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Children of the Sun => Reading & Writing => Topic started by: RottingCorpse on July 10, 2005, 11:57:02 PM

Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 10, 2005, 11:57:02 PM
Tyson suggested a "What are you reading" megathread some time ago.  It hit me last night that RC had one about a month ago and, well, here it is.  So all of your book reviews/communal orgasms can go right here!
--nacho




I'm about halfway through A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. The guy wakes up on a plane with no teeth, a fucked up face, and no idea where he's going or how he got there. Turns out he's been an alcoholic and addicted to crack snce he was ten. He parents put him in a detox clinic and he starts trying to figure out a way to stay sober without giving in to a "higher power."

The prose style is somthing else. No quotation marks and at times, repetitive phrases that feels poetic. It really draws you into his stream of conscioiusness.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 11, 2005, 12:45:12 AM
I'm in the middle of a big-ass Paris Review collection they put out in 2003 to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Some gems. Some clunkers. Mostly good though.

I'm in the middle of The New New Journalism, by Robert S. Boynton. Collection of interviews with a number of nonfiction/literary journalism authors. Really good stuff. I've been eying one of the authors, Jon Krakauer, for his book Into the Wild for a while now. This gives me a good link to read some other good nonfiction as well. I keep trying to read Wolfe and I'm not impressed. He's seems scattered and unfocused. I was thinking about it while I was walking to work, what kind of books I liked, and I think I prefer subtlety, as a rule, to loud, bang, in your face kind of writing. But I also like energetic subtlety. I want to dig for meaning.

I started The Proud Highway. I started Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver. I just picked up the Associated Press Stylebook. I figure if I spend the money while I have it, now, and I'm not a starving college student, I'll be better off. I also picked up Travels with Charley, because I like it and wanted a copy to carry around with me.

And if none of you have checked out the Best American Nonrequired Reading series, you have to. They're fucking fantastic.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: yotoc on July 11, 2005, 12:57:06 AM
Quote from: Matt
I'm in the middle of a big-ass Paris Review collection they put out in 2003 to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Some gems. Some clunkers. Mostly good though.

I'm in the middle of The New New Journalism, by Robert S. Boynton. Collection of interviews with a number of nonfiction/literary journalism authors. Really good stuff. I've been eying one of the authors, Jon Krakauer, for his book Into the Wild for a while now. This gives me a good link to read some other good nonfiction as well. I keep trying to read Wolfe and I'm not impressed. He's seems scattered and unfocused. I was thinking about it while I was walking to work, what kind of books I liked, and I think I prefer subtlety, as a rule, to loud, bang, in your face kind of writing. But I also like energetic subtlety. I want to dig for meaning.

I started The Proud Highway. I started Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver. I just picked up the Associated Press Stylebook. I figure if I spend the money while I have it, now, and I'm not a starving college student, I'll be better off. I also picked up Travels with Charley, because I like it and wanted a copy to carry around with me.

And if none of you have checked out the Best American Nonrequired Reading series, you have to. They're fucking fantastic.


I'm reading everything here (http://www.loc.gov/).  I should be done by next weekend.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 01:00:45 AM
A Million Little Pieces! Oh god! Awesome book. I read it the minute I saw it. Did you get to the oral surgery part? That's some of the most intense descriptions of pain I've ever seen in my life. Everyone go out and read it. Now. Tonight.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 11, 2005, 01:09:41 AM
I'm a bit over halfway through, but yeah, the oral surgery scene was brutal.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 08:53:06 AM
I don't have time to read because I'm either watching Blake's 7 or scaring women to death!




(http://greatsociety.org/uploads/./userfiles/nacho/blakes7.jpg)



(http://greatsociety.org/uploads/./userfiles/nacho/asiannacho.jpg)
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on July 11, 2005, 12:07:14 PM
Quote from: Matt
And if none of you have checked out the Best American Nonrequired Reading series, you have to. They're fucking fantastic.


I'm reading this now, along with Foer's new thing, Extremely Loud and INcredibly Close. Both are excellent.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 12:16:53 PM
Quote from: jreale
Quote from: Matt
And if none of you have checked out the Best American Nonrequired Reading series, you have to. They're fucking fantastic.


I'm reading this now, along with Foer's new thing, Extremely Loud and INcredibly Close. Both are excellent.


Odd. I'm reading the Nonrequired 2004 and "Everything is Illuminated".

Jody, it's like we're connected. Let me send you a picture of my immense...










book collection.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on July 11, 2005, 12:19:38 PM
Quote from: Tyson
Odd. I'm reading the Nonrequired 2004 and "Everything is Illuminated".

Jody, it's like we're connected. Let me send you a picture of my immense...



book collection.


I'm sure they're all hardbacks, too, right?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 12:29:48 PM
Actually I can't stand hardbacks. I own... Not a single hardback. None. Wait... Bill Clinton's masterpiece. Yeah, that's it.

Softcover books are bliss. Hardcover books are like reading a stack of bricks.
Title: books
Post by: zerda on July 11, 2005, 02:11:03 PM
I just reread Gordon by Edith Templeton.  That fucking book makes me climb the walls like a cat in heat.
I also started on the collected works of Seamus Heaney in preparation for my journey to Ireland.  That guy can make a girl identify with the very loam beneath her feet.  Every image is fertile.  The Bone Dreams poem made me cry last night.  
I am still reccommending The Effect of Living Backwards by Heidi Julavits to anyone who will listen.  This book wraps around like a mobius strip.  Read it twice!
Title: Re: books
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 02:12:38 PM
Quote from: zerda
... in preparation for my journey to Ireland...


Don't let Monkey see that if you value your body...
Title: monkey
Post by: zerda on July 11, 2005, 02:16:43 PM
Monkey can have my sister.  She is stuck over there for two more years, whereas I will only be visiting.  Har-har.
Title: Re: monkey
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 02:17:27 PM
Quote from: zerda
Monkey can have my sister.  She is stuck over there for two more years, whereas I will only be visiting.  Har-har.


Oh god. Two.

Kiss your sister goodbye. "I hardly knew ye," and all that.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 02:21:59 PM
Zerda's going to the rebel south.  Darkest Mexico.  You couldn't pay Monkey to cross the border unless he was tossing Union Jack painted bombs.  RED HAND!
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 02:26:25 PM
Oh- I know nothing about Ireland. IRA and all that. Basically all I know is: Guinness and Methody Girls. I couldn't find Ireland on a map of Ireland.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 11, 2005, 02:31:24 PM
My favorite pieces though in the Nonrequired 2003 and 2004 are the long nonfiction articles, pertaining to the Womyn's Festival and Mark Bowden's "Tales of the Tyrant". Those were amazing.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 02:40:31 PM
Let me brag:

I'm interning at 826 Valencia next summer.

Actually, it might not be straight "interning" because I don't know what I'm doing yet. Mopping floors, kicking children, massaging Dave Egger's feet. Who knows? Regardless: Names. Connections. Oh do you think you can have a look at my little lit mag and oh yes I would love for you to submit something Mr. Famous Lit Author.

Stuff like that.

I also have to figure out how to live on something like $20 and a nickel per week. YMCA, hostels, sneaking in to Egger's house, stealing bagels, and working the street corners as a ladyboy.

It's going to fucking rule.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 11, 2005, 02:56:28 PM
Quote from: Tyson
Let me brag:

I'm interning at 826 Valencia next summer.

Actually, it might not be straight "interning" because I don't know what I'm doing yet. Mopping floors, kicking children, massaging Dave Egger's feet. Who knows? Regardless: Names. Connections. Oh do you think you can have a look at my little lit mag and oh yes I would love for you to submit something Mr. Famous Lit Author.

Stuff like that.

I also have to figure out how to live on something like $20 and a nickel per week. YMCA, hostels, sneaking in to Egger's house, stealing bagels, and working the street corners as a ladyboy.

It's going to fucking rule.


Fuck you, you fucking fuck.

Fuck.

You fucker.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 02:58:53 PM
Don't worry.  They'll put him in a corner with a million manuscripts and he'll see no one outside of a handshake and the goodbye interns lunch.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 03:05:53 PM
As long as I can sneak a peek at Egger's wife's boobs, I'll be ok.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on July 11, 2005, 04:31:52 PM
Quote from: Tyson
Let me brag:

I'm interning at 826 Valencia next summer.

Actually, it might not be straight "interning" because I don't know what I'm doing yet. Mopping floors, kicking children, massaging Dave Egger's feet. Who knows? Regardless: Names. Connections. Oh do you think you can have a look at my little lit mag and oh yes I would love for you to submit something Mr. Famous Lit Author.

Stuff like that.

I also have to figure out how to live on something like $20 and a nickel per week. YMCA, hostels, sneaking in to Egger's house, stealing bagels, and working the street corners as a ladyboy.

It's going to fucking rule.


Dude, that fucking rules!

Cunt.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Goblin_Queen on July 11, 2005, 05:33:44 PM
Quote from: Tyson
Actually I can't stand hardbacks. I own... Not a single hardback. None. Wait... Bill Clinton's masterpiece. Yeah, that's it.

Softcover books are bliss. Hardcover books are like reading a stack of bricks.


I love hardbacks!  I'll admit, it's hell to carry them around, but it's totally worth it.  There's just something about them.  Maybe it's the weight and solidness that makes reading so much more engaging.  I also think hardcover books are beautiful.  I think it started with my infatuation of our encyclopedia collection when I was little.  One day I hope to own a few antique books.  Are there still books from before the printing press that I can own?  I'd give all my toes for one.  Can you say bibliophile?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 11, 2005, 05:40:13 PM
Okay, Tyson, spill: how did you get the internship?

You fucking cunt.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 08:34:35 PM
So, you all remember a few months ago when I flipped out because Dave Eggers came to CalPoly? I went to the reading, it was fucking amazing, and I waited in line for half an hour to give him some copies of EM and have him sign my books. I asked him about 826 Valencia and he gave me an e-mail address to someone in 826.

And I e-mailed the following letter:

(Mind you, this was when I was going to change to English and when I wasn't fucking blocked all the time. I'm writing that novel this November, I hope.)

Quote
I saw Dave Eggers at the reading he gave here at CalPoly last Thursday and I asked him about internships (826 Valencia and otherwise). He gave me your e-mail address (right in my copy of "You Shall Know Our Velocity"!) and told me that you'd be the one to talk to about internships at 826 Valencia.

About Me: I am a dashingly young and whimsically handsome sophomore college kid trying to change my major from Computer Science to English. I'm doing this because I love words. I love all of them. I'm currently attending CalPoly down in the belly button of California in San Luis Obispo. I race in triathlons and publish my own literature 'zine that has a readership of a handful but hopes of millions. I secretly dream of being a famous novelist, but I don't tell anyone that.

About You: Perhaps you need someone to tutor and mentor young geniuses in the art of 'zine creation, desktop publishing, or fast mouse clicking. Perhaps you need someone to stand around and look important. Or perhaps you need someone to mop the floors and change the light-bulbs. I wouldn't presume to know what you need, but I have a feeling I fit in there somewhere.

What's In It For Me: I would get to surround myself with masses of people as passionate about writing as I am. I would get to help people instead of writing software for the military, which is what I do right now. I would, if nothing else, get that warm feeling from helping people and seeing them smile.

What's In It For You: You would be securing the services of one of the most versatile young men in the country, me. You'd enjoy many laughs at my expense.

I know you're probably full for this summer. Next summer (the summer of 2006) I will be available if you should need me. Let me know if you think I would be a valuable addition to 826 Valencia. I certainly think I would be.

-Tyson Tate

P.S. I have a regular resume available, if you want it.


And after some e-mail correspondence back and forth, the deal is mostly good to go. I need to go visit the place before next summer. Then I show up on their doorstep homeless next summer and chase little children around with a broom.

They still need more interns, Matt. If you're willing to commit to living in S.F. next summer and working for no pay, I could probably get your name in. I'm doing it on a shoestring, and I think I can pull it off.

E-mail me: entropymag@gmail.com
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 11, 2005, 08:52:39 PM
Quote from: Goblin_Queen
I love hardbacks!


I bet you do, Queenie. I bet you do.

***Note: RC is in total disbelief that he innuendoed the Queen! What would Senator Goldwater say?***

EDIT: Oh, and congrats Tyson. That's friggin' awesome. Tell Nacho to fuck off for trying to rain on your parade and then ask him why the past few GS articles have been about nothing but sex.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 08:56:57 PM
Quote from: RottingCorpse
and then ask him why the past few GS articles have been about nothing but sex.


You mean the past few since 2001?

Also, you'll fail Tyson.  I bet you'll get there and it'll be a fake address and an empty warehouse and your head will fall off because you crack your neck and you'll crash your car and spill your coffee.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 08:58:23 PM
Quote from: nacho
Quote from: RottingCorpse
and then ask him why the past few GS articles have been about nothing but sex.


You mean the past few since 2001?

Also, you'll fail Tyson.  I bet you'll get there and it'll be a fake address and an empty warehouse and your head will fall off because you crack your neck and you'll crash your car and spill your coffee.


Then I'd have a fantastic fucking novel idea!
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 09:01:45 PM
Quote from: Tyson


Then I'd have a fantastic fucking novel idea!


That's got Nick Cage all over it, too, doesn't it?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 11, 2005, 09:02:00 PM
Quote from: nacho
Quote from: RottingCorpse
and then ask him why the past few GS articles have been about nothing but sex.


You mean the past few since 2001?



Yeah, but it's like thick with deviant sex and masturbnation, not that there's anything wrong with that, but  . . . somebody should write something.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 09:04:54 PM
Quote from: RottingCorpse


Yeah, but it's like thick with deviant sex and masturbnation, not that there's anything wrong with that, but  . . . somebody should write something.


I could go moony lovestruck, if you want.  Or the always famous Murder on the Nacho Express.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 11, 2005, 09:14:21 PM
I think anal sex would somehow creep in.

Wre need some OBL, and some high speed Nubbins adventure, and moody Cass, and RC's elitest film BS. We need to shake it up. Of course, that means me getting off my ass and writing something too.

Whatever, it's summer.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 09:18:03 PM
Quote from: RottingCorpse
I think anal sex would somehow creep in.

Wre need some OBL, and some high speed Nubbins adventure, and moody Cass, and RC's elitest film BS. We need to shake it up. Of course, that means me getting off my ass and writing something too.

Whatever, it's summer.


Cass is on assignment.  Nubbins does, actually, owe me more Riderman.  I'm distracted by a general writers block.  And, yes, you're lazy.

There's a continuation to "Ebb" around here somewhere.  

OBL comes when he feels like it.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on July 11, 2005, 09:19:40 PM
Quote from: RottingCorpse
I think anal sex would somehow creep in.

Wre need some OBL, and some high speed Nubbins adventure, and moody Cass, and RC's elitest film BS. We need to shake it up. Of course, that means me getting off my ass and writing something too.

Whatever, it's summer.


I decided that my high speed adventure isn't really that exciting... at least to read about.  I mean, initially my goals were pretty lofty and I wanted to update every week, but it's hard to write anything interesting about that stuff because it requires too much backstory information to make it comprehensible to people who aren't involved... does that make sense?  I dunno... also, most weekends are pretty routine and I seriously doubt there is anyone interested in reading update after update of "Went to track.  Guys rode in circles really fast!  We won!  The end."
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 11, 2005, 09:21:44 PM
I just remember some mention about the server being changed because of poularity. Rather than the content of the articles, I just wish we had stuff going up more often if new people are coming in. Especially when I get the writing bug up my ass in September like I always do.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 09:49:34 PM
Quote from: nacho
Quote from: Tyson


Then I'd have a fantastic fucking novel idea!


That's got Nick Cage all over it, too, doesn't it?


Leaving Las Vegas and Bringing Out the Dead were awesome. I like Cage - he's doing some fun stuff.

He's doing Philip K. Dick's "Next" and a few really interesting-sounding movies.

And fuck. I ate that little sticker on the apple. Ack! Is it digestible? I hope...
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2005, 09:55:26 PM
cancer
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Goblin_Queen on July 11, 2005, 11:37:10 PM
Quote from: nacho
cancer


It would be so fucking funny if Mr. Triathlon died of cancer from the sticker on an apple.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ok, maybe I'm the only one who thinks so.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 11, 2005, 11:50:52 PM
I think I have a cyst on my neck. Can someone look?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 12, 2005, 12:04:44 AM
Tyson's a triathlete?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Goblin_Queen on July 12, 2005, 12:39:47 AM
Quote from: RottingCorpse
Tyson's a triathlete?


No, he's a triathlon.  Like I said.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on July 12, 2005, 12:42:54 AM
Quote from: RottingCorpse
Tyson's a triathlete?


Sarcasm?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 07, 2005, 11:38:16 AM
bump
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on August 07, 2005, 12:54:31 PM
I'm devouring the art theory issue of Adbusters right now. I *heart* Adbusters. You should all subscribe. FIGHT THE MAN! SMASH THE SYSTEM!

http://adbusters.org/home/

Other than that, most everything I own is packed in boxes even though I have three weeks left until I move out. So I'll probably go to the bookstore here in a week and, *gasp*, buy yet another goddamn book.

Edit: Guess who's art work is on the cover? Bansky's.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: zerda on August 07, 2005, 09:00:26 PM
This Adbusters is the best.  I got a lot of angry stares when I laughed my ass off while reading it during quiet time at the library.  No recess for Zerda.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 10, 2005, 06:00:58 PM
Oh look, we can be Booker Prize whores.  Or not, actually.  Snore!  

The Longlist has been announced:



The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw

The Sea by John Banville

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

Slow Man by JM Coetzee

In the Fold by Rachel Cusk

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

All For Love by Dan Jacobson

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel

Saturday by Ian McEwan

The People’s Act of Love by James Meek

Shalimar The Clown by Salman Rushdie

The Accidental by Ali Smith

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

This Thing Of Darkness by Harry Thompson

This Is The Country by William Wall
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on August 10, 2005, 07:00:53 PM
Playboy... Dudes, I read it for the articles.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 10, 2005, 08:16:17 PM
Quote from: Nubbins
Playboy... Dudes, I read it for the articles.


To any author, that's not a joke.  Big deal to get published in Playboy.  Biiig deal.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on August 10, 2005, 08:28:14 PM
In fact it *does* have really good articles. Or at least the old ones did. When my grandmother died, we cleaned out her garage and found boxes and boxes of classic Playboys from the 60s and 70s. They were from my grandpa, I'm sure. I spent days reading through them.

And yes, in those days, they were primarily reading material with about 4 pages of nudes. They were nice nudes too. Natural and all that.

Interviews with Carlin! King's old work! Babes!

(http://www.fallingbullets.com/wp-content/playboys.jpg)
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on August 10, 2005, 08:36:14 PM
No doubt.  I have a subscription and the articles are still killer.  Their interviews are always amazing too... a few months ago they interviewed James Spader, that's the best one I've read so far.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 25, 2005, 05:35:06 PM
Okay, everybody check in:

I'm reading "The House Next Door" by Anne Rivers Siddons. The story is great, but Siddons's prose makes her sound like the most self-important upper-middle class bitch I've ever come across. Of course, it was written in the self-important 70s, so . . .
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 25, 2005, 05:48:18 PM
Out by Natsuo Kirino.  Assembly line girls slice up men, eat compulsively, and learn to realize their feminism in lower middle class Japan.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on August 25, 2005, 05:49:49 PM
Working on "Still Life with Woodpecker" by Tom Robbins. Man, I love every line. Beautiful, simply beautiful. Every line is crammed with beauty, man.

I'm reading at a snail's pace though. Too busy, etc etc.

I've got "Half Empty" by Tim Hall lined up, too.

Other than that, the usual magazines: Jesus Weekly (a.k.a. Time Magazine), Adbusters, and snot rags.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on August 25, 2005, 09:46:34 PM
David Francis' The Great Inland Sea. It's...it's...it's. Well just read it, it's great.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 25, 2005, 11:43:15 PM
I'm going to pick up a copy of How To Make Love: The Bruce Campbell Way I think since Campbell's going to be in Iowa City for a signing this Sunday. Anyone second this, or do you think it's a bad idea?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: yotoc on August 26, 2005, 07:13:52 AM
Quote from: Matt
I'm going to pick up a copy of How To Make Love: The Bruce Campbell Way I think since Campbell's going to be in Iowa City for a signing this Sunday. Anyone second this, or do you think it's a bad idea?


You'd be stupid not to.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: zerda on August 26, 2005, 07:49:39 AM
I just finished The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  The characters vary wildly and their interactions are subtle and fascinating, but just as I was getting attached to them, the story ended.  The book was just too short.  There was real potential for a knock-down drag-out tragedy (my favorite form,) but instead it reads as a mild romantic novelette.  The characters alone make it worth reading, but don't expect all the loose ends to be tied up.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 28, 2005, 03:03:35 PM
So I've got a copy each of Bruce Campbell's books, and I'm going to head out in 20 minutes or so to the book signing/reading.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 31, 2005, 10:32:07 PM
I picked up some copies of the Iowa Review.

Since I'm like, in Iowa.

And I've seen the trailer for the movie version of Everything Is Illuminated. Has anyone read the book? Is it decent? How about the guy I keep confusing Jonathan Safran Foer with, Jonathan Franzen. Is he good? Vernon God Little is on sale, hardback for like $6 at Prairie Lights. Should I get a copy? How about Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 31, 2005, 10:35:20 PM
Vernon God Little is fun.  Worth the read.

Campaign Trail is a little tough to get through, but it's great if you want to know about that era through the sunglasses of HST.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on August 31, 2005, 11:08:17 PM
Everything Is Illuminated is a really fun read. It's very different and very post-modern. I liked it lots.

The movie should be fun.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 31, 2005, 11:58:43 PM
I've got a copy of The Great Shark Hunt...does this have a copy of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail already in it, as part 2?
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 01, 2005, 10:37:20 AM
No.  Though he often writes about writing about 72.  F&L 72 is his stint following Nixon around.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on September 01, 2005, 08:09:28 PM
I've been hitting up different comics recently. Here's one that describes the party life around here:

http://www.ingredientx.com/weekly/tme_082805.html
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on September 12, 2005, 10:34:55 PM
I dug through the incomprehensible sorting system at U of Iowa's library today before my 12:30 lecture to find Glen Duncan's I, Lucifer. Fucking glorious. I love things told from a demonic perspective, especially Lucifer's. There's such revelry in their evil, seductiveness, in everything dirty and foul and shameful, and it's told in such deliciousness.

Plus it's the first book in ages where I've actually had to look up words. Fucking English.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on September 12, 2005, 11:08:02 PM
I am reading the The Unbearable Lightness of Peeing by Dave Eggars... the manchild is an unabashed genius of adoslescentish observation.  His powers of sock sliding are unparalleled.*
























*drinking
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on September 12, 2005, 11:11:10 PM
Why don't you two just kiss and get it over with.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on September 12, 2005, 11:13:54 PM
Quote from: jreale
Why don't you two just kiss and get it over with.


ewww, Jody!  Man-kissing is gross/illegal in this state!
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 12, 2005, 11:17:20 PM
If you guys want to slow dance or something, I'll leave the room.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on September 12, 2005, 11:36:54 PM
Me and Nubbins?


Ewww.




Too much facial hair.  :pukeleft:
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on September 12, 2005, 11:47:18 PM
Quote from: Matt
Me and Nubbins?


Ewww.




Too much facial hair.  :pukeleft:


You cannot fight that which is DESTINY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Been a whole lot easier since the bitch left town
Been a whole lot happier without her face around
Nobody upstairs gonna stomp and shout,
Nobody at the back door gonna throw my laundry out
She hold the shotgun while you do-si-do
She want one man made of Hercules and Cyrano
Been a whole lot easier since the bitch is gone
Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong

Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong
Ain't nobody gonna bow no more when you sound your gong.
Little miss, little miss, little miss can't be wrong
What'cha gonna do to get into another one of these rock 'n' roll
songs?

Other peoples' thoughts they ain't your hand-me-downs
Would it be so bad to simply turn around
You cook so well, all nice and French
You do you brain surgery too, with a monkey wrench

Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong...

I hope those cigarettes gonna make you cough
Hope you hear this song and it pissed you off
I take that back I hope your doing fine
And if I had a dollar I might give you ninety-nine

Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong....
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on September 13, 2005, 12:27:13 AM
HAHAHA!

Ah. Ha.  Haha.


Now that that's over, I was talking about Nubbins and Eggers, but if you want to jump in there, too, Matt, I love watching group g a y sex.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 13, 2005, 12:41:35 AM
Dave Eggers will be guesting in our new Fey Writing Only thread at 9pm on Thursday.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on September 13, 2005, 01:37:49 AM
Somehow this reminds me: I got an anal sex picture for Nacho from the tardathlon. Just for nacho! See, I saw it, and I thought "Nacho would love this". So I took a picture.

I'll post later tonight or something.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on September 28, 2005, 03:03:58 AM
Just picked up Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005. Not as good as 2004 so far, but I'm only three pieces in.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 28, 2005, 02:28:08 PM
currently rereading Watchmen by Alan Moore.  If you have not read this, please shoot yourself in the face or go buy a copy.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Tyson on October 28, 2005, 02:35:56 PM
Oh! Forgot about this thread.

So:

McSweeney's 16, which has some amazing stories. I wish I could afford to subscribe to McSweeney's. Regardless of your opinions on Eggers, this quarterly is the best there is.

Also- Bonfire of the Vanities. I'm only two chapters in, but it's turing out to be a nice read. A good change from the dense novels I've been reading.

I'm going to follow those up with Dante's Divine Comedy. I have a regular translation, but I really want a new verse translation so I can spend more time getting in to the sotry than weeding through the dense prose.

Also, I got Frey's A Million Little Pieces shortly after it came out and loved it to death. Now it's on Oprah's list. I feel cheated and betrayed. *sob*

Frey's got a new novel coming out soon, too, I think.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 28, 2005, 03:03:28 PM
currently rereading Watchmen by Alan Moore.  If you have not read this, please shoot yourself in the face or go buy a copy.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on October 28, 2005, 03:09:41 PM
I own it. I've read it.

I finished up The Great Shark Hunt and now I'm digging into Generation of Swine. It's a different feel for HST. After this I think I'll take a trip backt o read F&L '72. Either that or keep going with Songs of the Doomed.

Either way, you guys were all right about now being able to have so much free time to read. When I go home, I'm packing most of my library to take back too. Whittle it down to HST, my journalism books(On Writing Well/AP Style Guide), dictionaries, my Tao Te Ching.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 28, 2005, 04:10:17 PM
if you read all the gonzo papers in a row, you'll be supremely enlightened, but your head may explode.  But '72 is my second favorite book of his.  it's immense and amazing.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 28, 2005, 06:58:23 PM
Quote from: Matt
/AP Style Guide


Instant AP flashback!  Now I can fall to the floor screaming about the 10am and 3pm deadlines.  God.

I'm on a Yarbro book now.  Give me my Saint Germain!  I'm a fag.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on October 28, 2005, 08:49:25 PM
Quote from: nacho
I'm on a Yarbro book now.  Give me my Saint Germain!  I'm a lit mag.


Saint Germain the fusion band?  Or am I being dumb again.

recent reading: Fledgeling, Octavia E. Butler's latest.  (finished)  It's her first vampire book -- good for that genre not my favorite of hers.  Everyone here should probably start with Bloodchild, and then move up to the Parable series (societal decay/slow appocalypse) and then the Patternist series (wicked cool telepaths).

I just picked up her 2nd edition Bloodchild, which has 2 new stories since I read the 1st edition.

I also picked McSweeney's icelandic + roddy doyle issue back up and am nearly through it.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on October 28, 2005, 08:54:14 PM
Quote from: Tyson
McSweeney's 16, which has some amazing stories. I wish I could afford to subscribe to McSweeney's. Regardless of your opinions on Eggers, this quarterly is the best there is.


Cool!  Another Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Review fan!  I'm subscribed but I can't always find the time to finish them all -- right now I'm about 2/3 to 5/6 done with the last 3 issues but I can't quite finish them off.  Part of my problem is that the books themselves are such works of art that I can't just drag them around to all my favorite greasy spoon diners in my grubby hands or they'll get all shabby.  Carrying around the mystic looking black pleather bound with gold leaf issue did help start some conversations with some pretty women.  I finished that one pretty fast, partly because that pleather was so durable.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 29, 2005, 05:28:36 AM
2/3 to 5/6? that's too much math for a drunk like me. speak english, boy.  tongue! tongue!
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on October 29, 2005, 05:53:08 AM
I nearly edited it to read "66% to 80%" but.. oh whatever.  I feel books in fractions, not percents.  

So, what are you drinking?  The CNN indictment replays are winding down, becoming twisted and derivative.  I'm considering switching from whiskey to beer.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 29, 2005, 10:55:40 AM
Quote from: fajwat
Quote from: nacho
I'm on a Yarbro book now.  Give me my Saint Germain!  I'm a lit mag.


Saint Germain the fusion band?  Or am I being dumb again.

.


chelsea quinn yarbro and her vampire... She's on book 20 or so.  She's Anne Rice for smart people who like good writing, characters and a story.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on November 03, 2005, 06:21:15 PM
Nacho's right; Songs of the Doomed is one of his best. I'm not even forty pages in. This shit is amazing.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 03, 2005, 06:30:53 PM
Quote from: Matt
Nacho's right; Songs of the Doomed is one of his best. I'm not even forty pages in. This shit is amazing.


And Kingdom of Fear right after, which is (more or less) about writing Songs of the Doomed.  It's one of the recent, but the bulk of it is letters around the SotD period.  It puts Songs in perspective.

So, let's tie someone to a tree and play hurricane!
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on November 03, 2005, 06:41:24 PM
I just picked up Kingdom of Fear Monday night, so I'll chase down SotD with KoF.
Title: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on November 03, 2005, 06:48:38 PM
Okay, I just finished reading his description of "Kemp" and HST's first real major interview with a newspaper. Goddamn. I liked HST before. I respected him. But now I fucking love him.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on November 15, 2005, 05:06:11 PM
One of my favorite authors is interviewed by Amy Goodman/Democracy Now.  It's Octavia's "Devil Girl from Mars" which reminded me of GS.

transcript, vid and mp3 (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/11/158201")
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/11/158201

Quote
JUAN GONZALEZ: How did you first start writing science fiction? ...

OCTAVIA BUTLER: Oh, I think I loved it because, well, I fell into writing it because I saw a bad movie -- a movie called Devil Girl From Mars -- and went into competition with it. But I think I stayed with it because it was so wide open, it gave me the chance to comment on every aspect of humanity. People tend to think of science fiction as, oh, Star Wars or Star Trek, and the truth is there are no closed doors, and there are no required formulas. You can go anywhere with it.

AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Octavia Butler, her latest book is Fledgling, wrote the Parable series. As Katrina was happening, in the aftermath of Katrina, a lot of people were talking about Octavia Butler and how the Parable series made them think about that. Explain.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 03, 2005, 02:56:57 PM
Giving this thread a bump so I can troll around for shit to add to the SFWP books section:

http://sfwp.org/books+main.html

Been quiet there for months, but the lit journal is getting new life starting this month...and we constantly make a few dollars a month off of that tiny list of suggested reading.  So if 27 books make $3 a month on an inactive page, how much will 100 books make on an active page?

Anyway, keep this thread in mind for when you hit a new book, or want to suggest shit.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 06, 2005, 11:22:49 PM
I'll do you one better and put up a year-end retrospective!

books I read in between personal fiascoes and natural disasters, by Cassander:

The Old, Weird America by Greil Marcus: Book about Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes, made with the Band shortly after his motorcycle accident.  Great album, great book.  Anyone who gives you that old "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture!" bullshit has obviously never read Greil Marcus.

Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore: his first novel about, well, the history of Northampton from whenever BC (the first story, told from the first-person by a slightly retarded hunter/gatherer abandoned by his tribe is worth the price of admission alone) to the present...genuinely creepy and, since he's Alan Moore, intelligently written.

Underworld by Don Delillo.  The end all be all.  Can also be used to thwart crack addicts that break into your home (900 pages).

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I re-read it every two years.  Phenomenal.  What's not to love about Freudian psychology in action in the Alps and silent movie stars on the Riviera?

Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron...a graphic novel, but it's awesome.  Daniel Clowes' masterpiece.  Y'know...the guy who did Ghost World?  Surreal/folk story featuring a dog with no orifices!

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: bad, but it got me through a time when i needed some easy reading. 

Nick Mason's Pink Floyd autobiography thing.  The drummer from Pink Floyd glosses over a few details, I'm sure, but provides a great overview in an absolutely beautiful book (lots of great photos).  I should put this one on my christmas list! 

Rules of Attraction by Bret Brettston Bellis.  The most depressing book I've ever read.  And I've read Nacho's unpublished novels!  badump-ching.  all kidding aside, brutal and brilliant.

So there you have it!  read them all and you can be as smart as me is!

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 07, 2005, 08:52:13 AM
Some good additions to the list there.  Thank you Cassiebander.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 07, 2005, 06:38:09 PM
cassie whatsis?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on December 12, 2005, 08:03:01 PM
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, fiction shorts, ZZ Packer
Welcome to the Monkey House, essays and short fiction, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Player Piano, (debut) novel, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
no need to recommend slaughterhouse 5
The Bone People, (debut) novel, Keri Hulme  -- alcoholism, character flaws, spooky people and child abuse set in NZ's beaches.  What's not to like?

eh, i've been reading middling novels and trying to keep up with my periodicals this year.  These are all from last year.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on December 12, 2005, 08:10:11 PM
actually, after the firebombing of fallujah, yeah, i do explicitly recommend Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 12, 2005, 11:04:20 PM
bone people is awesome.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on May 28, 2006, 06:06:19 PM
I've been able to focus easier, and I greatly prefer reading in the grass in sunlight to hunching into artificial light. This has allowed me to finish a few books I'd been struggling through. In order of completion, here are the ones I remember. (I think it's complete.)

I think Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere started me reading again; excellent book. It's quite different from his American Gods in a couple of ways but I found them to be more similar than the other books of his I've read so far, and I think they're tied for my favorite. It was also nice to read Neverwhere alongside Quicksilver, since they covered similar periods in London.

Robert Heinlein's The Door into Summer was fun. It's a basic time travel story, but well written. Copyrighted in 1956, I find its plot, now passe, to feel familiar and basic but its approach feels fresh. I like old sci-fi, partly because the years since publication provide an extra layer to examine the book against.

Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver was good. I bought the second one last week; haven't started it yet.

Vonnegut's latest essay book, Man Without a Country, was one his few books I'd not yet read. It's a good summary of his philosophy and an easy read. He selected a few themes from his previously written thoughts and distilled them to a few key arguments and anecdotes and relates them to current events. It's my new recommendation for readers new to Vonnegut who hunger for politics more than sci-fi.

Octavia Butler's Survivor was published in 1979, after which she renounced the book saying she wish it'd never been published. In the weeks after she died I bought a readable but fragile paperback and I finally finished it today. I've got a copy of my critique -- it's not as good as her other stuff, but having read everything else I'm glad to have this flawed work since it's still worlds better than most sci-fi.  Actually I have missed reading one or two of her uncollected short stories but have read everything else, most of it twice or more. She and Vonnegut are the only authors whose work I've tried to collect and read in its entirety.

I finished Pudd'nhead Wilson (Mark Twain) last week.  I appreciated some of his more surreal observations and I'm glad to have read it but I was getting bogged down.

Now I have two sci-fi (Dahlgren, by Delany, and Neil Stephenson's sequel to Quicksilver) and a couple of non-sci-fi books laying around asking me to choose one or two.. grrrmph.  And I can't locate my copy of Dahlgren so Stephenson's Confusion it is.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on May 28, 2006, 07:43:24 PM
I read through Fast Food Nation, now I'm working on Bukowski's Women and reading through various comic books I've downloaded.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 30, 2006, 08:57:30 AM
Recently finished Hiroshima and Survivor (Palahniuk).

Currently reading On Becoming Babywise due to the mid-August ETA of my second child.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on May 30, 2006, 10:56:02 AM
How was Palahniuk?  Is Survivor the one that contains the excerpt I read of the "serial killer" of homeless people?  I haven't read anything of his, and I've heard (from people here, I think) that some of his stuff is a bit more self-indulgent than it is good.

Congrats on your second procreation; I hope all goes well.  (According to the book, how many mistakes have you made with your first?  :razz:)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 30, 2006, 11:31:38 AM
Survivor was a bit slow starting, gripping in the middle, and ended nicely.

This is my second Palahnuik book.  I liked it a lot better than the first one that I read (Diary), which was just depressing.  Not that Survivor is happy reading, but there are some nice moments.

Thanks for the well-wishes on the impending daughter.  We started using Babywise theories (about sleeping/eating schedules) after about 4-5 months with my son, Christopher.  He responded really well to it...and we very much enjoyed having him sleep through the night.  Hopefully we've been able to minimize all emotional scarring so far!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on May 30, 2006, 12:15:25 PM
Lullaby was pretty good, but I'm still partial to Fight Club. FC is one of the best books of the past 20 years, IMHO.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on May 30, 2006, 12:54:53 PM
Read some Bret Easton Ellis, Tyson. Specifically, Rules of Attraction and Less than Zero. They blow Palahniuk away.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 21, 2006, 09:30:07 AM
Palahniuk is a hack, existing solely thanks to Fight Club (which wasn't really like the book, anyway).  I keep saying this, but people keep struggling painfully through his books in the hopes there's a ray of hope.

Vacation reading for me:  Yet another of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's vampire books.  Path of the Eclipse.  God help me.  I loved it, though.  I love all of her books.  Murakami's South of the Border, West of the Sun.  He's always a winner.  His latest -- Birthday Stories -- is sold very carefully as the latest book but, really, is a collection of stories from other authors introduced by him.  Sneaky marketing.  Some are okay, though.

Also hit The Algebraist by Iain Banks.  An astounding launching pad for an entirely new sci-fi universe for him to muck around in when the Culture books start to bug him.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 21, 2006, 12:10:38 PM
Hey, even retards utter intelligent things now and then. I still maintain that FC was an excellent book. Sure, Chuck's "voice" is the same through all his books, but he's an interesting writer and I enjoy his perverse machinations.

Then again, I haven't read Haunted yet to see if he's entered some horrible death spiral.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 21, 2006, 01:01:58 PM
When you grow out of your oohh bad boy writer fixation, you'll see the light.  I know!  I'm going to write ham-handed, two dimensional trash that challenges modern society (hunting season for fish in barrels begins at 9am) and say how hard it is and how I did the writing in tiny notebooks while hopping from an endless succession of minimum wage slob jobs JUST LIKE YOU BOYS AND GIRLS!! and then roll in the money that comes in.  Suck down my 12% of $15 on one million copies sold to America's misguided, idly credit card rich youth culture that spends day-in day-out desperately waiting for a corporate logo of their choice to tell them when it's okay to take a shit.  Bishop takes Queen, checkmate.  It's been a year.  Time to buy new shoes.  Buy the $100 ones.  Then maybe the ads will stop.  Maybe the pressure will stop.  Maybe Iraq will just fucking go away.  Hey, America, I'm an angry 30 year old writer!  How dare they change the color of the concrete on this section of sidewalk, huh?  I think about it every day.  Fight, fight, fight!  (Within reason, of course.)  Death to America!  (a movie tie-in edition for $8, brought to you by Sony Pictures and ChemCo, limited.)

I didn't sell myself out, America!  It's how I get to you!  Look, maybe I made a million on that last book, but it was really hard!  And it's not like I made a million, really.  It was all taxed.  Just like your $28,000 was taxed.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on June 21, 2006, 01:39:24 PM
Palahniuk's shittiness aside (there's a Facebook group at Iowa called "I fucking hate Chuck Palahniuk"), I just finished reading Project Censored, 2000 Edition, Noam Chomsky's 9-11, and I'm about 140 pages through Seymour Hersh's Chain of Command. Fascinating material. I've learned that our bombing of Kosovo was mostly bullshit, Chomsky's predictions about the United States increasingly losing civil liberties were wrong, and that Seymour Hersh is basically the best investigative reporter ever.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 02, 2006, 11:09:07 PM
Okay.. digging back since http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php?topic=340.msg21444#msg21444

Stephenson's Confusion is extremely bogged down with descriptions.  His most bogged down novel yet -- and that's saying something.  It hurt me doubly since I really don't know or care much about the Baroque period or how Duchesses are supposed to have behaved.  He keeps up the economy/currency kick but the cryptography is basically taken for granted.

The Demolished Man (1951) by Alfred Bester.  Good pick from Nacho. 

Fatal Light by Richard Currey rocked.  I reviewed it elsewhere here.
Crossing Over by Richard Currey is as good or better.  I'm not sure yet because my head exploded on page thirteen, leaving me enough grey matter to read 2-4 page chunks, meaning I'm still only 1/2 way through the book.

I'm currently reading Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren (1974) -- and this book is seriously warped.  Starts in the middle of a sentence; protagonist can't remember his name.  You're dropped right into a new situation that none of the characters themselves understand.  Delany, however, is able to pull me deep into this world without pacifying me with explanations, which makes it a good novel for me to detox from Stephenson.  --- earlier this year I'd read his Empire Star + Babel 17 compilation.  While those two novels don't feel quite completely "finished" in the way I expected, they're certainly complete enough and very creative.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 02, 2006, 11:15:52 PM


Fatal Light by Richard Currey rocked.  I reviewed it elsewhere here.
Crossing Over by Richard Currey is as good or better.  I'm not sure yet because my head exploded on page thirteen, leaving me enough grey matter to read 2-4 page chunks, meaning I'm still only 1/2 way through the book.


Oh!  Advertise SFWP!  We have Fatal Light... Crossing Over remains in print -- 26 years and running!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 02, 2006, 11:28:03 PM
funny -- I just searched and while I mentioned reading it I didn't say how good it was.  I wonder if I reviewed it elsewhere..?  Hm.  Anyhow, Fatal Light is an awesome book.  It started me off in WV, very slow summer laid back haze of family.  It took me until about halfway through his Vietnam tour to wake up and say, "WHAT?!?!  Wait, what the heck just happened?"  The rest of the book I'm unraveling the sweet slick prose and realizing what the events meant.  Currey times it perfectly, such that I'd remember and try to process something at the same time the protagonist was waking up and dealing with the same facts.  Anyhow, last half the book for me felt like I was on a sled into hell, with a big ass snowball balling up hot on my tail.

But in a very sober, non-Scooby Do kinda way. 

Possibly the most gentle and harshest Vietnam books I've read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 02, 2006, 11:39:10 PM
I'll be making a Fatal Light forum in a few weeks, when it's announced at sfwp.com.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 02, 2006, 11:42:34 PM
so...since i'm paying full price for Moody, how about you send me a loaner copy of either of Currey's books, Nach?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 02, 2006, 11:46:00 PM
Fatal Light is a couple bucks on Amazon used.  We'll have an intro and some new content, though.  Crossing Over is published by another company... Can't help you there. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 03, 2006, 12:20:26 AM
but...you have a copy, no?  something i could, you know, borrow?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 03, 2006, 12:22:00 AM
I'll get in touch with you!  Special consideration for a Talking Heads man.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 03, 2006, 12:24:53 AM
are you having gmail technical difficulties? i am.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 03, 2006, 02:32:08 AM
I've been having trouble bringing up the gmail main page (post-login) for a couple of days now -- this is true on both work computers and my home one.  You too or some other problem?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on August 03, 2006, 11:47:37 AM
Gmail's working fine for me.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Goblin_Queen on August 03, 2006, 05:46:25 PM
I'm not reading anything.  Ok, well I'm reading some stupid book a cute guy in the book store reccomended, but I've taken an extended break from it.  I think nacho should send me more free books.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 03, 2006, 05:49:57 PM
They're all gone.  The house is cooled. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 04, 2006, 09:29:50 AM
I'm reading Atlas Shrugged...again. 

Maybe this time I'll get to the end.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on August 04, 2006, 12:17:48 PM
"Blue Blood" about the NYPD. God, it's dry writing, but I love police stuff, so I'm liking it so far.

Bang bang! Stop right there, Vinnie!

Eat me, copper! Bang!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 04, 2006, 12:55:21 PM
I'm reading Atlas Shrugged...again. 

Maybe this time I'll get to the end.

I spent two weeks before my senior year reading that. You know, if you skip the John Galt speech, it'll help get you through.

Also, Tyson, if you like police fiction....Gotham Central, bitch.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 04, 2006, 01:11:06 PM
Yeah, supposedly on the audio version of the book Galt's speech is 3 hours long!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 04, 2006, 01:12:46 PM
It feels like ten when you read it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 04, 2006, 01:14:05 PM
God.  Stop reading that stuff.  Only troubled women read that book.  Hem in their pantsuits and cry on the way to work and sit at their little desks for 12 hours, eating tons of doughnuts, hunched over their computers and IM'ing their exhausted and barely tolerant friends for hours about the mysteries of the Great Ayn Rand who Changed Their Lives and Why Did Daddy Make Me Suck His Cock?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 04, 2006, 01:17:14 PM
I don't know. I think Ayn Rand has done a lot for the rapist community.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on August 04, 2006, 01:19:16 PM
So what the hell are all her books about, anyways?

I almost bought some of her books for their crazy scholarship thing back in high school but I fell asleep in the bookstore after reading the first two pages.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 04, 2006, 01:19:26 PM
Which is, of course, why I read it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 04, 2006, 01:20:49 PM
I'm reading "Gog" by Andrew Sinclair at the moment... it's strange.

But I like it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 04, 2006, 01:22:39 PM
Ayn Rand specializes in writing one-story characters who are inhuman in their strength and triumphs as a means for her to convey her personal wordview.

Also, every single strong female character in her books is raped by the male protagonist.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 04, 2006, 01:31:09 PM
Ayn Rand is a stupid cunt.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 05, 2006, 11:47:55 AM
so... someone recommend a CBR reader to me, please?  I think my linux side already has one but I need one for XP.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 05, 2006, 12:01:37 PM
so... someone recommend a CBR reader to me, please?  I think my linux side already has one but I need one for XP.

Get my email?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 05, 2006, 12:08:49 PM
yah, thanks!  Installed and configured.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 07, 2006, 08:40:04 PM
Dhalgren is very densely odd.  It's a lot of fun to read. 

Forgot to mention Warlock Unlocked by Christopher Stacheff in my last post.  I should get/find the rest of that series.  (I read the first Warlock in Spite of Himself four years ago and have only lately had time to resume the series.)  Good mix of humor, light history/politics, fantasy and sci-fi -- and mixing the last two well is rare.   Recommended for all ages, even monkey!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 07, 2006, 11:21:46 PM
Yeah, that series turned me on to witchy girls.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 08, 2006, 03:25:12 PM
Here, I'll give this thread a bump.  Just finished The Prestige by Christopher Priest:

www.christopher-priest.co.uk  GIANT HEAD SHOT

The adaptation was Chris Nolan's latest flick which, in my opinion, was all about Bowie playing Tesla.  But the rest of it was okay, too.  The book, of course, is miles better...and more complicated.  Very enjoyable all around.  And so different from the movie, you don't really have to worry about one or the other ruining the experience.

But Tesla doesn't have as commanding a presence in the book.  That's the one let down.  Bowie's performance, combined with the scenery and the gee-gaw gadgetry of it all, made the (equally short chapter) with Tesla much more enjoyable.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 09, 2006, 12:53:53 AM
i'm reading Joseph Cambell's "The Hero With a Thousand Faces," which i just picked up randomly at a used bookstore.  Really great study of the classic elements of almost any hero story with hundreds and hundreds of obscure myths shown as examples.  Mostly I like finding out how fucked up the aborigines are.  The main thing being they have (or used to have) a coming of age ceremony where the uncles and father of a young boy would dress up as monsters and kidnap him in the middle of the night to circumcise him and all the mothers play along and wail and cry and try to protect him.  a real literal separation from the mother into manhood.  and then a year later they slit the bottom of their penises open to make a symbolic vagina, which sort of represents the dual nature of God, yin and yang, male and female in one, etc.  crazy stuff. 

i think matt said he'd read some campbell.  i recommend it to anyone whose looking to have their brain cells challenged with a lot of deep though crammed into small type. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 09, 2006, 01:02:20 AM
The accompanying PBS special is also well worth watching.  It's on Netflix.  (Power of Myth)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 09, 2006, 01:06:40 AM
oh, it's THAT guy.  yeah.  in the book he really calls out supporters of the Christian myth but in really subtle and snide ways.  he's like, "yep, Christ did this...kind of like this sumerian god did 6,000 years before him."

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on December 09, 2006, 01:45:37 AM
I've been a huge fan of Campbell since the summer before my senior year, when I read and watched The Power of Myth. He was the first guy to inspire a spiritual awakening in me, and my subsequent interest in Buddhism, faith, spirituality, etc. He also did a lot to awaken my interest in other cultures in general... The more I think about it, the more I'm pretty sure he's played a huge fundamental role in my life and development.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 09, 2006, 11:18:15 PM
noice.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on December 25, 2006, 12:56:49 AM
Michael Perry's _Truck: A Love Story_ is a rockin' find.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: jreale on January 17, 2007, 01:49:22 AM
It's harder to like him because he's such a pretty boy, but Goodwillie's _Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time_ is good so far.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 17, 2007, 01:39:29 PM
Oh -- the trailer for book two of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is up:

http://stephenrdonaldson.com/#

Right now I'm reading pure candy -- Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island.  It's strangely irresistible, intelligent, gripping and you can read it in one setting.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on January 17, 2007, 08:02:20 PM
1) what happened to the first book?
2) hit me up with Lahane when... no, wait, I cna't think of a good time right now.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 17, 2007, 08:35:22 PM
I'm reading "The Arabs: Journeys Beyond the Mirage" by David Lamb.

http://www.amazon.com/Arabs-David-Lamb/dp/1400030412/sr=1-1/qid=1169080529/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-3516024-5770311?ie=UTF8&s=books (http://www.amazon.com/Arabs-David-Lamb/dp/1400030412/sr=1-1/qid=1169080529/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-3516024-5770311?ie=UTF8&s=books)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 17, 2007, 11:09:42 PM
1) what happened to the first book?


It's on the bottom shelf.  Unread, as I'm waiting for the whole series.  Especially with a Donaldson series. 

Oh, and, yeah, I'll throw Lehane your way when I'm done.  I got it for a few pennies at Amazon, so it's an old beat up paperback.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 18, 2007, 12:10:53 AM
Currently Reading:

"Haunted" by Palahniuk

Next up:

"Infinite Jest" by Wallace
McSweeney's (various issues)
Best Nonrequired Reading 2006 (never finished)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 18, 2007, 08:36:19 AM
You're always reading Palahniuk.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 18, 2007, 12:18:43 PM
Nah, I'm just taking forever with Haunted. It's getting fucking repetitive.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 18, 2007, 01:27:53 PM
That's because he's a find--->replace author.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 18, 2007, 04:54:22 PM
Haunted could be a great book if he just cut it down to about 50 pages.

All the "short stories" are--surprise!--the same. So cut all but about 3 of them out. Then slice the poems. Those need to go. Then take the "writer's retreat" subplot down to about 15 pages -- no more.

I still had high hopes after Survivor and Fight Club. Dashed, as always.

So: is Infinite Jest any good?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on January 18, 2007, 09:05:01 PM
infinite jest is pathological.  parts of it are incisive and hilarious yet it still requires far too much indulgence and patience.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 18, 2007, 10:26:25 PM
But Dave Eggers wrote the introduction!

(Ok, I actually didn't know he wrote the intro until after I bought it. Eggers alludes to the patience part, but he claims it's worth it. I guess I'll find out.)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 19, 2007, 12:19:00 AM
*Embittered argument about dave eggers ensues.  Nacho and Tyson peter out after three pointless pages.*
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 19, 2007, 12:48:39 AM
I was being sarcastic.

But Eggers is God.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on January 19, 2007, 12:12:55 PM
Prove that God exists.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on January 20, 2007, 03:25:23 PM
You're always reading Palahniuk.

Correction: He's always reading Fight Club. Over and over again.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 21, 2007, 05:08:05 PM
I only read it once.

I could read it again, I suppose.

Also, I am loving Infinite Jest. Great shiz-it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on January 21, 2007, 05:17:21 PM
do me a favor and report your page counts.  this should be amusing.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 21, 2007, 07:44:58 PM
I'm pretty sporadic when it comes to reading. Like, I can only read 5 to 10 pages per night, depending on how much sleep I need to get. And how much homework I have...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on January 21, 2007, 08:39:50 PM
no urgency.  whenever the mood strikes you.  when you hit a good spot, for instance.  I'm curious how a literary Eggers worshiper who hasn't dropped out of college fares with it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 21, 2007, 09:23:33 PM
I don't worship Eggers -- that's all a farce. I just think he's one of the better writers these days. I'm waiting for "What is the What" to hit paperback before I get it.

I'm on page 5 of Infinite Jest. The general writing style is enjoyable, I've found, so I think I'll like this.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2007, 11:53:53 PM
Moved into something that's been collecting dust on my shelf for years.  Bernard Cornwell's take on the Arthur legend:

The Winter King (The Arthur Books #1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312156960?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0312156960)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0312156960" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Cornwell:
Quote
Once upon a time, in a land that was called Britain, these things happened . . . ." well, maybe. The Warlord Trilogy is my attempt to tell the story of Arthur, 'Rex Quondam Rexque Futurus', the Once and Future King, although I doubt he ever was a king. I suspect he was a great warlord of the sixth century. Nennius, who was one of the earliest historians to mention Arthur, calls him the 'dux bellorum' - leader of battles or warlord. I have to confess that of all the books I have written these three are my favourites. They have been translated into a score of languages and were best-sellers in a dozen countries.

Winter King is the first in the trilogy and, so far, it's loads of fun.  Cornwell's the guy who did the Sharpe series, so we have the same sort of storytelling going on...except it's in a time of legends.  But no dreamy fantasy shit.  We're right into a world of raped women and disease-ridden lives.  The last of the druids, including Merlin's little harem who are operating things in his absence, versus the world of Christianity in a post-Roman Britain on the verge of shattering under Saxon axes...and tribal in-fighting.  The generic Arthur story is there -- Uther this and Uther that and Merlin this and Merlin that -- but Cornwell grounds it a bit.  The magic of Merlin and Morgan is just high class trickery, and all the other stuff is simply politics in a world gone mad.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on May 07, 2007, 02:30:15 AM
After getting bogged down in some book about the NSA, I skipped over to "The Great Shark Hunt" and, as usual, HST doesn't disappoint. Thanks, HST. You rool~
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 07, 2007, 02:01:46 PM
After getting bogged down in some book about the NSA

Which one?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 07, 2007, 02:10:31 PM
After getting bogged down in some book about the NSA

Which one?

If he tells you he'll have to kill you.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 07, 2007, 02:16:01 PM
I used to work there, and that joke just gets more and more hilarious every time!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 07, 2007, 02:18:18 PM
What did you do there?

(cue: joke)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 07, 2007, 02:22:20 PM
If I tell you, I'll have to make you develop web-applications for an internal network using Java, use cgi to "web-enable" legacy C++ applications, and various other crazy stuff.

And nobody wants that.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on May 07, 2007, 03:30:35 PM
Which one?

"Body Of Secrets"

http://archive.salon.com/books/review/2001/04/25/nsa/

It is all, actually, interesting reading, but it gets really tedious at points and starts reading like an encyclopedia entry on some events. I'll finish it just because I can't way to read the fun Reagan bits.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 31, 2007, 12:47:30 PM
I have just picked up "Then We Came To The End" by friend of a friend of a friend Joshua Ferris.  It's his debut, from humble beginnings, and is hitting in a big way.

Then We Came to the End @ Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316016381?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316016381)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0316016381" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />



I loved it right away.  About 10 pages in, but a great start. Ferris has walked right into a golden time with this book -- it's all apathetic, darkly humorous, surreal office misadventure stuff.  Cashing in on the increasingly vocal cynicism that we all have for our nowhere service jobs.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on June 07, 2007, 06:56:34 PM
Quote
It is Saturday, July 5, 1969, a clear, balmy day in Pottawattamie Beach, and as the Stooges finish their opening number, the brilliantly lame-brained "1969," Iggy Stooge looks blankly at the Saugatuck festival audience and announces, "I'd like to dedicate the set today to Brian Jones, the dead Stone.  Oh well, being dead's better than playing here."

As they battle their way through their set, perhaps a quarter of the audience--high school dropouts, a smattering of intellectuals, assorted misfits--is entranced, the remainder indifferent or actively hostile.  One fan, Cub Koda of the band Brownsville Station, stands by the side of the stage to admire the spectacle of the free-form feedback-sustained jam that closes their twenty-minute performance.  As uncontrollable shrieks squal out of the PA stacks, Dave Alexander takes the neck of his Mosrite bass and jams it into the gap between two Marshall cabinets, then starts to hump them.  Ron Asheton, in aviator shades and a leather jacket, tosses his Fender Stratocaster to the stage; it moans and howls as he bends the whammy bar with his foot.  Drummer Rock Action pounds out a Bo Diddley jungle rhythm on his tomtoms before suddenly losing the beat and, in a fit of childish frustration, starts kicking over the kit.

Iggy Stooge, meanwhile, simply writhes on the floor, in what looks like some shamanic trance, or even an asthma attack, blood trickling from his bottom lip where he's smacked himself with the microphone.

Koda looks on, entranced, as Iggy leans over and starts to throw up in the middle of the stage, when suddenly he senses someone leaning behind him, trying to get a better view.  He glances behind and sees that it's Muddy Waters, the grand patriarch of Chicago blues, who will be playing the headlining set in a couple of hours.

Muddy watches fascinated and perhaps appalled, for a few seconds.  Then he shakes his head, points at the stage and shouts over the feedback: "I don't like that.  Those boys need to get themselves an act!"

"Muddy!" laughs Cub.  "That is the act!"

(http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/695/iggyim0.jpg)

I cannot put this book down.  It's absolutely incredible and documents one of the most interesting (at least as far as I'm concerned) periods in rock 'n' roll history in this country.  The Stooges were the birth of punk, metal, glam and the originators of what I'd call "hard" rock music.  Unparalleled in influence and stupidity, they were way ahead of their time... oft imitated but never rivaled.  I've read about 240 pages in just under a week... it's absolutely fascinating stuff.  It all started with an AC/DC biography which I ripped through in a similar amount of time.  I then read Motley Crue: Dirt (talk about some fucked up individuals... I marvel that they are not only all still alive but that they even recorded music amidst all the drugging and whoring).  I'm now reading the Iggy book and Howlin' Wolf: Moaning at Midnight simultaneously, both of which are really great reads. 

So, I'm officially stuck on rock history books. :)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 07, 2007, 09:44:42 PM
What's the buzz about the Red Hot Chili Peppers autobiography? Is that any good or have you heard anything about it?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 07, 2007, 10:55:29 PM
Okay, Nubbs.  I'll have to grab that one!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on June 08, 2007, 02:10:44 AM
What's the buzz about the Red Hot Chili Peppers autobiography? Is that any good or have you heard anything about it?

Dunno, but I will check into it... those guys have a pretty crazy past so it wouldn't surprise me if they had a tell-all book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 17, 2007, 09:36:14 PM
Moving into Dennis Lehane's Sacred:
http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php?topic=2686.0

Book three of his detective series.  I sat down today at work (back to doing weddings on the weekends) and read the first 300 pages without realizing it.  Beautifully absorbing.  The first book introduces his PI duo, and the second book is just filled to the brim with horrific death and despair, but now he's clearly in the grove.  Sacred is the book that gets written because the editor says that the entire planet loved the first two books and Lehane will never work in this town again if he doesn't keep the series going. 

Since he ended the series after five books, I'm sort of waiting for that point where he gets tired of his two heroes.  So far...not at all.  Sacred is oodles of fun.

Back to Joshua Ferris, which I finished a couple days ago:  In the end... I did not like it.  It became pointless, clumsy, and then heavy handed.  Not only did he push the 9/11 button, he started to get really masturbatory.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 17, 2007, 11:13:06 PM
Not only did he push the 9/11 button, he started to get really masturbatory.

Well, that's 95% of the 9/11 books out there.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 18, 2007, 07:50:10 AM
See, it's not a 9/11 book.  We don't even get the date.  Though, once he hits you in the head with the 9/11 hammer, you realize that there were clues throughout.

But it really does go all the way up to the masturbatory epilogue (five years later, where one of the characters has written -- and reads from! -- the book) before 9/11 comes out.  We end with "In the last week of August 2001, and in the first ten days of that September, there were more layoffs..... Then we came to the end of another bright  and tranquil summer."

Pick up in 2006, and our surviving characters go to a book reading where one of their former co-workers starts reading passages from the middle of Ferris' book.  And that was like in movies where they flashback to scenes that happened 15 minutes ago.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: vernae on June 21, 2007, 03:46:50 PM
The Fires...by Cheuse(??) 

I must say, I am enjoying it thus far.  Are you sure he isn't a woman?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 21, 2007, 03:50:35 PM
Oh-ho!  Very good to hear.  I am sure that he is not a woman.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: vernae on June 21, 2007, 03:52:31 PM
I am not...but it is good reading.
Oh-ho!  Very good to hear.  I am sure that he is not a woman.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Bingus on June 21, 2007, 04:00:09 PM
My first post, I think. I can't remember. I'm on, I'm in.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 21, 2007, 04:01:01 PM
Hello world!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: vernae on June 21, 2007, 04:03:00 PM
My first post, I think. I can't remember. I'm on, I'm in.

It seems to be your third! Don't worry this BLOG site can even keep count for you.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 21, 2007, 04:39:47 PM
Who the hell is Bingus? Can we haze him/her?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 21, 2007, 04:42:57 PM
The de-bagging ceremony is tonight in the cafeteria.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2007, 08:45:43 AM
Moving into Dennis Lehane's Sacred:
http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php?topic=2686.0

Book three of his detective series. 

Right, I couldn't stop.  I've moved into the fourth book -- Gone, Baby, Gone.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on June 26, 2007, 10:30:36 AM
Douglas Hofstadter's latest,  Strange Loop, is really pissing me off.

My love of his work energized me and brought me through page 80, but I've struggled past that.  It is very loosely written and I'm constantly wondering if it was edited at all, it's so redundantly self indulgent.  His tone is that of a retired professor of advanced whatever, who's been called in to teach kindergarten.  He loves the cute students and will talk about anything with them -- anything.  He talks constantly while losing his way and his mind.  He always finds his mind again, but there's no rhythm and everyone tunes out to preserve their sanity.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2007, 10:41:40 AM
So all the critics are right?  It's just the ramblings of a madman who can't accept the death of his wife hidden carefully in the guise of a pseudo-science pop philosophy?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on June 26, 2007, 11:02:45 AM
he's great.  He just can't fucking write.  I mean, he can, but he needs to be edited.  Sometimes his diversions are necessary to illustrate a point -- but more often in this book they are not.

This book could be 1/2 the size and still have lots of cutsie diversions to illustrate his points in his typical style.  Strange Loop could be shorter than that if he wrote like Feynman, and it would get the point across better.  I love his typical conversational style, but this is self doting rambling. 

My brain just hits a resonance pattern with all the filler.  By the time my brain's shut off he's finally started saying something new and I have to back up and pay attention to catch it.  I think his earlier books are better but I'm wondering who has changed -- me or the Hof.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2007, 11:15:33 AM
He has.  Clear reasons why you shouldn't ever win the Pulitzer... It's the end of your career.  Nowhere to go but down.

Look at Salinger!  Except no Pulitzer.  And when he finally dies, we'll get so many posthumous Salinger novels we'll want to dig him up and crush his skull with a bat.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on June 26, 2007, 11:37:08 AM
One day, Hof reached into a box and grabbed a stack of envelopes.  He felt a marble inside the stack and was surprised.  Upon further examination, the illusion of the marble was an epiphenomenon formed where each envelope's thickest point lines up in the stack.

Is this unusual?  Does anyone need this explained?  Even without having heard "epiphenomenon" you understand from context, right?  Did I use too few words there?  Possibly; I was in a hurry.

The book tells this story 5 times, then includes a poem sent him by a Jeannel King, who'd listened to him lecture.  From page 94 of Strange Loop:

Ode to a Box of Envelopes
(For all who have lost their marbles...)

by Jeannel King

A box of env'lopes on the floor--
I want to shift them to my drawer.
I squeeze inside -- there's something there!
I look inside--there's naught but air.

I squeeze again and marble find.
Is this a marble of my mind?
Determined now, and one by one,
out come the env'lopes--still no plum!

For closer views of each, I must
brave paper cuts and motes of dust.
In tips?  Or env'lope forty-siz?
My marble, whole, does not exist.

Then coarse-grained Mother whispers, "Nell,
you keep this up, you'll go to hell!"
To which Dad counters, "Mind yer mopes!
Let Nell seek God in envelopes!"

So envelopes lie all around
as I sit, vexed, upon the gorund.
My marble's lost, but in my core
could there, perhaps, be something more?

For more than parts this whole has grown:
No single part doth stand alone.
In parts, the marble simply mocks.
Intact, I think, I'll keep this box.


(The author has, in fact, named the box Epi and after 30 years it's starting to fall apart.  He takes Epi to lectures.)

Having finished the poem, the book recaps the story once more, before putting it in the rack to be reused at any time.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on June 26, 2007, 12:13:13 PM
can I get a witness?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2007, 12:18:58 PM
For...what?  How crappy the book is?  I knew that before you transcribed the poem.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on June 26, 2007, 02:46:08 PM
okay, thanks, I needed that.  I didn't read the reviews; i just blindly bought "NEW HOFSTADTER!!!!!" 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 13, 2007, 11:00:06 AM
I've moved on to Day Watch (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401360203?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1401360203)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1401360203" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Night Watch was loads of fun, and not ruined by the movie at all.  The first 130 pages covered the first two movies, so then we launched into new territory.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 15, 2007, 12:10:54 PM
I have just picked up "Then We Came To The End" by friend of a friend of a friend Joshua Ferris.  It's his debut, from humble beginnings, and is hitting in a big way.

Then We Came to the End @ Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316016381?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316016381)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0316016381" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />



I loved it right away.  About 10 pages in, but a great start. Ferris has walked right into a golden time with this book -- it's all apathetic, darkly humorous, surreal office misadventure stuff.  Cashing in on the increasingly vocal cynicism that we all have for our nowhere service jobs.

So the author's original short story, which I read some time ago (he's a friend of SFWP's development editor) has been turned into a short film.  The short story was the seed for the novel, but, watching the little film (17 minutes), sort of feels more like looking back at TWCTTE.  In the novel, there's much speculation about what Joe does when working nights.

http://www.virb.com/233169530575295/videos/19062
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on July 15, 2007, 04:09:36 PM
TWCTTE looks exciting, thanks partly to the vid!

http://www.powells.com/interviews/joshuaferris.html

Quote
Then We Came to the End tells the story of an ad agency in decline, circa 2001. "We had a toy client, a car client, a long-distance carrier and a pet store," readers are told. We. Ferris uses the first person plural to present the agency's collective voice in the midst of ongoing layoffs. It's an audacious narrative gimmick that could easily collapse, and yet it never does.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 15, 2007, 10:17:49 PM
Of course, you may want to read back a few pages in this thread for my final opinion and discussion.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 16, 2007, 01:22:11 PM
Took a quick detour into King's Everything's Eventual to read 1408.

The movie is far better.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 19, 2007, 02:21:39 PM
Because I want to keep a few megathreads then make a thread "Matt Learns To Read Again"...

I haven't read a novel in months. I know I need to. I think it's a sad state of affairs because I have a fiction library, though packed up, that rivals anyone I know. I want to select a couple novels to take back with me in the fall. I think I'm going to take both of Dave Eggers' earlier novels, I was wondering if anyone had any good selections or suggestions to read in the last few weeks I have here instead of playing video games.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on July 19, 2007, 02:40:32 PM
I hear that new Harry Potter book is coming out tomorrow!!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 19, 2007, 02:47:56 PM
already read it
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 19, 2007, 02:48:21 PM
voldemort dies
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 19, 2007, 04:42:01 PM
The publishing industry dies on page 204.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 19, 2007, 04:57:55 PM
Well, start with leaving the Eggers novels behind.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on July 19, 2007, 05:54:02 PM
I'm still involved in the Flashman series, by George Fraser.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 19, 2007, 06:58:33 PM
Speaking of Eggers (I know, I know. Boo hoo.) -- I'm reading What is the What. Eggers is telling someone else's story (literally), and it's nice to see that his "voice" is absent from the story. He isn't making any attempt at jazzing up Valentino's story. If it wasn't printed with Eggers' name on front, I'd never know he wrote it. As far into the story as I am, it's amazing to read about what happens in Africa. Heavy duty stuff.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 20, 2007, 12:06:28 PM
I'm not getting this. What I used to love about Eggers prose doesn't fascinate me any more. I get the feeling he's trying too hard - maybe it's because I've been exposed to real-life fans of McSweeney's (not you, Tyson) and they struck me as terrible, pretentious human beings. Film majors, you could say.

Does anyone have anything that will kick my ass and arrest me with its strength? For some reason, I feel like Less Than Zero is more appropriate to me now than You Shall Know Our Velocity!.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 20, 2007, 12:08:35 PM
Well, there you go.  Round out all of your Ellis.  And get into Ellroy. 
Title: Re: Harry Potter - Book 7
Post by: nacho on July 20, 2007, 12:43:29 PM
Atrus pointed this out, along with the sample chapter:

http://warren-ellis.livejournal.com/110824.html

Holy shit!  Ellis doing regular writing?  Nice.  Totally under the radar, so thanks fajwat!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 20, 2007, 04:01:49 PM
I get the feeling he's trying too hard - maybe it's because I've been exposed to real-life fans of McSweeney's (not you, Tyson) and they struck me as terrible, pretentious human beings. Film majors, you could say.

That's why I don't generally admit in public that I'm a fan of his work and McSweeney's output. God, what a crowd. Not as bad as some crowds, though.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 01:11:29 PM
yeah I kinda hate myself for reading any of his shit now.

Time to read about drug use and sexual deviance now.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 01:33:21 PM
But since I can't find my Ellis, I'm picking up the Great Shark Hunt. Unless Nacho thinks the Tropic of Cancer is a good choice.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 21, 2007, 01:35:56 PM
If you've not read Great Shark Hunt, I'd do that first.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 01:41:37 PM
I have. It's my favorite HST - before his personality grew too large in his writing so that it became more about his thoughts than the story he was covering.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 21, 2007, 01:50:06 PM
You've tackled Kingdom of Fear, right?  If not, hit that, then re-read Songs of the Doomed.

On Tropic of Cancer -- I'm not really a fan.  Yet I'd still say read it.  Maybe you'll meet an Arquette sister at an all night diner and become embroiled in a New York adventure with Cheech Marin.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 01:51:38 PM
I just bought the "It's My Way Or The Hemingway" t-shirt off SomethingAwesome.com so next year I'll be on the prowl to attract literate women.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on July 21, 2007, 01:54:19 PM
my friends went through the looking glass and all i got wuz this stupid tshirt.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 21, 2007, 01:57:22 PM
I never enjoyed Hemingway, except for his short stories.  Though I did appreciate Death in the Afternoon, but only after I went to a bullfight in Spain.

And you don't want literate women, because then they know what the pre-nup says.

Fajwat's t-shirt idea is much better!

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 01:58:36 PM
I've got such a great cache of literature I bought and never read. Sartre's "Nausea", Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury", Miller's "The Tropic of Cancer", at least 30 copies of those cheap Dover Thrift classics but I haven't read half. Def Jam poetry books, the collected work of Langston Hughes... I'm a waste until I get my own apartment in a city somewhere.


also, fajwat, i like it. literati t-shirt ideas itt.

a few:

a heartbreaking work of staggering immaturity (yes i make fun of people whose parents die of cancer)

hotter than montag

rosy-fingered dawn (picture of sunbeams like hands)

That last one is for the classics majors as well.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 02:01:03 PM
See, Nach, I hope by time I get married the pre-nup will be an inevitability among working professionals. It'll be on the list of things to take care of before a wedding, right up there with getting  bouquets for all the tables, inviting Aunt Levita, and organizing a reception.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on July 21, 2007, 02:02:38 PM
I'm also only into his short stories, but I didn't make a serious attempt at more than or or two books.

who gives a fuck about prenups? Go for the literary sluts, they're great!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 02:03:47 PM
I really fucking loved Hemingway's terseness. Maybe it appeals to the journalist in me. Then again, I haven't read one of his novels in at least three years, so my memory's probably fuzzy on it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 21, 2007, 02:35:44 PM
I got into book publishing.  I'm the one who signs the pre-nup so I don't rob my rich wife.

Nausea is what you should read next.

T-shirts:  That's enough about the rabbits.  We all get that you're a retard.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 03:02:13 PM
lesbians love dickinson

don't quote the raven, evermore

anne rice ain't got shit on MY weekends

we do it outdoors: transcendentalists (picture of a lake and piney-looking trees)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 21, 2007, 03:03:29 PM
Is that from the Never Get Laid brand?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 21, 2007, 03:04:48 PM
I personally love the Lesbians Love Dickinson.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on July 21, 2007, 03:06:09 PM
Emily died a virgin:
Don't be a Dickinson
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 27, 2007, 01:38:47 PM
Burke's a family friend and his Katrina work has been whispered about for quite some time.  It's out now and I can't wait for my copy.  Review fromt he Post below.

Also see Jesus Out To Sea, which contains a few "nonfiction stories" about Katrina.

Jesus Out to Sea: Stories (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416548564?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1416548564)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1416548564" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416548483?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1416548483)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1416548483" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Quote
Tempest in a Hot Spot

By Patrick Anderson,
whose e-mail address is mondaythrillers@aol.com
Monday, July 23, 2007; C03

THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN

By James Lee Burke

Simon &amp; Schuster. 373 pp. $26

At the start of James Lee Burke's new novel, Detective Dave Robicheaux describes one of his still-recurring nightmares of combat in Vietnam, and adds his hope that "I will never again have to witness the wide-scale suffering of innocent civilians, nor the betrayal and abandonment of our countrymen when they need us most." Then he explains: "But that was before Katrina. That was before a storm with greater impact than the bomb blast that struck Hiroshima peeled the face off southern Louisiana. That was before one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere was killed three times, and not just by forces of nature." For Robicheaux, Katrina is another Vietnam: a new source of pain, outrage, death and disillusion, a final battle for this old soldier to undertake.

"The Tin Roof Blowdown" may be Burke's most ambitious novel because he places this crime story against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, with emphasis not just on the forces of nature but also on the even more shocking damage caused by human greed and violence, by racial hate and by political cynicism and bureaucratic indifference. No matter how awful you now think Katrina was, you'll come away from this novel knowing that it was far, far worse.

At the outset, Robicheaux is looking for a friend, a heroin-addicted priest, who, as the hurricane approached, went to help out in the endangered 9th Ward. The priest found a boat and was trying to save people trapped in the attic of a church when some petty criminals stole the boat. They pilot it to a wealthy Uptown neighborhood, where they make the mistake of taking some valuable diamonds from the deserted home of New Orleans's most vicious mob boss. The mobster seeks revenge, and for the rest of the novel Robicheaux is caught between him and his psychopathic hired killer on the one hand and the equally dangerous but outgunned thieves on the other.

The crime story is as solid and well-written as we have come to expect from the prolific Burke, but it's ground we've covered before. What's dramatically new in the novel is the portrait of the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, both in New Orleans and in nearby New Iberia, where Robicheaux lives and works as a detective (and where Burke lives, too). Burke, one of the most lyrical of crime writers, invests the onrushing hurricane with a terrible beauty: "To the south, a long black hump begins to gather itself on the earth's rim, swelling out of the water like an enormous whale, extending itself all across the horizon. You cannot believe what you are watching." A little later, he reports that "the entire city, within one night, has been reduced to the technological level of the Middle Ages." Some of his descriptions of the sights and smells of the flooded city are almost unreadable. Here, for example, he sums up hundreds of deaths: "They drowned in attics and on the second floors of their houses. They drowned along the edges of Highway 23 when they tried to drive out of Plaquemines Parish. They drowned in retirement homes and in trees and on car tops while they waved frantically at helicopters flying by overhead. They died in hospitals and nursing homes of dehydration and heat exhaustion, and they died because an attending nurse could not continue to operate a hand ventilator for hours upon hours without rest."

In an epilogue, Robicheaux permits himself a moment of sentimentality: "Perhaps the city has found its permanence inside its own demise, like Atlantis, trapped forever under the waves, the sun never harsh, filtered through the green tint of the ocean so that neither rust nor moth nor decay ever touches its face." But he rejects that fantasy and declares that "New Orleans was systematically destroyed and that destruction began in the early 1980s with the deliberate reduction by half of federal funding to the city and the simultaneous introduction of crack cocaine into the welfare projects." The author denounces corporate greed, as when politically connected companies given reconstruction funds skim billions off the top, and he has only scorn for the cynicism and incompetence of state and federal officials who have turned their backs on the victims of Katrina.

Burke, who knows the South well, adds: "Right-wing talk shows abounded with callers viscerally enraged at the fact evacuees were receiving a onetime two-thousand-dollar payment to help them buy food and find lodging. The old southern nemesis was back, naked and raw and dripping -- absolute hatred for the poorest of the poor."

Burke's own anger is equally naked and raw, as it should be. My complaint about "The Tin Roof Blowdown" is that Burke's crime story isn't equal to the larger horror that surrounds it. He denounces political corruption and cynicism, but I wish he'd dramatized it more. I wish he'd shown us less of his mobsters and psychopaths and more of the upstanding businessmen and politicians and talk-show messiahs who profited from the disaster. Perhaps that's unfair -- Burke is a crime novelist, not a political novelist -- and this may be the best fictional portrait of Katrina that we have so far. But there's a bigger, better novel, perhaps by some as-yet-unknown Robert Penn Warren, waiting to be written about this American tragedy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 31, 2007, 01:38:13 PM
So should I get into the Dark Tower series, or is it thousands of pages worth of King that ends poorly?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 31, 2007, 02:12:24 PM
from what I heard from Stephen King fanatics - the latter.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 31, 2007, 02:15:42 PM
That's a shame.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 31, 2007, 02:16:46 PM
at least it won't take you that long to read all those thousands of pages
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 31, 2007, 02:32:19 PM
My girl says the first book is dull back-story and character building, but the other books are fantastic.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 31, 2007, 03:45:53 PM
I've heard it's hit or miss, but haven't heard a thing about the 15 years later conclusion book.  And king went way the fuck to suck in the last five years or so, so I'm a little wary.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 31, 2007, 06:23:24 PM
Dark Tower is the King I've never been able to get into, though I hear the last few books tie into Salem's Lot, which is one of my favorites.

I'm reading "Don't Know Much About History," which proports to be all the things they didn't teach you in high school U.S. history. Pretty fascinating.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 31, 2007, 06:39:52 PM
They teach history in high school?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on July 31, 2007, 06:54:50 PM
"all the things they didn't teach you in high school U.S. history."

who said anyone taught history in high school?

Altho I kept hearing that Mr. Olinger was very good, and that Russian history guy, too.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 02, 2007, 01:49:12 PM
So I have a 2-year old, and he likes books.

Some of the books from olden days are really hilarious today.

Like Curious George gets a Job.

Curious George ends up breaking his leg and going to the hospital.  He gets into a bottle of Ether...then in pictures and words...his drug trip is spelled out.  He passes out, and they wake him up by putting him in the bath with a shower on him.  Water boarding!  Grand!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 02, 2007, 04:20:39 PM
Oh here it is!

http://node.to/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/curious_72.jpg
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 02, 2007, 04:21:53 PM
Jesus.  Get that out of the kid's section!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 04, 2007, 01:58:51 PM
he's just curious!  leave that monkey be!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 04, 2007, 02:00:32 PM
Curious Cassander and the Mysterious Mushrooms!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 09, 2007, 09:01:43 AM
So Day Watch was a tough read.  King of meandering, and just setting up Twilight Watch which is the end of the trilogy (even though there's a fourth book in Russia...).  And now I want to see the third movie, which remains elusive.

I'm finally moving on to The Road.

The Road (Oprah's Book Club) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307387895?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307387895)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0307387895" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

I'm warmed that the "guest review" on that page is from Lehane.  I'm putting off concluding his amazing detective series, which I've talked about earlier in the thread.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 14, 2007, 01:02:20 PM
The Road is just fantastic.  Sparse and lonely and sad.  It's this year's do not miss book.

Now -- on to book two of Cornwell's trilogy: The Enemy of God.


Moved into something that's been collecting dust on my shelf for years.  Bernard Cornwell's take on the Arthur legend:

The Winter King (The Arthur Books #1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312156960?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0312156960)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0312156960" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Cornwell:
Quote
Once upon a time, in a land that was called Britain, these things happened . . . ." well, maybe. The Warlord Trilogy is my attempt to tell the story of Arthur, 'Rex Quondam Rexque Futurus', the Once and Future King, although I doubt he ever was a king. I suspect he was a great warlord of the sixth century. Nennius, who was one of the earliest historians to mention Arthur, calls him the 'dux bellorum' - leader of battles or warlord. I have to confess that of all the books I have written these three are my favourites. They have been translated into a score of languages and were best-sellers in a dozen countries.

Winter King is the first in the trilogy and, so far, it's loads of fun.  Cornwell's the guy who did the Sharpe series, so we have the same sort of storytelling going on...except it's in a time of legends.  But no dreamy fantasy shit.  We're right into a world of raped women and disease-ridden lives.  The last of the druids, including Merlin's little harem who are operating things in his absence, versus the world of Christianity in a post-Roman Britain on the verge of shattering under Saxon axes...and tribal in-fighting.  The generic Arthur story is there -- Uther this and Uther that and Merlin this and Merlin that -- but Cornwell grounds it a bit.  The magic of Merlin and Morgan is just high class trickery, and all the other stuff is simply politics in a world gone mad.


Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 14, 2007, 08:55:14 PM
i think i've been waiting for The road to be available at my library for like 4 months
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 14, 2007, 10:01:53 PM
So, as a compromise with King, I downloaded the Gunslinger audio book series.  Just started book one.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 14, 2007, 10:07:13 PM
so i just got on amazon to preorder the fires and got stuck for an hour.  jim crace has a new book out!  no one ever tells me these things.  it, like the road, is also America post-apocalypse.  sounds good.  http://www.amazon.com/Pesthouse-Jim-Crace/dp/0385520751/ref=sr_1_1/002-0135627-1570478?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187139712&sr=1-1
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 14, 2007, 10:16:57 PM
Sounds almost exactly like a mix of Eternity Road and Dies The Fire.

Except...it's Crace.  So, yeah.  It's on my wishlist.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 16, 2007, 12:50:01 PM
Crace is indeed spectacular. Everyone's read "Being Dead?"
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 28, 2007, 01:45:25 PM
Well, sitting here waiting for the third book in the Cornwell Arthur Trilogy (http://www.bernardcornwell.net/index2.cfm?page=1&seriesid=4) from a used seller on Amazon is driving me crazy.  I ordered on the 19th...today's the earliest it's supposed to arrive.  Let's hope it's at home. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on August 28, 2007, 02:05:12 PM
I gave up on Infinite Jest. I just can't take that kind of literary complexity when I'm trying to settle down and go to bed. Back to short stories for me! Though, I picked up a book about the FBI and the Irish Mafia which should be good reading, too.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 28, 2007, 02:42:49 PM
how many pages in did you get?  Please count footnotes separately.  You can estimate the footnotes, since I remember how they cross-reference each other it can be hard to keep track.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 28, 2007, 03:17:44 PM
Please count footnotes separately.  You can estimate the footnotes, since I remember how they cross-reference each other it can be hard to keep track.

Ways not to convince someone to read a book, part seven...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 28, 2007, 03:25:28 PM
infinite jest is pathological.  parts of it are incisive and hilarious yet it still requires far too much indulgence and patience.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 28, 2007, 03:28:15 PM
That was part five.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on August 28, 2007, 04:07:06 PM
Hey tots... if you're into short stories, pick up some Anton Chekhov... he's widely considered to be the master of short stories and writes some pretty incredible stuff.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 28, 2007, 04:23:29 PM
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men is a well written set of shorts by DF Wallace.  Its title is a very good description.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 28, 2007, 04:56:35 PM
I'll take your pre-order for the SFWP version of Wars of Heaven!  Richard Currey's short stories.    Or you can buy a signed, mint-condition first edition for $20.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on August 28, 2007, 05:23:01 PM
how many pages in did you get?  Please count footnotes separately.  You can estimate the footnotes, since I remember how they cross-reference each other it can be hard to keep track.

60 to 80 or so, not including the footnotes. I forget how many footnotes that covers. A lot.

I mean, I love goofy footnotes that fly out into tangents and side-stories that cross-reference each other in all the little post-modern ways that get us reaches rock, but Infinite Jest just makes it an academic chore that I don't want to face when I'm trying to relax. If I was stranded on an island with nothing to do, I'd probably love Infinite Jest.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 28, 2007, 08:12:22 PM
how many pages in did you get?  Please count footnotes separately.  You can estimate the footnotes, since I remember how they cross-reference each other it can be hard to keep track.

60 to 80 or so, not including the footnotes. I forget how many footnotes that covers. A lot.

I mean, I love goofy footnotes that fly out into tangents and side-stories that cross-reference each other in all the little post-modern ways that get us reaches rock, but Infinite Jest just makes it an academic chore that I don't want to face when I'm trying to relax. If I was stranded on an island with nothing to do, I'd probably love Infinite Jest.

I've been unemployed for at least a year and a half since starting that book.  I picked it up, um, twice.  Couldn't take it.  So for me?  I'd burn it for fuel if I were on an island.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on August 28, 2007, 08:21:00 PM
I enjoyed the lyricism of the language. All the cynicism and absurdity is my cup of tea. After that though, it was all just coo complex to put the pieces together.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on August 28, 2007, 08:23:10 PM
I got into around p250, having read 150p of footnotes.

I loved it when it was great, which it was sometimes.

But I couldn't fucking stand it.  Way too self-indulgent.  And everything else I said about it.  It was like dating a super model that I only got to fuck every 3-6 months.  Fine, she's great, but too little and too far between.  And the entire time she's super insane high maintenance.  that's what that book is like.  And it bleeds on your jeans.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on August 29, 2007, 02:40:08 AM
I have a mad love for Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, OH" collection of short stories.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 10, 2007, 09:00:11 AM
Moving into Dennis Lehane's Sacred:
http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php?topic=2686.0

Book three of his detective series. 



Right, I couldn't stop.  I've moved into the fourth book -- Gone, Baby, Gone.

Just found out about this:

http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Gone_Baby_Gone/70065115

Looking forward to it!  I can't see Lehane translating well onto the screen.  Mystic River is nothing like the book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on September 10, 2007, 07:54:03 PM
gone baby gone doesn't look great, but it could be good.  i loved Mystic river.  dammit, i keep forgetting to pick up some lehane!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 10, 2007, 10:08:12 PM
Shutter Island, man.  Get it in you.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 17, 2007, 08:35:44 AM
So with the Cornwell trilogy finished, it's time to finish the Lehane detective series.
http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php?topic=2686.0

Prayers For Rain is the last chapter, before Lehane became, you know, a high brow literary writer.  I kind of wish he'd go back to his roots...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on September 22, 2007, 08:28:49 PM
ok, so today at the library i picked up "Darkness, Take my hand."  they didn't have "a drink before the war."  but they do have gone baby gone and sacred, so if i like what i see, i'll just keep on track.  also picked up Elmore Leonard's collection of western short stories, one of which is 3:10 to Yuma.  I'm interested to see how they turn a 15 page story into a 2 hour movie, but if anyone can fill out a movie, it's russell crowe and christian bale.  also this week I read the Fires by Alan Cheuse and every Eightball issue ever.  last week was "Powerbook" by Jeanette Winterson, and if you guys haven't ever read anything by her, you totally should.  call now for details!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 23, 2007, 01:55:38 PM
Wow, way ahead.  I'm slowly mincing through Lehane.  And Jesus Out to Sea, Tin Roof Blowdown (the Burke pieces I posted a review for a while back) as well as the latest Repairman Jack have finally arrived from slow-ass Amazon.  So that pressures me to hurry up...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 26, 2007, 03:22:01 PM
Oh, look, an SFWP companion thread!
http://sfwp.com/forum/index.php?board=4.0

So I guess it'll be exactly the same, we just won't say cunt every third post!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2007, 04:58:25 PM
Moving on to Bloodline, the latest Repairman Jack adventure:
http://repairmanjack.com/index.htm

Also reading Seeing Ourselves, which is a collection of classic American novellas edited by Cheuse.  Well worth grabbing for the literate types out there:

Seeing Ourselves: Great Stories of America's Past (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1557090904?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1557090904)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1557090904" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on September 28, 2007, 07:40:54 PM
kind of disappointed by Darkness, Take my hand.  Can i jump forward 10 years to more recent stuff?  is it better than regular John Grisham crap?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 28, 2007, 09:40:39 PM
I'm reading "Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy"

http://www.amazon.com/Buried-Fitting-Resting-Infamous-Noteworthy/dp/1579122876/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-5859217-6892643?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191026366&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Buried-Fitting-Resting-Infamous-Noteworthy/dp/1579122876/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-5859217-6892643?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191026366&sr=8-1)

I had no idea about the Gram Parsons body burning thing.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2007, 09:44:59 PM
Didn't read Moody Food?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 28, 2007, 09:47:31 PM
No, man. That publisher's a dick.

Ray covers that?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2007, 09:50:58 PM
It's the life of Gram Parsons man... The names changed, and the location, but that's just about it.  Chris Hillman almost sued Ray because of it.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Hillman)  Couldn't, though, because it's "fiction."  So nyah nyah.

In the book, Hillman is our narrator.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 28, 2007, 09:55:58 PM
To bad he didn't sue you. A lawsuit could have helped sales.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2007, 09:58:10 PM
Well, not really...  Maybe if it were Cobain instead of Parsons and Love instead of Hillman...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 28, 2007, 10:00:40 PM
Both Moody and The Fires are on my reading list. I haven't read much fiction at all in the past few years. I'm almost exclusively a non-fiction guy these days.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2007, 10:01:56 PM
We'll have to get you an advance copy of Dr. Sex, then!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 28, 2007, 10:04:57 PM
That's right. Pagan's book is non-fiction.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 12, 2007, 06:25:03 PM
So book 11 of F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack... I've been following this series for about 12 years.  Hell, Jack first appeared in the 80's, in the Adversary Cycle (which sees both the introduction and conclusion to the Repairman Jack series, which is just filling in the two years or so in between), so I've been following the character for even longer.

The quality of the last couple of books has been sub-par, but now it's just embarrassing.  Wilson is obviously writing just for the fans and no one else... There are multiple poorly developed characters and we switch around to chapters from their points of view.  One of those characters is an 18 year old girl, and Wilson switches to valley girl speak... It's sloppy and creepy.  Towards the end, I just started skipping her chapters. 

He even goes in for some masturbation, having Repairman Jack investigate the author of the "Jake Fixx" novels which, queerly, parallel his adventures.  The author, who Jack confronts, is P. Frank Winslow.  Some pathetic writing has the whole author meets his creation routine marring what little passable story there is.

I'm pissed.  Wilson's never been a stellar writer, but the old Adversary Cycle is great, and Repairman Jack is a fun character.  Long time spent with this writer and this series and I feel pretty betrayed right now.

Next up -- Jesus Out to Sea: Stories (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416548564?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1416548564)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1416548564" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 14, 2007, 07:53:17 AM
Jesus out to Sea was as wonderful as I had been hoping.  And a fast read, too.  Today I move on to: After Dark (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307265838?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307265838)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0307265838" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />, Murakami's latest.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 16, 2007, 12:58:49 AM
ok, so i started reading the road and didn't stop until i finished it about 4 hours later.  what a mindfuck.  having all that with me will probably put me off of post-apocalypse lit for awhile though, so that means no Pesthouse until it comes out in paperback.  now i'm finishing up Bhudda's Little Finger, a great absurd philosophical comic contemporary russian novel.  then after that....i'm open to suggestions.  lay it on me. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 16, 2007, 07:49:39 AM
After Dark is quietly brilliant.  Have you gotten much Murakami into you?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 18, 2007, 01:47:24 AM
i always call you at the bookstore going "okay, i'm in front of the Murakami section.  what do i get?" and then you babble for about 15 minutes about this one or that one but then i can't read this one without having first read another three in a certain order and then you go into a metro tunnel and i end up getting a magazine.  so....no. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 18, 2007, 07:58:23 AM
My favorites --

Wild Sheep Chase and the sequel Dance, Dance, Dance.

Norwegian Wood

After the Quake

Wind-up Bird Chronicle

And, now, After Dark.

There.

There's lots of Wild Sheep Chase in Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.  They aren't related, but Murakami was doing this big "all my books are connected" thing, I think. 

Also, the Wild Sheep Chase series is actually:

(1) Hear the Wind Sing (Murakami's first book)
(2) Pinball, 1973
(3) Wild Sheep Chase

With Dance, Dance, Dance as a sort of follow-up outside of that original trilogy to appease his fans, because he's let the first two go out of print and refuses to release them again.

So that's my only caution.  I think Wind-Up reads better after Sheep and Dance.

Norwegian Wood is no problem.  It'll make you want to hang yourself.  After the Quake is a neat little collection of stories, and a fast read.  After Dark is light-hearted experimental weirdness.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on October 18, 2007, 09:27:31 AM
Fuelled on by "Quantum Leap" reruns, I 'm reading "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" and plan to follow that up with "The Holographic Universe" and "The Tao Of Physics."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 18, 2007, 10:40:06 AM
Man, there's no escaping it.  Time to start queuing up Quantum Leap.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 19, 2007, 11:19:18 AM
Quantum Leap?

I just LOVE that show!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 21, 2007, 10:13:28 AM
After Dark was wonderful... Not I'm moving on to:

The Joke's Over: Bruised Memories: Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson, and Me (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0156032503?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0156032503)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0156032503" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Ralph Steadman's memoir recounting his life with HST from the 70's onward.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on October 22, 2007, 01:03:39 PM
Mrs. HST has apparently just released her own book as well. Whether it's worth one's time or scratch is highly questionable.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 22, 2007, 01:14:12 PM
Mutineer.  Last I heard it was delayed...?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on October 23, 2007, 03:10:15 AM
Even for a rabid anti-sports bloke like nacho going to espn.com and checking out Dr. Thompson's archived pieces are a must...his last documented pieces were as pithy and passionate as ever.

His checkout notice which reads something like "I'm bitchy all the time..." is also quite a departure from Kurt's sobbing ode to Neil Young.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 23, 2007, 08:30:56 AM
Page two as the last swansong for Thompson had some great moments...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 23, 2007, 09:18:41 PM
some really shitty ones too.  let's not get carried away.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 23, 2007, 10:12:19 PM
If you really want to demystify HST, you can pretty much say that the quality of his writing never got back on even footing, or met the bar he set himself, after 1977.  The 80's and 90's HST is more armchair revolutionary and observer than anything else.  The value of his Page Two articles is, simply, that ESPN was the first in a long time to let him rant unedited.  Something Thompson always struggled to do, but never truly got away with pre-Fear & Loathing.  Hell, the Fear & Loathing we know and love today is the heavily edited fifth draft.  About as artificial as you can get.  When, all along, during that Kentucky Derby period, during the Gonzo years, and into his late life, his dream was to put out his articles without the middleman changing anything.  From HST to the reader.  Thus the infamous faxing pages from his notebook and last minute shenanigans with deadlines.  All intentionally designed to get the wild writing past the magazine editors.

The shitty entries on Page Two are, in that context, terrific.  HST frequently missed the mark, we just never saw it because he was polished before he hit the shelf.  We saw it in the final years with the abysmal re-release of Curse of Lono and Screwjack and all that early idealistic shit, and we saw it through ESPN, and that's it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 24, 2007, 12:08:54 AM
yeah, but that's what we pay editors for, to give us writers at their best.  HST turned into an icon, which permitted him to give us (in the late 90s, early aughts) stumbling, rambling sports rants that turned on political axises at a whim...anyone else starting out on that note would've been cut off at the knees, even at ESPN Page 2, which, back then, was just starting out, eager for page hits in a pre-blog internet world.  Go look at page 2 now.  it's about as polished as you can get, and there's no politics (scoop jackson crazy black man rants aside).  it's the classic intersection of one cultural artifact on its decline and another on its incline...

i love HST as much as anyone, but to think that volumes of his unedited, addled lines would be more beneficial to culture and, perhaps, even society, than 100% spigot-to-the-masses output is erroneous.  as it stands, HST had far more of an impact on the casual, as nacho says, armchair commentator than the participators of the arenas he passionately wanted to be able to impact.  therein lies the tragedy of both the man and the Writer (captial W).  he influenced other writers and jack-of-all-trades culture vultures....not the politicos, the pundits, not even the mainstream media or even the workingclass intellectual.  in one hundred years he will be an oscar wilde, a romantic figure known only by his writing and not his influence, and our images of him will always be viewed through a Johnny Depp-colored lens (assuming Terry Gilliam also endures through the next 50-100 years).



wait, i'm making myself sad again.  goddammit. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on October 24, 2007, 11:55:42 AM
Quote
Go look at page 2 now.  it's about as polished as you can get, and there's no politics (scoop jackson crazy black man rants aside).

Gregg Easterbrook usually has some political/science commentary mixed in with his weekly novel at Tuesday Morning Quarterback.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/071023&sportCat=nfl
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 16, 2007, 07:21:16 AM
No Country for Old Men -- read on the plane to NOLA.  Fast and amazing.  Not as powerful as The Road, but still wonderful.  Reading The Caine Mutiny now...retro!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 03, 2007, 10:36:59 AM
Caine Mutiny was a blast, except for the love interest subplot which is just a bit too dated.  Deep into Burke's Tin Roof Blowdown, now.  It's the latest Robicheaux novel, though this one is less about Dave and more about a few folks weathering out Katrina. 

Burke's a master of description, and a Louisiana native.  It's essentially a story about surviving Katrina told from several viewpoints and it's amazing...beautiful and tragic. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on December 03, 2007, 04:15:42 PM
I decided to take a break from books written above a 3rd grade reading level because my brain is a thick slurry this quarter, so I started with Crichton's Prey and I'm immediately reminded why I don't read this crap. It's got, like, plot holes every other paragraph.

"I grabbed the DVD ..... put the tape in the player ..."

Uh, what?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 03, 2007, 04:22:54 PM
Yeah, Crichton's a master at showing his age.  I have it right here on 8-track, Tom.  Just turn on the jimmahoozit.  You mean computers don't take up entire floors like they did in the Andromeda Strain?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on December 03, 2007, 04:59:35 PM
Oh, that's the worst part because I've got the whole computer background. I cringe about every three minutes. He needs to go back to the 80s and return his writing credentials.

What's worse is that they pass him off as a supposedly knowledgeable person. Like, NEXT has a fucking bibliography. Seriously?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 03, 2007, 05:04:40 PM
It's because he was able to successfully turn a Newsweek article into Jurassic Park, so people think he's cutting edge.  Even though that is from the 80's, as well. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2007, 12:06:52 PM
Saw No Country for Old Men, which was fiercely loyal to the book up to a point... After the toned-down hotel shootout, the Coen Brothers kind of lapse into a more Hollywood-ized film.  But, up till then, it's just beautiful.  And even after that, it's wonderful.  Everyone really captured the mood and the feel of the book.

Putting this here since I just read it a couple books back and I don't think it's worth a thread...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 20, 2007, 08:22:29 PM
Caine Mutiny was a blast, except for the love interest subplot which is just a bit too dated.  Deep into Burke's Tin Roof Blowdown, now.  It's the latest Robicheaux novel, though this one is less about Dave and more about a few folks weathering out Katrina. 

Burke's a master of description, and a Louisiana native.  It's essentially a story about surviving Katrina told from several viewpoints and it's amazing...beautiful and tragic. 

Anyone interested in Katrina and the aftermath should pick up Tin Roof Blowdown.

The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416548483?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1416548483)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1416548483" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Typical entry into the series, but Burke spends lots of time describing the hurricane and the weeks after.  He ends with a little bit of tasteful soap-boxing, as well.  Heartbreaking and beautiful stuff.

Moving on to the new Iain Banks fiction --

The Steep Approach to Garbadale (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596923032?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1596923032)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1596923032" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Critics and fans are hating it but I've found that I love his underdog titles.  Walking on Glass was one of my favorites for his fiction line, and it's the most reviled to date.

A new Sci-fi (Culture) novel is coming from him in February, so I get a double-shot!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on December 20, 2007, 08:55:09 PM
Saw No Country for Old Men, which was fiercely loyal to the book up to a point... After the toned-down hotel shootout, the Coen Brothers kind of lapse into a more Hollywood-ized film.  But, up till then, it's just beautiful.  And even after that, it's wonderful.  Everyone really captured the mood and the feel of the book.

Putting this here since I just read it a couple books back and I don't think it's worth a thread...

Yeah -- amazing movie. It's the first movie I've seen in a long time that was worth the $9 I paid to watch it in a theater. And it needs to be seen in a theater, too, because the cinematography is so delightful.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on December 20, 2007, 11:09:36 PM
Saw No Country for Old Men, which was fiercely loyal to the book up to a point... After the toned-down hotel shootout, the Coen Brothers kind of lapse into a more Hollywood-ized film.  But, up till then, it's just beautiful.  And even after that, it's wonderful.  Everyone really captured the mood and the feel of the book.

Putting this here since I just read it a couple books back and I don't think it's worth a thread...

Yeah -- amazing movie. It's the first movie I've seen in a long time that was worth the $9 I paid to watch it in a theater. And it needs to be seen in a theater, too, because the cinematography is so delightful.
concur, tho I haven't read the book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 07, 2008, 01:24:04 PM
Quote from: nacho
Moving on to the new Iain Banks fiction --

The Steep Approach to Garbadale (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596923032?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1596923032)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1596923032" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Critics and fans are hating it but I've found that I love his underdog titles.  Walking on Glass was one of my favorites for his fiction line, and it's the most reviled to date.

A new Sci-fi (Culture) novel is coming from him in February, so I get a double-shot!

A little bit meandering, it was still a fun read.  Didn't get it finished till the plane ride back, though, and now I'm reading the (not surprisingly) hard to find Innocents Afloat by Jeremy Scanlan.  He's a yank who moved to the UK and now lives aboard a narrowboat on the canals.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 23, 2008, 10:04:35 AM
Picked up and read in two hours yesterday the excellent Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594481520?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1594481520)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1594481520" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

A not-so-subtle parable of our America today.  Or just a witty absurdist comedy.  You decide.  It's a must read, either way.

Currently getting into Crooked Little Vein (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060723939?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0060723939)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0060723939" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> by Warren Ellis...and I wish I had published it.  20 pages in and it's addictive and hilarious.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on January 23, 2008, 12:56:13 PM
You know that Warren Ellis was doing an Q&A thread in Batman's Shameful Secret on SA, right?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 23, 2008, 12:57:56 PM
Wow.  No...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 23, 2008, 12:59:26 PM
Beautiful...

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2746460

I love Ellis.  He needs to do more fiction like Crooked Little Vein. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on January 23, 2008, 01:00:09 PM
You're lucky I read a forum for nerds.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 23, 2008, 01:00:30 PM
I am...thank you.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 23, 2008, 04:00:08 PM
Picked up and read in two hours yesterday the excellent Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594481520?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1594481520)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1594481520" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

A not-so-subtle parable of our America today.  Or just a witty absurdist comedy.  You decide.  It's a must read, either way.



Nice!

www.reignofphil.com
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 23, 2008, 04:05:28 PM
So somebody buy, read, and then send me a copy of Duma Key.  I'm excited about it, but feel betrayed by Cell and will never buy King on word of mouth/media/review again.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 29, 2008, 11:42:47 AM
I'm a big fan of Robson Green and, recently, watched the first three seasons of Wire in the Blood.  That series is based on a series of books, the first of which is:

The Mermaids Singing (A Dr. Tony Hill & Carol Jordan Mystery) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312983603?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0312983603)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0312983603" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Started on the train today and got 50 pages in.  Real candy... But still well worth it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2008, 05:11:56 PM
Forgetting to update!  Finished Mermaid's Singing.  It's slow and tedious compared to the Wire in the Blood series.  Weird.  TV is better than the book?

Now halfway through the excellent Three Men in a Boat, which has a laugh-out-loud moment on every single page so far.


Three Men in a Boat (Penguin Popular Classics) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0140621334?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0140621334)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0140621334" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 28, 2008, 08:07:41 PM
Here, please go and flesh out the dead forums!

Same thread, different people:
http://sfwp.com/forum/index.php?topic=11.0
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 29, 2008, 08:38:28 AM
I'm reading "Chaos: Making a New Science" by James Gleick, a look at how chaos theory and non-linear dynamics emerged. Pretty good actually.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 28, 2008, 05:29:13 AM
chiming in late: my GF saw No country and was just talking about it everyday.  i was excited to see the movie but insisted on reading the book first.  had to way 3 weeks till it became available at the library (monies were tight) through which GF fumed.  read the book in 2 days, watched the movie and....pissed off girlfriend.  the movie was probably one of the best movies of the year, but, sadly, the book took it to task.  plot is similar, but about 66 percent of the ambience is lost, as well as several key plot points and much of the violence.  It's one thing for a movie to fail to live up to a book, it's quite another for a vastly well-acclaimed film to get so much recognition for half-living up to a book.  What happened to Clooney and the Coen Bros' Caesar Augustus movie? 




oh, wait.  what i'm reading.  right.  Well, i went through an intense Cormac McCarthy phase but right now we've tipped upwards...Electric Michaelangelo.  A book about a Brit Tattoo artist in the 1930s who grows up on the western beaches of england then moves to Coney island and falls in love with an unreachable but tattooable woman.  Really one of the most refreshing books i've read in a long time in that it has barely any conflict, subsists mainly on language, digressions, scenery, and character yet surpasses all your BA-English (minor in Writing Composition) prejudices.  Assuming, of course, you have a BA in English with a minor in writing composition.

Up next is: The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. 

unless another mccarthy novel comes through the NOPL pike.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2008, 01:24:37 AM
Yeah, if you want to enjoy the movie, do not read the book.  The movie is sort of "inspired by the idea of the book as told by a 12 year old."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on April 10, 2008, 09:34:42 AM
Yeah, if you want to enjoy the movie, do not read the book.  The movie is sort of "inspired by the idea of the book as told by a 12 year old."

Some 12 year olds are smart.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 15, 2008, 02:26:32 PM
Fell behind on this thread!

After being burned out on manuscripts, I've finally gone back to regular books...with a vengeance!

Currently reading three:

Wishlist gift:   V: The Second Generation (V) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765319071?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0765319071)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0765319071" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> 

Poorly written, yet a must-read for a V fan.

Wishlist Gift:  Raw Spirit (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099460270?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0099460270)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0099460270" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Iain Banks does a nonfiction about his tour through Scotland to drink himself out of his head.  It's really great stuff, though he's clearly uncomfortble doing nonfiction.  That's a drawback... But the writing is still smart and witty, and every page makes you want a dram of scotch.

Also reading:

One Pill Makes You Smaller : A novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F6Z9J6?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000F6Z9J6)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=B000F6Z9J6" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

It's quite a good read.  I didn't know what to expect going in, and am very much enjoying it.

Though, at the moment, I'm favoring Raw Spirit.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 16, 2008, 02:06:43 AM
ok, i'm going to be a dick and not read 3 months of what other people have read.  that's the beauty of this thread anyway. 

I'm on a huge Cormac McCarthy kick.  After The Road I read No Country for old men before I saw the movie, and, thus, found the Coen Brothers adaptation lacking.  then i started the Border Trilogy: All the Pretty Horses I remember my mom reading back in the nineties.  it is worth all the adulation it probably received back then and moreso.  now halfway through book 2, The crossing, in which the first third of the book concerns a pregnant wolf and is still riveting and non-geeky. 

in between i read Sarah Hall's Electric Michaelangelo, about a 1920's tattoo artist who moves from a British beach resort to Coney island.  a great book with half a climax, but seriously awesome lyricism.  the Zadie Smith-killer if you ask me. 

and the Collected Bukowski.  don't know if there's just one or many, but the one i have has a big face-portrait on the actual hardcover with a transparent overleaf and about 600 awesome poems in it.  but take my advice: read more than 20 in a row before going to sleep and you will have bad abandonment/loneliness dreams.*












*if you are nacho, this happens anyway, so read on!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 16, 2008, 07:45:36 AM
My abandonment dream last night involved a girlfriend leaving me, but she left her pet Macaw behind.  And it ate my eyes while I slept.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 16, 2008, 01:30:39 PM
hmm....i don't recall any bukowski parrot poems.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 16, 2008, 01:32:53 PM
I think it's all me.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 16, 2008, 01:41:42 PM
whatever, i'm leaving this thread.  CAW
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on May 29, 2008, 11:39:12 AM
HST's Generation of Swine....has it really been more than 20 years since all that crap went down?

Still a great read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on June 03, 2008, 12:57:43 AM
I'm reading Cylons in America: Critical Studies in Battlestar Galactica.

:(
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 03, 2008, 02:16:41 AM
FAIL
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 03, 2008, 10:18:10 AM
epic FAIL.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on June 03, 2008, 02:38:01 PM
While you guys are spouting Internet cliches, I'm reading how BSG reframes fear in a post 9/11 world. Who's the losers now, eh?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on June 03, 2008, 03:40:25 PM
While you guys are spouting Internet cliches, I'm reading how BSG reframes fear in a post 9/11 world. Who's the losers now, eh?

I'll buy that.

Summarize, since I haven't been able to read a book since quitting smoking 11 months ago.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on June 03, 2008, 04:07:00 PM
I hear that goes away at the 1 year mark.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: fajwat on June 03, 2008, 04:50:47 PM
I'll never notice it since I'm focused on becoming a jock instead.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on June 29, 2008, 10:44:59 AM
For anyone interested in Kerouac; Barry Mills (whom Beatles fanatics should know from his days in Apple and as Sir Paul's best friend), has written a great bio which outdoes a lot of the other poorly researched books written on JK in recent years.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 09, 2008, 10:55:07 AM
So I plowed through Cornwell's Saxon Stories:

http://www.bernardcornwell.net/index2.cfm?page=1&seriesid=10

Loved them.  Absolutely addicted... And fast reads, too.  Well worth checking out if you're into that stuff.

Here's the first one:

The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Chronicles Series #1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060887184?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0060887184)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0060887184" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


Currently reading The English, by Jeremy Paxman.  It's a fun little social study from the late 90's. 

The English (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0140267239?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0140267239)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0140267239" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 13, 2008, 01:43:33 AM
i hear that Edward James Olmos has never heard of 9/11
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 13, 2008, 09:01:58 AM
More like, he thinks 9/11 is just something that happened to idiot Anglos.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 20, 2008, 01:34:08 AM
"Spook" by Mary Roach. Not as good as "Stiff," but still pretty damned good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 23, 2008, 11:49:41 AM
Read Robert Stone's Prime Green in the Atlanta airport, because that's what endless layovers are for.  It was very absorbing...a great read.  Stone looking back at the 60's and all of his shenanigans with the likes of Neal Cassady and Ken Kesey.  His brief stint as a stringer in Vietnam is pretty glossed over...but still a nice little quickie personal history of the era.

Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties (P.S.) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060957778?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0060957778)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0060957778" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Currently reading The World Was Going Our Way, which is the second volume of the Mitrokhin Archive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitrokhin_Archive).  The volumes are standalone.  The first one was more of the old cloak and dagger relationship with the US and Europe.  It was also written at a time when lots of the stuff was classified and Mitrokhin wanted to be anonymous, so it suffers somewhat.

Fortunately, those restrictions are lifted for the second volume.  Mitrokhin died a couple years before it came out, and the Brits (who hold the archive) decided to declassify everything.  So we get a much richer study of the KGB -- this time focused on their Third World shenanigans.  Latin America, Africa, and the Mideast.  It's great reading, as the Soviets move into the collapsing colonial world and try to fuck shit up.  Of course, all this culminates in the Afghanistan debacle.  After that, the Soviets are pretty much dead in the water, so the KGB become a shadow of their former selves, basically just phoning in a report from a bar and saying not to worry, the world is going our way...

Really fascinating stuff.  Despite the limitations, the first volume is worth looking at as well.  But here's the second --


The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465003117?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0465003117)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0465003117" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 12, 2008, 12:54:54 PM
Anyone read Heart Shaped Box yet?  Might pick this up pretty soon.  Joe Hill (baby boy King) is said to have captured the best of his father's voice...


Quote
The plot of Joe Hill’s first novel can be summarized simply: An aging heavy-metal star buys a haunted suit over the Internet. He thinks it will be perfect for his ghoulish-artifact collection. The suit agrees, but for all the wrong reasons.

The suit has a mind of its own. It has a ghost of its own too. The ghost would rather go marauding through the rock star’s life than be part of his creepy little museum.

These are the bare bones of “Heart-Shaped Box” — literally, since the ghost is a skeletal old man. But Mr. Hill uses them to shockingly good effect, creating a wild, mesmerizing, perversely witty tale of horror. In a book much too smart to sound like the work of a neophyte, he builds character invitingly and plants an otherworldly surprise around every corner. It would be much easier to compare Mr. Hill’s work to Stephen King’s if Stephen King were not his actual father. (His full name is Joseph Hillstrom King.)

“Heart-Shaped Box,” which takes its title from a Nirvana song, is a Valentine from hell. That’s a thought that would bring a smile to the Goth face of Judas Coyne, the book’s main character. Jude is 54, out to pasture, coasting on the royalties from old albums with names like “Happy Little Lynch Mob” and basically a fraud.

He can watch another band and wonder which member will die first, but this is just macabre habit by now. So is his taste in girlfriends. “It had been years since he dated anyone with a tan,” Mr. Hill writes. “When you were a Goth, it was important to at least imply the possibility you might burst into flames in direct sunlight.” Jude’s taste for the occult has always been “like wearing leather pants, just part of the costume.”) His death-metal paraphernalia (noose, snuff film, cannibal’s cookbook) is an affectation. Has he actively sought out this stuff?

“It seemed to him instead that all these things had been drawn to him like iron filings to a magnet,” Mr. Hill writes, “and he could no more help drawing them and holding on to them than a magnet could.”

As the book begins, Jude is isolated in his Hudson Valley fief, surrounded by the kind of servitude to which he has become accustomed. He has two loyal dogs, a doting personal assistant named Danny and a girlfriend about 30 years his junior. He spends time doing things like restoring old cars, “although why rebuilding a car should feel like honest work instead of a rich man’s hobby, while recording albums and playing arenas had come to seem like a rich man’s hobby instead of a job, he couldn’t have said.” What can be said is that Mr. Hill has the mind-set of the aging rock star down cold.

The suit arrives. And now it’s showtime. At first the suit only scares Jude’s dogs, but soon it has released its ghost and sent him on the prowl. Strange sounds are heard. Jude’s girlfriend is stuck by a pin in the suit and beings showing bizarre symptoms.

The suit — which of course looks like Johnny Cash’s — begins showing up in unexpected places. What separates this haunting from the hollow, arbitrary kind is that Jude has made his living exploiting just this sort of phenomenon. He can’t be sure where reality ends and fantasy begins. Or where retribution begins either.

Mr. Hill has built a revenge plot around the suit, linking it to Jude’s treatment of the old girlfriend he called Florida, because he likes nicknaming groupies for the states from which they came. (Georgia is his current companion.) Florida and Georgia — or Anna and Marybeth, as they turn out to be named — begin to meld together as the story proceeds, even though Anna is dead, with the aid of one hair-raising Ouija board scene.

In his passive way Jude sensed that Anna was in trouble without caring to do much about it. He knew she was “not fashionably depressed, in the way of some Goth chicks, but clinically.” Opinions differ as to whether Jude bears some blame for her suicide.

The ghostly old man is Anna’s stepfather, and he also overlaps with another character: Jude’s father, a monstrous, now-feeble figure who lies near death at Jude’s childhood home in Louisiana. Jude was Justin Cowzynski in those days, but everyone in “Heart-Shaped Box” has picked up an alias of some kind. Everyone in the book is wrestling with some kind of murderous ghost. And everyone is seeking either redemption or revenge.

Mr. Hill, whose British short story collection “20th Century Ghosts” attracted favorable attention (but not an American publisher), has set himself a tricky job here. He balances “Heart-Shaped Box” between reality and fantasy in ways that threaten to run the book into an uncharted dreamscape, and away from the palpable suspense on which it thrives. But he holds the italics to a minimum, pulls back from the brink of hallucinatory overkill and mostly keeps this story tightly on track. Even when it erupts into strange, violent visions — as when, in the midst of a struggle to the death, light pours up from a newly opened door in the floor — this book is so visually intense that its energy never flags.

Though it has the potential to fall back on tricks and pyrotechnics, “Heart-Shaped Box” is firmly rooted in real-world concerns. Mr. Hill elicits honest empathy for Jude, who turned his stage persona into a nightmare version of his fears and must now figure out what strength he has left for legitimate battles. This dynamic is both frightening and funny, and the book weaves together those two threads in clever ways. When Jude slips over into violence, he fights a primal battle but doesn’t worry about petty consequences. “Prison didn’t frighten him especially,” Mr. Hill writes. “He had a lot of fans in there.”
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 20, 2008, 07:27:26 PM
I picked up The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made by David Hughes (http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Sci-fi-Movies-Revised-Updated/dp/1845767551/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219270970&sr=8-1) earlier today and it's friggin' riveting.

The book chronicles a dozen or so movies that suffered through torturous "development hell" before seeing the light of day. (and some never did.) Tales include:

--The ten screenwriters it took to get Alien 3 made.
--Twenty years of clusterfuckery to get Superman Returns
--How Spielberg's alien horror movie became ET.
--The Star Trek sequel that never was.

Amazing stuff.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 20, 2008, 08:05:32 PM
Oh-ho!  To the wishlist!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 21, 2008, 05:56:04 PM
Anyone ever heard of this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Firmin-Adventures-Metropolitan-Sam-Savage/dp/1566891817

Worth reading?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 26, 2008, 10:10:31 AM
Just started...and loving it.

In My Blood: Six Generations of Madness and Desire in an American Family (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060521678?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0060521678)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0060521678" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 15, 2008, 06:10:59 PM
Getting into The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585676772?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585676772)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1585676772" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />.

Time for high fantasy!  I was a bit wary at first, and it was a challenge out of the gate...and is addictive so far.  Only 30 pages in, though.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 17, 2008, 08:18:14 AM
I'm reading Descartes' Meditations.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on September 17, 2008, 12:54:55 PM
I'm getting closer to finishing Cryptonomicon for a second time. Love love love this book!

You've all read it, right?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on September 17, 2008, 01:47:04 PM
Nope.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on September 17, 2008, 01:58:11 PM
You big homo. Go read it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on September 17, 2008, 02:49:38 PM
Alright, I've added it to my Wishlist.  Now it's in the hands of my fans.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 17, 2008, 03:01:43 PM
We don't have a link to your wishlist... Hold on.  Go to Intensive Porpoises.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on September 17, 2008, 04:55:05 PM
Now you do!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 17, 2008, 06:17:12 PM
I'm getting closer to finishing Cryptonomicon for a second time. Love love love this book!

You've all read it, right?

Never heard of it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 17, 2008, 06:26:24 PM
Here's my wishlist on amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/wishlist/3MKF6636CBQIA/ref=cm_reg_rd-upd?ie=UTF8&msgid=updated
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on September 21, 2008, 10:38:09 PM
Just picked up Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. I'm excited.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on September 29, 2008, 01:57:30 AM
I also just picked up Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (who I just found out is visiting campus in the spring!), Scott McClellan's What Happened, and Noam Chomsky's Failed States.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on September 30, 2008, 09:36:06 PM
are those for your "Young Liberal Idealist 101"  class this fall semester?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on September 30, 2008, 10:16:05 PM
Oh snap! Cass brings it!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on October 01, 2008, 12:46:34 AM
I don't need to defend myself to you.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on October 01, 2008, 01:36:57 AM
Matt fails to bring it!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on October 01, 2008, 01:51:54 AM
The guy's been riding my ass for over four years. At some point, it gets fucking old. And that's all I'm going to say about it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 01, 2008, 12:06:19 PM
Getting into The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585676772?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585676772)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1585676772" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />.

Time for high fantasy!  I was a bit wary at first, and it was a challenge out of the gate...and is addictive so far.  Only 30 pages in, though.

Okay... I loved it.

I'll ignore this:
http://xkcd.com/483/

Started book two, which a certain someone from the front page got off of my wishlist.  (Thanks!)

Bakker has just the right amount of updated Tolkien in his fantasy.  The twist being that there is no Great Evil, really.  There's the dead "No-God," who is the sort of always-absent Sauron of the tale, but he's not the overwhelming horror.  Certainly a factor, but the real villain (?) is one of our main heroes, which is a nice twist.

There's also plenty of George Martin in there.  The whole story is basically the Crusades.  You have your dying Byzantine-style empire, your somewhat rough and fanatic types run by a sort of pope who declares a holy war against the desert tribes who unified under a "latter prophet" and conquered the southwestern provinces of the old empire.  The holy war needs to pass through the dying empire, which is a political clusterfuck.  Meanwhile, you get the typical group of fantasy types -- a depressive sorcerer, scorned and confused women, your stock barbarian (who's crazy), etc.

Really just a combination of two current fantasy formulas done up with a good story and good writing.  We'll see if it holds steady through the second book.  (And, unlike other fantasy series, this is only a trilogy.  Though he is working on a second trilogy... But it least there's not an endless line of thousand page books ahead of me.)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 01, 2008, 05:56:49 PM
Where's my fuckin' parcels?

I listed my wishlist.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 01, 2008, 05:59:04 PM
God, Nacho, shut up.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 01, 2008, 06:53:03 PM
BUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 03, 2008, 12:47:41 AM
Gin: The Much Lamented Death of Madam Geneva (http://www.amazon.com/Gin-Lamented-Geneva-Eighteenth-Century/dp/1932112251/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223004040&sr=8-1)

This book kicks ass.  Basically about how gin drinking became a widespread scourge through out london in the 1700s because it was cheaper to buy than brandy and wine and got you drunker faster than ale, so everybody who was poor drank it then went around killing their own kids to sell their clothes so they could buy more.  The government goes into a panic, but instead of taxing the distillers (who were among the first what you could call "corporate interests" who hired lobbyists in Parliament) they fined retailers, effectively prohibiting gin drinking among the lower classes.  Of course, this does nothing except make everyone deranged, clogs the prison system, and turns the lower-class against the government. 

Lots of ground is covered, some old, some new, but what really gets me going is the idea that none of the problems we face with our own government are new.  I'm really getting more and more seduced by this idea (not sure what you'd call it) that human history progresses onwards but rarely upwards.  We refine things, but we'll never ever rid ourselves of poverty no matter how rich our poor people get, and we'll never be able to cure humans' desire to ignore themselves or their world for a little while, and we'll never be able to impose (what we think of as) morality through law without the jackboots and batons.  I guess you could call it a "the more things change the more they stay the same" kind of philosophy, but when you apply it as your worldview instead of just a catch phrase, things start to unravel a little bit.  Does it make me feel better or worse that the kind of horror stories we read from time to time ("Man kills Toddler after Toddler Accidentally Turns Off XBox") are nothing new?  I guess it makes me feel better that we here in the Western Civilization are not becoming more and more depraved at any given time, just better informed.  But you'd think at the same time that after about 500 years since the Renaissance we'd have gotten a little better at self-analyzation. 

Maybe it's the fact that we live for too short a period, or maybe too long a period.  which would be better for avoiding the "Back in my day, kids respected adults" or "back in my day we'd have rolled over all these towelheads from day one" kind of crap?  not sure.  Anyway, we continue to view the world as an extension of ourselves and therefore apply all new knowledge to the world around us, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.  So if you know nothing about how horrible humans treated each other since the beginning of time, from throwing babies into ravines and disemboweling heretics, nailing their intestines to a tree, then forcing them to walk around said tree until everything was pulled out and they eventually died, people turning to cannibalism during city seiges, etc, then, yeah, i guess you'd think every new atrocity you heard of would sound pretty severe.  Or that every new dipshit law that got passed set the new bar for pandering, reactionary bullshit.

 But, in my view, in the long run, we are getting more refined, as a world.  Fewer and fewer countries are known for their outright mercilessness.  The general workforce is not being bootheeled under some new regime every decade.  These things happen from time to time, but not in the numbers we've seen before throughout history.  The longer we continue to exist, the more problems we can solve, and eventually (probably not for decades, but eventually) humans will realize that the last thing gumming up the works of progress and more security is over-engorged, cancerous government, no matter in what form it takes, and that'll be excised too.  The things that push us forward are never governments, only individuals and pockets of influence.  So, yeah, perk up.  Things aren't as bad now as they were back in 18th century london.  A lot of the same mechanics were in place, but we're so much better off, despite your idiot co-worker who thinks   internment camps are a good idea.

or something.  got myself into a little rant there.   
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 03, 2008, 07:44:14 AM
Yeah, I'm looking forward to reading that.  I was hooked from the first chapter.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 06, 2008, 08:46:51 AM
Getting into The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585676772?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585676772)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1585676772" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />.

Time for high fantasy!  I was a bit wary at first, and it was a challenge out of the gate...and is addictive so far.  Only 30 pages in, though.

Okay... I loved it.

I'll ignore this:
http://xkcd.com/483/

Started book two, which a certain someone from the front page got off of my wishlist.  (Thanks!)

Bakker has just the right amount of updated Tolkien in his fantasy.  The twist being that there is no Great Evil, really.  There's the dead "No-God," who is the sort of always-absent Sauron of the tale, but he's not the overwhelming horror.  Certainly a factor, but the real villain (?) is one of our main heroes, which is a nice twist.

There's also plenty of George Martin in there.  The whole story is basically the Crusades.  You have your dying Byzantine-style empire, your somewhat rough and fanatic types run by a sort of pope who declares a holy war against the desert tribes who unified under a "latter prophet" and conquered the southwestern provinces of the old empire.  The holy war needs to pass through the dying empire, which is a political clusterfuck.  Meanwhile, you get the typical group of fantasy types -- a depressive sorcerer, scorned and confused women, your stock barbarian (who's crazy), etc.

Really just a combination of two current fantasy formulas done up with a good story and good writing.  We'll see if it holds steady through the second book.  (And, unlike other fantasy series, this is only a trilogy.  Though he is working on a second trilogy... But it least there's not an endless line of thousand page books ahead of me.)

Book two:  The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (The Prince of Nothing) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590201191?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1590201191)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1590201191" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

The critics say it's the worst of the three, but I can't put it down.  The whole book is turned over to the Holy War, which the first book builds up to.  Wildly addictive.  Bakker's a genius with his battle scenes.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 12, 2008, 10:16:08 AM
Getting into The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585676772?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585676772)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1585676772" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />.

Time for high fantasy!  I was a bit wary at first, and it was a challenge out of the gate...and is addictive so far.  Only 30 pages in, though.

Okay... I loved it.

I'll ignore this:
http://xkcd.com/483/

Started book two, which a certain someone from the front page got off of my wishlist.  (Thanks!)

Bakker has just the right amount of updated Tolkien in his fantasy.  The twist being that there is no Great Evil, really.  There's the dead "No-God," who is the sort of always-absent Sauron of the tale, but he's not the overwhelming horror.  Certainly a factor, but the real villain (?) is one of our main heroes, which is a nice twist.

There's also plenty of George Martin in there.  The whole story is basically the Crusades.  You have your dying Byzantine-style empire, your somewhat rough and fanatic types run by a sort of pope who declares a holy war against the desert tribes who unified under a "latter prophet" and conquered the southwestern provinces of the old empire.  The holy war needs to pass through the dying empire, which is a political clusterfuck.  Meanwhile, you get the typical group of fantasy types -- a depressive sorcerer, scorned and confused women, your stock barbarian (who's crazy), etc.

Really just a combination of two current fantasy formulas done up with a good story and good writing.  We'll see if it holds steady through the second book.  (And, unlike other fantasy series, this is only a trilogy.  Though he is working on a second trilogy... But it least there's not an endless line of thousand page books ahead of me.)

Book two:  The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (The Prince of Nothing) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590201191?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1590201191)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1590201191" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

The critics say it's the worst of the three, but I can't put it down.  The whole book is turned over to the Holy War, which the first book builds up to.  Wildly addictive.  Bakker's a genius with his battle scenes.

Flew through book two!  diving into book three now -- The Thousandfold Thought: The Prince of Nothing, Book Three (The Prince of Nothing) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590201205?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1590201205)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1590201205" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Hopelessly addicted to this series.  Sorry that it's only a trilogy, really.  Though knowing that the end is in sight might be part of the addiction.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 17, 2008, 06:19:56 PM
Gin is on its way to you.  A very admirable book.  Now I'm on book two from Nacho's visit to McKeown's Used bookstore: Huey Long Invades New Orleans. 

i guess i always knew Huey Long was this force of nature but, goddamn...i'm only on chapter 3 and i can't believe his self-made power. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 17, 2008, 06:23:50 PM
I read tons of stuff on Huey in college.  I love him.

Looking forward to Gin!  I've slowed down on the last Prince of Nothing book in an attempt to delay that terrible "finishing of the series" feeling, but I'll hurry up now.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 17, 2008, 06:26:54 PM
yep, the pendulum is definitely swinging the other way now towards non-fiction.  my cormac mccarthy binge is over and now it's onto random history.  i think i may go back and get that book about the medicis i saw.  or maybe i could crack open one of the books i got for christmas last year (only read one of about 10) in advance of the others that will no doubt be coming again this xmas.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 17, 2008, 06:35:18 PM
If you want history, get into Norwich.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Julius_Norwich

It's not light history, and is often told with a stiff upper lip, but it is brilliant.  His Byzantium trilogy is the only readable history on the era.

His Venice history is eye-opening, as is his history on the lesser known Normans.  We think William and England when we think of the Normans, but they were the last of the migratory barbarians (really just fancied up Norsemen raiders who stayed for the long term), so they were ranging all over the place.

Haven't read The Middle Sea, yet.  (It's on my wishlist!)  I imagine it's loads of fun, though.

History :fap:
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 17, 2008, 10:24:35 PM
Gin is on its way to you.  A very admirable book.  Now I'm on book two from Nacho's visit to McKeown's Used bookstore: Huey Long Invades New Orleans. 


Yes!  Gin: The Much Lamented Death of Madam Geneva the Eighteenth Century Gin Craze (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932112251?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1932112251)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1932112251" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> has arrived!

Thanks, Cass!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 25, 2008, 11:38:22 AM
Gin is on its way to you.  A very admirable book.  Now I'm on book two from Nacho's visit to McKeown's Used bookstore: Huey Long Invades New Orleans. 


Yes!  Gin: The Much Lamented Death of Madam Geneva the Eighteenth Century Gin Craze (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932112251?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1932112251)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1932112251" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> has arrived!

Thanks, Cass!

Okay...getting well into it.  Will probably knock out quite a bit at the wedding today...12 hours of hell.

On the Prince of Nothing trilogy:  Just amazing.  And clearly set up with the sequel trilogy planned, which is nice.  I was worried Bakker was just settling into a rut and preparing to churn out endless books in the series.  But the Prince of Nothing trilogy acts more as prologue for the real showdown... Which was hinted at as far back as the first five pages of the first book.



 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 23, 2008, 04:09:11 PM
Time for some trash!

By the Sword: A Repairman Jack Novel (Repairman Jack) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765317079?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0765317079)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0765317079" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Repairman Jack thread (not updated for some time):
http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,2249.0.html

I've been a little down on the franchise because the last two books sucked hard, but FPW says that there are only three books left before we catch up with Nightworld.  Since I've been following this franchise for over 20 years, I figures I'll ride it out till the end.

And, so far, By The Sword is loads of fun.  Not only is the end in sight, but FPW has decided to go ahead and start answering the endless questions and speed up the action.

As usual, flying through this one.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 23, 2008, 10:26:51 PM
so did you get your package?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 24, 2008, 07:27:09 AM
Yes.  But I can't open it till Christmas morning!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 24, 2008, 10:12:26 AM
you're such a nuttering nancy
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 24, 2008, 10:14:05 AM
I'm going to make the "dinosaur tree" tonight with all my presents from GS people and England.  Then I'm going to pretend that tomorrow morning is a happy and wondrous time!  Then I'm going to shoot up the apartment complex!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 24, 2008, 09:12:25 PM
dinosaur strapped to your back
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 24, 2008, 09:21:17 PM
Always.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 08, 2009, 12:35:20 PM
Okay, Repairman Jack is back!  Great read. 

I was going to read Lehane's new novel, but waiting for me was another present from my wishlist...and I can't say no:

Let the Right One In: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312355297?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312355297)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0312355297" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on January 09, 2009, 01:54:17 AM
a novelization?

i've been hip deep in this: The Meaning of Everything (http://www.amazon.com/Meaning-Everything-Oxford-English-Dictionary/dp/019517500X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231480247&sr=8-1)

Which is a personable history of the OED.  pretty good stuff.  after that, something else non-fiction, i'm sure.  i kind of have "The Crusades through Arab Eyes," a history of the crusades from arab first-hand accounts that i bought about 9 months ago but it sounds so depressing.  i think, really, i'm a complete anglo-phile and might just spend the rest of my days reading british history and erratica. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 09, 2009, 07:22:06 AM
The novel came first.

And, by the way, it's amazing!  The most unexplored part of Let the Right One In was her ghoul.  You get plenty of him here.  Motivations, why he was so dumb about how he killed people, and so on.

The movie was my best fim of 08, and the book is just perfect.  I didn't intend to start it, but I just started flipping through it when it arrived and, next thing you know, I'm crouched under my desk reading wildly.  Poured through 50 pages yesterday at work.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 13, 2009, 09:29:02 AM
So...Let the Right One In.  The best movie I saw in 2008 and the best novel I've read in 2009.  Still plenty of time this year to unseat it from that throne but, jesus, the beauty and originality of the movie pales compared to the delicious complexity of the novel.

Oskar is far more pathetic, and far more human.  Eli, however, is where we see the biggest change.  She's not the sad monster in a beautiful child's body... She's a heartless, pitiless mass murderer.  She drives her ghoul to obscene murder, self-mutilation, and worse... While she is obviously struggling with her friendship with Oskar, all of that is shadowed by the overwhelming fact that she is what she is -- a vampire.  And she ravages the community in order to feed.

Originally weak, having escaped an unknown near-miss disaster, she becomes more and more of a monster as she gains strength...and becomes desperate.

I'm only halfway through and totally enthralled.  It's a lengthy novel, but I have a feeling it won't be long enough.  You become deeply invested in even the peripheral characters. 

Everything is set against the depressing, crushing, trapped boredom of suburbia.  We peek behind the closed doors of the sad people in this community -- all of them casting around for meaning, dreaming of escape, or simply giving up on life.  The true vampire is the emotionally-draining nature of a bedroom community.  The lonely, the lost, the losers... And into their isolated, xenophobic midst comes this 200 year old vampire. 

All that, in turn, is set against 1980's Cold War paranoia.  The news is dominated by a stranded Russian sub, the abject fear of nuclear war and Soviet invasion is the through-line for the book.  The inability to see the true predator for imaginary predators.

You don't fall in love with Eli in the book as you do in the movie.  There's no tender-hearted romance here.  There is that element, but Eli is so intensely described...and her feeding scenes almost hair raising...that this book is pure horror.  From those sort of jump in your seat scream out loud scenes, to the slow, decaying horror pulsating through the community.

This book should be a series on HBO, not True Blood.  I'm glad it made it to a movie, but the movie doesn't even come close to capturing the intensity of the story. 

Movie and book combined -- this is a story that has changed my life.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on January 13, 2009, 10:20:45 AM
I'm reading Cryptonomicon, which was a Christmas gift via Amazon.  It's good.  I'm digging the WWII stuff much more than the modern day.  But it's nice and nerdy which makes me happy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 13, 2009, 01:31:22 PM
Oh, Cryptonomicon is phenomenal. I've read it twice and loved it both times.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on January 13, 2009, 10:10:19 PM
i'm thinking about going back to ellroy.  all this waiting and waiting for Blood's a Rover is driving me insane.  so do i go back and read the LA Quartet or his memoir My Dark Places?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 13, 2009, 10:12:16 PM
My Dark Places.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on January 13, 2009, 10:15:05 PM
probably wiser.  i have about 5 non-fiction books i've accumlated but never read, but they're just not grabbing me right now.  i burned myself out on cormac mccarthy.  maybe another trip to mckeown's is in order.  i don't know what i'm in the mood for.  anyone read "A Spot of Bother"? my girlfriend is tearing through it right now and says i need to read it next.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 13, 2009, 10:54:46 PM
I never take book advice from women because that's how they try to slip strychnine into your bloodstream.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on January 14, 2009, 02:20:35 AM
bah! you haven't known many women like my woman. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 14, 2009, 07:10:50 AM
The women I've known have all tried to kill me.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on January 14, 2009, 08:57:33 PM
with kindness!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on January 14, 2009, 10:27:04 PM
Kindness is eerily knife shaped
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 14, 2009, 11:36:14 PM
Non-fiction is all I read. I don't think I've read a novel in well over three years.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on January 15, 2009, 01:21:33 PM
Yeah, non-fiction rules... That Rolling Stones book Cass loaned to me was the shit!!  I need to send it back to him.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 20, 2009, 03:54:11 AM
Just started reading The Devil in the White City and, oh my god, it's amazing. Tore through a sizable chunk of it last night and I'm sure I'll read until, like, 5am.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 24, 2009, 01:33:11 PM
So part of the new SFWP storefront will include some posts and mini-reviews from this thread...

http://astore.amazon.com/santafewriterspr?_encoding=UTF8&node=3

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 26, 2009, 10:22:38 AM
Finally moving into Lehane's latest:

The Given Day: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0688163181?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0688163181)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0688163181" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on January 26, 2009, 01:27:01 PM
Bumming through Late Victorian Holocausts (http://www.amazon.com/Late-Victorian-Holocausts-Famines-Making/dp/1859843824/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232990751&sr=8-1). Examination of how imperialist Britain (mostly) fucked over India and China and Africa during El Nino droughts in the late 19th century. Mike Davis fucking owns.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 26, 2009, 01:39:35 PM
Aha!  On the wishlist.  Anglophilia ahoy!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on January 26, 2009, 01:50:06 PM
It has a ridiculously long chapter devoted to explaining how El Nino was discovered and affects various parts of the world and it's really nerdy but really fun to read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: vernae on February 03, 2009, 10:21:54 PM
I just started "The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brahares.   LOL! It's good, though.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on February 07, 2009, 10:43:26 PM
digging into Kapital right now with David Harvey's audio podcasts as a commentary
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 09, 2009, 01:16:59 PM
Finished Cryptonomicon last night.  It was great!  Very nerdy and technical (although starting to show some age with technology's rapid advancement).  Loved the codebreaker stuff from WWII.

Next up Neuromancer.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 09, 2009, 05:00:51 PM
"The Third Act" by Drew Yanno . . . it's a book on writing endings for movies/screenplays. Pretty good for people who read that sort of thing.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 10, 2009, 08:12:36 PM
Finally moving into Lehane's latest:

The Given Day: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0688163181?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0688163181)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0688163181" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


What a great book.  I've loved everything by Lehane, but this one takes the cake.  Historical fiction, really.  I hit the acknowledgments at the end, where he lists all his source material on the flu Pandemic, the Red Scare, and the Boston police strike and I want to read all of them...

A storytelling masterwork.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 11, 2009, 10:06:07 AM
Okay, RC -- finally getting into it.  And it's stunning so far.  Makes me want to punch people.

Generation Kill (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0425224740?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0425224740)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0425224740" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


I'm also reading this:

The 4-Hour work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786158964?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0786158964)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0786158964" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


My uncle got it as a "gag gift" for Christmas.  Except...it was the only gift he got me.  My family is famous for giving a "gag gift" and nothing else, then getting mad when you don't put the gag gift to whatever use it's intended for.

Well, the other night, he asked me if I had started reading it.  I blew him off...but then picked it up because he got me thinking about it.  It's strangely absorbing.  Only about 20 pages in, but the basic premise is -- forget about the house on the hill and the million in the bank, simply retake control of your life.  Easy enough, so we'll see if he has any useful advice throughout besides pointless white suburban platitudes.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on February 11, 2009, 08:43:33 PM
As a near-native of WV, Nacho must have some insight in to Breece Pancake's writings.

I have only been turned on to his works in the last few days, but he seems like something of an Appalachian augur, shall we say?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 16, 2009, 02:14:40 PM
Okay, RC -- finally getting into it.  And it's stunning so far.  Makes me want to punch people.

Generation Kill (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0425224740?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0425224740)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0425224740" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


Rewatching the show as I finish each section of the book... With the background Wright provides in the book, the show (which was and is astounding) is ten times better.  The soldiers, the nature of the Recon force, and the events depicted are all that much more powerful after a few hundred pages fleshing it out. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 18, 2009, 09:58:47 PM
More on Gen Kill... The series does not even touch on how fucked up and terrible the invasion was.  Wright tells us up front what is never said to our team in the series (though they question their LT relentlessly):  Marine Recon was sent, against all training and expectation for their unit, simply to draw enemy fire.  So tin-plate HumVees (all taken from junkyards and restored by the Marines themselves just weeks before the war -- many without roofs or doors) were sent into forward positions to draw out ambushes so air support (frequently crippled by sandstorms) could take out embedded Iraqis.  Meanwhile, the main strike force carefully drove around the firefights that Recon was stumbling through.  The series is more dramatic about that -- lines of tanks skimming past while the 300-man Recon team engages 6000 Republican Guardsmen.  In reality, the strike force was rarely seen.  Recon was utterly alone, with dwindling supplies, and clueless as to their mission.

Also fascinating is that Recon's purpose is to zip in and observe, never to engage, and to act as small, individual units.  Officers are never in the field with them -- always providing rear support on the radio.  Recon is supposed to be a sort of rat patrol -- lightly armored Humvees race in, take stock of the situation, call in an air strike, then race out to safety.

It was decided, by those Pentagon types, to use Recon as bait.  And part of that was sticking all of these desk officers in the field with the grunts.  So the officers are in a wild panic, racing around with bayonets, and tripping over their boots, and hunting for souvenirs, all while the shit is hitting the fan.  Recon is on different comms from the rest of the military forces, so they're in the dark as to what's happening, and unable to communicate with anyone else (they are shot at by friendlies once in the series and many times in the book, and unable to say who they are...so they fall under sustained friendly fire frequently).

It's astounding, really.  The most fucked up, clumsy military act in our history.  The series only scrapes the surface.  Re-watching it as I read the book, and so seing these fucks acted out on screen, just fills me with rage.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 18, 2009, 10:13:51 PM
Also fascinating in the book (and hinted at in the series) is how hard the commanders seek to avoid finding WMD's.  Several times, there's good intel on WMD stashes that are being cleared out by fleeing Republican Guards and taken to the border, or the deep desert.  The soldiers and junior officers all say, fuck, we got it.  But the one translator (yes, they sent Recon in with only one translator) is told by the CIA (or someone) to translate everything as "We love the Americans and we are glad to be liberated."  Shit gets so bad, that the translator wavers back and forth between the company line and actually helping, but it's never enough.

When Iraqis who speak English finally approach and say there are WMD's, they are being taken out under cover of darkness to the border, then the higher ups cook up cockamamie plans to distract everyone -- take an airfield 40 kilometers away in two hours at night when the max convoy speed is 25 miles an hour, etc. 

Frequently, junior officers (and, occasionally, even the enlisted)violently argue with the higher ups.  But it's useless.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2009, 03:58:34 PM
Getting into The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585676772?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585676772)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1585676772" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />.

Time for high fantasy!  I was a bit wary at first, and it was a challenge out of the gate...and is addictive so far.  Only 30 pages in, though.

Okay... I loved it.

I'll ignore this:
http://xkcd.com/483/

Started book two, which a certain someone from the front page got off of my wishlist.  (Thanks!)

Bakker has just the right amount of updated Tolkien in his fantasy.  The twist being that there is no Great Evil, really.  There's the dead "No-God," who is the sort of always-absent Sauron of the tale, but he's not the overwhelming horror.  Certainly a factor, but the real villain (?) is one of our main heroes, which is a nice twist.

There's also plenty of George Martin in there.  The whole story is basically the Crusades.  You have your dying Byzantine-style empire, your somewhat rough and fanatic types run by a sort of pope who declares a holy war against the desert tribes who unified under a "latter prophet" and conquered the southwestern provinces of the old empire.  The holy war needs to pass through the dying empire, which is a political clusterfuck.  Meanwhile, you get the typical group of fantasy types -- a depressive sorcerer, scorned and confused women, your stock barbarian (who's crazy), etc.

Really just a combination of two current fantasy formulas done up with a good story and good writing.  We'll see if it holds steady through the second book.  (And, unlike other fantasy series, this is only a trilogy.  Though he is working on a second trilogy... But it least there's not an endless line of thousand page books ahead of me.)

Book two:  The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (The Prince of Nothing) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590201191?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1590201191)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1590201191" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

The critics say it's the worst of the three, but I can't put it down.  The whole book is turned over to the Holy War, which the first book builds up to.  Wildly addictive.  Bakker's a genius with his battle scenes.

Flew through book two!  diving into book three now -- The Thousandfold Thought: The Prince of Nothing, Book Three (The Prince of Nothing) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590201205?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1590201205)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1590201205" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Hopelessly addicted to this series.  Sorry that it's only a trilogy, really.  Though knowing that the end is in sight might be part of the addiction.

Oh-ho-ho!  Someone got me The Judging Eye (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590201698?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1590201698)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1590201698" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> off of my wishlist.

Thank you! 

But I'm going to wait for all three books to come out before I read it.  If I was reading the first trilogy as it came out, I would have gone insane.  Reading all three books in one freakout round was amazing. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2009, 08:35:05 PM
More Generation Kill...

Not at all featured in the series, the tale of the reservist platoon is hair raising.  Some of the regular marines, late to deployment, teamed up with the reservist Recon unit a few days behind the main force.  They did not get the radio codes, and so they were off coms for about a week.  Finally catching up with the main force while they were camped outside Baghdad.

The regular marines were bullied into submission by the 90 reservists who, cut off, without orders, and vaguely pushing north, started a mercenary company.  Selling their services to convoys and friendly Iraqi's alike.  They turned it into a lucrative side job...and then they went nuts.  Following the burnt out, bombed out trail of the main force, they started laying claim to towns and pulling insane stunts with villagers.  Mass slaughter, engaging civilian targets... disgusting. 

The reservists were, largely, LAPD.  Some weekend warriors, but the cops comprised the bulk of the force.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on February 20, 2009, 09:06:09 PM
The fact that cops engaged in merciless slaughter of the innocents doesn't surprise me. The LAPD got in some trouble a few years back, if I recall correctly, for shooting a robber and then letting him bleed out instead of getting him stabilized with medical attention.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2009, 09:24:49 PM
You should read Generation Kill, Matt.  Before you finish, you'll be planting pipe bombs in courthouses.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2009, 09:36:43 PM
I mean, it's also a great commentary on the clashing cultures.  How the marines behave like it's World War II, and many atrocities come about because the Iraqis are lacking the deep well of pop culture that makes a war between western nations work, queerly enough.  If they only played ball and had reactions we understood, the war would have been smoother.

The roadblock issue is a big point.  The enlisted marines, universally, despise roadblock duty after it becomes clear that the Iraqi reaction to warning shots is to speed up.  Go towards the roadblock to get away from whatever the marines are shooting at.  Again and again that's the thinking and, of course, they get the fuck blown out of them.  Because you and I and all those marines would turn fucking tail if we got lit up.  When the reaction is opposite...what do you do?  You end up riddling six year old girls with heavy machine guns.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on February 20, 2009, 09:43:38 PM
Dude, I'm already a self-professed Marxist. The last thing I need is something that radicalizes me further. (But I'll get a copy of it right away.)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on February 20, 2009, 09:46:06 PM
Found a scanned pdf of it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2009, 09:48:40 PM
Criminal.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on February 20, 2009, 09:51:07 PM
Child of the revolution, I say.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2009, 09:53:26 PM
You're taking food out of Penguin Book Company's mouth, young man.  How ever will they afford their Park Avenue penthouse suite now?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2009, 10:00:14 PM
Oh, as you read it, just remember: Captain America is a real person.  So's Encino Man and Col. Ferrando.  That, alone, makes me want to hurl the book across the room.  These motherfuckers are walking the street with us now, man.

When you're done, get Lt. Fick's book:  One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0618773436?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0618773436)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0618773436" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


The perfect companion.  Fick's a central figure in Generation Kill. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 21, 2009, 11:36:51 AM
Well, okay, Finished Generation Kill.  A life-changing book, really.  I'll go so far to say that we all should be obligated to read it if we want to come to terms with the last eight years.

Now moving on to fiction.  The Terror: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G60FTS?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001G60FTS)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=B001G60FTS" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Been looking forward to this.  Dan Simmons has graduated to historical horror fiction!  Yummy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on February 21, 2009, 01:04:42 PM
You should read this: http://www.amazon.com/House-Soldiers-Memoir-David-Bellavia/dp/B001IV5W08/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235235671&sr=8-1

I saw the author on Book TV telling his story about Fallujah and it's pretty chilling stuff.  It was cool to listen to him talk though because he's a pretty smart guy, so he's able to look at how barbaric he had to be in order to survive and analyze it frankly. 

This one's been on my to read list for a while now... I might have to order it with Generation Kill.

How different was the book from the miniseries?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 21, 2009, 01:09:30 PM
Added to my wishlist!


How different was the book from the miniseries?

It goes into far, far more detail.  And involves you at a greater level with all of the marines.  In that sense, it's dramatically different -- and more horrifying -- than the series.  The series basically pulled every punch for entertainment's sake.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on February 23, 2009, 05:53:42 PM
Yo Nacho; Please read Pancake.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on February 23, 2009, 06:04:25 PM
Just got this email from my crazy college English professor, Dr. Hood. 

Quote
STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING

Everybody drop whatever you're involved in and read The Return of the Soldier, by Rebecca West.
 
It absolutely (in my mind, and I know what I'm talkin about) thrashes Heart of Darkness as the greatest short novel ever written.
 
It's fewer than a hundred pages. You can read it between Jeopardy and House.
 
O my God, what a great book.
 
Hillary: you will love this book. So will Owen and so will ALL the Durrellites.
 
O my.....

Quote
full text online here:

http://www.digital.library.upenn.edu/women/west/soldier/soldier.html

hope all are well.

a.j.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2009, 06:30:28 PM
Yo Nacho; Please read Pancake.

I have.  But long ago.

Also, Nubbs, Rebecca West is awesome, but she's of the somewhat tea and biscuits variety.  Her adventures through pre-war Eastern Europe are loads of fun.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 24, 2009, 12:17:01 PM
Next up Neuromancer.

Finished it last night.  Kind of "meh".  I liked it, but I felt like I didn't know enough about how the world was constructed.  I guess it felt kind of alien to me.  Which is probably the point, but I enjoyed it less for that aspect.

Next up: Speaker for the Dead and my jaunt through the Ender Wiggin books.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2009, 04:33:39 PM

Also, Nubbs, Rebecca West is awesome, but she's of the somewhat tea and biscuits variety.  Her adventures through pre-war Eastern Europe are loads of fun.

Heh.  Rebecca West came up today during my arbitrary boredom research.  She was listed in "The Black Book," which was the SS list of folks to be arrested if the German invasion of Britain had succeeded.  She wrote comical notes to several people on the list.  "I didn't mean it when I said I wouldn't be seen dead with you!" and so on.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on February 24, 2009, 04:51:39 PM
So do you like the guys any better in the book than you do in the series... or is it even more horrifying?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2009, 05:00:09 PM
Talking about Generation Kill?  It's more horrifying. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on February 24, 2009, 05:48:14 PM
Yeah... that figures.  It's on my list!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 17, 2009, 10:07:07 AM


Now moving on to fiction.  The Terror: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G60FTS?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001G60FTS)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=B001G60FTS" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Been looking forward to this.  Dan Simmons has graduated to historical horror fiction!  Yummy.

Finally finished this monster.  A terrific read...and also terrifically flawed.

Simmons expertly portrays the Franklin expedition, their years trapped in the Arctic, and their long and terrible demise.  All the meat you need for fictional assumptions are there in 160 years of search parties, surveys, and research on the artifacts.  There's a search party up there right now looking for the shipwrecks.  Or there will be -- it heads out in April.

You've got gnawed on bones, weird notes and messages, bizarre scenes -- like the "Boat Place" discovered almost a decade after they were lost where a lifeboat heaped with gold and loot had two skeletons in it -- one whole and one a muddle of chewed on bones.  There's all kinds of shit like that with the Franklin Expedition.  150 men, two ships, and three years of supplies scattered across the soulless landscape of King William Island.  And Inuits interviewed in the 1850's (the last message from the expedition is a scrawled note in 1848) saying that, as late as 1851, they saw white men pushing south towards Crozier's thousands of miles away goal on the Canadian mainland which, in turn, was an 800 mile river ride to the nearest outpost.  So the survivors spent years trying to push overland to the river in Canada, and evidence suggests they brutally devoured each other along the way.

The sinking and horrible despair of the doomed expedition is horror story enough.  But Simmons can't break from his earlier roots.  He's added a supernatural monster to the tale, almost playfully picking off the expedition members one by one.

The monster is the flaw.  In the face of the natural horror and misery facing the expedition, the monster plays almost second fiddle.  Simmons has put together a wonderful cast of characters -- from the evil men who eventually turn cannibal to the gutless to the naive to the brave and bold.  The monster on the ice is, largely, used as a plot device to move the story along.  After all, it's a 755 page book about men who spend a year trapped on ship in the ice, so the monster is needed to spice up the narrative.  Once they abandon the ships and the story has enough action as they slog hopelessly over pack ice and land, Simmons seems to forget about the monster.  Using it only to bring comeuppances to those deserving and create tension here and there.

Then, when we're finally whittled down to one survivor, Simmons takes this weird and startling 50 page detour into that one survivor's transformation and almost wholly fabricated native legends explaining the monster.  It's this weird digression, and self-masturbation about a creature that was nothing more than a dues ex machina.  And the hokey made up legend stuff is almost Gaiman-esque.

Then, just as jarringly, we move back into an epilogue chapter (The Inuit who claimed to see members of the expedition in 1851). 

Looking back at his other work, it almost feels like the hokey legend stuff was what Simmons set out to write but, instead, got sidetracked by the larger story of the Franklin Expedition and some agent or publisher said, kid, focus on that, because it's an awesome story.  And, so, he's created the "historical alt-lit horror human fiction" niche that he's cashing in on with this title and Drood, the story about the mysterious last days of Dickens. 

Was that 50 page digression a mistake in the storytelling?  Yes. Did it ruin the story?  Not really.  I don't regret reading it.  It inspired me to read some more actual history on the expedition, and Simmons provides several pages of reference material and thoughts. 

 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 17, 2009, 09:52:28 PM
And moving on to nonfiction, and my Christmas present from Cass:

Race of the Century: The Heroic True Story of the 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0609610961?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0609610961)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0609610961" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 19, 2009, 10:10:25 PM
sweet!  try to finish it before you come down.  i read the first 80 pages and i kind of want to know the whole story. 

also, nubs, if you want to do book trade Mark II, feel free.  both L and i started the Iggy book but never finished it.  i guess i should've skipped ahead, but there was a lot of "early years" stuff that kind of bogged us down.  but don't let that discourage you!  bring some good shit and i'm sure you'll find one or two things here to take back with you.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 20, 2009, 01:15:32 AM
Yep, it'll be done in a week or so.  I'll bring it down... Page 70 now.  Amazing read so far.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on March 20, 2009, 10:34:13 AM
I finished Speaker for the Dead.   Slow start, but a gripping finish!  Overall, I enjoyed it.

Now, on to Xenocide.  So far...very slow.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on April 05, 2009, 10:20:56 AM
Despite being almost as old as DD and NS (published in 1975), a book called Freedom at Midnight by Collins and Lapierre remains a very interesting and through read for all those looking for more insight to topics such as the twilight of the British Empire after WW II, the private lives of figures such as Gandhi, Nehru, Mountbatten and Jinnah, as well as the fermentation of Islamic radicalism on the Indian subcontinent which is reaching its boiling point these days.


It will also clue in the average Joe as to the real reasons why that corner of the globe is the most likely locale for an outbreak of nuclear hostilities.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 07, 2009, 05:59:31 PM
And moving on to nonfiction, and my Christmas present from Cass:

Race of the Century: The Heroic True Story of the 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0609610961?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0609610961)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0609610961" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


A slow read... but utterly fascinating.  I'm almost done.  Short book...don't know why it took so long.  I always start to drift with nonfiction.

Anyway, when you fiish it Cass, I think Nubbins should read it.

Also, now that I'm near the end, I spoiled the (obvious from the start) winner:  http://www.thegreatautorace.com/

An amazing story, really.  Since the book lacks photos and maps, that site has proved to be a thrill.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on April 07, 2009, 06:41:24 PM
I'm reading "Fatal Light" by Rihcard Currey!!!!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on April 07, 2009, 07:45:30 PM
Ricardo Curie!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 07, 2009, 07:54:37 PM
Discoverer of Neptune!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on April 07, 2009, 08:42:42 PM
Johann can suck it!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 07, 2009, 08:46:21 PM
GS: Well educated locker room talk.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on April 07, 2009, 09:15:18 PM
The Kidnapping of Edgardo Montara (http://www.amazon.com/Kidnapping-Edgardo-Mortara-David-Kertzer/dp/0679768173)

Pretty interesting book about the transformation of Italy from a group of scattered dominions (incuding the Papal States) into a modern independent nation set off by the Catholic Church taking Jewish children from their families and putting them in re-education schools.  the church claimed it had the power to do this if the children were secretly baptized (usually by dumb Christian servant girls), but eventually the title case brought everything to a head and caught the attention of Napoleon III, who basically leveraged modern European powers against the Pope in basically that office's last stand as a church-nation entity. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on April 08, 2009, 03:40:54 AM
GS: Well educated locker room talk.

wE NOOW hwo 2 usee Googgle!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 08, 2009, 07:03:33 AM
Cheat.  I expected you to know the guys who discovered Neptune off the top of your head.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 08, 2009, 10:32:59 AM
And moving on to nonfiction, and my Christmas present from Cass:

Race of the Century: The Heroic True Story of the 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0609610961?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0609610961)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0609610961" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


A slow read... but utterly fascinating.  I'm almost done.  Short book...don't know why it took so long.  I always start to drift with nonfiction.

Anyway, when you fiish it Cass, I think Nubbins should read it.

Also, now that I'm near the end, I spoiled the (obvious from the start) winner:  http://www.thegreatautorace.com/

An amazing story, really.  Since the book lacks photos and maps, that site has proved to be a thrill.

Finished!  Great read... Amazing story.  The galley I have lacks photos, which severely detracts from the book.  Thus the quoted post above with the webpage link...

There's a feeling that each of the race teams sort of deserved their own book.  Lots of stuff glossed over as the author struggles to tell the whole story in 350 pages.  So now I'm hunting for more resources...

Save that Italian book for me, Cass.  We'll trade off in May.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 08, 2009, 10:40:02 AM
So the NW has requested that I read Med Ship (Med Ship Saga) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743435559?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0743435559)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0743435559" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> by silver age sci-fi author Murray Leinster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Leinster) for my fiction entry.  (I'm alternating between fiction and nonfiction.)

I'm typically lukewarm when it comes to the sci-fi classics, though always end up enjoying them when I read them. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on April 08, 2009, 09:55:05 PM
yeah, mrs. mcKeown really doesn't shy away from selling review copies.  I've even seen her feature "interesting books" up front that blatantly say "FOR REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY DON'T BUY THIS" all over it.  but they're also usually cheap as well. 

this book i'm reading is so good!  the author is perfect about getting out of the way of the story he's telling but very awesome at the organization and detail of it.  now amsterdam and england are getting into the mix. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 27, 2009, 06:10:00 PM
Okay.  Finished my vintage sci-fi and now moving on to: Into Tibet: The CIA's First Atomic Spy and His Secret Expedition to Lhasa (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080213999X?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=080213999X)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=080213999X" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

This caught my eye about a year ago at a cafe in NOLA.  I finally picked up a copy the last time I was down there and looking to lose some money at the wonderful McKeown's (http://mckeownsbooks.com/).
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 12, 2009, 01:43:35 PM
Started and finished reading The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416561390?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416561390)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1416561390" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />.

It was awesome.  Devoured it on the plane in just a few hours. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 12, 2009, 07:11:52 PM
And this is the current read -- The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1556524005?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1556524005)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1556524005" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Both Cass and Nubbs say it's the best rock and roll bio out there.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on May 16, 2009, 02:49:57 PM
With your WV roots I can fully understand why you so dug that last book about bootleggers in the bad old days.

Have you watched Cocksucker Blues on Youtube? Really does show the Stones Sucking in the '70s

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Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 03, 2009, 02:50:48 AM
so, i finished Rising Tide, which i highly recommend to anyone interested in US history.  i started Pesthouse, by Jim Crace, but before i got too far my girlfriend stole it.  so now i'm going to finally read the latest SFWP release, Fatal Light.  god save my soul. 

so, anyway, nacho.  after we both finish Pesthouse, I'll send a package up to you with it and the Edgar Mortara book.

did you browse through Dispatches yet?  i might actually want to read it again, but maybe not so closely to Fatal Light.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 03, 2009, 07:14:03 AM
Haven't delved into Dispatches yet.  It'll be after my apocalypse duo that Reggie got me (and the 40 last pages of the Rolling Stones bio which I'll send back to you today).  Did you get the big package from me?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 03, 2009, 09:58:25 PM
yes, as i believe was implied by saying i'm starting Fatal Light.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 04, 2009, 07:24:58 AM
Vaguely implied.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 04, 2009, 10:19:23 AM
True Adventures of the Rolling Stones was an amazing read...complete with vital writerly advice in the end as Booth talks about how much of a failure the book has been.

Moving on to a gift from Reggie:

Survivors (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1409102645?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1409102645)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1409102645" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Terry Nation wrote Survivors in 1976, using the novel to launch into a BBC series which had one great year before he left, bitching and complaining.  It rolled on for two mediocre seasons after.

Nation left Survivors to create the magnificent Blake's 7 which, really, was one long attempt to get the Daleks their own TV series -- his goal since 1963. (The Daleks would never appear.)

Survivors is, easily, one of my favorite PA stories.  The first season is about cut-glass proper English suburban types thrust into the dismal, grey countryside after a flu pandemic wipes out most of the world.  The slow devolution of their world is somewhat clumsily played out, yet still manages to grab.

The new series lacks the spirit and quality, and though the creators of the reboot claim that they are trying to follow the book, I can now say it's all lies.  Flew through the first 60 pages on the bus today.  The new series is nowhere near the book.  Of course. 

So far, it's a great read.  Somewhat introspective and simplistic, but Nation is a master storyteller on the screen, therefore the book possesses that Robert Crais sort of reads-like-a-prose-screenplay feel. 

Reggie got me two apocalypse novels, so I'm going to skip my fiction-nonfiction thing and launch right into the second one when I finish Survivors.





Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 05, 2009, 11:14:33 PM
L is tearing through the Pesthouse, so it must be good.  i wish i still had my third copy of Being Dead (i keep lending it out and never getting it back) or I'd send that to you too.  you really need to get into Jim Crace.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 06, 2009, 09:12:41 AM
Yes, I do.  Looking forward to Pesthouse.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 09, 2009, 09:47:16 AM
Okay, the second half of the PA freakout continues.  Reggie also got me:

One Second After (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765317583?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0765317583)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0765317583" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


Survivors had a terrible ending, which I knew about.  The series does, as well!  But Nation wrote the book with the idea of selling the series, not creating a PA masterwork.  So it was a fast, fun read regardless.

One Second After had me worried... The foreword is by Newt Gingrich, of all people.  He's an old friend of the author.  It's three or four pages of paranoid, "keep watching the skies, America" ranting.  That's followed by a brief intro where the author pats his own back about how an EMP apocalypse is a serious threat and no one has tackled that type of story before.  Uh...did you miss the two seasons of Dark Angel, which is set after an EMP?  Or did you not read The Postman, which is set 20 years after an EMP?  I can see missing Alba's sadly horrible series, but anyone writing a PA novel should be aware of The Postman (the novel is very different than the movie).

Luckily, the story itself is wonderful and enjoyable.  It's written using the formula and voice of old school 70's and 80's PA novels -- Swan Song, The Stand, Lucifer's Hammer (especially).  The author compares his work to Alas, Babylon... But it's not that at all.  I see nothing but Lucifer's Hammer in the way he deals with characters and situations.

The author's comparison to those Red Scare PA novels of the 50's and 60's is telling in his somewhat small town professor fuddy-duddyness.  But it doesn't hurt the story since he's writing in the modern day.  Oddly, that limited PA cultural knowledge combined with the 2008 setting is almost pitch perfect.  I plowed through 70 pages on the bus this morning.  Kind of sad I have to quit now... And I can tell it's going to be hard coming down off of this.  Hurry up with Pesthouse, Cass!

 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 12, 2009, 10:21:13 AM
One Second After is formulaic, weepy, patriotic, soap-boxey trash...

And yet I loved it.  Straight-up, old school apocalypse sci-fi.  Like something from the 60's.  It's Alas, Babylon and Lucifer's Hammer to such a degree that you almost want to stand up and point out the author in a courtroom... Yet he somehow makes it work.  Even shameful stuff, like skipping most of the climatic battle in a jarring "a few hours later..." sort of jump, is forgivable.  Very much enjoyed it...and tore through it.  Thanks again, Reggie!  I love the apocalypse!

Now, back to my fiction-nonfiction routine.  Next up is:

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0609809644?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0609809644)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0609809644" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on June 13, 2009, 08:02:11 AM
Unlike most acidheads (check out the new avatar by the way....), DD has never been much of a Ken Kesey fan, but Demon Box is worth anyone's time and dough. Perhaps because it is a melange of fiction and non-fiction.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 13, 2009, 11:56:39 AM
Did someone say L, S, D?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 13, 2009, 06:42:21 PM
Long Slow Distance?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 13, 2009, 11:00:59 PM
lucy in the sky with diamonds?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on June 14, 2009, 07:57:50 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Box-Ken-Kesey/dp/0140085300

There was supposedly a real life Lucy Diamond from the U.S. that came to the Apple office in London right after the release of SPLHCB....it's in this book!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 15, 2009, 01:17:12 AM
yeah, sure.  Apple had an office.  but instead of desks and chairs it was full of flip-n-fucks and pot brownies.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on June 15, 2009, 02:10:21 PM
You're welcome.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on June 17, 2009, 06:12:41 PM
GQ had a very interesting article about a year ago on Keith Richards' NYC office. The Fab 4 had nothing on him and the Stones....except James Taylor and Badfinger....ha ha ha!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 18, 2009, 12:53:39 AM
!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 19, 2009, 03:11:45 PM
so I tore through FATAL LIGHT.  It was pretty damn good.  Now I'm almost done with Pesthouse, which is also pretty damn good.  After that it will be time for a care package to Nacho.  How's that Ghengis Khan book?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 19, 2009, 03:21:20 PM
I'm on the fence about the Genghis book.  The history is fascinating, so you keep reading, but it's clumsily written.  Really annoying in parts, the worst is when he pulls a fast forward for about 30 years.  And then Genghis conquered (long list of cities).  Phew!  What a champ!  Now he's 60 and on his last campaign!  Yay!  Also his sons hate him or something.  I don't know much about that.

Then the second half of the book is devoted to his sons and grandsons (mainly Kubla, of course).  The author seems to really love the brutality of tribal warfare on the Steppe, then gets really bored when it comes to administering the empire.  And he gets out of it by saying that Genghis was bored with his empire, as well.  So we don't get the good stuff on all these conquered people.

Genghis conquered a fifth of the planet.  He dominated 100 million people with an army of 100,000 over the course of a 30-year long world war, yet we only brush past that in about 120 pages.

I'd say give it a pass.  The Wikipedia article is better.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 19, 2009, 08:04:32 PM
just got back from McKeown's.  I found a copy of Shutter Island, which I'll read next (probably before Wettest County in the World, since I need a little more of a fiction break).  Hopefully it's better than that other Lehane book I read.  I found these two, which i'll try to pick up eventually (not enough funds right now), but that sound awesome:

The Algerian Hotel--which, for some reason, I can't find any mention of online.  A recently written book by a journalist who interviews old people and pulls the curtain down off of French myths about the occupation during WWII.  Mainly the cultural repression of memories of aiding the nazis in herding Jews and the follies of the Vichy French government, little pockets of WWII history I'm not that familiar with.

Meet You in Hell  (http://www.amazon.com/Meet-You-Hell-Carnegie-Partnership/dp/1400047684/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245452341&sr=8-3), a book about Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick duking it out in the emerging steel manufacturing business and trodding thousands of laborers under their heels.  Because I'm all gay for turn of the century America now.

But this was the other book I couldn't stand not to buy:
The General and the Jaguar (http://www.amazon.com/General-Jaguar-Pershings-Revolution-Revenge/dp/0803222246/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245452477&sr=1-1) about an old General Pershing and a young West Point Graduate George Patton foraying into Mexico to find Pancho Villa and punish him for an attack on a New Mexico town.  Sounds awesome.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 20, 2009, 09:47:59 AM
Yeah...keep me posted on Jaguar.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 22, 2009, 11:39:30 PM
Sophisticated Monkey has just finished Princess Bride (what a novel!) and once he has a day repose from reading must (re)commence one of these endeavours: finishing Joyce's Ulysses, finishing Descartes' Meditations on the Metaphysical or beginning his gifted Cryptonomicon.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 23, 2009, 08:37:42 PM
Just be sure not to put Descartes before the whores.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 24, 2009, 02:59:13 AM
Join me in reading Infinite Jest!

Or read Cryptonomicon, you homo.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 24, 2009, 10:08:45 AM
God, that Genghis Khan book sucked.

Moving on to another Reggie gift (and eventual subject of a front page apocalypse article):

The Breaking of Northwall: The Pelbar Cycle, Book One (Beyond Armageddon) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080329851X?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=080329851X)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=080329851X" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on June 24, 2009, 01:10:43 PM
Dang, Paul O. Williams died at the beginning of the month...

http://www.sfwa.org/news/2009/powilliams.htm
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 24, 2009, 01:21:57 PM
Yeah.  Put that in the obit thread... Sort of what moved the title up my list.  I was going to read more Bondurant. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 24, 2009, 06:32:30 PM
Join me in reading Infinite Jest!

Or read Cryptonomicon, you homo.

One was not a fan of most reserved praises for Infinite Jest: some excellent verses were to be found but too many flat notes were busy bringing down the sound of the orchestra.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 24, 2009, 07:47:33 PM
Can someone go break Monkey's knees? I'll pay for your lodging.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 24, 2009, 08:34:21 PM
I don't like Infinite Jest, either.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 24, 2009, 08:43:51 PM
is infinite jest the one about the pilots who can't say they're crazy in order to stop flying missions?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 24, 2009, 09:08:29 PM
I don't like Infinite Jest, either.

BUT DAVE EGGERS WROTE THE FORWARD FOR THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION OMG U SUK.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 24, 2009, 09:43:43 PM
is infinite jest the one about the pilots who can't say they're crazy in order to stop flying missions?

Hah! I read the blurb for Cryptonomican!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 25, 2009, 07:34:16 AM
I don't like Infinite Jest, either.

BUT DAVE EGGERS WROTE THE FORWARD FOR THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION OMG U SUK.

I'll go further -- I think Wallace is a hack with his literary head deep in his ass and I think it's pretty awesome that he offed himself before inflicting the Pale King on us.  What?  700 pages about bored IRS agents based on one of his college commencement speeches?  What a pedantic bastard.  Wallace is like reading a script of Brazil with all of the fantasy and comedy removed by Stasi censors.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 25, 2009, 10:33:00 AM
I don't like Infinite Jest, either.

BUT DAVE EGGERS WROTE THE FORWARD FOR THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION OMG U SUK.

I'll go further -- I think Wallace is a hack with his literary head deep in his ass and I think it's pretty awesome that he offed himself before inflicting the Pale King on us.  What?  700 pages about bored IRS agents based on one of his college commencement speeches?  What a pedantic bastard.  Wallace is like reading a script of Brazil with all of the fantasy and comedy removed by Stasi censors.

I think Tyson's so totally trying to be like Matt in loving Infinite Jest because it's "thought" to be cool.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 26, 2009, 10:52:12 AM
oh my god.  Shutter Island sucked.  I hate you Nacho.  Lehane's style is so mainstream.  I don't see what you find so special about him.  Almost every bit of dialogue is corny.  What really got me, though, was in the acknowledgments at the beginning he talks about three books, histories of early 20th century psychiatrics and facilities and admits how deeply indebted to them he was for research....then writes an entire book that uses none of that research.  and when the actual twist came...bleah.  no more Dennis Lehane! I've written him off.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2009, 11:06:34 AM
Wow... I'm surprised. 

Well, yes, write him off.  That's his best work!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 26, 2009, 12:32:00 PM
Jesus, it's a fucking book people. Calm down. I don't care if you think it was written by Satan's ass hairs. I bought it a while ago when I saw it at the store for $10, opened it up, read a bit, and found it funny. My apologies for not realizing that reading Infinite Jest is cause enough for my membership to the Kool Kids Klub to get revoked.

Just because you define yourself in opposition to everything that you've been told "those damn kids these days" enjoy doesn't make you somehow even cooler or more aloof. It makes you like those asshole hipsters who define themselves as against everything that the general public seems to like as if it will make them more hard core, more indie.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2009, 12:35:19 PM
All I'm saying is that I think Wallace is a pedantic asshole.  I'm not attacking you for reading it.  You're still a member of the KKK as far as I'm concerned!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on June 26, 2009, 01:20:23 PM
You're still a member of the KKK as far as I'm concerned!

 iceprawn!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2009, 01:39:16 PM
Anyway... Watching Mongol right now ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_(film) ) and it's making me hate that Genghis Khan book even more.

Weird, though, Mongol is a Russian film...and yet it's strangely nationalistic.  It certainly veers a little off from the actual history.  And the life of Genghis allows for that -- there's only one written record of his rise and fall, and that's a somewhat suspicious document called "The Secret History," which may or may not have been written in his later years by a court scribe who painted him as a god. 

Whereas Weatherford, in the book, took the Secret History as bible, these Russian guys are just sort of using it as the compass for Mongolian nationalism...Which is, largely, anathema to the Russians who are in decade nine of a very successful purge of all things nationalistic in Mongolia.  The Soviets spent the 1920's through the 1980's hunting down every possible blood relative to Genghis and disappearing them. 

Maybe this is an apology...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 26, 2009, 01:40:17 PM
You're still a member of the KKK as far as I'm concerned!

 iceprawn!

I was actually worried for a second you guys wouldn't get the joke.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2009, 01:41:34 PM
I'm humorless.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 26, 2009, 02:07:35 PM
Jokes? I GET THOSE!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 28, 2009, 10:37:32 PM
Jesus, it's a fucking book people. Calm down. I don't care if you think it was written by Satan's ass hairs. I bought it a while ago when I saw it at the store for $10, opened it up, read a bit, and found it funny. My apologies for not realizing that reading Infinite Jest is cause enough for my membership to the Kool Kids Klub to get revoked.

Just because you define yourself in opposition to everything that you've been told "those damn kids these days" enjoy doesn't make you somehow even cooler or more aloof. It makes you like those asshole hipsters who define themselves as against everything that the general public seems to like as if it will make them more hard core, more indie.

Matt's hacked Tyson's account!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 28, 2009, 10:38:40 PM
I'm humorless.

Dead inside. Like a hooker.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 29, 2009, 03:59:29 AM
Who's Matt?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 30, 2009, 08:30:05 PM
Matt's that guy you've quoted in the post signature.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 30, 2009, 08:33:04 PM
Oh! Ha ha! I've had forum signatures and avatars turned off since, I don't know, 1995. Or something.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 30, 2009, 08:44:58 PM
Yeah, since about 5 minutes after I made that remark.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 30, 2009, 08:58:07 PM
Or ever since someone had jiggling tits as their avatar or something and I wanted to read GS at work without the scornful glares of the Pope.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 30, 2009, 09:42:16 PM
That was Jay with the the tit jiggling...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 30, 2009, 09:43:40 PM
And Tyson removed his signature quotation of Matt just after I remarked upon it because it was seeing it just before replying that prompted it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on June 30, 2009, 11:49:01 PM
Oh, yes, because it was old and, you know, probably not funny anymore.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 01, 2009, 01:22:51 AM
this is the last true to title forum topic! please don't fuck it up!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 01, 2009, 01:43:19 AM
Oh, right. So, I went to Borders with a gift card and snapped up Columbine by Dave Cullen and The Company by Robert Littell.

I've started with Columbine and it's amazing. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in the real story of what happened before, during, and after the massacre. After I read the play-by-play of what went down on the day of the massacre, I couldn't sleep for hours. It's very well researched, as well.

I got The Company because, well, I like CIA shit. So, whatever. That's on the towering stack of Shit I Have To Read This Summer.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 01, 2009, 08:51:31 PM
is columbine a new book?  does it blame marilyn manson?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 01, 2009, 09:34:54 PM
Columbine has long been on my read list. Glad to hear from someone I know that it's all it's touted to be.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 01, 2009, 11:14:56 PM
is columbine a new book?  does it blame marilyn manson?

Exactly the kind of bullshit this book refutes. Yeah, it's new and it's very, very good.

Columbine has long been on my read list. Glad to hear from someone I know that it's all it's touted to be.

I mean, I can't independently verify all the facts, but the guy's list of his research, interviews, and other primary sources makes me dizzy to my head. He even cuts through a lot of the misconceptions held by people who were there when it happened. None of that "Trench Coat Mafia" bullshit.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 02, 2009, 07:13:13 AM
In the same vein, we've all seen Elephant, yes?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_(film)

So feel like putting Columbine into the mail-library circuit when you're done?  Then you can get it back with bookmarks from DC and New Orleans. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 02, 2009, 10:11:07 AM
actually, my copy of Shutter Island had a Denver Resale book shop bookmark in it.  weird. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 02, 2009, 10:17:54 AM
Okay, done with the first Pelbar book...the second one is on way via Amazon Used Slow Boat... So, I went ahead and kept up my apocalypse freakout.  On to The Pesthouse (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307278956?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307278956)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0307278956" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

About 30 pages in and loving it.  With hours and hours to kill at the wedding tomorrow, I should make some serious headway and get back into Pelbar next week.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 02, 2009, 12:24:24 PM
So feel like putting Columbine into the mail-library circuit when you're done?  Then you can get it back with bookmarks from DC and New Orleans. 

Yeah, we can do that. I'm about halfway done, so maybe next week or so.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 02, 2009, 11:41:05 PM
Sophisticated Monkey has delved once more into the breach and picked up Ulysses.

There are, frankly, unreadable parts of this, but the swathes of greatness help to make up for it all.

Pages 210-220 are sublime.

Quote
Her stockings are loose over her ankles. I detest that:  so tasteless. Those literary etherial people they are all. Dreamy, cloudy, symbolistic. Esthetes they are. I wouldn't be surprised if it was that kind of food you see produces the like waves of the brain the poetical. For example one of those policemen sweating Irish stew into their shirts; you couldn't squeeze a line of poetry out o him. Don't know what poetry is even. Must be in a certain mood.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 03, 2009, 11:15:28 AM
I think everybody who actually reads (or tries to read) Ulysses takes about 25 years to finish it.  I don't really trust people who sit down and read it at a normal pace.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 06, 2009, 01:50:26 AM
actually, once you leave college (or, in monkey's case, university) you realize that Ulysses has almost no bearing on our culture whatsoever and was the biggest over-celebrated one-off of all time. 

but that's just my opinion.

The General and the Jaguar is awesome.  I may delay sending it to you, Nacho, because i want to take notes and write the screenplay.  it would be a great movie or mini-series, especially since it's more of the same "US Army doing Army things to track down a wily enemy in their own territory" theme.  there's even precursors to Abu Graib with Cavalry soldiers posing for photos with charred mexican corpses.  the more i read about turn of the century america, the more i'm surprised we didn't try to just take over the whole world.  and people say we're self-centered and jingoistic now!

anyway.  i've been wrestling with the idea of reading the Dune series again.  haven't read any of the books since college, and haven't read the series in order, really, within a short time period.  anyone else suggest or discourage this act?  i'm thinking of reading at least the first four.  after that it gets weird.  and i'm not doing that Kevin Johnson prequel shit.  just the good stuff.  or, at least, i think it's good stuff.  i think it might be fun to just dive into that for summer reading. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 06, 2009, 07:13:08 AM
I have a long list ahead of me, so no problem.

And I've only read the first Dune.  I'd be tempted to marathon it, as well...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on July 06, 2009, 02:19:59 PM
I finished Speaker for the Dead.   Slow start, but a gripping finish!  Overall, I enjoyed it.

Now, on to Xenocide.  So far...very slow.

Xenocide sucked.

I read Children of the Mind simply for completeness.  It sucked too.

On Saturday, I flew from New Orleans to Baltimore via Detroit.  I picked up The Shack in the NOLA airport.  I finished it shortly before touchdown in Baltimore.  In the interim I was crying like a little girl.  I don't know how it affects other people, but I was truly touched.  It is a book that is about God, among other things, and I usually hate those.  This was different in that it successfully captured many of my beliefs about what Christianity should look like.  It's difficult to capture the how and why of exactly where it hit me so deeply...probably a lot of things tied up together, but I'd recommend it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 10, 2009, 06:51:37 PM
Pesthouse is done! Loved it.

It's kind of the antithesis of The Road, isn't it?  Since they came out right on top of each other, I can't help but compare... The bleakness of dead America in Pesthouse is far more light-hearted and hopeful, though, but I have mixed feelings on the modern play with the "Go West, Young Man" sentiment... As well as the Britishisms that Crace can't seem to avoid.  In a way, I wish Pesthouse was much longer.  I feel that we didn't delve deeply enough into PA America.

However...it's not about that.  It's about Franklin and Margaret's journey.  And, with that in mind, it's a terrific read.  I might even be a little relieved that it wasn't as grim and horrible as the world in The Road.  That book was oppressively dark... So much so that, weirdly, it colored Pesthouse.  I kept waiting for somebody to eat Margaret's legs. 

I'll mail it back next week, Cass.

Meantime... I'm a fucking addict!  I'm continuing with my PA freakout and launching into book two of the Pelbar Cycle:


The Ends of the Circle: The Pelbar Cycle, Book Two (Beyond Armageddon) (Bk. 2) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0803298498?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0803298498)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0803298498" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 11, 2009, 12:13:40 AM
Finished Columbine. Who wants it first?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 11, 2009, 01:18:24 AM
i liked Pesthouse because it was a lot better than his previous book, Genesis, which sort of felt like he phoned it in, but also because it's more of a twisted folklore thing going on.  there's almost so little evidence of some kind of armageddon that you feel like he might as well have set it in the 1800s.  could've used a little more of that. and i hated the ending.  seems weird that both the road and the pesthouse have the coast as the journey's end and both offer us little in the way of closure.  ah well.  when your book is about hiding in a country with no more people in it, it's hard to come up with a proper ending, i suppose.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2009, 07:17:18 AM
Finished Columbine. Who wants it first?

Send it to someone who won't be living out of boxes for two weeks.  Cass?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2009, 07:22:21 AM
i liked Pesthouse because it was a lot better than his previous book, Genesis, which sort of felt like he phoned it in, but also because it's more of a twisted folklore thing going on.  there's almost so little evidence of some kind of armageddon that you feel like he might as well have set it in the 1800s.  could've used a little more of that. and i hated the ending.  seems weird that both the road and the pesthouse have the coast as the journey's end and both offer us little in the way of closure.  ah well.  when your book is about hiding in a country with no more people in it, it's hard to come up with a proper ending, i suppose.

Yeah, that 1800's thing was strong, wasn't it?  Again a part of the Go West Young Man stuff... I think this is the first PA novel I've read inspired by Horace Greeley!

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 11, 2009, 10:22:12 AM
i don't know if i can handle the columbine book right now.  i know i won't get to it for a couple weeks.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 13, 2009, 12:40:02 PM
Ulysses certainly isn't anything magical, and it is a long, hard slog to read it (just like it took Joyce 50 years to write the thing) but there are some fantastic passages that make it worth while.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 29, 2009, 10:12:49 AM
A friend is making me read:

Hard Hard City (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399152172?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0399152172)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0399152172" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


And, so far, it's great.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 29, 2009, 01:42:10 PM
A friend is making me read:

Hard Hard City (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399152172?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0399152172)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0399152172" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


And, so far, it's great.

Funny, I approached Fusilli for the 2007 LAP, and he turned me down.  Was just kind of flaky, generally... One of these authors incapable of making a decision unless their thieving agent made it for them. 

So I'm going into Hard, Hard City thinking, well, fuck this guy.  But it's a really fast and fun read.  Pure candy.  Write-by-numbers troubled detective story.  Kid dead, wife left him, perky daughter still on his side, the seemingly simple investigation going wildly catastrophic... Absolutely nothing new or interesting.  But Fusilli is doing a good job with it.

Now, I am a sucker for this stuff.  As Cass recently discovered when Dennis Lehane offended him.  I read James Burke and Lehane and love it.  I don't know...that's probably why my friend forced this on me. 

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 29, 2009, 01:55:14 PM
Are you into pulps? Because I just bought this for myself as a house warming gift:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Lizard-Big-Book-Pulps/dp/0307280489
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 29, 2009, 02:00:15 PM
Oh-ho-ho.... That looks nice.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 29, 2009, 02:16:27 PM
Yeah.

And I have this weird thing were I'm actually preferential about how a book feels when you hold it and how it smells. I literally can't read books with a shitty feel. And it's not about cost -- many $7 paperbacks feel great and smell nice -- like a forest. There's a lot of mid-range books that suck. Paper is too thick (or, in design parlance, the stock is too heavy), smells lame or sour, and so on. That Canadian press I recommended to you back in the day makes wonderful books, though not as good as some others.

The Big Book of Pulps originally caught my interest because it, if I remember correctly, uses the same paper that the paperback version of Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay did, which is beautiful and smells amazing (not that rough cut edge bullshit version, the original paperback version). Furthermore, the Big Book is beautifully designed. I love pulps, but I love beautifully bound books more.

I know, I'm weird. But, man, nothing's more amazing than a book that feels nice in your hands and smells like fresh-cut pine.

I'm not the only one, right?

Right?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 29, 2009, 02:40:01 PM
You're not...as you know.  I've never strayed from Hignell even though I could have been saving on printing.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on July 29, 2009, 03:29:12 PM
Principles.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 29, 2009, 03:30:40 PM
Good, quality books for warehouse workers and pulp mill operators everywhere!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 29, 2009, 07:49:12 PM
Dunno if this is the right thread but the opening paragraph to this review is amazing:

http://nymag.com/arts/books/reviews/58062/
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 30, 2009, 08:07:47 AM
That's hilarious.  And now I'm reading Sam Anderson's other reviews...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 30, 2009, 11:56:17 PM
i'm almost done with Wettest County in the World, which will finish up the Nacho's Summer Reading list.  after that, who knows?  L is still trying to get me to read the Corrections, but I just don't want to right now.  I've ruled out going back to Dune.  Maybe it's time to read some really big-ass classic i've never read. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 31, 2009, 10:10:30 AM
Three Musketeers!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 31, 2009, 01:13:40 PM
oh god!  nothing french.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on July 31, 2009, 03:15:15 PM
Crime and Punishment!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 31, 2009, 03:17:13 PM
actually after reading Wettest County in the World, I might try to find some Sherwood Anderson.  I've been reading all this early 1900's history but none of the fiction.  maybe some sinclair lewis and that guy who wrote main street.  never paid much attention to any of those. 

or maybe finally read some faulkner?  do we have any closet faulkner fans on the board?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 31, 2009, 09:07:12 PM
I saw lots of Anderson on the shelves at McKeown's.  And, yes, I want to read Anderson as well... Though I imagine Matt is romanticizing much and the normal reaction to a work by Anderson will cause you to drown yourself.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 01, 2009, 09:10:07 PM
well, they had Winesburg, Ohio, and as soon as I picked it up and read the table of contents i lost all interest.  They also had the Third Translation, which is Bondurant's first book, but it's all about Egyptian hieroglyphics and a professor unlocking secret codes and mystic cults and whatnot.  supposedly it's really good, but I just didn't feel like reading a history mystery right now.  so i got this instead:

Oyster by John Biguenet (http://www.amazon.com/Oyster-Novel-John-Biguenet/dp/0060514477/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249171592&sr=8-4)

Quote
The oyster-rich bayou country of Louisiana in the 1950s is the setting for this remarkable first novel by Biguenet, author of the O. Henry Award-winning collection of short stories The Torturer's Apprentice. The bitter family rivalry between the Bruneaus and the Petitjeans, deeply rooted in their entangled past, leads to tragedy from the outset. A marriage arranged between young Therese Petitjean and the Bruneau patriarch to shore up the Petitjeans' finances ends violently in the first chapter, and matters don't improve from there. Day-to-day life for the oyster fishermen of the period is realistically portrayed as this tale of two doomed families unfolds. Colorful characters and a story line that rips along make this work captivating from start to finish. Comparisons to Faulkner might be a stretch, but Biguenet's steamy Southern flavor is memorable.

Looks good.  Did anyone ever read the Torturer's Apprentice?  when I went to check out the guy immediately started gushing about it and went to look for a copy, but they didn't have it.  but this book sounds like the kind of mood i'm in right now.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 07, 2009, 05:29:11 PM
A friend is making me read:

Hard Hard City (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399152172?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0399152172)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0399152172" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


And, so far, it's great.

Ugh... So it didn't stay great.  Very simple, write-by-numbers stuff.  No surprises, everything predictable.  But if you're a sucker for this formula, then here it is.  Worth reading.  Otherwise...pretend this post never happened!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 10, 2009, 11:04:11 AM
So Wettest County in the World was far from a perfect book...but Bondurant has a certain style.  He knows how to write, and he's got a voice.

Along with the dreadful Hard, Hard City, my friend dropped off The Third Translation -- Bondurant's earlier work that's essentially a moody Da Vinci Code with good writing and likable characters and a better story.  Just 20 pages in, but really digging it.

The Third Translation (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401308414?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1401308414)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1401308414" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 10, 2009, 08:41:47 PM
why wasn't wettest county a perfect book?  i'm already hating the book i'm reading right now because it's not as awesome.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 10, 2009, 08:52:46 PM
I think Bondurant got a little bit lost in the "fictionalized biography" of it.  It's probably just because I know him and he's annoying.

The deeper I get into Third Translation the more I'm ready to call him a genius.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 21, 2009, 10:37:36 AM
And it begins!

Blood's A Rover (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679403930?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0679403930)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0679403930" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 21, 2009, 11:11:43 AM
i hate you!

really, until I read the book I'm going to have to abandon this thread unless we get a spoiler tag thing going.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 21, 2009, 11:16:11 AM
We have a thread just for this book...which you can avoid:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,4218.0.html
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 21, 2009, 12:40:34 PM
I read this article last night.  Really good stuff about the last doctor who almost exclusively performs late-term abortions, Dr. Hern.  Hern was friends with the other doctor who was shot a couple months back.  Great insight into not only the man, but the day-in-day-out business of running and abortion clinic and living in the crosshairs of a newly regenerated hate cult.  Really, really good article.

http://www.esquire.com/features/abortion-doctor-warren-hern-0909
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 21, 2009, 03:14:36 PM
I guess there are a lot of jobs out there I would consider horrible and disgusting, but I cannot imagine going to work everyday to do late-term abortions exclusively.

I guess you would get numb to it, like anything else.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 21, 2009, 03:15:13 PM
Mike Rowe should do a late term abortion episode!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on August 21, 2009, 09:58:30 PM
well, that's part of what the article is about.  this guy is so gung-ho about his job for one reason: he's really good at it and there just aren't enough people doing it, so he feels like it's his duty to provide completely safe, judgment-free late term abortions for fetuses who, for the most part, have been found to have severe birth defects.  it even describes the times the woman getting the abortion HAS to have one or she'll die but she still is talking to him the whole time about how he should be shot for doing what he does.  the guy is just one of those gotta-keep-moving type of guys.  but he says, yes, it's a tough job, especially for his staff.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 31, 2009, 03:19:36 PM
Reading 'Im westen nicht Neues' and by gum this is good; involving and slightly harrowing.

Aka 'Nothing new on the western front.'
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2009, 06:37:13 PM
So Blood's A Rover is the first book I've had to give up on in years.  The terrible, clumsy downfall of Ellroy.

Moving on to some mindless trash to try and wash out my anger:

Afterage (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553563580?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0553563580)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0553563580" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
 

(I secretly started reading it a while ago.  Halfway through now.)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on October 01, 2009, 01:00:04 PM
From one of my favorite, crazy, college English profs, Dr. Hood:

Quote
I was reminded recently that some of you wanted my top ten short novels listed. Here they are.
Obviously this is a dashed-off and very changeable list. And I had to decide what constitutes a "short novel." Is As I Lay Dying a "short novel?" I decided not--it's a full novel.  Is "Benito Cereno?" No--short story. I'm not sure what my criteria were. Just "feel," I guess.
 
Anyway, here they are. I would welcome additions, subtractions, and arguments.
 
These are in order, starting with the best. The dates are wild guesses.
 
1. The Return of the Soldier, by Rebecca West. (1920 or so). A spectacular piece of writing and an immensely complicated morality play, based on a very simple plot device. A soldier returns "home" from WWI having lost his memory of the past several years (including his marriage, but NOT an earlier love-affair).
 
2. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. (1902?) A writer's-guide to how not to waste a word. This is the masterwork of "literary impressionism" and full of inronic complexes. An adventure-seeking Englishman signs on to pilot a steamboat into central Africa as part of a brutal imperialist ivory-hunting venture.
 
3. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, (1960? I'm guessing) by Shirley Jackson.  Huck Finn in Hell. Though nobody reads this book, Merricat Blackwood deserves to stand among the top of the "Strange/Spooky/Comic/Terrifying/Endearing" characters in all fiction. What a great book. On the surface, it's about food, desire, and death. Deep down, though, it's about food, desire, and, well, death.
 
4. Eugene Onegin, by Alexander Pushkin. (1830?) This is a verse-novel, almost impossibly witty and it derives its complexity by a three-way dialogy among author, character, and reader. Its plot, in some ways, is the writing of the novel, itself. WARNING: you must read the Falen translation, which captures all this. The other English translations are dry as dust, and this is a funny, very touching novel, about a young socialite who falls in love with a simple country girl. Or the other way arou8nd, I guess.
 
5. A River Runs Through It, (1980?) by Norman MacLean. In some ways, this is the perfect American short novel. (Also by the best teacher I ever had.) Basically, it's the story of two brothers whose lives are linked by their love of Fly-fishing. I know....it sounds awful. It's not.
 
6. Dead Souls, part one, by Nicolai Gogol. (1850?) This is cheating, sort of, since Gogol intended this as part of a great big novel. He never finished, though he wrote part two, which is pretty bad. Part one stands on its own and is terrific. I'm not sure why short novels seem so well suited to the grotesque/funny, but this is a very funny book. There's a good new translation by that couple that's running around translating russian novels at a rate of two ro three a week....can't remember their name. It's about a guy who goes through the russian countryside trying to buy serfs who have already died.
 
7. Miss Lonelyhearts, By Nathanial West. (1940?) A brilliantly dark novel about a man who becomes the "Advice" columnist (Miss Lonelyhearts) on his newspaper, and runs into the most terribly fucked-up people in the world.
 
8. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. (1890?) A ghost story, sort of. Actually a story about children and sex, sort of. Or actually about a lonely, repressed woman and sex, sort of. Or about people who like to read stories like this. That's it!
 
9. L'Etranger by ALbert Camus. (1952?) I put this in its original French title, because the reigning American translation of The Stranger is terrible. If you can read any French at all, read this in the original (it's pretty easy). It makes great use of the close-focus mode that works so well in short novels. It's about a killer. Sort of.
 
10. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Esquire by Edgar Allan Poe. (1835?) This is the sort of book that makes you want to throw it against the wall. It's a bizarrely contrived narrative that can't possibly be true and that shifts from adventure story to anthropological expedition narrative to fantasy revenge narrative to drug-induced revery. Most people think it makes no sense and they hate it. I think it's about identity, race, and self-destruction and I hate it, when I'm not loving it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on October 01, 2009, 01:16:46 PM
Ah!!  So he also writes this:

Quote
MY runners-up included THE BARON IN THE TREES, by Italo Calvino, MAGGIE, by S. Crane, WILD PALMS, by Faulkner, THE NATURE OF A CRIME, by Conrad and Ford (a sentimental selection), and, of course, my own short novel, REGRET THE DARK HOUR, which would be first on the list, if we could find some $#$%&% to publish the %^&^%%$ thing. I would be happy to send you the text. Eat your heart OUT, Joseph Conrad.

Any interest, Nach?  Dr. Hood is a riot... I haven't read his book, but if it's anything like his classes were, then I'm sure it's a decent read.  I'm sure I could get him to send you a copy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 06, 2009, 06:48:49 PM
Yes, have him send it along.  You never know... Use my real life SFWP persona, which will mean I'll get a copy and more than I want to know about his life via Fedex overnight!

For my own reading, I finished my gay vampire shit and have now PALM SLAMMED Ray's latest -- David.

http://rayrobertson.com/david.html

It's awesome.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 26, 2009, 08:46:36 AM
David is done...and it was great, of course.

Moving on to the latest Iain Banks now:

Transition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316071986?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316071986)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0316071986" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on November 09, 2009, 06:56:39 PM
Tyson, I know that you share my love of hip hop, so I implore you to pick up "Somebody Scream!" by Marcus Reeves. It's a thirty year history of hip hop that postualates hip hop and rap filled a social void left by the breakdown of the black power movement. I'm twenty pages in and it's fascinating.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on November 09, 2009, 07:27:08 PM
Hello yeah!

Oh my list.

I did a bit of reading for a research paper I did on the rise of the DJ last year and, yeah, it's incredibly fascinating exactly where hip hop came from. Everything I've read on the topic so far says it came from the breakdown of black power, but I've never been fully satisfied with that answer. Keep this thread updated with your thoughts as you read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 24, 2009, 10:13:32 AM
Okay...moving fully into the new King:

Under the Dome: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439148503?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1439148503)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=1439148503" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />


http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,4316.msg123291.html#msg123291
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on November 24, 2009, 12:04:17 PM
I want to read "Under the Dome."

Oh, and I finished "Somebody Scream," Tyson. It's really good. The author uses a specific performer's career to document different eras/trends in hip-hop. Run DMC, Public Enemy, N.W.A., Salt 'N Pepa, Tupac, Biggie, DMX (!), Jay-Z, and Eminem get the major focus, but he splinters off to give a pretty in depth history. What's better is he also describes the racial politics of each era and how is fed (or was avoided by) the music.

Well worth the read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 24, 2009, 12:33:58 PM
Under the Dome is weak, weak, weak.  King has lost all verve in his writing.

However...it is addictive as shit.  I don't know.  If King keeps the current momentum going and builds a bit on the story, it just might be his best work in 10 years. 

He has over 1000 pages to get it right!  The shotgun method of storytelling.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2009, 08:40:52 AM
So almost every scene in Under the Dome is stolen from a book or a movie.  Sometimes, he even tells you.  Right now, I'm reading the Red Dragon scene, except described as the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida scene in Manhunter (complete with that song playing, as King tells us about the movie he just watched).
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 04, 2009, 09:31:45 AM
That Manhunter/In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida scene is magic.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2009, 06:53:43 PM
It is.  But not when King writes it!

And it sounded like IN A GADDA DA VIDA!! From MYY favoright Moovey MANHUNTER which Aye Am Watching NOw!  So Col. BArbie went to the door and OPENED IT!  LOL!!!

There.  I could have written Under the Dome!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 04, 2009, 07:17:09 PM
I haven't broken down and read it yet, though I probably will . . . unless you keep trashing it. Then I may not bother. Cell was totally forgettable.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2009, 07:23:12 PM
This is better than Cell.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 04, 2009, 07:53:29 PM
but still worse than reading the classifieds from Marmuck, Wisconsin
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2009, 08:02:29 PM
Well... Yes.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 04, 2009, 08:04:58 PM
i can't believe you're reading that tripe when you have dispatches, the general & the jaguar, and the miners book!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 04, 2009, 08:31:32 PM
Better than Cell isn't much help though if I could focus on how fucked up the opening was and forget that the ending was boring and that King spent most of the book eating himself, Cell was okay.

I can't remember the last novel I read. It's been a non-fiction world for me the past few years.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2009, 10:27:39 PM
Look, seriously, Under the Dome's prologue is told from the viewpoint of a hungry woodchuck.  No kidding.  Okay?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 10, 2009, 01:46:13 PM
Under the Dome continued:

In addition to having a typo or error on EVERY SINGLE PAGE, I'm now approaching the halfway mark and have this to report: WHAT A FUCKING SHITTY BOOK!

That said, I'm dying to continue.  I've never been so addicted to such a bad book before. 

King even changes tenses at weird times.  And he doesn't bother with the mystery.  He's told us the outcome for every character.

Julia did this and this and this and blah blah blah.  But she won't live to enjoy her soda because she's going to get blowed up in 200 pages!  LOL!  And then Barbie ate some cheese and saluted the flag but that doesn't matter because he's going to be hit by a falling anvil!  Double LOL!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 10, 2009, 03:01:35 PM
That old death foreshadowing trick is a King standby.

I have to read this book now.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 10, 2009, 03:35:47 PM
Now he's just graduated to choose your own adventure.

Do you want Julia to get raped and eaten by wolves?  Turn to page 887!  Do you want Julia to be run over by Big Jim in his Hummer?  Turn to 723!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 11, 2009, 02:19:09 AM
WHYWHYWHY

*shoots self with shotgun*

for every page you read from now on, you go down one respect point in my book, Nacho!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 11, 2009, 08:17:17 AM
It's a challenge now!  I'm going to finish it.

Then burn it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 15, 2009, 02:44:28 PM
I love how King forgets things throughout the book.  Like the rank of his main character (who gets promoted to Colonel, and that solves that problem).  But then, on page 592, he forgets that the story is set in October and starts talking like it's spring, complete with flowers and characters commenting about it.

Again -- literally -- there's a typo or an error like that on every single page so far.  Part of the 2009, publisher-wide sloppy copy-editing.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 15, 2009, 10:06:20 PM
stephen king finally hits rock bottom and it's all fun and games, but mention lolcats and ALL OF THE SUDDEN civilization has ended.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on December 16, 2009, 02:54:49 AM
I view lolcats and such as a very valid part of pop culture. Sure, some of it's idiot shit. But there's also some really funny shit out there.

But most of it's shit. Like… Everything else.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 16, 2009, 08:41:22 AM
stephen king finally hits rock bottom and it's all fun and games, but mention lolcats and ALL OF THE SUDDEN civilization has ended.

I'm starting to think that Under the Dome is actually just 1050 pages of lolcats.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 21, 2009, 10:26:18 AM
So let's talk about the chapter told from the viewpoint of a dog who hears dead people...all the time. And who also enjoys "The Hunted Ones," which is "a clever sequel to Lost."

King is obsessed with Lost throughout the book.  (As far as I can tell, it's set around 2013.)

Also -- another glaring error.  A secondary character who pretty much vanishes for 400 pages returns to center stage as we build into act three.  Except, he's been given another nationality.  At the start of the book he was heavily Italian.  Now, in the final 300 pages, he's French.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 22, 2009, 10:35:16 AM
bonjour! i loves my spaghetti, mon chere!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 22, 2009, 11:32:14 AM
Sorry, I'm still recovering from "Horace smelled popcorn!  HE LOVED POPCORN!  He worked his way behind the couch and that's when deadvoice said GOOD DOG!  Horace didn't know what deadvoice wanted this time!!!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 22, 2009, 09:59:26 PM
i hope you're tearing off each page as you finish it and dropping it into the fireplace.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 27, 2009, 01:53:27 AM
Had to skip 20 pages that were written by my cousin. Most of it a character telling a completely unrelated childhood story. The phrase "his hand was on the swell of her breast" occurs 13 times in 10 pages. Seriously.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 27, 2009, 03:45:02 PM
Holy hats... finally finished. If you're a King fan, you'll love it. It could easily have been 500 pages, and would have been much better if it was. But...whatever.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 27, 2009, 04:49:58 PM
See, I am a King fan. However, you haven't been making it sound all that worthwhile.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 27, 2009, 05:14:26 PM
The ending is classic King...and sort of worth the terrible ride.  Though there are sections that you almost have to skip.

What won me over was King's afterword...where he talks very briefly about how he's labored over the book since 1976, and spent two years actually writing it between 2007-2009, and has spent his career scared of it.

That sort of snapped everything into focus -- the almost completely ineffectual main "hero" is King, and a few of the introspective moments where King himself actually entered the story made a weird kind of sense.

It's a greatly flawed novel, and, reading between the lines, King admits to as much and sort of makes it sound like he simply had to write it to face the last 30 years of his life.

So it needs to be read, if you are a big King fan, in the sense that the HST compilations today need to be read if you're an HST fan.  It's a weird, not very enjoyable, and probably ill-advised focus on the author that despite all the ickiness is fascinating.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 27, 2009, 08:17:21 PM
And that sold it to me again.

Mrs. RC got me an American "True Crime" Anthology that features pieces written pre-Declaration of Independence all the way up to now. Authors include James Ellroy, Truman Capote, and Abraham Lincoln. Only read a couple essays but they're pretty awesome.

http://www.amazon.com/True-Crime-Anthology-Harold-Schechter/dp/1598530313/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261959553&sr=8-2 (http://www.amazon.com/True-Crime-Anthology-Harold-Schechter/dp/1598530313/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261959553&sr=8-2)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 28, 2009, 08:38:30 AM
Now moving on to:

China's First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312381123?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312381123)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0312381123" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Since I'll be seeing them in a couple months.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on December 29, 2009, 01:18:15 PM
Thanks to Cass and Reggie for the books!  I can't wait to read them! 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on December 30, 2009, 11:18:45 PM
so, even if king "had" to write the novel, does that mean thousands of us "should" spend 34.99 on the hardcover?  that's bullshit.  i've listened, and i know you've listened, to writers make all kinds of claims about their art and how it needs to be respected by the system instead of vice versa.  from everything you've told me about under the dome it sounds worse than a joke.  it would be like martin scorcese making a documentary about learning to cook spaghetti that lasts four hours. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 31, 2009, 03:43:10 AM
Oh, no, just a point of interest for RC.  The novel is worse than a joke.  It's actually a horrible embarrassment.  I paid $8 for the hardback and regret it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 31, 2009, 09:19:18 AM
I'll wait for the paperback.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 31, 2009, 11:05:50 AM
You're getting my copy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 31, 2009, 12:08:31 PM
Oh. Cool. Thanks, man.

I guess the only fair thing to do is give you my copy of "The Hardy Boys and Harriet Tubman vs. The Martians."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 31, 2009, 12:17:04 PM
Nice.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 07, 2010, 10:40:36 AM
And moving on to:

Thunder In the Mountans: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920-21 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0822954265?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0822954265)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0822954265" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on January 10, 2010, 01:42:43 AM
i'm thinking about downloading the Audiobook of Under the Dome and just listening to this guy "act" the whole book.

http://raulesparza.com/projects/

(bottom right for sample)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 10, 2010, 10:03:04 AM
He actually makes it sound better.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on January 10, 2010, 01:16:14 PM
he was an old fellow, a big fellow!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 10, 2010, 01:56:36 PM
As far as woodchucks can think, he was thinking about the latest episode of Lost!

And that's what Under the Dome is about.  I think Lost gets mentioned once every 10 pages.

And wait till the chapters told from the viewpoint of a hungry Corgi!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 16, 2010, 06:10:44 PM
Whoops... Forgot to update!  I've moved on to:

The General and the Jaguar: Pershing's Hunt for Pancho Villa: A True Story of Revolution and Revenge (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0803222246?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0803222246)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=0803222246" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on February 17, 2010, 09:36:52 PM
thank god!  read it and see if maybe we should use that as our adaptation project. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 17, 2010, 10:15:17 PM
I can answer that now: Yes!  It's great. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 26, 2010, 12:37:19 AM
I just finished this.

Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams (http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Monster-Walk-Street-Dreams/dp/1439150486/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267158926&sr=8-1)

Robert Englund's autobiography. Strictly for fans, but there's some amazing Elm Street and V anecdotes in it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 28, 2010, 03:31:27 PM
I got 100 pages into the copy of 'Under the Dome' Nacho gave me  while waiting for the pulled muscle in my back to stop hurting.

It's better than Cell. I'll say that. I'm pretty addicted to what's going to happen and what made that god damned dome drop in the first place.

Really, it's only Nacho's comments while reading that have me scared, though the 'science' of the dome seems pretty wonky.  (Sound seems to travel through without hindrance, fire hose water comes through as mist, smoke doesn't seem to pass through at all?) King has always been about Suspension of disbelief.

Will report back!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 01, 2010, 12:50:56 AM
Oh, just you wait for the explanation. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 07, 2010, 01:37:00 PM
I know I'm very late, but last week saw me finally getting around to starting Catch 22: marvelous so far.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 09, 2010, 10:32:46 AM
Catch 22 is great.

I've moved on to:

Agincourt: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XULZJA?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002XULZJA)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=B002XULZJA" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on March 10, 2010, 01:59:26 AM
Can you guys see my profile?

http://readernaut.com/guywithabike/

If not, you big homos better sign up and friend me!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 10, 2010, 07:52:43 AM
Yay!  Yet another social networking thing.

I'll join when I get to work.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 10, 2010, 12:51:50 PM
Gays.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 10, 2010, 08:36:14 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41T9EE5F82L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Koba-Dread-Martin-Amis/dp/0786868767)

I'm about to give up on the "Dirty thirty" book list because I keep finding really interesting books and not learning a damn from the so-called "Recommended reading" ones.  So anyway.  This is a look at Stalin through the prism of the well-known novelist and silver spoon set Martin Amis who goes about denouncing the Soviet agenda as well as all western liberals who sympathize with Trotsky and communists in general.  Basically he's trying to point out how Communism will always lapse into Stalinist tendencies, and how, through basic strokes of luck, Stalin took power and altered the course of history forever.   I've never read much about the Great Terror or even that much about the Bolshevik revolution, and Amis' book is a great and emotional primer. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 15, 2010, 05:51:26 PM
And moving on to a book Cass loaned me...

Hotel Babylon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/042520135X?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=042520135X)


Cornwell sucked.  Which is sad.  I love his stuff...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 15, 2010, 10:32:12 PM
I haven't read that book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 16, 2010, 08:32:12 AM
Oh, it was L's?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on March 16, 2010, 12:58:06 PM
Communism will always lapse into Stalinist tendencies

hahaha
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 20, 2010, 10:18:07 PM
Hotel Babylon was great.  It, weirdly, makes me want to work at a hotel.  The reaction should be the opposite, but, man, the face of true insanity is just so compelling.

Need it sent back to you, Cass?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 21, 2010, 12:33:01 PM
no rush.  i have yet to start the mine wars book.  i may start the bukowski instead.  the hell ride through the stalin years of russia was enough stark history to last me a month or two...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 21, 2010, 04:20:30 PM
Catch 22 was awesome.

Onto to Bulgakov's Country Doctor's Notebook.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 25, 2010, 10:31:37 AM
Moving on to book three of this little PA series:

The Dome in the Forest: The Pelbar Cycle, Book Three (Beyond Armageddon) (Bk. 3) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0803298501?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0803298501)

And...the Amazon Associates links are being weird.  I had to cut down some of the junk.  Could everyone click on the above so I can see if tracking is still working?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 01, 2010, 08:39:42 AM
Wow...they made a TV show based on Hotel Babylon that ran for four years!  And episode one is great so far.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on April 01, 2010, 11:23:10 PM
ugh.  L watched that show.  it goes downhill pretty quickly, if it ever was high up on a hill.  i always left the room whenever she watched it after sitting through one episode.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 02, 2010, 11:54:02 AM
Well, the pilot's loads of fun.  But, yeah, looks like they change out the entire cast after the second season.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on April 02, 2010, 12:05:39 PM
i think what put me over the edge was an episode about them finding a treasure map and going on a scavenger hunt all over the hotel for clues.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on April 02, 2010, 12:12:59 PM
Zoinks, Scoob!!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 02, 2010, 12:15:28 PM
Oh, god.  Yeah, that's pretty bad.

Oh well! Tell the truth, I'm just draining the last of the Britcoms out of Netflix Watch Instantly until the glorious day when all of Are You Being Served goes live. Then it's gin and tonics and a 40 day marathon!

Glass of water for Mr. Nacho!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on April 02, 2010, 07:15:25 PM
I'm reading The Bending Cross, a biography of Eugene Debs, the most kickass socialist in American history. also The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on April 02, 2010, 08:06:14 PM
Oh, god.  Yeah, that's pretty bad.

Oh well! Tell the truth, I'm just draining the last of the Britcoms out of Netflix Watch Instantly until the glorious day when all of Are You Being Served goes live. Then it's gin and tonics and a 40 day marathon!

Glass of water for Mr. Nacho!

watch MI-5!  that's what we've been doing all day.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 03, 2010, 10:02:17 AM
I watched those as they came out, but found myself unable to cope with main characters getting fried in grease traps or mutilated by bulls or torn apart by pygmies with no warning. 

Scene one:  Just give up, bad guy!  Scene two:  Bad guy murders main character and, set to eerie music, stares into the camera and skull fucks main character for 52 minutes.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on April 04, 2010, 12:40:56 PM
well, yeah.  there's a lot of turnover.  just like the real MI-5, I imagine!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 21, 2010, 04:33:59 PM
Currently reading two!

Rolled right into this one:

The Fall of the Shell: The Pelbar Cycle, Book Four (Beyond Armageddon) (Bk. 4) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080329848X?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=080329848X)

And finally picked up:

Shadow of the Silk Road (P.S.) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061231770?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061231770)

Because I lost that Pelbar book for a couple days.  So far, Shadow of the Silk Road is engrossing.  One of those wanderlust sort of travel/history books. 

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 03, 2010, 05:36:52 PM
Now on Silk Road full-time... Stunning book. Thanks again, Matt. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on May 03, 2010, 11:39:14 PM
You're welcome.

I got an advance copy (somehow from an Amazon private seller) of my favorite geographer's latest book, The Enigma of Capital. Nice and easy read on the way capital is circulated. Love it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: mrjoel on May 03, 2010, 11:58:30 PM
I'll just dive right in here as if skimming through the years of accumulated GS posts hadn't dizzied me dizzily.

Finished a borrowed copy of "The Lies of Locke Lamora," a moderately good fantasy book about scam artists with lots of stabbing. Got the sequel here someplace.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2010, 07:49:33 AM
Looks like fun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lies_of_Locke_Lamora

Though I've come to hate getting into series that aren't finished.  Five books forthcoming! I'm gunshy after Wheel of Time and Ice and Fire.  So I guess it'll be around 7 years before I read it!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: mrjoel on May 04, 2010, 08:23:10 AM
For what it's worth, the first one stands alone. It's got one of those "excerpts from the next book" in the back but I refuse to read it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Poppy Propercock on May 04, 2010, 10:41:32 AM
Looks like fun, indeed!  I'm still plowing my way through Iain Banks' stack 'o sci-fi.

Brought The Algebraist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Algebraist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Algebraist) in to work today.  Boss tutted because it wasn't a hardcover.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2010, 11:02:36 AM
You're almost done with Banks, Poppy.  Matter follows that one -- the most current Culture novel -- then  Transition, which you've read, right?

Mrjoel -- Was just thinking of failed series that started great (in addition to WoT and Ice and Fire) on the Metro, and it hit me that I was burned at a young age. 

The amazing Chung Kuo series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chung_Kuo) starts out with what is probably one of the most original and gripping stories I've ever read.  The second book followed easily, and then the third one started to get mired in bad storytelling. 

The author painted too big a picture, I think... And the series is the only one I know where the publisher actually "canceled" it without a proper conclusion.

Recently Chung Kuo has been in the news (perhaps why it came to mind) as Wingrove has won the rights back and now plans to go fantasy-gonzo with the series.  He's cut the eight books into 20 books, and will re-release them over the next five years.  Along with the re-release will be new material completing the series as originally planned in the 90's. 

While that's exciting, it doesn't change the fact that the series went to shit after the third book and was a mess for the remainder of the saga.  Though Wingrove insists that he was under undue stress from the publisher and that the re-release will right all wrongs.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Poppy Propercock on May 04, 2010, 11:13:59 AM
I only started Transition because I didn't have anything else to read in the car - never finished it.  So, I suppose I've only got a couple of weeks of Banks left.  Better come up with something to follow, or I may just start to waste away...

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2010, 11:19:06 AM
Donaldson is next!  Thomas Covenant.  And R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: mrjoel on May 04, 2010, 12:26:47 PM
Banks sounds interesting. Heard about him before but haven't read any.

The Wikipedia description of The Culture as "anarchist, socialist, and utopian" reminds me of a quote from Lois McM. Bujold, whom I believe to be one of Nacho's favorites:

"...if romances are fantasies of love, and mysteries are fantasies of justice, I would now describe much SF as fantasies of political agency."

Much of my reading lately has been either about food, or re-reading Jack Vance books for the quadjillionth time because he's just so damn good.

BTW: Are you really going to make her read Thomas Covenant? For me, that's an example of a series that I found interesting at first but really started to drag. It also embodied a phenomenon that irked me throughout my popular F/SF years: the Neverending Trilogy. Everytime I thought I was through with some damn set of characters, Book 8 of 3 would come out...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2010, 12:36:37 PM
I've never read anything by her, actually.  Just came across my radar as part of my Hugo project (http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,4548.0.html).

Covenant is the only series I've read twice.  They're almost therapy books for chronic pain sufferers.  Talk about being able to identify with the main character!

The first six books work together.  There's a sense that it was planned.  This "last" quartet currently coming out, though, seems more like Donaldson needed to pay his rent.

But, yes, Banks is easily my favorite author.  A good primer for the Culture novels (linked from the Wikipedia page) is at: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.written/msg/2b05e32641fee4c2?hl=en&pli=1
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Poppy Propercock on May 04, 2010, 12:56:55 PM
Maybe I'll make you wait for me to read Covenant until you've finished one of my Dan Abnett books.  The God-Emperor protects!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2010, 01:02:39 PM
Well, after Silk Road, I'm moving to the Lost City of Z:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,3586.msg127553.html#msg127553
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Poppy Propercock on May 04, 2010, 01:35:35 PM
Just keep trying to dodge me... you'll be sorry!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: mrjoel on May 04, 2010, 05:08:34 PM
The God-Emperor protects!
WAAAUUGGH!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: mrjoel on May 04, 2010, 05:10:57 PM
Covenant is the only series I've read twice.  They're almost therapy books for chronic pain sufferers.  Talk about being able to identify with the main character!
Well, I hadn't thought about it that way. Although, there were some years when our code for "control your deeply stoned behavior in public, fool" was "VSE!" -- Visual Surveillance of Extremities.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2010, 05:15:27 PM
The VSE ritual always resonated with me.  God... The whole series did. Gave me lots of comfort during that re-read just prior to the Year of Surgeries.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 04, 2010, 07:41:30 PM
Lost City of Z and Shadows of Silk Road in my Amazon shopping basket.

I'm presently wading through Pynchon's "V" which is great in parts but becomes horribly bogged-down with literary wanking.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 04, 2010, 07:50:07 PM
Hey, GS'ers, I'm thinking of ordering Paul Auster's "New York Triology" and want to know who has read it and their verdicts, please.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2010, 07:56:18 PM
I run hot and cold on Auster. Have not read NY Trilogy but, of the stuff of his I have read, I like the older work better than the recent work... NY Trilogy is his older work.  So...a fair gamble.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 07, 2010, 01:31:54 AM
so...Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is completely different from what I thought it would be.  and surprisingly satisfying.  i'm about 175 pages in and there's been absolutely no Zen but quite a bit of motorcycle maintenance and lots of seventies charm.  i guess the book is more controversial than I first thought.  I can see how a lot of people thought it was crap because the narrator (i.e., the author) is obviously pretty self-assured, to say the least, but he still does plainly explain some attitudes/beliefs that people are often afraid to address. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 07, 2010, 08:24:21 AM
You're getting into the land of motorcycle stories!  You need to pick up Jupiter's Travels.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 10, 2010, 07:03:34 PM
RC loaned me acopy of this:

Star4 Wars: Annotated Screenplays (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1852869232?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1852869232)

It's fascinating. A must read for everyone, really... The whole Lucas disease is spelled out.  Everything that went wrong (and right) and should have been.

One thing that shocked me was to see that Leigh Brackett co-wrote Empire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_Brackett

She has a bunch of PA books under her belt. (Most notably The Long Tomorrow.)

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on May 18, 2010, 07:17:02 PM
Matt Taibbi's "The Great Derangement". fucking amazing
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 25, 2010, 11:38:47 AM
Took a brief break from Shadows of the SIlk Road because I'm totally obsessed with Tooth and Nail:

http://www.infectedwar.com/

It's not really stellar writing, but something about it is just complete PA deliciousness. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on May 28, 2010, 06:28:08 PM
finished Tolerating Aversion by Wendy Brown; basically lays out why places like The Museum of Tolerance are shills for pro-Israel Arab-butchers. I'm taking The Complete Persepolis in pieces here and there for my summer internship, reading another book for a summer class I'm taking, and about 20 pages into How The Irish Became White. fascinating book
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 28, 2010, 06:52:07 PM
How The Irish Became White does sound fascinating...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on May 29, 2010, 01:01:44 AM
It's hella cheap on Amazon used & new. From what I can augur from the first few pages, it's basically how the Irish turned from being abolitionist anti-slavery radicals to supporting the dominant status quo (i.e., the Irish gangs of the movie Gangs of New York, though I know there's more to them than that in that movie, considering class distinctions, etc.)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 29, 2010, 10:55:11 AM
Here was me thinking how they came from the sun, had black/red skin, and eventually evolved into having pasty-white skin over the centuries.

Shouldn't it be "How the Irish became American" giving the subject matter?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 29, 2010, 10:56:09 AM
Or, "When you've no potatoes, Paddy, shut the fuck up and go with the flow!"
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on May 29, 2010, 12:55:42 PM
Here was me thinking how they came from the sun, had black/red skin, and eventually evolved into having pasty-white skin over the centuries.

Shouldn't it be "How the Irish became American" giving the subject matter?

It's a historical tracing of how the Irish identity became de-racialized as a way of asserting power over them, and how the Irish joined the "white" identity that was the dominant hegemony in America. So sort of how they became Americans.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on May 29, 2010, 01:30:48 PM
I've actually started reading "Heir to the Empire" by Timothy Zahn. Released in 1992, it was the first of the officially sanctioned sequels to the Star Wars trilogy. It kicks the prequels ass.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on June 16, 2010, 06:29:17 PM
Reading Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory. Love it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 16, 2010, 07:00:20 PM
Reading Will Self's "Great Apes."

Excellent novel.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 24, 2010, 12:14:14 AM
Reading Will Self's "Great Apes."

Excellent novel.

I almost picked that up about a half dozen times over the past 10 years.  Let me know if it ends well, and if so, you can send me your copy!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 24, 2010, 04:58:06 PM
Whew!  A bad month for reading.

Finished the beautiful Shadow of the Silk Road, and now 100 pages into Lost City of Z.

From the history's mysteries thread:
Quote
Anyway, I've got "Lost City of Z" on my Amazon Wishlist, and the more I read about it the more I really want to get it in me.  So, a new one for this thread:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Fawcett

Quote
Along with his son, Fawcett disappeared under unknown circumstances in 1925 during an expedition to find what he believed to be an ancient lost city in the uncharted jungles of Brazil. Just such a city has indeed recently been found at the latitude,longitude coordinates

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_City_of_Z_%28book%29

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/earth-environment/article6982391.ece

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/mar/21/research.brazil

And I love that Fawcett (and all those hundreds of people that died in his footsteps) were right:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lost-amazon-cities

Except...I guess that would have been a let down when one is expecting a golden palace.

The book is great.  The through-line is that David Grann is sort of a bumbling writer not cut out for a hike in the woods next to his house, let alone a trek through the Amazon.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on June 25, 2010, 05:57:36 PM
I'm starting the Dark Tower series... I'm currently on The Gunslinger.  Not a bad read so far.  It is a little slow going, but I have heard good things and trust it will get better.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on June 25, 2010, 06:44:39 PM
Every person I know who swears by the Dark Tower (about four people, actually...) are always trying to get me to read it.  I started Gunslinger but just couldn't get into it.  Then I was told "You just have to get through the first three books.  After that, it's just awesome!"  Talk about your slow starts.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 26, 2010, 10:11:28 AM
Every person I know who swears by the Dark Tower (about four people, actually...) are always trying to get me to read it.  I started Gunslinger but just couldn't get into it.  Then I was told "You just have to get through the first three books.  After that, it's just awesome!"  Talk about your slow starts.

I'm right with you, Cass. I've tried to read it twice and can't do it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 27, 2010, 02:20:05 PM
Don't worry.  If you can just make it through the first horribly written 5000 pages then, like Under the Dome, you'll find yourself compelled to force your way through the next horribly written 5000 pages, chewing on your tongue and squirming in your seat the entire time. And, when finished, you'll forever think less of yourself.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 03, 2010, 03:07:28 PM
I'm reading Stefan Aust's Baader-Meinhof: Inside the RAF. It's weird because it's far more critical of the RAF than the movie, which Aust co-wrote, is.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 04, 2010, 03:26:30 AM
So, just finished "Great Apes" which disappointed with a bit of a cop-out ending.

Before that was Thomas Pynchon's "V" which I found to be somewhat hit and miss, "A Country Doctor's Notebook" by Bulgakov which was great, Catch 22 which I loved and before that the very enjoyable "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."

What next?

Re-read LOTR or shop around for something new?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 05, 2010, 02:53:44 PM
read that book about Moonshiners.  I can't remember the author or the title.  Nacho knows. 

Or, I can't stop recommending these books to people all the time:

The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones by Stanley Booth
Please Kill Me: the Uncensored oral history of Punk by Legs McNeil
Dispatches by Michael Herr - the best vietnam book ever
White Noise by Don Delillo
Being Dead by Jim Crace

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 05, 2010, 04:30:27 PM
"The Black Swan" is a huge fucking turd. http://readernaut.com/guywithabike/notes/17797/

I've moved on to "Diary of a Very Bad Year" which is dense, but compelling. I need to bone up on my knowledge of the big crash because, man, defining moment of my mid-20s and I'm all derp derp derp.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on July 05, 2010, 04:30:58 PM
I mean, I listened to the This American Life / Planet Money recap of the crisis, so I'm pretty much an expert. But I'm polishing off my thinking cap.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Matt on July 05, 2010, 07:05:53 PM
"The Black Swan" is a huge fucking turd. http://readernaut.com/guywithabike/notes/17797/

I've moved on to "Diary of a Very Bad Year" which is dense, but compelling. I need to bone up on my knowledge of the big crash because, man, defining moment of my mid-20s and I'm all derp derp derp.
You should read some John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff. http://www.amazon.com/Great-Financial-Crisis-Causes-Consequences/dp/1583671846/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278367522&sr=8-3
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 05, 2010, 07:39:16 PM
read that book about Moonshiners.  I can't remember the author or the title.  Nacho knows. 

Or, I can't stop recommending these books to people all the time:

The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones by Stanley Booth
Please Kill Me: the Uncensored oral history of Punk by Legs McNeil
Dispatches by Michael Herr - the best vietnam book ever
White Noise by Don Delillo
Being Dead by Jim Crace



Moonshiners book is "Wettest County in the World" by Matt Bondurant.

I second the True Adventures of the Rolling Stones.  And also pick up Lost City of Z.  It's awesome.  And a fast read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on July 13, 2010, 12:52:46 PM
That Rolling Stones book was incredible.  Cass loaned it to me and I think I finished it in under a week.  Couldn't put it down!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 13, 2010, 12:56:53 PM
Yeah, it was awesome. God, that's become the passaround GS book. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 13, 2010, 01:35:38 PM
I WANT IT!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 13, 2010, 10:19:16 PM
Just got "The Screenwriter's Bible" in the mail today, Nacho! 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 13, 2010, 10:47:21 PM
I have restarted LOTR and am loving it all over again.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 14, 2010, 01:30:52 AM
wow...and you just negated all the CoolPoints (tm) you earned by becoming a Parisian bartender in a rock and roll band.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 14, 2010, 08:14:16 AM
LOTR simply makes my CoolPoints (*tm) "Cultured."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 15, 2010, 09:54:03 AM
in the way that old yogurt is "cultured"
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 15, 2010, 11:05:50 AM
http://www.actimel.co.uk/
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 21, 2010, 02:06:24 PM
Whew... Fallen behind!

Currently almost finished this:  

He Who Fears the Wolf (Inspector Sejer Mysteries) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0156030497?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0156030497)

It's been okay... The central characters are more the baddies and not the cops.  A little weird, actually.  That alone has kept me reading.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 23, 2010, 12:30:47 AM
I've been re-wading my way through Lord of The Rings, and dipping in and out of Aleister Crowley's "The Book of The Law" which is pretty crazy stuff.

"SERVE NONE BUT THE PURPLE DOORWAYS"
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 30, 2010, 09:50:34 AM
A friend's been telling me to get into the Masters of Rome series for about 6 years now.  I've mocked him because they look tawdry and they're all fucking doorstoppers.

But, I finally caved in and picked up the first one... And it is brutally addictive.  I haven't been this hooked on a book in a long time.  Added bonus is that the author is deep, deep, deep into the historical aspects of it.  It's masterfully researched... And, when you're dealing with fiction set in Rome, you sort of have to take that kind of care in your writing.

So...well, anyway...

The First Man in Rome (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061582417?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061582417)


Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on October 01, 2010, 05:58:24 PM
I'm re-reading Great Expectations, which I fucking loathed in high school.  I can't figure out why, though... I'm really enjoying it this time around.  Who knew Dickens had a sense of humor?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 05, 2010, 07:52:41 PM
It's 'cause Secondary School/High School kids aren't old enough to get Dickens' humour.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on October 05, 2010, 09:46:33 PM
If someone would just update all the names, kids would get into it.  Chugalot Jizzswallow is a good start.

Tit Masherton

nevermind.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on October 06, 2010, 12:58:02 PM
Hahahaaaaaa tit masherton
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 16, 2010, 11:44:38 AM
A friend's been telling me to get into the Masters of Rome series for about 6 years now.  I've mocked him because they look tawdry and they're all fucking doorstoppers.

But, I finally caved in and picked up the first one... And it is brutally addictive.  I haven't been this hooked on a book in a long time.  Added bonus is that the author is deep, deep, deep into the historical aspects of it.  It's masterfully researched... And, when you're dealing with fiction set in Rome, you sort of have to take that kind of care in your writing.

So...well, anyway...

The First Man in Rome (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061582417?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061582417)





Whew... A thousand pages later and done!  The second one is waiting for me, but I'm going to take a break with:

The Gone-Away World (Vintage Contemporaries) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307389073?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307389073)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on November 16, 2010, 11:58:47 AM
was that last page a doozy or what!?

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 16, 2010, 12:11:18 PM
She really is a one woman band!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 21, 2010, 08:34:26 PM
My god...my reading has slowed to a crawl.  So that's it!  Time for a challenge! Carve out time and read at least 40 pages a day, no excuses.

And make a to-read list.  Pictured (with thumbnail option turned on...how fun...)


    (http://www.greatsociety.org/uploads/userfiles/3/DSCF5635_thumb.jpg)
 (http://www.greatsociety.org/uploads/userfiles/3/DSCF5635.JPG)

First up is Kraken, which has to be returned to my friend ASAP. There are also two loaners from Cass in there. 

Just finished the horrible Gone-Away World... Will have more to say about that (and start on Kraken) tomorrow...

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 23, 2010, 09:14:41 AM
Okay... Kraken!

Kraken (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/034549749X?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=034549749X)

The Gone-Away World was terrible!  Harkaway's writing is beautiful... But he can't tell a story.  Instead we get a tangential sort of self-masturbation.  It's like he met the devil at a crossroads and cut a deal to be an amazing writer, then became so impressed with the talent that he just screwed around for 570 pages. The only thing you take away from the book is that the writer is very impressed with himself, and it's almost embarrassing because, in the end, he makes a mess of it.

As soon as I finished, I listed it in the Amazon used store and sold it for $1.00, and that was the most satisfying moment involving the book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 25, 2011, 10:22:13 AM
Oh my god...Kraken really sucks.  Yet I feel obliged to finish it. It's a loaner, my friend keeps talking it up, and I got three quarters through before I finally realized I was wasting my time...but at that point you sort of have to keep going.  60 pages to go! I'm going to try and knock it out tonight just so I can drive over to my friend's place at 3am and throw it violently through his window.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 01, 2011, 11:31:20 AM
Ugh...

So, to get the bad taste of Harkaway and Mieville out of my mouth, I'm going with history.  A loaner from Cass:

The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679768173?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0679768173)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on February 02, 2011, 10:04:25 PM
oh yeah....chicks dig it when you're knowledgeable about 19th century institutionalized anti-semitism.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 15, 2011, 04:11:06 PM
Ugh...

So, to get the bad taste of Harkaway and Mieville out of my mouth, I'm going with history.  A loaner from Cass:

The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679768173?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0679768173)

Still slogging through this... Though terribly distracted by deep Wikipedia searches on the history of the Papal States, and one of the books that is earmarked for a proper review over at my alter ego's site. The End of the Ice Age (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1897231911?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1897231911) by Terence Young.

I picked it up while a customer was yelling at me and...couldn't put it down! Might actually end up pitching my own voice into the reviews bin over there... I really want to bust out and do reviews with a different voice, as opposed to book-report-reviews, which is what people feel compelled to do.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on February 20, 2011, 04:19:04 AM
I'm currently gettin' back to basics: The Stand, which I haven't read in 15 years. On the deck next are a few other epics: 2666, Johnathan Strange & Dr. Norrell, and then finally Infinite Jest, for reals. Maybe The Savage Detectives if 2666 really tickles my fancy.

The gay thing about Infinite Jest is that I've actually been preparing to read it. I bought a guide book for it, and just finished reading all his non-fiction work. I know, I know, I'm a faggot.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2011, 10:53:18 AM
I'm currently gettin' back to basics: The Stand, which I haven't read in 15 years.

God... I loved The Stand.  Have you read Swan Song?

Ugh...

So, to get the bad taste of Harkaway and Mieville out of my mouth, I'm going with history.  A loaner from Cass:

The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679768173?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0679768173)

Wow. That was a bit of a slog... But I walked away from it fascinated by those final days of the Papal States....and hating my Catholic heritage. I love how everything the Nazis did was pretty much modeled after what the Papal States did. Right down to yellow stars.


 The End of the Ice Age (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1897231911?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1897231911) by Terence Young.

I picked it up while a customer was yelling at me and...couldn't put it down! Might actually end up pitching my own voice into the reviews bin over there... I really want to bust out and do reviews with a different voice, as opposed to book-report-reviews, which is what people feel compelled to do.



This was excellent.  A few bumps along the way, but a great read.  I'm going to try my hand at a review... And then I'll be mailing both books to you, Cass.

So!  Next up is:

Disciple of the Dog (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765321904?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0765321904)

Bakker debuted with this amazing fantasy trilogy that blew my socks off. He's currently writing a second trilogy because his publisher wants to have the next Thomas Covenant, probably. I haven't started reading it (my rule is to never read a fantasy series till it's complete).

In between trilogies, Bakker cranked out this book. It's been brutally panned, and he's good-naturedly defended it on his blog. I picked it up and read through 50 pages before I realized what I was doing... And I see exactly what it is. It's a good writer letting off steam after writing 4000 pages of fantasy.  It's this formulaic detective drama -- right down to a "and then she walked into my office" scene --  and doesn't try to move beyond that. Bakker must have just had a meltdown, filled a shopping cart full of booze, then gone to a cabin in the woods for three weeks. And there's something cool, fun, and easy to read about it.

We'll see if that fun feeling can hold the story up for 280 pages.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 07, 2011, 03:59:59 PM
50 pages left of Disciple of the Dog. Overall, it was underwhelming. Though better than Harkaway and Kraken.

I'll finish it up tonight or tomorrow and, in the meantime, I have started on the next item in my to-read pile:

Worlds in Collision (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1906833117?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1906833117)

I've been encouraged by a few people to get into this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Velikovsky



Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 07, 2011, 09:22:32 PM
if you're not going to read Dispatches, send it to me.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 07, 2011, 10:40:02 PM
I am going to get to it! But not for awhile... I'll mail it out tomorrow.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 08, 2011, 12:11:12 AM
i know you have to finish a lot of serious literature about 2nd century Roman vampires first....
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 08, 2011, 07:49:34 AM
Look, for the record, there are no Roman vampires in my current to-read pile!

Here's the list! Three of yours in there and, besides those, all the rest are on the up-and-up. Lonely men in narrowboats, crazy unfinished novels from lunatics, a solitary sci-fi doorstopper, Roman historical fiction, Mark Twain's grocery list and, my dear Watson, a most singular experience in serialized crime.

(http://www.greatsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/readinglist.jpg)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on March 08, 2011, 08:06:31 PM
thought you read Thieves opera 2 years ago!  we need to send that to monkey.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 08, 2011, 10:28:33 PM
thought you read Thieves opera 2 years ago!  we need to send that to monkey.

It's the fact I've been sitting on your loaners for two years that I lost my mind, built that pile, and am now making it my mission.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 11, 2011, 07:04:14 AM
thought you read Thieves opera 2 years ago!  we need to send that to monkey.

It's the fact I've been sitting on your loaners for two years that I lost my mind, built that pile, and am now making it my mission.

I'm intrigued.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 30, 2011, 03:39:09 PM
Velikovsky was awesome! Now going to unwind with the next book from the pile pictured above:

Mississippi Solo: A River Quest (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805059032/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0805059032)

My goal is a book a month. That'll be hard when I hit Grass Crown.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 05, 2011, 01:05:38 PM
Velikovsky was awesome! Now going to unwind with the next book from the pile pictured above:

Mississippi Solo: A River Quest (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805059032/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0805059032)

My goal is a book a month. That'll be hard when I hit Grass Crown.
 

Half way through, and now dying to do this myself. Decided to poke around online about canoeing the Mississippi and found this guy's site:

http://www.caleuche.com/River/101Days.htm

His pictures are the perfect companion to Mississippi Solo since he followed the same path, and just four years after Eddy Harris. Very happy to have stumbled across the site, actually, because the one thing the Harris book is lacking is pictures. Relying on his somewhat ebullient descriptions doesn't quite cut it. He's so in awe of nature, god, and himself that there's this weird "Through the author's eyes" feel to the descriptions.

Which, of course, is exactly what sort of book it is. It's written more for himself, I think, than any audience. But that's fine, and you do get caught up in his very personalized journey. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 09, 2011, 03:43:08 PM
Ha! Outside of Vicksburg, the author of Mississippi Solo meets a family from NOLA. The father tells him, "It's a great city. You'll absolutely love it when you get there. Just be careful. If you're not careful, someone's liable to cut your head off. But you look like you're careful."

Perfect.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on April 09, 2011, 08:42:42 PM
Too bad he didn't say, "But you look like you got a good head on your shoulders," and left it at that. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 12, 2011, 10:38:08 AM
Moving on to the second book in McCullough's Rome series -- The Grass Crown. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061582395/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061582395")

Cass -- they are not Roman vampires!

My book a month goal will be threatened here since it's 1000 pages... I'd like to be on to the long-ago Cass loaner by my birthday. Though Mississippi Solo only took 10 days, so I guess I'm ahead.

The pile is getting smaller! And, to be fair, the Mark Twain one is kind of a cheat. That's a pluck away while you're reading other books sort.

http://www.greatsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/readinglist.jpg
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 14, 2011, 11:22:30 AM
And moving on to a book Cass loaned me...

Hotel Babylon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/042520135X?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=042520135X)



Am unrelated  thread at SA with hotel stories: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3403931

If anyone enjoyed Hotel Babylon, or the idea of terrible service industry stories, and/or needs to kill some time.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 20, 2011, 02:42:52 PM
Moving on to the second book in McCullough's Rome series -- The Grass Crown. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061582395/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061582395")

Cass -- they are not Roman vampires!

My book a month goal will be threatened here since it's 1000 pages... I'd like to be on to the long-ago Cass loaner by my birthday. Though Mississippi Solo only took 10 days, so I guess I'm ahead.

The pile is getting smaller! And, to be fair, the Mark Twain one is kind of a cheat. That's a pluck away while you're reading other books sort.

http://www.greatsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/readinglist.jpg


The big problem with these books is that she spends dozens of pages analyzing the background of certain events. So, in the end, you get her fictional development of the characters kind of thrown into what is, essentially, a pocket history of the decline and fall of the Roman Republic. This, in turn, inspires me to run to Wikipedia and read even deeper into the events. So, like now, I'll read five pages, then go to Wikipedia and get trapped into an endless clickfest. Today it's the Social War!

What's amazing about it all, of course, is the agonizingly slow and terrible decline of this great Republic (which so closely mirrors our own). The decline itself is a mirror of the last 10 years of America. The same sort of political and business practices that have led to our economic downturn and slow degradation. All because of a rotten, greedy and/or clueless oligarchy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 11, 2011, 10:14:39 AM
I've failed to finish The Grass Crown by my birthday... Still 250 pages to go.

Since I don't want to cart a huge 1500 page book to New Mexico, I'm going to start The Thieves' Opera (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0156006405/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399353&creativeASIN=0156006405) on Friday. Two years after Cass loaned it to me! I'll probably finish it this weekend, too, because the New Mexico trip is mainly going to be spent in airports and hotel bars waiting on people and planes.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 11, 2011, 10:22:43 AM
It's a fairly easy read, as well. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 11, 2011, 10:25:36 AM
Well, good. I'll probably finish it Friday since it'll take 10 hours to get to Santa Fe.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 11, 2011, 08:49:20 PM
Take Dispatches! you can read passages to your uncle and he can relive the war some more.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 17, 2011, 11:29:11 AM
Finished Thieve's Opera! Am I sending it to Monkey, Cass? Or bringing it back to NOLA?

Next up: Worst Journey in the Midlands (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1840243384/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=1840243384).

English Canal porn!

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 17, 2011, 12:03:46 PM
The current to-read pile. I started a second pile, and am no longer doing these in order because I don't want to get stuck traveling to, from, and around NOLA with a giant doorstopper book.

Added birthday books... And the Mark Twain book should be out of the pile. I've started reading that as a secondary sort of time killer, so it's not in the normal dedicated reading rotation.

(http://www.greatsociety.org/uploads/userfiles/3/toread518.jpg)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 17, 2011, 11:22:34 PM
why bother with Sherlock?  I feel like that's something you should read on your deathbed.  I should make a "Deathbed" list of books that are classically important but too boring to read while I'm young....Books that can be read while I dry-chuck after taking my cancer pills.  Middlemarch and Main Street are on that list.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 18, 2011, 07:38:59 AM
Holmes is great! I've probably read half of them over the last 25 years anyway. And, yeah, there's no need to reread those. So, again, those are cheats.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 19, 2011, 01:26:40 AM
Also, you can air-mail Thieves' Opera over to Monkey if you wish. 

I need to post more in this thread!  Maybe this weekend I'll make a Summer Reading stack and take a photo then we can have a gay book race. 

Right now I'm finishing up The Human Factor, a Graham Greene spy novel that isn't that great.  Then again, he was writing it as an old man trying to apply post-WWII spy rules to the early 80s political landscape, and the main thrust of the book is that love has no borders and blah blah, so it all comes out in the wash.  I've been slowly reading all of Graham Greene's books for years now with a stronger push recently because someone brought in a slew of old penguin classic editions to McKeown's a couple months ago.  But I'll need a break after this one. 

Tell you what: how about you come up with a short list of recommendations from your library and I'll pick a few that you can bring down with you in June.  No fag werewolf books!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 19, 2011, 07:13:26 AM
My library has everything from children's books written by committee to obscure academic poetry from Ben Franklin. Maybe this weekend I'll just pick a random book from each shelf.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 22, 2011, 12:31:20 PM
Next up is a Cass present:

The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393335356/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=0393335356)

Which, I imagine, will take me to New Orleans unless next weekend's mega-wedding is really, really slow.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 22, 2011, 12:44:46 PM

Tell you what: how about you come up with a short list of recommendations from your library and I'll pick a few that you can bring down with you in June.  No fag werewolf books!

Random shelf selections!


Motoring with Mohammed: Journeys to Yemen and the Red Sea (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067973855X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=067973855X)

Burke's Jesus Out to Sea

Acosta's Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo

Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312424930/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=0312424930)

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (Vintage Departures) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400078458/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=1400078458)

After Dark (Vintage International) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307278735/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=0307278735)

The Delivery Man: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F51WNS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=B001F51WNS)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 22, 2011, 02:41:20 PM
Bring the Acosta, After Dark, and Balkan Ghosts.  Or pick some others.

Though while reading the book descriptions Amazon shot some other things at me, and I suddenly realize that I never read Imperial Bedrooms (Bret Easton Ellis' "sequel" to Less than Zero) or Don DeLillo's last book.  But all my favorite novelists are getting old and losing their grip.  DeLillo's lastest book is all about Bush-era crap.  Probably good, but I'm not in a hurry to go back there.  And do I need to read another nightmarishly serene account of how LA is devoid of humanity by Ellis?  Maybe I'm gun-shy after Ellroy's last book and, to a lesser extent, The Pest-House.  Or maybe I don't want to disrupt the good relationship with either author.  DeLillo's Falling Man was fantastic, as was Luna Park.  Whatever.  Maybe it's time to find out about Murakami finally, though I always have trouble when everyone has a foreign name.  

In the meantime I've finished the Human Factor (horribly boring...another favorite author lets me down by refusing to quit in his old age!) and I'm up for grabs.  Thinking about Cities of the Plain, the last book in Cormac McCarthy's border trilogy.  Wait, I just went to the bookshelf and realized I don't own that one.  Crap.  Might be time to get down to McKeown's.  

Have you ever read Ondaajte's Divisadero?  L claims it was unreadable, but I'm intrigued.  
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 22, 2011, 03:12:28 PM
I fondled Imperial Bedrooms at fucking length at Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, NM. They had a stack of them at the front door and I loved his Mark Leyner-inspired Luna Park, so I was suddenly re-converted to Ellismania.

But... As I murdered an hour or two waiting for my uncle to drag himself out of bed, get coffee, preen himself, walk through town, find me (I was always at Tome on the Range -- which became the weekend's joke) and come tell me that I have to go be sociable, I just wasn't happy with it.

Ondaajte alternates wildly from amazing to unreadable, but never in between. It's weird. But...no. I haven't read it.

And are you saying you've never read Murakami before? Because, if yes, After Dark is not the place to begin. You have fourchoices, if you want to get into him:

(1) Zany surrealism:  Wild Sheep Chase and the sequel Dance, Dance, Dance.

(2) Moody anti-nationalism and author-as-character study: Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

(3) Rediscovered liberalized nationalism: After the Quake

(4) Suicide journal nostalgic masterpiece: Norwegian Wood



Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 22, 2011, 03:15:47 PM
Bah.  I don't know.  Every time I pick up one of his books and read the jacket I get confused and put-off. 

Well, that settles it!  None of the 25 books that are on the shelf that I haven't read are good enough for me right now!  Time to go to McKeown's! 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 22, 2011, 03:22:13 PM
I'll bring Norwegian Wood and Wild Sheep Chase.  Both beloved books. I feel like you will love Norwegian Wood. But, if it makes you want to hang yourself in the shower (it will), then Wild Sheep Chase is a good way to clear your head and think about going to karaoke bars and drinking whiskey and obsessing about women's ears.

As to back covers and browsing -- Murakami simply has to be approached like a lock in a canal. Throw open the gates, drive in there, bump the doors, then wildly try and fight the water as it rushes in.

Sometimes he misses, most of the time he hits, but there's no way to tell unless you ignore everything and just start at page one and hammer through 50 pages or so. It's different for everyone, too. That's the fascinating thing. People's lives will be changed by Book X, but then other people will throw Book X against the wall and fall in love with Book Y, but then those who loved Book X will be like, WTF, Book Y is tired! Lazy!

And on you go.

So, a word of warning... Never discuss Murakami. With anyone. Ever. Nobody will ever agree with you and it'll end friendships.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 22, 2011, 03:35:39 PM
Wild Sheep Chase and Dance, Dance, Dance, by the way, are part of the "Trilogy of the Rat."  Murakami, at around 30, was at a baseball game and had this sort of bolt from heaven vision that he could write a novel. So he rushed home in the early 70's and wrote three novels -- "Hear the Wild Sing," "Pinball," and "1973."

He treats these like I would treat early GS stuff if I were to suddenly become a famous author. "Pinball" has eventually bene released, but he's said we'll never read "Hear the Wild Sing" or "1973."

So then, ten years later, Wild Sheep Chase came out. You don't need to know shit about the 70's "rat trilogy," but it's basically the best of whatever he was doing. And it's the book that threw him into the spotlight (which freaked him out and he went nuts and ran away to America for ten years).

Dance, Dance, Dance is a "sequel" to the "trilogy" and, more or less, is his version of Luna Park in the wake of the international fame (which he hated even more and forced him into reclusion) of Norwegian Wood. So it happens to continue the story of Wild Sheep Chase but, 18 years later, the "trilogy of the rat" narrator is now more clearly a tortured Murakami.

Um... So, yes. Read him this summer and, when I come for Columbus Day, we'll drink a bottle of Redbreast and get in a fistfight.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 22, 2011, 04:23:11 PM
Back from McKeown's.  Was hoping to find some light stuff, but I came back with Faulkner and Paul Auster instead.  No Cities of the Plain to be had or eccentric history books that struck me. 

You know, every year around this time, when it first starts to get really hot, I start thinking about spending a whole summer plowing through tolerable "beach books" like John LeCarre or because after fighting the New Orleans summer there's not a lot of time left over for thinking.  But then every year I fail to get started and I read the copy of old ads in National Geographic instead.  Actually, I was really in the mood for a Western but didn't feel like digging.  I don't know what I'm whining about.  We have Amazon Prime and I could have fifty books on my doorstep by Tuesday. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 22, 2011, 04:25:23 PM
Amazon Prime! God, you fucking white people.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on May 22, 2011, 04:31:36 PM
Now it all comes out! The constant judgment and scoffing at the way I choose to live my life!  Oh God!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 22, 2011, 04:40:08 PM
Amazon prime! And living in sin with a Jewess! Do I really need to scoff at your choices because, lo, I do believe you've already fallen.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 03, 2011, 01:23:29 PM
On to a Narrowboat book that someone got off my wishlist (there was no note). So thanks, whoever you are.

Too Narrow to Swing a Cat (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1849530653/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217153&creative=399701&creativeASIN=1849530653)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 08, 2011, 02:26:19 PM
And now time for a big doorstopper --

Surface Detail (Culture) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316123412/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217153&creative=399349&creativeASIN=0316123412)

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 10, 2011, 01:33:53 PM
Moving on to Why Not:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,4886.0.html
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2011, 03:59:00 PM
Well, with a complicated and disappointing Banks novel leading into an emotional Robertson memoir, it's time for something stupid.  So, starting tomorrow, I'll be on:

Heart-Shaped Box (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006114794X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=006114794X)

Stephen King's son's attempt at horror. I've heard raves about it for two years, but part of me expects to not be able to finish it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 12, 2011, 04:32:04 PM
Picked up Peter Bergen's "The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda" for my recent plane ride. Pretty good if you're in to that sort of thing.

http://www.amazon.com/Longest-War-Enduring-Conflict-Al-Qaeda/dp/0743278941 (http://www.amazon.com/Longest-War-Enduring-Conflict-Al-Qaeda/dp/0743278941)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 12, 2011, 05:55:25 PM
I've been working my way through "Mr Nice": Howard Marks' autobiographical recount of his graduating from 1960's Oxford, being known as "Marco Polo" the most wanted man in Britain, ex-MI6 agent, and international marijuana smuggler and money launderer throughout the 70's and 80's.

It's mostly quite entertaining and enlightening.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2011, 06:00:32 PM
Ooh...now that sounds like fun.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 12, 2011, 06:25:24 PM
T'was also made into a film.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0749395699 for the book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 13, 2011, 10:23:15 AM
Heart Shaped Box is a weird read... It's exactly like 80's King. The recently-sober King. Still interesting, but measured and planned out as opposed to the suck and fuck and clumsy cumshots of the 70's King.

If there was no relationship, it would be annoying. But assuming that the son has easy access to the father's advice, it's fascinating. And goes a long way towards validating the theory that King has a very easy to follow write-by-numbers formula.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on July 13, 2011, 11:17:49 PM
You mean the forumala that goes, "Imagine what will impress people with no imagination of their own"? 

Started Balkan Ghosts the other day and I'm enjoying it.  As much as you can enjoy a brief passing through a region that has been haunted by horrible, violent resentment of your next door neighbor since 600 AD. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 14, 2011, 07:04:06 AM
A great companion to Balkan Ghosts is Rebecca West's book (which he talks about throughout as he basically follows her pre-WWII footsteps). I read hers when I was done with his and it was something.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 14, 2011, 10:32:04 AM
Wow... I know I said I wanted stupid, but Heart Shaped Box's first 50 pages actually hurt my brain.

So I threw it against the wall and moved on to:

Dancing After Hours: Stories (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679751149/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=0679751149)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 16, 2011, 03:33:07 PM
Well, I had nothing to do Friday but read. So... All done with Dancing After Hours! Today I'm moving on to:

Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061873470/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=0061873470)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 26, 2011, 10:40:48 AM
Okay...tonight I'll finally be moving on to:

Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060899220/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=0060899220)

Finally getting around to the centerpiece of my new Bourdain obsession (http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,4885.0.html).

I'm kind of moving backwards with his work... A month or so ago, I plowed through:

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (P.S.) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061718955/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=0061718955)

A large section of Medium Raw deals with how Kitchen Confidential pretty much destroyed him. He goes on in detail about the collapse of his marriage, and his own breakdown. How he, generally, couldn't handle the sudden success. So it'll be interesting approaching Kitchen Confidential from ten years after the Rise(and Fall and Rise) of Bourdain.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 02, 2011, 10:05:23 PM
Reading White Tiger by Aravind Adiga set in India. And it's bloody marvelous; won the Man Brooker prize in 2008. Very good, clear, and compelling read.

Quote
Balram Halwai, the eponymous ‘white tiger’, is a diminutive, overweight ex-teashop worker who now earns his living as a chauffeur. But this is only one side of his protean personality; he deals in confidence scams, over-ambitious business promotions (built on the shakiest of foundations) and enjoys approaching life with a philosophical turn of mind. But is Balram also a murderer? We learn the answer as we devour these 500 odd pages.

Born into an impoverished family, Balram is removed from school by his parents in order to earn money in a thankless job: shop employee. He is forced into banal, mind-numbing work. But Balram dreams of escaping -- and a chance arises when a well-heeled village landlord takes him on as a chauffeur for his son (although the duties involve transporting the latter's wife and two Pomeranian dogs).

From the rich new perspective offered to him in this more interesting job, Balram discovers New Delhi, and a vision of the city changes his life forever. His learning curve is very steep, and he quickly comes to believe that the way to the top is by the most expedient means. And if that involves committing the odd crime of violence, he persuades himself that this is what successful people must do.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 03, 2011, 08:41:57 AM
Heard alot about it. Let me know your thoughts upon completion!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 05, 2011, 01:31:20 PM
The next in McCullough's series:

Fortune's Favorites (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061582409/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=0061582409)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 06, 2011, 04:58:51 AM
Reading White Tiger by Aravind Adiga set in India. And it's bloody marvelous; won the Man Brooker prize in 2008. Very good, clear, and compelling read.

Quote
Balram Halwai, the eponymous ‘white tiger’, is a diminutive, overweight ex-teashop worker who now earns his living as a chauffeur. But this is only one side of his protean personality; he deals in confidence scams, over-ambitious business promotions (built on the shakiest of foundations) and enjoys approaching life with a philosophical turn of mind. But is Balram also a murderer? We learn the answer as we devour these 500 odd pages.

Born into an impoverished family, Balram is removed from school by his parents in order to earn money in a thankless job: shop employee. He is forced into banal, mind-numbing work. But Balram dreams of escaping -- and a chance arises when a well-heeled village landlord takes him on as a chauffeur for his son (although the duties involve transporting the latter's wife and two Pomeranian dogs).

From the rich new perspective offered to him in this more interesting job, Balram discovers New Delhi, and a vision of the city changes his life forever. His learning curve is very steep, and he quickly comes to believe that the way to the top is by the most expedient means. And if that involves committing the odd crime of violence, he persuades himself that this is what successful people must do.

Heard alot about it. Let me know your thoughts upon completion!

It's cracking good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 06, 2011, 08:02:57 PM
Added to the wishlist!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 08, 2011, 06:25:13 AM
Now reading Norwegian Wood.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 08, 2011, 08:15:50 AM
Murakami's suicide homage! Enjoy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 08, 2011, 09:13:19 PM
Murakami's suicide homage! Enjoy.

It's already quite depressing. Nothing like Wind Up Bird Chronicle.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 09, 2011, 07:17:23 AM
Oh, no! Not at all. Wind-Up is unique.

I love that Murakami touches every base with his writing, though. Weird speculative fiction, suicide fiction, comedy, sci-fi, fantasy...um...furries. And all with that delicious "participatory" style.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 29, 2011, 03:09:14 PM
Norwegian Wood was good: not so much depressing as hopeful I found; those who can't live in this world quietly end their lives, those who can live in this world carry on regardless.

Just pre-ordered Murakami's new set of novels, 1Q84 Parts One and Two, and Part Three. Should be here by late October!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 29, 2011, 03:25:07 PM
Yeah, I'm anxiously waiting for 1Q84.

Glad you took that away from Norwegian Wood. It's a novel that requires a certain level of intelligence and emotional maturity.

While you wait -- get Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in you. Your impression of Norwegian Wood has me thinking you'll be up for the challenge.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 29, 2011, 03:30:56 PM
Oh, I've already read Wind-Up Bird Chronicle a couple of years ago. It is great, and is why I bought Norwegian Wood when I saw it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 07, 2011, 01:21:25 PM
Since I'm still in ancient Rome, and this has become the de facto Murakami/1Q84 anticipation thread, here's this: http://perpetualfolly.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-yorker-town-of-cats-by-haruki.html

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 08, 2011, 12:19:35 AM
*Cum*
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 22, 2011, 05:42:47 PM
Paul Williams died in June of 2009, (http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,3549.msg115708.html#msg115708) and I've slowly been working my way through his "Pelbar Cycle." It's a series of early 80's PA novels that borrow from Canticle for Leibowitz -- 1000 years after a catastrophic global nuclear war, the remnants of humanity exist in small groups. The titular group were founded by Amanda Pell, and have become an isolationist, conservative, matriarchal society spread between three cities on the Mississippi. They're surrounded by more tribal types, who occasionally trade with them, and some distant archetypal bad guy societies.

Over the course of the books, the Pelbar are eventually drawn out of their shell and reluctantly form the Heart River Federation, largely as a do or die response to encroaching bad guys. The stories are told over the course of about 10-20 years with two main families. There's no single hero throughout, but we have two main guys and their kids who pick up the adventuring flag. Each book's adventure is more subplot to the larger story of the Federation's growth and the loss of the old ways on the part of the tribal folks, forced to settle down and create a more agricultural, civilized life.

I've slowly been acquiring the books and reading through them. Book six and seven have been languishing in my to-read pile for close to a year now, so I'm just going to hunker down and plow through them. Get the series over and done with.

Overall, they aren't spectacular. But once you muscle through them, the journey of the characters is terribly addictive.

Here's the Amazon page:

Paul Williams Amazon Page (http://www.amazon.com/gp/entity/Paul-O.-williams/B001O7WSYO?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 18, 2011, 04:02:05 PM
Tonight, Somewhere in New York: The Last Stories and an Unfinished Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786715308/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=0786715308)

Fascinating so far...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornell_Woolrich

Really just killing time for the Murakami freakout, though....
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 21, 2011, 10:47:03 AM
Moving on...

Mondo Enduro: Around the World Adventure on Two Wheels 41 Countries in 405 Days (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1884313647/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=1884313647)

I've actually been reading this for a few months, whenever I need to escape and pretend I'm motoring around the world with no money in my pocket and no real plan. These guys are nuts!

Moving it to my primary read while I continue to wait for Murakami...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on October 21, 2011, 11:36:36 AM
I've been reading The Amityville Horror because it's Halloween and I've never read it.

It's so obviously a hoax, just by virtue that the writing is terrible.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 21, 2011, 11:53:53 AM
Oh, yeah. We were so innocent in the 70's and 80's, eh?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on October 21, 2011, 12:02:22 PM
It's awful. They billed it as "a true story" because it never would have made it out of the gate as a novel.

Yet it's oddly compelling too. It's pretty easy to see why Hollywood was interested.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 21, 2011, 01:21:16 PM
Everything was a true story back then! If I recall correctly, there was some sort of shake up in the late 80's/early 90's...was it a court case? Anyway, that's when they had to switch to "inspired by true events" or whatever.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 22, 2011, 08:01:48 PM
And...on we go to:

The Restraint of Beasts (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F6Z78Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B000F6Z78Y)

1Q84 anticipation continues, though. That book is going to be over 1600 pages! It's already received the most pre-release reviews of any book to date. It's supposed to be a total freakout... Monkey, you've got it on order, right? We should have a 1Q84 Meltdown Thread!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Cassander on November 02, 2011, 01:13:31 AM

It's so obviously a hoax, just by virtue that the writing is terrible.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 13, 2011, 02:31:01 PM
Okay...I'll finish up book two of 1Q84 and take a break -- which is actually how you're supposed to read it, apparently.

My purposes are so I don't have to travel with a hardback that weighs more than I do. Just light fare for me!

Christmas reading will be a return to my to-red pile.


Narrow Dog to Indian River (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385342098/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0385342098), wherein two lunatic Brits take their Narrowboat down the inter-coastal waterway in the US and fight alligators.

And...

A Fan's Notes (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679720766/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0679720766), which has been routinely recommended as a (comical) study on dealing with pain, despair, etc.

Perfect Christmas reading! Ill-advised waterway journeys and fictional despair diaries.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 23, 2011, 01:14:11 PM
My post 1Q84 and pre- Book 3 of 1Q84 is to re-read one of my favourite novels, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft; his only novel-length work.

I love it so much. It's great.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 03, 2012, 06:39:40 PM
Exley's Fan's Notes is great, as well.

I tell you...there's a part of me that doesn't want to go back to 1Q84.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on January 14, 2012, 12:55:33 PM
I tell you...there's a part of me that doesn't want to go back to 1Q84.

Same here.

I've re-read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward over Xmas and now I'm re-reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 14, 2012, 02:40:46 PM
I'm still on Exley...the contest stuff slowed me down. But, after that, I think my mind is made up. 1Q84 just isn't good enough to go back to.

That'll be the first book I've quit on in...well, I can't remember the last one.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 27, 2012, 10:40:06 AM
Ashes (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1606841750/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1606841750)

I didn't realize it was YA... But it's still a fun post-apocalypse ride. Because it's YA, I've read 300 pages in four days without really trying.

I've also decided to ditch Murakami. 1Q84 is just...well, bad.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 06, 2012, 08:51:57 AM
Finally getting around to Tropic of Cancer. Bought a paperback in 1988 after watching After Hours and never felt up to approaching it until now.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 16, 2012, 11:20:40 AM
Whoops! Need to catch up...

While on the plane to NOLA, I read:

The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805092439/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0805092439)

It's garbage... But it's PA garbage, so I'm very forgiving.

Now I'm reading:

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307453286/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307453286)

It's easily the best wartime espionage study I've read. Really beautifully written, and completely engaging. The story itself is a bizarre comedy, and the whole cast is nutty. There's a communist loon married to a woman whose nickname is "Hell," a very dumb German spy who collects butterflies, the comedy of errors that was Franco's early government, and dry-witted Brits obsessed with ridiculous farces.

Just about 100 pages left so, at home, I've started:

Running Through Corridors: Rob and Toby's Marathon Watch of Doctor Who (Volume 1: The 60s) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1935234064/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1935234064)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 16, 2012, 06:37:23 PM
I don't think I ever mentioned that I'm reading Peter Ackroyd's Biography of William Blake, the obviously titled 'Blake.'
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 28, 2012, 03:13:08 PM
I picked up The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made by David Hughes (http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Sci-fi-Movies-Revised-Updated/dp/1845767551/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219270970&sr=8-1) earlier today and it's friggin' riveting.

The book chronicles a dozen or so movies that suffered through torturous "development hell" before seeing the light of day. (and some never did.) Tales include:

--The ten screenwriters it took to get Alien 3 made.
--Twenty years of clusterfuckery to get Superman Returns
--How Spielberg's alien horror movie became ET.
--The Star Trek sequel that never was.

Amazing stuff.

What just arrived from Amazon? Hughes sequel, "Tales From Development Hell."

In this edition, I'll be treated to the tales of such "never mades" as:

--John Boorman's Lord of the Rings movie starring The Beatles.
--The long road to the original Total Recall (and it's never produced sequel.)
--Darren Aronofsky's Batman: Year One.
--Oliver Stone's Planet of the Apes sequel/reboot.
--Why they can't film Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
--Crusade, a never made Arnie vehicle that is Hollywood clusterfuck legend.
--James Cameron's Fantastic Voyage remake.

Pretty excited...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 28, 2012, 04:01:39 PM
Me too! Bring it by when you're done!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 28, 2012, 04:08:54 PM
How Fox shit the bed on what eventually became Burton's Apes remake might make you trash your apartment.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 28, 2012, 05:11:26 PM
How Fox shit the bed on what eventually became Burton's Apes remake might make you trash your apartment.

More than each week's episode of Walking Dead?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 28, 2012, 05:28:18 PM
I hadn't realized they'd be trying to reboot it since the early 80s.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 28, 2012, 07:07:36 PM
Oh, I knew. They never wanted the franchise to die. Can we change the subject? Do you like tulips? Aren't they pretty?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 28, 2012, 07:21:09 PM
The Total Recall fiasco is even worse.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 02, 2012, 03:44:21 PM
Back to my Rome series...

Caesar's Women (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061582425/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061582425)

I hope to finish this series by the end of the year.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on April 07, 2012, 09:09:29 PM
Hey, have you guys heard of the Hunger Games?!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 09, 2012, 10:17:08 AM
The sequel to Tutor From Lesbos?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on April 11, 2012, 12:02:46 PM
Having finished 1Q84 Book 3, I'm going over Orwell's Animal Farm again.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 21, 2012, 10:09:53 AM
Back to my Rome series...

Caesar's Women (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061582425/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061582425)

I hope to finish this series by the end of the year.

Whew... So, basically, I lose May and early June to publishing madness. But I caught up during the plane to the UK...

Read:

It Can't Happen Here (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/045121658X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=045121658X)

And am nearly done with:

Therapy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0140249001/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0140249001)

And then back to my Caesar series. The penultimate book is:

Caesar (Masters of Rome 4) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099460432/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0099460432)

After that, I'll plow into the finale. So on target for that goal...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 21, 2012, 11:01:38 AM
I'm still working my way through the 'classics' whether it's a fresh or re-read. Having finished Frankenstein, I'm now on to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Next, it'll be Bulgakov's "Heart of a Dog."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 21, 2012, 12:35:38 PM
'Frankenstein' is literary Ambien. I'm always shocked when I read it that it's become a cinematic mainstay. I guess all the elements are there, but "whew!"

Turgid, man. Turgid.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 21, 2012, 12:45:23 PM
It's written by an 18 year old female shut-in in 1816. She, herself, even called it crap in an interview 20 years later. A lark that they sort of team-wrote one drunken night.

From a literary viewpoint, you could argue that Frankenstein is the first "fad book." It was brutally panned by critics. It got translated into a play in the 1820's that basically revamped the story (closer to what we would later embrace it in the films) and made it more approachable. A classic case where everybody who loved the play ran out and got the book and probably went, "Huh?!" But, then, sales are sales. Who cares?

Then Hollywood saved it from the dusty, forgotten corners and it's been a classic ever since...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 22, 2012, 10:53:04 AM
I liked Frankenstein despite it's "turgid," pondering style. All of the elements are there, and for it's day was quite visionary in creative scope, regardless of patchy execution.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on June 23, 2012, 12:25:40 AM
I'm reading The Elves of Centra. The second book in Terry Brooks' "bridge" trilogy between The Word and the Void trilogy and the Shannara books. These 3 are PA + elves + small amounts of magic.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 23, 2012, 09:42:40 AM
Oh, man... I keep threatening to go back to the Terry Brooks hole. I read those first couple Shannara books in high school, but lost the thread.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 23, 2012, 11:18:43 AM
I'm now onto Bulgakov's _Heart of a Dog_.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 26, 2012, 04:21:25 PM
Haha! They re-released the book that inspired Die Hard on Kindle only. I've been waiting for a used paperback to come down in price, but the Kindle version is only six bucks, so... Whatever. Downloaded to the Droid!

Nothing Lasts Forever (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006NZWXO2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B006NZWXO2&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=B006NZWXO2)

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 29, 2012, 05:42:31 PM
Haha! They re-released the book that inspired Die Hard on Kindle only. I've been waiting for a used paperback to come down in price, but the Kindle version is only six bucks, so... Whatever. Downloaded to the Droid!

Nothing Lasts Forever (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006NZWXO2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B006NZWXO2&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&l=as2&o=1&a=B006NZWXO2)



Jesus Christ... Amazon has my number. So I got a $3 download special offer for First Blood. The 1972 novel that would inspire Rambo. And, according to Wikipedia, it went through something of a torturous process from book to film...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Blood_(novel)

The Die Hard novel, so far, is bizarre. The Bruce Willis character is an older man, a WWII vet (the novel's set in 1978), and Holly is his wastrel daughter who works for a Texas oil baron. She's doing coke and fucking Ellis (who's basically exactly the same).

Otherwise, it's creepy how weirdly loyal the movie is. All the one liners are there, though our main guy isn't as sardonic or quippy. He's much more of a thinking man (this is one of many of a standard detective series). The language isn't there, of course. But all those great one-liners are in there -- Go on! Show him the watch!

The relationships are spot-on, too. There's actually something of an interesting take on the Texan (who would become Takagi in the movie). He's not really a good guy. There's a reason the terrorists target the company.

This is very, very, very subtly hinted at in the movie. You may pick it up on the 50th viewing. But it's much more obvious here, chiefly because the whole thing is from our main guy's point of view, so he sums up his feelings about the company in the first few pages.

What I enjoy is that our main guy, having long since retired from the NYPD, is a consultant and terrorist expert responsible for setting up the air marshal program (which is why he's on a plane with a loaded gun) and SWAT teams. So not only does he know exactly what he's doing -- as opposed to being a maverick cop -- but he also recognizes Gruber.

Also we spend, like, five pages on the origin of making fists with your toes, all by way of explaining why he then spends the rest of the book barefoot.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 23, 2012, 11:35:31 AM
Wow... First Blood was amazing. Unlike the Die Hard novel, it manages to stand on its own... You leave thoughts of the movie behind fairly early on. This is largely because the characters are so different. You come out rooting for the sheriff by the time all is said and done.

I can "loan" it to anyone with a Kindle if you want... Let me know.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Sirharles on July 23, 2012, 12:32:47 PM
I remember reading that in high school.  And being shocked at how different it was from the movie.  Then I read the second book and I loved how Morse (sp?) basically says because the movie was a hit and my publisher gave me a sack of money Rambo isn't actually dead and tra la la....
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 23, 2012, 12:45:41 PM
I remember reading that in high school.  And being shocked at how different it was from the movie.  Then I read the second book and I loved how Morse (sp?) basically says because the movie was a hit and my publisher gave me a sack of money Rambo isn't actually dead and tra la la....

Yeah, there's a whole section of his webpage about parts two and three. I appreciate his honesty about taking on the job. Like, hey, I created this character, so OF COURSE I'll take millions of dollars to continue the franchise. In fact, I'll do whatever you tell me to do...as soon as the check clears.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 24, 2012, 08:29:37 AM
Jesus... Downloaded and watched Rambo and, wow, they totally fucked up the book! The movie now seems cheap, dated, and pedestrian.

The book had so many great, tense scenes in it... And, of course, all the difference in the world -- Rambo is crazy. Not weepy Charlie killed my buddy and why, why, why, hug me! crazy... He's a homicidal maniac. He must be stopped. Even his internal monologue acknowledges that.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 02, 2012, 01:19:54 PM
The Caesar book is moving slow... Bogged down in the minutiae of the Gallic Wars, then segueing slowly into the minutiae of the Civil War.  Halfway through and I've distracted myself throughout with candy -- Liek Die Hard, and First Blood...and now the hilarious and wonderful Know-It-All (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743250621/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0743250621&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr).

Largely, I'm distracted by these things because the Caesar book is a big honking doorstopper, but all of the above I've downloaded on Kindle, which I can read on my phone/computer and still look like I'm doing work...

(McCullough hasn't allowed her work to go to ebooks...)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 03, 2012, 11:43:23 AM
After being less than impressed with the movie, I'm now reading Thin Red Line... which is okay.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 30, 2012, 03:39:17 PM
Moving on to the last of the Masters of Rome series:

The October Horse: A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416566651/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416566651&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Technically, this is the penultimate book. She finished the series, then gave in to fans (and her publishers) several years later to do an Antony and Cleopatra book, which is generally disliked by everyone (including the author!). So I'm ending with The October Horse.

I started this series on September 30th of 2010... Here's the post for the first book:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,340.msg134695.html#msg134695

Would be kind of cool to finish the series by the end of this September...

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 01, 2012, 09:44:54 AM
Wow... October Horse is a breath of fresh air. McCullough is so meticulous with her history, so Caesar was more obsessed with the step-by-step doings of the Gallic War and the Civil War, never straying far from Caesar's writings. But he sort of dropped off when he got to Egypt (because he was fucking Cleo for three months), so we can get into a bit more of the storytelling. At least at first. Then the campaign in Africa...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 03, 2012, 10:35:28 AM
October Horse sounds like a porn-name.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 03, 2012, 03:04:03 PM
October Horse sounds like a porn-name.

Big cocked American Indian?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 04, 2012, 11:50:37 AM
October Horse sounds like a porn-name.

Big cocked American Indian?

Red October Horse.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on September 04, 2012, 11:59:09 AM
Russian teen creampies.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 04, 2012, 03:43:31 PM
I hate you all!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 07, 2012, 12:30:24 AM
Teenage Marquee Flaps.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 19, 2012, 12:21:02 PM
Moving on to the last of the Masters of Rome series:

The October Horse: A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416566651/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416566651&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Technically, this is the penultimate book. She finished the series, then gave in to fans (and her publishers) several years later to do an Antony and Cleopatra book, which is generally disliked by everyone (including the author!). So I'm ending with The October Horse.

I started this series on September 30th of 2010... Here's the post for the first book:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,340.msg134695.html#msg134695

Would be kind of cool to finish the series by the end of this September...



200 pages to go... And it's heating up as we roll headlong into the assassination of Caesar. Going to make my September 30th deadline with time to spare.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 01, 2012, 09:08:14 AM
Finished on time! September 30th...

Now on to some light reading before my Iain Banks freakout:

Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596916281/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1596916281&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

And:

Domestic Violets (P.S.) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NNUX66/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004NNUX66&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 09, 2012, 12:49:18 PM
Okay! Launching into Banks land!

The Hydrogen Sonata (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316212377/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316212377&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

And, because Banks can sometimes get pretty heavy, I'm also finally delving into:

The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (Creating the North American Landscape) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080188246X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=080188246X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

As my sort of break-time slow-read history...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on October 24, 2012, 01:03:00 PM
Jesus... Downloaded and watched Rambo and, wow, they totally fucked up the book! The movie now seems cheap, dated, and pedestrian.

The book had so many great, tense scenes in it... And, of course, all the difference in the world -- Rambo is crazy. Not weepy Charlie killed my buddy and why, why, why, hug me! crazy... He's a homicidal maniac. He must be stopped. Even his internal monologue acknowledges that.

http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/first-blood-turns-30-rambo-original-dark-end-174610790.html

Quote
‘First Blood’ Turns 30: Rambo’s original dark end

Thirty years ago Monday, "First Blood" hit movie screens, introducing audiences to John Rambo, the embattled Vietnam veteran played on screen by Sylvester Stallone. The movie was an enormous hit, earning $125 million worldwide on just a $14 million budget. The violent, R-rated action thriller spawned three sequels, video games, and, improbably, an animated series for kids. And it established Stallone as a major Hollywood star outside of his "Rocky" series. But none of that might have happened if they had stuck with the original ending for the movie where Rambo didn't survive.

In the theatrical version, Rambo is cornered in a police station. He has his gun aimed at Teasle (Brian Dennehy), the sheriff who pushed Rambo to lash out in violence. But then his old commanding officer Trautman (Richard Crenna) orders him to stop.  Rambo breaks down, telling Trautman how Vietnam scarred him and that he can't find a place in the civilian world. Then he gives himself up, and the film ends with him being taken away by the police.

That ending was changed after test audiences rejected the much darker original ending.  The first scripted and filmed ending saw the trapped Rambo pleading with Trautman to kill him.  Rambo says, "I can't spend the rest of my life in a cell. If I've got to die, I want you to do it."  Trautman flinches, but Rambo insists: "You trained me. You made me. You kill me. You owe me that." Rambo places a pistol in Trautman's hand. He tries to aim away, but Rambo pulls the gun towards him and it goes off.  It ends with Trautman walking away as Rambo dies alone. You can see the original ending in the deleted scenes in the "Rambo - The Complete Collection" DVD and Blu-ray set.

The ending where Rambo survived was actually Stallone's idea. He had co-written the screenplay, and in the middle of shooting felt that audiences might feel too sympathetic to Rambo to want to see him die.  He insisted that they film both versions during production, and when the audience at a test screening objected to the death scene, the other ending was switched in.

Just getting "First Blood" to the screen was a challenge unto itself. It took more than a decade to adapt David Morrell's 1972 novel into a movie.  Many huge stars were considered for the lead role of John Rambo, including Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, and Clint Eastwood.  Kirk Douglas was originally cast as Trautman, and he told Movieline that is was his idea for the character to kill Rambo at the end. But he dropped out and was replaced by Crenna at the last moment.

"First Blood" gave Stallone his second blockbuster hit of 1982, coming only five months after the enormous success of "Rocky III." But it helped establish him as a true action star, not just a guy in boxing trunks.  Stallone followed "First Blood" with two even more successful sequels in the '80s, then returned to the character after a 20 year break with 2008's "Rambo."

Stallone had originally stated that he might be up for a fifth film, but in 2010 he told Empire Magazine, "I think Rambo's pretty well done. I don't think there'll be any more. I'm about 99 per cent sure." That doesn't mean he's packed up his guns, though. His last film, "The Expendables 2," made $290 million worldwide this past summer, and there's already talk about a third.

And who knows? They couldn't kill Rambo thirty years ago, so you should never count him out.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 24, 2012, 03:35:24 PM
And Morrell is this year's fiction judge!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on October 24, 2012, 03:35:45 PM
Nice timing!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 24, 2012, 03:44:29 PM
Not an accident.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 25, 2012, 11:02:34 PM
:dramagopher:
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 05, 2012, 11:29:17 AM
Well...my trapped by a hurricane reading forced me to pick this up:

Sick Puppy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446695688/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0446695688&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Going to Hiaason after an (excellent) Iain Banks book is a major step down intellectually. Which actually kind of works, I suppose. Light entertainment.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 14, 2012, 04:03:02 PM
Zone One! Yay PA!

Zone One (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307455173/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307455173&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 25, 2012, 10:24:41 AM
Back to my high school roots... Re-reading some Ballard:

High-Rise: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0871404028/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0871404028&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)


Zone One! Yay PA!

Zone One (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307455173/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307455173&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Zone One was weird. Beautifully written, and it kept me on the hook... But these modern PA novels have a weird habit of ending without an ending. And out he walks into the thick of the dead...to live? To die? Who knows! Doesn't matter! It's one thing if you line up a sequel, but paying some sort of homage to 70's zombie stuff where they just wander off (such as at the end of the original Dawn of the Dead) and it's up to the audience to guess their fate (assumption being that they're doomed, and that, of course, was the movie's lesson) doesn't quite fly these days. Especially when you take that "we've always been doomed" aspect away. That works when the survivors are unintentional survivors -- like the Dawn of the Dead folks. They lucked out, and failed when the going got tough. But then we get the Zone One subset of PA horror and you talk about these hard-hitting uber survivors and master-level zombie killers, the end of book assumption is, well, maybe he did get away. In which case...what's the point? Just another day at the salt mine.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2012, 03:33:12 PM
Oh my god... I first read High Rise when I was 16 or 17...and just sort of thought, huh, kooky.

Reading it again now, as I scream wildly towards the climax, it's made me unsettled and paranoid. Easily the best of Ballard, driving angry spikes into you. It's certainly got me double-checking the locks on my door.

I think, after this, I'll step down to some regular old travel adventure. Tonight, I'll start on:

Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/037572754X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=037572754X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 05, 2012, 09:02:09 AM

I think, after this, I'll step down to some regular old travel adventure. Tonight, I'll start on:

Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/037572754X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=037572754X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Whoops...a bad start. A privileged 30-something from New York decides to make peace with his failed Peace Corps attempt and return to Uzbekistan on a personal odyssey to see the Aral Sea. You can already figure from his timeline and intro that he's outraged about how the Russians have (and are) treating the Aral Sea and spends a preachy intro talking about how the world's too small for all of us to ignore it and, even if you are a privileged  American, that's no reason for jingoism and small-mindedness and we should use our powers for good or something.

Then we get into the story, and he's throwing 50 cent words all over the place where, really, they aren't called for. A man over-impressed with his own writing. I'm going to give it a fair shake -- get about 70 pages in -- but if this is the theme, then forget it. Maybe I've been spoiled by the post-imperial humility of British travelogues...

Anyway, I'm avoiding leaping into the second Iain Banks release for 2012 -- a big fuck-off fiction. I still feel like Hydrogen Sonata is sinking in, and his normal fiction is more of a ride than his sci-fi...

If Chasing the Sea falls through, I have a backlog of travel books to hit...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 05, 2012, 12:13:06 PM
Yep... Screw it. So, moving on to the book written by a girl who got married at my weekend job (and had a sales table all through the reception), and a Wishlist Christmas gift from a year or two ago by Sirharles:

Tide, Feather, Snow: A Life in Alaska (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058M8HEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0058M8HEQ&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 15, 2012, 01:07:40 PM
Having spent the last year working my way through the pre-60's classics, this Xmas I'll be spending my days with one of my favourites, American Psycho - nice and Xmassy!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 17, 2012, 07:20:11 AM
Beautiful.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 20, 2012, 10:41:38 AM
Stonemouth: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605983829/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1605983829)

The second Banks release this year. More thoughts in the Iain Banks thread (http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,1500.msg151701.html#msg151701).

Yep... Screw it. So, moving on to the book written by a girl who got married at my weekend job (and had a sales table all through the reception), and a Wishlist Christmas gift from a year or two ago by Sirharles:

Tide, Feather, Snow: A Life in Alaska (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058M8HEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0058M8HEQ&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

This was an interesting read. Very well written -- lovingly poetic -- and well worth it if you're a fan of nature, Alaska, and Washingtonians trying to get through a couple years off the beaten path.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 31, 2012, 03:37:14 PM
And done! Stonemouth was fast-paced and a pleasure to read. So glad Banks has found his second wind.

So, tonight, I start on a wishlist gift:

The Canal (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SRYYVE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007SRYYVE)

A somewhat experimental debut from an "underground" author. I was drawn to it because it has that Fan's Notes feel to it... What they (horribly) call "neo-beat" and what we know best from Fight Club -- the "middle children of history" speech. Bored cogs in the wheel seeking escape only to find that there is none.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 08, 2013, 04:26:05 PM
The Canal was weird. Almost Nicholson Baker-esque, and there was the briefest moment where I got excited and thought it would veer into Ballard country... It sort of kind of wants to at several points.

Anyway. It fed into my strange canal fetish.

Next up!

Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba (Adventure Press) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0792279611/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0792279611)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 08, 2013, 04:33:48 PM
I've been reading "On Directing Film" by David Mamet.  Yes, it's for school.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Directing-Film-David-Mamet/dp/0140127224/

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 08, 2013, 05:44:47 PM
But probably pretty awesome, no?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 08, 2013, 06:51:13 PM
It is actually.

The book is transcribed lectures from Mamet's adjunct tenure at Columbia University in 1987. Makes me simultaneously feel like I know what I'm doing, and realize how much i still have to learn.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on January 08, 2013, 07:41:56 PM
I'm reading Charlie Brooker's "I Can Make You Hate" - a collection of his articles, newspaper pieces, etc. over the last few years. Many laughs.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 08, 2013, 07:51:21 PM
I'm reading Charlie Brooker's "I Can Make You Hate" - a collection of his articles, newspaper pieces, etc. over the last few years. Many laughs.

When you're done with it, post it to me!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on January 09, 2013, 08:22:16 PM
It's the size of a hard-back house. It'd be cheaper for me to buy and ship a new one directly from Amazon.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 09, 2013, 08:44:07 PM
It's not on Amazon.com at any reasonable price. So I'll just have to fly out and spend a weekend with you and take yours back in my luggage!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on January 11, 2013, 01:06:12 AM
Swords at dawn!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 16, 2013, 07:00:48 PM
Man...I am striking out with these travel books. Chasing the Sea was unreadable, and now Mi Moto Fidel is...well, not bad. But you're reading less about Cuba and more about how the author reeeeaaaalllly likes Cuba. Like, on every page. He's so tearfully enamoured with the country you can't get a thought in edgewise. Like - the scene was so pefectly Cuban, and such and such is so classically Cubano, and blah blah blah...like we're all really in love with the country like him. This might be fine if it was, say, the UK...but, for an American, it's frustrating as hell. Here's this alien land that's been sealed off for 50 years. Tell me about it! Not about how much you love it!

I'm going to move into some brainless fiction, I think. I feel like my reading groove is off so far in 2013...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 17, 2013, 08:52:11 AM
Right! Okay... Mindless thriller stuff...


Safe House: A Thriller (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250012562/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1250012562)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 08, 2013, 11:10:04 AM
Right! Okay... Mindless thriller stuff...


Safe House: A Thriller (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250012562/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1250012562)

Finally slogged through this! It was mindless...and mildly insulting! But hopefully what I needed to reboot for 2013.

On to something slightly more high brow:

Nocturne: A Journey in Search of Moonlight (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226030962/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0226030962&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 19, 2013, 03:22:22 PM
With the moody, self-obsessed study of the moon and moon rituals behind me, it's time for some post-modern sci-fi. Loving this so far:

The Explorer (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062229419/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062229419&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 19, 2013, 03:44:32 PM
Been reading "Manson, In His Own Words." Was this a gift from you, Reggie?

http://www.amazon.com/Manson-His-Own-Words-Confessions/dp/0802130240/
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 19, 2013, 05:17:41 PM
Been reading "Manson, In His Own Words." Was this a gift from you, Reggie?

http://www.amazon.com/Manson-His-Own-Words-Confessions/dp/0802130240/

Nope. It was somebody else! Two more guesses!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 19, 2013, 07:07:57 PM
Squeaky Fromme?!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 19, 2013, 08:02:50 PM
Squeaky Fromme?!

She's the face at your bedroom window.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 27, 2013, 10:20:29 AM
With the moody, self-obsessed study of the moon and moon rituals behind me, it's time for some post-modern sci-fi. Loving this so far:

The Explorer (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062229419/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062229419&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

An interesting read...though it lifts so much from Timecrimes, I sort of have to hold that against it.

Moving on to some light PA:

The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0053U7BN6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0053U7BN6&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2013, 11:20:17 AM
With the moody, self-obsessed study of the moon and moon rituals behind me, it's time for some post-modern sci-fi. Loving this so far:

The Explorer (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062229419/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062229419&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

An interesting read...though it lifts so much from Timecrimes, I sort of have to hold that against it.

Moving on to some light PA:

The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0053U7BN6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0053U7BN6&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Oh my god! I love No Boss Week!

Finished the first book...moving on to book two:

The Fall: Book Two of the Strain Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062195549/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062195549&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 02, 2013, 11:49:33 AM
Whew! Kindle for PC! How fun... Finished The Fall in time to return it for a full refund. Now moving on to the final book in the trilogy:

The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YW4LNM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004YW4LNM&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)



Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on April 02, 2013, 02:08:27 PM
I've started "Long Earth" by Terry Pratchett and some other guy there to hold it together through the Alzheimer's.

It's pretty good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 02, 2013, 02:10:46 PM
I've started "Long Earth" by Terry Pratchett and some other guy there to hold it together through the Alzheimer's.

It's pretty good.

Heard great things about it. Might be next on my reading list...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 05, 2013, 04:11:36 PM
Oh my god! Kindle App freakout! Finished the last of the Strain trilogy...

It was crap. But it was PA -- which I love no matter what.

Now moving on to the heavily overhyped:

Gone Girl: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/030758836X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=030758836X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

It's a loaner from a friend that I want to read and return so they'll shut up about it. It's also a return to print books! Give my Kindle-ized eyes a rest!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on April 06, 2013, 11:08:58 AM
Get yourself Long Earth.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 06, 2013, 12:35:37 PM
Get yourself Long Earth.

I have the ebook. And Gone Girl is awful...so maybe I'll switch to Long Earth.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 08, 2013, 11:44:12 AM
well... Long Earth on the ebook, but I really want to feel a real book in my hands after the Kindle freakout the last two days... So, from the reading list:

Aloha, Lady Blue: A Mystery (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/125000778X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=125000778X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Debut author whose Travis McGee-inspired book is getting tons of praise. So far (20 pages in) it's well deserved praise.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 09, 2013, 10:18:40 AM
well... Long Earth on the ebook, but I really want to feel a real book in my hands after the Kindle freakout the last two days... So, from the reading list:

Aloha, Lady Blue: A Mystery (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/125000778X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=125000778X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Debut author whose Travis McGee-inspired book is getting tons of praise. So far (20 pages in) it's well deserved praise.

God... Okay, so they've blocked my ability to watch anything at work and reading a print book all day may bring down some disfavor...or at least inspire the seemingly insatiable need people have to interrupt me here. Still reading Aloha, Lady Blue (it's not very good), but, at work, I'm returning to the Kindle, so I can look really busy. I'm going to tackle the mega-fantasy series Malazan, Book of the Fallen:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malazan_Book_of_the_Fallen

Book one is:

Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765322889/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0765322889&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 18, 2013, 10:23:32 AM
Moving on to this:

Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop: And Other Practical Advice In Our Campaign Against The Fairy Kingdom (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1573245321/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1573245321&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Hilarious so far.

On the Kindle, at work, only 12% done with that first Malazan book. Whew!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 29, 2013, 06:39:38 PM
Moving on to a Reggie gift from Christmas!

One Steppe Beyond: Across Russia in a VW Camper (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1849531560/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1849531560&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on April 29, 2013, 09:27:38 PM
Nice!

I have started Consider Phlebas .
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on April 30, 2013, 12:23:55 PM
I'm on Richard Dawkin's "The Magic of Reality."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 04, 2013, 12:34:49 PM
The other PA trilogy marketed as an internet Meme is the "Newsflash" trilogy, set 22 years after a zombie apocalypse.

Feed (The Newsflesh Trilogy) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003GFIVSE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003GFIVSE&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

This came out as a sort of rival to The Strain, in terms of marketing to the PA genre. Where The Strain was simplistic shit written for illiterates, Feed  is sharp, well written, and pretty awesome. So far... Got it on Kindle and plowed through the first 50 pages.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 23, 2013, 08:43:08 PM
The other PA trilogy marketed as an internet Meme is the "Newsflash" trilogy, set 22 years after a zombie apocalypse.

Feed (The Newsflesh Trilogy) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003GFIVSE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003GFIVSE&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

This came out as a sort of rival to The Strain, in terms of marketing to the PA genre. Where The Strain was simplistic shit written for illiterates, Feed  is sharp, well written, and pretty awesome. So far... Got it on Kindle and plowed through the first 50 pages.

Wow... Feed was excellent. The best PA book I've read in years.

I can't bring myself to go on to book two. Apparently the books in the trilogy are all fairly standalone. We meet the stars of the next book as barely mentioned tertiary characters in Feed. Feed ends with something of an emotional rollercoaster (and I actually teared up a bit), so no way am I ready for 600 pages of book two with new characters.

That means it's time for the other much-talked-about PA hit of the last few years, and a birthday present:

The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307950476/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307950476&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 03, 2013, 07:08:40 PM
Man...Dog Stars was awesome. A wonderful book. I love this post-post-apocalypse thing (where the genre has drifted recently). Feed was great (30 years after the apocalypse) and Dog Stars was a subtle, poetic, slow burn (nine years after the apocalypse).

Great read.

Moving on now to some Rome-wank:

Imperial Governor: The Great Novel of Boudicca's Revolt (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0304363243/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0304363243&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on June 03, 2013, 11:47:30 PM
Dog Stars... got it on .mobi?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 04, 2013, 07:57:10 AM
Dog Stars... got it on .mobi?

I went with the physical book! A birthday gift...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 20, 2013, 04:56:38 PM
Man...Dog Stars was awesome. A wonderful book. I love this post-post-apocalypse thing (where the genre has drifted recently). Feed was great (30 years after the apocalypse) and Dog Stars was a subtle, poetic, slow burn (nine years after the apocalypse).

Great read.

Moving on now to some Rome-wank:

Imperial Governor: The Great Novel of Boudicca's Revolt (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0304363243/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0304363243&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Imperial Governor was awesome...and I've started the wheels moving on buying the rights so I can reissue it.

Next -- less awesome Ancient Rome fiction!

The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031235777X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=031235777X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Davis has been on my radar for awhile. Her Didius Falco mysteries are roughly akin to Cadfael and all that. Cookie cutter stuff, for the most part. Though inoffensive.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 16, 2013, 04:29:18 PM
Another birthday gift...

You (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316198536/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316198536&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

So far so good. It's full of fucking typos, though. The death of editors continues... Almost bad enough to completely derail my ability to enjoy the story.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 16, 2013, 09:51:49 PM
Another birthday gift...

You (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316198536/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316198536&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

So far so good. It's full of fucking typos, though. The death of editors continues... Almost bad enough to completely derail my ability to enjoy the story.

Wow. That's not good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 17, 2013, 07:51:52 AM
Another birthday gift...

You (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316198536/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316198536&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

So far so good. It's full of fucking typos, though. The death of editors continues... Almost bad enough to completely derail my ability to enjoy the story.

Wow. That's not good.

I'm seeing it more and more. I know exactly the problem, though, because it's my problem... Used to be, you had in-house copyeditors. Now you outsource to lowest bidder shut-in housewives and hope that they do a good job. If they don't, and you don't catch it, and the title is transmitted to the distributor...it's too late to change anything. You rarely catch it because then that means you're copyediting the copyeditor's work, so what's the point of coughing up a few hundred for them?

My solution is to force the author to do it, then check their work. This way, when there's a problem (and there always is), the author's to blame.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 17, 2013, 09:49:32 AM
But either way it's the reader who loses out.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 17, 2013, 12:08:20 PM
But either way it's the reader who loses out.

Yes. Though books are created for the reader these days only as an afterthought. Even the language in the contracts is changing to focus more on the secondary rights (movies, toys, games, merchandising, etc). A book is, more or less, just proof of concept.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 17, 2013, 11:39:05 PM
Sad, really.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 22, 2013, 11:51:12 AM
The other PA trilogy marketed as an internet Meme is the "Newsflesh" trilogy, set 22 years after a zombie apocalypse.

Feed (The Newsflesh Trilogy) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003GFIVSE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003GFIVSE&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

This came out as a sort of rival to The Strain, in terms of marketing to the PA genre. Where The Strain was simplistic shit written for illiterates, Feed  is sharp, well written, and pretty awesome. So far... Got it on Kindle and plowed through the first 50 pages.

Since I can't read the hardback copy of "You" without getting in trouble at work, my "boss is away" second book on Kindle is book two of the Newsflesh Trilogy:

Deadline (The Newsflesh Trilogy) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047Y0FHI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0047Y0FHI&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 01, 2013, 10:48:43 AM
Time for some light escapism...


One Man and His Narrowboat: Slowing Down Time on England's Waterways (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1840247363/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1840247363&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 01, 2013, 12:58:02 PM
"Light escapism."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 25, 2013, 08:43:59 AM
Catching up, post-contest!

I read Dissonance on a lark:

http://www.amazon.com/Dissonance-A-Novel-Lisa-Lenard-Cook/dp/0826330908/

It's out of UNM Press, who are letting it go OOP. So I picked up the rights because it's a great book. First time in a long time I've been moved to tears, and it was in this deep and strange way when I hit the last page. Didn't even know I was weeping till it hit the page. Amazing stuff.

Then I moved on to John Williams:

http://www.amazon.com/Augustus-Novel-John-Edward-Williams/dp/1400076730/

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 08, 2013, 11:07:47 AM
Started the new (the last)  Iain Banks book...and had to put it down. Just so sad. Not ready to read his las words.

So...

The Last of the Wine (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375726810/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0375726810&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 08, 2013, 11:09:58 AM
Pussy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 21, 2013, 08:49:10 AM
God... I've spent the past four weeks reading this fantasy trilogy I plan to start publishing in 2016. Amazing, gripping stuff. Author is untested and came to me out of the blue.

But, now, my OCD demands that I finish The Quarry (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316281867/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316281867&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr). I started this in early October, but it depressed me... Banks is my favorite author, and I'll certainly feel his loss. He got me back into sci-fi after a college dry spell and, still, I haven't strayed to far back into sci-fi novels beyond the Banks universe.

Sadly, The Quarry isn't sci-fi. It's Iain without-the-M. But his last Culture novel was brilliant, so that's fine.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on November 21, 2013, 01:45:54 PM
Everybody should get themselves a copy of Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch."

T'is a great read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 03, 2013, 06:23:37 PM
On the vacation, I read:

The Drowned World: A Novel (50th Anniversary) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0871403625/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0871403625&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Early Ballard...and so much better than late Ballard (High-Rise, Crash) when he got weird and introspective. It's a straight-forward sci fi/PA sort of thing with realistic characters and proper storytelling, instead of the pastiches and pretentious commentary on human existence he sort of fell into.

I also started reading:

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756404746/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0756404746&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Which is some cracking good fantasy so far...very different from the rest of the genre.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 04, 2013, 11:18:18 AM
Just finished Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" - brilliant novel. She'll probably win an award next year.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1408704943
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2013, 11:28:02 AM
That one is on my long, long list...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 04, 2013, 11:57:37 AM
That one is on my long, long list...

Move it up.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 27, 2013, 10:22:08 AM

I also started reading:

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756404746/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0756404746&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Which is some cracking good fantasy so far...very different from the rest of the genre.

Book two: The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756407915/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0756407915&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Still great, but 200 pages in and we're still at the "snarky young wizard at the wizard academy" phase of the story so, even though it's not really the case, I have this feeling that nothing's happened for 1000 pages...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on January 25, 2014, 11:41:08 PM
I'm reading YOU by Austin Grossman. Because Nacho gave it to me and told me to read it.

It is very good and I'm almost done. It hits on a lot of gaming and programming touchpoints for me.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 26, 2014, 10:05:12 AM
I'm reading YOU by Austin Grossman. Because Nacho gave it to me and told me to read it.

It is very good and I'm almost done. It hits on a lot of gaming and programming touchpoints for me.

It was a nostalgic freak-out for me!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on January 26, 2014, 01:25:39 PM
That too!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 28, 2014, 12:43:22 PM
Well...technically, this:

The Mosaic Of Shadows (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099453487/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0099453487&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

But really about 50 submissions to the press.... Trying to clear my decks before I start reading books for work!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 06, 2014, 01:27:33 AM
I've just finished Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd. It's about a woman who is commercially sexually exploited, breaks free of that life, moves to New York and starts a non-profit to support other girls who are trying to break free.

It's an issue that I've grown to care a lot about lately. Really great empowering message. There are also lots of detailed scenes of abuse and just terrible tragedy, if that's your thing!

Anyway, this was homework for a training that I'm taking this weekend.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 06, 2014, 07:27:40 AM
Serious reading! My work-book is all about forgiveness therapy. But that feels less serious than Mosaic of Shadows.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 10, 2014, 09:56:24 AM
Red Moon: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1455501654/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1455501654&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Rebooting the werewolf genre. The first chapter almost made me miss my Metro stop... Very engrossing.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 11, 2014, 08:38:46 AM
So...best books you all read in 2013? (Our 2013 tracking starts back on page 58). For me:

The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307950476/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307950476&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Imperial Governor: The Great Novel of Boudicca's Revolt (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0304363243/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0304363243&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)  (and I'm still working to get the reprint rights from the nephew of the author, who seems to check email once every 4 months)

You (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316198544/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316198544&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Dissonance (https://squareup.com/market/santa-fe-writers-project/dissonance-lisa-lenard-cook) (which I did acquire the rights to)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on February 11, 2014, 02:32:22 PM
By far and away, Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 11, 2014, 02:36:40 PM
I'll do that after The Martian!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 11, 2014, 08:31:11 PM
I wasn't able to finish any books in 2013. But I'm working on my 3rd of 2014!


And that is, of course, about ice cream...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 14, 2014, 12:14:24 PM
Red Moon is interesting. It's well done, works very hard to reboot the werewolf franchise, has great characters, and, weirdly, doesn't seem to know what to do with itself. It's political drama! It's intrigue! It's a love story! It's a werewolf story! It's a pre- and post-apocalypse story!

All of these elements battle each other like two feral wolves beneath a full moon...

The result is that the book is great, if overlong, but I doubt it'll land on my "Best of 2014" list.

Moving on to (and blazing through):

The Greatest Sci-fi Movies Never Made, Revised and Expanded Edition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1845767551/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1845767551&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

AKA: Spielberg is a cunt.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 14, 2014, 12:16:42 PM
Moving on to (and blazing through):

The Greatest Sci-fi Movies Never Made, Revised and Expanded Edition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1845767551/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1845767551&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

AKA: Spielberg is a cunt.

You'll be done by lunch. It's fantastic.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 14, 2014, 12:21:59 PM
Moving on to (and blazing through):

The Greatest Sci-fi Movies Never Made, Revised and Expanded Edition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1845767551/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1845767551&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

AKA: Spielberg is a cunt.

You'll be done by lunch. It's fantastic.

Already halfway done. But can't read at work because I have other very tedious reading to do!

I'll finish it this weekend and then plan to move on to The Martian so I can actually start keeping up with my sci-fi blogs (who mention that book every 12 seconds) again.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 14, 2014, 12:25:49 PM
I'm a third through Mo Yan's "Life and Death are wearing me out." It's a lot of fun. Some lovely anti-red coup stuff.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 16, 2014, 12:21:56 PM
Moving on to (and blazing through):

The Greatest Sci-fi Movies Never Made, Revised and Expanded Edition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1845767551/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1845767551&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

AKA: Spielberg is a cunt.

You'll be done by lunch. It's fantastic.

I can't get the Dune chapter out of my head...and when I read Dune I was 14 and I don't think I understood it. So... Now I'm re-reading Dune.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 16, 2014, 01:03:44 PM
The Dune chapter haunts you even more when you realize Jodorowsky's failed attempt is responsible for 40%of 1980s cinema sci-fi.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 16, 2014, 09:58:52 PM
Re-reading Dune at 39 instead of 14 is kind of like, oh, this is the greatest sci-fi ever written. In fact, it's exactly like that.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 17, 2014, 03:02:50 AM
I've never read Dune... it's on my list though.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2014, 11:27:39 AM
Dune was simply amazing. A great (and super fast) read...

Now moving on from the grandpa of sci-fi to the wunderkind sci-fi of 2014: The Martian: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804139024/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0804139024&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2014, 12:10:59 PM
Dune was simply amazing. A great (and super fast) read...

Now moving on from the grandpa of sci-fi to the wunderkind sci-fi of 2014: The Martian: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804139024/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0804139024&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Oh. My. God. The Martian is terrible. Like, unreadable. Like I quit and just now listed it for sale on Amazon.

It's been hailed as this awesome sciency-science fiction. Yet, in the first ten pages, we need to be parenthetically told that CO2 is carbon dioxide, and it's what we breathe out, and that solar panels need sunlight to operate.

I suddenly realize why Cosmos is so popular -- we are literally a nation of people who don't understand breathing.

The writing style is the ultimate example of "telling" vs. "showing." Part of this is the conceit of the format -- log entries by a stranded astronaut -- but it reads on par with Infocom games or CYOA. "In the lab is a bottle of vitamins, some morphine, and a first aid kit."

Oh! Oh! EXAMINE FIRST AID KIT.

Horrible. So...I'll move on to the next book on my endless reading list. This one is a memoir that I am begrudgingly reading because (a) everyone says I should for research on my own writing project and (b) it'll be used, probably, as a "comparable title" in the marketing language/pitch to agent.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/074324754X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=074324754X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 31, 2014, 10:46:49 AM
Jesus... The Glass Castle is depressing. It also sort of has the opposite effect that the people telling me to read it for research think -- it makes me feel like my story isn't worth telling because, Holy Hannah, people are way worse off.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on March 31, 2014, 03:48:01 PM
Your story is gripping and very much worth telling.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 31, 2014, 03:57:13 PM
Probably the chilling part of The Glass Castle is how the parents are probably closer in line with how my maternal grandparents were in the 50s. Which is horrible. It does help illustrate how the lines of dysfunction run deep, are generational, and, for the sake of survival, are accepted by the children as normal.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 31, 2014, 07:05:56 PM
I gave up less than halfway through Mo Yan's Life and Death are wearing me out. For someone who won a Nobel prize for literature....

It started off very promisingly and quickly bored down into overbearing Communist allegory.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 31, 2014, 07:23:31 PM
I gave up less than halfway through Mo Yan's Life and Death are wearing me out. For someone who won a Nobel prize for literature....

It started off very promisingly and quickly bored down into overbearing Communist allegory.

All "soft" Nobel prizes can be grouped under the "head-up-own-ass" category.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 31, 2014, 07:50:08 PM
Bastards.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 04, 2014, 10:05:27 AM
Back to Roman adventures!

Eagle in the Snow (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590710207/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1590710207&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 14, 2014, 10:36:41 AM
I can't stop myself! On to the second book...

Dune Messiah (The Dune Chronicles, Book 2) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0441172695/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0441172695&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 15, 2014, 08:43:08 AM
I can't stop myself! On to the second book...

Dune Messiah (The Dune Chronicles, Book 2) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0441172695/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0441172695&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Oh, man... What a disappointment. I wrote some about this book in the Dune movie thread -- more about how it informed the Lynch movie more than the first book.

But, from the non-movie viewpoint, the book is a complete mess. First, because Dune was pretty open and shut, it has to retcon a bunch of shit to make a sequel work. Then it panders to the target audience (he didn't know his audience for Dune) with bizarre half-baked 60s mysticism. Tarot cards, etc.

Trying to turn the rise of Paul into social commentary (for the late 60s) is also an absurd mistake. It's like, what would happen if John Lennon was the antichrist? Far out, man!

I took the third book off my Wishlist. I'll finish this one, but...ugh. Let Dune stand alone.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 18, 2014, 03:43:59 PM
Well...technically, this:

The Mosaic Of Shadows (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099453487/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0099453487&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

But really about 50 submissions to the press.... Trying to clear my decks before I start reading books for work!

The sequel! Because my brain can go to sleep as I read detective fiction set during the siege of Antioch in 1098.

Knights of the Cross (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099454769/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0099454769&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 01, 2014, 10:39:39 AM
Time for some old fashioned 80s horror!

The Night Boat (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671664832/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0671664832&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=6UO6NSFRAYLSI2AI)

McCammon's sort of a second tier Peter Straub, with a ton of the same kind of novels out there... But each one has a slightly unique twist. A Nazi u-boat full of the undead terrorizes a Caribbean island? Yes please!

McCammon also wrote Swan Song, which is one of my top 5 all-time favorite apocalypse novels, partially because the horror element runs strong throughout.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 08, 2014, 02:57:49 PM
What really made The Night Boat is the afterword where the author bitterly complains about how the book was rejected by a ton of publishers, and he asks readers to write in and "he'll reply with all the lurid details." LOL. Bitter much?

This is clearly his first book (published later, though, after he started to get a name for himself). But... Not terrible. Just brainless. And weirdly racist.

Next up is a present from Mr. and Mrs. Sirharles!

The White Tiger: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416562605/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416562605&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 08, 2014, 03:57:35 PM
What really made The Night Boat is the afterword where the author bitterly complains about how the book was rejected by a ton of publishers, and he asks readers to write in and "he'll reply with all the lurid details." LOL. Bitter much?

This is clearly his first book (published later, though, after he started to get a name for himself). But... Not terrible. Just brainless. And weirdly racist.

Next up is a present from Mr. and Mrs. Sirharles!

The White Tiger: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416562605/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416562605&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

I loved that novel, White Tiger... by an Indian guy, right?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 08, 2014, 04:10:42 PM
Yes. I clicked the link for you, just so I can transfer that muscle memory to you when next we exchange amino acids.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 09, 2014, 06:46:22 AM
My fatigue-addled eyes didn't notice the link.

Your fingers have already absorbed my aminos.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 09, 2014, 07:53:52 AM
Yummy!

Actually, this was on my Wishlist because of you! I bet it's in this thread somewhere...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 09, 2014, 08:19:53 AM
It is, probably... I loved it. Great read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 19, 2014, 08:13:05 AM
What really made The Night Boat is the afterword where the author bitterly complains about how the book was rejected by a ton of publishers, and he asks readers to write in and "he'll reply with all the lurid details." LOL. Bitter much?

This is clearly his first book (published later, though, after he started to get a name for himself). But... Not terrible. Just brainless. And weirdly racist.

Next up is a present from Mr. and Mrs. Sirharles!

The White Tiger: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416562605/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416562605&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

This was great stuff... and, yes, Monkey did tell me to read it. Only took 7 years...

Next up is the pre-apocalypse study of the Earth's past mass extinctions and the likelihood of a future mass extinction, and how the human race is actually built to withstand and survive it. It comes from the founder of io9.com and has been getting raves. So far, it's basically Cosmos for intelligent people. I hunkered down and plowed through 50 pages last night before I knew what was happening.

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307949427/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307949427&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 21, 2014, 07:53:14 AM
Well...technically, this:

The Mosaic Of Shadows (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099453487/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0099453487&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

But really about 50 submissions to the press.... Trying to clear my decks before I start reading books for work!

The sequel! Because my brain can go to sleep as I read detective fiction set during the siege of Antioch in 1098.

Knights of the Cross (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099454769/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0099454769&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr)

Moving on to the third, and last, book in this series:

Siege of Heaven (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099454750/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0099454750&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=Y4YMUY2IECLXQFKR)

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember was interesting. It starts out fascinating, and then it becomes very...io9.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 02, 2014, 10:15:32 AM
Moving on to nonfiction -- though with a tale that's stranger than fiction! The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller ( the heir to those Rockefellers) in New Guinea in 1961:


Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062116150/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062116150&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=UI63ZI4NF7EWCF3L)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on June 05, 2014, 11:33:42 AM
Those lads in Irian Jaya really took the motto of eat the rich to heart  :shock:
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 08, 2014, 01:48:27 PM
Moving on to nonfiction -- though with a tale that's stranger than fiction! The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller ( the heir to those Rockefellers) in New Guinea in 1961:


Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062116150/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062116150&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=UI63ZI4NF7EWCF3L)

Haha... So reading about the scion of a wealthy American family getting royally fucked as he tries to pursue his dreams doesn't quite jive with my mindset at the moment.

I'm relegating this to secondary reading at home and, instead, making my primary book the first of the sci-fi space opera that SyFy just picked up for a 10 episode series:


Leviathan Wakes (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316129089/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316129089&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=MZCLKAGXAKP6JRQX)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 11, 2014, 04:46:57 PM
Man...Leviathan Wakes is fun. It's basically a poor man's Iain M. Banks that apes the style of GRRM with rotating main characters and, you know, half the IQ involved in a Banks novel.

The author is a pen name for two people, one of whom is GRRM's personal wiener slave, so that probably explains the startlingly familiar style of the storytelling. Unlike Martin, though, these guys can write books. Four of them so far, and little filler novellas. Though it does seem to be never-ending, and I don't know how they can do a "one ship can make a difference" in a system-wide space opera for 2000 pages and counting... 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 23, 2014, 10:20:01 AM
Leviathan Wakes was great. Book two is en route...

In the meantime, I'm moving on to Ray Robertson's latest:

I Was There the Night He Died (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1927428696/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1927428696&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=R3HDE6PV5CD2AM4H)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 24, 2014, 04:07:24 PM
Leviathan Wakes was great. Book two is en route...

In the meantime, I'm moving on to Ray Robertson's latest:

I Was There the Night He Died (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1927428696/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1927428696&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=R3HDE6PV5CD2AM4H)

Ray's book was...very Ray. He's always in top form.

Now on to the sequel for Leviathan Wakes:


Caliban's War (The Expanse) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316129062/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316129062&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=QENEKU7XWPKSVG52)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 10, 2014, 02:31:44 PM
I tried to read James Joyce's Ulysses again, but it really is unreadable garbage. Sure, there are passages of great prose, but they are interspersed throughout huge swathes of garbled nonsense. It's something one would write during third stage syphilis, between scratching the purple lesions on your thighs.

Ugh.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 10, 2014, 05:23:50 PM
I think those are exactly the circumstances under which it was written.

I've often wondered if a certain percentage of our literary canon is actually just clever marketing on the part of the publishers.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 10, 2014, 06:29:43 PM
Certainly for Joyce.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2014, 09:06:37 AM
Leviathan Wakes was great. Book two is en route...

In the meantime, I'm moving on to Ray Robertson's latest:

I Was There the Night He Died (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1927428696/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1927428696&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=R3HDE6PV5CD2AM4H)

Ray's book was...very Ray. He's always in top form.

Now on to the sequel for Leviathan Wakes:


Caliban's War (The Expanse) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316129062/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316129062&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=QENEKU7XWPKSVG52)

Jesus...this series is awesome. I see why it got picked up for TV...but there's no way they'll make a good show out of this without a mega budget.

Unable to resist, I'm plowing right into the last book of the first trilogy:

Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316129070/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316129070&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=QUTVTVX4ZZONIGJ7)

The second trilogy is underway. The first book came out a few weeks ago, with releases scheduled for every June. I'll cool my heels once I finish this one, though. I hate the long wait in between releases. So trilogy #2 will have to start for me next summer!

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Disco Dust on July 11, 2014, 07:31:53 PM
For someone's of Monkey's ethnicity, anti-Joyce sentiments are pure heresy!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 12, 2014, 08:05:34 AM
Joyce is a dick who spent thirty years writing a long-winded piece of shit in Switzerland. I'm glad he's dead.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2014, 09:32:48 AM
Also the wrong Irish, right?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 14, 2014, 10:14:38 AM
Yeah... dirty southern Mexican Irish.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 22, 2014, 08:25:11 AM
Man... The Expanse trilogy was great. Hard to put down... Can't wait for the second trilogy to get caught up.

In the meantime, it's on to Jayne Anne Phillips, and her life's work (she's been obsessed with this story and tinkering away at it since 1974).

Quiet Dell: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439172544/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1439172544&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=OVS3ZNQNRFJJLAC6)

Quiet Dell, WVA. A sleepy little town becomes home to one of America's most notorious killers, HArry Powers, who kills two women and three children: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Powers

You know the story from Night of the Hunter. Which, if you haven't watched, you should, because the making of the movie is fascinating in itself. The director, like Jayne Anne, was obsessed with the intricacies of the story. The film was his one and only directorial attempt, and it flopped so miserably at the box office that the director was driven out of the industry, became a character actor in Britain, and died a few years later. Yet the film is now hailed as a classic, and it does still stand out as a creepy, bizarre homage to this strange little footnote in West Virginia history.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 23, 2014, 10:08:38 AM
Wow...and Quiet Dell is not very good. She tries to do it from the victim's POV, which is roughly like spending forty years writing the definitive book on Jack the Ripper and telling the entire thing from the POV of one of the prostitutes, spending a few hundred pages on her background and life and only a brief flirtation with Jack himself.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 23, 2014, 12:08:43 PM
Okay...so next in line is this beast of a fantasy book:

Arcanum (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316220108/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316220108&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=IUCQP3CIPJB37LCW)

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 05, 2014, 09:22:04 AM
Picked up 'Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness' by Susannah Callahan for the flight; a true story about a woman who wakes up in a hospital bed with no idea how she got there.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 05, 2014, 09:48:52 AM
Picked up 'Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness' by Susannah Callahan for the flight; a true story about a woman who wakes up in a hospital bed with no idea how she got there.

And, by extension, a fascinating tale of a real life Dr. House in Souhel Najjar.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 05, 2014, 12:40:37 PM
You've read it then? I'm almost finished. Insanely gripping.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 05, 2014, 02:23:51 PM
Skimmed in my memoir research. It's one of the "three comps" that was suggested by W.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 05, 2014, 04:37:40 PM
I read the whole thing over a four hour flight.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 13, 2014, 01:16:34 PM
Just started Haruki Murakami's latest... *phew*
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 13, 2014, 04:06:18 PM
I can't wait! I'm still plowing through that silly fantasy book I linked above...and am reading 14 books for all the combined buk redding jobs.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 13, 2014, 04:11:42 PM
So far... it's good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 14, 2014, 09:50:49 AM
3 chapters in... good. Sexy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 15, 2014, 05:59:17 PM
I just finished The Hard Thing About Hard Things. It's fantastic. Anyone considering starting anything ever or in any leadership position should read it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 16, 2014, 09:30:58 AM
Actually...that's one worth adding to my wishlist.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on August 16, 2014, 01:21:51 PM
Reddit's top 25 scifi standalones of all time:

http://www.reddit.com/r/books/comments/2dodb0/a_couple_months_ago_someone_here_asked_for_the/
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 20, 2014, 08:22:47 AM
Okay...so next in line is this beast of a fantasy book:

Arcanum (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316220108/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316220108&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=IUCQP3CIPJB37LCW)



What a terrifically flawed book! Writing is good, characters are good, story is good... It prides itself on being a standalone fantasy book, and that's a major marketing point...except it's not written that way. It's written in the standard trilogy/series formula, with a huge cast of complicated characters all on wildly expansive character arc journeys with a gigantic backdrop to play against. At 735 pages long, the first 500 pages are great -- and formulaic fantasy stuff. Everyone gets to act three of their character arcs by that point, which means the back end of the book has to race to tie them up, and all the huge world-shaking shit that's going on. The result is that characters are forgotten, or their motivations shift dramatically (or are created from scratch within a few lines), and topics and issues that took a hundred pages to play out never appear again. Unreasonable actions, unbelievable events, and clumsy writing utterly destroy this book. Shame, shame...


Next up -- the much anticipated:

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385352107/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0385352107&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=LYEJFTHCAJ2GABHZ)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 01, 2014, 07:58:21 AM
Finished Murakami's latest... good read. Very good read. I'd equivocate it to being something in between Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 05, 2014, 12:19:34 PM
Onto Nick Offerman's "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One man's fundamentals to Delicious Living."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on September 05, 2014, 01:12:22 PM
Onto Nick Offerman's "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One man's fundamentals to Delicious Living."

I'm reading this one too. It's pretty good so far... a little preachy, but good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 09, 2014, 10:49:23 AM
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Vintage International) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307389839/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307389839&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=6NMVF2XGFC6EKYLK)

Murakami's memoir. Running as a way to quieten the mind, find the void, and make room in life. It's fascinating...and short. Everyone says a memoir has to be over 300 pages...but what if you're just some guy?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on September 10, 2014, 01:18:49 PM
Green River, Running Red - Ann Rule

It's a book about the Green River Killer. It is terrifying and I can't put it down.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 10, 2014, 01:52:38 PM
Onto Nick Offerman's "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One man's fundamentals to Delicious Living."

I'm reading this one too. It's pretty good so far... a little preachy, but good.

Finished it... Good read, fun. Gets a little overly 'smushy' about his wife, but it's a fun book in which he attempts to be like a stern father handing down 'advice' whilst really just relaying stuff he likes.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 12, 2014, 01:23:03 PM
Now onto "Leviathan Wakes" for the first non-Hitchhiker's SciFi I've read since... well, Nacho's pulp-SciFi novel that he should finish soon or I'll find and cut him real good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 15, 2014, 10:34:08 AM
Now onto "Leviathan Wakes" for the first non-Hitchhiker's SciFi I've read since... well, Nacho's pulp-SciFi novel that he should finish soon or I'll find and cut him real good.

After the memoir! Almost there. Tying up the final bits and getting it ready for the development editor...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 15, 2014, 10:37:09 AM
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Vintage International) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307389839/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307389839&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=6NMVF2XGFC6EKYLK)

Murakami's memoir. Running as a way to quieten the mind, find the void, and make room in life. It's fascinating...and short. Everyone says a memoir has to be over 300 pages...but what if you're just some guy?

Fascinating! Well worth it, but you have to be a serious Murakami fan to get it and enjoy it.

Now moving on to:


One Summer: America, 1927 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767919416/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0767919416&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=NT2WCVR6FRNTGPMF)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 28, 2014, 07:30:05 AM
Now onto "Leviathan Wakes" for the first non-Hitchhiker's SciFi I've read since... well, Nacho's pulp-SciFi novel that he should finish soon or I'll find and cut him real good.

Leviathan Wakes is fun so far, nine chapters into it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2014, 12:21:33 PM
The whole trilogy was great. I'm holding off on the second trilogy till it's done (two more to go, due to be complete in 2016), but, luckily, each set of three books has a clear-cut break.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on October 01, 2014, 01:04:26 PM
Flight 232 - Laurence Gonzales (http://www.amazon.com/Flight-232-Story-Disaster-Survival/dp/0393240029) ... this is a book about the famous United 232 jumbo jet that crashed in Soiux City back in 1989. The vignettes of the survivors about the moments during the crash itself are worth the read alone. It's the closest thing I've ever experienced to actually being in a plane crash. Phenomenal and kinda disturbing too.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 01, 2014, 01:06:29 PM
Another one for the wishlist!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 03, 2014, 02:35:04 PM

Now moving on to:


One Summer: America, 1927 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767919416/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0767919416&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=NT2WCVR6FRNTGPMF)

Man... Bryson loses the thread halfway through and becomes addled by baseball. A shame.

Now moving to:

City of Stairs (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080413717X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=080413717X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=6OZGLZ7D6HIOYGOD)

So far, it's amazing. It's been getting high praise, and I'm not yet let down...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on October 06, 2014, 07:09:45 PM
After sitting on my shelf for a dog year I finally read In The Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing]http://www.amazon.com/Blink-Eye-Revised-2nd/dp/1879505622]In The Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing (http://www.amazon.com/Blink-Eye-Revised-2nd/dp/1879505622) by Walter Murch. While there's a little more techno babble in the second half about digital editing, I feel like the first half is accessible and interesting enough for your general film fan.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 22, 2014, 01:52:47 PM

Now moving on to:


One Summer: America, 1927 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767919416/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0767919416&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=NT2WCVR6FRNTGPMF)

Man... Bryson loses the thread halfway through and becomes addled by baseball. A shame.

Now moving to:

City of Stairs (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080413717X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=080413717X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=6OZGLZ7D6HIOYGOD)

So far, it's amazing. It's been getting high praise, and I'm not yet let down...

City of Stairs was awesome.

On to: Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393335372/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0393335372&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=6JQE3O6TUT6KRM7Z)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 03, 2014, 11:24:47 AM
Time for some history wank!

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143124927/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0143124927&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=UOYF56NI35VM22CC)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 14, 2014, 11:46:21 AM
Station Eleven: A novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385353308/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0385353308&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=TD6EEJXDMHDNN6E5)

The best PA book I've read in a decade... And in my top five post-apocalypse books of all time. It's extraordinary, really. Maybe the #1 post-apocalypse book I've read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 14, 2014, 12:00:12 PM
High Praise!

Missus RC and I cleaned our book shelf the other day so I'm working through a stack of of stuff I've had for years but never read. Currently reading The Manipulated Mind (http://www.amazon.com/Manipulated-Mind-Denise-Winn-ebook/dp/B004M8T17E), a non-fiction treatise on brainwashing and indoctrination.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 14, 2014, 12:07:23 PM
cleaned our book shelf

I...I don't understand these words...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 14, 2014, 12:51:44 PM
Let me rephrase...

We reorganized and made room for books just laying around our house and went to the used book store to trade books in we'll never read again. I may or may not have traded in that copy of "Under the Dome" you gave me which is fine because I still have the copy my sister gave me with orders never to return it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 14, 2014, 12:56:54 PM
Let me rephrase...

We reorganized and made room for books just laying around our house and went to the used book store to trade books in we'll never read again. I may or may not have traded in that copy of "Under the Dome" you gave me which is fine because I still have the copy my sister gave me with orders never to return it.

You gave away my copy of UTD? I was going to gift that to Reggie!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 14, 2014, 12:58:28 PM
You can have mine! Or this may be yours and I traded in my sister's. Who knows? All I know is I still have one of these monsters that I'm happy to give to anybody.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 14, 2014, 01:59:25 PM
You can have mine! Or this may be yours and I traded in my sister's. Who knows? All I know is I still have one of these monsters that I'm happy to give to anybody.

I was kidding. Please burn that copy in your firepit. Please do it now and take pictures and send them to me.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 14, 2014, 02:49:29 PM
Actually, our local used book store is pretty sweet so if you have something hard to find/out of print on your wishlist, let me know and I'll see if they have it.

Though in the age of Amazon, that's not really necessary, is it?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on December 14, 2014, 03:44:10 PM
I was kidding. Please burn that copy in your firepit. Please do it now and take pictures and send them to me.

!!!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 14, 2014, 05:16:10 PM
Actually, our local used book store is pretty sweet so if you have something hard to find/out of print on your wishlist, let me know and I'll see if they have it.

Though in the age of Amazon, that's not really necessary, is it?

You should know me better than that, RC. Below is a list of items that are absurdly priced at Amazon and used sources online. I am always on the lookout for cheap copies...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ZZXC96/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I262JVFLPN1T6F

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0297773364/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I16UKPWL7VG9CL

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1843910993/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I2B1KFM7W312GW

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0553245015/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I118BDKSLA46DO

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0874803772/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I1LT1VGZ60KKPJ

http://www.amazon.com/dp/094462734X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I1KFRBX4ADFWA

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1885972210/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I18V8PW6HCR57V

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0814731244/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I19HV82A7FTRO5

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0814731112/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=IZLK78O1E2CKB

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0521269113/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I15MJF4JJ3J7UX

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0140152121/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=IF14XJU8VEWUL

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1886778108/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3BYGPOBDWO127&coliid=I7KRXI7UGUYCM

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 17, 2014, 04:05:53 PM
Starting a crime/horror trilogy set on the Isle of Lewis...which I loved when I visited it a few years ago. Peter May does a great job of describing the landscape and all that, which hooked me during a little bit of a browse for my next book. So here we go!

The Blackhouse: The Lewis Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162365999X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=162365999X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=P7Z4WLMHBDORUGFJ)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 17, 2014, 04:22:28 PM
Doing a preliminary wrap-up as I prep for another best-of list for the blog.

So I Just read 27 books this year (counting the current one, which I'm already a third of the way through...). Last year, I read 26 books.

The top five (so far):

Dune

The Leviathan Wakes trilogy (the first Expanse trilogy)

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

City of Stairs

Station Eleven

The worst:

The Martian

Dune: Messiah

Night Boat

Quiet Dell
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 18, 2014, 12:07:49 PM
Bandwagon!

I would estimate I've read maybe 10 or 15 books this year. The rock n' roll life can be quite distracting at times.


Favourites (so far):

1) The Leviathan Wakes trilogy - which counts as three really... *cough*
2) Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
3) After Dark - another Murakami novel
4) A Moveable Feast

Next up, "Look Who's Back" - the satirical German novel about Hitler being reincarnated as an adult in modern Germany, with no knowledge of the fall of Nazism.

The Worst:

1) Life and Death are wearing me out - started well, got boring very quickly.
2) The Plague - so very, very dull.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 18, 2014, 12:08:41 PM
Bandwagon!

I would estimate I've read maybe 10 or 15 books this year. The rock n' roll life can be quite distracting at times.


Favourites (so far):

1) The Leviathan Wakes trilogy - which counts as the top three really... *cough*
4) Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
5) After Dark - another Murakami novel


Next up, "Look Who's Back" - the satirical German novel about Hitler being reincarnated as an adult in modern Germany, with no knowledge of the fall of Nazism.

The Worst:

1) Life and Death are wearing me out - started well, got boring very quickly.
2) The Plague - so very, very dull.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 18, 2014, 12:11:36 PM
I love bandwagons! Keep it going, everyone!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on December 18, 2014, 07:45:48 PM
1) The Leviathan Wakes trilogy - which counts as three really... *cough*

Oh, goody! I just got the first one. Looking forward to it.

I can't remember all my favorites this year, but here's some good ones:

Popular, easy reading

Boys in the Boat - easy nostalgia.
Unbroken - more easy nostalgia. U - S - A! U - S - A!

Other stuff

Moscow to the End of the Line - what the fuck.
Blood Meridian - the classic!
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories - easily my top favorite this year.

Sidenote: the number of Amazon orders I've made, by year:

2014 - 75
2013 - 38
2012 - 40
2011 - 30
2010 - 12
2009 - 8
2008 - 11
2007 - 13
2006 - 14
2005 - 7
2004 - 1
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 18, 2014, 07:47:50 PM
Amazon WHORE!

(I wouldn't dare share my horrifically high numbers.)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on December 18, 2014, 08:03:30 PM
It's easy when your apartment building has a secure lobby that UPS / FedEx can drop packages off in. No worrying about being home when my 20th delivery of hemorrhoid cream arrives via overnight delivery!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 19, 2014, 08:40:12 AM
I lost my secure lobby. All my packages now sit on a well trafficked sidewalk near the Metro.

But...they've never gone missing. B-B-Bethesda Style!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on December 19, 2014, 12:33:08 PM
I've lost the will to read. More video games and beer please!

Favorites:

1) You - fantastic nostalgia that Nacho gifted me...for gamers & programmers of a certain age this book is gold (age is 40 btw).
2) The Hard Thing About Hard Things - A business/leadership book; one of the most important books I've read. I recommend anyone who's trying to start or lead anything read it.

The Worst:

1) The Slave Next Door - dry, dry tome on human trafficking/slavery
2) Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind - some good stuff in here; but overall too flighty for me; also title of book is way too long

Edit: left a dirty piece of monkey's list here
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 19, 2014, 12:35:09 PM
Reggie's gone meta.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 19, 2014, 12:50:57 PM
Did Reggie and Monkey have a book club going on without inviting me?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 19, 2014, 12:58:12 PM
Did Reggie and Monkey have a book club going on without inviting me?

Nacho is jealous.

*cleans off lipstick*
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 23, 2014, 12:49:41 PM
Starting a crime/horror trilogy set on the Isle of Lewis...which I loved when I visited it a few years ago. Peter May does a great job of describing the landscape and all that, which hooked me during a little bit of a browse for my next book. So here we go!

The Blackhouse: The Lewis Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162365999X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=162365999X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=P7Z4WLMHBDORUGFJ)

Man...this was so good, I just went and bought the second one via my Google Books reader...

The Lewis Man: The Lewis Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623658195/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1623658195&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=P4AE4JQRLOWARJF6)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 24, 2014, 04:44:38 PM
Tomorrow I shall begin Er ist Weider da... the Hitler reincarnation novel. Perfect festive cheer.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 26, 2014, 12:24:52 AM
I love the cover...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 26, 2014, 12:28:18 AM
So...wow... Trying to find an English edition in the US is hard...unless I want to pay $50.

Paperback? send it to me?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 26, 2014, 07:05:53 AM
So...wow... Trying to find an English edition in the US is hard...unless I want to pay $50.

Paperback? send it to me?

The ePub is in Monkeyshines!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 26, 2014, 07:06:35 AM
So...wow... Trying to find an English edition in the US is hard...unless I want to pay $50.

Paperback? send it to me?

The ePub is in Monkeyshines!

And .mobi!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 26, 2014, 12:41:29 PM
Thanks. Can't grab it till next week when I get out of vacationland.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 30, 2014, 10:06:47 AM
Tomorrow I shall begin Er ist Weider da... the Hitler reincarnation novel. Perfect festive cheer.

And I started it, as well! Very awesome so far... Wish I'd thought of it.

Look Who's Back (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623653339/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1623653339&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=HEYK2CZ6GJVITRGL)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 30, 2014, 11:36:36 AM
Tomorrow I shall begin Er ist Weider da... the Hitler reincarnation novel. Perfect festive cheer.

And I started it, as well! Very awesome so far... Wish I'd thought of it.

Look Who's Back (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623653339/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1623653339&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=HEYK2CZ6GJVITRGL)

Yes... it's very fun. The first meeting with two young television executives had me in tears.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 30, 2014, 12:02:13 PM
Tomorrow I shall begin Er ist Weider da... the Hitler reincarnation novel. Perfect festive cheer.

And I started it, as well! Very awesome so far... Wish I'd thought of it.

Look Who's Back (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623653339/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1623653339&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=HEYK2CZ6GJVITRGL)

Yes... it's very fun. The first meeting with two young television executives had me in tears.

Yes! Just got to that part. First time I've laughed out loud while reading in a very long time. Hilarious. What a great book...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on December 30, 2014, 01:57:27 PM
Tomorrow I shall begin Er ist Weider da... the Hitler reincarnation novel. Perfect festive cheer.

And I started it, as well! Very awesome so far... Wish I'd thought of it.

Look Who's Back (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623653339/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1623653339&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=HEYK2CZ6GJVITRGL)

Yes... it's very fun. The first meeting with two young television executives had me in tears.

Yes! Just got to that part. First time I've laughed out loud while reading in a very long time. Hilarious. What a great book...

It certainly helps if one knows WW2 history and politics.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 07, 2015, 03:00:05 PM
Tomorrow I shall begin Er ist Weider da... the Hitler reincarnation novel. Perfect festive cheer.

And I started it, as well! Very awesome so far... Wish I'd thought of it.

Look Who's Back (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623653339/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1623653339&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=HEYK2CZ6GJVITRGL)

Yes... it's very fun. The first meeting with two young television executives had me in tears.

Yes! Just got to that part. First time I've laughed out loud while reading in a very long time. Hilarious. What a great book...

It certainly helps if one knows WW2 history and politics.

Look Who's Back was fucking amazing. But, yes, it demands that you have a history and poli-sci degree to fully appreciate it.

This will top my best of 2015 list (at the moment...)

Moving on to: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062273205/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062273205&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=PIQNUZOP5DLKWUVV)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 08, 2015, 02:57:19 PM
Moving on to: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062273205/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062273205&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=PIQNUZOP5DLKWUVV)

You'll probably figure this out, but Ben really wrote that for the companies he invests in. So: VC-funded ($10M+) hellholes that are purpose-built for acquisition. I think the Amazon reviews reflect that, too. But definitely let us know what you think! I'm interested, anyways, in how it might apply to SFWP.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Tatertots on January 08, 2015, 03:13:39 PM
I've been pumping through some short fiction recently and the main stand-out has been "Hot Pink" by Adam Levin. I'm really only a few stories in so far, but easily one of my favorites in recent memory. Pretty enjoyable nighttime reading.

On the other hand, I tried reading some Alice Munro (Nobel, Man Booker, etc.) but it was just... boring. Like, Jonathan Franzen-style suburban angst except for grandparents. Here I am, poo-pooing a Nobel prize winner!

I hate "lifehack" type productivity books, but "Manage Your Day-to-Day" by Jocelyn Glei was recommended to me enough times that I finally checked it out on the Kindle and... It's pretty good, as far as productivity books go. Like most self-help books, only about 10% of it will apply to you, but it's a pretty good 10%. And, it's a compilation of various other writers, so it's got a good diversity of opinion about basic productivity for people with a billion things to accomplish every day. It's a quick read, and you can just highlight the few things you want to try out.

Flash Boys was great. I have a soft-spot for pop-financial reporting (and pop-legal writing). It's a quick read, too, and it's less boring than all the CDO / default swap books that came out in 2010.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 08, 2015, 03:47:09 PM
Moving on to: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062273205/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062273205&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=PIQNUZOP5DLKWUVV)

You'll probably figure this out, but Ben really wrote that for the companies he invests in. So: VC-funded ($10M+) hellholes that are purpose-built for acquisition. I think the Amazon reviews reflect that, too. But definitely let us know what you think! I'm interested, anyways, in how it might apply to SFWP.

So far, not at all. The prologue is the most insightful part -- talking about what the hard things are. And I found myself falling down a history of Netscape/Mosaic wiki-hole after that, but SFWP's business model is closer to kicking in a door to a dark room and blindly firing a shotgun in the hopes of hitting someone. And, sadly, that's the overall publishing model. There's no real way to improve or streamline that.

I'm hoping we'll get into more personable things like how I can reject authors without having them come to my house in the night and rub dog shit on my door.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on January 08, 2015, 07:05:16 PM
Moving on to: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062273205/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062273205&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=PIQNUZOP5DLKWUVV)

You'll probably figure this out, but Ben really wrote that for the companies he invests in. So: VC-funded ($10M+) hellholes that are purpose-built for acquisition. I think the Amazon reviews reflect that, too. But definitely let us know what you think! I'm interested, anyways, in how it might apply to SFWP.

I took a lot out of it from a how-to-lead-and-treat-people-in-impossible-environments perspective. And I work at a monolithic government contractor.


So far, not at all. The prologue is the most insightful part -- talking about what the hard things are. And I found myself falling down a history of Netscape/Mosaic wiki-hole after that, but SFWP's business model is closer to kicking in a door to a dark room and blindly firing a shotgun in the hopes of hitting someone. And, sadly, that's the overall publishing model. There's no real way to improve or streamline that.

I'm hoping we'll get into more personable things like how I can reject authors without having them come to my house in the night and rub dog shit on my door.

There's some real practical stuff in the back half about handling staff/people.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 09, 2015, 09:15:23 AM

There's some real practical stuff in the back half about handling staff/people.

Aim for the central body mass when you shoot them? Make every shot count?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 13, 2015, 06:16:32 PM
The Hard Thing About Hard Things has some great points... Lots of takeaway there. Though, by and large, my primary takeaway is that I wish all of my various bosses I've worked for throughout the last 25 years had read this book.

I didn't take to it as strongly as Reggie did because, hey, I'm the CEO of a company that's basically selling air to clouds.  And, during the day, I've only ever worked for nonprofits who, seriously, and probably literally, do not know their assess from holes in the ground. Which these forums have accurately cataloged over the years.

Moving on now to Peter May's finale in The Lewis Trilogy, which I started reading over the holidays:

The Chessmen: The Lewis Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623656044/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1623656044&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=L2KRSBQZ5YYMDP3L)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on January 13, 2015, 06:31:35 PM
The Hard Thing About Hard Things has some great points... Lots of takeaway there. Though, by and large, my primary takeaway is that I wish all of my various bosses I've worked for throughout the last 25 years had read this book.

I didn't take to it as strongly as Reggie did

I am a boss. All my people should be glad I've read it!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 14, 2015, 10:21:39 AM
The Hard Thing About Hard Things has some great points... Lots of takeaway there. Though, by and large, my primary takeaway is that I wish all of my various bosses I've worked for throughout the last 25 years had read this book.

I didn't take to it as strongly as Reggie did

I am a boss. All my people should be glad I've read it!

Can you be my boss?

Actually, at the moment, I'm not 100% sure who my bosses are...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on January 14, 2015, 11:03:17 AM
If you're not 100% sure who your bosses are, Nacho, you're your own boss.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 14, 2015, 11:13:12 AM
If you're not 100% sure who your bosses are, Nacho, you're your own boss.

You would think so... I think it would be more apt to describe us all as a bunch of worker bees without a queen.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on January 14, 2015, 11:24:32 AM
If you're not 100% sure who your bosses are, Nacho, you're your own boss.

You would think so... I think it would be more apt to describe us all as a bunch of worker bees without a queen.

Then make your mark, and use an iron fist to win your place as KING NACHO!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 19, 2015, 09:56:09 AM
Skyjack: The Hunt for DB Cooper. Crossposted my thoughts and all that in the History's Mystery's thread: http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,3586.msg165379.html#msg165379
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 29, 2015, 11:31:05 AM
Skyjack: The Hunt for DB Cooper. Crossposted my thoughts and all that in the History's Mystery's thread: http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,3586.msg165379.html#msg165379

Nothing new in this book, sadly. But it did send me back down the Cooper hole. One amazing thing I learned is how he was so ordinary that no two eyewitness descriptions match.

Still, though, I love the Cooper story.

Moving on to Emily Mandel's indie books before she became famous:

The Singer's Gun (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/160953042X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=160953042X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=VF6PVOOUUI2HHFXA)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 08, 2015, 04:09:34 PM
Just finished Forgotten Sundays by Gerry Sandusky. He expounds about the world of being a famous football coach's son. And what it's like to have your dad age and die. And what he learned from all of it.

It brought up a lot of emotions for me about my own dad. There were fun bits about NFL games and Baltimore geography tossed in too that were neat. I guess I liked it, but I didn't like sobbing through parts of it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 09, 2015, 08:53:01 AM
Geez... I'm just moving on to trashy historical fiction:

The Forgotten Legion (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312601247/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312601247&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=KUC66XMTHMUBVZ6R)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on February 09, 2015, 09:00:01 AM
I'm on Nick Cave's, "The Death of Bunny Monroe." It's quite good.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 15, 2015, 04:24:48 PM
I just finished Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius.

It is the autobiography of a South African dude who goes into a paralytic non-communicative state as a child. He remains that way for years until he starts to become aware of everything around him, but still can't communicate. Eventually he improves quite a bit and learns to use technology to communicate.

He moves on to have a decent life and the book ends at his wedding day. I guess I was hoping for complete restoration of speech and movement, which does not happen. It got a little tedious in the second half, but overall pretty interesting.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 05, 2015, 04:27:56 PM
Moving on to what's being called "the next 1984":

J: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553419552/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0553419552&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=G2VOXSAMIXIYFSW4)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 18, 2015, 02:17:26 PM
Moving on to what's being called "the next 1984":

J: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553419552/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0553419552&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=G2VOXSAMIXIYFSW4)

It is not the next 1984. Not by a longshot...

Actually a terrifically flawed novel, it's a bit too obviously reaching for that "next 1984" status, and it somehow loses its heart in doing so. The result is an introspective, meandering story that, while beautifully written, simply does not engage.

I still have a couple chapters to go, and then it's on to book two of the Forgotten legion trilogy!

The Silver Eagle: A Novel of the Forgotten Legion (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312672845/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312672845&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=VL3JOUNQJPK46VDY)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on April 13, 2015, 12:02:08 PM
#XPOST

Reading a great book, "The Debt to Pleasure" - thanks, Nacho! - in which the story follows this guy who ostensibly sets out to write a narrative 'cook book' but in doing so tells a satirical tale of his life, and the, sometimes bad, things he does to other people. In one line he compares those iced oyster stands as, "Being like certain politicians in that they can seem impressive without installing complete confidence."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 13, 2015, 12:13:09 PM
It looks cool...

I moved on to the last in this trilogy:

The Road to Rome: A Novel of the Forgotten Legion (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250002583/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1250002583&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=UTKCGI63T7WAG4TL)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 20, 2015, 09:59:50 AM
Okay. Done with adventure fiction in Rome. Now it's time fr adventure fiction on the high seas!

Master and Commander (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393307050/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0393307050&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=TEZS3TXIHZYEX4XR)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 29, 2015, 11:51:30 AM
Moving on to West Virginia...

The Devil All the Time (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307744868/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307744868&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=EWPEX7OPIKUZU4M7)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on April 29, 2015, 12:43:05 PM
So, The Hundred Year Old Man is a great read. Lots of fun. Highly recommended.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 12, 2015, 11:17:16 AM
Moving on to West Virginia...

The Devil All the Time (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307744868/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307744868&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=EWPEX7OPIKUZU4M7)

This was great... You CAN do stories set in West Virginia without being too West Virginia about it.

Now I'm moving on to garbage because my brain's overloaded:

The Hunt for Atlantis: A Novel (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553592858/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0553592858&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=J4LPGAOHPWXRM623)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 20, 2015, 12:14:59 PM
Moving on to West Virginia...

The Devil All the Time (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307744868/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307744868&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=EWPEX7OPIKUZU4M7)

This was great... You CAN do stories set in West Virginia without being too West Virginia about it.

Now I'm moving on to garbage because my brain's overloaded:

The Hunt for Atlantis: A Novel (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553592858/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0553592858&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=J4LPGAOHPWXRM623)

This bubblegum shit was the most addictive book I've read in a long time. It's a smart person's Da Vinci Code. And there are ten more! Aaaahhhh!!

But...I'm moving on to Ann Leckie's highly prazed (and awarded) sci-fi trilogy, which concludes in October.

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031624662X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=031624662X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=P7SICNNGZ55Y4UYT)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 02, 2015, 10:29:42 AM
Moving on to the second book in the Ancillary trilogy:

Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316246654/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316246654&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=5RVKY4DLTU57HQUH)

The last book comes out in October.

Book One was very, very good. It pains me to say this -- because, for 20 years, he's been a god to me -- but Ann Leckie may be as good as Iain Banks. Certainly this trilogy is in the same vein as the Culture novels -- sentient ships and the choices they make. The Ancillaries may as well be the Culture's drones. The humans, modified and gender neutral, are like uptight citizens of the Culture...and when shit goes wrong, it's an adventure.

She's certainly not copying the Culture with her imperial Radch society, but the books have the same feel. For much of the first book, I was most reminded of Inversions (Culture) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416583785/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416583785&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=RPUO3YCISJLK7YDO), which is the Culture novel that's told from the POV of the people the Culture impacts.

Book Two is straight-up ships and crew stuff so far, but still very good because we're in a much larger narrative that's utterly fascinating and took all of book one to set up.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 17, 2015, 12:25:44 PM
The Ancillary books really were amazing.

Moving on to this monstrosity now:

The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345528174/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0345528174&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=ZWC6MDXVRDEBUVC2)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 22, 2015, 03:23:28 PM
The Ancillary books really were amazing.

Moving on to this monstrosity now:

The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345528174/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0345528174&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=ZWC6MDXVRDEBUVC2)

Wow... This book very successfully reimagines the vampire genre. Terrific, really. Just past halfway through... It clocks in at 770 pages, but it isn't a massive epic following one storyline. The first 250 pages are one story, set "sometime in the near future" and follows a small group of characters as they veer hopelessly towards the apocalypse. We break with some background matter on life after the apocalypse and then the second act is set 100 years in the future. No idea if there's a third act yet... But that shift, while initially jarring, is actually quite amazing. It's a revamp of Canticle for Leibowitz did, which is somewhat fresh and new in the PA genre.

There's a little bit of everything here. There's some Strain, some Swan Song, some The Stand...little elements cribbed from the genre's classics.

Now...we'll see if I'm still raving about it come page 770.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on June 22, 2015, 04:29:38 PM
Sounds pretty good. Keep us posted!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 22, 2015, 04:34:43 PM
Sounds pretty good. Keep us posted!

All I know is that this is the vampire apocalypse TV series we deserve...but instead we get the torture porn, leaden acting, terrible writing, and exhaustingly unoriginal mythos of The Strain.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 30, 2015, 09:58:59 AM
Man... The Passage was excellent. An absorbing and, strangely, very fast read considering it's 765 pages.

My concern is that the trilogy doesn't have too much to go from this point. What made The Passage great was the meticulous world building. That's all been set up so, now, are the next two monster 700+-page books going to just be about battling the vamps?

Moving on now to: American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062249215/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062249215&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=RIVOWX6RJEY3GRA3)

This hit my radar because I wanted to see if it would help inspire how I approach my own family story. In American Ghost, the author sets out to find the truth in the legend of a troubled spirit who haunts a hotel in Santa Fe. That troubled spirit is the author's great-great-great grandmother, and the hotel in Santa Fe was once her house, where she went mad and killed herself 170 years ago.

So, of course, how do you get to the bottom of a family tragedy and weigh the realities of this long dead person's life when you have very little facts to go on? What emerges (of course!) is that there's a thin, dreadful line of darkness throughout the entire family.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 14, 2015, 11:23:27 AM
Man... The Passage was excellent. An absorbing and, strangely, very fast read considering it's 765 pages.

My concern is that the trilogy doesn't have too much to go from this point. What made The Passage great was the meticulous world building. That's all been set up so, now, are the next two monster 700+-page books going to just be about battling the vamps?

Moving on now to: American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062249215/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062249215&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=RIVOWX6RJEY3GRA3)

This hit my radar because I wanted to see if it would help inspire how I approach my own family story. In American Ghost, the author sets out to find the truth in the legend of a troubled spirit who haunts a hotel in Santa Fe. That troubled spirit is the author's great-great-great grandmother, and the hotel in Santa Fe was once her house, where she went mad and killed herself 170 years ago.

So, of course, how do you get to the bottom of a family tragedy and weigh the realities of this long dead person's life when you have very little facts to go on? What emerges (of course!) is that there's a thin, dreadful line of darkness throughout the entire family.

An interesting read. It falls apart, though, mainly because most of her information comes from repeated visits to psychics, which feels weird and off-putting when she also tries to be academic about her research. My sense is that it just trails off, and the Ignorant American Girl in Small Town Germany sequences are a bit annoying.

Ah well.

The new trailer for The Expanse has me so hot and bothered that I'm moving right back to genre fiction with book four:


Cibola Burn (The Expanse) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316334685/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316334685&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=GIDITYUAYS5VMHSL)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 15, 2015, 01:34:09 AM
I couldn't find Nacho's Watergate recommendations so I settled on this for my vacation reading:

'Strange Days Indeed: The 1970s: The Golden Age of Paranoia' by Francis Wheen (http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Days-Indeed-Golden-Paranoia/dp/1586488457/)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 15, 2015, 07:32:08 AM
Came right up in the search for "Watergate"!

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,5018.msg167575.html#msg167575
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on July 15, 2015, 10:24:30 AM
I mean I couldn't find them in my local used book store.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 15, 2015, 11:33:30 AM
I mean I couldn't find them in my local used book store.

No excuse! Call me and I'll read them to you over the phone.

"Once upon a time..."
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 24, 2015, 01:42:41 PM
Cibola Burn was great... I'm really looking forward to The Expanse.

Moving on to:

The Brotherhood of Book Hunters (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609452305/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1609452305&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=HR3H4NZW5JAMZFDQ)

Monkey, this may be a good one for you. The translation is great, but you have the option of reading it the way it was meant to be read!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 25, 2015, 10:08:45 AM
eBook?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 25, 2015, 12:28:32 PM
Nope. I'm a Luddite.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on July 27, 2015, 03:30:16 PM
Nope. I'm a Luddite.

Death to you!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 05, 2015, 11:16:27 AM
Moving on! Brotherhood of Book Hunters was a fun read. A nice bit of bubblegum that actually segues perfectly into this fat historical tome that's been sitting on my to-read pile.

Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375726136/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0375726136&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=7NMBE2ODA2YSSOM7)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 14, 2015, 11:06:12 AM
Taking a break from 600 pages of hard history for a very brief sci-fi distraction:

Roadside Picnic (Rediscovered Classics) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1613743416/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1613743416&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=HG5CYHPO2MMBGCCS)

A new translation of the 1970's Soviet classic... It's an amazing (and very fast) read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 18, 2015, 04:32:35 PM
Though I've seen the Richard Gere movie, I'm finally reading John A. Keel's The Mothman Prophecies (http://www.amazon.com/Mothman-Prophecies-True-Story/dp/0765334984) for the first time. It reads like fiction which sort of makes me doubt Keel's tale a bit.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 18, 2015, 04:42:51 PM
Though I've seen the Richard Gere movie, I'm finally reading John A. Keel's The Mothman Prophecies (http://www.amazon.com/Mothman-Prophecies-True-Story/dp/0765334984) for the first time. It reads like fiction which sort of makes me doubt Keel's tale a bit.

What you should do is review the 15 months of Mothman coverage in the Point Pleasant Register, which is what Keel used as the seed for his book. He also stole liberally from Barker's "The Silver Bridge" which is the Mothman book that didn't get a movie contract and, so, is ignored.

(Warning: Gray Barker leads to a conspiracy hole.)

Edit: Oh, right, you're researching a script. So this is all probably worth an eye-roll and a rude comment.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 18, 2015, 04:51:26 PM
I'm sure I'll do my due diligence on the research end, though my script really has very little to do with anything Motorman. Point Pleasant and Mothman are just a contextual backdrop and handy exposition to set up "OMG, that's scary" dominoes.What I'm really doing is totally ripping off Jeepers Creepers.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 18, 2015, 04:53:34 PM
What I'm really doing is totally ripping off Jeepers Creepers.

AKA: "Tuesday on Route 50."

We'll be near the Barker Collection, by the way. We can stop in at the Clarksburg Library and drunkenly xerox shit. http://clarksburglibrary.info/gbhome.html
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 18, 2015, 04:58:16 PM
Though this, Maynard, and Riding Hood completes my West Virginia horror trilogy. Now just to get all three movies shot.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 18, 2015, 05:02:00 PM
Though this, Maynard, and Riding Hood completes my West Virginia hour trilogy. Now just to get all three movies shot.

Just borrow the equipment and we'll sneak into the Exclusion Zone when they evacuate the state in three years.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 22, 2015, 07:28:03 AM
Reading Ian McEwan's Saturday. Very tightly written.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 26, 2015, 10:10:53 AM
Reading Ian McEwan's Saturday. Very tightly written.

I keep meaning to get into McEwan...

Right now, moving on to modern sci-fi (and the last book Alan reviewed, actually):

Aurora (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316098108/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316098108&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=5IXCZKUY74FSFGAC)

It's an attempt to reboot the generation ship genre (which has been trash since the 60s) and...well, it's amazing. It's both nostalgic for 50s-era generation ship stories and modern enough in thought, style, and technology to be enjoyable. Also a very fast read (so far).



Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 14, 2015, 11:27:53 AM
Aurora really fell apart at the end. I think the author wasn't sure what to do with his story...which means he utterly failed to "reboot the generation ship genre" as promised.

Shame.

Now! To catch up this thread on all my vacation reading.

I started out with the bubblegum adventure schlock novel:
The Amber Room: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345504380/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0345504380&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=WAAZCNSQDMMERNSR)

Total mindless fun.

Next I tried another backlist pre-famous title from Mandel:

The Lola Quartet (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609530993/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1609530993&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=TAY27ZFWCMTCC75Y)

Hipster angst. I had to quit.

Next, another adventure novel -- this one a bit more intelligent, and utterly gripping. Though I'm now 30 pages from the end and, seemingly, very far away from a resolution...

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250101190/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1250101190&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=5K4CAOTP6E6GBJ5A)

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 18, 2015, 09:13:30 AM
Yep...the author had no idea how to end The Revenant. Sad. But a good read for the plane.

Now moving on to this (so far) very lovely and engaging anti-fantasy:

Some Kind of Fairy Tale (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307949079/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307949079&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=FPIWSHCDGSHK5TTG)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 29, 2015, 11:08:19 AM
Moving on the the space Vietnam novel:

The Forever War (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312536631/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312536631&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=YG73JI4AUPUL3ICL)

Soon to be a TV series...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 01, 2015, 05:48:40 PM
Moving on the the space Vietnam novel:

The Forever War (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312536631/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312536631&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=YG73JI4AUPUL3ICL)

Soon to be a TV series...

So, Reggie... A whole section of this book is set in dystopian Columbia and Hyattsville.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on October 02, 2015, 12:03:41 PM
Oh!! I'm going to have to read it...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 07, 2015, 10:32:00 AM
The Forever War was very good. I appreciated the sane, enjoyable ending. I was worried the whole book was gearing up for a soapbox preaching ending, or something dark and horrible. But, no, a well executed story from start to finish.

Now...the third and final book in truly excellent Ancillary trilogy has arrived, and I'm starting it today.

Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316246689/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316246689&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=DZOXTHATVDP7OIYA)


Moving on to the second book in the Ancillary trilogy:

Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316246654/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316246654&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=5RVKY4DLTU57HQUH)

The last book comes out in October.

Book One was very, very good. It pains me to say this -- because, for 20 years, he's been a god to me -- but Ann Leckie may be as good as Iain Banks. Certainly this trilogy is in the same vein as the Culture novels -- sentient ships and the choices they make. The Ancillaries may as well be the Culture's drones. The humans, modified and gender neutral, are like uptight citizens of the Culture...and when shit goes wrong, it's an adventure.

She's certainly not copying the Culture with her imperial Radch society, but the books have the same feel. For much of the first book, I was most reminded of Inversions (Culture) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416583785/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1416583785&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=RPUO3YCISJLK7YDO), which is the Culture novel that's told from the POV of the people the Culture impacts.

Book Two is straight-up ships and crew stuff so far, but still very good because we're in a much larger narrative that's utterly fascinating and took all of book one to set up.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 23, 2015, 10:05:56 AM
Man...the Ancillary series is just perfect. A perfect example of modern sci-fi, and of how to write a trilogy. Very satisfying ending. Beautifully written books. If Leckie keeps this up, she'll keep her current ranking in my mind -- up there next to Iain Banks.

The book I'm currently reading I picked up for one pound at a used bookstore beside a canal a few years ago in the the UK. It's about the Beeching Plan in the 60s. Beeching was an asshole minister who basically destroyed every rural rail line in England (3300 miles worth) and pitched all of the towns and villages into economic despair. His impact was disastrous, and, of course, it was all part of the push to build more roads and sell more cars...

I can't find the book on Amazon, so the links today are going to be SFWP titles (which I'm currently editing):

Ordination: Book One of The Paladin trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1939650348/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1939650348&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=6LKPOPGB6U5SDSYO)

Bystanders (SFWP Literary Awards) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1939650380/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1939650380&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=VEYAXYEZOPLF3DRK)

American Fallout (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1939650429/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1939650429&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=73S3V5ZNS4AQNGNN)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on November 03, 2015, 09:20:35 AM
DB!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 04, 2015, 08:23:42 AM
DB!

No luck. Sorry.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on November 04, 2015, 11:22:09 PM
Cunt.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 08, 2015, 05:37:44 PM
Done with my editing freakout and moving on to some fantasy candy:

The Dark Shore (New English library) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/034064947X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=034064947X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=QTRKLC7VZDUQKJOA)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 26, 2015, 11:00:09 AM
A few years ago I read the wonderful Restraint of Beasts. Now going back to the land of Magnus Mills -- who writes about naive fools who get involved in outlandishly comic adventures in small villages in the north of England and Scotland:

All Quiet on the Orient Express: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1611458110/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1611458110&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=7OM7CMXA5CSBIMOK)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Nubbins on December 02, 2015, 08:28:10 PM
Anyone reading/read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline? Spielberg's directing the movie. It's really good... Audiobook's read by Wil Wheaton.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 02, 2015, 11:17:32 PM
Anyone reading/read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline? Spielberg's directing the movie. It's really good... Audiobook's read by Wil Wheaton.

Absolutely everyone (except me!) has read it... It's on my long list. Now I have to beat the movie!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2015, 01:12:54 PM
Another book Alan suggested shortly before his death... And it's awesome so far.

Descent: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/161620477X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=161620477X&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=WITQSN4PLI7CCCUR)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 15, 2015, 12:39:42 PM
Top Reads of 2015!

I've sort of planned light/silly reading for the next two weeks, so my official reading cycle ends when I finish The Descent.

In no particular order, my favorite books of 2015:

The Hunt for Atlantis: A Novel (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553592858/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0553592858&linkCode=as2&tag=santafewriterspr&linkId=EDI5LJVZCEQZJCTM): This is a bullshit adventure novel. What I called a "smart man's Da Vinci Code" in this thread. There's a whole series of adventures with the two main characters but I don't feel compelled to read them... Which may be an indication that this book should not be listed among my favorites. But I picked up this book because I wanted a bubblegum silly adventure, and it hit every mark. This novel is exactly what it should be and that's a good thing in an era of authors trying to re-imagine tropes.

The Ancillary Series (http://amzn.to/1P578WI): By far, this was some of the best sci-fi I've ever read. Ann Leckie is easily the new Iain Banks. Everything about the Ancillary trilogy was enthralling.

The Passage (http://amzn.to/1P57rRh): Vampire apocalypse...redone! The Passage sort of rewrites the genre, and it does so very well. The book itself is a bit of a demanding monster, though, and, once again, it's cooled my heels when it comes to wanting to read the second book. Perhaps not a good sign...

Cibola Burn (http://amzn.to/1P57EEb): The Expanse series continues. I should just make room on each year's list for titles from this series... Not as smart or gripping as Leckie's sci-fi, but damned good storytelling. It's the adventure novel that actually deserves to be on this list (as opposed to The Hunt for Atlantis).

Roadside Picnic (http://amzn.to/1Uuqc0G): The book that inspired the STALKER franchise. A very quick must-read for all vintage sci-fi fans.

All Quiet on the Orient Express (http://amzn.to/1P583WX): Magnus Mills writes about English saps who get stuck in bizarre situations in tiny northern or Scottish villages and ruminate about their sappery in country pubs. He hits the same single note in book after book but, for fans of Britcom pastoral comedy, he always comes through.

The Descent (http://amzn.to/1Uur59s): My current read is incredible. This is pure highbrow action adventure. It's breathless and exciting.


And the worst:

J: A Novel (http://amzn.to/1P58wIL): The apocalypse is chic these days and, sadly, everyone's trying to do the cool next thing. This book was a feeble attempt to rework 1984 themes and spent too much time being impressed with itself.

The Lola Quartet (http://amzn.to/1UurUz5): Emily Mandel so impressed me with Station 11 last year, but her literary fiction that pre-dates her fame is unreadable hipster angst. Very sad.

The Revenant (http://amzn.to/1P59dlw): An airport read ahead of the Di Caprio movie. The book's a hot mess with no real ending.

Aurora (http://amzn.to/1P58XTl): I hate putting this here, especially since my top reads list is sullied with shit like Hunt for Atlantis... Aurora is a beautifully written book, and easily the most fascinating telling of the rise of an AI, but it fails...somehow...somewhere. I think it lacks an ending. I'm not sure that's the problem, though. It feels like a great writer had a great idea and decided to take it just slightly too far, but not in a way you can put your finger on. It's also yet another attempt to re-imagine a trope -- the generation ship -- and I'm getting tired of authors trying to do new things with old material. Mainly, it seems that all they do is paint themselves in a corner. Then they try to escape the re-imagined old material but...they can't...because they decided to build a whole frame out of a trope and wanted to be clever.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 27, 2015, 12:32:24 PM
Christmas book time!

Seveneves (http://amzn.to/1mIdSP2) by Neal Stephenson.

Very addictive so far...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 16, 2016, 06:42:44 PM
Christmas book time!

Seveneves (http://amzn.to/1mIdSP2) by Neal Stephenson.

Very addictive so far...

Man, that was a monster read. But very good. The first good reboot of the generation ship trope.

Moving on to Fates and Furies. (http://amzn.to/1U2XkvU)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 11, 2016, 01:04:46 PM
Christmas book time!

Seveneves (http://amzn.to/1mIdSP2) by Neal Stephenson.

Very addictive so far...

Man, that was a monster read. But very good. The first good reboot of the generation ship trope.

Moving on to Fates and Furies. (http://amzn.to/1U2XkvU)

So don't read this book if you're a 40-something artist.

Moving on to All The Birds in the Sky (http://amzn.to/1muVpVq), by one of the editors at io9. So far so good...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 02, 2016, 10:46:12 PM
Moving on to City of Blades (http://amzn.to/1VRBwEz), the second in Bennett's fantasy trilogy. The first book was pretty awesome, but very consumed with world building. All of that world building now pays off... This second one is instantly addictive.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 22, 2016, 01:38:25 PM
Moving on to City of Blades (http://amzn.to/1VRBwEz), the second in Bennett's fantasy trilogy. The first book was pretty awesome, but very consumed with world building. All of that world building now pays off... This second one is instantly addictive.

This series is really quite good. I wasn't sure they could carry on from the first one, but it worked.

Now moving on to Shada (http://amzn.to/22CHkFL). t's a Doctor Who book. Ha, ha. Shut up.

Shada was a Douglas Adams script that got canned during the BBC strike, so the episode was only half-filmed. Current NuWho star writer has used the Adams script and notes to put together what is, so far, a very enjoying book... It's very Classic Who, it's very Douglas Adams, and it's totally geeky.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2016, 06:07:14 PM
Moving on to a hardcore memoir:

The Eden Express (http://amzn.to/1Thb8Wf)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 05, 2016, 12:02:39 PM
And now moving into Pop! (http://amzn.to/1MQ9klt)

This from Stillhouse Press... It's a fascinating read so far.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 11, 2016, 08:35:40 AM
And now moving into Pop! (http://amzn.to/1MQ9klt)

This from Stillhouse Press... It's a fascinating read so far.

A very cool book...but also very clearly a first effort. Sniff, sniff.

Moving on to total trash now!

Castaways (http://amzn.to/1SbkymU).
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 29, 2016, 09:24:05 AM
Whew... While GS was sleeping, I got some work done!

After the Apocalypse (http://amzn.to/1pOamDM) Has long been on my wishlist and I met the author at AWP. It was...not very good. A mixed bag of PA stories that meandered a bit too much.

I moved on to some Roman history porn with Dynasty (http://amzn.to/1YWczJ9) charting the rise and fall of the Julians.

Now I'm back in candyland with adventure fiction from Tom Harper, The Lost Temple. (http://amzn.to/1rncow3)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 11, 2016, 08:25:40 AM
And now it's time for a little bit of Robertson...

The Lives of the Poets (With Guitars) (http://amzn.to/1QYnNqK)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 18, 2016, 03:53:41 PM
Moving on to the greatest literary experiment of our generation. And, so far, yes...yes, yes. This is what our kids will be studying in high school.

My Struggle, Book One (http://amzn.to/1TZOTlW)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 19, 2016, 08:54:45 AM
This is what our kids will be studying in high school.

Unless Monkey, nuts up; I claim the only children of GS!!

Our kids are just 4 and 5 years from high school, respectively!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 19, 2016, 09:52:02 AM
I'm still a kid!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 24, 2016, 10:10:21 AM
Wait... What - you want Monkey to nut up school children?

Sick pervert.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: Reginald McGraw on May 24, 2016, 10:52:47 AM
We all have our problems.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on May 30, 2016, 12:40:15 PM
It's official.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 14, 2016, 08:53:16 AM
Moving on to the greatest literary experiment of our generation. And, so far, yes...yes, yes. This is what our kids will be studying in high school.

My Struggle, Book One (http://amzn.to/1TZOTlW)

This was really hard to read while also editing my own memoir. Man.

Moving on to idiot post apocalypse candy now:

Journal of the Plague Year (http://amzn.to/1WMuO6G)

It's exactly what it's supposed to be, which is relaxing.

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 27, 2016, 11:32:38 AM
And some more light sci-fi:

Luna: New Moon (http://amzn.to/2952gCI)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 06, 2016, 09:51:07 AM
Luna was fun. Light, full of typos, overshadowed by the sci-fi greats the last few seasons... But quietly fun. Which is fine.

Next up!

One Man Caravan (http://amzn.to/29wkZJ8)!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 16, 2016, 03:53:29 PM
Luna was fun. Light, full of typos, overshadowed by the sci-fi greats the last few seasons... But quietly fun. Which is fine.

Next up!

One Man Caravan (http://amzn.to/29wkZJ8)!

One Man Caravan is fascinating. A 1936 trip around the world... But the world in 36 is just incredible. The naive attitude of a young American as he passes through nazi Germany, the colonial mideast and India, and a Japan that "seems every bit like America" where his counterparts preach love and unity between Japan and the US is simply amazing. It's a portrait of a long dead world, and also kind of heartbreaking.

Moving on to sci-fi fluff:

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (http://amzn.to/29XhKcn)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 27, 2016, 09:58:11 AM

Moving on to sci-fi fluff:

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (http://amzn.to/29XhKcn)

This was originally funded by Kickstarter and then she got a big expensive publishing contract. It has no real substance or story. It's like a 430 page day in the life of an ensemble deep space crew, all with their unique problems. And it's pretty good... But it seems like a loose tooth in the age of space operas. Book two comes out early next year, but I don't know how far you can go with just this one note.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 27, 2016, 10:00:49 AM
Moving on to more sci-fi -- catching up on The Expanse novellas:

The Vital Abyss (http://amzn.to/2adsDmx)

The novellas are pretty lame, all around, but they've also all been folded into the TV show pretty comprehensively. Oddly, the TV show doesn't assume that you've read the novels but it does assume you've read all the supplemental stuff.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 27, 2016, 01:54:47 PM
Moving on to more sci-fi -- catching up on The Expanse novellas:

The Vital Abyss (http://amzn.to/2adsDmx)

The novellas are pretty lame, all around, but they've also all been folded into the TV show pretty comprehensively. Oddly, the TV show doesn't assume that you've read the novels but it does assume you've read all the supplemental stuff.

And done! Ha, ha. Now moving on to the latest Peter May thriller: http://Entry Island (http://amzn.to/2a4Wrlo)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 16, 2016, 02:19:41 PM
At the beach I read Monument (http://amzn.to/2b9ZQ6r). Mid-70s sci-fi that was really very awesome. I was surprised.

Now moving on to Nazis! And murder mysteries! The Man From Berlin. (http://amzn.to/2bkQ56Z)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 19, 2016, 06:20:52 PM
I have been reading Joyce's _The Dubliners_ at Barcelona's beach. I'm also getting a right sexy tan.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 30, 2016, 10:47:24 AM
Man...it was really hard identifying with and rooting for a Nazi detective. But...okay. Whatever.

Moving on to short stories: Maybe Mermaids & Robots are Lonely (http://amzn.to/2bCirVI)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 04, 2016, 09:13:48 AM
Man...it was really hard identifying with and rooting for a Nazi detective. But...okay. Whatever.

Moving on to short stories: Maybe Mermaids & Robots are Lonely (http://amzn.to/2bCirVI)

Mediocre. Sadly.

Moving on to space opera from Stephen Baxter! Proxima. (http://amzn.to/2c3vfaZ)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 20, 2016, 06:24:11 PM

Moving on to space opera from Stephen Baxter! Proxima. (http://amzn.to/2c3vfaZ)

And the sequel!

Ultima (http://amzn.to/2cshUc3)

Proxima was pretty good. Ultima is a bit rough. But...it's the last book, so I feel compelled to continue.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on September 28, 2016, 09:29:24 AM
Nacho, you read too much.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 28, 2016, 12:38:29 PM
Is there such a thing?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 01, 2016, 11:04:36 AM
If you're a '50s housewife.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 01, 2016, 12:10:14 PM
If you're a '50s housewife.

No. If that were the case I'd be three martinis in right now and staring with dark, empty eyes at the lunch menu stuck to the fridge.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 07, 2016, 09:12:56 AM

Moving on to space opera from Stephen Baxter! Proxima. (http://amzn.to/2c3vfaZ)

And the sequel!

Ultima (http://amzn.to/2cshUc3)

Proxima was pretty good. Ultima is a bit rough. But...it's the last book, so I feel compelled to continue.

A terrible sequel to such a promising first book. Self-masturbatory garbage. Sad.

Moving on to a touch of magical realism:

Invisible Beasts (http://amzn.to/2dYJgJP)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on October 11, 2016, 01:15:20 PM
If you're a '50s housewife.

No. If that were the case I'd be three martinis in right now and staring with dark, empty eyes at the lunch menu stuck to the fridge.

And you're not right now?
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 11, 2016, 05:57:29 PM
If you're a '50s housewife.

No. If that were the case I'd be three martinis in right now and staring with dark, empty eyes at the lunch menu stuck to the fridge.

And you're not right now?

I wasn't then. But I am now.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 13, 2016, 11:11:49 AM
Moving on to the next JLaw movie! The spy thriller Red Sparrow (http://amzn.to/2dPdP5u)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 05, 2016, 05:12:14 PM
The latest fantasy darling is Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings (http://amzn.to/2fGvg8x) and, so far, I agree with the critics! Amazing book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 05, 2016, 05:12:34 PM
Moving on to the next JLaw movie! The spy thriller Red Sparrow (http://amzn.to/2dPdP5u)

This was ridiculous crap. And, yet...I loved it!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 17, 2016, 07:25:04 AM
The latest fantasy darling is Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings (http://amzn.to/2fGvg8x) and, so far, I agree with the critics! Amazing book.

Well... It didn't quite stay amazing. I found characters and whole scenes that were copies word for word from Legend of Galactic Heroes, but, since we'll never get a good translation of that series, maybe that's okay.

Moving on to cheesy 70s sci-fi now:

Non-Stop (http://amzn.to/2fYKKQw). The granddaddy of generational ship stories.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on November 23, 2016, 12:28:07 PM
It Can't Happen Here (https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Happen-Here-Signet-Classics/dp/0451465644/) by Sinclair Lewis.

I tried to read it in college and wasn't politically mature or historically knowlegable enough to have it do anything but bore me. In the wake of Trump's election, I've found it much easier to digest and more than a little frightening in it's parallels; less in Lewi's Candidate who is far more Huey Long than the Donald, but in his ability to pinpoint that kind of political and social climate that could allow an autocrat to attain power in the U.S.

I'd call it required reading for the Trump era.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 23, 2016, 06:15:15 PM
It Can't Happen Here (https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Happen-Here-Signet-Classics/dp/0451465644/) by Sinclair Lewis.

I tried to read it in college and wasn't politically mature or historically knowlegable enough to have it do anything but bore me. In the wake of Trump's election, I've found it much easier to digest and more than a little frightening in it's parallels; less in Lewi's Candidate who is far more Huey Long than the Donald, but in his ability to pinpoint that kind of political and social climate that could allow an autocrat to attain power in the U.S.

I'd call it required reading for the Trump era.

Perfect!

I re-read this a while ago because the bad guy in Lost was reading it for, like, four seasons and then, when he was the good guy in Person of Interest, he was STILL reading it for the first couple seasons!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 24, 2016, 08:35:00 AM
Oh, I see, RC. The Millions said everyone should read it... And now it's sold out! The poor publisher must be sitting there wondering what the fuck just happened.

And you, RC, have the pulse of the Millennials!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 24, 2016, 08:35:42 AM
I'm moving on to the latest in the Expanse series: Nemesis Games. (http://amzn.to/2gkwLYQ)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on November 27, 2016, 12:01:57 AM
And you, RC, have the pulse of the Millennials!

I am the pulse of the millennial.

And I blew through it in two days while in WV for Thanksgiving. A solid, gripping read.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 10, 2016, 12:15:36 PM
I'm moving on to the latest in the Expanse series: Nemesis Games. (http://amzn.to/2gkwLYQ)

Awesome. As all the books have been.

And the latest came out this week, so I'm dicing right in to Babylon's Ashes. (http://amzn.to/2h9U9bv)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 26, 2016, 12:34:04 PM
My Christmas holiday reading has been My Struggle: Book 2 (http://amzn.to/2iwXWgD).

This series is really fascinating so far. A 3600 page series about a man writing a 3600 page series! It's a Scandinavian-meta freakout!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 09, 2017, 08:20:23 AM
Moving on to The Wicker Man (http://amzn.to/2iZm4wg)!

This is a novelization of the film by the people who wrote the screenplay. i.e., it's "the movie that they wanted," where the cop is a young man who actually has a real life on the mainland and is a fleshed out and not quite so uptight and pious character.

The other huge departure is that Lord Summerisle is actually the more sympathetic character. The original thrust for The Wicker Man was the idea that the audience wouldn't be able to come down one way or the other. Whereas the movie edges more towards horror, and Christopher Lee playing Summerisle sort of influences our assumptions.

So far, it's clumsy and bitter and obviously written by kilted screenwriters who haven't been able to forgive what the studio did to them. But it's also interesting, from a film history perspective.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 18, 2017, 04:02:32 PM
Post apocalypse time!

One Year After (http://amzn.to/2iK1lIE), the sequel to the EMP apocalypse yarn "One Second After," which became a bestseller because it was read on the floor of Congress or something.

It's PA candy.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 24, 2017, 01:02:55 PM
Time for a little sci-fi! Dark Run (http://amzn.to/2jawDbP).
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 07, 2017, 01:39:08 PM
Time for some deep track sci-fi! Days of Starlight (http://amzn.to/2knZyNC).
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 19, 2017, 06:07:34 PM
We just did a huge purge of our bookshelf. Got rid of a bunch of stuff I've read and will never read again. I also have a *huge* stack of things I never read or never finished. The goal is to get through at least 30 books by years end.

First up, The Postman (https://www.amazon.com/Postman-David-Brin/dp/0553278746/) by David Brin, which Nacho demanded I read when I was waiting tables at Flanagans back in 1998. Based on the bookmark, I got about a third of the way thorugh before I fell down a cocaine haze with the crazy Flanagan's Irishmen, or something.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 20, 2017, 10:15:17 AM
Classic PA. Great stuff.

Set a goal of 150 pages a week. That'll average out to 30 books a year. Takes me about 90 minutes a day to meet that goal.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 25, 2017, 10:59:20 AM
My sick bed book was The Unfinished World (http://amzn.to/2mhPqYM). A fun collection of short stories I picked up at AWP.

Am now moving on to some sci-fi: The Stars Are Legion (http://amzn.to/2lUPOfo)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 15, 2017, 10:33:27 AM
So I started and then had to give up on The Wall of Storms (http://amzn.to/2mstg2k), the monstrous 900 page sequel to the amazing Grace of Kings. The author spends the first 400 pages world-building and then forces a conflict onto that world. It's a clumsy effort. So sad.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 21, 2017, 10:36:19 AM
So I started and then had to give up on The Wall of Storms (http://amzn.to/2mstg2k), the monstrous 900 page sequel to the amazing Grace of Kings. The author spends the first 400 pages world-building and then forces a conflict onto that world. It's a clumsy effort. So sad.


I moved on to A Closed and Common Orbit (http://amzn.to/2niimzF), book two in Becky Chambers' sci-fi epic, and...the same problem! The whole book focuses on two side characters and is an in-depth study in world-building with a forced conflict (maybe, but still no where in sight) coming down the line. Another clumsy effort.

Sophomore slump for both these authors now. Also sad... Chambers' book, luckily, is only 300-some pages long so I may power through. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 27, 2017, 08:55:05 PM
'The Postman' took half it's pages to get interesting then got utterly ridiculous in it's last fifty pages, so it's 1/3 of a good book.

Next up, Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction (https://www.amazon.com/Ordeal-Fire-Civil-War-Reconstruction/dp/0072317361) which I'm pretty sure is a textbook. I seem to remember it being sent to me from my wishlist when I was writing that Civil War script, but I really have no idea where it came from.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 28, 2017, 08:04:39 AM
'The Postman' took half it's pages to get interesting then got utterly ridiculous in it's last fifty pages, so it's 1/3 of a good book.

Next up, Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction (https://www.amazon.com/Ordeal-Fire-Civil-War-Reconstruction/dp/0072317361) which I'm pretty sure is a textbook. I seem to remember it being sent to me from my wishlist when I was writing that Civil War script, but I really have no idea where it came from.

It came from me because you were asking for the best book on the Civil War, like, 10 years ago.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 28, 2017, 09:05:05 AM
(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/75/7552b5b91326d18d29d21dfb90105529f19cf05133d06769b40299dcde0dfd44.jpg)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2017, 04:42:57 PM
Moving on to more sci-fi:

Luna: Wolf Moon (http://amzn.to/2nwnqOL)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 17, 2017, 08:36:52 AM
Moving on to more sci-fi:

Luna: Wolf Moon (http://amzn.to/2nwnqOL)

This is an awesome series. Well worth it.

Moving on now to Book 3 of My Struggle (http://amzn.to/2pIlH99)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 26, 2017, 02:24:20 PM
Travel reading has been lined up!

A Slight Trick of the Mind (http://amzn.to/2qfo1ER), the story about an aged Holmes.

The Wars of the Roses (http://amzn.to/2oJSVE8), English history for long train rides by one of my favorite historians.

The Templar Legacy (http://amzn.to/2owTGVL), action-adventure trash!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on April 27, 2017, 10:00:23 AM
I played this amazing Holmes based RPG board game while in LA. Will have to but it and bring it up for the next dinner meet.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 06, 2017, 10:29:53 AM
Moving on to the finale in this fantasy trilogy:
City of Miracles (http://amzn.to/2szJk6b)

Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 24, 2017, 12:22:12 PM
Moving on to a gift from Reggie!
To Be A Machine (http://amzn.to/2t6Bhkc)

My quest for immortality begins!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 09, 2017, 11:55:03 AM
Reading the amazing Killers of the Flower Moon (http://amzn.to/2u09rWO) now. By the Lost City of Z guy. It's about the 1920s oil boom on the Osage reservation which made them the richest 1% in America...and the resulting serial killings that almost wiped out the upper echelon of the tribe, perpetrated by wealthy oil barons trying to steal land... And so gruesome and over the top it required a special federal investigative Bureau, placed under the command of a young upstart by the name of J. Edgar Hoover...

Halfway through and loving it. Though it lacks the swashbuckling of Z. It's more or a procedural. 
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 14, 2017, 09:08:50 AM
Time for a little sci-fi! Dark Run (http://amzn.to/2jawDbP).

So I loved this. Now getting into the sequel:

Dark Sky (http://amzn.to/2sY5FtD)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 28, 2017, 10:38:57 AM
Doing some trashy action crap! Ice Station Nautilus (http://amzn.to/2eU9ePz).
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 04, 2017, 11:28:06 AM
Roman alt-history porn. A Roman legion in the 1200s battle the Sioux indians in a bid to conquer North America! It's actually really awesome so far.

Clash of Eagles (http://amzn.to/2v5SclC)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 12, 2017, 10:34:25 AM
Roman alt-history porn. A Roman legion in the 1200s battle the Sioux indians in a bid to conquer North America! It's actually really awesome so far.

Clash of Eagles (http://amzn.to/2v5SclC)

This was great! Rushing right into the sequel:

Eagle in Exile (http://amzn.to/2fBc0cW)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on August 25, 2017, 08:21:17 PM
I'm onto The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay.

It's great. Really great.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on August 29, 2017, 09:33:35 AM
Found at a used book sale -- a first edition, pre-original movie copy of The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (http://amzn.to/2wFE2e2).

It's...damned good!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on September 12, 2017, 11:15:37 AM
Moving on to some real trash:

Palace of Treason (http://amzn.to/2wY7Hyg)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 02, 2017, 01:54:29 PM
Time for some classic 70's poccy-clypse!

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (http://amzn.to/2ykG70o)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 13, 2017, 10:00:58 AM
Moving quickly through

Annihilation (http://amzn.to/2xDf2jZ)

The Southern Reach trilogy about an expedition in a strange post-apocalyptic wilderness. It's very Stalker. Good so far, though I can see how it's a love it or hate it series.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on October 26, 2017, 07:16:06 PM
Time for cheap ancient Roman detective fiction!

The Accusers (http://amzn.to/2gGiwwa)

The 15th Falco book.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 02, 2017, 07:11:22 PM
Reading the fucking amazing Provenance (http://amzn.to/2iWsAp8) by Ann Leckie, author of the Ancillary Trilogy.

She is, easily, the heir to Iain Banks. This is a standalone set in the same universe as her trilogy. I hope she keeps doing this...and getting further and further away from the trilogy.

What made The Culture great was that Banks never connected the stories (except, occasionally, with a brief mention). The Culture was so vast that the books were set all across the universe, and occasionally thousands of years apart. The characters and events in the previous book didn't matter because you'd be joining new people a million lightyears away, and maybe 500 years in the past or future, on their own adventure.

Leckie has to fight her trilogy. This book is haunted by the events of the trilogy's finale. It's done correctly -- of course the galaxy-shattering events of the trilogy's finale would be in the news and social media -- but it's a tie that binds. After this, I want Leckie to do what Banks did. Stay in the universe but go backwards, or forwards, or so far away it doesn't matter what's happening on the news.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on November 14, 2017, 08:54:38 AM
Moving on to the final act in this trilogy:

Eagle and Empire (http://amzn.to/2zZcC4M)

Smale's alt-history trilogy has been pretty awesome so far. 11th Century imperial Romans conquering North America before the hordes of Genghis Khan can do so.

Over a thousand pages of this saga so far and the conflicted life of an aging refugee general (who is our main character) is starting to wear a touch thin. Though we're in finale country now with a crowded stage, so that should save the series.

It's very well researched and enjoyable, overall.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 15, 2017, 09:40:24 AM
The Clash of Eagles trilogy books are among my favorite books of 2017. Hands down.

Moving on now to a novella in the Expanse universe. A quick read:

Strange Dogs (http://amzn.to/2yAXq98)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on December 21, 2017, 11:54:12 AM
Started and...gave up on the conclusion to the EMP post-apocalypse trilogy.

The Final Day (http://amzn.to/2DnyENn)

The trilogy was bad to begin with, but EMP apocalypse is fun -- no power, everyone's in the dark, cannibal marauders. The usual. Book one was a short, fast read.

The author is a right wing survivalist nutjob. He credits himself for "starting the prepper movement," and some of thi began to soak into the second book which, nonetheless, was about 40% all out war with government troops. So that was fun.

The final book, though, is a nearly 600 page, small-print, maudlin tome that's pure fan service to the preppers. Terrible.

So, quit after 100 agonizing pages.

I am moving on to Book 7 in the Expanse series:

http://Persepolis Rising (http://amzn.to/2DpYaSb)

The Expanse is my all time favorite sci-fi series so far. Book 7 marks the beginning of the end, though. The books are actually loosely organized into "trilogies," with book 6 ending the most recent arc with a bang. So book 7 begins the "final trilogy" and, jarringly, it makes a 30 year leap into the future. Something I wasn't prepared for, so it's been a rough start. That also means that it's almost stepping in as prologue to this new universe, three decades after the events we've been following for the last six books.

That feels both awkward and...interesting. It's like The Last Jedi of the Expanse series. All the old shit is out the window and it's a brave, new world for humanity. Looking back at the catastrophic events of book six, I realize that there was no way to stay in the present day with our heroes. A 30 year jump is the only thing that makes sense. So...we'll see how I feel as I roll through it.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on December 27, 2017, 11:00:16 AM
Finally finished Chuck Klosterman's "But What If We're Wrong" which should be required reading for every graduating high school senior.

Moving on from one Nacho gifted book to the next one, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy (https://www.amazon.com/We-Were-Eight-Years-Power/dp/0399590560).
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 05, 2018, 10:55:21 AM
Two reads going on now. Because of my work woes, I decided to start in on The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (http://amzn.to/2AwysZu).

This is a short, fast read. It's getting lots of press, but all it really tells you is that life sucks and then you die, shut up and accept that fact. Also, if you hate something, then change it. We could probably put the same advice together, with wittier prose, if we consolidate everyone's replies to me in my various "I hate my life/job" threads here on GS.

The other book is a popcorn beach read. Also getting rave reviews, I find it somewhat pedestrian: IQ (http://amzn.to/2AvCQrD). A black Sherlock Holmes from the hood. All hip-hop and hipster cool. A little too much so...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on January 22, 2018, 05:07:06 PM
Moving on to a history of time travel!

Time Travel (http://amzn.to/2DXWWOu)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 23, 2018, 11:03:07 AM
Coates “we Were Eight Years in Power” is great but as a collection of essays is easy to dip in and out of.

I moved on to ‘Only Yesterday,’ an informal history of the U.S. in the 1920s written in 1931. Reading a contemporary history of the 20s uniformed by WWII is fascinating. There’s this immediacy to it and a recognition of just how quickly culture and technology evolved in that decade. It also puts importance on people and events that are now all but lost to history.

https://www.amazon.com/Only-Yesterday-Informal-History-1920s/dp/0060956658
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 08, 2018, 08:17:18 PM
Halfway through the third book in the Keiko series:

Dark Deeds (http://amzn.to/2Biwn7h)

This series has always been bubblegum reading, but now it's just twee. The author is a bit too obsessed with how clever he is. Sad...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2018, 11:23:06 AM
Reading The Salt Line (http://amzn.to/2HHLuIu), A post-apocalypse, killer ticks story. It was great for the first 100 pages but then it moves into slog country... Considering quitting the book even!  A shame...
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 13, 2018, 10:18:45 AM
Frozen in Time (http://amzn.to/2Dof8iw) - A fast, gripping book about the author's attempt to find a crashed rescue plane on the Greenland ice cap from 1942. Told from the 1942 POV and the 2012 search POV.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: monkey! on March 28, 2018, 09:05:21 AM
I’m reading through Clarkson’s collections of his Sunday Times columns.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on March 30, 2018, 09:59:21 AM
Read and finished Ray's latest:

1979 (https://amzn.to/2pUeiFh)

A must for Ray Robertson fans.

Now -- history! Dan Jones does:

The Templars (https://amzn.to/2GGNOla)
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on April 27, 2018, 10:14:21 AM
The Fifth Season (https://amzn.to/2FmjqYB) - Hugo winning fantasy. It's complicated and awesome so far.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on May 31, 2018, 09:52:58 AM
Moving on to bubblegum!

Gunpowder Moon (https://amzn.to/2JoGoEm)

Moon murder!
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 07, 2018, 10:13:39 AM
Moving on to Ghost Fleet (https://amzn.to/2Lsr5bk)

This is a "novel of the next world war," but it's intended to be a cautionary tale about how that war could happen, based on real world threats (such as malware disabling our security agencies, etc.). So it's both cautionary tale and jingoistic lunacy. Actually quite fun -- recommended highly for the conspiracy nut.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on June 29, 2018, 10:31:21 AM
Reading and loving An island to Oneself (https://amzn.to/2tFzNfG), in which the author strands himself on a desert island for several years after WWII.
Title: Re: What You're Reading
Post by: nacho on July 18, 2018, 09:41:12 AM
Gave The Late Bloomer (https://amzn.to/2Ls4qfy) a try for a friend. post-Ya post-apocalypse.

It has no chapter breaks! Difficult read. Gave up. Blah.

Now moving on to How to Sit, from tiny Baltimore press Mason Jar.
http://www.masonjarpress.xyz/chapbooks-1/how-to-sit-coming-soon

I like it. File under troubled DC memoir...