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What are you reading?

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by chorse123, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Dedalus

    Dedalus Well-Known Member

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    Actually, once the voyage gets under way and he sort of fades out of the book as a character and into his role as the narrator, it's the only characterization of him one really has.

    True, I hadn't considered that.

    Yes. God damn it, yes.
     
  2. topbroker

    topbroker Well-Known Member

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    I realized today that I had eight novels and one non-fiction narrative in progress (stop the insanity!) -- so of course my immediate thought was, I've got to add more non-fiction.

    Which I may do in a day or two. In the meantime, here's the roster.

    1. Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit -- I've been reading this mainly on weekends, when I can give it the attention it deserves. What a great novel. I'm getting quite close to the end.

    2. Lemony Snicket, The Slippery Slope -- Book 10 of 13 in A Series of Unfortunate Events, one of the drollest productions in the language. This is a big "payoff" volume -- a lot of the mysteries of the series become more clear.

    3. Dorothy B. Hughes, The Blackbirder -- Very interesting 1940s thriller that takes its beleaguered female protagonist-on-the-run through a wide geographic range (Paris to New York to Santa Fe).

    4. Rex Stout, The Rubber Band -- I'm reading the Nero Wolfe series in order; this is the third. I just began it the other day, and was immediately re-hooked by Archie Goodwin's narration. Archie is my hero, attitudinally, sartorially, and otherwise. If I could be anyone...

    5. Joe Gores, Interface -- Also just started this, my first Gores, on the basis of its reputation as a brutally tough piece of hard-boiled fiction.

    6. James Blish, They Shall Have Stars -- First in Blish's Cities in Flight quartet, important vintage science fiction.

    7. Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End -- Recent acclaimed novel of the advertising world, uniquely written in the first person plural. Very funny so far.

    8. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night -- I'm enjoying this more and more as I go along.

    9. Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City -- The non-fiction title; I've been meaning to get to this one for a long time.
     
  3. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Well-Known Member

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    1491 by Charles Mann.

    Although it's required text for a class, it's a very interesting book I'd recommend to anyone interested in pre-Columbian America.
     
  4. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    Blue At The Mizzen -- nearing the end of the Aubrey/Maturin series [​IMG]
    The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell
    Re-reading Young Men and Fire
     
  5. topbroker

    topbroker Well-Known Member

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    Re-reading Young Men and Fire

    A sublime book. I can't think of many that have moved me more.
     
  6. Pennglock

    Pennglock Well-Known Member

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    Moby Dick. Really really good, much better than I was expecting, but a tad meandering. Sometimes I wish Melville would leave off the minutea of the 19th century whaling fleet for a chapter so I could get back to my brutal man vs. fish revenge novel.

    I finally read Moby Dick last year, and Im glad I waited until I was well into my 20s to tackle it. It is sublime reading.. One thing I wasn't prepaired for was how profoundly weird the book is.


    Right now Im working my way through Mason and Dixon. Anyone else ever read? Im actually enjoying it a hell of a lot more than I did Gravity's Rainbow.
     
  7. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

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    I recently finished -

    Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins and
    Blindness by Jose Saramango

    I enjoyed both of them and am looking for a new book.
     
  8. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    I finally read Moby Dick last year, and Im glad I waited until I was well into my 20s to tackle it. It is sublime reading.. One thing I wasn't prepaired for was how profoundly weird the book is.

    I love how Melville would make bizarre throwaway references to things that apparently never existed, yet he presents them as though everyone should know exactly what he's talking about. It's like the whole book came tumbling out of his mouth in one mad breath.
     
  9. Kevin

    Kevin Well-Known Member

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    William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, against my better judgment. I really don't like Faulkner, but reading this one on the recommendation of a friend.
     
  10. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    I finally read Moby Dick last year, and Im glad I waited until I was well into my 20s to tackle it. It is sublime reading.. One thing I wasn't prepaired for was how profoundly weird the book is.


    Right now Im working my way through Mason and Dixon. Anyone else ever read? Im actually enjoying it a hell of a lot more than I did Gravity's Rainbow.


    I read M&D when it came out. I did enjoy it, although I confess I probably skimmed through some portions.
     
  11. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    A sublime book. I can't think of many that have moved me more.

    Agreed. The first time I read it, it caught me by surprise a bit. The writing is amazing, and there are so many levels of thought and inquiry going on at once. I loaned it to a friend with generally similar tastes and was quite surprised that she was underwhelmed. (I suppose that to a certain extent it could be seen as more of a "guy's book".) Since I had not read it in some time, I decided to re-read it to see if I had enhanced it in my memory. Not really -- just a masterful piece of writing.

    One of the things that I love about the book is that he has the insight and confidence to know that he doesn't have to hide the ball or play games in terms of what the "ending" is. He gives you the "here's my understanding of what happened" right up front, realizing that the story of how he came to that understanding will supply more than enough power and emotional pull to engage the reader.
     
  12. topbroker

    topbroker Well-Known Member

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    William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, against my better judgment. I really don't like Faulkner, but reading this one on the recommendation of a friend.

    As I Lay Dying is one of Faulkner's more accessible and entertaining books, I find, once you get the hang of the polyphonic style. It's a good gateway into his work.
     
  13. topbroker

    topbroker Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The first time I read it, it caught me by surprise a bit. The writing is amazing, and there are so many levels of thought and inquiry going on at once. I loaned it to a friend with generally similar tastes and was quite surprised that she was underwhelmed. (I suppose that to a certain extent it could be seen as more of a "guy's book".) Since I had not read it in some time, I decided to re-read it to see if I had enhanced it in my memory. Not really -- just a masterful piece of writing.

    One of the things that I love about the book is that he has the insight and confidence to know that he doesn't have to hide the ball or play games in terms of what the "ending" is. He gives you the "here's my understanding of what happened" right up front, realizing that the story of how he came to that understanding will supply more than enough power and emotional pull to engage the reader.


    Well put. We are very lucky that Maclean, a legendary English professor at the University of Chicago, got cracking on his own literary efforts in retirement, leaving us two classic volumes, A River Runs Through It and Young Men and Fire. I can't think of another major author who started their significant publishing so late in life. Maclean was 73 when A River Runs Through It was published, and Young Men and Fire wasn't published till after his death at 87 (he was still working on putting in final form when he died).
     
  14. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    Well put. We are very lucky that Maclean, a legendary English professor at the University of Chicago, got cracking on his own literary efforts in retirement, leaving us two classic volumes, A River Runs Through It and Young Men and Fire. I can't think of another major author who started their significant publishing so late in life. Maclean was 73 when A River Runs Through It was published, and Young Men and Fire wasn't published till after his death at 87 (he was still working on putting in final form when he died).

    Probably stupid of me, but I have yet to read A River Runs Through It because (1) I have a irrational bias against books that first come to my attention because they have been made into movies; and (2) after Young Men and Fire I am afraid of being disappointed.
     
  15. awcollin

    awcollin Well-Known Member

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    Probably stupid of me, but I have yet to read A River Runs Through It because (1) I have a irrational bias against books that first come to my attention because they have been made into movies; and (2) after Young Men and Fire I am afraid of being disappointed.

    I haven't read Young Men and Fire, but I read A River Runs Through It after seeing the movie. I enjoyed both the book and the movie, so I would posit that if you enjoyed one, you'd enjoy the other.
     
  16. topbroker

    topbroker Well-Known Member

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    Probably stupid of me, but I have yet to read A River Runs Through It because (1) I have a irrational bias against books that first come to my attention because they have been made into movies; and (2) after Young Men and Fire I am afraid of being disappointed.

    Be not afraid! It's a very different book, of course. The two short stories included with the novella "A River Runs Through It" are fine, but it's the latter that reaches perfection (or as close to it as writing gets). This was immediately recognized upon publication, and the volume was put forward for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (but for some unfathomable reason the full committee spurned it, giving no prize at all that year).

    I like the movie, too, quite a bit. But the text is the real deal.
     
  17. feynmix

    feynmix Well-Known Member

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    The Kiterunner by Khalid Hosseini.
     
  18. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read Young Men and Fire, but I read A River Runs Through It after seeing the movie. I enjoyed both the book and the movie, so I would posit that if you enjoyed one, you'd enjoy the other.

    Be not afraid! It's a very different book, of course. The two short stories included with the novella "A River Runs Through It" are fine, but it's the latter that reaches perfection (or as close to it as writing gets). This was immediately recognized upon publication, and the volume was put forward for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (but for some unfathomable reason the full committee spurned it, giving no prize at all that year).

    I like the movie, too, quite a bit. But the text is the real deal.


    Thanks, guys. I have no real doubt that "A River" is great. It's just that with so many things to read out there, I have constructed wholly arbitrary screening mechanisms to narrow the field. There's the movie thing. Especially if the cover of the book features a still from the movie (only because exigent circumstances required me to bend this rule did I ever have the pleasure of reading Mrs. Bridge.) An Oprah endorsement is another deal-breaker. Completely irrational, but whatever.
     
  19. topbroker

    topbroker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, guys. I have no real doubt that "A River" is great. It's just that with so many things to read out there, I have constructed wholly arbitrary screening mechanisms to narrow the field. There's the movie thing. Especially if the cover of the book features a still from the movie (only because exigent circumstances required me to bend this rule did I ever have the pleasure of reading Mrs. Bridge.) An Oprah endorsement is another deal-breaker. Completely irrational, but whatever.

    As is also true sartorially, I believe in breaking rules, occasionally even one's own. [​IMG] But there is this to consider too: "A River Runs Through It" is short, maybe a hundred pages, and it reads like a dream; you'd be through before an evening was over. So not much time investment there. It's not like commiting to Proust.
     
  20. iridium7777

    iridium7777 Well-Known Member

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    was reading 'the hobbit' when at superbowl at a friend's party i saw that he had a copy of 'atlas shrugged' on his bookshelf. never seeing the book before i didn't realize how dense and long it is.

    borrowed it that night and started reading right away, forgeting all about the hobbit. i'm on p.750+ now and it's really good, somewhat repetetive but the core story is very interesting. when she starts going into her 3 page rants it's safe to skim through them until you actually get to the real dialouge. by about p.500 i've had all the idealogy that one can handle.

    will pick up 'the hobbit' once this is done.
     

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