Author Topic: books to read  (Read 246820 times)

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UgolinoTheSignificant

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1530 on: December 13, 2012, 08:47:38 PM »
I read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and liked about half of the stories in there and no where near as much as I had expected. I hope his other stuff is better. I have a copy of Infinite Jest (and I'm glad I do), but it's no where near the top of my list. I think I might try The Broom of the System at some point before trying IJ and see if DFW is just not for me.

Broom isn't really representative of DFW's main body of work. If you don't have the time to read IJ I suggest you check out Oblivion.

i support this suggestion, ij is by far his richest and yet most tedious, oblivion or girl with the curious hair would be better to start with. with brief interviews with hideous men, he is working within a pretty narrow conceptual frame
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oyolar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1531 on: December 13, 2012, 09:15:01 PM »
I read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and liked about half of the stories in there and no where near as much as I had expected. I hope his other stuff is better. I have a copy of Infinite Jest (and I'm glad I do), but it's no where near the top of my list. I think I might try The Broom of the System at some point before trying IJ and see if DFW is just not for me.

Broom isn't really representative of DFW's main body of work. If you don't have the time to read IJ I suggest you check out Oblivion.

i support this suggestion, ij is by far his richest and yet most tedious, oblivion or girl with the curious hair would be better to start with. with brief interviews with hideous men, he is working within a pretty narrow conceptual frame


Except for the interviews themselves, what was his conceptual frame? Topic wise, it was really no different from what I've been told DFW writes about in his novels and it wasn't much different from his quotes and articles I've read. It really just seemed overly tedious and pretentious and like I've read it all before, both stylistically and subject matter wise. I feel like I was sitting there going, "I see what you're doing, but you could be doing it better." You can tell he was influenced by Joyce and Pynchon and admittedly, it's hard to hold a candle to those guys, while his extensive use of footnotes didn't surprise me since I saw it before with House of Leaves albeit DFW came first. Like I said, some of the stories I really liked, but even those did not leave much of a lasting impression. I seem to be in the minority of this and I'm completely open to the fact that I might not have read the right book and am interested in his other works.

I think too that I might have gone in with too high of expectations since a friend of mine loves DFW and gushes over him.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 09:17:03 PM by oyolar »

Pango

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1532 on: December 13, 2012, 09:22:22 PM »
Yes I'm a loser and a double major at college in history and secondary education....

if you all are into world lit I suggest a series by Amitav Gosh, starting with Sea of Poppies.  Its really deep shit and you learn a lot


sven thorkel

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1533 on: December 13, 2012, 09:51:35 PM »
I read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and liked about half of the stories in there and no where near as much as I had expected. I hope his other stuff is better. I have a copy of Infinite Jest (and I'm glad I do), but it's no where near the top of my list. I think I might try The Broom of the System at some point before trying IJ and see if DFW is just not for me.

Broom isn't really representative of DFW's main body of work. If you don't have the time to read IJ I suggest you check out Oblivion.

i support this suggestion, ij is by far his richest and yet most tedious, oblivion or girl with the curious hair would be better to start with. with brief interviews with hideous men, he is working within a pretty narrow conceptual frame


Except for the interviews themselves, what was his conceptual frame? Topic wise, it was really no different from what I've been told DFW writes about in his novels and it wasn't much different from his quotes and articles I've read. It really just seemed overly tedious and pretentious and like I've read it all before, both stylistically and subject matter wise. I feel like I was sitting there going, "I see what you're doing, but you could be doing it better." You can tell he was influenced by Joyce and Pynchon and admittedly, it's hard to hold a candle to those guys, while his extensive use of footnotes didn't surprise me since I saw it before with House of Leaves albeit DFW came first. Like I said, some of the stories I really liked, but even those did not leave much of a lasting impression. I seem to be in the minority of this and I'm completely open to the fact that I might not have read the right book and am interested in his other works.

I think too that I might have gone in with too high of expectations since a friend of mine loves DFW and gushes over him.

from what ive read Infinite Jest is my favorite, and i highly recommend it even though its such a time devotion. if you want something easier to digest i would go with Consider The Lobster, or like kilgore said, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. i wasn't really feeling The Broom Of The System, mind you i read that after Infinite Jest, and i only like a few stories from Girl With Curious Hair ("Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" is worth the read though).
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Re: books to read
« Reply #1534 on: December 14, 2012, 03:13:13 AM »
if you all are into world lit I suggest a series by Amitav Gosh, starting with Sea of Poppies.

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« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 03:21:13 AM by sametelt »

Alan

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1535 on: December 14, 2012, 06:03:02 AM »
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Re: books to read
« Reply #1536 on: December 14, 2012, 10:12:22 AM »
Fellow SLAP readers,

I come seeking advice.  I read a considerable amount at my job (which is awsome).  The only thing that hinders my reading is finding out new authors/books to divulge in.  Therefore, I come asking for some recommendations.  I do not like books that are too old.  I have read alot older short stories and novels and they just don't do it for me.  So, I am interested in new literature including...
 
1) A grotesque novel, but with a good plot.
2) A hilarious novel that will have me shitting my pants.
3) A random novel that you think should be read by everyone everywhere (basically, your favorite novel of all time).

Thanks in advance for the advice and I will let you know what I think of them upon completion. 


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UgolinoTheSignificant

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1537 on: December 14, 2012, 10:20:04 AM »
I read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and liked about half of the stories in there and no where near as much as I had expected. I hope his other stuff is better. I have a copy of Infinite Jest (and I'm glad I do), but it's no where near the top of my list. I think I might try The Broom of the System at some point before trying IJ and see if DFW is just not for me.

Broom isn't really representative of DFW's main body of work. If you don't have the time to read IJ I suggest you check out Oblivion.

i support this suggestion, ij is by far his richest and yet most tedious, oblivion or girl with the curious hair would be better to start with. with brief interviews with hideous men, he is working within a pretty narrow conceptual frame


Except for the interviews themselves, what was his conceptual frame? Topic wise, it was really no different from what I've been told DFW writes about in his novels and it wasn't much different from his quotes and articles I've read. It really just seemed overly tedious and pretentious and like I've read it all before, both stylistically and subject matter wise. I feel like I was sitting there going, "I see what you're doing, but you could be doing it better." You can tell he was influenced by Joyce and Pynchon and admittedly, it's hard to hold a candle to those guys, while his extensive use of footnotes didn't surprise me since I saw it before with House of Leaves albeit DFW came first. Like I said, some of the stories I really liked, but even those did not leave much of a lasting impression. I seem to be in the minority of this and I'm completely open to the fact that I might not have read the right book and am interested in his other works.

I think too that I might have gone in with too high of expectations since a friend of mine loves DFW and gushes over him.

from what ive read Infinite Jest is my favorite, and i highly recommend it even though its such a time devotion. if you want something easier to digest i would go with Consider The Lobster, or like kilgore said, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. i wasn't really feeling The Broom Of The System, mind you i read that after Infinite Jest, and i only like a few stories from Girl With Curious Hair ("Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" is worth the read though).

dfws earlier stuff is more concerned with metafiction and emulating barth and barthelme etc., girl with the curious hair and oblivion have much of that stylistic feel, broom with the system has the same sort of philosophical underpinnings but the actual dialogue and writing through which he conveys it is more straigtforward, simple, and less convoluted...in his interviews he talks about trying to escape irony and reach for a sincere emotional thrust of his work, and the concept of BIWHM, in my opinion, is more or a less a bunch of character studies of "hideous men." men lacking empathy, treating others badly, and expositions of the sort of ugly behavior that should be morally reprehensible.

you know? like don't be like these guys. dfw on the whole is very cerebral, and definitely can be pretentious, but it always comes from a sort of formality that enjoys picking itself apart, if you don't find yourself enjoying it i would suggest someone else, maybe saul bellow?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 10:24:20 AM by UgolinoTheSignificant »
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ChronicBluntSlider

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1538 on: December 14, 2012, 12:23:50 PM »
Fellow SLAP readers,

I come seeking advice.  I read a considerable amount at my job (which is awsome).  The only thing that hinders my reading is finding out new authors/books to divulge in.  Therefore, I come asking for some recommendations.  I do not like books that are too old.  I have read alot older short stories and novels and they just don't do it for me.  So, I am interested in new literature including...
 
1) A grotesque novel, but with a good plot.
2) A hilarious novel that will have me shitting my pants.
3) A random novel that you think should be read by everyone everywhere (basically, your favorite novel of all time).

Thanks in advance for the advice and I will let you know what I think of them upon completion. 

Its kind of old, 60s I think, but Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole is one of the funniest novel I've read, and one of my favorites.

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1539 on: December 14, 2012, 12:48:40 PM »
Fellow SLAP readers,

I come seeking advice.  I read a considerable amount at my job (which is awsome).  The only thing that hinders my reading is finding out new authors/books to divulge in.  Therefore, I come asking for some recommendations.  I do not like books that are too old.  I have read alot older short stories and novels and they just don't do it for me.  So, I am interested in new literature including...
 
1) A grotesque novel, but with a good plot.
2) A hilarious novel that will have me shitting my pants.
3) A random novel that you think should be read by everyone everywhere (basically, your favorite novel of all time).

Thanks in advance for the advice and I will let you know what I think of them upon completion. 

Its kind of old, 60s I think, but Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole is one of the funniest novel I've read, and one of my favorites.

Word up.  I'll get it up out the Lib today.  Good looks.


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oyolar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1540 on: December 14, 2012, 01:08:29 PM »
@Ugolino

Yeah, I definitely see what you're saying. Like I said, I might have had too high of expectations of him. I have no problem with cerebral, meta, post-modern, pretentious, etc. authors (I love Joyce and have read Ulysses several times for example) so the fact that I didn't like DFW too much right away was just kind of surprising and odd for me, you know? I'll have to put Saul Bellow on my list anyway-once I read everyone else on it.

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1541 on: December 14, 2012, 08:30:54 PM »

about wolves and shit
I like dogs and wilderness, but I was not into that book.

You're tripping. Love that book, haven't read it in years, might pick it up again

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1542 on: December 14, 2012, 08:41:52 PM »

about wolves and shit
I like dogs and wilderness, but I was not into that book.

You're tripping. Love that book, haven't read it in years, might pick it up again

UgolinoTheSignificant

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1543 on: December 14, 2012, 08:54:57 PM »
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AnotherHardDayAtTheOffice

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1544 on: December 15, 2012, 04:37:46 AM »
Fellow SLAP readers,

I come seeking advice.  I read a considerable amount at my job (which is awsome).  The only thing that hinders my reading is finding out new authors/books to divulge in.  Therefore, I come asking for some recommendations.  I do not like books that are too old.  I have read alot older short stories and novels and they just don't do it for me.  So, I am interested in new literature including...
 
1) A grotesque novel, but with a good plot.
2) A hilarious novel that will have me shitting my pants.
3) A random novel that you think should be read by everyone everywhere (basically, your favorite novel of all time).

Thanks in advance for the advice and I will let you know what I think of them upon completion. 

Confederacy of Dunces, as mentioned, is an obvious and really good choice. Another one to check out would maybe be One Hundred Years of Solitude or some other novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez since they're funny and weird at the same time...

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1545 on: December 15, 2012, 04:45:05 AM »
GGM's novels are everything but funny. Even the bits of humor which do appear are dripping with melancholy.

I recommend The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov.
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Greg Ostertag

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1546 on: December 19, 2012, 08:55:23 PM »
I read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and liked about half of the stories in there and no where near as much as I had expected. I hope his other stuff is better. I have a copy of Infinite Jest (and I'm glad I do), but it's no where near the top of my list. I think I might try The Broom of the System at some point before trying IJ and see if DFW is just not for me.

Broom isn't really representative of DFW's main body of work. If you don't have the time to read IJ I suggest you check out Oblivion.

i support this suggestion, ij is by far his richest and yet most tedious, oblivion or girl with the curious hair would be better to start with. with brief interviews with hideous men, he is working within a pretty narrow conceptual frame


Except for the interviews themselves, what was his conceptual frame? Topic wise, it was really no different from what I've been told DFW writes about in his novels and it wasn't much different from his quotes and articles I've read. It really just seemed overly tedious and pretentious and like I've read it all before, both stylistically and subject matter wise. I feel like I was sitting there going, "I see what you're doing, but you could be doing it better." You can tell he was influenced by Joyce and Pynchon and admittedly, it's hard to hold a candle to those guys, while his extensive use of footnotes didn't surprise me since I saw it before with House of Leaves albeit DFW came first. Like I said, some of the stories I really liked, but even those did not leave much of a lasting impression. I seem to be in the minority of this and I'm completely open to the fact that I might not have read the right book and am interested in his other works.

I think too that I might have gone in with too high of expectations since a friend of mine loves DFW and gushes over him.

from what ive read Infinite Jest is my favorite, and i highly recommend it even though its such a time devotion. if you want something easier to digest i would go with Consider The Lobster, or like kilgore said, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. i wasn't really feeling The Broom Of The System, mind you i read that after Infinite Jest, and i only like a few stories from Girl With Curious Hair ("Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" is worth the read though).

dfws earlier stuff is more concerned with metafiction and emulating barth and barthelme etc., girl with the curious hair and oblivion have much of that stylistic feel, broom with the system has the same sort of philosophical underpinnings but the actual dialogue and writing through which he conveys it is more straigtforward, simple, and less convoluted...in his interviews he talks about trying to escape irony and reach for a sincere emotional thrust of his work, and the concept of BIWHM, in my opinion, is more or a less a bunch of character studies of "hideous men." men lacking empathy, treating others badly, and expositions of the sort of ugly behavior that should be morally reprehensible.

you know? like don't be like these guys. dfw on the whole is very cerebral, and definitely can be pretentious, but it always comes from a sort of formality that enjoys picking itself apart, if you don't find yourself enjoying it i would suggest someone else, maybe saul bellow?

Formality that enjoys picking itself apart? Could you clarify what you mean by that?
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UgolinoTheSignificant

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1547 on: December 20, 2012, 07:05:07 AM »
@greg I meant as opposed to just writing with the tone and precision of an analytic philosopher and being just flat out pretentious look how smart I am, his writing tends to pick things apart to immense detail, go on inward spirals of thought processes and discussions, and take an ironic undercutting approach to any definitive or intelligent proclamations. it is never just stating complex things as much as it is going back over any ideas and arguments and always questioning any assumptions and never taking any fact or statement for granted. a lot of the overly scholarly (formal) language is used in an un-enthused or sardonic way to discuss the banalities of everyday life.

again all of this is offhand and my opinion, if you really are interested in extracting the essence of his work i recommend picking this book up

i own it and it is not a difficult read and also very insightful. cheers.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 07:06:47 AM by UgolinoTheSignificant »
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AnotherHardDayAtTheOffice

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1548 on: December 20, 2012, 10:15:07 AM »
GGM's novels are everything but funny. Even the bits of humor which do appear are dripping with melancholy.

They're certainly not funny in the same way as "Confederacy of Dunces" but they're definitely full of dark humour. "Love in the Time of Cholera" is a better example than OHYOS though.

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1549 on: December 20, 2012, 05:58:31 PM »
Dennis Mckenna's book about his life with Terence Mckenna.  Just started it but pretty good so far.  Looking forward to La Chorrera and beyond.


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Re: books to read
« Reply #1550 on: December 20, 2012, 07:30:29 PM »
Picked up south of the border, west of the sun as well as Kafka on the shore by Murakami today.

Liking south of the border a few chapters in, real light read (coming from a person who hasn't read a novel in a few years).

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1551 on: December 20, 2012, 07:40:43 PM »


It definitely made me think about the modern civilized world very differently. Also, it's only 200 pages so you can knock it out on a day off. 

Greg Ostertag

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1552 on: December 21, 2012, 01:20:22 AM »
@greg I meant as opposed to just writing with the tone and precision of an analytic philosopher and being just flat out pretentious look how smart I am, his writing tends to pick things apart to immense detail, go on inward spirals of thought processes and discussions, and take an ironic undercutting approach to any definitive or intelligent proclamations. it is never just stating complex things as much as it is going back over any ideas and arguments and always questioning any assumptions and never taking any fact or statement for granted. a lot of the overly scholarly (formal) language is used in an un-enthused or sardonic way to discuss the banalities of everyday life.

again all of this is offhand and my opinion, if you really are interested in extracting the essence of his work i recommend picking this book up

i own it and it is not a difficult read and also very insightful. cheers.

I see what you're getting at. That said, I also think that pretense can only move in certain directions. The shorter the better with these types... Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49" was incredible, but anything longer than that feels incredibly redundant.
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Re: books to read
« Reply #1553 on: December 21, 2012, 08:32:12 AM »
Murakami is delicious. I enjoyed reading South of the Border, West of the Sun. It is an easy read that requires just enough thinking to solidify its substance. More though, I dig the fuck out of Sputnik Sweetheart. The arc continually oscillates, impossible to figure out until swinging from your own Ferris wheel. Murakami writes about love and it is accessible, not overly wrought with either end of cliche.

I remember reading Garcia Marquez for the first time. I was with a Colombian woman at the time and we were drinking chai at a bookstore in Fort Collins. I knew very little of Colombia, which is still the case, but she said to me "Steve, baby, if you want to feel the essence of my home, you must read this book. It is magical realism. I hope that you like it." The book blew me away and I felt something close to sad when I finished it. the Buendia family has since popped up in my poetry from time to time... I've still got the coverless copy sitting on the shelf of important books. 

I might have mentioned it earlier, Danzi Senna's Caucasia is another good read.

Starting reading Langston Hughes' "The Best of Simple" this morning. Man, the shorts fed to me sophomore year of high school were watered down.

Recently read "Never Fall Down" by Patricia McCormack. It's a memoir written as the fictional account of a Khmer Rouge survivor. I've been doing a lot of Khmer studies over the past year or so and have stayed away from the memoir pit, I would however, recommend this to anyone, regardless of interest in Cambodia. Khmer, as might be the case with other Asian languages, has only present tense, and the speaker, Arn, uses only present tense in English. "I go to camp" opposed to "I am going" or "I went." "My family kill in jungle" juxtaposed on "My family was killed in the jungle" brings a humanizing quality to this story that I don't often experience. It could be because of having some insight on a few Khmer grammar rules, but i dig it. It also got me thinking about the Buddhist experience of time and language facilitating an unconscious reinforcement of the present.

ChronicBluntSlider

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1554 on: December 21, 2012, 09:27:25 AM »
/\ I always knew Langston Hughes as a poet, but not long ago read his short story collection The Way of White Folks. It was good stuff.

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1555 on: December 21, 2012, 03:48:27 PM »
Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley.  The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin.

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1556 on: December 21, 2012, 03:55:46 PM »
The Wave by Walter Mosley is a good one

oyolar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1557 on: December 21, 2012, 11:24:39 PM »
I cannot get into GGM. I tried reading one if his short story collections that a friend loaned to me since he talked him up so much and I gave it back after a few stories after I was bored by every story. I also hate the phrase "magical realism." I find it unnecessary.

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Re: books to read
« Reply #1558 on: December 21, 2012, 11:29:10 PM »
Oxy morons are unnecessary. Magical realism? Riiiigghhht.

 You and the D00D have turned this thread into a horrible head-on-collision between a short bus full of retarded kids and a van full of paraplegics.



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Re: books to read
« Reply #1559 on: December 22, 2012, 10:55:50 AM »
has anyone read anything by john niven? the daywalker at the bookstore nearly busted a nut when he recommended niven's novels - but before any purchases, I wanted to consult the council... so?
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