Reading Rainbow

Jackson Pollock's semen.
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Post #1 by Macbeth » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:42 pm

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Post #2 by zamboner » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:42 am

Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad was excellent beach reading.
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Post #3 by pedrospecialk » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:37 pm

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Post #4 by Bow Tie » Thu May 02, 2013 10:32 am

CALL TO ALL BROADS:

I need bookie wooks to read. I'd like to read one a week from here through the summer. Please help me reinvigorate my literacy skills
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Post #5 by Bernie Bernbaum » Fri May 03, 2013 6:28 pm

Prison Mike wrote:CALL TO ALL BROADS:

I need bookie wooks to read. I'd like to read one a week from here through the summer. Please help me reinvigorate my literacy skills


Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
Beloved - Toni Morrison
Lolita - Nabokov
Open Secrets - Munro
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Diaz
Jesus' Son - Johnson
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Carver
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Marquez
Absalom, Absalom! - Faulkner
As I Lay Dying - Faulkner
The Crying of Lot 49 - Pynchon
Catch-22 - Heller
Slaughterhouse 5 - Vonnegut
Moby Dick - Melville
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Post #6 by Craig » Mon May 06, 2013 10:11 am

I really have to get around to reading some Pynchon. Where's the best place to start?
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Post #7 by mcphee » Mon May 06, 2013 12:53 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Big D, here is somebody who disagrees with me and loathes Great Gatsby:

http://www.vulture.com/2013/05/schulz-on-the-great-gatsby.html


I have it and it sits on my shelf, mocking me for my literary shallowness. I'm going to give it another go, I know I have it in me.
Gravity's Rainbow is his chef-d'œuvre so that's where I started and haven't explored any of his others. It's a very tough slog, so just get the audiobook. One of his recent books (Inherent Vice, 2009) is being turned into a film by Paul Thomas Anderson. His book about the leadup to WWI looks interesting.
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Post #8 by mcphee » Mon May 06, 2013 12:55 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Big D, here is somebody who disagrees with me and loathes Great Gatsby:

http://www.vulture.com/2013/05/schulz-on-the-great-gatsby.html



Gravity's Rainbow is his chef-d'œuvre so that's where I started and haven't explored any of his others. It's a very tough slog, so just get the audiobook. One of his recent books (Inherent Vice, 2009) is being turned into a film by Paul Thomas Anderson. His book about the leadup to WWI looks interesting.


Gravity's Rainbow sits here on a shelf, unread past p16, mocking me for my literary shallowness. I want to give it another go, I really do.
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Post #9 by Craig » Mon May 06, 2013 1:36 pm

Is it easier to get trough than Ulysses or Crime and Punishment? Those are the only two books I've ever attempted and gave up on before finishing.
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Post #10 by Craig » Mon May 06, 2013 1:57 pm

I found the prose in Ulysses challenging. Well, not so much challenging as just annoying, I guess.
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Post #11 by mcphee » Mon May 06, 2013 2:06 pm

dempsey_k wrote:I wouldn't recommend that anybody do anything half-assed, nor anything they really don't want to do. So your goal shouldn't be finishing it necessarily, but figuring out if it's an endeavor worth endeavoring.


I read for escapism these days, character driven stuff, I know very well what appeals to me the most, but I have a nagging part of me that still wants to read some high brow shit. I need to keep the kids guessing. Maybe I'll just strategically move it around the house.

That would be a good list, which books to randomly leave open around the house to make my kids think I'm a literary force to be reckoned with.
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Post #12 by Bernie Bernbaum » Mon May 06, 2013 9:11 pm

Craig wrote:I really have to get around to reading some Pynchon. Where's the best place to start?


I've read The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity's Rainbow. Lot 49 is a much better starting point. Shorter, less dense, easier to follow. His other highly thought of novel is V. The rest of his stuff is supposed to be a drop off from those three, but like I said, haven't read them.

As far as Gravity's Rainbow, my experience with it, especially in its later stages, is a lot like Ulysses, where the network of symbols and meaning becomes so densely layered and the plot so increasingly convoluted and nonsensical that by a certain point you're just slogging through nonsense with the occasional breakthrough. Unlike Joyce though, who's obsessed with his own impressiveness, Pynchon's more enjoyable because he's just gleefully indulging himself.
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Post #13 by Bernie Bernbaum » Mon May 06, 2013 10:14 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Big D, here is somebody who disagrees with me and loathes Great Gatsby:

http://www.vulture.com/2013/05/schulz-on-the-great-gatsby.html


I'm halfway through this and I'll finish it up in a little while, but I can't say I totally buy into his argument re: the characters' emotional lives and interiors. Yeah, the Gatsby/Daisy romance is vacuous, definitely agree, but the emotional pull of the novel and characters has little to do with sexual romance, it's driven by desire for a lifestyle and dream and the novel overflows with it. I don't think it's the perfect book others consider it, but I think it's on par or better than a number of the others I posted.
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Post #14 by senate » Mon May 06, 2013 10:33 pm

Say what you will about the book, the Great Gatsby game is fantastic. http://greatgatsbygame.com/
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Post #15 by Bernie Bernbaum » Mon May 06, 2013 10:56 pm

Also disagree with her take on the novel re: the narrator and Fitzgerald's jealousy of the wealthy. I think the tension between American morality and American excess leaks through every page and largely thanks to Nick, who allows the reader to act the voyeur. It's impossible to read Gatsby (or at least, it's impossible for me to imagine reading it) and not feel covetous of the world Gatsby lives in, yet, at the same time, I think Fitzgerald does a great job of conveying the emptiness of Gatsby and his contemporaries' existences.

I'll have to read the Gillespie piece when I have the time.
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Post #16 by mcphee » Thu May 09, 2013 3:02 pm

Mr. Peanut wrote:I've read The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity's Rainbow. Lot 49 is a much better starting point. Shorter, less dense, easier to follow. His other highly thought of novel is V. The rest of his stuff is supposed to be a drop off from those three, but like I said, haven't read them.

As far as Gravity's Rainbow, my experience with it, especially in its later stages, is a lot like Ulysses, where the network of symbols and meaning becomes so densely layered and the plot so increasingly convoluted and nonsensical that by a certain point you're just slogging through nonsense with the occasional breakthrough. Unlike Joyce though, who's obsessed with his own impressiveness, Pynchon's more enjoyable because he's just gleefully indulging himself.


My daughter the literature major just walked in and :

'Are you reading Gravity's Rainbow ?'
Me- 'I would but I'm not smart enough anymore'
'Books like that, try reading them aloud ir start with his short stories'
Me-"Shut your mouth'.

I don't need this shit, goddamn smart kids.
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Post #17 by Jedrik » Thu May 30, 2013 4:31 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Starting A la recherche du temps perdu over again. First looked through the first and last books about a decade ago and was completely lost. Will try to finish by Dec 2017.


I read the first one a few years ago and didn't have any desire to go on. Felt sort of beautiful and repellent at the same time. Maybe I should give it another shake someday, but it would mean re-reading the first as well. Ehh.
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Post #18 by Bernie Bernbaum » Thu May 30, 2013 7:42 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Starting A la recherche du temps perdu over again. First looked through the first and last books about a decade ago and was completely lost. Will try to finish by Dec 2017.


Godspeed.
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Post #19 by Bernie Bernbaum » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:02 pm

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Post #20 by shredz » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:09 pm

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Post #21 by VLoo » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:37 pm

Amazon wrote:When you buy this book now for $5,678.00 and sell it back later for a $13.75 Amazon.com Gift Card,
it could cost you as little as $5,664.25. Restrictions Apply Learn more
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Post #22 by Paper Jam Dipper » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:08 pm

I decided to pick up On the Road today. I read it in high school but don't recall much on it. Will this change my life?
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Post #23 by Bernie Bernbaum » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:47 pm

Paper Jam Dipper wrote:I decided to pick up On the Road today. I read it in high school but don't recall much on it. Will this change my life?


I don't know. Are you a nineteen year old misogynist prone to exoticizing drugs and black people?
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Post #24 by Macbeth » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Frank D'Angelo wrote:I don't know. Are you a nineteen year old misogynist prone to exoticizing drugs and black people?


It will change his life then.
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Post #25 by Paper Jam Dipper » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:29 pm

Frank D'Angelo wrote:I don't know. Are you a nineteen year old misogynist prone to exoticizing drugs and black people?


Image
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Post #26 by mcphee » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:29 pm

So Elmore Leonard died. His books brought me a lot of pleasure. Lucky for me that there's enough of them and I'm old enough to reread and not remember them.

Bad for his family too.
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Post #27 by Paper Jam Dipper » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:09 pm

Leonard is one of the best banter writers ever.
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Post #28 by Bernie Bernbaum » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:05 am

Alice Munro wins the Nobel. I could not be happier.
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Post #29 by Bernie Bernbaum » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:45 pm

Big#D wrote:are those two sentences related?


Yes. There is no living writer I think is more deserving (well, McCarthy maybe), and while I try not to put much stock into prizes, her work is unparalleled, and it's nice to see that recognized on this scale.
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Post #30 by Paper Jam Dipper » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:47 am

dempsey_k wrote:28 “Favorite” Books That Are Huge Red Flags
These books are harmless. Until a friend or loved one tells you that one of them is their favorite.


To be honest, you’re probably going to see signs that this person is not worth your time before they drop the T bomb. If you don’t, may I recommend the jalapeño poppers? They’re lovely.


Golden.
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Post #31 by Craig » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:17 pm

I finally finished Brideshead last night. It was pretty good, but I can see why Waugh was disparaging of some of the language and grandeur he conveyed at first.

I'm much too divorced from religion and especially Roman Catholicism for this to be a powerful read for me. It's all about converting to something, or succumbing/admitting to a deep inner faith that you had been burying your whole life. It just doesn't apply for me, but I could see how it would for some others.
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Post #32 by senate » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:23 pm

dempsey_k wrote:28 “Favorite” Books That Are Huge Red Flags
These books are harmless. Until a friend or loved one tells you that one of them is their favorite.


Ulysses should be there over Finnegan's Wake. And how Jonathan Franzen escaped this list is beyond me.
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Post #33 by senate » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:51 pm

Ulysses is very "popular" among the English Lit. degree crowd because it topped all those Top 100 books of the 20th century lists that came out in late 90s. If you think that nobody says that The Corrections is their favourite book then you have never had small talk with a professional woman in her thirties.
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Post #34 by senate » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:25 pm

I'm not saying that Ulysses is a less important or lower quality work than Finnegan's Wake. I'm saying that the majority of people who claim Ulysses to be their favourite book have never read the book to completion and only claim to like it because of its status as the masterpiece of last century. And the quantity of people who love Ulysses without ever reading it is larger than the amount of people who do the same for Finnegan's Wake.

There is a large demographic of women who only ever read books as part of a book club. These women fucking love Franzen - which is understandable if the only other literature they have to compare him to is Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer, or whoever the fuck wrote 50 Shades.
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Post #35 by Paper Jam Dipper » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:27 pm

The list needed House of Leaves and written underneath would be, "The worst book you'll ever read but never admit in intellectual circles."
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Post #36 by Macbeth » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:13 pm

dempsey_k wrote:28 “Favorite” Books That Are Huge Red Flags
These books are harmless. Until a friend or loved one tells you that one of them is their favorite.


Mine's not on there. Image
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Post #37 by Jedrik » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:55 am

senate wrote:I'm not saying that Ulysses is a less important or lower quality work than Finnegan's Wake. I'm saying that the majority of people who claim Ulysses to be their favourite book have never read the book to completion and only claim to like it because of its status as the masterpiece of last century. And the quantity of people who love Ulysses without ever reading it is larger than the amount of people who do the same for Finnegan's Wake.

There is a large demographic of women who only ever read books as part of a book club. These women fucking love Franzen - which is understandable if the only other literature they have to compare him to is Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer, or whoever the fuck wrote 50 Shades.


I get your point, but it looks like the list/writer is targeting the books and not the folk who like to decorate their living rooms with books they never intend to read.

Never read Finnegan's Wake (and I doubt I ever will), but I don't think I'd take a list very seriously if it brushed off Ulysses on the grounds of its fraudulent claims to awesomeness.
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Post #38 by Dr_Chimera » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:41 am

dempsey_k wrote:28 “Favorite” Books That Are Huge Red Flags
These books are harmless. Until a friend or loved one tells you that one of them is their favorite.


Coelho - yes. Every fucking asshole on Facebook is reading this. His books are also shitty.
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Post #39 by Bernie Bernbaum » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:08 pm

That list is pretty sterling, save Lolita, which: fuck you, guy.
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Post #40 by Bernie Bernbaum » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:12 pm

senate wrote:I'm not saying that Ulysses is a less important or lower quality work than Finnegan's Wake. I'm saying that the majority of people who claim Ulysses to be their favourite book have never read the book to completion and only claim to like it because of its status as the masterpiece of last century. And the quantity of people who love Ulysses without ever reading it is larger than the amount of people who do the same for Finnegan's Wake.


Except there are people who will tell you Ulysses is their favourite book who are worth talking to.
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Post #41 by shredz » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:39 am

Kindle Führer: “Mein Kampf” Tops Amazon Charts

On Amazon, there are more than 100 versions of Mein Kampf for sale in every conceivable print and audio format, from antique hardbacks to brand-new paperbacks. Of those 100 iterations, just six are e-books—yet all six of them rank among the 10 best-selling versions overall. And those are just the ones people are paying for.


http://www.vocativ.com/01-2014/kindle-fuhrer-hitlers-e-book-gold-mein/

Article is a little long.
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Post #42 by Bernie Bernbaum » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:17 pm

I'm finishing up Kafka on the Shore and I definitely don't get the big deal with Murakami. I'm trying to be generous, because the work's in translation, but the flaws are glaring. The things he does well he does very well, but his characters emote and speak as convincingly as Keanu Reeves.
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Post #43 by Bernie Bernbaum » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:54 pm

dempsey_k wrote:try to find the Infinite Jest guy's short essay on Kafka and humor, which I think was in bazaar.


Of actual Kafka I've only ever read the Metamorphosis, which is something I've been meaning to amend. He seems right up my alley (then again, so did Murakami).
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Post #44 by senate » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:31 pm

Roderick Jaynes wrote:I'm finishing up Kafka and the Shore and I definitely don't get the big deal with Murakami. I'm trying to be generous, because the work's in translation, but the flaws are glaring. The things he does well he does very well, but his characters emote and speak as convincingly as Keanu Reeves.


Murakami's books are always uneven. Sometimes the good outweighs the bad, sometimes it doesn't, but it never comes all together. I think a lot of your problem with the dialogue and characterization is because the book is Japanese. It's a culture that isn't good at expressing emotion and a language that has a certain directness and an inability to deal with intricacies that can make it sound clumsy to English speakers.

But with that said, I didn't like Kafka On the Shore either. The surreal elements never came to together (like Kafka's relationship with his father, the thing with the painting, the multiple possible incests, or why the Johnny Walker character was included in the story). If you ever think of trying another Murakami, I suggest Norwegian Wood. Even though it is really just a coming of age novel with none of his trade mark surrealism or anything "Kafka-esque", I think it is his strongest work.
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Post #45 by Bernie Bernbaum » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:07 pm

senate wrote:Murakami's books are always uneven. Sometimes the good outweighs the bad, sometimes it doesn't, but it never comes all together. I think a lot of your problem with the dialogue and characterization is because the book is Japanese. It's a culture that isn't good at expressing emotion and a language that has a certain directness and an inability to deal with intricacies that can make it sound clumsy to English speakers.

But with that said, I didn't like Kafka On the Shore either. The surreal elements never came to together (like Kafka's relationship with his father, the thing with the painting, the multiple possible incests, or why the Johnny Walker character was included in the story). If you ever think of trying another Murakami, I suggest Norwegian Wood. Even though it is really just a coming of age novel with none of his trade mark surrealism or anything "Kafka-esque", I think it is his strongest work.


I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.
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Post #46 by chicpea » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:55 pm

I'm reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon. It't not high art, but it is art. It's also very enjoyable. Noir boiler detective style set in Alaska, which is the new Israel filled with gangsters.
According to local lore, Christ didn't commit any miracles while residing in Japan, but instead was just an extremely pleasant fellow to be around.

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