Book Thread

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    Ҩ
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Ҩ on Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:48 pm

    Ҩ wrote:I've never read any of her work. I should change that.
    I got Swing Time from someone for Christmas and just finished. Unbelievable. Probably the most fun I've ever had reading a work of fiction. The ending is very somber and moving and it has me feeling really strange and sad, but I can't recommend this book enough.
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    Nick
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Nick on Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:12 pm

    Spending a rainy afternoon diving into Simon Reynolds' history of Glam Rock - Shock and Awe.
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    C-poots
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by C-poots on Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:08 pm

    I've been reading Invisible Man and just picked up At Swim-Two-Birds which I might jump into next. Also been slowly reading through Dealing with China from Henry Paulson but I keep getting distracted and forgetting about what I read...
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by _ on Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:00 am



    first third of this has been intermittently good/great but i'm struggling to get past the endless section where he can't get his dick hard because his girlfriend is too normal and American
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by _ on Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:01 am



    one of the best books i ever read
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    Soma
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Soma on Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:17 am

    Yeah? What did you like about it (haven't read just curious)
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Soma on Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:22 am

    I've had some success with using non-fiction as a jumping point back into reading. Greatly enjoyed I Lost It at the Movies, British Society Since 1945 and Cassavetes on Cassavetes. Updike's Rabbit anthology looks good, but it's all in one volume and I somehow hadn't bargained on how small the writing would be. I'm finding it very frustrating to have to wear glasses to read, maybe I should get some contacts just for the purpose of getting through this book.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by _ on Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:27 am

    really sad and vivid and beautiful

    i'm drunk so here's Denis Johnson's introduction

    exactly which year of the 1960s the book came out, I can’t remember, but I remember well which year of my lifetime it was — I was discovering that it wasn’t a joke anymore, I was actually going to have to become a writer, I was too emotionally crippled for real work, there wasn’t anything else I could do — I was 18 or 19. Newsweek reviewed “Fat City,” a first novel by Leonard Gardner, in a tone that seemed to drop the usual hype — “It’s good. It really is.” I wanted to get a review like that.

    I got the book and read about two Stockton, California boxers who live far outside the boxing myth and deep in the sorrow and beauty of human life, a book so precisely written and giving such value to its words that I felt I could almost read it with my fingers, like Braille.

    The stories of Ernie Munger, a young fighter with frail but nevertheless burning hopes, and Billy Tully, an older pug with bad luck in and out of the ring, parallel one another through the book. Though the two men hardly meet, the tale blends the perspective on them until they seem to chart a single life of missteps and baffled love, Ernie its youth and Tully its future. I wanted to write a book like that.

    My neighbor across the road, also a young literary hopeful, felt the same. We talked about every paragraph of “Fat City” one by one and over and over, the way couples sometimes reminisce about each moment of their falling in love.

    And like most youngsters in the throes, I assumed I was among the very few humans who’d ever felt this way. In the next few years, studying at the Writer’s Workshop in Iowa City, I was astonished every time I met a young writer who could quote esctatically line after line of dialogue from the down-and-out souls of “Fat City,” the men and women seeking love, a bit of comfort, even glory — but never forgiveness — in the heat and dust of central California. Admirers were everywhere.

    My friend across the road saw Gardner in a drugstore in California once, recognized him from his jacket photo. He was looking at a boxing magazine. “Are you Leonard Gardner?” my friend asked. “You must be a writer,” Gardner said, and went back to the magazine. I made him tell the story a thousand times.

    Between the ages of 19 and 25 I studied Leonard Gardner’s book so closely that I began to fear I’d never be able to write anything but imitations of it, so I swore it off.

    I haven’t owned a copy of “Fat City” in over 20 years, but I recently learned that the University of California Press is bringing out an edition this November, and I’ve ordered one.

    When I was about 34 (the same age Gardner was when he published his), my first novel came out. About a year later I borrowed “Fat City” from the library and read it. I could see immediately that 10 years’ exile hadn’t saved me from the influence of its perfection — I’d taught myself to write in Gardner’s style, though not as well. And now, many years later, it’s still true: Leonard Gardner has something to say in every word I write.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by C-poots on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:31 pm

    Recently finished up Nausea from Sartre which was a soul crushing read due to events going on in my life simultaneously. It was a really great book to be certain, but yeah it hurt.

    Now Reading: Herzog - Saul Bellow
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Nick on Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:01 pm

    Bruce Springsteen's book Born to Run is a lot of fun to read.
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    Soma
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Soma on Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:11 pm

    C-poots wrote:
    Now Reading: Herzog - Saul Bellow  

    One of the best books I've ever read
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    Bruegel
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Bruegel on Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:03 pm

    Lincoln in the Bardo is the most exciting thing I've read in ages.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Soma on Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:40 pm



    Only read the first few pages, concerning Varoufakis's vaguely sinister encounter with Larry Summers, but I think I'm gonna get hooked real fast.
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    Ҩ
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Ҩ on Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:13 am

    I was reading some of Varoufakis' longer Guardian pieces the other day. He came to the defense of Macron days before the French election, he wrote a really moving and personal piece on the history of Greece, the European Union, and his time as the finance minister during the Syriza government, and then this on his intellectual and political development.

    He is a really interesting and insightful figure and there is a great New Yorker article on him as well. He was teaching at UT-Austin before being appointed finance minster. Someday I want to read Global Minotaur.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by petey on Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:58 am

    Bruegel wrote:Lincoln in the Bardo is the most exciting thing I've read in ages.

    I liked it fine, but I enjoyed Saunders' short stories much more. There was something about Lincoln in the Bardo that just struck me as too pious for my tastes..."pious" isn't really the word I'm looking for but that's what I'm going with for now.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Bruegel on Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:52 pm

    I've always admired his inventiveness but I'm often frustrated by short stories in general because it feels like there isn't enough room for things to grow. I'm only halfway through LitB but I'm really enjoying how his trademark vicious vignettes are being woven into a larger, richer tapestry.

    I'm not sure quite what you mean by pious...as in self righteous or preachy? I can see it becoming a bit maudlin for my tastes but I'm too wrapped up in the spectacle of the spectres to give a shit at the moment.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by petey on Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:49 am

    No it wasn't preachy or self-righteous at all. "Maudlin" is a the word I was looking for I think, thanks
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Ҩ on Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:24 am

    Been reading quite a bit lately.


    These were amazing. I couldn't put them down. On the book jacket someone describes her writing as 'angry Jane Austen.' I'm not sure how accurate that is (I haven't read Austen ever) but it's a compelling quote. I can't recommend these enough.

    Now I'm reading:

    It's not the most exciting read but the text is surprisingly lucid considering its encyclopedic depth. As the authoritative survey of postwar European history, it's obviously very useful. I'm learning a lot about the Marshall Plan, German reconstruction, the creation of the British welfare state, Tito's Yugoslavia and southeastern Europe.

    And recently I picked this up:

    I've only ever read The Fire Next Time. Watching I Am Not Your Negro got me excited about reading these first few novels.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by Nick on Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:30 pm

    Even though it was written many years ago, Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death was an interesting and relevant read the past couple weeks.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by C-poots on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:06 am

    I have finally started reading again! Back at the Gaddis, trying to work through JR once more.
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    zappo
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by zappo on Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:32 pm

    This morning, I learned that Richard Farina was both a writer and a musician.  I had absolutely no idea.  I've read Been Down So Long... two-and-a-half times and Long Time Coming... once, but this information somehow eluded me.  I'm blown away, embarrassed, and very much looking forward to hearing these records.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by reuben on Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:15 pm

    From what I recall those Richard and Mimi records are pretty ho hum but the David Hajdu book Positively Fourth Street was a fun read.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by zappo on Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:58 am

    Giddyup.
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by C-poots on Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:33 am

    I'm currently reading At Swim Two Birds and my goodness is it a fantastic read. I know that the critical reception is positive now but I'm sort of blown away. O'Brien is one of the wittiest writers I've read, able to appropriate characters, anachronisms, and other writers' styles completely into his work with a knowing wink or two. The structure is loose but not chaotic and it is meta-fiction just enough such that there is still a story to be enjoyed in parallel to the literary critique and deconstruction going on within.

    So basically, yeah anyone who hasn't read this book and likes non-traditional fiction should totally read it. Probably tomorrow
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    Re: Book Thread

    Post by zappo on Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:43 am

    I read Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo for the first time, last night.  Then I read it again, this morning.  Good God, what a book.

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    Re: Book Thread

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