Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 756260 times)

dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1725 on: September 27, 2011, 06:29:01 PM »

If you don't like the first Foundation book, you can safely skip the rest of Asimov, with the possible exception of the first book of the robot series.


I read all the Robot, Empire and Foundation books.  They all merge and get really weird toward the end, but not in the most interesting way.  As I remember, I liked both Robot and Empire better than Foundation in the end.  He's a much, much better idea guy than a writer.

Troof. Quantity doesn't equal quality (see also: Steve Allen).

For Sprawling Space Opera/Hard SF/Multiple Worlds & Races type books - I'd recommend Peter Hamilton, although be warned, his books are ENORMOUS and rarely standalones, mostly he does big series. Also Alastair Reynolds.

I also liked the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson - it's probably pretty dated now but it definitely falls into that hard SF category, where things have a "real" ring to them.

Oh, I could go on. Me, I'm reading Les Miserables now. Because I want to, that's why.

I read it last year! Let's get together soon and discuss the history of Parisian nunneries!

Christina

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1726 on: September 28, 2011, 10:51:39 AM »

Oh, I could go on. Me, I'm reading Les Miserables now. Because I want to, that's why.

I read it last year! Let's get together soon and discuss the history of Parisian nunneries!

Yes! I think I like his asides and ruminations more than the actual plot of the thing.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1727 on: September 28, 2011, 11:28:34 AM »
Just recently finished these books:

John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor
Joesf Skvorecky, The Engineer of Human Souls
Don Carpenter, Hard Rain Falling
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

I just started Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita on the recommendation of my girlfriend. Of the above, I enjoyed Don Carpenter's the most. If any other FOT has read any of these, I'd love to hear others' opinions on them. Also, if anyone has any book discussion suggestions for the small Midwestern public library at which I work, I'd love to hear that too!

Thanks for the tip on Hard Rain Falling. It does look like something I would really enjoy. I'll check it out.

I'm currently giving Donald Barthelme another shot. I just finished The Dead Father and I'm halfway through Forty Stories. They're both more enjoyable than Sixty Stories, but there are still moments when the silly gets the best of him.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1728 on: September 28, 2011, 12:43:26 PM »
The only thing I can think of that might hinder your enjoyment of Hard Rain Falling, Mike, is that it is a bit slow going at times--lotsa (probably too much) interior monologue on existential themes.  Give it a try though, its brilliant parts are worth it.  This is how I described it on another blog:

Quote
Despite the title, not even vaguely hippieish or Vietnam-related. It's more like a depressive, hyper-existentialist beat novel about West Coast lowlifes and pool hustlers who commit petty crimes, do prison time, attempt redemption, and think a lot about freedom and death. A little longer and slower than it needed to be, I still found it quite worth the read.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1729 on: September 28, 2011, 12:54:23 PM »
Speaking of prison novels (though HRF is only partly one), I heartily recommend Edward Bunker's No Beast So Fierce, The Animal Factory, and Little Boy Blue.

Edward Bunker played Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs.  Just take a look at that mug:

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Alex_from_the_woods

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1730 on: September 28, 2011, 02:27:06 PM »
The only thing I can think of that might hinder your enjoyment of Hard Rain Falling, Mike, is that it is a bit slow going at times--lotsa (probably too much) interior monologue on existential themes.  Give it a try though, its brilliant parts are worth it.  This is how I described it on another blog:

Quote
Despite the title, not even vaguely hippieish or Vietnam-related. It's more like a depressive, hyper-existentialist beat novel about West Coast lowlifes and pool hustlers who commit petty crimes, do prison time, attempt redemption, and think a lot about freedom and death. A little longer and slower than it needed to be, I still found it quite worth the read.

I actually met the writer of Hard Rain once or twice. I understand he's writing erotica now under another name. I can't say how I know. Hard Rain Falling is mostly entertaining but parts do drag. It's worth reading.
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JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1731 on: September 28, 2011, 02:28:06 PM »
Not a favorite book...nor currently reading...but I did not think this deserved its own thread.

Uncle Stevie is writing a sequel to "The Shining" called "Dr. Sleep."

http://shelf-life.ew.com/2011/09/27/stephen-king-shining-sequel/

Dr. Sleep


Between Stephen King writing a sequel to The Shining and Lou Reed making an album with Metallica, I'm feeling like there is a trend among aging legends to completely immolate their reputations just before the sun sets.  But those are only two examples...I will keep my eye out for others.
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Joe Rogaine

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1732 on: September 28, 2011, 04:11:50 PM »
Anybody read scorched atlas?

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1733 on: September 28, 2011, 05:42:17 PM »
I actually met the writer of Hard Rain once or twice. I understand he's writing erotica now under another name. I can't say how I know. Hard Rain Falling is mostly entertaining but parts do drag. It's worth reading.

Don Carpenter (allegedly) committed suicide in 1995, so either you're thinking of another Hard Rain, or he faked his own death so he could write erotica undisturbed, or something.
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Alex_from_the_woods

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1734 on: September 28, 2011, 09:11:27 PM »
The only thing I can think of that might hinder your enjoyment of Hard Rain Falling, Mike, is that it is a bit slow going at times--lotsa (probably too much) interior monologue on existential themes.  Give it a try though, its brilliant parts are worth it.  This is how I described it on another blog:

Quote
Despite the title, not even vaguely hippieish or Vietnam-related. It's more like a depressive, hyper-existentialist beat novel about West Coast lowlifes and pool hustlers who commit petty crimes, do prison time, attempt redemption, and think a lot about freedom and death. A little longer and slower than it needed to be, I still found it quite worth the read.

You're right. I'm talking about another book and it looks like I'm not the only one here to have read it (or confused the two books). The book I thought we were talking about was "..and a hard rain fell". It's about the Vietnam war and worth reading.
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Austin From Chicago

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1735 on: October 03, 2011, 10:07:55 PM »
Just recently finished these books:

John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor
Joesf Skvorecky, The Engineer of Human Souls
Don Carpenter, Hard Rain Falling
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

I just started Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita on the recommendation of my girlfriend. Of the above, I enjoyed Don Carpenter's the most. If any other FOT has read any of these, I'd love to hear others' opinions on them. Also, if anyone has any book discussion suggestions for the small Midwestern public library at which I work, I'd love to hear that too!

Thanks for the tip on Hard Rain Falling. It does look like something I would really enjoy. I'll check it out.

I'm currently giving Donald Barthelme another shot. I just finished The Dead Father and I'm halfway through Forty Stories. They're both more enjoyable than Sixty Stories, but there are still moments when the silly gets the best of him.

Others have said this, and it's true - there are parts of Hard Rain Falling that are a really tough slog - the solitary confinement episode in the middle of the book is a brilliant exercise in interiority, but it's an abrupt change in rhythm from the more Beat-inspired freewheeling cadences that precede it. But I was able to read the thing in under 9 hours, so in the end, it's a quick, sad, sometimes bittersweet read.

Agreed on the Barthelme, too - I loved parts of Sixty Stories, but sometimes you get the feeling that he's just spinning his wheels. Guy writes some very pretty language sometimes, though, and I always enjoy aphorisms that are more absurd than wise.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 10:14:16 PM by Austin From Chicago »
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1736 on: November 10, 2011, 02:47:12 PM »
Just read two by Bohumil Hrabal (I hope I never have to pronounce that name): Closely Watched Trains and I Served the King of England. Not only do I recommend both books, I also recommend both movies. The end of I Served the King of England is one of the best endings of a book I've read in a long time.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1737 on: November 19, 2011, 11:14:59 AM »
A little something for the snobs, not the slobs, but I just finished When Nietzche Wept by Irvin D. Yalom and thought it a mighty, mighty book. A fictional encounter in Vienna between Friederich Nietzche and Josef Breuer, who was Freud's mentor and one of the forefathers of psychoanalysis.  Starts out as a doctor/patient relationship and turns into something much more reciprocal, as each has a wisdom the other needs.  Very moving and also a good primer on Nietzche's thinking, if you're looking for a not only painless but compelling way into that.
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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1738 on: November 19, 2011, 12:00:52 PM »


This lunged off the shelves at me on my most recent trip to the library.  I know nothing about it, but the Title, cover, and jacket copy convinced me.  Haven't started it yet.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1739 on: November 19, 2011, 11:19:24 PM »


This lunged off the shelves at me on my most recent trip to the library.  I know nothing about it, but the Title, cover, and jacket copy convinced me.  Haven't started it yet.


It's really good.
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