Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 707440 times)

JBillington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #615 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.

Bryan

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #616 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.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #617 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.

dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #618 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.

Chris L

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #619 on: April 10, 2009, 12:42:47 PM »
Which Robert Bolano book should I read first:  The Savage Detectives or 2666?

Wes

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #620 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.
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Matt

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #621 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.
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B_Buster

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #622 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.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #623 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.

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JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #624 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!
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yesno

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #625 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.

JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #626 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.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #627 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.



JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #628 on: April 12, 2009, 10:03:26 AM »
"I'm riding the silence like John Cage up in this piece." -Tom Scharpling

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #629 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.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 03:10:21 PM by Groteface Killah »
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