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    • CommentAuthormeetball
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2009
     
    book nerd fights are great stfu

    Roth came across as one-note and generally boring, or bad. I've read Portnoy's Complain and Operation Shylock, and I think one of his other older ones as well but I srsly can't be arsed. And Bellow's works aren't exactly entirely without fault but what he wrote that was on the money - Mr. Sammler's and Herzog for starters - pretty much whips the shit out of Roth. I mean Graham Greene put out some pretty mediocre stuff, and so did Joseph Conrad to be honest, but their good stuff murders what people seem to call Roth's good stuff.

    I saw Murakami speak once. I thought he seemed like a great guy, and I think he writes poorly. He admitted he has no idea what his goal is when he writes and passes it off as some kind of homage to be-bop jazz, but usually it seems to be that he writes a solid 3/4 of a book and then just kind of ends it in the last 1/4 but arsed if I know what he's going for. He's worth talking about but I really don't consider him the great some hold him up to be.

    Been a long time since I've read a contemporary novel I was in to. Atmospheric Disturbances was worth a read. The up and comers in the American "experimental" line are downright depressing.
    • CommentAuthormeetball
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2009
     
    full disclosure: not entirely enamored with Bolano, either.
  1.  
    You're one step away from reverting back to being a virgin.
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      CommentAuthornadz
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2009
     
    meetball, i disagree with you about murakami being a poor writer, though you may be right that he doesnt have everything outlined, or a concrete point in mind when he starts. I care less about tidy endings than i do about how enjoyable the read is overall, and he certainly resonates with me in ways far too intagible to expound upon.

    purple monkey dishwasher.and so on and so forth
    • CommentAuthordub
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2009
     
    Taking a turn for the less cerebral:

    Name of the Wind cover

    Seriously, some of the best writing I've ever come across. Kicks Robert Jordan in the ballz.I have a two part question: 1. Why is he doing that? And 2. Should we light him on fire.
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      CommentAuthorbuddymike
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2009
     
    Just started Dead Sould by Nikolai Gogol today
    • CommentAuthormeetball
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2009
     
    roygbiv:meetball, i disagree with you about murakami being a poor writer, though you may be right that he doesnt have everything outlined, or a concrete point in mind when he starts. I care less about tidy endings than i do about how enjoyable the read is overall, and he certainly resonates with me in ways far too intagible to expound upon.

    purple monkey dishwasher.


    see, that's fine as a reader. But he's sort of held up as an icon if literature these days, and that bugs me. He isn't bad, it's just... well, at least he isn't Palaniuk. It bugs me that Vonnegut was the pop of the earlier generation and now we have... ?

    Vonnegut, for a pop writer, at least stands up to some decent standards.
    • CommentAuthorcorter
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2009 edited
     
    Dave Eggers was suggested to me recently, I just finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and I'm starting And You Shall Know Our Velocity. Admittedly, I'm not a crazy literature buff, but I really like his work and some of his thoughts on mundane, every day type stuff.
  2.  
    you should check out some of his short shorts: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/series/shortshortstoriesYou're purposefully attempting to sabotage my degree project. Thanks.
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      CommentAuthorbrunop
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2009
     
    hahahaha!! i believe ol meph jus' sits aroun' playin' video games in his mom's basement and chokes his chicken 24/7. that's what i believe.
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      CommentAuthorjoeyfresh
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2010
     
    Bump. I'm curious about what you all are reading now.

    I'm rereading Thus Spoke Zarathustra right now.We'll get you a cat, don't worry -t-honks
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      CommentAuthorbrunop
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2010
     
    "oil notes" by rick bass.
  3.  
    just finished "chump change" by dan fante, reading "fugitives and refugees" by chuck palahniuk and "bite me" by christopher moore at the moment and i've been kind of craving a vonnegut lately so might re-read sirens of titan or timequake next.
    • CommentAuthorSparky
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2010
     
    The New Yorker fiction issue. Some good stuff in here.Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.
  4.  

    The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser

    Thunderstruck by Erik Larsonclockwork ted: this is my favorite thread. sweet BJ alexi!
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      CommentAuthorhowl
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2010 edited
     


    good, but not as good as southern storm: shermans march to the sea by the same author

    In general, i think i'm more interested in the records of the actual people involved, rather than the standard military history format of bars manuvering around a map.Troglodytarum is latin for troll
  5.  
    ^have you read Confederates in the Attic?i mean that looks like a 10 cat bag, easy
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      CommentAuthorwest.
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2010
     
    joeyfresh, MPH:I'm rereading Thus Spoke Zarathustra right now.

    ^Good shit. "god is dead, haven't you heard?"

    Currently, I'm re-reading "All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy (author of "No Country for Old Men") so I can finish the whole trilogy. He's pretty damn good, his use of the language/vocabulary is impressive; seemingly simple, immensely complex. "The Road" is amazing too btw.

    Ahh literature, you're my passion and always will be.unstuck in time
  6.  
    "each the other's world entire" stuck with me from "the road"
  7.  
    i'm reading a bunch of shakespeare's comedies.

    shit rules.You're purposefully attempting to sabotage my degree project. Thanks.
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      CommentAuthorwest.
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2010
     
    clockwork ted:"each the other's world entire" stuck with me from "the road"

    Such an odd way of putting it, but captures the emotions perfectly. Exactly what I mean when I say his writing is so simple yet complex. Gotta love it.unstuck in time
  8.  
    yeah it was a great read. still can't say for sure there weren't zombies in it though.
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      CommentAuthorhowl
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2010 edited
     
    tinyhonkshus:^have you read Confederates in the Attic?

    I haven't- in part because it strikes a little too close to home. My relatives in North Carolina are still fighting the civil war.Troglodytarum is latin for troll
  9.  
    Fair enough. Most of it is super bomb, but the parts that it eventually devolves into with the crazies is depressing. I might pick up Southern Storm though...i mean that looks like a 10 cat bag, easy
    • CommentAuthordub
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2010
     

    Read it. Please, Read it.I have a two part question: 1. Why is he doing that? And 2. Should we light him on fire.
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      CommentAuthorcdrebbel
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010
     
    ^F*** yes.Fuck yeah.
  10.  


    so since we ride bikes in the city, this does put us at a higher likelihood for head trauma at some point in our lives. and this book is (generally) about people who suffered some kind of head injury, then either get haunted by or are magically empowered with strange musical abilities (some are like bizarre, semi-conscious seizures). so there's kind of a connection there.Much like the earth's mantle, that sort of thing is beneath us.
  11.  
    well i've had 8 concussions and it has magically empowered me with the ability to get lady gaga songs stuck in my fucking head anytime i overhear them. he got any magical solutions to make it stop?
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      CommentAuthorbrunop
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010
     
    don't listen to the radio.
  12.  
    it's that time of year that people are driving with their windows down and the radio up... i'm not the type to ride mass ave with my own soundtrack, unfortunately.
  13.  
    clockwork ted:well i've had 8 concussions and it has magically empowered me with the ability to get lady gaga songs stuck in my fucking head anytime i overhear them. he got any magical solutions to make it stop?

    embrace it.You're purposefully attempting to sabotage my degree project. Thanks.
  14.  
    yup, i believe sacks' prognosis is "Own it"Much like the earth's mantle, that sort of thing is beneath us.
  15.  
    conor!:
    clockwork ted:well i've had 8 concussions and it has magically empowered me with the ability to get lady gaga songs stuck in my fucking head anytime i overhear them. he got any magical solutions to make it stop?

    embrace it.

    FWIW, i wouldn't be able to tell a polygraph that that has never happened before.
  16.  
    Much like the earth's mantle, that sort of thing is beneath us.
    • CommentAuthordub
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2010
     
    For all you sci-fi folk, check out Charles Stross's Laundry files. Epic.

    Right now I'm finishing David Sedaris' "Naked."I have a two part question: 1. Why is he doing that? And 2. Should we light him on fire.
    • CommentAuthorgrev
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2010
     
    not another pitcher!
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      CommentAuthorjoeyfresh
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2010 edited
     
    Eddie: Explain the old book, please. It's got a great title. (I just hit thirty.) What's it about/why are you reading it/where did you get it?

    Me, currently: human physiology, infectious disease research, readings on development and its environmental effects, and Mifune's The Canon of Judo. I'm about to start Mary Shelley's The Last Man, which is a story about a plague that wipes out mankind and was apparently panned in it's time for being too bloody and bleak. I can't wait.We'll get you a cat, don't worry -t-honks
    • CommentAuthorLyzard
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2010
     
    just read Cormac McCarthy's The Road while on vacation last month.

    watched the movie this week; Viggo Mortensen was pretty great in that role.

    currently reading Edward Abbey's Monkey Wrench Gang
    I had been meaning to read it for a while, I'm enjoying it.
  17.  
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      CommentAuthorjoeyfresh
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2011
     
    I finally got to this. It's awesome.

    We'll get you a cat, don't worry -t-honks
  18.  

    dean young writes the nicest poems i've ever read. poems include 'no self-control ode' and 'ode to hangover' and 'sean penn anti-ode.'


    i saw true grit and now i want more westerns in my life.


    i have the first six volumes of the complete peanuts. i'm going to get through them in order this year.You're purposefully attempting to sabotage my degree project. Thanks.
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      CommentAuthordora
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2011
     
    i just read some blog and the editor said she read 55 books this year. that made me feel like a stupid/lazy ass

    for christmas i got (and will read)



    thanks to paul's recommendation!


    ohhhh yes. king cat anthology.



    and i'm STILL reading this. it's super intense and i can't read too much of it at once. but it rules.


    also reading thisMust be awful, being so fluffy.
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      CommentAuthorbrunop
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2011
     
    "driving on the rim" by tom mcguane.
  19.  
    Just finished "The Lost Continent" (Bryson) over Xmas, started "Notes from A Small Island" but my dad stole it. Now reading "Hocus Pocus" (Vonnegut). I always forget how hard his books are to get into at first.i mean that looks like a 10 cat bag, easy
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      CommentAuthortinhat
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2011
     
    i didn't know this thread existed.

    just finished Heart of Darkness by Conrad - a slow story with a few tragically beautiful lines. worth reading if only because it's so short. reading it just made me appreciate Apocalypse Now even more, for how perfectly Coppola translated Conrad's story to Vietnam. ultimately i had built it up in my head too much and the ending felt anti-climactic. my favorite line: "Droll thing life is-- that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself -- that comes too late -- a crop of unextinguishable regrets."

    now up to Part 3 of 8 of Anna Karenina and i'm surprised by how efficient Tolstoy's writing is. the translation (Pevear/Volokhonsky) is brilliant, flawless. it's an effortless read, entirely sparse of ornament or superfluous wankery. most scenes (so far, it's still early to say) are hardly exciting in a Hollywood way - mostly just upper-class bourgeoisie going about their upper-class bourgeois lives. despite how economical his writing is, he has a subtlety that's remarkable: without being told anything explicitly you begin to know the characters very well. the story is taking its time but despite how bored i am with period literature and reading about rich people and their problems, i'm still pretty engaged with this one.

    next up, something non-fiction and light, since school is starting, thinking the Fran Lebowitz reader will be good.
    • CommentAuthorspokenword
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2011 edited
     
    I read Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia during a trip to Argentina -- it's a neat change from most travel literature in that it's so much more about the place than it is about his journey. Patagonia in the early 20th century was a crazy intersection of exiles: old cowboys, French dinosaur hunters, Russian anarchists and exiled Hapsburg aristocrats all shooting the hell out of each other in the wild south.

    Over the holidays, read a light dystopian sci-fi novel called The WindUp Girl set in a future Thailand where petroleum is gone and genetic engineering has run amok. Everything is more or less powered by manual labor -- treadle powered computers, airships propelled by massive springs that have to be wound up by vat-grown mastodons, fast mutating lab viruses are used as weapons of war. Neat stuff.

    Currently reading through Michael Ruhlman's Ratio. It's an interesting series of food essays that discusses how many recipes rely on consistent ratios of ingredients (ie. bread = 5 parts flour : 3 parts liquid, plus salt, plus yeast. doesn't matter if it's whole wheat or quinoa or potatoes paired with water or water with molasses with milk, etc. ratio stays the same)
  20.  
    Currently Reading


    Just finished
    clockwork ted: this is my favorite thread. sweet BJ alexi!
  21.  
    ooh... how is that Gardner Heist book? I remember hearing about it a few months ago, but it dropped off my radar afterwards.
  22.  
    It's an interesting read for sure, but kinda a downer what with the art still having not been recovered. Kinda makes you sad when you learn about art theft and what's done to prevent it (not a whole lot).clockwork ted: this is my favorite thread. sweet BJ alexi!
  23.  
    Whatever happened to that Mark Twain autobiography everyone got excited about?i mean that looks like a 10 cat bag, easy