what are you reading?

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Johnroderickismylover
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Post by Johnroderickismylover »

What a great question! To the Life in Pi person, I was in an honors program in high school called International Baccalaureate and on our English test, we have this passage we have never seen and we have an hour and half to write an essay on it. Our passage was from life of pi. We wrote all these theses on it. Mine was the tiger was a metaphor for the boy who was swimming back to the boat and then realized when he met with himself that he was scared. It was interesting. But this summer I am reading Ayn Rand's stuff including Atlas Shrugged, The Virtue of Selfishness, Anthem, The Romantic Manifesto, We The Living, and Philosophy Who Needs It? I am reading Colin's sister's first novel Liars and Saints. Her name is Maile Meloy. I also read Bee Season and I got the idea from song for Myla Goldberg since she is the author. I am going to read some C.S Lewis too
jess
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Post by jess »

last time i was at third place books (on ravenna) there were several copies of songbook by nick hornby.

how to be good by mr. hornby (has anyone read this what did you think?)

with out blood -? (short story that looked interesting at the seattle public library and was)

she climbed across the table, girl in landscape, kafka in america- jonathan lethem ( read these books he is great!)

blue monday and hopeless savages- comics
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mr wolf
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Post by mr wolf »

jess wrote:how to be good by mr. hornby (has anyone read this what did you think?)


it's been some time since i've read this but i do remember enjoying it. although the storyline was a little fractured in places and the characters genuinely became quite frustrating at points (even though in the case of Good News, this may have been intentional) it still had some great examples of why hornby is such an approachable writer.

i've just finished reading the wasp factory by iain banks which was completely addictive. i spoke to a few other people about it who had mixed views.. most saw it as an attempt to try and create interest for a debut novel with blatent shock and disgust but i found it a lot more inside it than that (even though several turns in the plot and rather graphic descriptions of death and dismemberment had me cringing slightly). his writing style is very engaging and i'd recommend it to anyone looking for a darkly addictive tale.

oh, and i've just started reading carter beats the devil by glen david gold which - from the 12 pages i've read so far - is highly excellent.
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Squid
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Post by Squid »

grant wrote:
The Vintage Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction


I'm very, very interested in this. Please tell me how it is.


Okay, Grant, I'm (finally) done with this book. I really didn't expect it to take this long, but then I always have this problem when I am a "stranger" to the literature. Literary xenophobia! Crikey.

All this has really taught me is that I am woefully ignorant with respect to Chinese History generally, and The Cultural Revolution specifically. What I think I have learned, is that The CR was a big ol' Salem Witch Hunt, with everyone turning on their brother in the name of serving The State.

My historical ignorance notwithstanding, it was also really difficult to read fiction that holds the reader at arm's length. To be fair, there is a discussion in the foreword that nods to this style:

"After 1949, the emphasis in fiction swung once more towards the political at the expense of the personal standpoint, and it was not until after Mao's death, towards the end of the 1970s, that writers felt able to explore the plight of the individual with a renewed sense of freedom."

Once I adjusted to feeling of Unwanted Observer, I relaxed and found the stories themselves beautiful, some moving enough to warrant a second reading. Long story long, I'd highly suggest this book for a beginner's look in to this genre. I actually feel ready to tackle longer pieces now that I have some appreciation for the writing style.
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grant
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Post by grant »

Squid wrote:
grant wrote:
The Vintage Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction


I'm very, very interested in this. Please tell me how it is.


Okay, Grant, I'm (finally) done with this book. I really didn't expect it to take this long, but then I always have this problem when I am a "stranger" to the literature. Literary xenophobia! Crikey.


Yes, there's an awful lot going on there that never got translated into Americanese for the longest time....


All this has really taught me is that I am woefully ignorant with respect to Chinese History generally, and The Cultural Revolution specifically. What I think I have learned, is that The CR was a big ol' Salem Witch Hunt, with everyone turning on their brother in the name of serving The State.


A combination between that and gang warfare, yes. Mao exploited the generation gap like no other leader.

I wrote a bit about it over here, if you're interested. Some of the links in that article are excellent.

Once I adjusted to feeling of Unwanted Observer, I relaxed and found the stories themselves beautiful, some moving enough to warrant a second reading. Long story long, I'd highly suggest this book for a beginner's look in to this genre. I actually feel ready to tackle longer pieces now that I have some appreciation for the writing style.


Any writers stand out?
Was the book easy to find?
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Squid
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Post by Squid »

grant wrote:I wrote a bit about it over here, if you're interested. Some of the links in that article are excellent.


Nicely done! A primer if ever I needed one, and believe me, I do.

Any writers stand out?
Was the book easy to find?


Standouts were: Su Shu-Yang (Between Life and Death), Weng Meng (The Lovesick Crow and Other Fables), Zhang Jie (Love Must Not Be Forgotten), and Bai Xiao Yi (Six Short Pieces).

Book can be found here. And now, for something completely different, Augusten Burroughs' Dry. I'm only 20 pages in and he's been ordered into rehab. Yay!
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grant
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Post by grant »

Thank you, Squid. Gold star for the cephalopod.
the hutch
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Post by the hutch »

Last weekend I was hangin with my friend who was busking w/ his stand-up base, and I wandered over to B n N- the latest American Standard had an essay by Sam Anderson about spending a summer in Dublin and trying (he never admits to be successful) to read Ulysses-it's a fun read, and ya gotta love the fact that he refers to himself in the piece as "Sham Blanderson".

(Amazingly, my friend made 100$ in 3 hours.)
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heathalouise
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Post by heathalouise »

While I was at the beach last week, I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It was absolutely delightful, despite some grave subject matter. Best novel written in the voice of a 15-year-old autistic boy ever!
Jeroen
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Post by Jeroen »

I recently bought the ultimate hitchhickers guide to the galaxy, by douglas Adams off course, and it's one of the funiest books I've ever read...
And I've read a book called 'happiness' but I forgot who wrote it.
It's about a book that makes everybody happy and almost brings the world to an end...
Seeing as happy people don't go to work and all... or need alcohol to feel good. it was a great book.
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Post by the hutch »

42.

I just read the first 10 pages of "The Curious Incident..." today standing in a store, but I did not have 12$ on me. Guess I'll go back.
Harvey Winters
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Post by Harvey Winters »

"Orpheus Emerged"-Jack Kerouac
Recently discovered in 2000...


The college days at Columbia University
Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Carr...
Jeroen
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Post by Jeroen »

Jack Kerouac is brilliant...
On the Road used to be my personal bible..


It's sad that I don't like to hitchhick.
I'm more or less lazy, give me my trusty ride and I will see all of europe...
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ghamina
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Post by ghamina »

Right now... <b>Simple Stories</b> by Ingo Schulze, <b>House of Leaves</b> by Mark Z. Daneilewski, and <The Fowler Family Business</b> by ehm... I don't remember. I go the the library once a week and pick up five or six new books, so I get through a lot of them.

That said, I go to the pokey little library in Penzance so the selection is always a bit of a surprise. Will they have anything other than romance novels in stock? Tune in next week to find out...

I've been on a big E.M. Forster kick lately, I absolutely adore <b>The Celestial Omnibus</b> and his other short stories... not to say that the novels aren't wonderful as well. As far as new(ish) fiction goes, I read <b>The Cheese Monkeys</b> by Chip Kidd a few months ago and would heartily recommend it.
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smelllikelime
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Post by smelllikelime »

House of Leaves is one of the most chilling and disturbing books I've ever read. One of those ones that really stays with you for a while.
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ghamina
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Post by ghamina »

I haven't really started it. I've gotten a few pages in and it looks interesting, but I'm <i>supposed</i> to be doing other things (like bed making, laundry and about 200 hours worth of animation) first.
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gingerman
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Post by gingerman »

A blind hawk will even find an acorn.
Jeroen
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Post by Jeroen »

the strangest thing happened to me, about half a year ago...
I actually enjoyed reading Kafka...
I mean his book are horrible to read but the intense feeling of accomplishment, when you actually finished it...
God that feels good...
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

Cheese Monkeys? I'm totally going to read that based on title alone. "Cheese Monkeys"....it's brilliant!

@kafka

I have this thing where I put on the proverbial colored glasses of whatever book I'm immersed in. Kafka makes my life a very dark and creepy place, populated by frightening creatures. "The Burrow" gave me nightmares. Fantastic stuff though.
Harvey Winters
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Post by Harvey Winters »

Felt like a little self humiliation, so I read
The Giving Tree by none other than Uncle Shelby...
Then I called my Grandma....
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