Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 753948 times)

Omar

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1635 on: June 20, 2011, 12:54:48 PM »
The Mould book is wonderful.  (I haven't reached the wrestling material yet, either.)  Lots of great little tidbits, including the reveal that one of Mould's childhood friends was future Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning.  They used to dress up like KISS.  I need to add that to his Wiki page.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1636 on: June 20, 2011, 12:58:26 PM »
I couldn't resist. Picked this up on my Kindle and am tearing through it. It's REALLY good so far. I'm past Husker's break-up and onto his solo career pre-Sugar.

The thing I like about it -- Bob's not afraid to be a jerk and to admit that the money part of music is a huge consideration. He managed to do it without compromising what he wanted to sound like, but at the same time he just flat out says "I wanted to buy a house" and stuff like that. I also like that he's really driven about being in control of the business end and doesn't want to leave it in the hand of others, especially after he gets burned a few times (by SST, in particular).

There's also a lot of really weird guest stars who pop up. I had no idea Jon Stewart bartended at City Gardens in Trenton or that he hung out with Lizz WInstead. There's no mention yet of any of the MST3K guys but it's pretty remarkable how culturally influential the Twin Cities became. And Omar -- the Tom Browning thing is MINDBOGGLING.

I'm also right now reading The Miracle of St. Anthony, which is about St. Anthony's High School, the most successful high school basketball program probably ever that faces ridiculous odds just staying afloat. It's really good -- I think a non-basketball fan might like it, but not 100% sure.

But Bottom of the 33rd (by Dan Barry) -- I can't say enough good things about this book. It's about the longest baseball game in history but that's really underselling it -- it's more about the struggles of trying to make it big and what happens when you don't. This is one of the best non-fiction books to come out in a REALLY long time.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1637 on: June 25, 2011, 11:16:29 AM »
I just plowed through "Chronic City" by Jonathan Lethem. I've been lukewarm about his earlier books. I've more admired them than enjoyed them, I guess. But this one was thrilling. It hit a lot of my sweet spots: cluster headaches, marijuana, love of dogs, cultural criticism, crackpot theories about the nature of reality...

Fortress of Solitude also covered many of my enthusiasms, but for some reason, it just didn't hit home for me. Maybe it's just because I'm a DC guy instead of a Marvel guy? Something like the narcissism of small differences: it came very close to being perfect for me, but because it was so close, the slight discrepancies from my vision of the world were all the more irritating.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1638 on: June 25, 2011, 01:39:46 PM »
I couldn't resist. Picked this up on my Kindle and am tearing through it. It's REALLY good so far. I'm past Husker's break-up and onto his solo career pre-Sugar.

The thing I like about it -- Bob's not afraid to be a jerk and to admit that the money part of music is a huge consideration. He managed to do it without compromising what he wanted to sound like, but at the same time he just flat out says "I wanted to buy a house" and stuff like that. I also like that he's really driven about being in control of the business end and doesn't want to leave it in the hand of others, especially after he gets burned a few times (by SST, in particular).

There's also a lot of really weird guest stars who pop up. I had no idea Jon Stewart bartended at City Gardens in Trenton or that he hung out with Lizz WInstead. There's no mention yet of any of the MST3K guys but it's pretty remarkable how culturally influential the Twin Cities became. And Omar -- the Tom Browning thing is MINDBOGGLING.

I'm also right now reading The Miracle of St. Anthony, which is about St. Anthony's High School, the most successful high school basketball program probably ever that faces ridiculous odds just staying afloat. It's really good -- I think a non-basketball fan might like it, but not 100% sure.

But Bottom of the 33rd (by Dan Barry) -- I can't say enough good things about this book. It's about the longest baseball game in history but that's really underselling it -- it's more about the struggles of trying to make it big and what happens when you don't. This is one of the best non-fiction books to come out in a REALLY long time.

I just finished the Mould book. What an incredibly interesting person -- definitely someone I would love to meet one day.

He definitely has a big ego and is incredibly self-confident about his output and seems to remember a lot of slights against him. But I can't blame him for that -- he's so incredibly influential and has made so much good music through the years that he totally deserves it.

The wrestling stuff is only one chapter but, naturally, it's right up my alley. He was a "booker" (aka scriptwriter) for World Championship Wrestling and also had a lot of other tasks to keep the show running. I read an interview with him about the book and he said that he's tempted to write a book just about his adventures in wrestling. I'm guessing that he wanted to get a lot more detailed about the WCW stuff but an editor told him to focus more on his music career and personal life because of word count issues and that most of the people buying the book don't know (and wouldn't care too much) about wrestling.

His "entering the gay subculture really late" stuff is incredibly fascinating. I love how willing he is to share (and to get detailed) about various physical encounters -- it's a large part of his life, obviously, and why shy away from stuff that's really important? It's also pretty heartbreaking with how great he captures how his serious romantic relationships fizzled out, with all the headgames that get attached to it.

My favorite part are the few pages he uses to describe about how he went to Catholic Church in Washington. That was really surprising from his background but very touching. He really nails the best parts about going to Mass -- meeting people, however briefly, you wouldn't ever talk to outside of church and the beauty of the ceremony -- better than I can when I try to explain to my friends why I go to Mass every week.

It's just an absolute great auto-biography. Bob's been one of the celebrities I've wanted to meet the most for a really long time. He's such a fascinating, incredible and inspirational person. His book just made that even more so.

I'm still reading the St. Anthony's book. It's very well done. There's a pretty terrific sub-genre of basketball literature out there that uses high school basketball as a sociological study. Darcey Frey's "The Last Shot" and Bill Reynolds' "Fall River Dreams" are two of my favorite books ever written (and both are huge reasons why I became a journalist). The St. Anthony's book doesn't have the same impact on me, but I think that's because I'm already really familiar with the basketball program and Bob Hurley and even a few of the players. It's the best description of things I already know about, if that makes any sense.

Trying to figure out what's next. I haven't read history or true crime in a while. Leaning towards that.

My Philly-New York commute largely sucks but it has increased my reading time exponentially. And it also fits in well with my new coffee addiction and the inordinate amount of time I spend at coffeeshops.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1639 on: June 25, 2011, 02:20:22 PM »
My Philly-New York commute largely sucks but it has increased my reading time exponentially. And it also fits in well with my new coffee addiction and the inordinate amount of time I spend at coffeeshops.

I used to commute from Orange County NY to Queens for work.  A nightmare commute in many ways but I really valued the reading time on the train.  I flew through books then. 

I finished the Mould book too, I admired his honesty about his less successful projects.  FUEL was definitely a let down after Copper Blue, and his writing about the hardships of making that album put it in perspective.  Same with his Modulate/Loudbomb era, where he admits his electronic production skills weren't on par with the rest of the genre.  That was obvious then, and it's great to hear on recent albums that he's really gotten good at integrating the electronic stuff with guitar music. 

It's not surprising what a creep he made Grant Hart out to be, and Greg Norton too.  The story about Greg ambushing him at a show with legal documents was great, with Bob telling him to fuck off and then Greg looking on agape from the crowd as Bob and his band blow the doors off the place.  And the whole reunion business at the Karl Mueller benefit was just so weird, good for Bob for knowing a true Husker Du reunion would never be a good thing.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1640 on: June 25, 2011, 09:42:35 PM »
I just finished Dick Gregory's autobiography about the first few decades of his life. Heartbreaking and wonderful, and really funny.
I also reread The Dark Knight Returns and V For Vendetta. Hurrah for comic books.
I'm currently reading The American Irish by William B. Shannon and rereading The Zombie Survival Guide.

I'm on Summer vacation from the school I work at and have been dealing with some medical issues so I have a lot of time on my hands and a lot of books I've picked up from my grandmother's house and book swaps.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1641 on: June 25, 2011, 11:20:49 PM »
Currently reading 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks. It's very well-done so far, and it's one of the least alarmist pieces of dystopian fiction I've encountered. Most of what he describes could plausibly happen, in other words. I can't help but wonder what he'd make of this story in film form, though.
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dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1642 on: June 26, 2011, 07:59:49 AM »
Currently reading 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks. It's very well-done so far, and it's one of the least alarmist pieces of dystopian fiction I've encountered. Most of what he describes could plausibly happen, in other words. I can't help but wonder what he'd make of this story in film form, though.

I you saw "Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World", it would be clear to you why he switched to books.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1643 on: June 26, 2011, 09:56:15 AM »
Currently reading 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks. It's very well-done so far, and it's one of the least alarmist pieces of dystopian fiction I've encountered. Most of what he describes could plausibly happen, in other words. I can't help but wonder what he'd make of this story in film form, though.

I you saw "Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World", it would be clear to you why he switched to books.

I actually liked that movie. I heard him say in an interview that he couldn't have made 2030 as a movie because there's no way anyone would give him the amount of money needed to make this story as a movie.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1644 on: June 26, 2011, 11:53:15 AM »
Book Question:

Yesterday's 135th anniversary of Little Big Horn reminds me that I sort of want to read a book about Custer.  Is anyone able to give a decisive comparison between Evan S. Connell's Son of the Morning Star and Nathaniel Philbrick's The Last Stand? (FWIW, I found Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea pretty awesome, in the full older sense of that word.)
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dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1645 on: June 26, 2011, 03:57:50 PM »
Currently reading 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks. It's very well-done so far, and it's one of the least alarmist pieces of dystopian fiction I've encountered. Most of what he describes could plausibly happen, in other words. I can't help but wonder what he'd make of this story in film form, though.

I you saw "Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World", it would be clear to you why he switched to books.

I actually liked that movie. I heard him say in an interview that he couldn't have made 2030 as a movie because there's no way anyone would give him the amount of money needed to make this story as a movie.

I love Albert Brooks, and wanted to like this so much. I honestly never laughed.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1646 on: June 26, 2011, 04:02:33 PM »
Just finished and enjoyed the Tina Fey book, because I live on the edge. Now I've started Hitch-22, so I guess I'm covering both ends of the "Are Women Funny?" spectrum.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1647 on: June 26, 2011, 04:34:28 PM »
Book Question:

Yesterday's 135th anniversary of Little Big Horn reminds me that I sort of want to read a book about Custer.  Is anyone able to give a decisive comparison between Evan S. Connell's Son of the Morning Star and Nathaniel Philbrick's The Last Stand? (FWIW, I found Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea pretty awesome, in the full older sense of that word.)

I haven't read the Philbrick book, but I can vouch for Son of the Morning Star being fantastic. If you enjoy that, I also recommend Connell's Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1648 on: June 27, 2011, 03:32:53 PM »
Does the Mould book explain why they never retrieved their back catalog from SST and remastered their earlier releases ala Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth and other bands?
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1649 on: June 27, 2011, 08:21:46 PM »
Currently reading 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks. It's very well-done so far, and it's one of the least alarmist pieces of dystopian fiction I've encountered. Most of what he describes could plausibly happen, in other words. I can't help but wonder what he'd make of this story in film form, though.

I bailed on this after about 40 pages. No one loves Albert Brooks more than me, but his prose is SO BAD. I'll get back to it eventually, but I'm in no rush.

And I happen to think LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD is pretty great.

Currently about halfway through PLEASE KILL ME, the Legs McNeil punk-rawk book. What a complete blast. I can't believe it's taken me this long to pick it up. Though I wish there was some way to scrub the "Lou Reed hitting on Duncan Hannah" anecdote from my brain.
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