Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 721374 times)

AaronC

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1320 on: May 31, 2010, 06:17:54 AM »
Recently Finished
Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Currently Reading
The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson
The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

On Deck
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 07:11:49 AM by AaronC »

Ike

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1321 on: June 06, 2010, 12:11:28 PM »
Started and finished during the month of May until now:

A Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell.  Loved this book.  Highly engrossing, a few quibbles about style here and there, but a true-blue PAGE TURNER. 

Interview book with some shitbird and David Foster Wallace.  Abysmal.  I couldn't put it down.  It was just horrifically, brutally bad.  He mistook DFW's style somehow as license to use completely fragmentary language/syntax.  Also, I hate rich people. 

Child of God by Cormac Mc.  What....the....fuck. Totally insane.  Depraved, completely nuts. 

The two Franzen stories from the New Yorkers the past year or so.  Can't wait to read Freedom. 

Kupperman book, vol. one.  Read it on the plane, per Tom S's interview and discussion, and it's great.  Super, super outloud laughing funny. 

NEXT UP--finish about 393828 books I started last summer.  Not the least of which will include, but not exclusive too, Pynchon, Nabakov, and that Devil in the White City book that the kids are all raving about. 

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masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1322 on: June 06, 2010, 12:56:10 PM »
Child of God by Cormac Mc.  What....the....fuck. Totally insane.  Depraved, completely nuts. 

I liked this one a lot. It's very telling when something this ugly and insane is far from being his nastiest work. Compared to Blood Meridian (which scarred me for life), this is almost beach reading.
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NJL

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1323 on: June 06, 2010, 01:13:47 PM »
Welcome To Mars: Fantasies of Science in the American Century 1947-1959 by Ken Hollings.
A terrific book, although I recently found out you can apparently also get it as a podcast.  It's like an Adam Curtis documentary in print detailing American culture and the narratives it creates in that period from the bizarre to the commonplace.  To quote Rich Hazelton "UFOs, LSD, CIA, atomic weapons, suburbia, psychology, post-war science fiction films, cults, the cold war, the space race, Disney and more in a nicely woven essay, each year receiving a chapter."

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1324 on: June 06, 2010, 02:37:05 PM »
Recently finished: SHANTARAM by Gregory David Roberts. I'm not in the habit of reading recent, 900+ page novels, in part because as AP Mike once said, I haven't even read War and Peace.  In fact I don't even read novels that much, apart from crime fiction.  But this was recommended by no less than The Hound on his blog (and it is in part a crime novel), and I found it spellbinding, compulsive reading throughout.  It's apparently largely autobiographical, about an Australian bank robber who escapes from prison and moves to Mumbai as a fugitive from justice, slum doctor, crime gang member and, at one point, gun runner in the Afghan/Russian war.  The prose is a little purple at times, but the book is incredibly colorful and filled with incident, and I'd still be reading it if it was twice as long.

Now: METHLAND: THE DEATH AND LIFE OF AN AMERICAN SMALL TOWN by Nick Reding. Reportage on the origins and trajectory of the meth phenomenon in the US, using a small Iowa town as a lens. Didn't buy it because of the Best Show, but it does help explain what Pastor Josh and SCUM Force are up against. The grislier anecdotes of addiction gone wrong make this a possible Mike pick.
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dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1325 on: June 06, 2010, 03:43:32 PM »
I hope I didn't already mention it, but I am finally plowing through Les Miserables, and am surprised by its readability (outside of a few laundry list type historical summaries.) The Bishop of Digne is already one of my favorite characters ever.

It's the 1400 page unabridged version, so I may forget that I posted this and talk about it again later.


Ike

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1326 on: June 06, 2010, 05:24:21 PM »
Child of God by Cormac Mc.  What....the....fuck. Totally insane.  Depraved, completely nuts. 

I liked this one a lot. It's very telling when something this ugly and insane is far from being his nastiest work. Compared to Blood Meridian (which scarred me for life), this is almost beach reading.

Absolutely!  There were times where I was genuinely 'on his side' as an outcast.  Then...well...then things take turns, you know. 

Blood Meridian may be my favorite book (Infinite Jest?  Last Samurai?), and I had recurring nightmares while reading it.  And you're absolutely right in the comparison. 

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JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1327 on: June 08, 2010, 09:49:56 PM »
After a squillion people recommended it, I am finally reading "Ender's Game."  I just passed the 100 page mark, and am getting the feeling I should have read it as a much younger person to really appreciate it.

If you have read it, let me know: Should I continue?
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Christina

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1328 on: June 08, 2010, 09:59:46 PM »
After a squillion people recommended it, I am finally reading "Ender's Game."  I just passed the 100 page mark, and am getting the feeling I should have read it as a much younger person to really appreciate it.

If you have read it, let me know: Should I continue?

Yeah, it's pretty good as an all ages thing in general. It's a good novel. It is very Young adult, true. But it's good. Whether you want to read all the other books in the series, or the goddamn alternate books, well, that's a different thing. I've read the first, and I"m more or less stopping there.
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cutout

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1329 on: June 08, 2010, 11:02:02 PM »
Was disappointed that David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries ended up being so preachy and having so little to do with cycling at all.

Enjoying Kevin Rushby's Eating the Flowers of Paradise. He's a British journalist who goes back and forth to Yemen after getting addicted to chewing khat.

Steve of Bloomington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1330 on: June 09, 2010, 09:39:30 AM »
Welcome To Mars: Fantasies of Science in the American Century 1947-1959 by Ken Hollings.
A terrific book, although I recently found out you can apparently also get it as a podcast.  It's like an Adam Curtis documentary in print detailing American culture and the narratives it creates in that period from the bizarre to the commonplace.  To quote Rich Hazelton "UFOs, LSD, CIA, atomic weapons, suburbia, psychology, post-war science fiction films, cults, the cold war, the space race, Disney and more in a nicely woven essay, each year receiving a chapter."

I downloaded an episode and listened to this. Great stuff, a very interesting history of the 50s and the view of the future then in the context of the Cold War. Thanks for pointing this one out.

Steve of Bloomington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1331 on: June 09, 2010, 09:40:15 AM »
Was disappointed that David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries ended up being so preachy and having so little to do with cycling at all.

Enjoying Kevin Rushby's Eating the Flowers of Paradise. He's a British journalist who goes back and forth to Yemen after getting addicted to chewing khat.

David Byrne was influenced by Lance Armstrong's 'It's Not About The Bike'.

Kublakhan61

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1332 on: June 09, 2010, 10:41:44 AM »
Now: METHLAND: THE DEATH AND LIFE OF AN AMERICAN SMALL TOWN by Nick Reding. Reportage on the origins and trajectory of the meth phenomenon in the US, using a small Iowa town as a lens. Didn't buy it because of the Best Show, but it does help explain what Pastor Josh and SCUM Force are up against. The grislier anecdotes of addiction gone wrong make this a possible Mike pick.

Parts of Methland were pretty wild but in the end I found it to be a bit lopsided and racist ... are you finding that?

I'm wrapping up Casares' The Invention of Morel and James Sturm's America tonight.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1333 on: June 09, 2010, 12:03:22 PM »
Parts of Methland were pretty wild but in the end I found it to be a bit lopsided and racist ... are you finding that?

Hmm, I think the writing is sometimes awkward and he seems out of his depth in some of the sociocultural stuff, but I haven't actually picked up on the racism. I guess you could say that with his central cast of characters being all white, references to the Mexican role in distribution have the effect of casting them as the beleaguering Other--is that kinda what you mean?
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Kublakhan61

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1334 on: June 09, 2010, 01:15:41 PM »
Hmm, I think the writing is sometimes awkward and he seems out of his depth in some of the sociocultural stuff, but I haven't actually picked up on the racism. I guess you could say that with his central cast of characters being all white, references to the Mexican role in distribution have the effect of casting them as the beleaguering Other--is that kinda what you mean?

Yeah, that in conjunction with the point where he glosses over a Tyson Chicken scandal involving the purchase of Mexicans for labor. If the Mexicans are to blame for the problem, it's the people buying them for cheap labor who should ultimately receive the blame.

The chapter that opens with the paranoid visions of Roland Jarvis was worth the price of admission.