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657793 Posts in 9259 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: Das Book: the very new reading thread  (Read 66521 times)
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #250 on: Dec 14, 2007, 04:51:09 PM »

Yeah, but don't they have them now where it's not just a sticker?  It's like indelibly printed on the cover.

my hardcover copy of "the corrections" has the oprah's book club symbol printed right on the cover, but i find it really funny, so i'm glad i have that version.
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mountmccabe
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« Reply #251 on: Dec 14, 2007, 07:33:15 PM »

Yeah, but don't they have them now where it's not just a sticker?  It's like indelibly printed on the cover.

Yes.  Oh, wait.  I don't know.  I got a copy of The Road for my birthday but I guess the only  weird things on the cover are "NATIONAL BESTSELLER" and a "WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE" circle and a blurb from the SF Chronicle.

I def prefer to avoid movie tie-in covers and such but as long as the text inside is the same I won't get too huffy about it.


I also got Infinite Jest for my birthday so that's awesome too.  I just read me some McCarthy so I am going to start the DFW after I read a few more short stories from the Judy Budnitz I mentioned many pages back.

I have been slow at reading recently.
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andronicus
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« Reply #252 on: Dec 14, 2007, 08:18:51 PM »

i think you're kinda dubbing this to your preference, no bad thoughts implied.
If I get what you're saying, this is definitely true.  I think that writers should develop a natural language, and when they use a word that sticks out, it should stick out for a reason.  Not just because 'oh this is a neat word'.  But I don't know, I'm a reader and that distracts me.  Maybe it doesn't anyone else, I don't know.  I mean, there are other writers that do this.  Gibbon's use of the word 'insensibly' in the Decline and Fall distracted me terribly.
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Greg Nog
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« Reply #253 on: Dec 14, 2007, 08:23:56 PM »

My summary of one of my all-time favorites, D.H. Lawrence's "Women in Love":

Quote
Inchoate inchoate inchoate naked dudes wrestling inchoate
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Bernard
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« Reply #254 on: Dec 14, 2007, 08:38:43 PM »

I have started in on Tom McCarthy's "Remainder", and it's quite good so far. Got briefly distracted by Flaubert's "Dictionary of Received Ideas" which was delightful.

This bit of McCarthy, about a guy re-learning how to use his body after coming out of a coma, reminded me of bootstrapping and I thought about posting to it another thread (which shall remain nameless). I thought the better of it, ultimately:

"Rerouting is exactly what it sounds like: finding a new route through the brain for commands to run along...To cut and lay the new circuits, what they do is make you visualize things. Simple things, like lifting a carrot to your mouth. For the first week or so, they don't give you a carrot, or even make you try to move your hand at all: they just ask you to visualize taking a carrot in your right hand, wrapping your fingers around it, and then levering your whole forearm upwards from the elbow until the carrot reaches your mouth...But then you take a carrot -- they bring you a fucking carrot, gnarled, dirty and irregular in ways your imaginary carrot never was, and they stick it in your hands -- and you know, you just know as soon as you see the bastard thing that it's not going to work...It took another week to get it right. We went back to the blackboard, factoring in the surplus signals we'd not factored in before, then back through visualization, then back to a real carrot again. I hate carrots now. I still can't eat them to this day."

I don't know, I find it very funny.
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Trousers and Pat
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« Reply #255 on: Dec 19, 2007, 08:55:18 PM »

So I just started reading The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland (new book?), and there's this part saying that dogs can only hear vowels, not consonants.
Now my gut reaction is to call bullshit.
I like the idea though.
Kind of like "dogs can't look up"
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maggiego
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« Reply #256 on: Dec 19, 2007, 09:12:23 PM »

I'm just kinda curious, as I have been living under a literary rock-- no reviews, no browsing even-- Who read a 2007 book they loved? I want to read the new Oliver Sacks kinda, though I don't know much about it. This is as disconnected as I have been from the book world since I was a kid-- tell me about your reading of new releases, please?
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coldforge
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« Reply #257 on: Dec 19, 2007, 09:16:01 PM »

'strue. I named my dog KKKKKK and he never comes when I call him.
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auto-da-fey
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« Reply #258 on: Dec 19, 2007, 09:27:03 PM »

I'm just kinda curious, as I have been living under a literary rock-- no reviews, no browsing even-- Who read a 2007 book they loved?

Daniel Hurewitz's Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics is a great book that integrates queer history into a broader notion of "bohemian" history by looking at community formation among queers, communists, and artists in mid-20th-century Silver Lake. Bonus points cuz it's about my 'hood.

I also really admired Joseph Crespino's In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution, a fresh look at the rise of the New Right with particular emphasis on school resegregation under the guise of Christian private schools.

My third vote is for Elana Levine's Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television, which uses sharp research to show how TV both normalized the sexual revolution and made it "safe" for mainstream consumption, but also drew the parameters of the acceptable in a way that perpetuated the dominance of the hetero-marital-procreative sexual framework--probably a predictable analysis, but a well-supported one, in a nicely written book.

Does that help any?
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lastclearchance
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« Reply #259 on: Dec 19, 2007, 11:36:58 PM »

Who read a 2007 book they loved?

I mentioned it upthread but I loved The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Overweight first-generation Dominican-American uber-nerd Oscar wants to be a writer, to lose weight, to get laid once in his life before he dies. His sister wants to get out from under the iron fist of their mother, who wants to make a life for herself and her children in New Jersey after escaping the Dominican Republic during Trujillo's brutal regime. An interesting narrative about a family's past and present struggles, interwoven with Hispanic slang, sci-fi references, and above all Dominican culture and history. It's a novel about the Dominican diaspora in America and about surviving life.

A lot of LPTJ (myself included) really liked The Road too. This thread and the last kept turning into the Cormac McCarthy Discussion and Praise Party. edit: but as Jim points out below it was from 2006.
« Last Edit: Dec 19, 2007, 11:59:16 PM by lastclearchance » Logged

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YojimboMonkey
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« Reply #260 on: Dec 19, 2007, 11:40:59 PM »

Since I received a copy of The Road for Christmas last year I'm guessing it doesn't count as a 2007 release.  I don't really know how the rules work though.  I am also being completely unhelpful so I'll just fuck off now.
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auto-da-fey
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« Reply #261 on: Dec 19, 2007, 11:41:49 PM »

I mentioned it upthread but I loved The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

I'd love to read this. I admired Drown a lot. I keep telling myself I'll read more fiction and then failing to follow through. I did just buy two Chester Himes books for about a buck each on half.com, though, so maybe soon . . .
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lastclearchance
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« Reply #262 on: Dec 19, 2007, 11:58:46 PM »

Since I received a copy of The Road for Christmas last year I'm guessing it doesn't count as a 2007 release.  I don't really know how the rules work though.  I am also being completely unhelpful so I'll just fuck off now.

Whoops! Now that I think about it, I bought my copy in 2006 too; I just didn't get around to reading it until this year. Thanks for the correction.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #263 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:09:56 AM »

I'm just kinda curious, as I have been living under a literary rock-- no reviews, no browsing even-- Who read a 2007 book they loved? I want to read the new Oliver Sacks kinda, though I don't know much about it. This is as disconnected as I have been from the book world since I was a kid-- tell me about your reading of new releases, please?

my answer will probably really bum you out since i know your tastes are way more highbrow than mine, but here we go:

joe hill's "heart shaped box" is a pretty incredible horror novel that came out in january and was completely overshadowed by all the hype about him actually being stephen king's son, joseph hillstrom king (which he did not want people to know). a bunch of people on here will proceed to tell me that i'm a tasteless moron for loving this book, but i did love it. and i read it when it was still an advance copy and no one yet knew that he was king's son.

al burian's "natural disaster" is another collection of stories he originally published in burn collector, but this time, instead of just reprinting the zines in book form, he cut them up and re-edited them into a loose narrative. i think the guy is a great writer, and i had a blast reading this. i'd read half the stuff in it before and i didn't even care.

laura lippman's "what the dead know" is a really good crime novel by another awesome baltimore writer (who happens to be married to david simon). this is something like her 12th book but i'd never checked her out before. i got a promo copy of this book right around the time i found out she was married to simon, though, which piqued my curiosity. also, people were saying that it was significantly better than anything else she'd ever written. i loved it, and i would think other people who dig dark, character-driven crime novels would too. but it's not that much like "the wire" at all, so let me warn everyone of that right now.

and finally, i'm the kind of weirdo who loves henry rollins's intense angry depressing books of journal entries, so i really enjoyed his new one, "a dull roar". bought it when i saw him, along with two other really recent books, and this one was my favorite of the three. "fanatic vol. 2", which is basically just henry talking about music for 400 pages, was also really fun, but i don't recommend "roomanitarian" too highly. i've never thought this guy was all that good at the prose-poetry stuff he sometimes does, and that's most of "roomanitarian". so that one was kind of a slog for me. but yeah, "a dull roar". liked that one.
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lastclearchance
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« Reply #264 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:14:52 AM »

but it's not that much like "the wire" at all, so let me warn everyone of that right now.

yeah, nothing is, except maybe Homicide and The Corner

though I do like me some George Pelecanos
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hannah
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« Reply #265 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:22:57 AM »

I think the only 2007 book I read was Allen Shawn's book about his phobias. He's the son of William, brother of Wallace, ex-husband of Jamaica Kincaid. It was interesting, if slight.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #266 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:27:22 AM »

I don't think I read a new novel this year. I hardly ever read extremely current fiction unless there's a new release from one of my favorites.
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think 'on the road.'
Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #267 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:28:19 AM »

but it's not that much like "the wire" at all, so let me warn everyone of that right now.

yeah, nothing is, except maybe Homicide and The Corner

though I do like me some George Pelecanos

YES! his shit is really good too! i'm sure if he'd had a book out in 2007 i'd have mentioned it, he's a big favorite of mine. lippman's stuff IS similar to his, in some ways, though not in others.

and by the way, i just listed the 2007 books that i loved. i probably read 20 or so books that came out this year.
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nonotyet
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« Reply #268 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:29:32 AM »

My copy of the Steve Martin biography thingy finally came in at the library yesterday and I imagine it will crack some sort of best-of-2007 (along with St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves) but I am not reading it yet because my aunt lent me a copy of Wicked. It is pretty good and I am also going to work up my reaction to it because my aunt mentioned upon lending it to me that maybe she wants to take me to see the stage version in Chicago. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BROADWAY PLAY GUYS
oh except Angels in America
and the Phantom of the Opera but we do not speak of that time

This post is more about really wonderful aunts than it is books.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #269 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:36:14 AM »

You saw Angels in America and you're bitching you've never seen a broadway play

You are going to angry up my blood nny
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think 'on the road.'
nonotyet
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« Reply #270 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:42:26 AM »

I only saw Part One. We didn't get to see Millenium.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #271 on: Dec 20, 2007, 12:06:32 PM »

That would take like seven hours anyway
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think 'on the road.'
Lucy
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« Reply #272 on: Dec 20, 2007, 12:10:40 PM »

i really loved the new denis johnson book, tree of smoke. vietnam war, lots of characters all tied together really well, and you care about it without it being schlocky or trivialized. his prose is really strong. won the national book award for fiction too, i believe.
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rockmeamadeus
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« Reply #273 on: Dec 20, 2007, 12:26:35 PM »

Now that I am a damned old college graduate, I am reading me some crap! Woooooo! I've got Miles Davis' autobiography (as good as the bible) and How to Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way (OH YES) going.

Also I'm reading The Wretched of the Earth again. That shit is poetry.
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Greg Nog
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« Reply #274 on: Dec 20, 2007, 12:28:11 PM »

As far as I can recall, I think I only read two 2007 books this year?  I think just two, yeah.

The World Without Us was some lovely nonfiction about humanity's impact on the Earth, and features some hypothesizing about what would happen if we all suddenly disappeared.  There was really more of the former to the book than the latter, though; the disappearance-consequences seemed to be more there as a clever angle to get people interested.  Which worked, of course, because I am total sucker for end-of-humanity stories. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in a bit of science; it's very readable, very interesting.  And like half the environment-related science stories I saw in the news this year seemed to be swiped directly from this book:
"There's a patch of primeval forest in Poland that's totally kickass!" 
"There's a pile of floating garbage in the middle of the Pacific!  Crazy!"
"Lexington avenue would collapse into a river if it wasn't for the machines constantly pumping water out of the subways!  Awesome!"

Edmund White's Chaos was, I think, the only new 2007 fiction I read.  One novella, and a few additional short stories.  I picked it up on a whim, 'cause I happened to be browsing at Barnes and Noble when he was speaking there, and I saw that the titular novella was about an old man picking up younger dudes on Craigslist, so I figured it sounded promising. 

I was shocked to find that it was absolutely, amazingly beautiful.  There's a lot of humor in it, but also a tremendous amount of pathos and tenderness and sympathy for the characters, all delivered by a writer who's clearly -- and I don't toss a phrase like this around lightly -- a master of his craft.  White's got this incredible sense of economy, packing more density into each sentence than I've ever seen in any other living writer.  I'm less effusive about his sense of larger narrative structure, but honestly, the moment-to-moment writing is so good that I didn't even mind that.  It would be like complaining that a chocolate torte is tasty and all, but it's not really a meal.

Anyway, I loved it.  I believe Wally read it, too, so perhaps he can back me up here.
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