Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 721256 times)

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1350 on: June 14, 2010, 10:24:20 AM »
Since then I've read JG Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition, which further reinforced my opinion on his work (namely, I like the idea of it more than the work itself). 

Ballard's one of my favourites, though I haven't read all of his stuff. My sense is that The Atrocity Exhibition is an unusual one, for him. I especially like the novels he wrote in the last couple of decades: Cocaine Nights, Super Cannes, Millennium People, etc. They are all quite similar, and tend to be apocalyptic detective stories that focus on the societal ailments caused by too much civilization.

I just finished Empire of the Sun, which I'd avoided because it didn't seem as "weird" as some of his other stuff (and because I distrust anything with Steven Spielberg's stamp of approval), but holy cow, it's great. His preoccupation with the savagery just below the veneer of civilization becomes much clearer in this one.

Yeah, I think I've just read the wrong two -- I didn't have the stomach for Crash, and Atrocity Exhibition was like a horrific version of a David Markson book.  But I grabbed a whole bunch of his books for pennies on Amazon after he died, so I'm planning on going back for more.  High-Rise in particular seems like a great concept.
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Bryan

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1351 on: June 14, 2010, 10:57:00 AM »
I believe those two are atypical, although the themes of those are present in his other books, too.

I haven't read High Rise, but the basic scenario that he sets up in that one is very much the same as in the later novels I mentioned above.

Steve of Bloomington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1352 on: June 14, 2010, 11:29:48 AM »
Since then I've read JG Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition, which further reinforced my opinion on his work (namely, I like the idea of it more than the work itself). 

Ballard's one of my favourites, though I haven't read all of his stuff. My sense is that The Atrocity Exhibition is an unusual one, for him. I especially like the novels he wrote in the last couple of decades: Cocaine Nights, Super Cannes, Millennium People, etc. They are all quite similar, and tend to be apocalyptic detective stories that focus on the societal ailments caused by too much civilization.

I just finished Empire of the Sun, which I'd avoided because it didn't seem as "weird" as some of his other stuff (and because I distrust anything with Steven Spielberg's stamp of approval), but holy cow, it's great. His preoccupation with the savagery just below the veneer of civilization becomes much clearer in this one.

Yeah, I think I've just read the wrong two -- I didn't have the stomach for Crash, and Atrocity Exhibition was like a horrific version of a David Markson book.  But I grabbed a whole bunch of his books for pennies on Amazon after he died, so I'm planning on going back for more.  High-Rise in particular seems like a great concept.

I enjoyed High-Rise, which I read maybe 20 years ago. I also grabbed a couple of his 'end of the world' books from a used book store some time ago. I started 'The Wind From Nowhere' but lost interest halfway into it.

I also read a compilation of his short stories, which are relatively straightforward with a bit of surrealism in some cases. He addresses the encroachment of advertising into all aspects of life, which we see now that we have the capability to 'explore ads' on the iPad.

The compilation includes the famous story 'Why I want to F*** Ronald Reagan', which is from when he decided to go in the Crash/Atrocity Exhibition direction, which is where he lost me. I want to check out some of the book Bryan mentioned now, though.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1353 on: July 04, 2010, 03:11:24 PM »
So, I've read Blindness.  Better than the movie (of course), with some nice use of language, and a surprising amount of humor.  But all in all a disappointment to me.  Mainly because I never quite managed to read blindness entirely as a metaphor (or perhaps its use as a metaphor was weak--who knows where the fault lies?), with the result that I kept getting annoyed at the way it was twisted to support various arguments, observations, and conclusions.  All in all, I think Octavia Butler's "Speech Sounds" does a better job of using sudden physical infirmity to explore how people contribute to and deal with the breakdown of society.

There.  Now this box is ticked.

dave from knoxville

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DoodleJump!

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1355 on: July 17, 2010, 11:33:58 PM »
I just finished Maus and am about to read Heart of Darkness,

I really liked Maus.

Honestly, I am not looking forward to Heart of Darkness.
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masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1356 on: July 18, 2010, 10:10:56 AM »
I just got a Kindle as a gift and I'd never been able to find an actual copy of The Friends of Eddie Coyle, so I bought it for the Kindle and, uh, that's what I'm reading now.

Depending on how I like the film version of Winter's Bone, I may re-read it after I finish the Higgins book.
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Kiwi_Herman

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1357 on: July 21, 2010, 12:27:32 AM »
I'm currently reading Woody Allen's Without Feathers, and I'm still slowly making my way through Joseph Mitchell's Up In The Old Hotel.  Mitchell's articles are so well detailed and absorbing that I don't want this book to end.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 12:35:24 AM by Kiwi_Herman »

JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1358 on: July 21, 2010, 11:28:33 AM »
Vanity Fair by Thackeray.  Pretty funny book.  The narrator is a stitch...he cannot stay impartial and keeps verbally abusing his characters.  I like that.
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Scot

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1359 on: July 23, 2010, 06:46:14 AM »
Thomas Berger's "Little Big Man," and the Eric Davidson book, and fancy-schmancy edition of Herodotus.

Berger is an underrated comic GENIUS.

cavorting with nudists

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1360 on: July 24, 2010, 09:09:23 PM »
The Ghastly One, a bio of exploitation filmmaker/filth merchant Andy Milligan by onetime Best Show interviewee Jimmy McDonough. I almost certainly wouldn't have touched this if it weren't that McDonough wrote the best rock bio ever: Shakey, about Neil Young. I find some of those Z-grade, Incredibly Strange Movies fun, but I hate a lot of them for their misogyny and their appeal to people's stupidity and cruelty (take Herschell Gordon Lewis, please), and this Milligan character wasn't exactly Art Carney's Ed Norton, likeability-wise.  I've never seen any of his movies and even after finishing the book don't much care if I ever do. And yet, this is a really great biography--of a creep, but a complicated creep full of contradictions. McDonough knew him, and while it's not easy to say why he liked him so much, he does make the case that he was a driven artist, with a singular bleak and angry vision that he would have found a way to express even if he hadn't been working in a genre that permitted, indeed required, rough sex and cheezy gorefests.  After witnessing his friend's decline and death, of AIDS, McDonough begins contacting relatives, and a family background of dark secrets opens up that recalls devastating documentaries like Crumb or Capturing the Friedmans, and I'll be damned if the creep doesn't begin to seem like some kind of tragic monster.  Jimmy McDonough is a great biographer, and  he took here a distinctly unpromising subject (unlike with Shakey) and turned out a resonant and haunting book.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 10:26:52 PM by cavorting with nudists »
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robertc

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1361 on: July 24, 2010, 11:52:26 PM »
I finished Jackson Lear's Rebirth of A Nation, a great history of transformations in the US 1877-1920.  I'm now reading Tony Judt's Ill Fares the Land.
I downloaded Rebirth of A Nation on my mom's kindle for when I'm home on school break and it's lying around. Over the past 6 months I've only gotten a third of the way into it, but I love it whenever I get a chance to read it.

Recently I've read: Lolita (fantastic, I really should give it a second read), Custer Died for Your Sins by Vine Deloria Jr (the references to 1960s politics lost me a couple of times, but still very informative on native American politics and history and a good read in general), and Moneyball by Michael Lewis (to someone who knows nothing about baseball it was really clever and engaging). I'm currently reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, which reads like a magazine article (complete with pictures!) and strikes a great balance between uplifting and depressing.

I know my recreational reading's going to come to a halt as soon as I go back to college for the fall semester, so I'm working through a backlog of books I've wanted to read for the past year without rushing through any of them, and still making a dent in the best show archives. My problems tend to be just a pile-up of good things.

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1362 on: July 25, 2010, 03:07:50 PM »
I just read The Timewaster Letters and And Here's The Kicker, both FOT/TBS recommendations.  Good stuff!  Now I'm reading Madame Bovary, which is great, but maybe not the right book for a hot summer with a new baby.  I find myself taking a lot of breaks to refresh Twitter and/or watch episodes of Breaking Bad.  Then again, I haven't gotten to the racy parts yet.
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Hearts of Steele

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1363 on: July 25, 2010, 03:47:13 PM »
I just finished Maus and am about to read Heart of Darkness,

I really liked Maus.

Honestly, I am not looking forward to Heart of Darkness.
I had a hard time getting into "Heart of Darkness." My copy includes the story "The Secret Sharer" which I did enjoy.

I'm reading "Under The Big Stick: Nicaragua and the United States Since 1848". Funny how I don't remember learning any of this in HS American history class. Probably because US foreign policy is racist. I'm also reading "Yeats: The Man and the Masks". Occultism and Irish Nationalism. I love it.
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cutout

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1364 on: July 25, 2010, 04:50:12 PM »
Recently I've read: Lolita (fantastic, I really should give it a second read)

Can't think of a single book I've read so many times as that one. Just gets more beautiful and more sad every time.

Just finished Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice. He was brilliant in his own crazy way, but I could barely finish this one. Anyone who's read it might understand.

 

anything