books, books, books

This is for all non-EC or peripheral-EC topics. We all know how much we love talking about 'The Man' but sometimes we have other interests.
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mood swung
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Re: books, books, books

Postby mood swung » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:05 am

Mood, I am making my own list as I read. For instance, I just read an excellent non-list book (take that, Otis) called Misfortune, suggested by pophead. It goes on the list instead of Unless, which was pretty bad.


I like the way you think, girl.

I've also, disgracefull,y never read Faulkner. Read a lot about him, e.g. As I Lay Dying in narrative theory books etc.


I wish I could type that "does not equal" sign. But I am guilty of some of that too. My favorite Faulkner fact: he was fired from his job as postmaster because he read everybody's mail. I would so do that too. :lol:
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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:15 pm

Stuck to my original The Outsider idea and followed BWAP's In Cold Blood suggestion. Took a look at Wodehouse and thought better of it, but had an urge myself.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Re: books, books, books

Postby StrictTime » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:08 pm

miss buenos aires wrote:Mood, I am making my own list as I read. For instance, I just read an excellent non-list book (take that, Otis) called Misfortune, suggested by pophead. It goes on the list instead of Unless, which was pretty bad.


Misfortune is probably one of my favorite novels. I've re-read it a ton of times. :D

Read Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. Loved both, especially the latter. I'm working on Emma now and have Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey, and Mansfield Park after that.
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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:26 pm

Blimey, that takes me back to my student days, but even then I didn't read so many of those... It would do my head in. when my parents were my sort of age, they both read pretty well all of Hardy each, one after the other. How did they manage it?

PS Moniker Madness! I love it. All I can say is: Thomas Pynchon. I laugh virtually ervery time a new character appears in Against The Day, and there are scores of them, all with typically ludicrous names, as in all of his books. Not Mason and Dixon, as they were real people, but all the others, yes. This goes back to his earliest books: Benny Profane, McClintic Sphere and of course the immortal Tyrone Slothrop, hero of Gravity's Rainbow. ATD includes Scarsdale Vibe, Webb Traverse and many others. Perhaps deliberately outrageous, Dickens-on-acid names aren't for you, but for me it's one of the many reasons I adore him in a way I adore no other living writer. Clearly I'm not alone:

http://www.amazon.com/Pynchon-Character ... 0786434589

(Sounds like my dream Christmas present!)
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Re: books, books, books

Postby StrictTime » Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:44 pm

I actually really like Austen, Otis. I never found the language a barrier. It's actually quite comforting.

I've never read Thomas Pynchon, but I figure I should at some point. Any one book you'd recommend to start with? If they've got crazy names, I'm in!

And thanks for stopping by the blog. It's a niche interest but one I'm very interested in. Don't know why I stuck it in my sig here, it's sort of weird to do so, I guess, but hey! Self promotion is where it's at.
Why don't you write about it in your blag?

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Re: books, books, books

Postby pophead2k » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:09 pm

Just finished Love in the Time of Cholera. Beautifully, meticulously written. Held my interest even with its almost complete lack of dialogue. When I got about three quarters of the way through, I felt as though Garcia Marquez was having his way with the reader by presenting the lovestruck main character as someone deserving of our understanding and sympathy when in fact he was actually a user and an obsessive, stalkerish figure who was a borderline pedophile! I can't decide if this is more about the enduring nature of love, the character of aging, or an elaborate prank. Maybe it is all three. With my wisdom teeth coming out later this week I should have some reading time on my hands. Margaret Atwood is up next.

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Re: books, books, books

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:26 pm

With my wisdom teeth coming out later this week

Make sure you get the extracted incisors ; I have mine and keep meaning to get them put on a chain or something.

I've just finished Sebastian Barry's 'Secret Scripture'. Instead of yet another pile of misery about institutional abuse (it's set, mostly , in a asylum for elderly women in rural Ireland) it was a beautifully written acount of redemption and forgiveness. With a surprise at the end that I never saw coming I was engrossed to the end. I've given up on some of Barry's previous novels - maybe I should try them again.

Now I'm on to , for book club, Embers by Sandor Marai .

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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:10 pm

The Barry book got rave comments from all quarters as one of the books of 2008. Must give it a go.

Pophead: nice account and keep it up! (I'm jealous!)

Strict:

1) You always transcend the language barrier in great literature (OK, maybe not Chaucer or Beowulf), but I remember well the feeling of seeing a great Hamlet in Stratford and realising afterwards that there had been no barrier there at all, it all spoke to me, the mark of a great production;

2) If you love crazy names and also expansive literature in historical settings that depicts a vastly elaborate, darkly comic world of conspiracy and adversity in which 'realistic characters' are irrelevant compared to the narrator's tenderness for his often hapless protagonists and weirdness is often preferred to 'realism', in which astonishing levels of detail and research are on display, where brash vernacular and popular culture intertwine with high art and passages of the purest poetry, then Pynchon might be for you. I would do it chronologically. I got madly into him at the age of 19. He published V when 26, I was amazed at how he could have done it. I read it in about 2 days, doing almost nothing else. I'd love to go back to it. Then the shorter, lighter, sketchier, but great fun Crying of Lot 49. If you love them, then Gravity's Rainbow is for you, but might be too much to start off with. The closing months of the Second World War, the race to develop the ultimate weapons of destruction. A vast canvas of insanity and comedy, brilliantly written with a mad energy. Fabulous, and viewed by most as his masterpiece, though the more recent Mason & Dixon is loved by many. If Ulysses is the greatest work of the first half of the 20th C, then GR is for the second, say I. And so forth. There are some great Pynchon wikis out there to help with the refs, if you want that, and loads of web stuff (he probably had more sites dedicated to him than any other author in the early days of the web, maybe still does!).

3) If you're going to blog, or blag (like that one!), then you want people to see it! And if you've got a wonderfully original theme, so much the better. and you're in good company. Check out Pophead's book one above or, when you can find him. Bad Ambassador's music one, and so forth.
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miss buenos aires
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Re: books, books, books

Postby miss buenos aires » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:21 pm

johnfoyle wrote:
With my wisdom teeth coming out later this week

Make sure you get the extracted incisors ; I have mine and keep meaning to get them put on a chain or something.


I kept my wisdom tooth, too! I also want to put it on a chain, but I need to get it gilded first. Then I'll look like a badass mofo.

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Re: books, books, books

Postby StrictTime » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:38 pm

Otis, that was a brilliant pitch. You've won me over. Pynchon is next on the list after I finish all I've got. I'm trying to read at least 25 new books this year, so it would be really cool to discover a new author whose catalogue I could devour.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:04 pm

Job done! If the reviews for Inherent Vice are great when it comes out in August go for that! On no account broach Against The Day without reading and loving at least three others first. It's so immense.

Pig Bodine, there was another great early character name.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby miss buenos aires » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:50 am

StrictTime wrote:Otis, that was a brilliant pitch. You've won me over. Pynchon is next on the list after I finish all I've got. I'm trying to read at least 25 new books this year, so it would be really cool to discover a new author whose catalogue I could devour.


Don't feel like you have to like it, though--a lot of people don't.

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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:34 pm

Thus speaks the voice of reason!
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Re: books, books, books

Postby StrictTime » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:38 pm

miss buenos aires wrote:
StrictTime wrote:Otis, that was a brilliant pitch. You've won me over. Pynchon is next on the list after I finish all I've got. I'm trying to read at least 25 new books this year, so it would be really cool to discover a new author whose catalogue I could devour.


Don't feel like you have to like it, though--a lot of people don't.


Well of course, and if I don't like it I can blame Otis. :D
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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:58 pm

Happy to be accused for trying...

By the way, the Guardian are running a '1,000 books you must read' serialisation at the moment, which my mate worked on (anything with AN after is him, though they seem to be v thin on the ground as there are many contributors), with the nice original feature that it's broken up into 7 separate genres. Part 1 was crime, and Pynchon's above-recommended first two get listed:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/ja ... part-three
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Re: books, books, books

Postby pophead2k » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:01 pm

I'm halfway through 'The Blind Assassin' by Margaret Atwood. Very good.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:59 pm

Ooh yeah, that'[s another unread one on my shelf, and all say they love it.

Today the Guardian did comedy. Had to write to complain to my friend, chiefly due to the disgraceful omission of any Flann O'Brien, surely way up there as one of the funniest writers ever. Still, their genre based approach is fun, and I'd recommend an online perusal, and they're often fairly original in choices.

any of you Vonnegut nuts know of the Kilgore Trout novel, Venus on the Half-Shell, 1974. Great title!
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Re: books, books, books

Postby invisible Pole » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:59 am

I thought of reading Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre but then I saw this :




[my second attempt at the post as I attached a wrong link before :)
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:14 am

'Oh double balls and bollocks!' Love it. Would like to see those series again.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Tim(e) » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:45 am

Otis Westinghouse wrote:any of you Vonnegut nuts know of the Kilgore Trout novel, Venus on the Half-Shell, 1974. Great title!


Loved that... kind of a soft porn version of Hitch Hiker's Guide :lol: Apparently it was written by Philip Jose Farmer (author of the Riverworld series) using the Kilgore Trout pseudonym (obviously).

And for those reading Jane Eyre etc, let me recommend a novel by Wilkie Collins (friend of Charles Dickins) called The Woman in White. I usually dislike period pieces intensely, but this one had me absolutely riveted.

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Re: books, books, books

Postby miss buenos aires » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:51 pm

Otis Westinghouse wrote:Ooh yeah, that'[s another unread one on my shelf, and all say they love it.

Today the Guardian did comedy. Had to write to complain to my friend, chiefly due to the disgraceful omission of any Flann O'Brien, surely way up there as one of the funniest writers ever. Still, their genre based approach is fun, and I'd recommend an online perusal, and they're often fairly original in choices.



I will have to check out this Guardian list in a more focused way! Am still plodding through A Sentimental Journey... AND am now behind on the New Yorker! I did see two movies in the theater this week, though. I'll save that for the appropriate thread.

The Blind Assassin is great. I'm a big fan of Margaret Atwood.

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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:57 pm

All sections now listed here, but still in their sections (an A-Z of all would be handy to see how it compares to The List!):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/ja ... ks-fiction

Two Flann's appeared in other sections, 4 Pynchon's with Grav's R in War.

I collected all the paper installments, shame it wasn't just in one nice little book.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby miss buenos aires » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:07 pm

Otis Westinghouse wrote:All sections now listed here, but still in their sections (an A-Z of all would be handy to see how it compares to The List!):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/ja ... ks-fiction


Unfortunately my list is arranged chronologically...

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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:34 pm

Ooh yeah, though if you have it in Excel, as I do (some site had it downloadable that way - I didn't do it!), you can then sort by author. There's probably a site with both listed every which way for comparison.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby StrictTime » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:18 pm

Finished Jane Eyre. Overall I really liked it. I didn't particularly like the "meant to be together" type of thing between Jane and Rochester, though. I felt like it was a little, I dunno, I just didn't like that Jane basically became his caretakerwife, in a way. It makes it a little better that he eventually regained his faculties, however. I'm glad she was happy in the end, though, because I adored her character. It reminded me a little of myself, and I felt she was very relatable. Next up is Mansfield Park, I think.
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