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2022 50 Book Challenge

Fueco

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I mean, if you understand what the beats were all about, and are at all sympathetic to their philosophy, the books are brilliant.

If you don’t appreciate the philosophy, no amount of trying to convince you will convince you.
 

FlyingMonkey

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I mean, if you understand what the beats were all about, and are at all sympathetic to their philosophy, the books are brilliant.

If you don’t appreciate the philosophy, no amount of trying to convince you will convince you.
It's not that black and white. I love Gary Snyder and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I can dig Ginsberg. I just don't like Kerouac that much.
 

mak1277

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I mean, if you understand what the beats were all about, and are at all sympathetic to their philosophy, the books are brilliant.

If you don’t appreciate the philosophy, no amount of trying to convince you will convince you.
Fundamentally I am incredibly sympathetic and interested in the beat ideas. Practically I found On the Road to be an uninteresting travelogue that didn’t seem to have much of a philosophical bent at all.

Edit to add - I’m sure if I’d been alive to read this in the 60s it would’ve been something quite different. I just didn’t personally feel like there was anything inspirational about it, despite reading it with high hopes of just that.
 
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Fueco

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I guess I’m the only one here who likes travel writing. 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

FlyingMonkey

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Just because someone else isn't such a fan of a book you liked, does not mean:
1. that they didn't understand it; or
2. that they don't appreciate the genre or category into which you would place the book.
It just means they have a different view.
 

Fueco

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.
 
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FlyingMonkey

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67. In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar.
I was recommended this by an feminist friend from the Middle-East, who said it was the only book written by a man that she's read that seemed to truly understand the experience of women in that region. I can't judge if that's true, but it is a beautifully written, emotionally-attuned story of families and politics in Libya, which I can also highly recommend.

I have also been dipping into a lot of poetry recently, which I won't 'count' here because it's not like you read poetry in the same way, book by book. Of particular note through, has been the sad work of reading and re-reading my late friend, Steven Heighton's Selected Poems 1983-2020. Diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, he died within 2 months earlier this year. He spent much of the winter of 2019-2020 living in our house with his partner, while we were away in Japan, and he wrote the songs that appeared on his only album, The Devil's Share, here. He was a huge loss, and I can still somehow feel his presence in this space.
 

pasadena man

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I have also been dipping into a lot of poetry recently, which I won't 'count' here because it's not like you read poetry in the same way, book by book. Of particular note through, has been the sad work of reading and re-reading my late friend, Steven Heighton's Selected Poems 1983-2020. Diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, he died within 2 months earlier this year. He spent much of the winter of 2019-2020 living in our house with his partner, while we were away in Japan, and he wrote the songs that appeared on his only album, The Devil's Share, here. He was a huge loss, and I can still somehow feel his presence in this space.
Sorry for your loss.
 

pasadena man

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Fundamentally I am incredibly sympathetic and interested in the beat ideas. Practically I found On the Road to be an uninteresting travelogue that didn’t seem to have much of a philosophical bent at all.

Edit to add - I’m sure if I’d been alive to read this in the 60s it would’ve been something quite different.
It was different then. Kerouac named and helped define the Beat generation. He became its avatar and most prominent chronicler. The importance of the idea of Kerouac as the Beat novelist was far greater than that of his actual writing. Twain’s comment on Wagner comes to mind: “Wagner’s music is much better than it sounds”.

If you were to choose one piece of literature that served as a pivot from the Eisenhower 50’s to the upheaval and cultural changes of the 60’s you could do far worse than choosing On the Road.
 

PhilKenSebben

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If you are looking. For an interesting piece of travel writing, I would encourage you to pick up uncommon carriers by John McPhee fantastoc piece of writing.
 

mak1277

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If you are looking. For an interesting piece of travel writing, I would encourage you to pick up uncommon carriers by John McPhee fantastoc piece of writing.
McPhee is great, although I haven’t read that one yet.

some other favorites:

Green Hills of Africa (Hemingway)
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (Newby)
In Patagonia (Chatwin)
 

FlyingMonkey

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There are so many interesting travel books, but here's 5 of my favourites, which may or may not, strictly speaking, fit the criteria:

The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Matsuo Basho
The Snow Leopard - Peter Matthiessen
Down and Out in Paris and London - George Orwell
A Sand Country Almanac - Aldo Leopold
Among the Cities - Jan Morris
 

Fueco

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Probably two-thirds of the books I own are travel books. These are my favorites, though I’d also include Lighting Out by Daniel King Duane as a book that shaped my view of the world (the book is AWOL at the moment -I wore out the Santa Clara Library’s copy when I was in college).

A46BD669-C6C3-46E7-B182-29AB76DD1288.jpeg
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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As for Kerouac I read it when I was 21 and enjoyed it. But then I have an extensive collection of 1950’s Blue Note jazz.

As for travel writing The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin is worth reading and Ian Buruma A Tokyo Romance.
 

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