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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:44 pm

LoveSickJerk wrote:I just finished A heartbreaking work of staggering genius by Dave Eggers, and began to read the Commissariat of Enlightenment by Ken Kalfus. I needed a break before I run headlong into more humor with Franzen's The Corrections. I will be following that up by finishing the barnes & noble collection of The Metamkorphosis and then I might re-read Catch-22, one of my all time favorite books.

Oh, I'm looking for a really good biography on Alexander Hamilton, one of my favorite historical figures. Anyone got any leads?


@ Alexander Hamilton: I've heard the new book is good and plan to pick it up shortly: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ct-details

Ahhhh...Alexander Hamilton, arguably the most brilliant of the founding fathers. Talk about truly staggering genius. He was born a bastard in the West Indies, deserted by his father, self-taught, goes to America, becomes a great military officer, then the first Secretary of the Treasury, then dies young in a duel.

Seriously, who needs fiction?!

Laura Suzanne
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Postby Laura Suzanne » Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:16 pm

i just finished A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
yesterday. i liked it, but i was frustrated by the epilogue,
wherein she takes the reader by the hand and spoon-feeds
him/her all of the symbolism or historical/religious references.
This frustrates the shit out of me; authors assuming their
audience is too stupid to follow along. Geh.

With that said, today i started the second Harry Potter
book. Throw things and laugh if you must, but know
that for what it is, it's quite enjoyable.

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Unremarkable
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Postby Unremarkable » Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:35 pm

LoveSickJerk wrote:Oh, I'm looking for a really good biography on Alexander Hamilton, one of my favorite historical figures. Anyone got any leads?


My brother's name is Alexander Hamilton. No joke.

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anthropomorphizing_kitty
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Postby anthropomorphizing_kitty » Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:42 am

miriyummy wrote: and i highly recommend basket case by carl hiassen-twisted, funny, touching, better than cats, the whole nine yards....


If we're recommending Carl Hiassen books, I throw in my vote for Sick Puppy.

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don't get me started, don't EVEN get me started

Postby reisley » Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:56 pm

books books books! i've been reading a billion books lately and finishing none of them but that's okay. i made my mom buy 'american tragedy' by theodore dreiser for my birthday and so far its pretty good. its a lot like sister carrie, at least in the early going, i like the main character's enchantment with being a bellboy at this glitzy hotel. but i have 750 pages to go, and i already know what happens in it because dreiser wanted to write a novel about a truly american crime, which he thought was a young lower class man having a relationship with another lower class girl, but then killing her becasue she stands in the way of a chance he has at relationship with a women from a higher class . . . okay i won't explain any more. but other good books i've been reading or started: sociological imagination - c. wright mills, age of extremes - erich hobsbawm, the way of all flesh - samuel butler, american scene - henry james, collected works of wallace steven. the list goes on and on.

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idrankhemlock
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Postby idrankhemlock » Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:06 pm

sounds hardcore

miriyummy
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Postby miriyummy » Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:44 pm

anthropomorphizing_kitty wrote:
If we're recommending Carl Hiassen books, I throw in my vote for Sick Puppy.


sick puppy is me second favorite carl hiassen book. it got knocked out of first by basket case. it's a close race.

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grant
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Postby grant » Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:06 am

anthropomorphizing_kitty wrote: I read Tricky Business by Dave Barry (he's starting to sound a lot like Carl Hiassen(?).


That's probably intentional; he and Hiaasen are close friends. For Barry's birthday one year, Hiaasen gave him an egg with instructions about its preferred incubation temperature. And refused to tell him what was inside.

I'm not sure it ever hatched, partially because Barry was terrified of it.

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anthropomorphizing_kitty
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Postby anthropomorphizing_kitty » Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:30 am

grant wrote:
anthropomorphizing_kitty wrote: I read Tricky Business by Dave Barry (he's starting to sound a lot like Carl Hiassen(?).


That's probably intentional; he and Hiaasen are close friends. For Barry's birthday one year, Hiaasen gave him an egg with instructions about its preferred incubation temperature. And refused to tell him what was inside.

I'm not sure it ever hatched, partially because Barry was terrified of it.


Hey, that makes me curious...I used to read Dave Barry in the paper all the time but stopped getting a paper when I moved out of my parents' house. Is there an online repository or syndicate where Dave Barry can be read?

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:35 am

He's got a ridiculous blog: http://weblog.herald.com/column/davebarry/

You can get hourly Dave Barry. And I guess he's making a major flick too.

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Postby brently » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:56 am

i've worked at barnes and noble for over a year now, and it wasnt until now that i have been really into reading during every moment of spare time that i have. perhaps its because i work in the music department..

anyhow. i have been REALLY into sarah vowell lately. and i think that take the cannoli was the best book i have read in a very long time. she just has this way of saying things that i think is so perfect and that book alone made me fall in love with her.

i read the autograph man by zadie smith and thought it decent. until the end.

sex, drugs, and cocoa puffs by chuck klosterman was rather enjoyable, too. lots of good stories with each one having nothing to do with the one before.

now i am working on a heartbreaking work of staggering genius which i thought i would be enjoying, but i am not. eggers is such a pretentious sounding prick, and all i am doing is hoping his brother doesnt end up like him.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:08 am

Oh no no no! Don't hate on David Eggers! It's true, Heartbreaking was not great. I didn't finish it and I'm HUGE Eggers fan. But he admits it's rambling in the intro.

I think Eggers is still too close to that story to tell it properly. I have a suspicion that he'll rewrite it in the future. But as for the pretention, I think it's part of the immaturity he was forced to overcome, part of the story itself.

I would be careful to write off Egger's unless you are familiar with all his work. I've been following his career since I was 15 and impulse bought the very first MIGHT magazine, and subscribed soon after. That rag was hilarious and I was sorry to see it fail. He was also part of the original Salon Magazine crew, one of the best site's on the web, where I believe Sarah Vowell is a big wig.

But his latest contribution, Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, is what made him the literary darling that he is today, and it's well deserved. The journal is amazing down the smallest detail (try reading the legal info, spine, page margins, etc.) And he gives voice to experiemental and new voices that wouldn't be heard without his celebrity status. He's also smart, funny, and has a unique style. I haven't found anything that compares.

...and btw, at least one member of this board is published in McSweeny's.
Last edited by Betty Felon on Wed Jun 09, 2004 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

hovering
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Postby hovering » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:28 am

Betty Felon wrote:...and btw, at least one member of this board is published in McSweeny's.




true story. it's why I sort of did the little "hint" in my first response.

hovering wrote:p.p.s. something tells me that you all should pre-order created in darkness by troubled americans : the best of mcsweeney's, humor category as well. august 10th, fools.





uh. I just hope the people who don't know realize that I'm not talking about myself. I am not funny, at all. to the minimialist degree. however, this person is. and rather brilliant, as well.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:53 am

For the curious, if you're smart enough, you can probably tell just by the quality of said person's posts. There's a wit, shrewdness, and natural cadence to them that stands out.... I'll say no more.

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Postby NatureBoy » Wed Jun 09, 2004 11:38 am

I'm currently reading four books:

Positively Fifth Street, by James McManus
The Informers, by Bret Easton Ellis
On The Road, by Jack Kerouac
Backgammon, by Paul Magriel

And for what it's worth, I'm an unabashed fan of all things McSweeney's related...

Until they bash the band: http://www.thelongwinters.com/board/vie ... mcsweeneys

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nonjulian
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Postby nonjulian » Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:13 pm

As so many others I have a habit of reading too many books at once.

Currently:
<i>A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
The Shape of a Pocket - John Berger
Why I Am Not a Christian - Bertrand Russell
The Closing of The American Mind - Allan Bloom</i>

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LoveSickJerk
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Postby LoveSickJerk » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:22 pm

brently wrote:now i am working on a heartbreaking work of staggering genius which i thought i would be enjoying, but i am not. eggers is such a pretentious sounding prick, and all i am doing is hoping his brother doesnt end up like him.

Holy shit. You're in Lockport? I'm in Buffalo. Finally someone else in WNY!

Stop me if I've said this before, I freaking love AHWOSG. Its pretentions, neuroticisms and its psychoses fit oh so neatly into my neuroticism and pretentions and psychoses. Though admittedly kinda rough in the middle, it gets a little plodding. The end payoff makes it worth it. Sort of. It wasn't Umberto Eco or anything, but it set my world on fire. C'mon BF, finish it finally, finally, finally!

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Postby mildlyrestarted » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:04 am

LoveSickJerk wrote:I freaking love AHWOSG. Its pretentions, neuroticisms and its psychoses fit oh so neatly into my neuroticism and pretentions and psychoses. Though admittedly kinda rough in the middle, it gets a little plodding. The end payoff makes it worth it. Sort of. It wasn't Umberto Eco or anything, but it set my world on fire. C'mon BF, finish it finally, finally, finally!


i complee agretely!

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Postby stephanie » Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:47 am

My ladiez are too kind. Thank you. <3.
(For the record, ahem. And August 10! August 10! I get paid a whopping $50 for my slot in zee book.)

AHWOSG is probably my all-time favourite book ever ever ever. I literally love absolutely everything about it. Every single page, every single word .. then again, I'm a rambling, neurotic, pretentious prick.
YSKOV didn't really grab me until the end, but after I read the end once, each subsequent re-read has been increasingly enjoyable. The way he writes mirrors the way I think. It's always all over the place and effusive and all-encompassing and FRENETIC and just.. truly, truly glorious. And boy howdy, is DE ever easy on the eyes!

I've been slogging through Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News for a while now, as well as picking up bits and pieces of The Zinn Reader when I have the time. I recently raced through Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken in a few hours and really, truly thought the world of it. See also: Sarahbeth Purcell's Love is the Drug -- written entirely from my perspective, if ever there were such a thing, minus the wrapped-up-with-a-pink-sparkly-bow-on-top ending.
Next up, hopefully: any/everything by Paul Krugman. Christ, I'm a nerd.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:26 am

Krugman is awesome. His column is the first thing I look for in the NYT. He's also in Chi all the time lecturing, keep an eye on The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations http://www.ccfr.org/

If you have an interest in economics, steph, I can point you towards some good reads.

@ Eggers. Hmmmmm....I will give some consideration to finishing AHWOSG. I usually don't look back when I walk away....but sometimes it pays to take another look. It has been awhile....


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