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Author Topic: The What Are You Reading? Thread  (Read 113278 times)
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Loaf
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« Reply #200 on: September 09, 2015, 05:22:48 AM »

William S. Burroughs's Junky.

I enjoyed that one. Burroughs was such a good writer of conventional narratives that it's a shame he spent so much time and effort on stuff i consider unreadable like The Ticket That Exploded, when the avant garde became 'avant garde a clue', to borrow from George Harrison. Naked Lunch was good as well, but i think it's at the tipping point of what i can stand from him.

Have you read many Beat writers?

Nope, nor have I read anything else by Burroughs. But I do enjoy this a whole lot at the moment.

I wholly recommend On the Road by Jack Kerouac, as the pinnacle of the Beat movement and writing style. It has an overbearing reputation, but it's a tremendous work. More than the stereotypes usually associated with the book (though it is also hugely fun), it is tender and melancholy at its heart, in a similar way to Junky. A lot of great Beat literature balances this extrovert/introvert aspect. Also maybe check out The Subterraneans and Tristessa by Kerouac. Burroughs actually features as a character in all 3, but most heavily in Tristessa.

Thanks for the description. What other good Beat writers are there?

I like Kerouac the best. John Clellon Holmes wrote the first published Beat novel, Go, which is good. Neal Cassady's partial autobiography, The First Third. For Ginsberg's poetry, only Howl is essential. You can also find online audio recordings of him reading it. Unlike most writers, he is a superb reader of his own work. Actually, check out Kerouac's audio stuff too. he recorded a couple of LPs with 2 jazz saxophonists (Al Cohn and Zoot Sims). Memoirs by Joyce Johnson and Carolyn Cassady are great reading too. Ann Charters compiled a good compendium Beat Down to Your Soul, which collects stuff from a whole bunch of other poeple like LeRoy Jones (aka Amiri Baraka).

For Kerouac, i'd also recommend Dharma Bums, the second half of Desolation Angels, Big Sur.

The Beat writers kind of morphed into 60s writers like Leonard Cohen and Michael McClure, but mileage may vary with the later writers.
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undercover-m
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« Reply #201 on: September 14, 2015, 09:15:04 AM »

I'm reading new edition of comics "Calvin & Hobbes". It supersedes "Garfield" in my eyes.
Oh, that was my childhood. I could read Calvin & Hobbes all day.  Azn

Reading The Brothers Karamazov... only a little bit into the 700 pages I have to read  Embarrassed
I've read Crime and Punishment before so I guess I kinda know what I'm getting into.
I just love love love how Dostoevsky describes his characters. It really makes you love (or hate) them.
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« Reply #202 on: September 24, 2015, 09:47:48 PM »

Yes, I like reading children's stuff. Here in Russia, there is a bottle of water that says "made specifically for kids". Stupid, isn't it? Like what's the diff.? Same for books labelled "for kids". I also like watching cartoons, my favorite cartoon series - "Heathcliff", "Growing up Creepie" Check em out, all fans of cartoons (reading this board for some time, thorough observation shows there are many).
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« Reply #203 on: October 04, 2015, 04:13:20 PM »

Alice Cooper, Golf Monster
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« Reply #204 on: October 09, 2015, 12:23:17 AM »

Glad to see you again, Mr. Garneau. I read the Golf thread where you said Alice was an avid golf gamer. I think it matches his image.
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Sunny Side Up should be International President. official website to vote: FTW.sun

Guten tag, Ich.
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« Reply #205 on: October 09, 2015, 03:08:41 AM »

I'm browsing backwards* through Philip Lambert's book Inside the Music of Brian Wilson to see if he says anything about unusual metrical behaviour in BB songs. Nothing so far----harmony seems to be his bag. 

* I'm left-handed. Backwards is easier.
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« Reply #206 on: October 11, 2015, 09:48:11 PM »

Pet Sematary by Stephen King. 

I've actually never read the book. 
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« Reply #207 on: October 13, 2015, 01:27:51 AM »

The new Bill Bryson opus - The Road to Little Dribbling, sort of a Notes from a Small Island redux. So far, as wonderful as expected.
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« Reply #208 on: October 14, 2015, 07:31:18 PM »

A Human Being Died That Night by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. It's an incredibly profound book about evil and forgiveness that I'm rereading. But since it's stressful, I'm also intermittently reading
The Town by Faulkner and Becoming the Beach Boys by Murphy.
Nice thread!
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« Reply #209 on: October 15, 2015, 12:19:53 AM »

A bio of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Oppenheimer 's own book The Open Mind.
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« Reply #210 on: October 29, 2015, 12:29:52 PM »

Kafka's The Castle. Not really sure if I get this...

This is my reaction to Faulkner's the Sound and the Fury, which I am submerged in.

This, in my opinion, is one of the greatest novels ever written. Top 5, at least, for me. Would like to hear your thoughts on it.

Okay, finally got around to finishing it. I sure read a great deal less when I'm around a computer.
Anyway, I'm still not really sure what to think. I feel like I'm missing so many important details.
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« Reply #211 on: October 29, 2015, 02:12:13 PM »

Kafka's The Castle. Not really sure if I get this...

This is my reaction to Faulkner's the Sound and the Fury, which I am submerged in.

This, in my opinion, is one of the greatest novels ever written. Top 5, at least, for me. Would like to hear your thoughts on it.

Okay, finally got around to finishing it. I sure read a great deal less when I'm around a computer.
Anyway, I'm still not really sure what to think. I feel like I'm missing so many important details.

Totally understandable. It's been about five years since I read it but I'd be happy to talk about it!
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the captain
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« Reply #212 on: October 29, 2015, 03:32:00 PM »

I sure read a great deal less when I'm around a computer.

I have that experience, too. On vacation if I'm more or less off the grid, or even just in the mood and inertia keeps me offline, I can plow through books and books. But often I waste my time, well, like right now, fucking around online, doing nothing. Read two pages, get distracted, make a few plays on Words With Friends, check this or that... I've been reading one book--which I am loving--since summer. Granted, it's a thousand pages or so, and dense, academic stuff. And granted, I've read other books and stories in the interim. But even so. Three, four, five months?

For what it's worth on Kafka, I've forgotten almost all I've ever read, including The Castle. I was going to grab it and realized I sold all my Kafka (except The Trial in one of my many attempts to clear out shelves of books I'd likely never read again. The term Kafkaesque seems to have more power with me, just as an idea, than the works of the guy himself.
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« Reply #213 on: October 30, 2015, 12:03:55 AM »


I also just finished, for the first time, Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I haven't read much in the way of graphic novels, but this was superb. An in-depth take on the (alternative) reality of costumed superheroes, and I was impressed by how much narrative detail was packed into the pictures. The Incredibles owes a big debt to it.


If you enjoyed that, check out the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volumes (including "The Black Dossier").  It's set in the broader world of fiction - ie, Moore and artist Kevin O'Neil borrow/steal as many fictional characters as possible (from various genres and mediums), in some cases as main characters, in other cases to pad out the background - and the greatest superhero ever appears in the Century series (no spoilers here).


Thanks for the tip, Alan. I had my eye on From Hell too, and I'd be curious to know what AGD thinks of it, if he's read it, being a Ripper scholar. I can imagine, as Alan Moore takes a couple of liberties with his speculation (though apparently it is meticulously researched), that it wouldn't be to Andrew's taste, but, as Al sez, "strange things happen"! Smiley

Can't help you, Sundance. I read very, very little fiction, and no Ripper fiction at all. The truth is fascinating enough...
I see Bruce Robinson (writer/director of Withnail & I, amongst other things) has plonked out a true crime ripper book that is bold enough to put forth a name.  Anyone checked it out?

On topic, I've just finished off Adrian Mole: The Capaccino Years which I put down to read The Beatles:Tune which I put down after chapter 2 to start a Dylan bio which I put down after the foreword to read Becoming the BB's.

Of slight coincidence, my wife is teaching Kafka at the moment and wants me to read up so we can discuss it or something.
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« Reply #214 on: October 30, 2015, 12:34:09 PM »

Just finished the John Cleese autobiography, which was excellent.  Now reading the Richard Gordon 'Doctor in the House' series.  Very funny, although I wonder now where James Herriot got his inspiration.

ADG, hearing Bill Bryson has a new book out is great, I'll be getting my hands on that asap.
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« Reply #215 on: October 30, 2015, 01:18:59 PM »

Hi all,

Today I read Rouge Lawyer by John Grisham.
Tomorrow I will read Seeds of Yesterday by V. C. Andrews.

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« Reply #216 on: November 03, 2015, 09:49:21 PM »

It is now my goal to finish Crime and Punishment.


**The rest of this message is going to be about story stuff for The Sound and the Fury, so if you're going to read that book, you probably shouldn't read this message.**

Totally understandable. It's been about five years since I read it but I'd be happy to talk about it!

Okay, so here's some questions:

1. What's the significance of the graveyard at the end? Why is one side okay but not the other? Is Caddy buried there?

2. Did Benji have his name changed from something else? I feel like I remember reading something about him having a different name, but they also had an uncle named Benji and something happened, so they changed Benji's name to... well, Benjamin. The exact details are fuzzy, but I'm sure I remember reading Caddy telling him his new name is Benjamin.
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« Reply #217 on: November 03, 2015, 10:46:15 PM »

It is now my goal to finish Crime and Punishment.


**The rest of this message is going to be about story stuff for The Sound and the Fury, so if you're going to read that book, you probably shouldn't read this message.**

Totally understandable. It's been about five years since I read it but I'd be happy to talk about it!

Okay, so here's some questions:

1. What's the significance of the graveyard at the end? Why is one side okay but not the other? Is Caddy buried there?

2. Did Benji have his name changed from something else? I feel like I remember reading something about him having a different name, but they also had an uncle named Benji and something happened, so they changed Benji's name to... well, Benjamin. The exact details are fuzzy, but I'm sure I remember reading Caddy telling him his new name is Benjamin.
Hi Bubbly. I hope you don't mind if I jump in. I'm a big Faulkner fan. The Sound and the Fury is very confusing the first few reads.
1. I think the graveyard overall just represents loss and the decline of the Compsons and what they represented. What's actually happening at the end is not to do with the wrong side of the graveyard but the wrong side of the memorial in the square. They are driving around it in the wrong direction and it's freaking Benjamin out. Also, Caddy's not dead; just banished.
2. Benjamin's name was originally Maury, after their uncle. But once the parents learned that Benjamin was handicapped they changed his name because they considered it insulting to Maury to have a handicapped child named after him.
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« Reply #218 on: November 10, 2015, 04:02:43 PM »

This weekend, I started reading "Stoner," by John Williams. I had come across an article discussing it as a somewhat neglected classic that is having a resurgence. I'm enjoying it so far. Always nice to have a pleasant surprise come out of nowhere.
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« Reply #219 on: November 17, 2015, 05:52:16 PM »

"Ripper" which is about some terrible murders that happened in my hometown of Woonsocket Rhode Island. Includes the serial killer's (very) shocking confessions. The street I live on is even mentioned in the book. Scary sh*t.....
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« Reply #220 on: November 17, 2015, 07:22:59 PM »

"Ripper" which is about some terrible murders that happened in my hometown of Woonsocket Rhode Island. Includes the serial killer's (very) shocking confessions. The street I live on is even mentioned in the book. Scary sh*t.....
Hi Woonsocket! I'm homesick for New England!
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« Reply #221 on: November 20, 2015, 12:16:29 AM »

Book shop is my favorite type of shop. was today to grab sth. then I see "Keri Smith How to Be an Explorer of the World"- it was written in funny typeface so I read the annotation & liked it! Too bad it's too expensive. someday I'll get it. I already hid it behind the various other books in the shelf. usually works. We'll see.
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« Reply #222 on: November 20, 2015, 02:56:22 AM »

William S. Burroughs's Junky.

Queer now.
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And, for anyone who has actually experienced them, surfing and cars carry PLENTY of emotion and life experience. They can carry as much metaphor as any Van Dyke Parks clever epistle.
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« Reply #223 on: November 20, 2015, 07:16:27 AM »

Book shop is my favorite type of shop. was today to grab sth. then I see "Keri Smith How to Be an Explorer of the World"- it was written in funny typeface so I read the annotation & liked it! Too bad it's too expensive. someday I'll get it. I already hid it behind the various other books in the shelf. usually works. We'll see.
I wish we still had book shops.
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« Reply #224 on: November 20, 2015, 07:24:25 AM »

I'm behind on books. 

I just started reading The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis. 

I still have yet to see the movie.  But I picked up the book at a school carnival this summer.  Since I'm a Ravens fan, and have met Michael Oher a couple times, I figured it makes sense for me to finally read this book.

Then, I'll watch the movie.

Then, I can read Michael Oher's book, a signed copy of which has been sitting on my shelf for about 4-5 years. 
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