Author Topic: books to read  (Read 246952 times)

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rideflannel

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2430 on: January 11, 2016, 06:22:21 AM »
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Highly recommend "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat-Moon. It's a bit dense, but a good bedside book. Also recommend anything by Peter Hessler.

Thanks, Can of Soup! I'll check 'em out.

Tufty

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2431 on: January 14, 2016, 11:10:44 AM »

dkn

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2432 on: January 16, 2016, 02:46:41 PM »


Mary Ruefle's Madness Rack and Honey
some great insights regarding the world of metaphor and dynamics of english language.  beautiful stuff.  i found a used copy of her first book that's signed "thanks for the scotch!"

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Susan Sontag's on Photography
discussions on voyeurism and all other topics relating to the camera.  great stuff.

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I Love Roses when they're Past their Best
great contemporary poetry at war with irony, yet succumbing to it

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Alan

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2433 on: January 26, 2016, 08:59:13 AM »


Just 30 pages in, but I like it. It's a fictionalization of the Spartacus revolt. I loved Koestler's second novel, Darkness at Noon, and this one seems to be as good, so far.
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posguy

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2434 on: January 26, 2016, 09:07:35 AM »
Just finished The Black Company by Glen Cook and found it very interesting and well written if you're into fantasy/war novels. Gonna read Catch 22 and then the 13 Hours accounting next.

shark tits

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2435 on: January 26, 2016, 02:34:45 PM »
i'm reading 'freakanomics' right now and it's got some interesting insights that will seem profound for a moment and prolly get forgot.

oyolar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2436 on: January 27, 2016, 10:03:17 AM »
i'm reading 'freakanomics' right now and it's got some interesting insights that will seem profound for a moment and prolly get forgot.

Haha. Yeah, that's how most of those types of books usually work.

oyolar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2437 on: February 01, 2016, 08:20:07 PM »
Just finished Borges's Ficciones and while it was fun and I liked his style, I didn't like the stories themselves as much as I woulhave hoped. He definitely seemed more interested in creating te puzzles of the stories than really the stories themselves.

I also listened to Aziz Ansari's and Eric Klinenberg's pop-sociology book Modern Romance.. It was interesting and gave me some good points to think about and mull over but as someone who has studied sociology, I feel as though the largest takeaways for less informed readers were fairly rote for me.  But it was still amusing and interesting.  It was also my first ever audiobook, so that was a cool experience in itself. I listened to the whole thing in less than two days.  I definitely see how audiobooks are convenient and could help you get through a larger number of books, but I dont think I could do it for a fiction or even more complicated non-faction book.

I'm about to start The Savage Detectives by BolaŮo.  I don't remember who recommended it in this thread, but that's one of the main reasons I picked it up and I'm excited for it.  I also picked up the recent collection of Clarice Lispector's short stories and am really looking forward to chipping away at that. She's supposed to be amazing.

Scott F LaDouche

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2438 on: February 01, 2016, 10:09:58 PM »
Mein Kampf

ChronicBluntSlider

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2439 on: February 02, 2016, 12:20:22 AM »


I read this a little while ago now, but one of my favorite novels I ever read. It begins with a writer and an editor in Soviet Russia discussing an article the writer was assigned to write about how Jesus never existed, then the devil shows up in human form, kills the editor and then unleashes chaos upon Moscow. Must've been Jagger's inspiration for Sympathy for the Devil. Some lines from the song are pulled directly from the book.

AnotherHardDayAtTheOffice

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2440 on: February 03, 2016, 07:23:22 AM »

I'm about to start The Savage Detectives by Bola�o.  I don't remember who recommended it in this thread, but that's one of the main reasons I picked it up and I'm excited for it.  I also picked up the recent collection of Clarice Lispector's short stories and am really looking forward to chipping away at that. She's supposed to be amazing.

That's so awesome. It was me who recommended The Savage Detectives  8) I'm really interested in what you have to say about the book. It definitely has its awkward moments, but I just love the overall style of it.  I plan on re-reading it some time soon as well. Let me know if you have any questions about it! There's definitely a couple of passages (especially in the 2nd part) that you just have to power through, but in the end it's all worth it. I'm sure you'll get "the point" (in the lack of a better term) of that style eventually. For now, enjoy the 1st part and - spoiler alert - Garcia Madero's countless orgasms  ;).

I totally agree with yatallfreak. This is one of my favorite threads on Slap. I picked up countless books because y'all. Oyolar made me pick up Nabokov and Pynchon for the first time, both of which I love now.

AnotherHardDayAtTheOffice

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2441 on: February 03, 2016, 07:33:20 AM »


I read this a little while ago now, but one of my favorite novels I ever read. It begins with a writer and an editor in Soviet Russia discussing an article the writer was assigned to write about how Jesus never existed, then the devil shows up in human form, kills the editor and then unleashes chaos upon Moscow. Must've been Jagger's inspiration for Sympathy for the Devil. Some lines from the song are pulled directly from the book.

Nice. The Master and Margarita is the next book I'll pick up. I already picked up a copy from the bookstore. I'm really looking forward to reading it. I've heard nothing but good things about Bulgakow.

Right now, I'm half-way through Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I love it. It's about this Nigerian girl who moves to the States to study. The book offers an outside-inside perspective both on Nigeria (by someone who left it) and American society - especially American racism - (by someone who came there). Even though I moved to the States from Germany (which I bet is totally different from Nigerian society), I was able to relate to a lot of the narrator's observations about America. There were a lot of moments that made me want to scream out "Fuck yeah, that's exactly what this is like."


oyolar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2442 on: February 03, 2016, 09:16:08 AM »
Haha. What a funny little circle of recommendations.  I'll keep you updated with what I think about it.

Let me know your thoughts on Americanah.  A good friend of mine actually finished either that one or another of her books (I can't remember right now) so I'm interested in how your impression of it aligns/differs.

thepman

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2443 on: February 03, 2016, 10:13:07 AM »
Remarkable read. One of my all time favourites.

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20matar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2444 on: February 03, 2016, 04:08:16 PM »
I'm currently in a biographical mood. I went back to reading Che Guevara's, "A Revolutionary Life", by Jon Lee Anderson. Talk about a fucking door stopper. It has a lot of depth, maybe even too much! Once I get to the important parts, I'll be able to comment better.

AnotherHardDayAtTheOffice

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2445 on: February 04, 2016, 01:13:18 AM »
Haha. What a funny little circle of recommendations.  I'll keep you updated with what I think about it.

Let me know your thoughts on Americanah.  A good friend of mine actually finished either that one or another of her books (I can't remember right now) so I'm interested in how your impression of it aligns/differs.

As said, I'm only half-way through Americanah, but I really like it so far. Here's why: first, the book offers a lot of spot-on observations about details - relating to topics such as love, racism, the immigrant experience, people's insecurities, and so on - that go beyond mere cliches and consider our own ambiguities and fucked up contradictions. You also learn a lot in this book - about Nigerian society, about American society, about legal and illegal immigration, about inner- and intercultural relationships, etc. - important issues all of them. That's why the book feels very... I'm not sure if that's the right word here... relevant. Especially nowadays. What I love about Americanah in particular and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (the author) in general is that they are neither too compromising nor too moralizing when dealing with issues such as feminism or racism.

Aside: I hate myself for sounding like a stereotypical grad student in this post...

Let me know what you think about The Savage Detectives so far!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 01:18:52 AM by AnotherHardDayAtTheOffice »

AnotherHardDayAtTheOffice

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2446 on: February 04, 2016, 01:17:43 AM »
Remarkable read. One of my all time favourites.



Fuck yeah! Alone in Berlin is THE most depressing book I've ever read. Hands down. And I mean that in the best way possible. Seriously, that book is so awesome but also incredibly sad.

The original title of that book is Jeder stirbt f�r sich allein, which translates to Everyone Dies Alone. Spoiler Alert: That's the plot in a nutshell. Just to give everyone else an idea of how melancholic that book is.

EDIT: This thread is killing it right now!

CigaretteBeer

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2447 on: February 04, 2016, 07:22:54 AM »


Novel set in contemporary India about a guy from a lower caste trying to achieve upward mobility in the new and highly corrupt democratic/capitalist society. Really funny first person narrator and learned some shit about a different culture/place which I always enjoy in a novel.



Talks about the false dichotomy of regulation vs. small government distracting people from the fact that small government/free market is used as a euphemism for regulation that favors the wealthy. The concentration of wealth leads to political power for the wealthy, which leads to greater concentrations of wealth, which leads to even more political power, etc. He was secretary of labor under Clinton but is very critical of him and talks about how campaign finance rules have left both democrats and republicans subservient to the wealthy, and corporations love when we argue over social issues to distract us from economic ones. Uses data to document the decline of the middle class that began around 1980 and concludes that every other time similar circumstances had occurred in America we have altered policy by taxing the wealthy, increasing collective bargaining power, etc. to save capitalism opposed to trying to destroy it and replace it with communism or something, and that we're overdue for similar changes again.

Those both sound interesting. Especially the 2nd one.


I suck at reviewing books so I'm going to just copy and paste

Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in late 19th-century Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal, enhanced by his inability or unwillingness to pursue a professional career, which he deems unfit for someone of his abilities, is pictured in a series of encounters which Hamsun himself described as 'a series of analyses.'



This is one of the most popular books in prison. I traded 10 bucks of commissary to a brother for my copy.

"Greene and Elffers have created an heir to Machiavelli's Prince, espousing principles such as, everyone wants more power; emotions, including love, are detrimental; deceit and manipulation are life's paramount tools. Anyone striving for psychological health will be put off at the start, but the authors counter, saying "honesty is indeed a power strategy," and "genuinely innocent people may still be playing for power." Amoral or immoral, this compendium aims to guide those who embrace power as a ruthless game, and will entertain the rest. Elffers's layout (he is identified as the co-conceiver and designer in the press release) is stylish, with short epigrams set in red at the margins. Each law, with such allusive titles as "Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy," "Get Others to Do the Work for You, But Always Take the Credit," "Conceal Your Intentions," is demonstrated in four ways: using it correctly, failing to use it, key aspects of the law and when not to use it. Illustrations are drawn from the courts of modern and ancient Europe, Africa and Asia, and devious strategies culled from well-known personae: Machiavelli, Talleyrand, Bismarck, Catherine the Great, Mao, Kissinger, Haile Selassie, Lola Montes and various con artists of our century."



This is about ancient Chinese spirituality. If you're interested in Taoism you should enjoy this.
"You were such a shitty parent that your kid couldn't even make it to term A guy who killed his child before it could be born because he was so shitty didn't do anything wrong.You know how the rest of us became positive members of society BY NOT BEING PIECES OF SHIT IN THE FIRST PLACE"-Ronald Reagon

cookieboy

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2448 on: February 04, 2016, 07:53:29 AM »
^^^^^^

I'll definitely look into Tao Te Ching. I had a copy of the way of life which was another translations of Lao Tzu. I've been reading Robert Bolano's work as of lately. Really good stuff!

Tufty

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2449 on: February 04, 2016, 08:27:17 AM »



Talks about the false dichotomy of regulation vs. small government distracting people from the fact that small government/free market is used as a euphemism for regulation that favors the wealthy. The concentration of wealth leads to political power for the wealthy, which leads to greater concentrations of wealth, which leads to even more political power, etc. He was secretary of labor under Clinton but is very critical of him and talks about how campaign finance rules have left both democrats and republicans subservient to the wealthy, and corporations love when we argue over social issues to distract us from economic ones. Uses data to document the decline of the middle class that began around 1980 and concludes that every other time similar circumstances had occurred in America we have altered policy by taxing the wealthy, increasing collective bargaining power, etc. to save capitalism opposed to trying to destroy it and replace it with communism or something, and that we're overdue for similar changes again.
This sounds like utter bullshit. It either ignores Marxist and Leninist scripts or tries to hide their significance. Capitalism sooner or later ends up in Imperialism which is the monopoly stage of capitalism. It works like this, when companies compete some people win and some other lose. Those that win gain enormous power after winning much and dominate the world in certain sectors which are vital, and so they can blackmail whole economies.   The only two ways capitalism can go from the monopoly stage  it has come today is either war and restart capitalism from an earlier stage (WWI and WW2) until it becomes a monopoly capitalism again and war again for another reboot. The other one is going for a Marxist utopia. Actually what saved capitalism in early 20th century is the application of some soviet economic policies in West like abandoning the golden rule and going for more pro-Labor tactics..

 The book looks like a Keynesian economist against neoliberal ones. Well it was the late 1970s that was concluded that a mix of capitalism and socialism (what keynesian economics really are) cant work for sustainable capitalist growth and neoliberals took over creating the credit bubble ta save capitalism along with their anti-labor policies. Now that the credit bubble starts bursting keynesians want to bring back their ideas that obviously DONT WORK ANYMORE.

PS Fun fact Soviet Union after WW2 implemented capitalist elements in their economy in order to boost their economy fast enough to compete with an undamaged by war USA. That led to the isolation from marxist economics and the failure of Soviet Union to complete collapse.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 08:43:31 AM by Tufty »

TheFifthColumn

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2450 on: February 04, 2016, 09:33:17 AM »
^ The DOJ and FTC break up monopolies all the time. I'm an Alphabet shareholder and European regulators are trying to get it to list competing search engines on the Google homepage to weaken its monopoly power.

And Keynesian economics are based on stimulating aggregate demand, not socialist policies per se. They didn't work in the 1970's because that was an contraction of aggregate supply, which is why the Philips curve relationship didn't hold. Most recessions aren't like that, because most are disinflationary.

In America since the credit crunch, there's been a shift along the Philips curve, not a breakdown of it. Since countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies have been employed, there has been a fall in the unemployment from 9% to 5%, inflation less than 2%, moderate GDP growth. How do those policies not work?

From my understanding, Greece actually can't use Keynesian policies. Shouldn't have signed the Maastricht Treaty...

Tufty

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2451 on: February 04, 2016, 10:16:44 AM »
 I wouldnt trust any organization that tries to do that. Simply google can tell Europe to fuck off and take its investments elsewhere. Anyway it's not a wise thing to do so when Chinese monopolies are waiting to hit the West ones... And they do in Africa.

 Well compared with the free market cult that dominated the West until WWI and WWII, Keynesian economics where pretty socialist, because those stimulations were investments by state for big public infrastructure. Of course they werent FULL SOCIALISM but rather socialistic elements that were copied from Soviet Union and adapted to capitalism.

 Well you know why that aggregate supply curve thing happened? Because the keynesian economics were working greatly in a global economy where the major player was the undamaged by war US who supplied the damaged Europe and the underdeveloped countries. What happened in the late 70s? Well Europe started working again while some undeveloped economies started being competetive. So US goods remained unsold and a crisis happened. The geniuses the neoliberals are created a credit bubble just to support excessive consumerism and sustain growth. Well that couldnt continue forever.

 There is also a catch why Keynesian economics cant work at a disinflationary crisis TODAY. Because in a disinflationary crises debt  becomes increasingly hard to service. Well that was not a case when public and private debt was pretty small back in the 40s and due to US being the ONLY global player the debt could be paid of. However debts now are in a fucked up level thanks to neoliberal credit bubbles. And with the margin profits of today global multiplayer economy no one would be able to service the further debt created by keynesian economics. Well my clock says that the next crisis will take place  before the end of 2017. The fact is that economists dont have clue yet how to fix capitalism and I dont know if they will find a solution.

 LoL @ Greece comment. Greece was a semi-colony when joined the EU and became full German debt colony because of Maastricht. So Greece does whatever the Berlin wants primiraly, then USA, then France and also Chinese came to play on our corpse. The Maastricht Treaty was just a Tool of domination of European capitals.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 10:24:24 AM by Tufty »

TheFifthColumn

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2452 on: February 04, 2016, 11:21:18 AM »
There is also a catch why Keynesian economics cant work at a disinflationary crisis TODAY. Because in a disinflationary crises debt  becomes increasingly hard to service. Well that was not a case when public and private debt was pretty small back in the 40s and due to US being the ONLY global player the debt could be paid of. However debts now are in a fucked up level thanks to neoliberal credit bubbles. And with the margin profits of today global multiplayer economy no one would be able to service the further debt created by keynesian economics. Well my clock says that the next crisis will take place  before the end of 2017. The fact is that economists dont have clue yet how to fix capitalism and I dont know if they will find a solution.

Here's the thing though: Keynesian economic policies tend to create inflation. Inflation devalues existing non-indexed debt in real terms.

The US is a currency issuer and as such we can control our debt and money supply in a way Greece can't. Our debt is owned internally (many Americans own treasuries), the Fed can control the interest rate on it and it comes with an embedded call option. The US will always be able to create dollars to service the debt. For the US it's an issue of inflation, not solvency.

Tufty

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2453 on: February 04, 2016, 02:15:57 PM »
 Well how much inflation can you create along with economy boost so you can have a zero sum? I dont believe the possibilities are endless as the strong US dollar, EU euro and Brittish pound are the strong and steady currencies buisinessmen prefer so that they dont lose money from devaluations. Overdo that inflation thing by creating money and you end up with a shit currency nobody wants and you enter a downward spiral.

oyolar

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2454 on: February 07, 2016, 06:24:02 PM »

Let me know what you think about The Savage Detectives so far!

I'm only about 75 pages in but I'm really liking it so far.

MeanestCleanestPenis

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2455 on: February 08, 2016, 09:19:35 AM »


Only halfway through this but really really good. Similar approach to Irvine Welsh in that he tells the story through multiple characters' point of view.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 09:22:36 AM by MeanestCleanestPenis »

MeanestCleanestPenis

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2456 on: February 08, 2016, 09:26:36 AM »


Great read showing some of the human rights atrocities in North Korea. If your getting into this topic though you should really read this first. Probably one of my top-10 books ever



botefdunn

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2457 on: February 08, 2016, 11:31:46 AM »


Light read, kind of a punk classic, gothic horror meets anarchopunk esthetic, or something like that. Not the greatest writing, but enjoyable.



I like Bruce Sterling and the dystopian future as perceived by the nerds of the 80's (think shadowrun). I would say this anthology is mostly for fans, better to check out "A GoodOld-fahioned Future", which is a collection of Sterling short stories, if cyberpunk sounds interesting to you.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 11:36:01 AM by botefdunn »

Alan

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Re: books to read
« Reply #2458 on: February 08, 2016, 01:19:38 PM »
Speaking of cyberpunk, I finally started reading Neuromancer. Only started it yesterday, but liking it so far. I gave it a go years ago and couldn't get into it, but now it's seems pretty good.
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Re: books to read
« Reply #2459 on: February 09, 2016, 12:39:52 PM »
just read a used copy of machiavelli's The Prince & some asshole highlighted most of it like theyre trying to take over the world.