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Pendaric
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Post by Pendaric » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:28 pm

'East of Eden' inspired me to pick up 'Of Mice and Men'.

It's not a long book, more of a novella than a novel, and I've just done it in a couple of hours whilst soaking in the bath. Another one that holds the attention.

I'm definitely going to find some more Steinbeck.
fear is the mind killer

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:32 am

I started reading "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops" - George Carlin's final book.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:38 am

I've got that one, Matt. Although I think the man let his bitterness contaminate his humor in his last decade or so, Carlin was one of the true comedic greats.

I'm reading Churchill's The Gathering Storm, his history/testimonial of the period leading up to WW II.

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:12 am

I have like 30+ books on my nook I haven't read yet. Lots of AH, some Atheist stuff, a few Stephen King and others. Also have Belinda Carlisle's Autobiography "Lips Unsealed." She was HOT back in the day. When I was 12-15 if what I wanted to happen would have she could have been arrested. Now she's old. :(

Cath B
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Post by Cath B » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:36 am

Fifteen years ago Arundhati Roy won the Booker prize for her only novel to date novel The God of Small Things and I thought I'd like to give it a try. Not being one to rush these things I left that thought on the back boiler till I spotted a copy going cheap in a bazaar. It's engrossing enough to keep me reading, almost till the end now, but it's such a SAD story!

I don't enjoy sad books as much as I used to.

Philos
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Post by Philos » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:47 am

Folks,

I'm reading a biography of Hermann Goering.

Alex.
'Philosophy is a far cry from reason' Geotima

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Samnell
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Post by Samnell » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:23 am

Long time, no post.

I'm sorta-reading William W. Freehling's The Road to Disunion, Volume 2: Secessionists Triumphant. It's really good, and his prose has improved a lot since the first volume, but something has kept me from just devouring it. I'm lucky if I get a chapter a week done.

I'm also sorta-reading Mark Stein's How the States Got Their Shapes but it's giving me Book Reviewer Disease. He's driving me up the wall by not writing the book I would have written. What he has is a map-heavy series of very short essays, often barely more than three paragraphs, arranged in alphabetical order by state. Many of them amount to a few sentences explaining that if one followed the line of this river any further, it would make for an odd shape and cut heavily into the natural, compact form of a neighbor, or if you followed the line of latitude or longitude past this point, it would put parts of the state across impassable mountains or major rivers from the rest. It's all very factual and fine for what it does, but I see almost constant missed chances to give more depth. Slavery only rarely gets a mention. Competing state claims are brushed over or dispatched in a sentence or so. And going alphabetical by state means that each state's borders come off without much context. There are cross-references, but that's not quite as good as doing them in regional groupings or by order of admission to the union.

But really I've spent a lot of the past month or so going through old issues of Iron Man, three a day. I began with what I understood as one of the definitive runs on the character, David Michelinie and Bob Layton's, and have read forward. That's taken me from 1978 into 1987 so far, consistently good except for a short run, by period standards, by Danny Fingeroth. I must do three a day, or at least multiples of three, or I'll binge and not want to look at it for a while. That would probably kill the project. I plan to take it up at least into the 90s, possibly all the way to current titles.

The formula seems to be working and once I'm done with Iron Man I might apply it to other comics that I've long meant to read but only taken idle stabs at.

I also have two periodicals, National Geographic and The Civil War Monitor that I, so far, have been reading fairly devotedly as they arrive. I gave up on past magazines because they often sat and got forgotten. The Monitor is a quarterly, which probably helps.

Cath B
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Post by Cath B » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:13 am

[quote=""Cath B""]Fifteen years ago Arundhati Roy won the Booker prize for her only novel to date novel The God of Small Things and I thought I'd like to give it a try. Not being one to rush these things I left that thought on the back boiler till I spotted a copy going cheap in a bazaar. It's engrossing enough to keep me reading, almost till the end now, but it's such a SAD story!

I don't enjoy sad books as much as I used to.[/quote]

I'm not sure whether or not it passed muster as a Good Book. I'm not sure that I'm a good judge of such things, tthough I would say that here were aspects which resonated with me.

I just read a pisstake (contains spoilers) which part of me thought was mean and unfair while part of me laughed out loud:-

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/a ... ndhati-roy

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Rie
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Post by Rie » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:23 pm

Oh Cath! it was so delicately funny IMO.

I'm still following Anne Perry. Each Xmas she writes a novella and this year's is dedicated "To all those who would like to start again".... I hope this goes some way towards my admiration for the teenager who was jailed for murder for 15 years and found it within herself to redeem herself.
"You understand?" said Ponder
"No. I was just hoping that if I didn't say anything you'd stop trying to explain things to me." - Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:50 pm

Finished WWJBTPC - not sure what's next. I think the 3rd book of Harry Turtledove's "Supervolcano" series.

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KathrynAragon
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Post by KathrynAragon » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:14 am

I'm reading "The Crimson Petal and the White" after watching the EXCELLENT BBC miniseries of the same name. WOW.

Let's just say it's nothing like a Jane Austen novel. Something between old Sherlock Holmes and 50 Shades of Gray.

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,350549,00.html
It was on fire when I laid down on it.

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Monad
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Post by Monad » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:21 am

Just reread Hemingway's "Islands in the Stream" - wonderful book - one of my favourites, such a wide range of human emotion contained within

Next up - a couple of lamentably underrated James' Baldwin novels - Another Country and then Giovanni's Room

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Samnell
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Post by Samnell » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:31 am

I decided that I must have some non-comic fiction in my life and discovered that I greatly resemble author Patrick Rothfuss. We even share a given name, but he has much more hair on his head than I do. That seemed like a good enough excuse to pick up The Name of the Wind. So far it's a neat twist in the usual fantasy tropes. The protagonist has dead parents, but actually grieves and acts like a bereaved child instead of having a line or two where he swears revenge and then never mentions anything about it again. Then he even gets over it like a normal person instead of being permanently stunted.

Instead of hearing his story as it goes on, we get it as he tells it years after the fact but while he's still relatively young. He did Important, Impressive Things which we've heard next to nothing about since apparently everyone in his world knows about them already. A historian successfully tracked him down where he retired to run an inn and convinced him to cough up the details. So chapters are either sections of his story or contemporary interludes, the latter of which have the running theme that whatever heroism he did back in the day he left unfinished and problems are slowly catching up to him.

Part of the appeal is that the guy he's telling the story to is as careful and disciplined a historian as he can probably be without straining suspension of disbelief. He considers himself a great debunker and made a reputation on collecting accurate recollections and reconstructions of events, rather than just telling any old story that sounded good. The protagonist has a lot of those good-sounding stories around him. In the interludes they talk a bit about how real events got turned into legends and how the protagonist found it useful to allow it to happen, or even to spread his own falsehoods in the moment and how it's come back to him in the years since. So you end up with this character who is supposed to be conventionally awesome in the fantasy fiction way. He can live up to plenty of that, but the combination of what he really did, the glosses that got built up around it, and the pure inventions makes for an interestingly layered experience.

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KathrynAragon
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Post by KathrynAragon » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:44 pm

[quote=""Monad""]Just reread Hemingway's "Islands in the Stream" - wonderful book - one of my favourites, such a wide range of human emotion contained within

Next up - a couple of lamentably underrated James' Baldwin novels - Another Country and then Giovanni's Room[/quote]

I've never read "Islands in the Stream" - now you are making me want to do so.
It was on fire when I laid down on it.

running dog
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Post by running dog » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:06 pm

Carlyle's "The French Revolution." Informative and interesting, though his allusive style can be irritating at times. Good Christmas reading.

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Roo St. Gallus
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:22 pm

I got ahold of Carl Hiaasen's comedic rendering of the woeful tale of his attempted return to flogging: Downhill Lie.

That's what I'm reading. With Bad Monkey waiting in the wings.
IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

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Rie
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Post by Rie » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:15 pm

I'm still reading Anne Perry.... she has a web site and I hope to contact her.... but the last two books from the library of hers has revealed a nutter who has scratched out the word God, Gawd etc. etc..... the point being that apart from defacing books this person is quite happy to read all of her books with the crime, blood and gore, dishonesty, infidelity, hypocrisy which she exposes in all her books.
"You understand?" said Ponder
"No. I was just hoping that if I didn't say anything you'd stop trying to explain things to me." - Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:15 pm

I have just ordered a set of short stories by Sylvia Plath and another set by James Salter. I am a bit of a fan of short stories.

James Salter is not easy to rate. He's very good, but I'm not sure yet if I think he's great. He certainly seems to be the current 'writer's writer' favourite.

My favourite stories would be by Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, William Golding and Alison Kennedy. Ann Enright comes to mind also, but she's uncomfortably like Alison Kennedy and I am not sure who is plagiarising who, if anyone is.

I also bought a fantastic anthology of short stories which has some bio on each writer and some of their own insights. I'd recommend it to anyone. It's almost 1000 pages long.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Short-Story-D ... 0321363639

Siddhi
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Post by Siddhi » Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:07 pm

I'm reading THE BEST OF NORA EPHRON.

Would you believe-----a Christmas book from my son-in-law.

I am living in his home since the death of my husband and Tom, although he doesn't celebrate his Irish Catholic-ness, DOES celebrate gift giving and a feast, to boot.

I usually read more serious fare, but this book is delightful. Ephron had a quick wit and was a good writer.

It's a HUGE book and hard to hold, so I place it on a pillow and settle in. All of her newspaper articles, novels.

I agree that George Carlin got pretty grave before he left.

I just sopped up his marvelous use of the English language and the melody of his rants. A great comedian!

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Roo St. Gallus
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:21 pm

Image
IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:24 pm

Just finished Stephen King's latest Doctor Sleep - it's the sequel to The Shining. The book, not the horrible 1980 movie (SK makes no secret that he hated that movie - that's why he had a TV miniseries made in the late 1990s that WAS like the book.)

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mattsidedish
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Post by mattsidedish » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:11 am

I'm currently reading Sense Ability by Doris Wild Helmering. I'm really enjoying it, but the gender stereotypes and countless religious referrances are kind of making it an "OH, COME ON" type of read. Looking forward to All in a Century by E. J. Kahn, Jr. Anyone read it?
"In a child's power to master the multiplication table, there is more sanctity than in all your shouted amen's and holy holy's and hosanna's. An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than "all the sticks turn to snakes" and the parting of the waters."

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:25 pm

Currently reading 'Dusk and Other Stories', a collection of short stories by James Salter. The first one, 'Twenty minutes' was very good.

Dr.Park
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Post by Dr.Park » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:36 pm

Currently reading the biography of Robert Ripley. The believe it or not guy. Its pretty good so far.

Cath B
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Post by Cath B » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:07 am

I've just started reading Lundy, Isle of Puffins by Richard Perry - an account of the island's natural history in the late 1930s.

This formed part of my mother's collection of books from her early adulthood. She had hankered a little after an isolated island life herself, though settled for a small coastal town.

I visited Lundy a couple of times years ago though my mother never did. A lovely place.

I haven't read enough of he book yet to judge how well its detailed descriptions can hold my attention in an era of superb wildlife documentaries on TV.

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