Randomville

Pulp => Pulp Discussion => Topic started by: Dan on December 14, 2007, 12:00:58 PM

Title: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2007, 12:00:58 PM
Random Book Musings

I always get H.G. Wells, Orson Wells, and George Orwell confused. Maybe I need to read more.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2007, 12:02:20 PM
The above post was inspired by this article about great sci-fi books for people who don't like sci-fi. (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/shortstack/2007/12/great_sci_fi_for_people_who_th.html)

I figured I should include this as a random musing as well.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on December 14, 2007, 01:09:57 PM
I'm awful with remembering science fiction.  I get all my dystopian society's mixed up. 

An actual quote: "The betas spoke with Russian slang, right?  What did the Ewoks speak?"

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on July 10, 2008, 02:13:09 PM
AWESDOME!  Someone just dropped off a donation which includes a copier paper box filled with Choose Your Own Adventure books.

My weekend is set.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on July 10, 2008, 02:39:03 PM
AWESDOME!  Someone just dropped off a donation which includes a copier paper box filled with Choose Your Own Adventure books.

My weekend is set.
Save some for LANDO!!!!!
I love those books so much.

Dan, along the lines of your post, I used to always get Alan Greenspan and Allen Ginsberg confused. That always makes me chuckle and I'm the one thinking it.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Slar on July 10, 2008, 02:48:09 PM
I recently read 'Chocolat' for the first time, and I think it's one where I really preferred the movie version.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Butter on July 10, 2008, 02:57:17 PM
What's with all the words?  And who has time to flip through all those pages?  Books need to get with the 21st century.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on July 10, 2008, 03:07:49 PM
I'm going to wait until your comment is made into a movie.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 10, 2008, 03:48:31 PM
A webisode would be better.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on August 25, 2008, 11:07:22 AM
Ugh, "footnotes" are called "footnotes" because they belong at the bottom of a page, not at the end of the book.  What is it with British publications and their complete lack of understanding with where a footnote should go?  It is so annoying having to flip front to back several times a page just to get some contextual information.  You lose reading momentum and, consequently, just skip over what ever bit of extra info the author wanted to add to the story. 

 

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Andrews on August 25, 2008, 07:20:21 PM
I completely agree and second that frustration. I have put down too many books that were actually interesting due to that annoyance.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on August 25, 2008, 10:28:40 PM
I'm ok with end notes, though I don't often come across them in my fiction readings.  For the non-fiction I read I have gotten to where I like having end notes.  It's much easier to go back and look at them at the end, and I am not getting pulled away from the author's argument.  When I was writing my thesis, there were a few times that I had these massive footnotes that spilled over onto the next page and took up huge amounts of space.  Footnote everything! :)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on October 22, 2008, 01:13:18 PM
OK bookworms and librarians, help MK & me out....

We heard an interview on radio of an author who had written a fictional tale of what would have happened in the world during the last 8 years if Bush had actually lost the 2000 election

A GIS throws up fuckall despite various search terms...

Anyone have a clue what I'm talking about? We think it had a one-word title?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: whigsgeek on October 22, 2008, 01:36:01 PM
We heard an interview on radio of an author who had written a fictional tale of what would have happened in the world during the last 8 years if Bush had actually lost the 2000 election
[...]
Anyone have a clue what I'm talking about? We think it had a one-word title?

Paradise?
Nirvana?
Heaven?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on October 23, 2008, 07:15:07 PM
I've found lately that since I'm reading books at work and at home at night before bed, that I'll sometimes go crazy at night, like reading for an hour or two when I'm dead tired and I have to get up super early, even when it's not the most interesting book I've ever read, but that when I'm finished with that book and it's time for the next one, that I'll put it off for days, even though I really want to get to the next book. 

I'm not reading *much* at work or anything, so it's not like I'm all read out or anything.  This is especially crazy for me since I have 2 books I *REALLY* want to read, but keep going "..meh, I'm just going to sleep instead."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: redbobsled on October 24, 2008, 03:01:19 AM
OK bookworms and librarians, help MK & me out....

We heard an interview on radio of an author who had written a fictional tale of what would have happened in the world during the last 8 years if Bush had actually lost the 2000 election

A GIS throws up fuckall despite various search terms...

Anyone have a clue what I'm talking about? We think it had a one-word title?

I think I found it.  Is it A Time Like This by Wm Tate?

Here's a link to it on Amazon:
A Time Like This (http://www.amazon.com/Time-Like-This-2001-2008-insiders/dp/1434893472/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224831534&sr=8-1)


This is the only thing I found, and I tried novelist, worldcat, and our good friend Google.  Brian's suggestion of searching for "alternative history" proved to be the winner!

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on October 24, 2008, 03:21:58 AM
I think that's the one. Thanks Mr & Mrs RBS!!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on March 01, 2009, 05:51:02 PM
So my comment is based on the TV and movie versions, as I've never read the book, but what do people see in Wuthering Heights? I keep wacthing adaptations to try to understand, but Cathy is even worse than Bella from Twilight.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: trixi on March 01, 2009, 05:52:09 PM
But at least Cathy was fitting in with women in those days.  Bella is a current day character and acts as if it was yesteryear.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on March 01, 2009, 06:43:42 PM
But Jane Eyre is from the same period and is much more appealing to me. The poor relation just makes for a better storyline for me. I've read that book close to a dozen times. I know others that are the same way about Wuthering Heights, and I just don't get it. Good thing there are so many books to pick from!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on March 03, 2009, 04:04:03 PM
DORK ALERT!

I totally had an uncontrollable GASP when I realized I was reading the first encounter between Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller in THE BRASS VERDICT. I didn't realize I was such a Michael Connelly junkie until that very moment.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: clemsonfan on March 04, 2009, 12:36:09 PM
Ok, my younger brother just called me and asked how I liked The Yearling. He found the book at Goodwill with my name written on the inside cover. The funny thing is, I don't think I ever read that book.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on March 04, 2009, 01:42:46 PM
Another Andrea Price perhaps!?!?! How crazy is that!?!?!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: clemsonfan on March 04, 2009, 01:52:48 PM
I probably bought it from a yard sale or something with the intention of reading it. He said it had my name (including middle initial) and 1991 written in it. Yes, I used to go by my first name, middle initial, then last (maiden) name. I used to have a great middle initial. When I got married, I replaced my maiden name with my middle name so legally, my name is not that close to my original name.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Rafe on March 22, 2009, 05:40:06 PM
My wife bought me a book for my birthday, the new one by Dennis Lehane. A chapter or two in, it's reading like a barnstormer. Great novel so far.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on June 17, 2009, 01:56:39 PM
Started reading my first Jen Lancaster book today and I think I laughed out loud about 10 times in 45 minutes. WOOHOO.

Dear Dean Wormer,

In ANIMAL HOUSE, you told Bluto that fat, drunk, and stupid was no way to go through life.

I beg to differ. Fat, drunk, and stupid is a perfectly fine way to go through life....After all, it's worked out nicely for me.

Best,
Jen Lancaster
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on June 19, 2009, 08:31:14 AM
http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/go_fug_yourself/2009/06/fug_chef.html

This FUG has me wishing that I had moved all of my SWEET VALLEY HIGH books down to Atlanta with me. NAILED IT.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on July 09, 2009, 04:02:39 PM
"Sometimes childish will get you what you want."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: vizzah on August 20, 2009, 10:00:12 AM
This isn't a musing on a specific book, but I didn't want to fuss with starting a new thread for it.

Half Price Books celebrates the grand opening of their new store on September 3rd. To celebrate their new Beavercreek location, the first 100 customers (ages 16 & up) in the door on Thursday, September 3rd through Monday, September 7th will receive a free reusable Half Price Books tote bag and $5 gift card. Each day Thursday through Monday, one of the tote bags will contain a $100 gift card! During the Grand Opening Weekend (Thursday through Monday) absolutely everything in the store will be an additional 20% off.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 20, 2009, 10:12:13 AM
Yeah, Beavercreek gets a new store but we lose the Centerville location, which sucks balls.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: vizzah on August 20, 2009, 10:31:54 AM
It does suck for folks south of town, but the new location is super close to Chez Vizz, so I can't complain.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: JohnnyRoyale on August 25, 2009, 09:08:49 PM
Lastly, I met a PR person who peddles book reviews and authors last night,
so there could be a lot of opportunity for book reviews and interviews in
the future. If you want more info on that, please let me know. Thanks for
your help!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on September 23, 2009, 01:37:24 PM
In light of Mac Phillips' recent revelation, OCLC's (online library catalog program) summary field of Nicholas Sparks' new book caught my eye:

Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father--a former concert pianist and teacher--moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father ... until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him.  An unforgettable story of love on many levels.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 23, 2009, 11:17:55 PM
Ew.

And does this mean I have to read the damn thing since I live in the setting?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jonathan on September 27, 2009, 12:19:12 PM
No, no, a thousand times no.

Read Cape Fear Rising again instead (I'm assuming you've already read it, if not own it).
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on October 20, 2009, 04:46:28 PM
Never Let Me Go has been made into a film.
I'm both terrified and excited.
I hope they can pull this one off. I think about this book at least once a week.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on October 21, 2009, 01:53:18 PM
Really? I actually read that... what makes you think about it so much?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on October 21, 2009, 04:37:34 PM
No, no, a thousand times no.

Read Cape Fear Rising again instead (I'm assuming you've already read it, if not own it).

I haven't read it, but I did read the North Carolina special report on the riots. (That was a page turner)

One of the reasons Wilmington was selected to be the city where whites would rise up to regain power was to serve as a message for the rest of the state and region- we had a thriving black population (over 50% of the city) with a solid middle class (the only black daily newspaper in the country), and were the largest city in the state as well as being the economic center. Then we had a coup d'etat, and became a cultural backwater... Yup, that idea worked well. I often think that if the riot hadn't happened, Wilmington would be as well known as Atlanta. We were very similar after the Civil War.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on October 22, 2009, 11:26:32 AM
Really? I actually read that... what makes you think about it so much?
I don't know how to explain it without giving too much away. But, I found it very haunting. It makes me think about the main issue in a way that I had never really thought about it before reading the novel.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on October 30, 2009, 12:23:21 PM
I went to my first book signing yesterday! I just thought I would tell you all b/c I don't know too many people who would care. It was Bill Simmons... so yes, it was 90% dudes, and the ladies there were buying the book for a guy... but still, I thought it was interesting. Also dumb that I stood in line for 1.5 hours just to get a scrawl on the front and 3 seconds in front of him (during which I said nothing) but hey it was still interesting.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 30, 2009, 01:41:43 PM
Was he sweatin' to the oldies?  No wait, that's not right, that was Richard Simmons.

Did he have his Kiss makeup on?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poncho on November 01, 2009, 12:01:31 AM
No, no Kwyj, that's Gene Simmons.  

He met that dude from Def Jam Records... wait, I actually think that is Russell Simmons.

Did he whip out his guitar and sing "Black Water" for you?  "I'd like to hear some funky Dixieland... pretty mama, come and take me by the hand."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on November 02, 2009, 11:44:50 AM
I actually thought it was going to be the drummer from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, but when I got there I realized that guy was actually Russell Simins. D'oh! But I stuck around anyway.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on November 02, 2009, 12:58:10 PM
No, no Kwyj, that's Gene Simmons. 

He met that dude from Def Jam Records... wait, I actually think that is Russell Simmons.

Did he whip out his guitar and sing "Black Water" for you?  "I'd like to hear some funky Dixieland... pretty mama, come and take me by the hand."

No, you're thinking about Patrick Simmons.

I think he met DMX.  No wait, that's Earl Simmons.

Did he tell you about his 1980 Silver Slugger award?

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 02, 2009, 04:46:48 PM
No, that was Ted Simmons....

I remember now, he's that Blacks Without Soul guy.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kenneth Toilethole on November 09, 2009, 07:41:15 AM
John Hodgman is doing a book signing at the Greene in Dayton Thursday.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on November 20, 2009, 05:42:26 PM
Memo to Sarah Palin: In Britain "Going Rogue" is slang for having unprotected anal sex. Should set you up nicely for the 2012 GOP nomination you clueless fucking bitch.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 23, 2009, 07:51:37 AM
My mother bought Sarah Palin's book at Sam's yesterday, I was so ashamed.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on December 22, 2009, 10:06:19 PM
I find myself really torn about Harry Potter, based on something that Kwyjibo said. He stated in another thread about the Harry Potter series "at least these books were written well" and my first instinctual reaction was "WHAT? No way - the writing was horrible."

But then I thought about it some more, trying to understand how someone could ever say that. And he's right - what Rowling did with that series was amazing, and she deserves all the praise she gets for them. The plot twists, the foresight, the creativity, the characters... these are all very very well done. So yes, they are written well.

But I also couldn't stand the actual writing. I found myself reading paragraphs in the middle of chapters that were essentially repeating what had already happened and I was just saying to myself "get on with it already." Or I found her general writing style to be extremely repetitive and ... dare I say it ... annoying? It drove me up a wall from time to time, and I couldn't wait to get the section/chapter/book/etc over with.

So which is it? Is she an amazing writer with fantastic foresight and an enviable grasp of the bigger picture? Or is she repetitive, tedious, and boring?

I actually think she's a third option - someone who is both. And that is precisely what makes her special. If she can pull off both of those and get away with it then I say more power to her.

That's my random Book Musing of the week.
Cheerio!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 23, 2009, 08:10:16 AM
Well, I was speaking more of mechanics.  The bit I find most annoying is the Twilight wench's inability to vary her phrasing and sentence structure.  The main character thinks the vampire dude is beautiful... and she says "he's beautiful" maybe every other per page, in exactly that language:  he's beautiful, He's the most beautiful boy, his skin was beautiful, she found him beautiful.  That's bad writing.  Not repeating bits of information for clarity and being somewhat deliberate with the story telling.  Besides HP is a kids book after all.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on December 23, 2009, 11:24:11 AM
Well, I was speaking more of mechanics.  The bit I find most annoying is the Twilight wench's inability to vary her phrasing and sentence structure.  The main character thinks the vampire dude is beautiful... and she says "he's beautiful" maybe every other per page, in exactly that language:  he's beautiful, He's the most beautiful boy, his skin was beautiful, she found him beautiful.  That's bad writing.  Not repeating bits of information for clarity and being somewhat deliberate with the story telling.  Besides HP is a kids book after all.

Hahahah. Well, I haven't read the Twilight stuff, and don't plan to, so I can't compare. But I feel ya, dawgg.

As for the HP series being a kids book... I dunno. Definitely the first two, and maybe the third one, but I feel like after that she sort of realized she could do anything she wanted and would still be successful. The books sort of matured (or maybe she's such a good writer that her WRITING matured with her characters?) into something beyond a kids story, although she still tried to be true to her roots?

I dunno. I feel like I'm overanalyzing something that's been overanalyzed too much already. They were a good fun story and beloved, and that's all that matters.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 23, 2009, 11:32:27 AM
My understanding was that the books evolved in content purposely to mature along with their audience.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on December 23, 2009, 12:47:16 PM
I find myself really torn about Harry Potter, based on something that Kwyjibo said. He stated in another thread about the Harry Potter series "at least these books were written well" and my first instinctual reaction was "WHAT? No way - the writing was horrible."

But then I thought about it some more, trying to understand how someone could ever say that. And he's right - what Rowling did with that series was amazing, and she deserves all the praise she gets for them. The plot twists, the foresight, the creativity, the characters... these are all very very well done. So yes, they are written well.

But I also couldn't stand the actual writing. I found myself reading paragraphs in the middle of chapters that were essentially repeating what had already happened and I was just saying to myself "get on with it already." Or I found her general writing style to be extremely repetitive and ... dare I say it ... annoying? It drove me up a wall from time to time, and I couldn't wait to get the section/chapter/book/etc over with.

So which is it? Is she an amazing writer with fantastic foresight and an enviable grasp of the bigger picture? Or is she repetitive, tedious, and boring?

I actually think she's a third option - someone who is both. And that is precisely what makes her special. If she can pull off both of those and get away with it then I say more power to her.

That's my random Book Musing of the week.
Cheerio!

You sir are smoking crack!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poncho on December 23, 2009, 11:49:40 PM
Dan will be crucified by nerds in wizard hats and thick glasses.  HERESY I SAY!  HERESY!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: MissKitty on December 24, 2009, 08:20:08 AM
Dan, I didn't feel that way about any of the HP books until the last one - and then I was saying "oh jeez get on with it already" all the way through the damned book. It felt like all that boy did throughout the entire book was magic himself from place to place, hiding out. BORING!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 24, 2009, 02:02:36 PM
I'll admit that I didn't care for the last one much myself.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on January 03, 2010, 07:30:04 PM
I've been OBSESSED with the latest Stephen King since I started it the other day.  I think I've read about 800 pages in 3 days. 
Not bad considering I worked a day and I have the baby to take care of ;)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on January 08, 2010, 01:11:20 PM
I've been OBSESSED with the latest Stephen King since I started it the other day.  I think I've read about 800 pages in 3 days. 
Not bad considering I worked a day and I have the baby to take care of ;)

HOLY CRAP I really liked this book a LOT
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on January 16, 2010, 10:32:12 PM
I feel we may need a "Books I have given up on" thread?

(We may also need a "Movies we have given up on" thread too?)

My latest throwaway...

Judith Levine - Not Buying It - My Year Without Shopping
I really liked the concept of this book when I heard about it. Basically, a couple who took themselves off the retail grid for a year, and bought nothing but essentials. It started well, the author explaining that she and her boyfriend were 'disposaphobes' – people who were unable to throw much away - and she felt that the project would help them in this regard. Unfortunately, the levels of pretentiousness became too much too quickly. The couple owned two homes - one in New York, one in Vermont - were stupid enough to own a car in New York City, admitting they only used it occasionally (and having to pay fines for not moving it often enough from the streets)  and seemed to be bitching about needing 'necessities' like wool socks, visits to ‘independent cinema’ and skis. These weren't regular consumers, these were people who merely bought a lot of unnecessary crap most of which would be EASY for a 'common' person to do without. The hardships all started to feel fake and so I bailed from the book about a quarter of the way in.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on April 12, 2010, 07:01:51 AM
I feel we may need a "Books I have given up on" thread?

(We may also need a "Movies we have given up on" thread too?)

My latest throwaway...

1 • Judith Levine - Not Buying It - My Year Without Shopping

2 • Ozzy Osbourne - I Am Ozzy

I got no further than the first chapter. I was quite interested in this - Ozzy being a larger than life character and all - but it is so very badly - and childishly - written that it became impossible for me to read. Back to the library it shall go, for some other poor sod to have it inflicted on them.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on May 18, 2010, 11:19:04 AM
Random quote from Age of Innocence that, for some reason, caught my eye.

'Ah, you've come!' she said, and drew her hand from her muff.

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on May 18, 2010, 01:32:12 PM
Random quote from Age of Innocence that, for some reason, caught my eye.

'Ah, you've come!' she said, and drew her hand from her muff.


HAHAHAHAHAAH! Good eye, Captain.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on May 18, 2010, 01:34:20 PM
That needs to be added to the quotes section up top.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on June 21, 2010, 11:26:14 AM
Barnes and Noble released a $149 version of the Nook today.  It does not have 3G access, but I really can't think of a situation where 3G access in a book reader would be important.  Other than that, it's exactly the same as the formerly $259 Nook (which is now $199).




Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poncho on June 22, 2010, 10:47:01 AM
Barnes and Noble released a $149 version of the Nook today.  It does not have 3G access, but I really can't think of a situation where 3G access in a book reader would be important.  Other than that, it's exactly the same as the formerly $259 Nook (which is now $199).

When I was sitting on a bus driving in the middle of Egypt and the girl in the seat across the aisle was emailing her family... then I thought "3G access sure would be cool right now"

In related news Amazon dropped the Kindle to $189
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on June 22, 2010, 12:49:43 PM
It would be nice to have an all-in-one device, but we are still a few years away from that.  If I had a Nook or Kindle with 3G, I would still probably prefer my cellphone for that stuff as it has a color display and is more portable.

If I had to choose just one, I'd pick the smartphone every time.  But with prices the way they are now, you can get a 3G smartphone for <$100 and an ereader for <$200.  As opposed to a few years ago where you would have to spend $600 an iPhone that doesn't work as well as either separate device.

The display and the battery life on cellphones are way too crappy to try and use them as good ereaders.  If you had an iPhone and you turned off everything except your bookreader, you might be able to get through a long flight... but you'd better plug it in as soon as you land.

The Kindle is really nice, but I don't like that it ties you into Amazon.  All your Amazon books are DRM'ed and it won't read certain widely used formats that you'd get free online or from other vendors.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Hell Toupee on June 22, 2010, 11:51:43 PM
Kindles are now available from Target. I still love mine.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poncho on June 23, 2010, 01:09:37 AM
It would be nice to have an all-in-one device, but we are still a few years away from that.  If I had a Nook or Kindle with 3G, I would still probably prefer my cellphone for that stuff as it has a color display and is more portable.

If I had to choose just one, I'd pick the smartphone every time.  But with prices the way they are now, you can get a 3G smartphone for <$100 and an ereader for <$200.  As opposed to a few years ago where you would have to spend $600 an iPhone that doesn't work as well as either separate device.

Except for the fact that international cell phones are an expensive PER MINUTE and PER KB price.

The Kindle did everything it did for free.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on June 23, 2010, 02:50:45 AM
One of the primary attractions of an eReader for me is that I like to read on long bus rides and plane rides.  I could just get some books from the library, but you never know what you might be in the mood to read and I sometimes read 3-4 books on a trip and it starts to take up luggage space.

So if I had a Kindle on a long bus ride in Egypt, I'd be using it as an eReader even if I had access to email.  But yeah, I could see the advantage if you are someone who travels a lot to other countries on personal trips.  You go on say, a one month trip abroad in a semi-remote locale, you'll probably want to check your email at some point.  And you probably don't want to waste time looking for an internet cafe or wifi hotspot (where you will probably get charged).

I'm not really sure why they have Kindles at Target or Nooks at Best Buy.  In the case of the Nook, it's not like B&N's aren't as ubiquitous as Best Buys.  And in the case of Kindle, I think anyone who is savvy enough to go to Amazon and download an eBook is probably savvy enough to go to Amazon and buy a Kindle.  I suppose you do have the advantage of holding it and checking it out in the store.

I think the price of simple eReaders will probably drop to around $100 before the year is out.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poncho on June 24, 2010, 10:23:28 AM
As someone who always takes a half dozen books on vacation and someone who is always pushing the threshold for bag weight in this new era of travel... I'll be purchasing one of them if they do drop down to ~$100. 

I almost had to leave a few books in Italy this past trip... I finally found a way to fit them into my carry-on, but it was close.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on July 05, 2010, 03:35:09 PM
When I was a kid, I read this book but I can't remember anything about it other than it involved the Washer at the Ford.

I don't know if they actually used the term "Washer at the Ford" but anyway there was a washer woman that was part of the plot and if you saw her washing your clothes you were going to die.  That scared the shit out of me, so I looked it up and that's how I learned about the Irish/Scottish mythology.

Unfortunately, that's all I remember.  I vaguely recall it may have had something to do with immortality, because whenever I try to recall details from the book I always get it mixed up with Tuck Everlasting.  Also, I think that at the end of the book, the someone voluntarily goes to her and tries to die in place of someone else or something and the washerwoman does not speak but is somehow revealed not to be evil but just a necessary part of the world.  Or maybe I'm getting it mixed up with Tuck Everlasting again.

Anyway, it's driving me crazy.  Can anyone think of what book this is?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poncho on July 06, 2010, 12:26:39 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Hounds-Morrigan-Pat-Oshea/dp/0064472051
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hounds_of_the_Morrigan

This was a kid's book released in the mid-80's... I just did an amazon search for books on the morrigan and found it.



After thinking about it for several minutes I remembered a book we read in school about a boy who lived where they were building a dam and an old man who told him stories that scared a young poncho with thoughts of creepy things.  Some google-fu led me to find THAT book.

The Walking Stones by Mollie Hunter
http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Stones-Mollie-Hunter/dp/0152009957

The reviews say that book has the washer at the ford in it.  There was definitely some sort of death as a way to fulfill a goal in that book.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poncho on July 09, 2010, 09:20:03 AM
No? Yes?  Way off?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on July 09, 2010, 10:47:30 AM
Yeah, I think it must be The Walking Stones.  I came across that in google as well, but it threw me off because it said it kept saying it was published in 1996. 

But according to that Amazon link and the fact that you read it, it's been around much longer.  And if both of us read it, it must be fairly well-known.  And if it creeped you out, it probably creeped me out.

I don't remember the dam, but I do remember some sort of flooding catastrophe that needed avoiding.  And the young normal kid meeting someone who turns out to be mystical and that mysticism somehow involves death, which is why I think I get it mixed up with Tuck Everlasting.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on July 09, 2010, 11:58:22 AM
Lord, did every classic published from 1870-1925 involve prissy English/American aristocratic families living terribly dreadful, meaningless and loveless lives?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on July 09, 2010, 12:28:25 PM
Only half.  The other half involve patronizing looks at English/American lower-class families living terribly dreadful, meaningless and loveless lives because those disenchanted aristocratic families pissed all over them. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on August 17, 2010, 02:27:55 PM
"Rock stars did not invent burning out. They just do it louder."
- from the Haysi Fantayzee chapter of Rob Sheffield's Talking to Girls About Duran Duran.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Rafe on September 27, 2010, 06:00:23 PM
I'm generally not a fan of autobiographies/memoirs. Much like blogs, they tend to err on the side of being self-agrandizing, tedious "me, me, me" drivel. With that in mind, I'm shocked and pleasantly surprised to note that two of my favourite reads this year have been musical memoirs. Jah Wobble's "Memoirs of a Geezer" was an absolutely side-splitting read, and "Bad Vibes" by the beautifully acidic Luke Haines a classic. what both these books have in common is the authors honesty. Without spoiling the books for those who haven't read them (A copy of the Haines one will be flying first class within the week to Cincinnati), these two musicians have cleared my finely tuned bullshit detector and delivered brutally honest, fucking hilarious gems. I strongly suggest you folks hunt down a copy of each. I'll refrain from quoting them, but there are some choice remarks in both books.

Good stuff.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on September 28, 2010, 09:08:34 AM
I've had the Wobble on my AmazonUK wishlist since it was released - just waiting for it to reach a price point I'm happy with. Did you ever see him on "NMT Buzzcocks" Rafe? Pharking hysterical.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Rafe on September 29, 2010, 06:50:57 PM
I've had the Wobble on my AmazonUK wishlist since it was released - just waiting for it to reach a price point I'm happy with. Did you ever see him on "NMT Buzzcocks" Rafe? Pharking hysterical.

I never did see that show, but suffice to say, there's a brilliant little reminiscence from Wobble on the filming of that. I have my own little (less amusing, but still good) story about one of the characters involved, I'll be sure to post about it once you've read his barnstormer so as not to spoil any of the content for you or anyone else. When I get a little more time I'll try and search for it on youtube. Surely some fucking dildo has uploaded every episode and series on there by now :)

I have to expand a tad. Jah has always been one of my very favourite musicians and characters in the "biz". It was brilliant to read it all from his perspective, from the streetfights to the spirituality. A proper geezer, for sure. I urge you (and everyone else, for that matter) to hang the expense and simply grab a copy.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on October 04, 2010, 07:50:26 PM
I'm a Librarian. For the sake of honesty, I read trashy novels in the summertime (and sometimes in winter when I can pretend I'm at the beach). I grew up reading fantasy and science fiction books because my Dad had/has tons of them and Mom's mysteries were boring. However, it's been a long time since I've been sucked into a fantasy novel and wanted to tell people about it. Well, I'm 50% of the way through "The Adamantine Palace" by Stephen Deas and I am so thoroughly hooked I don't know why I'm not reading it now. Dragons? Check. Alchemy? Check. Royalty and Nobility? Check. A little romance/sexiness? Check.

So, what sets it apart? The political intrigue. The first 1/3 of the book the dragons and alchemy are window dressing for the political machinations of power hungry Queens and Princes. It is fascinating. A fully realized world in less than 100 pages... if the rest of the book holds up to the first half, I'm in for the whole series.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on October 05, 2010, 10:02:46 AM
Wow. Thanks for the tip. I think I'll look for that one.
I haven't read a fantasy book (discounting Lord of the Rings) in a LOOONG time.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on October 05, 2010, 01:06:23 PM
For the 4th time in my life, I tried to read Gravity's Rainbow.  And, for the 4th time in my life, I fell well short of having it spark the most remote bit of interest, let alone finishing it (or even coming within 500 pages of the end.)  So, for the 4th time in my life, I'm convincing myself that the people who said they read it and loved it are full of shit in order not to feel like the reason I haven't finished it in 4 attempts is because I am stupid.

I guess I understand why it's considered great.  I can recognize Pynchon' unique writing style, but sort of feel like he's the literary version of Yngwie Malmsteen: lots of talent, lots of notes/words/ideas, but ultimately not something I enjoy.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on October 05, 2010, 01:21:13 PM
I always thought Pynchon sucked as well, until I read Mason & Dixon. 

I loved that book so much it made me go back and reread Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49.  They both still suck.

But Mason & Dixon is totally legit and all kinds of awesome.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on November 12, 2010, 11:35:07 AM
Just picked up Keith Richard's "Life" at the library. Just flipped through it last night before diving in but each passage was sucking me in. Ended up reading most of the chapter about Keith being "done" with Mick in the 80s. He would throw barbs in the press at Mick, Mick would respond in kind. Finally, some reporter asked Keith when those two were going to stop bitching at each other in public and Keith's response was "Ask the Bitch." Love it.

The inside jacket (in his own handwriting) tells you right away that this will be a fun read.
“This is the life. Believe it or not I haven’t forgotten any of it. Thanks and praises. Keith Richards.”
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on November 12, 2010, 01:59:46 PM
I have "Life" on order at the library (currently #4 on a hold list of over 30) and can't wait to read it!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on November 18, 2010, 11:07:53 AM
Patricia Cornwell needs to be slapped in the face with a Sailor sandwich.

This could also qualify as a "random food musing."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on November 18, 2010, 11:10:01 AM
This could also qualify as a "random food musing."
GSPoTD with a garlic pickle on the side.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on November 19, 2010, 01:10:45 PM
I've typed "Biblioteca\de\Mayo\\\Tomo" so many times today, it's lost all its meaning for me.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on November 24, 2010, 05:18:57 PM
Patricia Cornwell needs to be slapped in the face with a Sailor sandwich.

This could also qualify as a "random food musing."

Why, what did she do?

Only thing of hers I've read was her Jack the Ripper book, where she gives her theories on who she thinks it was, and why.  It was interesting.  Per Wikipedia, most people don't think she was right though.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on November 30, 2010, 02:08:15 PM
Just picked up Keith Richard's "Life" at the library.

Read this bit and thought of Rafe today...

Talking about his maternal grandfather, Gus.
"A familiar Gusism was to greet a friend with 'Hello, don't be a cunt all yer life.' The delivery was so beautifully flat, so utterly familiar. I loved the man."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on June 06, 2011, 12:20:42 PM
I picked up the audio version of Stephen King's "Under the Dome" at the library the other day. Usually, audio books seem to be around 7-8 CDs. This audio book has THIRTY discs. THIRTY!!!!! When the guy first put the case on the counter, I thought it was filled with cassette tapes because it was so huge.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on June 06, 2011, 02:00:03 PM
I picked up the audio version of Stephen King's "Under the Dome" at the library the other day. Usually, audio books seem to be around 7-8 CDs. This audio book has THIRTY discs. THIRTY!!!!! When the guy first put the case on the counter, I thought it was filled with cassette tapes because it was so huge.

*snort* To be fair, it is a long book. I'm re-"reading" the last Harry Potter book and it clocks in at roughly 18 discs. The biggest one I've ever seen was an audio version of the bible which had around 75 discs, it came in one of those zippered disc holders.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on June 06, 2011, 02:17:47 PM
I think pretty much any Stephen King book you could just listen to every other disc and be fine.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: MissKitty on June 06, 2011, 02:19:50 PM
RVA, that really made me laugh!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 06, 2011, 02:28:10 PM
I think Under the Dome took Juliana about two weeks to read, she can usually polish off a good novel in a couple of days.  It would take me two or three months if I read a little everyday, which wouldn't end up happening, which is why I've not attempted it yet.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on June 06, 2011, 02:42:51 PM
I picked up the audio version of Stephen King's "Under the Dome" at the library the other day. Usually, audio books seem to be around 7-8 CDs. This audio book has THIRTY discs. THIRTY!!!!! When the guy first put the case on the counter, I thought it was filled with cassette tapes because it was so huge.

*snort* To be fair, it is a long book.
I had no idea it was such a thick book until I picked up the discs. I have only ever looked at it on Amazon so I just saw the cover. The last King book I read was made up of short stories. So, it wasn't very big at all. Just wasn't what I was expecting.

Thanks for the advice, rva.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on July 08, 2011, 01:05:01 PM
One of my co-workers recently left the company. His name was William Johnson. He asked if he should take his name plate with him when he left and I told him to leave it because it was probably a strong possibility that we would hire someone in the future with his same name. He seemed somewhat offended by that remark. I tell you this because there has been a character named "William Johnson" in the last two books that I have read. I'm thinking about making copies of the pages and sending them to him.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on July 08, 2011, 01:21:54 PM
How'd you like Under the Dome C-lando?
Yes, I realize this is a month or so late...I'm behind the times like that though.

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 08, 2011, 01:29:05 PM
One of my co-workers recently left the company. His name was William Johnson. He asked if he should take his name plate with him when he left and I told him to leave it because it was probably a strong possibility that we would hire someone in the future with his same name. He seemed somewhat offended by that remark. I tell you this because there has been a character named "William Johnson" in the last two books that I have read. I'm thinking about making copies of the pages and sending them to him.

Perhaps you should send him something to help him remove the stick from his ass.  What a thing to be offended about.  Like it's news to him that both William and Johnson are extremely common names?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on July 08, 2011, 03:30:40 PM
How'd you like Under the Dome C-lando?
Yes, I realize this is a month or so late...I'm behind the times like that though.


Ha. It's only been a couple of weeks really.
I liked it. I wasn't sure how it would end until it started to wind down (around disc 28).
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on August 23, 2011, 07:21:08 AM
When do you guys give up on a book (or do you)? I started a book last night and after 3 chapters, I decided that I hated a ll three of the main characters and moved on to the last Anne and Todd McCaffrey Pern novel.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: cuddlyevil on August 23, 2011, 08:10:11 AM
Right about when you've reached the point where you hate everyone involved. I might skip ahead a few chapters to see if things seem different, but only if I see any hope for more development.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on August 23, 2011, 08:17:10 AM
-If you can't stand it.
-If you can't stay awake.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on August 23, 2011, 09:43:23 AM
-If you can't stand it.
-If you can't stay awake.
X2! If it's not required for any sort of class and you feel like you're making yourself read it, STOP! Life's too short and there are too many books out there waiting for you. :)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on August 23, 2011, 10:21:24 AM
-If you can't stand it.
-If you can't stay awake.
X2! If it's not required for any sort of class and you feel like you're making yourself read it, STOP! Life's too short and there are too many books out there waiting for you. :)

LOL. It's a fiction novel and I have 4 other books to read so I probably shouldn't waste any more time on it.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on August 23, 2011, 10:34:59 AM
yep, time to move on
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on August 23, 2011, 02:54:17 PM
I think I have posted abandoned books before. Sometimes you just gotta pull the plug.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on August 23, 2011, 03:39:07 PM
I think I have posted abandoned books before. Sometimes you just gotta pull the plug.

Yeah, it was something I grabbed on a whim and I should have gone with the second thoughts and put it back on the shelf. Ah well..
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on August 26, 2011, 05:03:04 PM
The AV Club revisits Sweet Valley (http://www.avclub.com/articles/sweet-valley-high,60938/)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on September 09, 2011, 08:37:35 AM
Word on the street is that they will be making a TV series based on "Under the Dome". COOOOOOOOL.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 09, 2011, 06:35:31 PM
Been reading Nancy Mitford, and loving her! Why haven't I read her before? Why wasn't I born into a shabby-genteel landed gentry family somewhere in Oxfordshire? Or Sussex, or East Anglia?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 21, 2011, 10:31:07 PM
Had dinner tonight with my two new librarian friends. One of them is starting a "young adult lit for adults" book club in the new year. I'm so joining up!

And, they want to get people together to take road trips to Ella's bookstore! :) I said I could hook them up with an early list of who is coming to town.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on September 22, 2011, 08:10:04 AM
Had dinner tonight with my two new librarian friends. One of them is starting a "young adult lit for adults" book club in the new year. I'm so joining up!
WANT!!!!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 22, 2011, 05:53:55 PM
Lando, you can come for visits!

I gave several suggestions of books I love that would be great for that! (She wrote them down like she would actually use them!) She's applying for a mini-grant from the Library's friends group. Sadly, it sounds like the administration doesn't get that there would be adults who voluntarily read YA, and not to keep an eye on their kids. She's getting some push-back, but everyone she has mentioned it to wants to join!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Chris on September 28, 2011, 12:48:44 PM
Stephen King is writing a sequel to The Shining called "Dr. Sleep", which has something to do with Danny Torrence and vampires? WTF?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Rafe on September 28, 2011, 02:17:15 PM
Had dinner tonight with my two new librarian friends. One of them is starting a "young adult lit for adults" book club in the new year. I'm so joining up!

And, they want to get people together to take road trips to Ella's bookstore! :) I said I could hook them up with an early list of who is coming to town.

I read a book earlier in the year that I guess could be construed as Young Adult and I'd recommend it to you lot. Whatever you call it, it was bloody good. It's "Un Lun Dun" by China Mieville. A clever and prolific bloke, him.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on September 28, 2011, 02:28:33 PM
I read Mieville's "Kraken" last year.  It was definitely clever.  I didn't end up loving it, but I found it interesting enough to maybe read something else by him.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Rafe on September 28, 2011, 06:17:38 PM
Try "The City & The City" by him. Decent book, that one.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 28, 2011, 10:21:38 PM
Thanks for the rec.  I'll give it to the organizer, but in the meantime I'll take a look at some of the other ones mentioned.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on September 29, 2011, 08:14:52 AM
Had dinner tonight with my two new librarian friends. One of them is starting a "young adult lit for adults" book club in the new year. I'm so joining up!

And, they want to get people together to take road trips to Ella's bookstore! :) I said I could hook them up with an early list of who is coming to town.

I read a book earlier in the year that I guess could be construed as Young Adult and I'd recommend it to you lot. Whatever you call it, it was bloody good. It's "Un Lun Dun" by China Mieville. A clever and prolific bloke, him.
Added to my library queue. YAY!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Rafe on September 29, 2011, 01:52:15 PM
Had dinner tonight with my two new librarian friends. One of them is starting a "young adult lit for adults" book club in the new year. I'm so joining up!

And, they want to get people together to take road trips to Ella's bookstore! :) I said I could hook them up with an early list of who is coming to town.

I read a book earlier in the year that I guess could be construed as Young Adult and I'd recommend it to you lot. Whatever you call it, it was bloody good. It's "Un Lun Dun" by China Mieville. A clever and prolific bloke, him.
Added to my library queue. YAY!

It features some rather quaint illustrations by the author, too!

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on October 03, 2011, 11:57:18 AM
I was in the Strand yesterday (famous NYC bookstore) and overheard a woman asking an employee for help finding two books.

The first one was Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities which is a seminal urban planning textbook and the second book was called Random Family (forget the author) which I had to read for my thesis.

I was amused.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on October 10, 2011, 03:02:00 PM
HOLY SHIT!  This (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15240485) is the most exciting thing I've read in a while.  They can not digitize this fast enough for me.

My director used to work for the Ransom.  Maybe I should see if she might be able to pull some strings so I could get an early peek.  

I have a serious literature boner right now.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on November 14, 2011, 03:36:04 PM
Heeheehee. I'm reminded that the HUNGER GAMES books are YA lit when I hear/read lines like this:

"...and I really can't think about kissing when I have a rebellion to incite."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on November 15, 2011, 01:11:31 PM
Right after moving back to Cincy from Orlando I got a job at B&N. One of the perks (if you don't already know) is the ability to take home paperback books that have been recalled by the publisher. I have stacks of coverless paperbacks to read that I collected over my time there. I finally decided to pick one up and read it the other day after I finished my latest book. It was Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke. Has anyone read it? Because after trying to read the first 20 pages or so (might not even have made it that far before going to Amazon and reading reviews on the book), I gave up. So, I went back to my old standby: a classic writer. I have a hard time trying to find contemporary authors because when I read, I get distracted by poor grammar structure (and hey, I realize mine could use some work), weak plot and spelling errors. If I thought this book was worth sticking it out, I would give it another try. But it just seemed really gimmicky to me. If I want to read a book in the style of someone like Jane Austen, I am going to read Jane Austen. I think what took me over the edge was the fake footnotes.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: rva on November 15, 2011, 02:39:15 PM
Yeah.  I haven't read that book, but I sorta feel you on the whole contemporary writing thing.

I'm not a stickler on proper grammar and writing.  I feel like contemporary writings should capture the way people think/feel/talk today and to some extent that means ditching old conventions.  I've never liked Jane Austen much because of her plots and subjects, but that style of prose just reeks of romanticism and it would come across pretty stilted to me if you were to try and write a modern story in that manner.

At the same time, there's a line between a writing style that feels natural with the times and trying to invent some sort of hip shit.  Or something that has now become totally derivative.

I would say the footnotes in novels or used as asides is one gimmick that has loooong outlived it's usefulness.  Chuck Klosterman uses footnotes pretty well in his non-fiction.  Because 3/4 of them will actually be useful, proper footnotes with just the odd personal aside or ironic usage sprinkled here and there.

As far as plots go, there seems to be a trend towards more sprawling type of works.  There's not a single plot as much as interwoven stories/themes.  I think that works okay when it takes the style of a bunch of short stories tied together into a novel because it's really a bunch of short stories with proper plots and individual focus.  I think the sitcom-ish quick-cut type thing where you skip between incidents concerning various characters doesn't work.

A good example is A Visit from the Goon Squad.  That's pretty much encapsulates what is hip/contemporary circa now, and it won the Pulitzer Prize.  And tbf, it's about as well done as that sort of style can be.  But to me the chapter that is a power point presentation that everyone goes nuts over feels kind of gimmicky (and is hell to try and read on an ereader).  

And everything else about that book just feels very invented.  Cleverly invented, I'll give her that.  But it feels more about style than substance.  Or maybe that's not quite fair.  It feels like a story that someone thought about and then put down on paper, not something that actually happened.  You feel removed from it, and I don't like it.  Super Sad Love Story is another one like that.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on November 15, 2011, 04:03:51 PM
I quit on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Just didn't care. I made it further than 20 pages, but it made me annoyed, and who wants to be annoyed when reading?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on November 15, 2011, 08:35:38 PM
I still have Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell sitting in my large pile of books I own but haven't read.

Jen, some contempory books that I've enjoyed are Jasper Fforde's novels and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. My book club has also enjoyed Chris Bohjalian's novels.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on November 18, 2011, 09:39:52 AM
I can get behind poor grammar if it is used when people are actually having a conversation but it is other places in the narrative where it should be observed that an editor worth their salt should have caught the mistakes. I definitely think a writer should speak in the way that is proper for the time period they are writing (physically writing, not necessary the time period of their plot): even if they are writing historical fiction, you do not need to necessarily speak Elizabethan as long as you are true to form in terms of the words and phrases that would have been proper at that time period (IMO).

Thanks for the recommends E. I have the Thirteenth Tale on my bookshelf too and it is in my "to read" pile. I will check out the other author plus I want to read the Wallander series by Henning Mankell.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on November 20, 2011, 08:31:03 AM
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel

This book took me FOREVER
I'm usually a fairly fast reader.  If I can read every night, I can knock a novel out in a week or two at the most.
This book too me at least a month of nightly reading.  At least.  I did want to quit, but I made myself read, even if it was just a couple of pages at a time.

I enjoyed it though.  Quite a bit.  I thought it was fun and worth it.
It picks up, I promise.

That said though, yeah, don't read it if it's annoying to you.
Everybody has different tastes and stuff, so just because I made myself read it and I ended up happy that I did, doesn't mean that you will be happy.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on November 21, 2011, 09:20:03 AM
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel

This book took me FOREVER
I'm usually a fairly fast reader.  If I can read every night, I can knock a novel out in a week or two at the most.
This book too me at least a month of nightly reading.  At least.  I did want to quit, but I made myself read, even if it was just a couple of pages at a time.

I enjoyed it though.  Quite a bit.  I thought it was fun and worth it.
It picks up, I promise.

That said though, yeah, don't read it if it's annoying to you.
Everybody has different tastes and stuff, so just because I made myself read it and I ended up happy that I did, doesn't mean that you will be happy.


I might give it another go...at some point. I used to be a person that, when I started a book, I finished it. I gave up on that a while ago though. Why waste my time on bad writing when there are so many good books out there? I just might not have been in the mood for this type of story so I'll try it again before consigning it to the recycle pile. :)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on November 30, 2011, 06:40:27 PM
If you're looking for the next book to read, might I recommend "The night circus" by Erin Morgenstern.

I finished it over a week ago and am still thinking about how great it was. It's a bit of a fantasy, bit of a romance, bit of a thriller, bit of a mystery rolled into one. To be honest, I didn't get where it was going in the first half of the book, I loved parts but other chapters made no sense to me... then it kicked in and I couldn't put it down. And about 75 pages from the end I thought I knew where it was going and it hurt so much I cried (really freaked my Dad out) but when it ended I was smiling. I wish this circus actually existed because I'd put on a red scarf and join the club.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on December 31, 2011, 10:47:15 PM
Okay, what was your favorite book of 2011? Doesn't have to be the best, just the one you enjoyed the most...

Mine, was "The night circus". I read an awful lot this year but nothing touched me like this book. And I'll keep harping on this one until someone else reads it and agrees (or argues) with me.  ;D
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 01, 2012, 02:26:56 AM
Okay, what was your favorite book of 2011? Doesn't have to be the best, just the one you enjoyed the most...

Mine, was "The night circus". I read an awful lot this year but nothing touched me like this book. And I'll keep harping on this one until someone else reads it and agrees (or argues) with me.  ;D
It's on my list of books to read, I promise! It's been highly recommended by my local independent book store.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: frizgolf on January 01, 2012, 09:46:22 AM
Sum- David Eagleman
A pretty whimsical look at several scenarios for life after death. Makes you wonder whether (or how) such a thing could possibly exist at all.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on January 01, 2012, 11:51:31 AM
Okay, what was your favorite book of 2011? Doesn't have to be the best, just the one you enjoyed the most...

Mine, was "The night circus". I read an awful lot this year but nothing touched me like this book. And I'll keep harping on this one until someone else reads it and agrees (or argues) with me.  ;D
It's on my list of books to read, I promise! It's been highly recommended by my local independent book store.

Mine, too! I need to get on the list at the library.

Of books I've read, my favorite has to be the Mark Twain autobiography, especially since I spent so much time with it!  Nancy Mitford was my favorite author this year, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her works this year.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on January 11, 2012, 12:10:41 PM
I'm only halfway through this book, but I thought I would recommend "Legend" by Marie Lu to all of the YA readers on these boards (especially fans of "The Hunger Games").

Here's the NY Times write-up.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/books/review/legend-by-marie-lu-book-review.html

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on February 29, 2012, 03:08:19 PM
“Slurring is the cursive of speech...”
― Amor Towles, Rules of Civility: A Novel

My goodness, I'm in love with this book.
Dan, I'd love for a New Yorker to try it on for size.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on March 01, 2012, 10:07:59 AM
“Slurring is the cursive of speech...”
― Amor Towles, Rules of Civility: A Novel

My goodness, I'm in love with this book.
Dan, I'd love for a New Yorker to try it on for size.

Sure. Send it to me when you're done!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on March 01, 2012, 12:16:09 PM
“Slurring is the cursive of speech...”
― Amor Towles, Rules of Civility: A Novel

My goodness, I'm in love with this book.
Dan, I'd love for a New Yorker to try it on for size.

Sure. Send it to me when you're done!
I would send it if it didn't belong to the county library. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a gently used copy. It's the kind of book I'd love to buy for someone.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on March 01, 2012, 12:59:53 PM
“Slurring is the cursive of speech...”
― Amor Towles, Rules of Civility: A Novel

My goodness, I'm in love with this book.
Dan, I'd love for a New Yorker to try it on for size.

Sure. Send it to me when you're done!
I would send it if it didn't belong to the county library. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a gently used copy. It's the kind of book I'd love to buy for someone.

What's a library?
*ducks*
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on March 01, 2012, 01:17:24 PM
Libraries are basically book warehouses.  Or so, the VP of my division who got shit-canned yesterday thought.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on March 06, 2012, 08:43:46 PM
Libraries are basically book warehouses.  Or so, the VP of my division who got shit-canned yesterday thought.
Is it wrong that this makes me grin very widely and, somewhat, cruelly? I love when people like that get their comeuppance, it happens all too rarely in our line of work.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on March 06, 2012, 08:45:55 PM
Ya know, I've never noticed it before. But Terry Pratchett has no chapters in some of his books. I'm reading "Snuff" right now and it took me awhile to figure out what I couldn't get to a good stopping place. Because there are no chapter breaks! I never thought something like that would bother me but it's driving me crazy. And, I am only 1/3 of the way into the book.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on March 09, 2012, 02:58:12 PM
i'm reading the confederacy of dunces by john kennedy toole and it is a travesty and brilliant at the same time that this man killed himself before this book was even published.  and he never wrote another book (to my knowledge) which is the beauty of it.  it is the funniest book i've read.  and for a white man to write a black character like he did, fucking brilliant.  i'm more than thrilled that the main character ignatius, resembles me in many facets.  as i too am writing a book.  my girlfriend is not too fond when a book piques my interest as i relate it to her ad nauseam.  ignatius is remarkable.  otherworldly.  i told my girlfriend that ignatius is more boorish than kenny powers (from the hit baseball doc eastbound & down), she doesn't think it possibly.  she hates kenny powers. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on March 25, 2012, 09:30:28 AM
any you read jonathan swift?  i've got a collection of his work and am a little more than halfway done with gulliver's travels.  i read the intro and it seems like some of his other pieces, while brilliant, may be a bit challenging to someone not so schooled in the particulars of british political/religious history.  i just want to know if i'm wasting my time or if i'll actually get something out of it.  i'm not too interested in british history particulary.  while though i am a fan of history in general, so far he seems pretty in depth. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on March 26, 2012, 02:10:39 PM
So, with all the buzz over the Hunger Games movie, anyone read the books? I had honestly never even heard of them until this movie so... Oh yeah, any good (the books)?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on March 26, 2012, 02:19:21 PM
Yes, I read the books back in 2010 (oh so long ago).

They were fantastic.
They are of a similar reading level as Harry Potter...meaning, you'll finish them in a week. Big font and lots of space on the pages. Still...the author does a great job of writing and the story, while a bit bleak and very dystopian, is quite fun. I've been recommending them to anyone who would listen for the past two years.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on March 26, 2012, 08:09:43 PM
Yes, I read the books back in 2010 (oh so long ago).

They were fantastic.
They are of a similar reading level as Harry Potter...meaning, you'll finish them in a week. Big font and lots of space on the pages. Still...the author does a great job of writing and the story, while a bit bleak and very dystopian, is quite fun. I've been recommending them to anyone who would listen for the past two years.
OKay, good to know. I've heard that from a few other people but they were also the people who told me that I "had to read the Twilight books" so you can understand why I was skeptical. I'll put these on my list.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on March 26, 2012, 08:13:56 PM
I haven't read Twilight, but I have read the Hunger Games. Liked them very much- and it was interesting to see how the story progresses. It's on the level of books 6/7 of Harry Potter- no character is safe. I like that Katniss seems like a teenager, and there are some parts that are really gripping. I read the second and third in a single sitting.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on March 26, 2012, 09:16:20 PM
I've read both the Twilight series and the Hunger Games, and the latter is much, much better. Add me to the list of those that highly recommend them.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on March 27, 2012, 02:58:32 PM
Ok, good to know, thanks! :)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 27, 2012, 03:06:14 PM
OKay, good to know. I've heard that from a few other people but they were also the people who told me that I "had to read the Twilight books" so you can understand why I was skeptical. I'll put these on my list.

I will never understand the popularity of the Twilight books.  As I've noted before I'm pretty sure that Twilight was the most poorly written book I've ever read.  Ever.  How the publisher put that on shelves without heavy editing I'll never understand.  Somebody along the line should have invested in a copy of Roget's, at the very least.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on March 28, 2012, 03:01:22 PM
I agree that Twilight is pretentious, poorly-written drivel. However, this is an interesting read (http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/mzm9d/up_vs_twilight/c354zbz):

Quote
Let's put problems with spelling, grammar, narrative flow, plot structure, etc. aside and just look at the story and, in particular, the character arc of Bella Swan.

At the beginning of the story, she is moving from Arizona to Washington on her own volition - she has decided to give her mother and her step-father some time and space and to spend some time with her father. At this point in the story, she is, admittedly, a bit of a Mary Sue, but an endearing one. She is sensitive to the needs of others (moves to Alaska for her Mom's sake, helps her Dad around the house, is understanding and tries to give the benefit of the doubt even when the other students are somewhat cruel to her when she first arrives), clumsy, out-of-sorts, and a little insecure. She's not a girly-girl or a cheerleader type, doesn't get caught up in the typical sorts of high school behavior, and in general functions as an independent person.

It's worth noting that if Tyler's van had smashed her, she would have (at that point) died as a fairly well-rounded, empathetic individual. We certainly wouldn't say she died in need of redemption, at any rate.

Instead, Edward 'saves' her - and this supernatural 'salvation' marks the beginning of a journey that ultimately destroys her.

As she gets more entangled with Edward, she becomes less and less independent, more and more selfish. She is accepting of his abusive behavior (stalking her on trips with her friends, removing parts from her car so that she can't go see Jacob, creeping into her window at night, emotional manipulation) to the point that when he completely abandons her (walking out on the trust and commitment they've built together, in spite of having vowed to remain with her no matter what), she is willing to take him back. Edward is clearly entirely morally bankrupt.

Her father, Charlie Swan, is sort of the Jimminy Cricket of the story. His intuition is a proxy for the reader's intuition, and he's generally right. He doesn't like Edward, because he can sense the truth - not that Edward is a vampire, that doesn't matter in particular - but that Edward is devoid of anything approximating a 'soul' (for those strict secularists, you could just say Charlie can see that Edward is a terrible person).

Bella is warned by numerous people and events throughout the course of the story that she is actively pursuing her own destruction - but she's so dependent on Edward and caught up in the idea of the romance that she refuses to see the situation for what it is. Charlie tells her Edward is bad news. Edward tells her that he believes he is damned, and devoid of a soul. He further tells her that making her like him is the most selfish thing he will ever do. Jacob warns her numerous times that Edward is a threat to her life and well-being. She even has examples of other women who have become involved with monsters - Emily Young bears severe and permanent facial disfigurement due to her entanglement with Sam Uley.

Her downward spiral continues when, in New Moon, she turns around and treats her father precisely as Edward has treated her - abandoning him after suffering an obvious and extended severe bout of depression, leaving him to worry that she is dead for several days. She had been emotionally absent for a period of months before that anyhow. Charlie Swan is traumatized by this event, and never quite recovers thereafter. (He is continuously suspicous of nearly everyone Bella interacts with from that point on, worries about her frequently, and seems generally less happy.)

Her refusal to break her codependence with Edward eventually leads them to selfishly endanger Carlisle's entire clan when the Volturi threaten (and then attempt) to wipe them out for their interaction with her - so she is at this point in the story willing to put lives on both sides of the line (her family and the Cullens) at risk in favor of this abusive relationship. Just like in a real abusive relationship, she is isolated or isolates herself from nearly everyone in her life - for their safety, she believes.

Ultimately, she marries Edward, submitting to mundane domesticity and an abusive relationship - voluntarily giving up her independence in favor of fulfilling Edward's idea of her appropriate role. Her pregnancy - which in the real world would bind her to the father of her children irrevocably (if only through the legal system or through having to answer the kid's questions about their paternity) - completely destroys her body. The baby drains her of every resource in her body (she becomes sickly, skeletal, and unhealthy) and ultimately snaps her spine during labor.

Her physical destruction tracks with and mirrors her moral and psychological destruction - both are the product of seeds that she allowed Edward to plant inside her through her failure to be independent.

Ultimately, to 'save' her (there's that salvation again), Edward shoots venom directly into her heart. Let me repeat that for emphasis: The climax of the entire series is when Edward injects venom directly into Bella Swan's heart.

Whatever wakes up in that room, it ain't Bella.

I'll refer to the vampire as Bella Cullen, the human as Bella Swan.

Bella Swan was clumsy.

Bella Cullen is the most graceful of all the vampires.

Bella Swan was physically weak and frequently needed protection.

Bella Cullen is among the strongest and most warlike of the vampires, standing essentially on her own against a clan that has ruled the world for centuries.

Bella Swan was empathetic to the needs of others before she met Edward.

Bella Cullen pursues two innocent human hikers through a forest, intent on ripping them to pieces to satisfy her bloodlust - and stops only because Edward calls out to her. Not because she perceives murder as wrong. (Breaking Dawn, p.417). She also attempts to kill Jacob and breaks Seth's shoulder because she didn't approve of what Jacob nicknamed her daughter (Breaking dawn, p.452). She no longer has morals .

Bella Swan was fairly modest and earnest.

Bella Cullen uses her sex appeal to manipulate innocent people and extract information from them (pp.638 - 461) - she does so in order to get in touch with J. Jenks.

In short, her entire identity - everything that made her who she was - has been erased.

This is powerfully underscored on p. 506, when Charlie Swan (remember, the conscience of the story) sees his own daughter for the first time after her transformation:

"Charlie's blank expression told me how off my voice was. His eyes zeroed in on me and widened.

Shock. Disbelief. Pain. Loss. Fear. Anger. Suspicion. More pain."

He goes through the entire grieving process right there - because at that moment, he recognizes what so many readers don't - Bella Swan is dead.

The most tragic part of the whole story is that this empty shell of a person - which at this point is nothing more than a frozen echo of Bella, twisted and destroyed as she is by her codependence with Edward, fails to see what has happened to her. She ends the story in denial - empty, annihilated, and having learned nothing.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on March 28, 2012, 05:38:29 PM
Have any of you heard of the Lyttle Lytton (http://adamcadre.ac/lyttle.html) contest? It's like the Bulwer-Lytton contest, only lyttler. I just about died reading the "About" section and the example entry given.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: twentyshots on March 28, 2012, 09:03:03 PM
i still haven't read madame bovary....and i SO want to call someone madame bovary.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on March 29, 2012, 08:42:28 AM
However, this is an interesting read (http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/mzm9d/up_vs_twilight/c354zbz):

I wonder how many "get" this in the books? If this was the author's intention? I haven't read them (or seen the movies) nor have any intention of doing so. Anyway, interesting synopsis. Especially considering all the Team Edward furor.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on April 06, 2012, 05:08:03 PM
Just finished A Dance with Dragons. I'm not sure if I can cope with any more of these books, when they're eventually published. It's very emotionally draining when every character you root for is inevitably and brutally murdered.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 08, 2012, 12:36:53 PM
Just finished A Dance with Dragons. I'm not sure if I can cope with any more of these books, when they're eventually published. It's very emotionally draining when every character you root for is inevitably and brutally murdered.

man, that sounds just like my family.  so depressing.  just when i think my dad's finally turned the corner. bam!  axe in the head
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 08, 2012, 05:34:22 PM
Have any of you heard of the Lyttle Lytton (http://adamcadre.ac/lyttle.html) contest? It's like the Bulwer-Lytton contest, only lyttler. I just about died reading the "About" section and the example entry given.

thank you!  i love it.  "he came from a time when stories were told."   that line inspired me to write a short story.  i submitted an entry, and i said thus, (it's also the opening to my novel) "they woke up naked in a flophouse on the wrong side of town.  elias had slept soundly." 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on April 09, 2012, 06:59:10 AM
Have any of you heard of the Lyttle Lytton (http://adamcadre.ac/lyttle.html) contest? It's like the Bulwer-Lytton contest, only lyttler. I just about died reading the "About" section and the example entry given.

thank you!  i love it.  "he came from a time when stories were told."   that line inspired me to write a short story.  i submitted an entry, and i said thus, (it's also the opening to my novel) "they woke up naked in a flophouse on the wrong side of town.  elias had slept soundly." 
Hah, awesome! That's got to get an honourable mention.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 21, 2012, 03:53:00 PM
Have any of you heard of the Lyttle Lytton (http://adamcadre.ac/lyttle.html) contest? It's like the Bulwer-Lytton contest, only lyttler. I just about died reading the "About" section and the example entry given.

thank you!  i love it.  "he came from a time when stories were told."   that line inspired me to write a short story.  i submitted an entry, and i said thus, (it's also the opening to my novel) "they woke up naked in a flophouse on the wrong side of town.  elias had slept soundly." 
Hah, awesome! That's got to get an honourable mention.

   
tnx!  but i must say, "aww shucks."  no dice.  a slight nod would have done wonders to my literary resume.  but i think i see the formula.  for next year, i shall submit, "even with a cigarette precarious upon my lips, i still get the chills whenever someone cool crosses my path."  i also have, "the town's only lesbian vomited at the sight of his penis."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Bubba McBubba on April 24, 2012, 07:01:37 AM
I am very surprised to see Erik Larson ("Devil in the White City", "In the Garden of Beasts") will be speaking at the Cincinnati main library on May 5.  And, for those with a spare hundred bucks, you can also attend a lunch and meet and greet with the author.

Link (http://programs.cincinnatilibrary.org/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=22022&rts=&disptype=info&ret=eventcalendar.asp&pointer=&returnToSearch=&SignupType=&num=0&ad=&dt=sd&sd=5/5/2012&df=list&EventType=ALL&Lib=0&AgeGroup=ALL&LangType=0&WindowMode=&noheader=&lad=&pub=1&nopub=&page=1&pgdisp=25)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on April 24, 2012, 08:38:17 AM
I am very surprised to see Erik Larson ("Devil in the White City", "In the Garden of Beasts") will be speaking at the Cincinnati main library on May 5.  And, for those with a spare hundred bucks, you can also attend a lunch and meet and greet with the author.

Link (http://programs.cincinnatilibrary.org/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=22022&rts=&disptype=info&ret=eventcalendar.asp&pointer=&returnToSearch=&SignupType=&num=0&ad=&dt=sd&sd=5/5/2012&df=list&EventType=ALL&Lib=0&AgeGroup=ALL&LangType=0&WindowMode=&noheader=&lad=&pub=1&nopub=&page=1&pgdisp=25)

I really enjoyed Devil in the White City. I need to check out the other book you listed.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on April 24, 2012, 09:02:52 PM
I devoured Devil in the White City, but could not get into In the Garden of Beasts. :/ However, I bet Larson would be good to hear speak.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on April 25, 2012, 08:15:54 AM
I devoured Devil in the White City, but could not get into In the Garden of Beasts. :/ However, I bet Larson would be good to hear speak.

Good to know. So I won't spend the extra couple of bucks to buy it on Kindle vs physical book. ;) I'll try to see if I can find it at HPB.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: MissKitty on April 25, 2012, 08:42:56 AM
I devoured Devil in the White City, but could not get into In the Garden of Beasts. :/ However, I bet Larson would be good to hear speak.

Good to know. So I won't spend the extra couple of bucks to buy it on Kindle vs physical book. ;) I'll try to see if I can find it at HPB.
It's available for download from the Cincinnati library. That's how I read it - but I think there's quite a wait list.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: trixi on April 26, 2012, 01:01:02 AM
There are also many available copies of the book sitting on shelves at the various branches :-D
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Bubba McBubba on May 06, 2012, 05:56:17 PM
Went to the Erik Larson talk at the Hamilton County Public Library yesterday.  There was a quite a turnout--I estimate 200-300 people.  

Larson gave a very entertaining talk.  He probably gives roughly the same talk at each stop on this promotional tour, but he made his presentation feel as if he was talking extemporaneously.  There was also Q&A with the audience, and he allowed far more people to approach the mic than I would have (or that I preferred just as an attendee).

Then there was the book signing, which was well-managed by library personnel.  One person took down your name in advance and wrote it on a post-it so that the spelling would be correct.  She even had the courtesy to laugh when I said to make it out to "eBay buyer".

Larson's generosity even extended to the book signing.  The people immediately before us in line asked him to sign their copy of "Thunderstruck", and I watched as he adorned the title page with helpless stick figures being swept out to sea.  He even added this nice little touch when he signed my copy of "Devil in the White City":

(http://www.placelogohere.com/flashvids/other/larson1.jpg)
(http://www.placelogohere.com/flashvids/other/larson2.jpg)

It made for a great event, and he made an incredible impression.  He probably doesn't even have to do a promotional tour like this anymore and yet he went to all this effort to make his fans happy.  I have met a lot of people who were far less famous than Larson and who were extremely rude.  Seems such people should be taking notes from him.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on May 19, 2012, 07:03:51 PM
I wonder if Jasper Fforde is getting any new readers who were expecting something a bit more "adult".
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Bubba McBubba on June 03, 2012, 09:43:18 AM
Earlier this year, Bloomsbury sent out an open call for proposals for new titles in the 33 1/3 series of books.  My proposal failed to make the first round of cuts announced this past Friday.  Curious if anybody else submitted a proposal (and what it was).

If anybody is interested in what I submitted, click the pic:

(http://www.placelogohere.com/flashvids/other/saturation.png) (http://placelogohere.livejournal.com/32116.html)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: cyclone on June 03, 2012, 04:00:23 PM
That's awesome that you submitted one, Bubba.  I would have read it.

I also love a few on that list that I wouldn't have expected to see, notably Donuts, Tago Mago and The Meadowlands, which I think would all have an outstanding narrative for the series. I would not, however, be very interested in those repeat artists.  Maybe I'm biased since Low is my favorite Bowie record and the book was so excellent, but seriously, Diamond Dogs?  Same with SMiLE ... even though I guess it could redeem the fact that I didn't think the 33 1/3 Pet Sounds book was very good, I'd rather just have someone pick up Catch a Wave and leave the series to records where the information isn't so readily available.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on June 12, 2012, 03:32:55 PM
One intrepid blogger has dismantled 50 Shades of Grey (http://jenniferarmintrout.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/50-shades-of-grey-chapter-one-or-why.html) chapter-by-chapter, and it is hilariously brutal.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on July 06, 2012, 11:59:27 AM
Another reason why Tina Fey is my spirit animal...

Entertainment Weekly: Have you looked at Fifty Shades of Grey?
Tina Fey: I picked it up. We were in a bookstore for this movie I'm shooting right now. And I was like, "This is like... no. Not my jam."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: yoshomon on July 09, 2012, 04:56:16 PM
The Great Second-Half of 2012 Book Preview: http://www.themillions.com/2012/07/most-anticipated-the-great-second-half-2012-book-preview.html/
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on July 18, 2012, 06:25:39 PM
One the funniest reviews of Fifty shades of Grey. (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340987215) The use of animated GIFs is inspired.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on July 18, 2012, 07:54:51 PM
Somehow I'd missed (or knew and then forgot), that Fifty Shades started off as Twilight fan fic. Poorly written Twilight fan fic. I still don't know how it was published, much less become a best seller. There are much, much better romance  novels out there.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on July 19, 2012, 06:41:23 AM
Somehow I'd missed (or knew and then forgot), that Fifty Shades started off as Twilight fan fic. Poorly written Twilight fan fic. I still don't know how it was published, much less become a best seller. There are much, much better romance  novels out there.
It was originally published online and sold so well that a legit publisher bought the rights and is making a buttload of cash off of it. Apparently, people are too shy to look up the erotic fiction openly hiding in their public library... the worst of that lot is better written than this trash.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on July 19, 2012, 08:30:42 AM
I hadn't been reading that much fiction lately, except at night when I was trying to fall asleep. I just hadn't been all that excited by what I was finding.

But then a friend introduced me to Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds.

It's fecking awesome. He's created a large-scale, highly inventive saga that is thoroughly engrossing. After finishing it I immediately picked up book two. There are five total, plus a bunch of short stories. I haven't been this excited about a book series in years.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on July 19, 2012, 02:12:54 PM
Somehow I'd missed (or knew and then forgot), that Fifty Shades started off as Twilight fan fic. Poorly written Twilight fan fic. I still don't know how it was published, much less become a best seller. There are much, much better romance  novels out there.
My thoughts go out to the poor copy editor who had to read through such repetitive, unimaginative drivel.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 19, 2012, 02:26:55 PM
Funny, you're all describing these exactly the way I would describe Twilight... repetitive, unimaginative drivel who's mere publication seems remarkably far fetched to me.

I guess the vampire lit and pseudo-porn lit markets are more alike than we would have thought.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on July 19, 2012, 04:26:23 PM
Funny, you're all describing these exactly the way I would describe Twilight... repetitive, unimaginative drivel who's mere publication seems remarkably far fetched to me.

I guess the vampire lit and pseudo-porn lit markets are more alike than we would have thought.
Might be something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey being a Twilight fan-fiction with the names changed and the blood-sucking bits redacted.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 19, 2012, 04:30:02 PM
Yeah, I guess that makes sense... I didn't know that was the case until today.

So why is it that people aren't embarrassed to be reading these in public.  They may not have Fabio on the cover but everybody knows they're dirty as fuck all the same.  What's the difference?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on July 19, 2012, 05:50:45 PM
So why is it that people aren't embarrassed to be reading these in public.  They may not have Fabio on the cover but everybody knows they're dirty as fuck all the same.  What's the difference?
Because there's not a half-nekkid Fabio (or Fabio-lite) on the cover... Then there's the curiosity factor ("what the hell is the fuss about??!").
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on July 19, 2012, 08:08:37 PM
Yeah, I guess that makes sense... I didn't know that was the case until today.

So why is it that people aren't embarrassed to be reading these in public.  They may not have Fabio on the cover but everybody knows they're dirty as fuck all the same.  What's the difference?
Actually for some people, the draw has been that you can't tell that you are reading them, because you're reading them on your eReader. Here are some helpful tips from Elizabeth Banks on how to do that. (http://elizabethbanks.com/blog/post/10-ways-to-hide-your-copy-of-50-shades-of-grey-from-everyone)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on July 20, 2012, 09:51:45 AM
My best friend's 75 year old aunt just bought the books because she has seen them mentioned everywhere and she wants to know what they are all about. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on July 20, 2012, 10:12:52 AM
I really enjoyed this passage from The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

Libor had never once sat at the piano while she was alive - the piano stool was sacred to her, he would as soon sit on it as burst in on her in the lavatory - but many a time he had stood behind her while she played, in the early days accompanying her on the fiddle, but later, at her quiet insistence ('Tempo, Libor, tempo!'), standing behind her without his fiddle, marvelling at her expertise, at the smell of aloes and frankincense (all the perfumes of Arabia) that rose from her hair and at the beauty of her neck.  A neck more graceful, he has told her the day they had met, than a swan's.  Because of his accent, Malkie though he had said her neck was moer graceful than a svontz, which had reminded her of a Yiddish word her father often used, meaning penis.  Could Libor really have meant that her neck was more graceful than a penis?

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 20, 2012, 10:57:43 AM
Yeah, I guess that makes sense... I didn't know that was the case until today.

So why is it that people aren't embarrassed to be reading these in public.  They may not have Fabio on the cover but everybody knows they're dirty as fuck all the same.  What's the difference?
Actually for some people, the draw has been that you can't tell that you are reading them, because you're reading them on your eReader. Here are some helpful tips from Elizabeth Banks on how to do that. (http://elizabethbanks.com/blog/post/10-ways-to-hide-your-copy-of-50-shades-of-grey-from-everyone)

Are these the only naughty books available for Kindle?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 20, 2012, 11:14:33 AM
*ahem*

Classic Adult Novels for Free (http://neatopotato.net/xnovel/)

Needless to say, NSFW. At all. But hey, I grew up with this kinda stuff.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 20, 2012, 11:34:30 AM
I think this pretty much explains the 50 Shades of Gray phenomenon:

NSFW (http://www.theonion.com/articles/ironic-porn-purchase-leads-to-unironic-ejaculation,1567/)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: trixi on July 20, 2012, 10:53:09 PM

Are these the only naughty books available for Kindle?

Hardly.  Type in Zane, type in Erotic fiction or erotic.  thousands of books. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on July 21, 2012, 09:02:23 AM

Are these the only naughty books available for Kindle?

Hardly.  Type in Zane, type in Erotic fiction or erotic.  thousands of books. 
Yep... there are thousands of "naughty" books. You wouldn't believe how many there are.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on October 04, 2012, 01:30:56 PM
anybody have advice for reading ulysses?  i'm 160 some pages in, it's a slow go.  i kinda dig the obscure train of thought, but i can't do more than ten pages at a time.  i'm not sure what kind of advice one could offer, but at least tell me that i can be more engaged in it.  i mean it's funny, but i'm glad i ain't reading this for a class
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Bubba McBubba on October 04, 2012, 05:06:15 PM
anybody have advice for reading ulysses?  i'm 160 some pages in, it's a slow go.  i kinda dig the obscure train of thought, but i can't do more than ten pages at a time.  i'm not sure what kind of advice one could offer, but at least tell me that i can be more engaged in it.  i mean it's funny, but i'm glad i ain't reading this for a class

I finally finished reading it last year after two previous failed attempts.  Simply put, I found it very rough going and I more or less trudged my way through it.  Sometimes I had to read aloud just to keep putting one mental foot in front of the other. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 05, 2012, 10:10:34 AM
I can't fathom why anyone would want to read it, if they were not being forced to do so.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on October 05, 2012, 11:26:19 AM
I can't fathom why anyone would want to read it, if they were not being forced to do so.

i don't know, i just want to read the classics.  i'm stubborn with books to boot.  what's aggravating is that in the intro joyce was quoted as saying, and this is a paraphrase, "it'll be a joy for professors to decode what i mean." something like that.  so he intentionally made a book inaccessible.  screams of a dick move and genius, as it's noted as one of the best books ever.  almost 700 pages about the events that partook in a single day.  i'm in it for the long haul.  fuck you joyce
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 08, 2012, 01:07:00 PM
I can't fathom why anyone would want to read it, if they were not being forced to do so.

i don't know, i just want to read the classics.  i'm stubborn with books to boot.  what's aggravating is that in the intro joyce was quoted as saying, and this is a paraphrase, "it'll be a joy for professors to decode what i mean." something like that.  so he intentionally made a book inaccessible.  screams of a dick move and genius, as it's noted as one of the best books ever.  almost 700 pages about the events that partook in a single day.  i'm in it for the long haul.  fuck you joyce

It's on my to read list. I made myself finish Les Mis so I will make myself finish Ulysses; even if that means skipping pages in order to do so. ;)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 08, 2012, 01:38:49 PM
Life is too short to read boring/unintelligible books that you have to force yourself to read.  That's my opinion anyway, I can find other ways to spend my time.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on October 08, 2012, 03:41:10 PM
but it can be so hard to give up on a book
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 09, 2012, 08:57:10 AM
Life is too short to read boring/unintelligible books that you have to force yourself to read.  That's my opinion anyway, I can find other ways to spend my time.

While I agree with this is part (which is why I spend very little time reading modern authors), there are some books I view as a challenge and I would like to at least attempt Ulysses. :)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: MissKitty on October 09, 2012, 09:16:49 AM
Forget Ulysses and try Finnegan's Wake for a real challenge.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 09, 2012, 02:02:52 PM
Forget Ulysses and try Finnegan's Wake for a real challenge.

OR, I'll just try them both. ;)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on October 09, 2012, 02:38:06 PM
Life is too short to read boring/unintelligible books that you have to force yourself to read.  That's my opinion anyway, I can find other ways to spend my time.

This.  After attempting and failing to finish Gravity's Rainbow for my fourth or fifth time, I sold my copy and went on to "discover" Graham Greene and Don DeLillo.  Having thoroughly enjoyed his books makes so much more sense to me than having a feather in my cap.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 10, 2012, 11:59:18 AM
This.  After attempting and failing to finish Gravity's Rainbow for my fourth or fifth time, I sold my copy and went on to "discover" Graham Greene and Don DeLillo.  Having thoroughly enjoyed his books makes so much more sense to me than having a feather in my cap.

That is one way to look at it. But how will you know whether you will enjoy a book or not if you don't give something a try? I finally was able to throw a book down in disgust and give up on it 10 pages in and be okay with not bothering to read farther (and the book in question had good/mixed reviews). I used to consider it a failure not finishing a book but now I do agree with the sentiment that life is too short...plus there aren't enough hours in my day available for reading and this is a damn shame. :(
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 10, 2012, 01:16:55 PM
Nobody was arguing against trying, at least not if you have a reason to think you'll like it.  But to struggle through some ponderously dense tome that brings you no joy, just to say you made it?  That's nonsense IMHO.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on October 10, 2012, 05:57:07 PM
I've given up on struggling through books that don't grab me. There isn't enough time to read stuff I don't like.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Juliana on October 11, 2012, 12:39:20 PM
I'm about to go back to work after lunch, so I dont' have time to check, but did wheover it was who was struggling with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell... ever finish the thing?

Just asking because that book was one I struggled to finish.  I liked it so much, but it was so hard to slog through, what with being a jillion and a half pages and all.  Plus 35 pounds.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 11, 2012, 01:27:27 PM
Nobody was arguing against trying, at least not if you have a reason to think you'll like it.  But to struggle through some ponderously dense tome that brings you no joy, just to say you made it?  That's nonsense IMHO.

Oh, I think i got this conversation confused with the one I was deliberating in my head.  :o

I'm about to go back to work after lunch, so I dont' have time to check, but did wheover it was who was struggling with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell... ever finish the thing?

Just asking because that book was one I struggled to finish.  I liked it so much, but it was so hard to slog through, what with being a jillion and a half pages and all.  Plus 35 pounds.

That was me and the book I quit after about 10 pages (if I even made it that far). The many books I have sitting on my bookshelf that I have not yet read was a bit of a motivating factor for me to ditch that one and move one...
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 12, 2012, 02:06:27 PM
So I am reading the third book in a series about a woman who...how to explain in a few words? The gods created her to be someone who takes pleasure from pain. She is a professional prostitute, revered in her country. Anyway...this leads to certain scenes being written. Which make it "interesting" to read while on the bus...and the third book, it is pretty bad S&M type stuff (she is a prisoner) so I am sitting there, I reach a scene that I am not sure I want to read anyway, and have the book half closed in hopes that words like "erect nipple" or "hard phallus" aren't jumping off the page to my neighbors. Not that people are reading over my shoulder but still...I am not as confident I guess as the lady reading 50 Shades of Gray on her morning commute. ;)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on October 12, 2012, 03:50:38 PM
I don't know. I understand what you're feeling but I think you are kind of wrong. The words may be in there but I really didn't think that the books were about sex. Yes, it was there but it was there in a non-erotic kind of way which meant that it wasn't sexy and it wasn't titillating. So if someone sees those words I didn't feel uncomfortable because I knew that the sex parts were more plot points than there were eroticism. At least, that's how it felt to me.

I think you should just enjoy the book. :)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 15, 2012, 09:14:53 AM
I don't know. I understand what you're feeling but I think you are kind of wrong. The words may be in there but I really didn't think that the books were about sex. Yes, it was there but it was there in a non-erotic kind of way which meant that it wasn't sexy and it wasn't titillating. So if someone sees those words I didn't feel uncomfortable because I knew that the sex parts were more plot points than there were eroticism. At least, that's how it felt to me.

I think you should just enjoy the book. :)

Oh I agree...but the person sitting next to me might not. ;) I get what you are saying though and I AM enjoying the books. Thankfully I finished the chapter that will allow them to leave the lovers of death people. *shivers*
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on October 15, 2012, 09:53:49 AM
Nobody was arguing against trying, at least not if you have a reason to think you'll like it.  But to struggle through some ponderously dense tome that brings you no joy, just to say you made it?  That's nonsense IMHO.

what i'm hoping for is to have a conversation with someone, out of the blue, about this book.  maybe we will be able to answer some of each other's questions.  it will have been worth it then
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 16, 2012, 08:57:05 AM
what i'm hoping for is to have a conversation with someone, out of the blue, about this book.  maybe we will be able to answer some of each other's questions.  it will have been worth it then

Have you read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde? I saw you mentioned Wilde...I just recalled that I had to put this book aside with the intention of picking it back up (this was a few years ago). For some reason, it just wasn't working for me. Maybe I will try again once I finish the current book I am reading.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 16, 2012, 09:55:54 AM
Nobody was arguing against trying, at least not if you have a reason to think you'll like it.  But to struggle through some ponderously dense tome that brings you no joy, just to say you made it?  That's nonsense IMHO.

what i'm hoping for is to have a conversation with someone, out of the blue, about this book.  maybe we will be able to answer some of each other's questions.  it will have been worth it then

Yeah, I got your back on this one... sort of.  It's good to read books sometimes even if you don't like them.  Sometimes there are still bits and pieces in there move you or make you think.  And when it's something like Ulysses that is considered a classic then you are still getting some cultural literacy out of it.  It's referenced in other works of arts and pops up in conversation from time to time.  At least you know you don't like it.  And I'll even go further and say that Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was like that for me.  Hated that book, still hate it, but a few bits of it have always stuck with me.

Having said that, I would say that probably 75% of people who read Ulysses thinks it sucks ass, 20% of people think it sucks ass but pretend they don't, and 5% of people legitimately think it's fantastic and they love it so much it makes up for the other 95%.  It's kinda supposed to be long and torturous to read, I mean because the Odyssey is loooong.  It also helps to have some kind of cheatsheet/Cliff Notes because so much of that stuff is like inside jokes, like references to other things that were maybe a little obscure but able to be picked up for like, really literate Irish people of the time period, but nowadays we really wouldn't have a chance of knowing.

I made it about 1/2 way through Ulysses and gave up. If you make it through you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.  So at least there's bragging rights at stake.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on October 16, 2012, 01:20:59 PM
what i'm hoping for is to have a conversation with someone, out of the blue, about this book.  maybe we will be able to answer some of each other's questions.  it will have been worth it then

Have you read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde? I saw you mentioned Wilde...I just recalled that I had to put this book aside with the intention of picking it back up (this was a few years ago). For some reason, it just wasn't working for me. Maybe I will try again once I finish the current book I am reading.

i've only read his short stories, but my girlfriend had a copy of that book.  i went to look for it one day when she was moving.  i asked her where that book was.  she sold it.  she thought i already read it.  i made her feel really bad.  i picked up a copy of the importance of being earnest, which i can't wait to get into
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on October 16, 2012, 01:46:06 PM
Nobody was arguing against trying, at least not if you have a reason to think you'll like it.  But to struggle through some ponderously dense tome that brings you no joy, just to say you made it?  That's nonsense IMHO.

what i'm hoping for is to have a conversation with someone, out of the blue, about this book.  maybe we will be able to answer some of each other's questions.  it will have been worth it then

Yeah, I got your back on this one... sort of.  It's good to read books sometimes even if you don't like them.  Sometimes there are still bits and pieces in there move you or make you think.  And when it's something like Ulysses that is considered a classic then you are still getting some cultural literacy out of it.  It's referenced in other works of arts and pops up in conversation from time to time.  At least you know you don't like it.  And I'll even go further and say that Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was like that for me.  Hated that book, still hate it, but a few bits of it have always stuck with me.

Having said that, I would say that probably 75% of people who read Ulysses thinks it sucks ass, 20% of people think it sucks ass but pretend they don't, and 5% of people legitimately think it's fantastic and they love it so much it makes up for the other 95%.  It's kinda supposed to be long and torturous to read, I mean because the Odyssey is loooong.  It also helps to have some kind of cheatsheet/Cliff Notes because so much of that stuff is like inside jokes, like references to other things that were maybe a little obscure but able to be picked up for like, really literate Irish people of the time period, but nowadays we really wouldn't have a chance of knowing.

I made it about 1/2 way through Ulysses and gave up. If you make it through you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.  So at least there's bragging rights at stake.

the book certainly is helping me evolve as a pseudo novelist.  i have no problems now being sexually matter of fact.  i can say things like this now for instance, "she whipped the belt out of its' remaining loop and drew him nearer.  his dirty trousers fell to the dirty alley floor and rested amongst his dirty peasant's shoes.  his membership, his VIP pass into the fraternal brotherhood, assumed a coital stance.  with her callous palms, she fingered his shaft.  for the next full minute she would generously felate him." 

i would never recommend ulysses to anyone.  i might have to venture into some crib notes, because some of it is genuinely funny.  though i think i may miss out on some humor if i'm referencing the book all the time.  at least i'm able to recognize some dublin landmarks as i was there about a decade ago for three days
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on October 24, 2012, 02:32:47 PM
Life is too short to read boring/unintelligible books that you have to force yourself to read.  That's my opinion anyway, I can find other ways to spend my time.

I very rarely give up on a book, but I got a quarter of the way through Neuromancer before realising that I couldn't keep track of who anyone was and I didn't care what they were doing or why they were doing it.

 
This week, for the first time ever, I've been reading fan fiction! Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://hpmor.com/) might actually be better than Rowling's books... (please don't nail me to a stake!)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on October 25, 2012, 01:52:27 PM
This week, for the first time ever, I've been reading fan fiction! Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://hpmor.com/) might actually be better than Rowling's books... (please don't nail me to a stake!)

I'd like to amend this statement. It's definitely better. The characters are so much deeper and... well, rational. I'm really enjoying trying to figure out the identity and motives of certain characters, much more so than a simple "omg is Snape good or Evil?"

You guys should give it a go so we can discuss these things before the next few chapters are released!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on October 25, 2012, 02:24:55 PM
This week, for the first time ever, I've been reading fan fiction! Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://hpmor.com/) might actually be better than Rowling's books... (please don't nail me to a stake!)

I'd like to amend this statement. It's definitely better. The characters are so much deeper and... well, rational. I'm really enjoying trying to figure out the identity and motives of certain characters, much more so than a simple "omg is Snape good or Evil?"

You guys should give it a go so we can discuss these things before the next few chapters are released!

I clicked the epub version. I'll check it out later...sounds interesting.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 25, 2012, 03:58:07 PM

You guys should give it a go so we can discuss these things before the next few chapters are released!

I'll have to check it out, this would be a fun discussion.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on October 25, 2012, 05:05:53 PM
nothing wrong with good fan fiction! :)
I'll give it a look-see.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on November 08, 2012, 04:26:18 PM
Since everyone seems to be reading "A Streetcat Named Bob"....

http://www.thefrisky.com/2012-11-08/story-of-a-boy-and-his-cat-set-to-become-a-movie/

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on December 13, 2012, 11:08:25 AM
The forest blazed with its own internal flame. "Jesus," she said, not calling for help, she and Jesus weren't that close, but putting her voice in the world because nothing else present made sense.

"Flight Behavior" - Barbara Kingsolver
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on December 13, 2012, 11:16:02 AM
The forest blazed with its own internal flame. "Jesus," she said, not calling for help, she and Jesus weren't that close, but putting her voice in the world because nothing else present made sense.

"Flight Behavior" - Barbara Kingsolver
Great writer. Loved The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible. I'll have to check that one out.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: kcneon on January 01, 2013, 01:38:09 PM
I often wonder who is "the next Douglas Coupland" - think I'm giving up on finding one.  However, if any of you have some author suggestions based on some of my favs like Coupland, Irving Welsh and Nick Hornby, I would love it.  :)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on January 28, 2013, 08:56:26 AM
I have spent the past two weeks avoiding Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio." I read 11 pages and am just giving up. Sometimes it's just not meant to be. Sorry Sherwood.


Interesting aside: reading the intro/bio about Sherwood, I interpreted it to read: Sherwood Anderson was a mediocre writer who made fame through one very good book, and the rest of his output sucked.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on January 28, 2013, 09:30:27 AM
KC, track down some Alan Warner or Andrew McGahan.  Both get lumped in with that mid-90's slacker movement, but, where-as Welsh and Hornby (I feel) stagnated early on, the two recommended definitely have matured into pretty slick writers.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 28, 2013, 10:55:01 AM
I have spent the past two weeks avoiding Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio." I read 11 pages and am just giving up. Sometimes it's just not meant to be. Sorry Sherwood.

You don't have to finish books you don't like, but giving up after 11 pages is a bit much, don't you think?   Especially a book like Winesburg, Ohio.  You know it's a bunch of interwoven stories.  You got to give that shit time to weave, man.  Did you even make it through one vignette? 

Skip ahead and at least read "Respectability" and "The Thinker."  If you don't like those two, then you can stop.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on January 28, 2013, 11:54:04 AM
Thanks for the advice. I made it through "The Book of Grotesques" and didn't know what I just read. I didn't make it through the next one. It wasn't that it was bad - I just didn't want to read it. I'll try something else and then do what you suggest.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on January 28, 2013, 01:02:51 PM
I think my grandmother gave me a copy of that book, and I've never read it. I'm not sure why she did, either. Usually the books she gave were related to something, like Clyde Edgerton books because we lived in the same town.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on February 04, 2013, 02:20:03 PM
I often wonder who is "the next Douglas Coupland" - think I'm giving up on finding one.  However, if any of you have some author suggestions based on some of my favs like Coupland, Irving Welsh and Nick Hornby, I would love it.  :)

Just noticed this "In Praise of" write up by BookPage at the beginning of my Banana Yoshimoto book:

"Fans of Haruki Murakami will find a kindred spirit in Yoshimoto....It would be equally reasonable to compare her to such diverse talents as Anne Tyler and Douglas Coupland..."
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 04, 2013, 02:32:43 PM
"Fans of Haruki Murakami will find a kindred spirit in Yoshimoto....

Murakami's IQ84 suuuuuuckked.  Yoshimoto's The Lake was somewhat decent.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on February 04, 2013, 02:42:48 PM
"Fans of Haruki Murakami will find a kindred spirit in Yoshimoto....

Murakami's IQ84 suuuuuuckked.  Yoshimoto's The Lake was somewhat decent.
That may be her only book that I have not read. And maybe "Lizard". I can't remember if I've read that one or not.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on March 06, 2013, 11:06:17 AM
absalom, absalom!,  should this be so difficult?  i'm at 160 pages and get lulled into boredom.  but it sounds so grand!  even all of the boring parts there's some very insightful thoughts but that's all it is, a beautiful description (even i haven't a foggiest idea what billy is talking about).  the progression is so fucking slow. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 06, 2013, 02:07:05 PM
I had the same problem and never made it through Abs Abs.  But I got no problem with Faulkner.  I probably would have dug Abs Abs okay, if I hadn't already read As I Lay Dying, A Light in August, and The Sound and Fury.  If you read one, you kinda read 'em all.  You either like Southern Gothic or you don't, I guess.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on March 06, 2013, 05:31:08 PM
(I may have shared this before, but I'm not going back to check): I went to grad school at the U of Mississippi, worked at Faulkner's house, etc. My first paper back had a comment: "You may be living in the land of Faulkner, but that doesn't mean you have to write like him."  :/

Should have moved to Key West.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on March 07, 2013, 11:43:43 AM
I had the same problem and never made it through Abs Abs.  But I got no problem with Faulkner.  I probably would have dug Abs Abs okay, if I hadn't already read As I Lay Dying, A Light in August, and The Sound and Fury.  If you read one, you kinda read 'em all.  You either like Southern Gothic or you don't, I guess.

i loved the sound and the fury even though i had a problem with all the jumping around.  i began to reread it before deciding i wanted to dive into absalom.  but yeah, i'm in faulkner for the long haul.  for the record i stopped reading ulysses but i hope to pick it back up.  i've read all of flannery o'conner and liked her work even though i hated most of her main characters, even though i hate them for the wrong reasons.  she's on record as saying she hates the term "southern gothic."  like some indie band hates being categorized as twee.  "we're so much more than that!  we're nuanced!  we have our nuances!"  the public spaketh.  though i give flannery more credit than a twee band even though it's one of my favorite musical genres. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 11, 2013, 11:13:53 AM
any quixote scholars out there?  having trouble recalling a quote about why sancho panza follows around an idiot like don quixote.  it will aid me greatly without having to reread the book, which i wouldn't actually mind
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: MissKitty on June 11, 2013, 02:33:37 PM
I am by no means a quixote scholar but would also love to reread the book. May have to dig it out next!

Sorry, can't help with the quote.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Chris on July 10, 2013, 12:20:40 PM
Heheheh....Perks of Being A Wallflower

http://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/28-favorite-books-that-are-huge-red-flags
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on July 10, 2013, 01:58:27 PM
I hate buzzfeed...but that was pretty funny.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on July 17, 2013, 10:36:06 AM
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://hpmor.com) is winding up to it's final story arc, so now is your last chance to join in on all the speculation and conspiracy theories regarding shady plots and ulterior motives before all the loose ends get tied up over the last few chapters.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on July 17, 2013, 10:41:09 AM
Heheheh....Perks of Being A Wallflower

http://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/28-favorite-books-that-are-huge-red-flags

I started re-reading "Catcher in the Rye" because of this. Hah.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on July 17, 2013, 03:20:46 PM
"When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction."
- Stephen King, "Joyland"

Looooooooooooooooooove.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on July 17, 2013, 04:23:51 PM
not surprised to see atlas shrugged/ fountainhead on there.  two of my favorites, but i won't get into that again.   ;D
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on July 31, 2013, 01:02:25 PM
I just bought a book for the library called the Facialist (it's not about cosmetics.)  Anyway, the cover features a naked, ripped man's torso and neck being doused in milk.

Apparently, you can judge a book by its cover.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jen on August 13, 2013, 08:58:59 AM
I just finished reading a series that takes place during the Civil War. It took me to book four to actually being okay with the main character. I guess I just struggled with his reasoning for fighting for the South (he was from Boston). Basically, he was raised by an evangelical minister and he was rebelling against his father (hence the name of the first book, Rebel). There were a couple of other things that took place in the first book (not related to the main character) that had me say WTF as well but overall, it was good series and the secondary characters were interesting enough to keep reading. I will say that because the book takes place in the Rebel army, it is hard to get too enthusiastic about the wins of the of the main characters. I mean usually you are cheering on the "good guys" but I didn't really feel like cheering for the rebs. I will say though, it was pretty eye-opening just how useless General McClellan was as the Union army leader and how, if he would have been more courageous, the war could have been over right from the start. Also, reading the battle scenes is pretty horrific and I can't help but feel sorry for all of the men who died on both sides. Not to say war is any better now (war sucks period), but the way it used to be fought, hand-to-hand, well, it is amazing more people didn't just pack it in after one battle and go home. I can't even wrap my brain around how, during cease fires, the soldiers from the north and south would barter items and joke back and forth or, help each other gather their dead and wounded after battle. One minute you are sworn enemies, the next, human beings. I just can't even fathom how someone can make the decision to go to war. The people in charge should be the ones who go out there to the battlefield...maybe faced with your enemy you can decide that perhaps you need to go back to more diplomatic means instead of shooting, stabbing, bombing someone off the face of the earth.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on October 08, 2013, 11:30:10 AM
I'm on Twitter but I don't tweet much.

I tweeted about a book that I'm currently reading, "The Girl You Left Behind" by Jojo Moyes, and the author replied to my tweet.

SO COOL!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on October 21, 2013, 05:55:45 PM
I bought the new Morrissey autobiography.

Let it be known that I really didn't like The Smiths too much and most of Morrissey's solo output leaves me colder than a witches tit.

I bought it purely because I LOVED the idea that he got it published on the Penguin Classics imprint as a paperback only, complete with a Penguin Classic style cover.

Just £4 too.

I've probably been suckered in by the 'sleeve' just as I was with Smiths records... I think their album/singles covers were always the best thing about every release.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: MissKitty on October 21, 2013, 07:07:38 PM
Well don't get rid of it until after I've read it!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: trixi on October 21, 2013, 09:51:23 PM
Well don't get rid of it until after I've read it!
x2 :-)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 30, 2013, 12:57:57 PM
one of the more fitting moments of my life was purchasing a first edition copy of the good solider svejk by jaroslav hasek on ebay for $70 when i bought it for $20.  i was a little lazy getting around to pay for it 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 19, 2014, 02:15:17 PM
Some chick asked me the other day why men don't "read books."  The better question is why do women read books?

I look at the popular books on Goodreads or whatever.  It's like 50% horrible romance novels, 30% young adult fantasy/sci fi, 10% chick lit/Oprah, 5% diet books, and 5% beauty/self-help.  If this is what you are reading, then obviously you don't actually enjoy reading.  So why keep doing it?

I mean, it's not even really reading is it?  It's like watching porno on Skinemax and claiming you're a cinephile.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on February 19, 2014, 02:36:00 PM
Right, women read books that ZK thinks are shit so they should all just stop reading. Brilliant post.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 19, 2014, 03:48:13 PM
If plowing through serial romance books counts as "reading" then so does a subscription to Penthouse.  In which case, most married men would be quite happy to "read" as much as possible.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on February 19, 2014, 03:55:46 PM
I think that four-letter word is pronounced as "wank".
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on March 10, 2014, 11:45:55 AM
Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling like your life would be so much better if you had free and open access to 15,000 vintage comic books?  Well Pilgrim, good news awaits when you click the following link: http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/download-15000-free-golden-age-comics-from-the-digital-comic-museum.html
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 02, 2014, 11:49:23 AM
so..... anyone have any tips for reading nietzsche?  i'm reading thus spake zarathustra.  i'm looking at you zafer.  first off, why would i read nietzsche?  curiosity.  i'm about half way thru it and i'll i can decipher is that god is dead and he thinks certain people, ahh i can't think of the right word.  phonies?  he's just talking about the people he hates, priests, and god.  but i spent three hours the other day completely absorbed and i feel the book could be could like that if i got in that zone again.  eight to 10 pages here and there when you have to think about every line and your mind starts to wander, then you're just reading to put eventually put it down on some silly list.  i'm fascinated by reincarnation but thus far, i haven't the foggiest of how nietzsche hopes i arrive at becoming a superman
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: euro60 on April 02, 2014, 12:13:34 PM
That reminds me of my days (in HS/college) of reading Jean-Paul Sartre. "The Being and The Nothingness", that'll get you going. I probably read 5 or 6 Sartre books, in French, for my end-of-high school written thesis. Those were the days!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 02, 2014, 04:01:09 PM
so i take it you enjoyed sartre?  christ, the best i got out of high school english classes was we got to watch the holy grail.  awesome teacher, he was the drummer for one of the guided by voices tribute bands that played at southgate house years back 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 02, 2014, 09:36:55 PM
Think of the ubermensch as more of a concept than a personal goal.  Basically, the ubermensh is God, perfection, the personification of total badass-ness, etc.

So think of you vs. a  caveman.  You dominate the caveman in every way possible.  The caveman is just trying to survive the next day, making sense of fire, doesn't know how to plant shit, he draws crude cave paintings, he believes in Gods because basically he doesn't understand how or why things are happening so he attributes it to some higher being. 

Basically the caveman is like an animal.  He could not make sense of the architecture we have, or understand a symphony, or the internet.  How many ways could we kick a caveman's ass?  We could starve them out, socially manipulate them, dazzle them with art, nuke 'em.  We could even probably kick their asses considering they were all like 5' 0" 100 lbs and malnourished.

That's the way the ubermensch would dominate us, only like 10 times.  We can't define what an ubermensch is because they are everything and anything they want to be in a way that is completely above our understanding.  It's sort of the ultimate metaphysical evolution of being.

So if you play that out on a more personal level, how did we get from caveman to 21st century man?  It was by constant pursuit of bad-assedness, whether art, science, or metaphysical understanding.  We didn't settle for the hand dealt us and just deal with life on an everyday basis.  We tried to like, master shit.  To not let anything get the upper hand and instead dominate through the exercise of sheer will.  That will could manifested via scientific knowledge, works of art, working out or just using forcing of personality or whatever.  That's will-to-power.

So yeah, that's kinda what Nietschze is about here.  Whatever life throws at you, you beat it with just being a total badass.  You should not concern yourself with petty "being-in-the-world" concerns.  God as a concept is how weak people avoid trying.  Dealing with people and gossip and daily concerns is allowing them to dictate your pursuits when instead you should just bend them to your will. 

So let's say you were an ubermensch.  The petty concerns of mortal men would be so far beneath you that you needn't concern yourself about them or morality.  It's like ants.  If you want to raise an ant farm, you can.  But if you want to stomp on an anthill, you can do that as well.  It really doesn't matter, they're just tools to be used for your amusement/knowledge/pursuit of perfection.  If you run into a fellow ubermensch, it's not a problem because you are both Gods so both of you can do whatever the hell you want and both of you will have similar goals anyway so neither one of you could possibly hurt the other or even harbor a desire to do so.  That's how badass you are. 

The problem of course, is that "badass" is a rather loose concept.  Which is why people were able to twist it into whatever they wanted.  So if you were a Nazi, Jews were just totally inferior and therefore you needed to weed them out as they are in your way. If you are Ayn Rand, then "badass" is domination via capitalism.

You pointed out one time that Jon Galt helped out some dudes.  Yes he did, but it was not out of concern for his "fellow man" because they weren't fellows.  It was because those guys had knowledge/skills and by helping them out he could tap into, understand, and eventually use that stuff to make him more powerful.

It's not a hedonistic, do what-you-want philosophy in that there is a definite imperative to rise above and achieve.  On the other hand, it lends itself to that very way of thinking because as long as you can justify to yourself that what you want to do is badass/ubermenschy, then no silly being-in-the-world peon can tell you different.  It's solipsistic rather than hedonist.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 03, 2014, 01:09:26 PM
then what about the "eternal return?"
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 03, 2014, 01:51:39 PM
I don't know, you have to take what I say with a grain of salt because I think Nietzsche had a lot of goofy ideas.  I give the dude props for the notion of "being in the world" and even "will to power" which sort of laid the seed for almost all philosophy that followed even up to today.  So even though I don't like Nietzsche, or his particular spin on "being in the world" and proto-phenomenonology , that was kick-ass.

But the superman and eternal return are not really the greatest concepts ever.  He did have either neurosyphillis or cancer so his thinking was affected and it caused him to kind of get all trippy and think it was genius.

Anyway, eternal return/recurrence is the idea that we will live out this life over and over again. 

Like think about rolling a dice.  If you roll it enough times, the same number will come up.  Even the same sequence of numbers.  So yeah, the combinations we are faced with are mind-boggling, it's like a bazillion sided die.  But time is infinite, so this bazillion sided die is being rolled over and over on into infinite, so every possible combination/sequence is going to come up again and again.

So the exact life you are living... you're going to repeat it an infinite amount of times.  This seemed to bother Nietzsche, because if your life is shitty, then you will have to keep living shitty lives.  And his definition of a shitty life was living it beholden to others like a slave instead of being all ubermenschy.  So the idea of eternal recurrence is sort of serves as an additional imperative to live your life in freedom.

The thing is, if time is truly infinite, that means that not only will I live this exact life over and over again, I'll also live every possible permutation of my life over and over again.  So no matter what I do, there's going to be at least one outcome where I fuck it all up, and at least one where I go full-beast ubermensch and every possible combination in between, and ALL of those will happen over and over again regardless.  So to me, I don't see why the idea of eternal return should color my actions one way or the other.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: mik on June 30, 2014, 04:19:59 PM
My son got me started on the Ender's Game book series by Orson Scott Card. So far I've read the first two, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Both were good but it took me a long time to get through them. The next one is over 500 pages so this may be where I stop. Has anyone else read them?
I didn't see the Ender's Game movie that came out last year but my son told me it wasn't nearly as good as the book......
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on June 30, 2014, 05:36:49 PM
I also stopped after the second one (or maybe the third, can't remember).

If it was the battle strategies, psychological warfare and scheming that interested you, there are two fantastic Harry Potter fan fiction stories I would heartily recommend. One is a rationalist take on Harry Potter (http://hpmor.com/) and the other is a straight up Ender's Game set in Hogwarts (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8379655/1/Hogwarts-Battle-School), but they're both very good reads and both involve inter-House battles in different scenarios. I'm sure there are probably other Ender's Game homages out there, but I discovered Hogwarts: Battle School from a link in a HPMoR forum where the bias is obviously towards the HP universe.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: mik on July 01, 2014, 01:10:55 PM
Thanks for the book suggestions. I think for now I will continue with the Ender's Game series and move on to Xenocide. I don't have a lot of free time to read so I do most of it while I'm traveling for work. Hopefully it won't take me forever to get through the book! 
It's not really the battles/warfare between that species that attracted me to the series but more the relationship between the species especially the "piggies" and humans in Speaker for the Dead which I think is overall a better story than Ender's Game. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: cuddlyevil on July 08, 2014, 12:32:49 PM
Just finished "a dance with dragons" and my first thought was "that's it? REALLY?". It ended up going no place in particular, shit happened but I still make the  :o face when I think about where he left things.

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on July 08, 2014, 01:07:37 PM
Yeah, amongst everyone that I know the prevailing opinion is that books 4 and 5 kind of stunk...at least compared to the first three. It's okay - I felt Dany needed some kind of conflict otherwise there's no real story telling, so now she has it. The rest of them...it's just ho-hum here they are going through the motions.

I hear rumor that even GRR Martin knows that the books "didn't really work" so hopefully he's making sure 6 does. Or at least 6 sets up for a 7th (and final?) book.

Right now I seriously doubt that he'll be able to make the end of the story satisfying.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: cuddlyevil on July 08, 2014, 02:16:07 PM
It's like his publisher came along and said "Dude, gimme that--you're taking too long." and grabbed the manuscript from him before he finished.

Book four was better than this, but it dragged. Book 3 was OMFG, because every two chapters had a "HOLY SHIT!" moment. Book 5 seemed unfinished.

He knows how he wants it to end, I don't know that he can get it there.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on July 08, 2014, 02:25:03 PM
Does he know? I sometimes doubt it. I also heard a rumor that he meant to make it a three book series, and then half-way through book three he decided to make it 7. Which explains why book 3 was so good, and why I have doubts about book 7.

I also know he's said something like that there are two types of writers - architects and gardeners. Architects have a bigger broader story mapped out ahead of time and then they go and write the little steps to get there...like JK Rowling did with Harry Potter. The gardeners sort of make it up as they write and then try to make it all fit. GRR Martin is an admitted gardener.

(at least, that's my vague recollection of something he said)

Therefore, I have doubts.

Still love the books though!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: cuddlyevil on July 08, 2014, 03:45:51 PM
The showrunners were pretty clear after they met with him that he does know where he wants it to end. They just didn't say he knew how he was going to get there ;)

But I have my doubts.

Book six better be wicked awesome or I might throw it all out the window.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on August 18, 2014, 11:19:09 AM
It's been my experience that reading Lolita in a public setting is fine so long that you're OK with people thinking you're a pervert.  "Lolita...umm, why are you reading that," I was asked on more than one occasion. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 19, 2014, 09:30:27 AM
It's been my experience that reading Lolita in a public setting is fine so long that you're OK with people thinking you're a pervert.  "Lolita...umm, why are you reading that," I was asked on more than one occasion.

just cover it with an issue of tiger beat, that's what i always do
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 05, 2014, 01:30:05 PM
I couldn't be more disappointed that that movie version of A Walk Among the Tombstones is going to end up being perceived as another entry into the  Liam-Neeson-finds-kidnap-victim trope. 

Such a great book, Neeson is poorly cast as Scudder.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: lutz on September 05, 2014, 02:22:33 PM
Good Omens is going to be adapted as a radio play! Starring - brace yourselves, ladies - Peter Serafinowicz.

If the Neverwhere adaptation (starring - brace yourselves, ladies - James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Anthony Head) is anything to go by, it should be awesome.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on September 05, 2014, 02:31:24 PM
I couldn't be more disappointed that that movie version of A Walk Among the Tombstones is going to end up being perceived as another entry into the  Liam-Neeson-finds-kidnap-victim trope. 

Such a great book, Neeson is poorly cast as Scudder.
PREACH, BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!
I cringed when I saw the trailer and THEN remembered that it was the movie based on the Scudder book.
I weep. :(
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on September 05, 2014, 02:31:56 PM

If the Neverwhere adaptation (starring - brace yourselves, ladies - James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Anthony Head) is anything to go by, it should be awesome.
HUBBA HUBBA!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 05, 2014, 03:26:04 PM
PREACH, BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!
I cringed when I saw the trailer and THEN remembered that it was the movie based on the Scudder book.
I weep. :(

Although, it could be worse, Tom Cruise was a far worse Jack Reacher than Neeson could ever be of Scudder.

Then again there was a movie based on one of Block's burglar books in the '80s with Whoopi Goldberg in the Bernie Rhodenbar role.  That might take the prize for worst casting, ever.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 10, 2014, 12:51:12 PM
i can't help but notice that i seem to be the only one reading classics.  why come that are?  with a classic you're almost guaranteed a good read and you won't have to do to much sleuthing to come across something worth your while.  maybe you've read a majority of them in school or other?  so i guess what i'm asking is, why do you read what you read?  also there's a chance that some of you are reading classics i've never heard of.  so there's that
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on December 10, 2014, 01:03:51 PM
I try to mix it up.
I like to read a classic or something that's well known enough that when someone references it in conversation or in an article, it's so well known that it doesn't need to be explained.

Once I do that, I often find that it's challenging and slow going and I like to have a change of pace. So then I'll read something light and breezy to make it feel like reading isn't a challenge, you know? Because it shouldn't be.

Lately, I've been forgetting to read much, though, so that's sad news.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on December 10, 2014, 01:14:52 PM
I'm not such a fan of pre-20th century novels, so I'm sure that I've missed out on huge swaths of literature.  The classics I do read, tend to be post-WW1 skewing towards American writers like DeLillo, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Cather, etc.  I do try to read contemporary stuff and get a lot of recommendations from the Booker and/or National Book Award lists.  I try to read more current works because, for years, I was completely ignoring "classics to come" by only reading "classics."  Also, since I work at a library, I have a constant stream of non-fiction titles that pique my interest. 

In any given year, I'll read 50% contemporary, 35% classic, 15% non-fiction.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 10, 2014, 01:24:39 PM
I try to mix it up.
I like to read a classic or something that's well known enough that when someone references it in conversation or in an article, it's so well known that it doesn't need to be explained.

Once I do that, I often find that it's challenging and slow going and I like to have a change of pace. So then I'll read something light and breezy to make it feel like reading isn't a challenge, you know? Because it shouldn't be.

Lately, I've been forgetting to read much, though, so that's sad news.

did you give up on lolita?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on December 10, 2014, 01:26:48 PM
FG, I was surprised that you're at 15% non-fiction, given the statement before it.
That being said, I was a die-hard fiction only person through graduate school. Now I rarely read it, and I'm not sure why.

And like Dan, I've not been reading nearly enough lately. I do love these lists, since I get good suggestions from it.

I find with classics I can't multi-task: the tv can't be on, I can't engage in light conversation. I have to read and pay attention. That may be why I'm not reading many of them. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on December 10, 2014, 01:38:02 PM
FG, I was surprised that you're at 15% non-fiction, given the statement before it.

I read NF at a much slower pace than I do fiction.  Since those NF books tend to be weighty and dense tomes, by the time I'm finished with it I could use a, as Dan said, fiction palate cleanser.  One of my greatest frustrations are the sheer number of library books I want to read, but know that I just don't have/won't make the time. 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 10, 2014, 01:45:27 PM
FG, I was surprised that you're at 15% non-fiction, given the statement before it.
That being said, I was a die-hard fiction only person through graduate school. Now I rarely read it, and I'm not sure why.

And like Dan, I've not been reading nearly enough lately. I do love these lists, since I get good suggestions from it.

I find with classics I can't multi-task: the tv can't be on, I can't engage in light conversation. I have to read and pay attention. That may be why I'm not reading many of them.

if you can read and multi-task, you should try going for a walk.  once a week i walk up to the gaslight district with book in hand.  it takes awhile to get used to and people do yell things at you, but you will be able to discern a poodle on a leash or an impending intersection in no time.  it's about an hour of reading, plus one if i'm at the bar
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on December 10, 2014, 04:08:48 PM
I try to mix it up.
I like to read a classic or something that's well known enough that when someone references it in conversation or in an article, it's so well known that it doesn't need to be explained.

Once I do that, I often find that it's challenging and slow going and I like to have a change of pace. So then I'll read something light and breezy to make it feel like reading isn't a challenge, you know? Because it shouldn't be.

Lately, I've been forgetting to read much, though, so that's sad news.

did you give up on lolita?

Nope. I don't often give up on a book...if I start it then I'll (usually) finish it, and I finished Lolita. It was good. Again, the writing is thick and well done and I'm sure the book I read after it was something like a Harry Potter book or whatnot. But I enjoyed reading Lolita, so I wouldn't give up on it.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on December 11, 2014, 10:11:07 PM

I read NF at a much slower pace than I do fiction.  Since those NF books tend to be weighty and dense tomes, by the time I'm finished with it I could use a, as Dan said, fiction palate cleanser.  One of my greatest frustrations are the sheer number of library books I want to read, but know that I just don't have/won't make the time.

That makes sense. I can rip through a 400 page fiction book in no time, but the same length in NF will take three times as long.

DD- reading and walking could be an interesting experience. I used to walk around the house doing that as a kid/teen, but haven't gone outdoors with it.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 12, 2014, 10:16:30 AM
i can't help but notice that i seem to be the only one reading classics.  why come that are?

Because all the crap you are reading now I already read in HS or junior high. 

Not only have I read those books, but if those books had been early 90's rap albums, I've read every single author who would have gotten a shout-out on them.  Even the guys who were mostly producers or posse members and just dropped a couple guest rap verses now and again.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: foolsgold on December 12, 2014, 10:19:49 AM
By that logic, Wu-Tang Clan is rap's Lost Generation.

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 12, 2014, 01:10:41 PM
i can't help but notice that i seem to be the only one reading classics.  why come that are?

Because all the crap you are reading now I already read in HS or junior high. 

Not only have I read those books, but if those books had been early 90's rap albums, I've read every single author who would have gotten a shout-out on them.  Even the guys who were mostly producers or posse members and just dropped a couple guest rap verses now and again.

i can list the number of novels i read in high school and college on two hands.  only in the past six years have i picked up reading as a hobby.  i'm amazed by the volume of books people read in high school
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 12, 2014, 01:55:58 PM
I suppose it's partly a function of volumes of books read.  But I think it's more that you are oddly behind on the mantrack of books.  The manverse of literature is like... Lonely angry teens, male Lost Generation, male Southern Goth, Russians, satire, SF dystopia, existentialism, noir fiction.

So your reading list is kinda like the equivalent of "Hey man, I just saw The Godfather, Road Warrior, Animal House, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, some Kubrick films, and Scarface."  Even if someone doesn't see that many movies, they've probably seen those.  If they're a dude.

If you had been like "Yeah, I just read that book of Bronte poems, Persuasion, Room with a View, some Shakespeare sonnets and Dangerous Liaisons" I would be like "Daaaaaaamn, that dude is hardcore into classics."  I'd assume you already read the manverse and just loved classics or broadening your horizons or were all metrosexual. 

Instead of doing what most dudes do which is now that they have caught up on the manverse mustreads they just wait around for new material and read the not-so-classic male lit equivalent of say "Wedding Crashers" each year when it comes out.  Which admittedly, is what I do.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 12, 2014, 02:34:15 PM
i'm behind without a doubt.  in the canon of "manverse" literature and its various subcategories, what are your drop what you're reading and pick this up! picks to help me catch up? 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 12, 2014, 03:12:11 PM
Now would be the perfect time for you to read Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, although that is not so well-known in the manverse as it shades a bit too much towards the wussy side.  It's one of my favorites though. 

Fat City from Leonard Gardner is probably a safer choice.  Very manly (about a down-and-out boxer), some cool prose.  Not everyone knows it but it seems to be gaining acclaim in recent years.

You could also call the sheriff a cock-sucker, and see if he's read The Killer Inside Me.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 12, 2014, 04:29:04 PM
outside of having a penis, i'm not very manly.  i was given a bunch of second hand power tools that i'm slowly figuring out.  so now i'm doing a lot of shit and not completing much.  thankfully i've got some men as good friends who take me under their wing and curse at my ineptness.  oh, men are angels alright. 

i never pondered the thought of male centric literature, as in books men should read.  but i don't think that way.  i think there are books i should read.  it also so happens that outside of ayn rand, i have about ten books by female authors.  three of them i've read but edith wharton is on the back burner.  i'm aware of it and want to incorporate more female voices.  i was reluctant to read wuthering heights simply because i didn't think i would be able to relate, grasp.  of course i would have no difficulty swallowing the works of langston hughes or richard wright.  it was fantastic though.  and flannery o'conner rules. 

so as you've ascertained, i've a lot of ground to cover anyways.  i've written down your suggestions.  by chance they'd be available at my local half price?  too soon? 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 12, 2014, 04:46:27 PM
All the Brontes are so boring, their stuff is pants
I don't have the time for psychological romance
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 12, 2014, 05:01:48 PM
Generally concur on Flannery O'Connor, though I am still firmly on Team McCullers.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on December 15, 2014, 10:35:13 AM
Studies have shown that Flannery O'Connor is the most Irishy Irish name one could have.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 17, 2015, 11:36:31 PM
I was totally expecting to find Lucia Berlin's works to be disappointing and majorly over-hyped.  I pretty much backlashed against it even before reading her.

But nope, it's not the case.  She really is quite good.  Not Raymond Chandler good, but at least TC Boyle-at-his-best good.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on February 22, 2016, 03:50:42 PM
"What floor are you on?" he asked.
"Three. You?"
"Six," he said. "They must like me better."
He pressed six and only six. They were of one button.

- from "The Clasp" by Sloane Crosley

THEXXXY.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on June 03, 2016, 12:20:39 PM
A few weeks ago I finally decided to read the Harry Potter books. I've seen the movies, so no real surprises, obviously. Well, I'm on book 2, and I guess as the books got longer the movies had to take more liberties, so we'll see.

The first one was a much faster read than I expected for some reason. The second is moving right along as well.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 03, 2016, 01:47:11 PM
They progress in the complexity of content as the series goes on, designed to grow with the reader (they're YA after all).

And yes, you're dead on, the movies stray from the books more and more as things progress.  I remember my SIL walking out of some of the middle movies and being totally pissed.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Poolio on June 08, 2016, 08:56:16 AM
I remember my SIL walking out of some of the middle movies and being totally pissed.

I walked out of the last movie pretty ticked off... but I hadn't read any of the books before I saw before I saw the other movies so the differences were lost on me until the last 2.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 08, 2016, 09:34:10 AM
I think that last one was actually pretty faithful to the book, IIRC.  Which is much easier to do with two movies per book.  They should have split up more of them like that, so they didn't have to take such liberties.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: va-vacious on June 08, 2016, 10:35:56 AM
The last book could have used better editing, though! It slogs through a good chunk of the beginning. I've never bothered to re-read it since the first time. I've read Goblet of Fire multiple times, and Order of the Phoenix several times, too.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on June 08, 2016, 12:00:15 PM
Speaking of editing, I found at least a handful of mistakes (spelling errors, word omissions) in Penny Marshall's book.
How does that happen!?!?!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 08, 2016, 03:16:23 PM
Along those lines:

Has anyone else read this?
https://smile.amazon.com/B-F-Novelization-Feature-Film-ebook/dp/B008X945R4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1465412707&sr=8-3&keywords=b%5Ef

The upshot of it is, that before Back to the Future hit theaters this guy, George Gipe, was hired to write the novelization of the film.  Problem is, the film wasn't finished yet, and there were all kinds of changes from the original script.  Also, this Gipe guy writes like he's a thousand years old.  So, his novel is b-a-n-a-n-a-s.  The tone is all wrong, it's wordy as fuck, some of the plot details are just bizarre, and the characters are all wrong (Marty and Doc are both kind of assholes). 

After the book was published Gipe was stung to death by bees!

Anyway, so this book is basically a page by page tear down of how bat-shit crazy the novelization is.  It's written by Ryan North (one of the creators/editors of Machine of Death), and it's actually laugh-out-loud funny.  But, it started life as a series of blog posts and I don't think anybody edited the thing, it is so full of grammatical an syntactical errors, it's almost as bad as what it's making fun of.  I keep having to choke down the irony of his lack of editing in passages complaining about Gipe's lack of editing.

Anyway, worth the $3 from Amazon.  It's an entertaining read.  I wish I had a copy of the novelization now so I could experience the crazy first hand.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on June 08, 2016, 04:25:10 PM
I've heard about it but never read it.
I was BIG into owning the novelization of movies when I was a teen.
Had one for SPACE CAMP and LICENSED TO DRIVE.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on October 19, 2016, 09:43:23 AM
My current favorite sci-fi author is Alastair Reynolds, a former astrophysicist with the ESA. He's done a marvelous job applying his knowledge to the genre, developing some truly fascinating universes. The problem I've encountered, however, is I have read every one of his novels, and most of his short stories. So I've started trying other authors who are supposed to be writing in a similar vein.

First up is Peter F. Hamilton, evidently a friend of Reynolds. I'm about two thirds of the way through Great North Road. A notable difference between the two authors is I'm this close to setting Hamilton's book on fire. Nine hundred pages of sexism and inane detail describing a universe bereft of innovative ideas. Looking forward to finishing it so I can move on with my life.

(Yeah, I have a hard time not finishing books even if I don't like them. I've even powered my way through Moby Dick and Anna Karenina.)
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on October 19, 2016, 09:48:44 AM
(Yeah, I have a hard time not finishing books even if I don't like them. I've even powered my way through Moby Dick and Anna Karenina.)

Nice. I'm often like that. I keep thinking "maybe something at the end will tie it all together and make it all worth it!" but that never seems to happen.

Keep plugging away.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on January 03, 2017, 09:18:44 AM
(Yeah, I have a hard time not finishing books even if I don't like them. I've even powered my way through Moby Dick and Anna Karenina.)

Nice. I'm often like that. I keep thinking "maybe something at the end will tie it all together and make it all worth it!" but that never seems to happen.

Keep plugging away.
Finally stumbled upon good sci-fi. SPIN, by Robert Charles Wilson. Fantastic ideas, but what hooked me was the writing. Superb use of language peppered throughout. I immediately jumped into the rest of the series. AXIS (book two) wasn't written as well, nor was it as engaging, but the finale of VORTEX made it worthwhile. I haven't researched it or anything, but I wonder if it was made a series at his publisher's urging, since SPIN won the Hugo Award. SPIN ended like a lot of good sci-fi stories, with open-ended questions rather than everything explained.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on January 03, 2017, 11:17:28 AM
Nice. I'll add it to my list.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 09, 2017, 09:51:07 AM
hey silentpaul, have you read the wheel of time by robert jordan?  that's something i want to give a try.  i've been getting into a bunch of sci-fi films as of late and want to start reading more of the genre
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on January 10, 2017, 01:23:04 PM
hey silentpaul, have you read the wheel of time by robert jordan?  that's something i want to give a try.  i've been getting into a bunch of sci-fi films as of late and want to start reading more of the genre
No. I have an aversion to any multi-volume fantasy series where each book is longer than the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.

However, my wife loves those books. Jordan died before finishing the series, and Brandon Sanderson co-wrote the rest. My wife has found a new favorite author in Sanderson, so there's that.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on February 14, 2017, 03:47:35 PM
I feel like I just read the most perfect chapter ("1926: Adieu") ever in my current book, "A Gentleman in Moscow". I've never thought about a chapter being perfect before. But, it was just so very lovely. I immediately want to read it aloud to everyone I meet. It was breathtaking, which was sort of dangerous because I was on a treadmill in public when I read it.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: trixi on February 14, 2017, 06:36:53 PM
I feel like I just read the most perfect chapter ("1926: Adieu") ever in my current book, "A Gentleman in Moscow". I've never thought about a chapter being perfect before. But, it was just so very lovely. I immediately want to read it aloud to everyone I meet. It was breathtaking, which was sort of dangerous because I was on a treadmill in public when I read it.
from what book?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on February 15, 2017, 08:20:51 AM
"A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on February 20, 2017, 07:29:46 PM
i think monks are able to self immolate because they are able to accept pain as they would pleasure. 

i'm reading alan watts, the wisdom of insecurity right now.  and this is sort of what he says, to me, when he says (and i paraphrase) that when we are in pain we only can think about how we will feel when we get out of this pain and that is where the pain we feel derives from.  but if we accept that we are in pain and wishing it away won't work then we are able to focus on now just as we would when we experience joy.  we don't think about what it would be like not to know joy because we are captured in the moment of now.  apparently this makes pain tolerable.  i'm sure i hacked that up. 

 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 18, 2017, 10:14:00 AM
once i loved a maiden shining
(mine so long ago)
round her forehead fair locks twining
sweet her voice and low

warm her eyes, so brightly gleaming
(tender were her vows)
as the radiant sun were beaming
underneath her brows

in her cheeks the red blood beckoned
(red blood in the snow)
naught of doom in love i reckoned
doom fell long ago

in the earth they laid my dearest
(in the earth laid low)
all my life is labor drearest
lonely now i go

some of the poetry sprinkled in independent people by haldor laxness.  the most preeminent icelander of all time 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on September 13, 2017, 03:03:55 PM
I'm about a third of the way through Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement, and I don't know if I can finish it. It's just soul-crushingly depressing. Had I realized it was about child prostitution -- in detail, lots of detail -- I probably wouldn't have started it in the first place. I have a hard time not finishing books, but this one may break me.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 13, 2017, 03:56:02 PM
the most preeminent icelander of all time

I put the team on my back, doe.  Fuck it.  Cain't STAAHP me. Cross da planeeee, touchdown.  Einar Mar Gudmundsson.






FUCK YOU GUMBY!
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 14, 2017, 09:11:38 PM
i just caught that zafer.  worthwhile? 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jonathan on November 14, 2017, 09:33:06 PM
Quote from: daytime drinking link=topic=104760.msg518843#msg518843
some of the poetry sprinkled in independent people by haldor laxness.  the most preeminent icelander of all time 

Incorrect.

The correct answer is Magnus Ver Magnusson.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 15, 2017, 10:33:04 AM
was he a strongman? 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Jonathan on November 15, 2017, 11:40:34 AM
More like the strongest man.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 15, 2017, 03:32:12 PM
More like the strongest man.

in a country known for it's literary prowess, it was probably him who said, and i paraphrase, when asked why he wanted to be a strong man he only had to harken back to the age of the sagas to answer that question
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on January 24, 2018, 08:35:49 AM
Tried listening to Andy Weir's new book Artemis. The wife and I listened to it while on a road trip.

Tried and failed.

Gods, it was awful. I think I got about halfway through. Female protagonist written with all the sensitivity and awareness of a fifteen-year-old boy from the 1940s. If it was on CD I would have chucked it out of the window.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on February 02, 2018, 12:38:59 PM
the book i just read was from a canadian author about canada.  i love when canadians show us what canada is really like.  just as dysfunctional as america.  it's not all justin trudeau caring liberals, but it really is all hockey almost.  what i loved most about trailer park boys was that it was canadians.  maybe i just have a warped sense of how the mainstream views the canucks.  i'm guilty of this too even though i've been to canada plenty.  hell, i was born 50 miles south of the international peace gardens on the border of manitoba.  i sort of feel like they're european but when you met them, they're not.  well i've never been to montreal nor most of it but god just like the book says, he went north.  how far?  far.  that's where i want to go.  to yellowknife to whitehorse.  the hudson bay is closer and would be a dream of mine.  in winter.  yah, this book's resonance 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 02, 2018, 02:23:39 PM
i think monks are able to self immolate because they are able to accept pain as they would pleasure. 

I think monks basically just zen out when they do that, so they feel no pain or pleasure.  It's like a meditative state they have trained to put themselves in.

I feel like there's a lot of philosophical thought and choice making in deciding to become a monk and living that lifestyle.  And that philosophy and contemplation is also what leads them to make a moral choice in giving up their lives in protest.  That's actually the hard part.

But the actual moment of being on fire without screaming and writhing around in pain is more of a mind/body party trick.  They train for it, and then just apply the training.  I think it's probably something that most people could do if for some reason they wanted to spend months or quite likely years training just so they could set themselves on fire and still look cool.  But obviously most people are not going to have adequate incentive do that.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on February 21, 2018, 09:08:29 PM
i think monks are able to self immolate because they are able to accept pain as they would pleasure. 

I think monks basically just zen out when they do that, so they feel no pain or pleasure.  It's like a meditative state they have trained to put themselves in.

I feel like there's a lot of philosophical thought and choice making in deciding to become a monk and living that lifestyle.  And that philosophy and contemplation is also what leads them to make a moral choice in giving up their lives in protest.  That's actually the hard part.

But the actual moment of being on fire without screaming and writhing around in pain is more of a mind/body party trick.  They train for it, and then just apply the training.  I think it's probably something that most people could do if for some reason they wanted to spend months or quite likely years training just so they could set themselves on fire and still look cool.  But obviously most people are not going to have adequate incentive do that.

i don't know if train is the proper word.  i don't even think prepare does it justice.  i mean, it's accurate, but it's just description for what they are actively doing; cleansing of self.  that's just what i think.  there is a quote i think in the upanishads, i'd rather die ten years too early than ten years too late.  it's sorta like the self immolators, possessing the knowledge that they cannot die, allow their body to receive the fire as pleasure

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on February 23, 2018, 09:02:24 AM
I'm about a third of the way through Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement, and I don't know if I can finish it. It's just soul-crushingly depressing. Had I realized it was about child prostitution -- in detail, lots of detail -- I probably wouldn't have started it in the first place. I have a hard time not finishing books, but this one may break me.
It broke me.

I can't describe the wave of relief that washed over me when I finally allowed myself to read something else.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 23, 2018, 09:41:43 AM
Fuck Auntie Tan.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on March 22, 2018, 11:14:28 AM
Fuck Auntie Tan.
In college I liked The Joy Luck Club a lot. I don't know where she went between that and this.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 22, 2018, 02:10:47 PM
She's always been kind of crappy.

I mean... I think that she is a very nice person in real life and means well.  But her books are filled with horrible Asian stereotypes.  It's made even more annoying because she should know better than anyone about Chinese-American culture clashes, etc.

She's writing fiction, not true-life stories so I cut her some slack in that regard.  But it's kind of egregious.  Moreover, her books are acclaimed not just for the plots/prose but for presenting the struggle/strife/viewpoint of Chinese immigrants.  She could at least do a better job of saying "It's a book.  It's not really like this."  Or she could at least write some books with a different viewpoint.

But she seems to relish the role of being the spokesperson for Chinese-Americans.  Which I think is good in a way, because she's willing to step up and again, I think she's trying to do the right thing.  But she just keeps writing more and more books with both American and Chinese stereotypes in them, and that coupled with her visibility as a Chinese author just reinforces the stereotype.

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 05, 2018, 11:09:04 PM
i was curious as how to willa cather was able to provide the war material in one of ours.  i assumed correctly that she knew folks how went off to battle.  she interviewed a lot of people and even went to the french battlefields.  i'm assuming after the war which ended all wars, for good.  some of the criticism was that it was too hollywood, or nice try for a girl.  hemingway was one of the detractors.  one said he rather liked the portrait of rural nebraska, (which is what all of her books are i imagine) but the second half war portion was too idealistic, romantic.  Cather, writes one critic, "committed heresy by appearing to argue that the First World War had actually been an inspiring, even liberating experience for some of its combatants."

me thinks they were missing the point of the whole book.  the kid wanted to go on an adventure.  i wouldn't have known the book was written by a woman.  which begs the question, is it easier for a woman to write about a man's experience or vise versa?   

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 06, 2018, 12:01:25 PM
Willa Cather was most likely gay.  So was she even culturally a "woman" for her time?  Claude is based on her real-life cousin.

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on April 06, 2018, 01:47:13 PM
Willa Cather was most likely gay.  So was she even culturally a "woman" for her time?  Claude is based on her real-life cousin.
"Culturally a woman?" It's not like gay women got invited to join men's clubs.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 06, 2018, 02:11:17 PM
does being gay give you an insight into the opposite sex? 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 06, 2018, 03:38:33 PM
Willa Cather was most likely gay.  So was she even culturally a "woman" for her time?  Claude is based on her real-life cousin.
"Culturally a woman?" It's not like gay women got invited to join men's clubs.

They weren't exactly welcome in women's society either, though.  That's my point.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 06, 2018, 03:55:08 PM
does being gay give you an insight into the opposite sex?

I don't think that being gay or straight give you any inherent insight into anything of importance.  Unless your book centers around a bra-fitting or one man's epic shower journey to clean his dong. 

But I don't think you can ignore cultural/historical factors.  Can someone write well about war if they never seen war close up?  I mean, that's a legit non-misogynistic question of Cather to me.  Not that she's a woman, but that she's not a vet. 

To me, that book is not really a book about war.  It's a book about a soldier, and even then it's not what I would say is a primary part of their identity.  I mean, it's not nothing, but it's not like you couldn't construct a similar character or that we couldn't identify with the protagonist at all if he'd had a different back story.  I think you are right in that the hook is the kid wanted to go on an adventure, break out of the small town doldrums, whatever.  It doesn't have to be going to war, but the idea that war could accomplish that is certainly believable.  So as far as that goes, I don't think you need to have gone to war, or to be a man or straight or gay to relate to, or write about that mentality.

And even then, stylized fake war works just fine as long as we can relate.  Like how could anyone ever write fantasy or science fiction if you have to live it to write about it?  It's not historical fiction.  As long as we can relate to Claude and the war helps us do that it works.  Even if the war is depicted inaccurately.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 07, 2018, 12:31:50 AM
agreed.  it was a book that had the war in it.  it would come across as phoney if i pulled that stunt.  this kid in the only creative writing class i took in college did.  and he did it knowing there was a vet in the class.  what a tard.  she put in enough research to fake it pretty well.  and of course there is the origin of the story.  the title pretty much suggests that it isn't meant to be war fiction.  the prairie heard the call.  and the love story was more longing than tangible and completely bearable.  i don't mind love stories, it's just that not every book you or movie you watch should have them.  she unwittingly appealed to a male audience and it won a pulitzer but folks criticize her war book as being ok

Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on April 13, 2018, 12:37:49 PM
one last thing about that cather book.  i haven't read anything else by her, but she seems to take pride in being of the plains.  she kinda took a shit on it with one of ours
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on May 30, 2018, 12:41:26 PM
Do you read one book at a time? Or do you tend to have multiple books going at any given time?

I usually have three or four going:
- Something to read myself to sleep with. Usually something I'm not too emotionally or intellectually invested in.
- Something non-fiction, for when I'm not in the mood for fiction.
- Something fiction, for when I'm not in the mood for non-fiction.
- And sometimes a short story collection. I don't usually read these straight through.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 19, 2018, 12:13:39 PM
two at the most.  i tried three but i wasn't using the upstairs shitter as much

i almost picked up the joy luck club at the thrift today
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on June 19, 2018, 01:35:35 PM
i almost picked up the joy luck club at the thrift today
I remember liking that in college, but after being traumatized by Valley of Amazement I'm not sure I want to read anything else of hers.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 03, 2018, 01:53:54 PM
name for me, your favorite latin american authors.  thank you
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on August 03, 2018, 04:38:49 PM
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 04, 2018, 10:07:53 AM
Borges, I guess. 

I dunno, I’m not that well read when it comes to Latin American writers and I don’t really dig magical realism.  Those two things are probably related.

I don’t hate GGM or Isabel Allende or anything.  Just not really for me.  I read some of their stuff, I enjoyed it okay, I forgot about it pretty quickly, and then after a couple books I didn’t feel the need to read them anymore.

Like Water for Chocolate is the only Latin American authored book that bugged me enough That I struggled a bit to finish.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 04, 2018, 02:26:46 PM
would paulo coelho be considered a magical realist?  i've only read the alchemist, which i say of is the book you pick up at some youth hostel abroad.  one hundred years of solitude is too beautiful to not be my favorite book ever.  that ending was fucking bad ass.  and my favorite part of that book is that general never won a battle in fifty years or something but was still heroic.  i've only read other by him in the fashion of short stories.  the magic is more believable and matter of factly in fact.  i could see how an entire culture centering around one niche genre would be tiresome

did simon bolivar write? 
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 04, 2018, 08:18:50 PM
would paulo coelho be considered a magical realist?  i've only read the alchemist, which i say of is the book you pick up at some youth hostel abroad.

 Not an expert, but in my opinion The Alchemist is definitely magical realism.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on August 06, 2018, 11:24:21 AM
would paulo coelho be considered a magical realist?  i've only read the alchemist, which i say of is the book you pick up at some youth hostel abroad.

 Not an expert, but in my opinion The Alchemist is definitely magical realism.

Seconded.
Loved One Hundred Years of Solitude tons when I was in college. Enjoyed the The Alchemist plenty, too, so yes, I think it's magical realism. There's not a ton of that genre out there, so I think you need to grab it when you can.


Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Paco on August 27, 2018, 04:59:42 PM
Screw people who dog-ear library books. Fucking animals.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on August 28, 2018, 09:31:55 PM
I listened to my first audio book in decades earlier this month: Ready Player One (unabridged) read by Wil Wheaton. I was not disappointed when there was a reference to him in the book. It is definitely the way to go for long, solo road trips.

I hadn't seen the movie, so it was all new to me. Except, of course, that game designer is a month older than me, so we had very similar experiences during the 80s and 90s (although I never did get to play D&D).
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on November 26, 2018, 04:40:59 PM
Do you guys consider listening to an audiobook as "reading?" Or having "read a book?" Do you list audiobooks in your list of books you've read?
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 26, 2018, 05:45:43 PM
Do you guys consider listening to an audiobook as "reading?" Or having "read a book?" Do you list audiobooks in your list of books you've read?
Yes. It's reading with your ears.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 27, 2018, 11:04:21 AM
Do you guys consider listening to an audiobook as "reading?" Or having "read a book?" Do you list audiobooks in your list of books you've read?

I consider it "reading," and I would consider having finished listening to an audio book as having "read" it.  Having said that, I have never "read" an audiobook.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: c-lando on November 27, 2018, 12:50:20 PM
Do you guys consider listening to an audiobook as "reading?" Or having "read a book?" Do you list audiobooks in your list of books you've read?
I kinda do, but I kinda don't. I add them to my list of books, but I try to denote "audiobook" so that I remember the format in which I "read" the book.
Title: Re: Random Book Musings
Post by: Dan on November 27, 2018, 02:42:18 PM
I'm listening to my first audiobook right now and while I'm enjoying the format I feel like it isn't reading. To me reading is visualizing words and understanding the blocks of paragraphs or the chapter breaks or knowing that a chapter is ending because you can see the blank page to the right or things like that. It's understanding the grouping of ideas that are bulleted because there are bullets, rather than just someone saying a bunch of quick sentences. There's an understanding anyway.

These are my ideas about it right now, though. I'm sure they'll evolve over time if I dive into the format more. However, I'm not really planning to.