.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on November 23, 2009, 05:44:59 PM
  I'm pretty certain it's helping me understand why I can only absorb the first five minutes of "Democracy Now!"

Too much truth, JN?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: DoodleJump! on November 23, 2009, 07:17:51 PM
I'm now reading More Information Than You Require, which came in the library today for me!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on November 23, 2009, 08:28:45 PM
I am reading a trashy pulp horror book, a dead rip-off of Firestarter, called The Reach, I have loft plans to read a JFK bio during Christmas break.

It probably won't happen, but it looks good sitting there on my shelf.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on November 23, 2009, 09:22:15 PM
Celine's Journey Into the End of the Night. IT'S GREAT!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on November 24, 2009, 02:53:24 PM
  I'm pretty certain it's helping me understand why I can only absorb the first five minutes of "Democracy Now!"

Too much truth, JN?

According to this book, yes.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Christina on November 24, 2009, 03:09:06 PM
Celine's Journey Into the End of the Night. IT'S GREAT!

A Mike Show book club pick if there ever was one. (Also the Hamsun, right?)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 19, 2009, 11:12:47 AM
I just started Lorrie Moore's A Gate At The Stairs and it's fantastic.  And surprisingly hilarious, in a quiet sort of way.  I highly recommend it for people who like Saunders or Shteyngart.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ike on December 19, 2009, 11:22:01 AM
Pale Fire. 

85 pages in. 

Absolutely blowing my mind.  I have no idea why I waited so long to read this. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on December 28, 2009, 11:25:46 AM
Speaking of Pale Fire, I got a gift certificate to my local bookstore for Santa Day, and I'm inclined to spend it on some Nabokov - I finally read Lolita this year and loved it, and I want to dig deeper.  Problem is, I'm nervous to just pick one at random. From the way I've heard people discuss his body of work, I get the impression that he's written a few real stinkers along with his classics.

So what's the consensus on where to go with Nabokov after Lolita? Anything I should make a beeline for? Anything I should avoid like the plague? I see there's some love for Pale Fire here - anything else by him that might knock my socks off?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on December 28, 2009, 11:34:20 AM
Speak, Memory and Pnin are good post-Lolita reads.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on December 28, 2009, 05:30:01 PM
Lady Into Fox. It's a 1922 book about a lady who turns into a fox. The four-legged kind. It's not the template for the teensploitation 'girl with glasses takes off glasses and is suddenly hot' genre.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on December 28, 2009, 10:17:13 PM
Lady Into Fox. It's a 1922 book about a lady who turns into a fox. The four-legged kind. It's not the template for the teensploitation 'girl with glasses takes off glasses and is suddenly hot' genre.

Considering the plot, that title fucking rules.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Fido on December 28, 2009, 10:46:45 PM
The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. I put off reading this for years, and could continue no longer. Glad I finally picked it up -- it's a book I'll probably look back on as having helped me make sense of this world.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: put_it_away on December 29, 2009, 09:32:19 AM
Pale Fire.  

85 pages in.  

Absolutely blowing my mind.  I have no idea why I waited so long to read this.  


Pale Fire has been on my shelf for years and never been opened. I think you're saying I should pick it up immediately, which I will as soon as I'm done with Philip Dick's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

(http://pkdickbooks.com/LargeCovers/SFNovels/ThreeStigmataDaw1983.jpg)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: samir on December 29, 2009, 09:43:09 AM
I just finished Jon Ronson's THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS. It was okay - some interesting revelations. Interested to see the film, even though nobody seemed to like it.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: namethebats on December 31, 2009, 01:47:19 AM
I read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro over the course of a day on airplanes. He underplays the twists beautifully. Good luck getting that in the movie version.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on December 31, 2009, 09:46:11 AM
My wife got me a book that's 'the best of WFMU's LCD (Lowest Common Denominator)'. I didn't know such a thing existed. Tom Scharpling interviews Neil Hamburger within, also there are some good bits about the history of WFMU and free-form radio in general, and comix, lots and lots of comix.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on December 31, 2009, 12:05:23 PM
My wife got me a book that's 'the best of WFMU's LCD (Lowest Common Denominator)'. I didn't know such a thing existed. Tom Scharpling interviews Neil Hamburger within, also there are some good bits about the history of WFMU and free-form radio in general, and comix, lots and lots of comix.

Yeah, that is a really, really good book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on December 31, 2009, 12:33:54 PM
Ditto on the LCD book, it's great.  

I finished Jim DeRogatis' Turn on Your Mind:  Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock and it was OK, though his definition of the word "psychedelic" seems somewhat, shall we say, fungible.  As MOS said on Facebook, it should really be called "Justifying My Record Collection."  He blathers on about PM Dawn but largely ignores the Wu-Tang Clan, arguably the most psychedelic hip-hop group ever, at least if we use DeRogatis' definition of it (in a nutshell: using the studio to create an alternate reality in the mind of the listener).  And I love Wire and The Feelies, but it's a stretch to say they're more psychedelic than the Grateful Dead.  Still and all, there's some great stuff in it, especially the parts about The Beach Boys, Love, The 13th Floor Elevators, Lenny Kaye, and Eno.

Currently reading Carl Wilson's 33 1/3 book on Celine Dion.  A pretty amazing piece of criticism and philosophy, and actually making me kind of like her.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Reeleyes on January 07, 2010, 10:39:52 PM
Has anyone else discovered podiobooks? If so, has anyone discovered any good ones?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on January 08, 2010, 01:04:45 AM
Jerome K Jerome via Librivox. Librivox overall is great. Not a podcast thing.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on January 08, 2010, 08:01:55 AM
Ecology Of Fear - Mike Davis
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Pat K on January 08, 2010, 10:10:32 AM
I finished My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl last night. I wasn't expecting Great Literature, but it wasn't really that hot. I love his short stories for adults, but this was just okay. It was good for passing time during a week's worth of lunchbreaks, but not all that fun in the end.

Think I'm finally gonna hit Blood Meridian next. That's a fun lunchtime read, right?
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on January 08, 2010, 05:05:08 PM
Just started Roland Barthes' Image Music Text.  Hilarious!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Keith Whitener on January 08, 2010, 05:21:24 PM
Just started Roland Barthes' Image Music Text.  Hilarious!

Semiotics!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: crumbum on January 08, 2010, 09:26:04 PM
Just finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The guy is insanely gifted and the novel is a virtuoso technical performance. I guess I admired it more than loved it, for the fact that one guy was capable of writing in so many different styles and voices.

Before that, Netherland by Joseph O'Niell. I think all the hype piled on this one was right on the money. Easily the best new novel I've read in five years, maybe ten. The way he captures the intensity of the modern city reminded me of Bellow in Augie March and Seize The Day.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on January 09, 2010, 09:35:31 AM
Just started Roland Barthes' Image Music Text.  Hilarious!

Don't you think he's a sweetie pie?  I edited a book of his once and thought he was just darling.  And, no, I am not being facetious.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Bryan on January 09, 2010, 10:34:42 AM

Currently reading Carl Wilson's 33 1/3 book on Celine Dion.  A pretty amazing piece of criticism and philosophy, and actually making me kind of like her.

This book is wonderful. I was agnostic about Wilson (who's pretty ubiquitous in Canadian pop music criticism) and obviously not a fan of Celine Dion. But he really does some interesting stuff in this book.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: fonpr on January 09, 2010, 10:38:10 AM

Currently reading Carl Wilson's 33 1/3 book on Celine Dion.  A pretty amazing piece of criticism and philosophy, and actually making me kind of like her.

This book is wonderful. I was agnostic about Wilson (who's pretty ubiquitous in Canadian pop music criticism) and obviously not a fan of Celine Dion. But he really does some interesting stuff in this book.

Bryan, I heard an interview with this guy and I felt the same way for a while... then I listened to her music.


I am quite open-minded.  But, not THAT open-minded.  I love music too much.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Shaggy 2 Grote on January 09, 2010, 11:33:13 AM
Just started Roland Barthes' Image Music Text.  Hilarious!

Don't you think he's a sweetie pie?  I edited a book of his once and thought he was just darling.  And, no, I am not being facetious.

Seriously?  That's pretty great.  

I'm struggling with this one more than I did with Mythologies last fall, but that could have something to do with the fact that I've let my brain turn to mush over the holidays by watching dumb movies and reading nothing but comics and rock & roll books.  But I also think that Mythologies is more of a basic primer for a general readership.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: yesno on January 09, 2010, 11:42:46 AM
Laurence Sterne: A Sentimental Journey

Sterne is a tricky read. I'm never sure what he's up to.

I stayed up until 4 in the morning a couple weeks ago reading "The Deal of the Century: The Breakup of AT&T" by Steve Coll, because I'm cool.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Andy Harwoos on January 09, 2010, 11:46:29 AM
been reading "...supposedly fun..." by david foster wallace and I'm shocked by how funny and easy to read it is - it's just like a bunch of Douglas Adams essays.

Also reading 'hylozoic' by rudy rucker which is like douglas adams on some kind of stimulant.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Sarah on January 09, 2010, 11:48:24 AM
Seriously?  That's pretty great.  

Don't be too impressed.  I was dealing with translators; the man himself was quite dead.  I just thought he came off as a dear.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on January 09, 2010, 11:56:24 AM
been reading "...supposedly fun..." by david foster wallace and I'm shocked by how funny and easy to read it is - it's just like a bunch of Douglas Adams essays.

Also reading 'hylozoic' by rudy rucker which is like douglas adams on some kind of stimulant.

Rudy Rucker is one of my favorites. Try The Hacker and the Ant (could be The Ant and the Hacker, it's been a while.)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Andy Harwoos on January 09, 2010, 12:04:42 PM
haven't got to that one yet. I've read master of space and time, white light, software and postsingular. I actually found out about him through his paintings (i'm a graphics student)
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JonFromMaplewood on January 12, 2010, 09:45:25 AM
The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy.

At this point in the book, one of the main characters is helping Howard Hughes invest money in Vegas casinos, helping the Mob skim off the top of that investment, and then siphoning the skim into legit businesses for laundering purposes. He is also using MLK's organizations as said legit businesses to help J. Edgar Hoover screw MLK.

That is one sliver of the story line.  This is the fifth Ellroy book I have read and I still cannot figure out how he does it.  Total OCD writing.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Andy Harwoos on January 12, 2010, 09:53:00 AM
just read a short story from the 40s called Blabbermouth by theodore sturgeon. It has a character who sends 27 telegrams everyday to ppl he barely knows. I tweeted about it immediately
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on January 12, 2010, 10:02:47 AM
The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy.

At this point in the book, one of the main characters is helping Howard Hughes invest money in Vegas casinos, helping the Mob skim off the top of that investment, and then siphoning the skim into legit businesses for laundering purposes. He is also using MLK's organizations as said legit businesses to help J. Edgar Hoover screw MLK.

That is one sliver of the story line.  This is the fifth Ellroy book I have read and I still cannot figure out how he does it.  Total OCD writing.

I know he outlines the story before he begins writing. I read an interview where he said the outline for his latest book ran 397 pages. I suppose it should come as no surprise that the guy's a lunatic.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on January 12, 2010, 10:20:45 AM
The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy.

At this point in the book, one of the main characters is helping Howard Hughes invest money in Vegas casinos, helping the Mob skim off the top of that investment, and then siphoning the skim into legit businesses for laundering purposes. He is also using MLK's organizations as said legit businesses to help J. Edgar Hoover screw MLK.

That is one sliver of the story line.  This is the fifth Ellroy book I have read and I still cannot figure out how he does it.  Total OCD writing.

I'm reading American Tabloid now.  Ellroy provides a colorful blast during the bleak winter. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on January 12, 2010, 12:03:46 PM
I am reading 'Perfect Rigor' which is about Grigory Perelman, the guy who proved the Poincare Conjecture, posted it on the Internet, won prestigious prizes and was offered many jobs, and then rejected everybody and everything and dropped off the face of the earth.

It is a pretty interesting look into the late Soviet era mathematics world, so it's not 'A Beautiful Mind 2: A More Beautiful Mind'
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: JustNicole on January 12, 2010, 04:06:42 PM
I am reading 'Perfect Rigor' which is about Grigory Perelman, the guy who proved the Poincare Conjecture, posted it on the Internet, won prestigious prizes and was offered many jobs, and then rejected everybody and everything and dropped off the face of the earth.

It is a pretty interesting look into the late Soviet era mathematics world, so it's not 'A Beautiful Mind 2: A More Beautiful Mind'

Not only does Perfect Rigor sound amazing, I would also be interested in reading "A Beautiful Mind 2: A More Beautiful Mind."
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Andy Harwoos on January 12, 2010, 04:12:09 PM
Just saw a discovery channel doc about the guy beautiful mind is about. That's an insane story - should have been directed by David cronenberg or someone
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on January 12, 2010, 04:47:50 PM
Yes, the real 'Beautiful Mind' guy (Nash) is very interesting.

There are a lot of math and science people I think would make for interesting biopics: the physicist Richard Feynman stands out as one that would be a particularly great subject.

Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Chris L on January 12, 2010, 04:50:42 PM
Just saw a discovery channel doc about the guy beautiful mind is about. That's an insane story - should have been directed by David cronenberg or someone

He almost did with SPIDER, the movie that some call the 50th greatest of the 00's.  
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Andy Harwoos on January 12, 2010, 04:59:53 PM
Surely you're joking mr Feynman is one of my flavouriute books ever. "get out of my way or I'll pee right through ya!"
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: dave from knoxville on January 13, 2010, 02:52:05 AM
Just saw a discovery channel doc about the guy beautiful mind is about. That's an insane story - should have been directed by David cronenberg or someone

He almost did with SPIDER, the movie that some call the 50th greatest of the 00's.  

Wait til you see my super crazy list of the 1000 greatest films of the oughts. Spider makes the cut!
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Ignore Function on January 13, 2010, 08:19:41 PM
Reading Japrocksampler:How The Post-War Japanese Blew Their Minds On Rock'N'Roll by Julian Cope.
Highly recommended.  Some of the band histories are completely nuts. 

Listening to the audio book of Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. 
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: masterofsparks on January 13, 2010, 10:01:01 PM
Reading Japrocksampler:How The Post-War Japanese Blew Their Minds On Rock'N'Roll by Julian Cope.
Highly recommended.  Some of the band histories are completely nuts.   

And, from what I've heard, largely fiction.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: AllisonLeGnome on January 13, 2010, 11:14:18 PM
I just finished Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. I enjoyed it, but somehow I'm always vaguely suspicious of books I finish too quickly. Maybe I'm just used to trying to read textbooks (or it's time to actually tackle Infinite Jest).
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: Steve of Bloomington on January 14, 2010, 04:25:20 PM
Reading Japrocksampler:How The Post-War Japanese Blew Their Minds On Rock'N'Roll by Julian Cope.
Highly recommended.  Some of the band histories are completely nuts. 

Listening to the audio book of Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. 

I saw Japrocksampler at the record store. It looked very interesting. I hoped my friend who has a Ph.D. in and teaches about Japanese history would buy that and loan it to me later, but that didn't happen. I may have to go back and get it for myself.
Title: Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
Post by: chuck from cedar rapids on January 14, 2010, 05:32:05 PM
I just finished reading the first three Culture novels by Ian M. Banks. All three were very good, with "Use of Weapons" being my favorite.

I've got a huge stack of books to read, including more Banks novels. I think my next choic