Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 753915 times)

AllisonLeGnome

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #975 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.)

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #976 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.
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yesno

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #977 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.)

fonpr

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #978 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.
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Pastor Josh

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #979 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. 
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dnk

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #980 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?

dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #981 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.

JustNicole

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #982 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. 
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masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #983 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).
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dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #984 on: September 22, 2009, 04:15:52 PM »
Did I leave my sarcasm on this thread? I been looking for it everywhere.

Pastor Josh

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #985 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?
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JustNicole

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #986 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. 


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dnk

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #987 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?

masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #988 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.
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #989 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.
Oh, good heavens. I didnít realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the OíConnor family.