Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 742736 times)

Steve of Bloomington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1170 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.

chuck from cedar rapids

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1171 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 choice might be "Our Band Could Be Your Life" or the "Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs".

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1172 on: January 14, 2010, 08:33:20 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.   

And, from what I've heard, largely fiction.
Hmmm....I will investigate.

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1173 on: January 14, 2010, 09:52:04 PM »
Yeah, I'd like to hear more.  I have a copy of Japrocksampler that I haven't read yet and I need to know what I'm getting into.
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masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1174 on: January 14, 2010, 11:14:27 PM »
Yeah, I'd like to hear more.  I have a copy of Japrocksampler that I haven't read yet and I need to know what I'm getting into.

I don't have much detail, but a buddy of mine has been living in Japan for the past several years and is in the process of writing a book about the history of Japanese rock music and he told me that a lot of the musicians he's spoken with have mentioned how much of Cope's book is either exaggerated or just plain not true. I guess the guys in the Flower Travellin' Band wouldn't even talk to him at first because they were afraid my friend was also going to misrepresent them in print.
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Ojingeo

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1175 on: January 15, 2010, 03:57:03 AM »
Anyone here reading Conquest of the Useless by Herzog? I'm about halfway through, and I think its pretty awesome. It's kind of like WG Sebald or Kapuscinski. But I'm religious about everything Werner Herzog. Despite my bias, I think he is a literary genius. I'll have to post some quotes.

I really really want to read some David Mitchell. I would love to read the Cope book, although the reviews of it on Amazon aren't very good. I never got to read Krautrock sampler either. I love me some Cope!

Too bad I didn't try to get into the Rogue Film School. At the end of the weekend you get a signed copy of Conquest of the Useless.
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wood and iron

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1176 on: February 18, 2010, 02:30:51 PM »
I haven't finished yet but I must sing the praises of The Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu. It's an examination of the various comic book scares that the media, religions, and government got whipped up into, particularly the one in the 50's regarding the horror and crime comic books exemplified by EC Comics titles such as "Crime SuspenStories" and "Tales from the Crypt". The book is extremely well written and gives an interesting examination of how comics came to have severed heads on their covers.

A minor quibble: Hajdu tends to make his point multiple times. For example, we're treated to a thorough recreation of comic book burning organized by various groups. This is a very valid example of the fervor brewing in the public, however, he puts in about three or four recreations of these comic book burnings. I understand he's done research and is citing examples to back up his thesis, but at a certain point it's just repetitive and doesn't add to the narrative.

I will say, I really love how he doesn't instantly buy into the self-mythology that a lot of the comic book writers, publishers, and artists have created around themselves when reflecting back on that time. He'll print what they said to him or an interview and then undercut with some fact or reason why that might not be entirely the case. It's not done with any malice but just to make sure he's being fair and not idolizing these men and women too much.

As a result, I found a way to read a bulk of the EC comics of this time period and so far, I'm enjoying it. It's hard to read them from a modern view point as they seem kind of hacky and tame. The art is fantastic in some spots and they're just a really fun read.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1177 on: February 18, 2010, 02:54:29 PM »
Anyone here reading Conquest of the Useless by Herzog? I'm about halfway through, and I think its pretty awesome. It's kind of like WG Sebald or Kapuscinski. But I'm religious about everything Werner Herzog. Despite my bias, I think he is a literary genius. I'll have to post some quotes.

I really really want to read some David Mitchell. I would love to read the Cope book, although the reviews of it on Amazon aren't very good. I never got to read Krautrock sampler either. I love me some Cope!

Too bad I didn't try to get into the Rogue Film School. At the end of the weekend you get a signed copy of Conquest of the Useless.

Yeah, I read it and enjoyed it.  There is a line somewhere in the book, and I'm paraphrasing, "I felt so alone, I buried the book at the edge of the jungle with a borrowed spade," that just epitomizes the whole Herzog scene, both good and bad.

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crumbum

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1178 on: February 18, 2010, 11:27:25 PM »
I will say, I really love how he doesn't instantly buy into the self-mythology that a lot of the comic book writers, publishers, and artists have created around themselves when reflecting back on that time. He'll print what they said to him or an interview and then undercut with some fact or reason why that might not be entirely the case. It's not done with any malice but just to make sure he's being fair and not idolizing these men and women too much.

I remember reading a great article by Louis Menand in the New Yorker a couple of years ago reviewing that book and touching on some of the points you mention. Having heard the story of Frederick Wertham's witch-hunt against EC Comics and others so many times over the years, I was particularly surprised to learn that Wertham was essentially a progressive liberal whose ideas about censorship weren't all that extreme.

wood and iron

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1179 on: February 19, 2010, 12:54:10 AM »
I will say, I really love how he doesn't instantly buy into the self-mythology that a lot of the comic book writers, publishers, and artists have created around themselves when reflecting back on that time. He'll print what they said to him or an interview and then undercut with some fact or reason why that might not be entirely the case. It's not done with any malice but just to make sure he's being fair and not idolizing these men and women too much.

I remember reading a great article by Louis Menand in the New Yorker a couple of years ago reviewing that book and touching on some of the points you mention. Having heard the story of Frederick Wertham's witch-hunt against EC Comics and others so many times over the years, I was particularly surprised to learn that Wertham was essentially a progressive liberal whose ideas about censorship weren't all that extreme.

Yeah, that really surprised me as well. He apparently was a personal friend of Ralph Ellison and he started a clinic in Harlem.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1180 on: February 19, 2010, 10:02:42 AM »
I just ordered this from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195004566/ref=oss_product

To say I have high hopes would be an understatement.
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Chris L

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1181 on: February 19, 2010, 11:11:23 AM »
I just ordered this from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195004566/ref=oss_product

To say I have high hopes would be an understatement.


Looks good!  I'm looking forward to David Mitchell's new novel in June.

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1182 on: February 19, 2010, 12:39:55 PM »
Speaking of Louis Menand, I just started The Metaphysical Club.  Kinda boring so far; I have to say that rich Harvard types during the Civil War is about the least interesting topic possible for me.  I'd be more into that Norman Cohn book Mike just linked.  I'll give it a few more pages - maybe the William James section gets interesting. 
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1183 on: February 19, 2010, 01:17:37 PM »
Speaking of Louis Menand, I just started The Metaphysical Club.  Kinda boring so far; I have to say that rich Harvard types during the Civil War is about the least interesting topic possible for me.  I'd be more into that Norman Cohn book Mike just linked.  I'll give it a few more pages - maybe the William James section gets interesting. 

I read it when it came out. I really enjoyed it, and I love Menand's pieces in the New Yorker, but after I read it I decided to never read philosophy ever again. The whole business of philosophy seems to be just  groundless speculation and its careful refutation. It's cool that the pragmatists broke through that and I love 'em for it, but that pragmatism wasn't already taken for granted shows how nuts philosophers are. Sometimes they get lucky and actually figure something out -- if you go back far enough in any science it'll start with brainstorming philosophers -- but then it starts being science and stops being philosophy. So what you're left with is what  Van Morrison says: "Questions! Questions! Questions!"

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1184 on: February 19, 2010, 02:35:12 PM »
I'm reading Lesley Hazleton's "After the Prophet", the story of the split between the Shia-Suuni split of Islam, and let me tell you, it's a page-turner-- totally not what I was expecting.