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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:45 pm 
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maxfrost wrote:
Neil_Leach wrote:
IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE

Babbitt might be worthwhile checking out. I found ICHH disappointing because it lacked (in my mind) anything particularly American about it, that it was too much modeled on the rise of fascism in Europe.

Point taken. Thanks, Duane.

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:34 pm 
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The Continental Cop Before Sam Spade and Nick Charles there was the Continental Op, an otherwise nameless private investigator working for the Continental Detective Agency, a short, balding, slightly overweight, approaching middle age, tough sonuvabitch who solved crimes using his brains when he could, his fists if called upon, and his gun if he absolutely had to. The Op's probably the reason why Red Harvest is my favorite Hammett novel, although my partially for the stories in this collection also has to do with their San Francisco settings as much as the terse, brisk style of Hammett's prose. While "The Girl with the Silver Eyes" should be known to everyone on the forum, my favorite in the collection is "The Whosis Kid."

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Catch-22 Life at an Army Air Force base on a small, fictional island in the Mediterranean during WWII. Joseph Heller's look at 1) war, 2) the military, 3) capitalism, 4) bureaucracy, 5) the human condition, and 6) a whole bunch of other stuff from the absurd to the ridiculous. I like to dip into it from time to time and I've never been disappointed, so do yourself a favor over the holidaze. "That's some catch that Catch-22."

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:49 pm 
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I adore the book and Alan Arkin (and the rest of the stunning cast) almost equally, but I can't make it more than 10 minutes into the movie without thinking it's missing that insane je ne sais quoi of Heller's writing. So I go watch MASH for the 10 millionth time instead to scratch the itch.


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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:55 am 
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Dear Justin,
Please scratch your itch, and don't forget to bring the bullets to the massacre.
Yours,
Je Ne Sais-Quoi

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:09 am 
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I took a month to read Silas Marner by George Eliot because it's slow and overwritten, but I galloped through the second half of it this week. I love the way she writes about animals; people less so. But I liked it by the end.


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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:55 pm 
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Randy Newman's book recommendations
a partial list from April 2000

Kingsley Amis
Lucky Jim
"also a great picture"

Hector Berlioz
Memoirs of Hector Berlioz
"great and very funny"

James Boswell

The Life of Samuel Johnson
"I never liked anything better than Boswell's Life of Johnson except, unfortunately, television"

Truman Capote
In Cold Blood

Benvenuto Cellini
The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini
"great and very funny"

Adrian Desmond
Hot Blooded Dinosaurs: A revolution in paleontology
"I remember loving Hot Blooded Dinosaurs"

Jared Diamond
The Third Chimpanzee
"a little too much of him in it but so what"

Isaak Dinesen
"I loved a few books by Dinesen"

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Brothers Karamazov

William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury

Timothy Ferris
The Red Limit: The search for the edge of the universe

Richard Fortey
Life: A natural history of the first four billion years of life on Earth

Edward Gibbon
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
"I've read the first volume of Gibbon's Decline and Fall, as beautiful writer as Joyce"

Nikolai Gogol
Dead Souls

Sue Grafton
"I like Sue Grafton"

Homer
The Iliad
either the Fitzgerald or Fagles translation

James Joyce
Ulysses
"with a book by [Stuart] Gilbert or someone to tell you what Joyce is on about--understanding 70% of it, it's still the best."

Primo Levi
The Periodic Table
"and everything else he wrote"

Konrad Z. Lorenz
King Solomon's Ring

Larry McMurtry
Lonesome Dove

Norman Mailer
Executioner's Song
Armies of the Night

Mark Twain
Life on the Mississippi

Alice Munro
"I just read some Alice Munro, the best fiction I've read in a long time"

V.S. Naipal
Miguel Street
Suffrage of Elvira

A.J.P. Taylor
Origins of the Second World War
"though I don't know if he's right about any of it"

Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace
"definitely"

Barbara Tuchman
Proud Tower
Guns of August
Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-1945

John Updike
"the last two Rabbit books"

Evelyn Waugh
A Handful of Dust
"the movie is better and funnier than the book--a rare thing"

Virginia Woolf
To the Lighthouse


be ready for a pop quiz in the morning

how this list found itself on a site devoted to "methods for romanizing Chinese" would be a tale

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:51 am 
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Top ten books I read this year:

10. Slumber Party - Christopher Pike [pulp paperback ski-lodge mystery]
9. More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon [Sense8-esque conciousness-sharing short sci-fi]
8. The King in Yellow - Robert Chambers [mixed bag short story collection of exesentential horror]
7. Bream Gives me Hiccups - Jessie Eisenberg [humorous collection of irony-driven experiences]
6. Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech
 [YA coming-of-age fiction about family]
5. Welcome to Night Vale - Joseph Fink & Jeffery Cranor [rural american dread, both funny & comforting]
4. Night Film - Marisha Pessl [modern urban noir with cinema & pianos & black magic]
3. Rebel Without a Crew - Robert Rodriguez [micro-budget filmmaking autobiography]
2. The Broom of the System - David Foster Wallace [postmodern off the rails "mystery"]
1. Never Let Me Go - Kazoo Ishiguro [sad. good.]

I also read two amazing graphic novels - Habibi and Space Dumplings, both by Craig Thompson. Very different, yet both belong right up there with his book Blankets. Inspiring, never artificial, and beautifully drawn.

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:55 am 
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tsukasa13 wrote:
1. Never Let Me Go - Kazoo Ishiguro [sad. good.]

Well done! Give that man a raise.
I am unfamiliar with these authors(they must be contemporary, doh) so I hopped over to Kirkus Reviews whom(who, whatev) I trust.
Kirkus has 8 reviews of Ishiguro works, 3 of which are Star Rated. A Star Rating at Kirkus is phat daps.
One of their starred reviews is for NEVER LET ME GO.
Thanks for posting your list.
Keep on being inspirational.
8)

tsukasa13 wrote:
2. The Broom of the System - David Foster Wallace [postmodern off the rails "mystery"]

If you have read any Pynchon, in 500 words or more, how would you compare the two?

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 7:42 am 
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Roadside Picnic
Boris & Arkady Strugatsky - Russia - 1970
There are 9 pages in this book which I found compelling. Within those 9 pages is the exposition of the title. The narrative is disjointed and uneven. The ending is anticlimactic. Color me unimpressed.


THE CRIME STUDIO - Beerlight #1
Steve Aylett - Great Britain - 1994
THE CRIME STUDIO is Aylett's first novel. Of Aylett a cogent wikipedia article opines :
"Steve Aylett (born 1967 in Bromley, United Kingdom) is a satirical science fiction and slipstream author (most recently adopted by the bizarro movement).
He is renowned for his colorful satire attacking the manipulations of authority, for creating many epigrams, and for his non-neurotypical characters who
do not react as expected."

Once I looked up "slipstream", "bizarro", "epigrams", and "non-neurotypical" this made more sense and, with the virtue of hindsight, is accurate. Even a person having the cypher key to these technical designations will not have much of an idea, though, what kind of author Aylett might be and whether or not they might be interested in giving him a throw. WATCHMEN writer Alan Moore seems to think he is something of the best kept secret in modern fiction. I reference Moore not because of any personal esteem for his works or opinions, but because I gather that he is something of a referential totem or gnomon for those areas of literary culture liberally dosed with gonzo, and Aylett is nothing if not gonzo to the cuticles. Aylett plays my sense of humor like a kazoo. Remember in UN CHIEN ANDALOU the scene in which an oddly passive character is using a stick to poke at a severed hand lying in the street? Kirkus reviews has little to say about Aylett, and what they do say has more of the aspect of the aforementioned oddly passive character. Suffice it to say that Aylett's writings, if there were such a thing as a literary mainstream, would occupy a prohibitively distant realm reserved for the criminally insane. In fact all of the residents of Beerlight, the locus operandi of THE CRIME STUDIO as well as other Aylett efforts, are criminally insane. They also talk like Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. would if he forgot his manners. If Steve Aylett and Ryan Sayles ever met, the resulting conflagration would probably atomize Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Umberto Eco, and Joyce Carol Oates spontaneously and Voltaire retroactively.


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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:38 am 
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Neil_Leach wrote:
If you have read any Pynchon, in 500 words or more, how would you compare the two?

I've read The Pale King and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and have reached the conclusion that any charm Wallace may have is completely lost on me. Are any of his characters even likable, never mind that he never says anything nice about them or has any other characters say anything complimentary about other characters? Rather, the author seems to despise his characters as much as they despise each other. And I don't find any of this psychological ramblings to be either dark or deep, but rather of a hipster superficiality that draws attention to itself simply to draw attention to itself.

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:17 am 
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Rick Atkinson knows how to write.
I was introduced to him by his 2002 AN ARMY AT DAWN: THE WAR IN NORTH AFRICA, 1942-1943 , and was sufficiently energized to follow the other two volumes of his Liberation Trilogy; his 2007 THE DAY OF BATTLE: THE WAR IN SICILY AND ITALY, 1943–1944 and his 2013 THE GUNS AT LAST LIGHT: THE WAR IN WESTERN EUROPE, 1944-1945. Atkinson won a Pulitzer for AN ARMY AT DAWN to add to his journalism Pulitzer. All of the Liberation Trilogy books garnered star review at Kirkus Reviews. THE GUNS OF LAST LIGHT was also named one of the best books of 2013, so there's that. I had started the Liberation Trilogy over again when it dawned on me that there was a library only 10 minutes away. So I got a library card, checked out their website, and found that they had Atkinson's 2004 IN THE COMPANY OF SOLDIERS: A CHRONICLE OF COMBAT IN IRAQ, also a Kirkus starred review. COMPANY is more personal and anecdotal than the books of the Liberation Trilogy (duh) as author Atkinson was embedded like a tick with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division under the relentlessly competitive Maj. Gen. David Petraeus. COMPANY is relatively short at 336 pages, but manages to jam 10 pounds of literary human content into its 5 pound bag. I have no plans to suspend my pursuit of Atkinson's work. His Liberation Trilogy ranks imho with William L. Shirer's 1961 THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH, which to my shock and disbelief CANNOT be found in the same library. I do hope that Atkinson is working on another trilogy to chronicle THE RISE AND FALL OF THE 45TH PRESIDENT.

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:16 pm 
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RIGOR MORTIS
Richard Harris - Basic Books - 2017
Deep dive, cross disciplinary journalism by an investigative writer whose investment in the subject is measured in decades.
Give a care. Feed your head.

FINANCIAL TIMES review

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:08 pm 
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RADICALS IN ROBES
WHY RIGHT-WING COURTS ARE WRONG FOR AMERICA
Cass R. Sunstein - Basic Books - 2006
Since November of last year I have developed a growing desire to understand United States constitutional law. Go figure, right?
Sunstein is the man. His book is the bomb. It was in my public library. Go figure, right?



those who do not read are doomed to repeat everything

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 Post subject: Re: BOOK THREAD
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:13 am 
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concept : Aphorism as Kōan.
application : How the authors you choose to read think is more important than how they write.
test : Are the books you read intersections or cul-de-sacs?
hint : A book's subject will be one of the above based not on subject, but on how the author thinks.
observation : The internet fosters a bite sized approach to reading and as every mother knows, snacking will ruin your appetite.

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