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What are we reading?

BearhardtBearhardt Registered User
edited July 2011 in The Writer's Block
Bearhardt on
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Mark Bradley, Writer - The Blue Skittle
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Posts

  • AryaLeingoldAryaLeingold Registered User
    edited March 2009
    For class:
    The Crying of Lot 49 - Pynchon
    The Hours - Cunningham

    For pleasure:
    A Rebours - Huysmans

    "A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." ~ Herman Melville
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Current:

    Nightmare Town - Dashiell Hammett

    Reserve:

    Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett
    and I'll probably go to the bookstore or order some books randomly online to fill my reserve up again once I decide on what I want to read lots of.

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Only ready Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe at the moment. The story is a bit slow, but his writing is pretty dense; he has an excellent way with language where I find myself going back and rereading sentences. He seems to use a lot of the "SF/Fantasy cliche adjectives" that irked me at first, but then I realized that this was written in the early 80s, before Robert Jordan, GRRM, etc.

    I think after this I'm going to challenge myself and take up one of the Russians. Maybe Resurrection or Brothers Karamazov.

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  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm working my way through:

    Double Eagle - Dan Abnett
    Coming of Age - Studs Terkel
    Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
    Smoke and Mirrors - Niel Gaiman
    Reminisces of the Cuban Revolution - Ernesto "Che" Guevara
    Flashman - George MacDonald Fraser

    Ok, that seems hilariously ADD when I type it out. I generally read different books in different places. Relaxing in bed, I've got Terkel. I keep Smoke and Mirrors in my backpack. I read Che's book when I'm on the subway. I keep my ebook reader in my jacket, so I can read Anna Karenina on the go. I don't always remember to keep a book with me when I have downtime, so I end up starting whatever I have on hand. Ebooks are a godsend.

    Be excellent to each other you stupid cunts.
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon I enjoyed Crying of Lot 49 so I thought I'd give this a try and it's taking me a long time to work through it. All the shit I have to read for school isn't helping anything either.

    To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis

    James Bond novels for my class on James Bond.

  • Chronos21Chronos21 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I am very slowly forcing myself through Midnight's Children, because, although I am convinced Rushdie edited out all the interesting sentences in his second draft, I am not a quitter, and I will finish it goddamnit.

    I am also reading Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus, Mao's red book, and the book of revelations because it talks about some cool shit.

  • squeefishsqueefish Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I re-read Ann Marie MacDonald's Fall On Your Knees earlier this week for about the tenth time before lending it to a prof, who seems to love it as much as I do so far (take that, Grid!)

    Now I'm reading Unless by Carol Shields, borrowed from the same prof. I must say, for all that I like writing short stories, I find novels so much more satisfying to read. I picked up a collection of Shields's short stories a few weeks ago and while they were lovely, I like something I can really sink my teeth into like this latest book instead of just little nibbles of literature.

    Chronos, I couldn't get into Midnight's Children either, but my problem wasn't that the sentences weren't interesting...too much of the history went over my head, I think, as did many of the mythological references. That's one book I think I'd enjoy more if I had to read it for a class. I never did finish it - only made it about a third of the way through. Shameful.

  • IshbuIshbu Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Just finished Everything is Illuminated. Now I'm reading a combination of things:

    The Divine Comedy by Dante
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
    and Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman

    Play my game and serve beer to angry dwarves: The Tavern
  • da newbda newb New York, New YorkRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Just finished A Brave New World.
    Starting Lord of The Flies for school.
    I am reading Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid on the side.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I finally started reading ASOIAF - finished Game of Thrones with the help of an audiobook, and I'm a few chapters into Clash of Kings.

  • KaRayneKaRayne Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I suggest to most people I meet to read.

    The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod.

    I love the ideas it has.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I just picked up Cormac McCarthy's The Road but i'm not really sure if I'll enjoy it.

    I've started Gravity's Rainbow and while I like books that aren't easy to read, the lack of focus (or seeming lack of focus) is making it difficult to make good progress.

    and I'm also reading Franz Kafka's The Castle which I love so far.

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  • RazjmlRazjml Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I read different stuff depending on my physical location.

    Reading Walden on the bus. About a third in. Chock full of Socio-anarchism, grumbling about the post office and trains, and Orientalism (in the Post-Colonial sense), if any of those are appealing.
    When I'm not in the mood for that, I'm finishing up the Collected Poems of Philip Larkin (honestly, not that impressed beyond High Windows).

    Recently finished The Collected Poems of Basho (first time all of his haiku have been translated, came out this year).

    Finishing up The Book of Lost Books and Poet's Choice (ecclectic Japanese formal poetry), which are both good bathroom reading.

    About to start the Eumenides, or Brother's Karamazov, or continue the Illiad, something like that. For poetry, I'm gonna get the new American Hybrid poetry anthology that came out from Norton, and maybe With Deer, book by a Swedish poet translated by Johanness Gorannson (coming out in a couple days), or Rae Armantrout's new book Versed/ a selected collection.

  • spcmnspffspcmnspff Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm re-reading Kafka's The Trial. The world of that novel is so senseless and I'm never sure whether it's terrifying or hilarious. My favourite characters are all the petty legal magistrates who try to exert power over the system, but really are quite ignorant and do nothing but make complete fools of themselves.

  • IronSunriseIronSunrise Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rereading The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. It's on my "Read every year list" and I find it hard to put down once started.

    I.S.

    Georg Dreyman, I have no sympathy for you.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2009
    da newb wrote: »
    Just finished A Brave New World.
    Starting Lord of The Flies for school.
    I am reading Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid on the side.

    The latter two are absolutely fantastic. BNW is half of an awesome book spliced with half of a sucky book in some bizarre case of literary genetic manipulation.

    I'm reading Just After Sunset, which is King's latest short story compilation. So far the stories are pretty meh, which surprised me, because his shorts are usually his best work. I tend to read compilations non-linearly, and it didn't help that the first two stories at chose at random were almost the exact same concept.

    I intermittently read The Satanic Verses, but I'm having difficulty getting into it.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • AryaLeingoldAryaLeingold Registered User
    edited March 2009
    ElJeffe wrote:
    I intermittently read The Satanic Verses, but I'm having difficulty getting into it.

    I find that imagining Rushdie laughing while writing the book helped. Pretend you get the joke and then you will.

    "A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." ~ Herman Melville
  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    I am reading American Lion currently. I will probably be on this book for months, since I don't really like to read a book in my free time away from reading books.

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    Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but it dies in the process.
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rereading The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. It's on my "Read every year list" and I find it hard to put down once started.

    I.S.

    Is this better than Snow Crash? I've been meaning to read more Stephenson, but it's not easy to find in book stores.

  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    This comic really should be in the first post.

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2009/20090309.jpg

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • IronSunriseIronSunrise Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Magell wrote: »
    Rereading The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. It's on my "Read every year list" and I find it hard to put down once started.

    I.S.

    Is this better than Snow Crash? I've been meaning to read more Stephenson, but it's not easy to find in book stores.

    Better than snow crash? Well, if you are starting with Neuromancer and trying to walk your way through the genesis of cyberpunk, then snow crash is a more important book (came first, established the younger generation's claim to the genre again) and for some therefore more satisfying. Plus swords are involved.

    The Diamond Age is more sweeping in his sci-fi world creation, slightly more complex in both plot and character development. Better writing in other words. But minimal swords.

    Used copies of his whole canon on Amazon...

    Georg Dreyman, I have no sympathy for you.
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    I feel that the sword stuff in Snow Crash didn't mesh well.

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • ErgandarErgandar Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm reading The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed.

    Lengthy title aside, it's actually a fascinating description of life in the hutong of Beijing from a man who actually lived in them for a few years.

    RachelSig.jpg
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    i think i'm going to read disgrace by j.m. coetzee

    i got a really nice edition at a second hand bookshop yesterday

    islandsig_zpslbuqorr3.jpg
  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2009
    It's a great book. Coetzee is probably my favourite living literary author.

    I'm finishing The Magus by John Fowles, and I don't know what to read next. Maybe The Handmaid's Tale.

  • RazjmlRazjml Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Loved Waiting for the Barbarians by Coetzee, but hated, hated, hated The Magus when I read it in college. Mostly, I hated how I got the impression on every page that Fowles was trying to show off how smart he was to the reader, while at the same time getting it wrong (especially existentialism) half the time. I dunno, the dude uses the word "ikon," with a k, for christ sakes.

    People seem to like it though.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I read Coetzee's Slow Man (I think that was the right title) and... I didn't ever finish it. There was a lack of movement in the story in my opinion- The old man always seemed to be just on the edge of developing but never quite did. Granted I tried to read the book before I finished highschool so that might have colored my opinion on it but... do others feel the same on it?

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  • BEAST!BEAST! Adventurer Adventure!!!!!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    just one for me right now

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

  • DarkHawkeDarkHawke Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Legion of Thunder, second in the Orcs trilogy by Stan Nicholls.

    Interesting story, but the actual writing is pretty mediocre. Which is a good thing, because I'm learning a lot about what irritates me, and so what not to do when I'm writing. Like dialogue containing the phrase "I'm getting too old for this"

  • T. J. Nutty Nub T. J. Nutty Nub Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Walden

  • RazielRaziel Registered User
    edited March 2009
    A steady diet of non-fiction for me, thanks.

    Currently reading Al Franken's THE TRUTH (with jokes), because I can't get enough liberal bias! MMMMMMMmmm!
    Followed by Kurt Vonnegut's The Apocalypse in Retrospect, and Gwynne Dyer's With Every Mistake.

    Read the mad blog-rantings of a manic hack writer here.

    Thank you, Rubacava!
  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daemon, by Daniel Suarez.

    It's like Da Vinci Code with computers.

    Pretty enjoyable, in a light, fluffy way.

    smugduckling,pc,days.png
  • AryaLeingoldAryaLeingold Registered User
    edited March 2009
    BEAST! wrote: »
    just one for me right now

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith


    :x did you get it early?!?! I preordered from Amazon, those jerks.

    "A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." ~ Herman Melville
  • BEAST!BEAST! Adventurer Adventure!!!!!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    BEAST! wrote: »
    just one for me right now

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith


    :x did you get it early?!?! I preordered from Amazon, those jerks.
    I came across it at Borders on March 12th. If you can, I'd check there, it was in the Comedy section.

    I too was waiting on Amazon but heard a rumor about it being already on shelves at Borders, so I checked and then canceled my Amazon preorder.

  • limester816limester816 Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Currently I have to read Omnivore's Dilemma for class, and it's a pretty great and informative read.

    For pleasure I'm reading Krakauer's Eiger Dreams and Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima.

  • da newbda newb New York, New YorkRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    da newb wrote: »
    Just finished A Brave New World.
    Starting Lord of The Flies for school.
    I am reading Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid on the side.

    The latter two are absolutely fantastic. BNW is half of an awesome book spliced with half of a sucky book in some bizarre case of literary genetic manipulation.

    <snip>


    I agree completely with that statement. BNW has some interesting concepts, but I find that the characters are rather static and bland. There are parts where the book loses focus and meanders. I chose to read it because 1984 is one of my favorite books and I figured that the similar dystopian theme would be interesting. Sadly, I don't think Huxely explored the world he set up in any meaningful way.

  • AryaLeingoldAryaLeingold Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Just started reading Angels in America for my American Lit class. Not bad for a play about AIDS patients. Just sayin', you should check it or a performance out if emotional realism is your thing.

    "A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." ~ Herman Melville
  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I finished The Handmaid's Tale yesterday. As dystopian fiction, it easily stands with works like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. It completely reversed the opinion I had of Atwood after reading The Edible Woman.

    Moving on to Ringworld now.

  • MaticoreMaticore Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Moving on to Ringworld now.

    I will always have a special spot in my heart for Niven.

    EDIT: Oh, I'm reading All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones and Re-Reading Pastoralia by George Saunders.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    So I've been reading The Road on and off this past week. I haven't really gotten too far but I like it for the most part. The setting, characters and style all work well together and every time I can't be reading it, I start thinking about it and where its going.

    That said, I just can't get over how awkward some of the lines read.
    Spoiler:

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