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What are you reading?

Spike

Member
Hit up the local library last week for the first time in a very, very long time. I used to be an avid reader when I was a young lad, but then I discovered my Commodore Vic 20 and NES.

So, I went to the library to borrow some movies (got Seabiscuit), and to my surprise they now lend out fairly recent DVD movies, I checked out their classics section. I don't know what overcame me, as I took out the following books, but I like it. My interest has been rekindled.

Last week I read the following:

Animal Farm by George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This week I'm looking at:

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease

So, help me feed the voracious appetite that has awakened in me. Recommendations are appreciated, or just tell me what you're reading.
 

Matrix

LeBron loves his girlfriend. There is no other woman in the world he’d rather have. The problem is, Dwyane’s not a woman.
The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks
 
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.

Everyone always complains that Faulkner is some of the hardest stuff to read, next to impossible to comprehend, etc. Eh, I don't get any of that. I find it quite enjoyable, and when you get used to the multiple narrators, it's fairly easy to understand. Next up is The Sound And The Fury and Light In August (I bought a Faulkner three-pack).
 

Triumph

Banned
-Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg. It's a book about the Anapanasati Sutta, concerning using the breath as a focus for meditation.

-The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh. What it sounds like.

-On the Road and Big Sur by Jack Kerouack.

-Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce.

-Reality is What You Can Get Away With by Robert Anton Wilson.
 
Spike, you must be one hell of a fast reader to read 4 books in a week. The one that I would add to your list (since it seems like you're reading the classics) is "To Kill a Mocking Bird". Maybe another one would be "Nueromancer" by William Gibson. If you can get past all the "Clockwork Orange-esque" slang, then you'll find it pretty good. Its also what most people say The Matrix movies are based on.

I myself am involved in reading three different series of books - all the Tom Clancy novels in order (I'm on the fifth or sixth one "The Sum of All Fears"), the Harry Potter series (I'm on the third one), and the "DragonLance" fantasy series (I'm on the third book in the first set of three).
 

Scrow

Still Tagged Accordingly
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

Just going to drop a pre-emptive 'stfu' here for any elitist pricks who can't enjoy anything mainstream or highly successful ;P
 

mattx5

Member
I started Slaughterhouse Five a month ago, had a bunch of shit happen that took me away from it, and I never got a chance to go back.

So in honor of this thread, this week I'm going to read -

Slaughterhouse Five
Down and Out in Paris and London
Survivor

and....

A Nick Hornby novel maybe? I've only read High Fidelity, though I've heard Fever Pitch is good (I saw the movie, not the crappy Jimmy Fallon one, but the other one).
 
mattx5 said:
A Nick Hornby novel maybe? I've only read High Fidelity, though I've heard Fever Pitch is good (I saw the movie, not the crappy Jimmy Fallon one, but the other one).

The original Fever Pitch with Collin Firth is damn near identical to the book. I highly recommend reading it. About A Boy is actually quite different from the film (told from the boy's perspectice, takes place in the early 90s) and a great read. How To Be Good was an interesting experiment, as it is from the perspective of a woman. A film version is supposedly in production, I'm curious as to how people will respond to it.

So far, A Long Way Down is really good.
 

kablooey

Member
I just started Norwegian Wood by Murakami last night.

I've also been mid-way through Catch-22 for almost a year now...I don't think I'm ever going to finish it, and I'm not sure that I want to. The characters and scenes are enjoyable enough, but it doesn't feel like the story is ever going anywhere. Meh.
 

mattx5

Member
God, Catch-22. I loved that book, the characters and dialogue were hilarious.

But I could never bring myself to finish it and I just don't know why :(
 

Particle Physicist

between a quark and a baryon
Spike said:
I can finish a 300 pager in about 3.5-4 hours.



im a pretty decently fast reader.. but i tend to read slower when i am thoroughly enjoying a book. there are some authors that really have a way with words.. i'll reread a sentence (or paragraph) multiple times if its amazingly constructed.
 

Spike

Member
quadriplegicjon said:
thats crazy.

im a pretty decently fast reader.. but i tend to read slower when i am truly enjoying a book. there are some authors that really have a way with words.. i'll reread a sentence (or paragraph) multiple times if its amazingly constructed.

I don't read very quickly. When I finish a chapter, I go over what has just happened to make sure I've got it.
 

whytemyke

Honorary Canadian.
kurt vonnegut fucking rules.

and currently i'm reading 'debt of honor' by tom clancy. i'm catching up on a lot of his books... got most of his original stories, that aren't movies, done with by now. only ones left I need to read are executive decision and red rabbit.
 

Miroku

Member
the Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. book 1 of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Its been pretty highly acclaimed and I am diggin it very much so far.
 

GG-Duo

Member
by the way, i read "Everything is Illuminated" based on a recent GAF recommendation... I found it to be quite enjoyable. It's a really accessible piece of metafiction.

Thanks again, GAF :)
 
I've started that Raymond Chandler kick that everybody goes on eventually. Loved The Big Sleep, currently reading Farewell, My Lovely.

(As a sidenote to the comics people... reading The Big Sleep a few weeks after reading the first issue of Desolation Jones was kind of a funny experience. I guess most people got those references the first time around, instead of having that goofy reverse deja vu experience that I did while reading the novel....)
 
Kurt Vonnegut is awesome. I should read Slaughterhouse five again.

Currently reading:

George R.R. Martin - A Clash of Kings

John Ralston Saul - The Collapse of Globalism
 

kablooey

Member
GG-Duo said:
by the way, i read "Everything is Illuminated" based on a recent GAF recommendation... I found it to be quite enjoyable. It's a really accessible piece of metafiction.

Thanks again, GAF :)

I have a group of friends who're constantly talking about that book, and how powerful it supposedly is. I've been wanting to read it, but I always get sidetracked by other books that I feel like I should read first. =/ Cool to hear that you liked it though. :)
 

way more

Member
Spike said:
Last week I read the following:

Animal Farm by George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This week I'm looking at:

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease
You read that last week? And you hope to read those books next week? Your brain needs a rest.. Personally, I would lose the distinction from reality and literally life.
These are all great books (and the only ones of this thread I have read), but I would say Survivor is your best window into the 90's frame of things. You've got to know Chuck Palahniuk even if you dislike him.

Salman Rushdie's "Midnight Children"
I'm reading Fast Food Nation.
Catch-22. I loved that book, the characters and dialogue were hilarious.
I just started Norwegian Wood by Murakami last night.
Survivor
Light In August (I bought a Faulkner three-pack).

Sorry I didn't 't include your guys' handles. Those are all books I loved.

My suggestion is A million pieces by James Frey. It is brutal and true and devastating and wipes out any notion of addiction chic.
 
Re-read Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes this week. Finished a couple days ago.

Going to start Angels and Demons by Dan Brown this coming week. :)
 

White Man

Member
Error Macro said:
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.

Everyone always complains that Faulkner is some of the hardest stuff to read, next to impossible to comprehend, etc. Eh, I don't get any of that. I find it quite enjoyable, and when you get used to the multiple narrators, it's fairly easy to understand. Next up is The Sound And The Fury and Light In August (I bought a Faulkner three-pack).

You didn't get to the tough books yet :)

I've started that Raymond Chandler kick that everybody goes on eventually. Loved The Big Sleep, currently reading Farewell, My Lovely.

An awesome kick to be on, my friend. It's the novel equivalent of film noir.

Remembrance of Things Past (A la Recherche du Temps Perdu) by Marcel Proust. Just started Within a Budding Grove.

How old are you? I made it to Sodom and Gomorrah before I realised I was way too young to be reading the books (I was 23 at the time). Also, the preferred translation of the title is In Search of Lost Time. Some excellent usage of language in there. Pretty filthy language, too.
 

PunkBubba

Banned
I'm going to check out that new book, The Historian.
Anyone here read it? If so, how was it?

???

Not me.

I've been reading a lot of different stuff here lately, as usual. Don't really have time for "novels" because they're a waste of time. I like self-help books, instructionals/how-to's, etc.

Novels I do like:
"The Stand"
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
"The Time Machine"
"Dracula"
 
Right now I'm reading:
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevski
Jude The Obscure by Thomas Hardy
VOX by Nicholson Baker(I grabbed it from my shelf last night and read most of it... mainly, though I''m reading the Brothers K...)

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st century by Howard Bloom (This book...way out there... Almost like a cosmology authored by Thomas Pynchon, although it's full of references and scholarship...the main thesis being that the world is a vast and complex adaptative network which is structured around dynamics of group rather than individual selectionism )

After Theory by Terry Eagleton (Good take on where cultural theory and post colonial theory have taken us...and some real quotable and laugh out loud sentences, compared to, say, reading Foucault this is light fare, but its erudite and on point)

Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say by Douglas Rushkoff ( This is about techniques used to coerce us into buying things, with some poignant ethical asides about the cost of maximizing our ability to manipulate consumers, although surely most people will read this and brush past all his ethics for his insight into coercing people, or to identify how coerciveness is built into the structures of every day life...)

The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition by James Howard Kunstler (Paris, Atlanta, Mexico City, Berlin, Las Vegas, Rome, Boston, London...a little history, a little speculation.. a focus on sustainability and the aesthetics of various urban infrastructures etc.

If you're wondering, usually I read a chapter here and then switch to another book there of non fiction, which is why I check so many out... it's very stimulating, and I can read a lot more than muscling through one book at a time which is fatiguing. I read fiction differently, though, since I usually buy the novels I read, and then I'll read in longer chunks focusing mostly on one book so as to keep the characters in my mind...
 
White Man said:
How old are you? I made it to Sodom and Gomorrah before I realised I was way too young to be reading the books (I was 23 at the time). Also, the preferred translation of the title is In Search of Lost Time. Some excellent usage of language in there. Pretty filthy language, too.

I'm not sure what you mean about being too young to be reading it at 23, but it can be a slow process of reading for me as I find his writing style to be almost overwhelmingly descriptive sometimes and certain passages require repeated readings to really understand his perspective on things. I'm aware of the preferred literal translation of the title, but I find Remembrance of Things Past to be more aesthetically pleasing and poetic than In Search of Lost Time, not to mention Remembrance of Things Past is the actual name of the edition (copyright 1934) I am currently reading.
 

Jill Sandwich

the turds of Optimus Prime
Just read:
The War of the Worlds/The Time Machine by HG Wells
Grey Souls by Philipe Claudel

Currently reading:
The Servant of the Bones by Anne Rice

In the queue:
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Missing Abby by Lee Weatherly

I'm going to have to catch up on The Vampire Chronicles, since I stopped at Memnoch the Devil when it came out in hardback.
 

Great King Bowser

Property of Kaz Harai
Just read:

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

Queued:

Anything someone else gives me.

Seriously, i've been doing English Lang Lit at college, and I enjoy it, but for the love of me I'd never touch a book out of class until recently.
 
Just finished:

Crime & Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky) - Really enjoyed reading this; highly recommended. The reader is instantly sucked through an intricate psychology of encroaching madness and consequences, aboard a raft of satisfying characters. Was turned onto this by having finished ...

To the Hermitage (Malcolm Bradbury) - Another excellent read. Chapters describe by turns Denis Diderots voyage to and entertainment of the court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg, and Bradburys own trip to the same city, as part of an enjoyably nebulous intellectual project. What it all amounts to is hard to describe ... the sleeve notes say 'a love poem to the life of the mind', and I can't get much closer than that. Bradbury picks over a great deal of literature and literary theory, which is how it turned me onto Dostoevsky.

Now reading:

Mao: the Secret History (Jung Chan & Jon Halliday) - Forty or so pages into this weighty tome, and loving it so far. My mum inexplicably sent it right round the world to me as a birthday present, and I need to get it finished before the van I'm backpacking in dies its inevitable death. I love Chinese culture and intend to live there in the next few years. I'm hoping this book will be an education in how it turned from the gilded beauty park of my kung fu library, into the eruption of quasi-capitalist cess it is now reputed to be. Or better yet, tidy away the fallacies of both these potted analyses ... It seems Mao was a proper cunt, too ...

Beyond Good & Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche) - O_O This is doing my head in. I have a philosophy degree, but simply cannot get to grips with Nietzsches diatribe. My failing, no doubt, as both a reader and a philosopher. I will persevere, but refuse to make a chore of it.

Gullivers Travels (Jonathan Swift) - Technically I haven't started this yet; I may sub him on for Nietzsche. Heard it's required reading.

Want:

Tristram Shandy. Can't find it anywhere. Bradbury can't say enough about it, and I'm beside myself with curiosity.

Good Palahniuk. Any recommendations? I'd like to read Fight Club, but heard it wasn't his best.

More Russians.

More classics. Why couldn't school have been like this?
 

Zensetsu

Member
The Amber Spyglass
Darwin's Watch
The Count of Monte Christo

And some boooring university texts. :(

Also Paradise Lost
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
tristam shandy is great. when i'm searching for reasons not to regret the time i spent in college, the best one is always "well, i read tristam shandy, and i wouldn't have read it otherwise."
 

goodcow

Member
I don't really enjoy fiction... I recently finished:



and

 

White Man

Member
drohne said:
tristam shandy is great. when i'm searching for reasons not to regret the time i spent in college, the best one is always "well, i read tristam shandy, and i wouldn't have read it otherwise."

Nice. I need to go read this again when I'm not so busy. If you want something by Laurence Sterne that's not so lengthy, difficult, and fucking insane, check out A Sentimental Journey. And A Political Romance. That one's like 30-50 pages tops and it's also amusingly crazy.
 

Mama Smurf

My penis is still intact.


Pretty enjoyable sci-fi. Couldn't put it down about halfway through, and while it's not grabbing me like that anymore, it's still good.

I'm not sure what I'll read next. I have The Black Company (Glen Cook) and Suldrun's Garden (Jack Vance) in the pipeline unread, but I don't want to burn out on fantasy and I've only just recently read the new Harry Potter and The Knight (Gene Wolfe).

I'm tempted to read The Stand again, which I wouldn't call fantasy despite fantastical elements, it does call to me everytime I look at my book shelf.
 
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