Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 701066 times)

Chris L

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1200 on: February 21, 2010, 04:25:07 PM »
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.


For the record, I found this Norman Cohn book on display at Barnes & Noble today in a "Re-discovered classics" edition for $14.95, much cheaper than the Amazon price.

Currently reading Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine in advance of avoiding the new documentary adaptation.  I understand she's distanced herself from it, which must make it pretty half-baked since the central economic "shock therapy" metaphor is already stretched thin.  Useful and compelling overall, though.   

buffcoat

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1201 on: February 21, 2010, 07:24:20 PM »
Oh, I"ve had the 5-Star bars too ... I also like the fact that they're small. When I feel like a piece of candy, getting a really well made little thang is pretty nice. And you don't feel you've gorged either, you know?

It's all so very continental or some shit.

Loved Candyfreak.
I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy tone, Bro!

B_Buster

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1202 on: February 21, 2010, 10:44:49 PM »
Yeah, Chris L., I was so anxious to get the Norman Cohn book I didn't even shop around. I could have got it for a credit on paperbackswap.com (a great site that everyone should check out--tell 'em I sent you (mlisk60579@aol.com) and I'll get a credit).

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Cotton

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1203 on: February 22, 2010, 12:36:05 AM »
Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life

mostly for the weird stories in it about an old writing professor of mine

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1204 on: February 22, 2010, 12:07:50 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!"

I think this is where we differ: I'm with Slavoj Žižek when he says that philosophy and metaphysics are essentially useless when it comes to the physical world, and that's how it should be.  I think James et. al belong to an essentially different discipline: ethics, perhaps, or sociology, or policy.  I have nothing at all against any of that, though this goddamn book is still boring me.  I'm sticking with it out of compulsion, or maybe because I like Menand's New Yorker articles, or maybe some blinkered notion that reading outside of my comfort zone is somehow good for me.  But I find myself reaching for a lot magazines and comics in the process, a sure sign that I'm not that eager to get back into the antics of Louis Aggasiz.  

I will admit that the scientific racism stuff is pretty interesting, however.
Oh, good heavens. I didn’t realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the O’Connor family.

B_Buster

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1205 on: February 22, 2010, 02:47:50 PM »
I have the Menand book sitting on my shelf, Jason, but it's stayed there mainly because I find his New Yorker articles a little boring. His topics are usually interesting, but the articles themselves tend to be a bit stiff.
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1206 on: February 22, 2010, 03:12:30 PM »
Yeah, I wish I could tell you that you should just jump right in, but nah, especially if you're not into Menand's articles.  I just had 30 minutes to kill and instead of slogging through it I went for the collected version of the Marvel comic The Hood, which was a fun read.  Why am I not giving up?  I guess I'm hoping for some kind of payoff once we reach WW1?
Oh, good heavens. I didn’t realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the O’Connor family.

yesno

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1207 on: February 22, 2010, 03:26:32 PM »
I also have that book sitting on my shelf unread!

As a general matter I am a big fan of the pragmatists.  They were non-contradictory.  I generally like it when people take their ideas to their logical conclusions, and I generally don't like it when people argue against conclusions rather than the ideas they follow from.

herbsweal

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1208 on: February 25, 2010, 11:15:54 PM »
I'm currently reading The Lovely Bones. With about less than half to go, I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed. It got way too much hype.

not that clay

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1209 on: February 26, 2010, 01:17:10 AM »
I also have that book sitting on my shelf unread!

As a general matter I am a big fan of the pragmatists.  They were non-contradictory.  I generally like it when people take their ideas to their logical conclusions, and I generally don't like it when people argue against conclusions rather than the ideas they follow from.

Can you unpack "argue against conclusions"? It sounds cool but I can't understand it.

buffcoat

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1210 on: February 26, 2010, 02:21:49 PM »
I also have that book sitting on my shelf unread!

As a general matter I am a big fan of the pragmatists.  They were non-contradictory.  I generally like it when people take their ideas to their logical conclusions, and I generally don't like it when people argue against conclusions rather than the ideas they follow from.

Can you unpack "argue against conclusions"? It sounds cool but I can't understand it.


Please... don't tell him how to do it.  It sickens me.
I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy tone, Bro!

yesno

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1211 on: February 26, 2010, 03:15:33 PM »
That was a very poorly phrased post of mine, so I will sicken buffcoat.  It just means attacking an idea because you don't like it, instead of looking at the train of thought that leads to it.  This is not specific to anyone. 

A lot of people reject the pragmatists because they seem nihilistic instead of grappling with the reasons they say what they say.  That's all.

masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1212 on: March 09, 2010, 07:18:04 PM »
I just finished re-reading The Daily Adventures of Mixerman, and it was just as hilarious and entertaining the second time through. In case anyone is unfamiliar with it, a real-life mixer decided to write an online journal documenting the upcoming sessions for an (unnamed) major-label bidding war band's debut album. Everything goes hilariously wrong almost immediately and it only gets worse from there. The dust jacket says it does for recording for Spinal Tap did for heavy metal, and while I think that's overstating the case, it is very funny and enjoyable reading.
I'll probably go into the wee hours.

Steve of Bloomington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1213 on: March 09, 2010, 07:43:10 PM »
I am reading The Dalkey Archive by Flann O'Brien of Third Policeman fame. Here we get to meet De Selby the actual person and bicycles figure in again. I'm just starting it, but so far it's quite funny.

crumbum

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1214 on: March 10, 2010, 08:42:37 AM »
Yeah, I wish I could tell you that you should just jump right in, but nah, especially if you're not into Menand's articles.  I just had 30 minutes to kill and instead of slogging through it I went for the collected version of the Marvel comic The Hood, which was a fun read.  Why am I not giving up?  I guess I'm hoping for some kind of payoff once we reach WW1?

I read The Metaphysical Club around the time it came out, and the only thing I remember now is that it featured a photo of John Dewey in his dotage sitting in a little seaside village in Nova Scotia, and in a really strange coincidence when I came to that photo I had just visited a friend in that very isolated village a few hours before. Everything else in the book fled my mind years ago, so I would say I didn't really loved it.

However I do love his New Yorker articles and they're one of the only things that'll still make me buy the magazine. The only thing that sometimes bugs me is that he has this rhetorical device he uses in almost every article -- I'm not sure what you'd call it but it's always phrased in about the same way: 'X is not [commonly accepted wisdom]; X is [exact opposite of commonly accepted wisdom].' It starts to seem kind of gimmicky and pedantic about the tenth time you notice it.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 08:44:38 AM by crumbum »

 

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