Author Topic: books to read  (Read 368949 times)

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IusedToSkateMore

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3420 on: January 08, 2021, 03:33:46 PM »
W Somerset Maugham "Of Human Bondage" has been a long read. It's not that the novel is particularly difficult to understand, but rather the depth of thought and its effect on interpersonal relationships experienced by each character, particularly Philip, is expansive and despite the book having been written in 1915, relatable. Not so much the background or tangible experience, but the growth of person and again, thought, presented through Philip is in some ways reminiscent of my own and that of others I've known in seeking a path in their early 20s. Granted, I didn't have a trust fund, but I owned a car and do remember well traveling around with a camera and skateboard, experiencing women and art, heroes quickly crushed. I've got about 1/3 left to read and hope to be done soon. No spoilers please

Sluggloaph

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3421 on: January 09, 2021, 09:24:10 AM »
A hero of our time, mikhail lermontov. Jawns like 200 ish years old an it's fuckin on point. It's real short an maybe a lil cheesy but it's pretty sick, there's duels in it, innit.
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Re: books to read
« Reply #3422 on: January 09, 2021, 10:28:08 AM »
I've been working my way slowly through Alexander Cockburn's Corruptions of Empire which is mostly a collection of magazine stories, personal vignettes and diary entries starting in the 1950s when Alex was in private school in Ireland through to the Reagan years ending in 1987 when the book was published. Alex was a socialist and a journalist with a very British sensibility. I would compare him to Hunter S Thompson, very biting in his take on American politics and politicians, but a lot less unhinged and drug addled. Topics range from discussions of the virtues of French cooking vs English cooking, the preservation of Miami's Art Deco district, the CIA's funding of death squads in El Salvador, PG Wodehouse's time in America when he wrote most of his famous books, to the concept of political punditry. It's all very informative, but it never feels like a slog as Cockburn peppers everything with his distinct British humor.

Here's a little excerpt from his section on the plight of Palestinians in 1980

Here is a practical proposal to you. Discuss the basic facts of the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel as much as you can and going right down to the basics of the racism of everyday. Point out the obvious contradiction between what the majority of American Jews demand for themselves in the USA, and what they defend in Israel. Do not be intimidated in the struggle against racism and for human dignity, equality and freedom, by any demagoguery about peace and democracy, if they are used in the cause of discrimination, and perhaps the words of the prophet (Amos 5:15) will come true : 'Hate the evil and love the good and establish judgement in the gate, it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.'

And another excerpt on how his father (himself a famous communist writer in the early 20th century) would deal with debt collectors.

Early in life in Ireland i learned to appreciate the color of the envelopes containing the day's mail. White envelopes were good. Brown ones weren't and my father would leave them up on the mantelpiece unopened. Over the months they would gradually get demoted from this high station to his study and then to the bottom drawer of a desk in his study. We would all laugh heartily over the form letter to creditors my father threatened to send: 'Dear Sir, I am in receipt of your fourth communication regarding my outstanding account. Let me explain how I pay my bills. I throw them all into a large basket. Each year I stir the basket with a stick, take out four bills and pay them. One more letter from you and you're out of the game.'

It's a joy to read and because the book is mostly a collection of little stories and excerpts you can read a little bit a day.

This sounds great.
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Rohn_mob_joore

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3423 on: January 09, 2021, 11:12:49 AM »
Reading The Gulag Archipelago, written by a prisoner in the Soviet Union. Hard to read but really good. Itís the book that flipped a lot of Soviet sympathetic thinkers against the Soviet Union.

DaleSr

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3424 on: January 09, 2021, 11:50:12 AM »
Expand Quote
I've been working my way slowly through Alexander Cockburn's Corruptions of Empire which is mostly a collection of magazine stories, personal vignettes and diary entries starting in the 1950s when Alex was in private school in Ireland through to the Reagan years ending in 1987 when the book was published. Alex was a socialist and a journalist with a very British sensibility. I would compare him to Hunter S Thompson, very biting in his take on American politics and politicians, but a lot less unhinged and drug addled. Topics range from discussions of the virtues of French cooking vs English cooking, the preservation of Miami's Art Deco district, the CIA's funding of death squads in El Salvador, PG Wodehouse's time in America when he wrote most of his famous books, to the concept of political punditry. It's all very informative, but it never feels like a slog as Cockburn peppers everything with his distinct British humor.

Here's a little excerpt from his section on the plight of Palestinians in 1980

Here is a practical proposal to you. Discuss the basic facts of the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel as much as you can and going right down to the basics of the racism of everyday. Point out the obvious contradiction between what the majority of American Jews demand for themselves in the USA, and what they defend in Israel. Do not be intimidated in the struggle against racism and for human dignity, equality and freedom, by any demagoguery about peace and democracy, if they are used in the cause of discrimination, and perhaps the words of the prophet (Amos 5:15) will come true : 'Hate the evil and love the good and establish judgement in the gate, it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.'

And another excerpt on how his father (himself a famous communist writer in the early 20th century) would deal with debt collectors.

Early in life in Ireland i learned to appreciate the color of the envelopes containing the day's mail. White envelopes were good. Brown ones weren't and my father would leave them up on the mantelpiece unopened. Over the months they would gradually get demoted from this high station to his study and then to the bottom drawer of a desk in his study. We would all laugh heartily over the form letter to creditors my father threatened to send: 'Dear Sir, I am in receipt of your fourth communication regarding my outstanding account. Let me explain how I pay my bills. I throw them all into a large basket. Each year I stir the basket with a stick, take out four bills and pay them. One more letter from you and you're out of the game.'

It's a joy to read and because the book is mostly a collection of little stories and excerpts you can read a little bit a day.
[close]

This sounds great.

It is, i now own all three of his major works, the aforementioned Corruptions of Empire, the Golden Age is Within Us and A Colossal Wreck, which is his final book written up until his untimely death from cancer in 2014
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Peter Zagreus

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3425 on: January 10, 2021, 05:37:25 PM »
On a pulpy, LA, novels-from-1939 kick this week:





Don't have these editions, of course. Both titles are great. I especially recommend the West, though. Really remarkable.

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3426 on: January 10, 2021, 06:43:46 PM »
Chandler is probably in my top 5. Wish he'd written more novels and stories.
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matty_c

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3427 on: January 10, 2021, 07:20:00 PM »
W Somerset Maugham "Of Human Bondage" has been a long read. It's not that the novel is particularly difficult to understand, but rather the depth of thought and its effect on interpersonal relationships experienced by each character, particularly Philip, is expansive and despite the book having been written in 1915, relatable. Not so much the background or tangible experience, but the growth of person and again, thought, presented through Philip is in some ways reminiscent of my own and that of others I've known in seeking a path in their early 20s. Granted, I didn't have a trust fund, but I owned a car and do remember well traveling around with a camera and skateboard, experiencing women and art, heroes quickly crushed. I've got about 1/3 left to read and hope to be done soon. No spoilers please

That dudeís my favourite writer. His short stories are fucking mint. If I was an art wanker Iíd say something about his shit being almost brechtian

Pretty cool dude was the highest paid author in the world like proper famous and on the sly putting from the rough the whole time
He didnít give a fuck, sickest cunt
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Peter Zagreus

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3428 on: January 10, 2021, 08:26:14 PM »
Also, recently discovered early sci-fi guy Olaf Stapledon. I had a whole post written out about the following books, but my internet blinked out when I tried to post. Maybe just marvel at these retro covers and look him up if you're interested.




Sluggloaph

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3429 on: January 11, 2021, 10:55:06 AM »
On a pulpy, LA, novels-from-1939 kick this week:





Don't have these editions, of course. Both titles are great. I especially recommend the West, though. Really remarkable.
Read day of the locust in school, sick. Is that the one with the graphic cock fight scene? Also the dudes homer simpson right?
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Peter Zagreus

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3430 on: January 11, 2021, 11:08:34 AM »
Yes to both! The cockfight scene really is remarkable, as hard to read as it is. West must have sat (stood?) in on a couple of real cockfights for research purposes.

Deputy Wendell

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3431 on: January 12, 2021, 07:55:36 AM »
i'm working on the schedule for the literature class ("Encountering Modernity") that i'm fortunate enough to be teaching this semester. in addition to Shelley's Frankenstein, Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, and Hamid's Exit West the department makes us teach out of volume 2 of the Norton Anthology of World Literature.

i'm definitely assigning James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son," and so while looking for some kind of brief clip on Youtube on Richard Wright's Native Son to provide some background/context--since Baldwin's essay (and the book of essays it comes from) is essentially a response to Wright's novel and the character Bigger Thomas--i came across this trailer for a film i did not even know existed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghfwH5jWTbc

Ashton Sanders is truly outstanding in Moonlight and this looks incredible...and i'm just curious for anyone who has seen it and is familiar with the novel, if you have any thoughts on specific scenes that are doing interesting things with Wright's original character of Bigger Thomas?

Sluggloaph

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3432 on: January 12, 2021, 09:57:15 AM »
Yes to both! The cockfight scene really is remarkable, as hard to read as it is. West must have sat (stood?) in on a couple of real cockfights for research purposes.
Yea thats a definite. Research or mayb he was low key a fan. Either case classic "pulpy l.a.novel" for sure.
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The real veganshawn

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3433 on: January 12, 2021, 01:45:59 PM »
Currently reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
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Re: books to read
« Reply #3434 on: January 12, 2021, 04:31:56 PM »
Reading The Gulag Archipelago, written by a prisoner in the Soviet Union. Hard to read but really good. Itís the book that flipped a lot of Soviet sympathetic thinkers against the Soviet Union.

Gulag Archipelago is a great book. Solzhenytsin (the author) was indeed a prisoner, but he was also a nobel prize-winning author later in life. Only pointing this out because if you like Gulag you should definitely check out some of his other stuff. "The First Circle" and "Cancer Ward" are both excellent, dark subject matter but written about with a sharp, dry sort of humour.

Sluggloaph

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3435 on: January 12, 2021, 05:09:57 PM »
^reading, almost finished, house of the dead. Russian prison stories are fucking brutal!
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brycickle

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3436 on: January 12, 2021, 10:36:30 PM »
i'm working on the schedule for the literature class ("Encountering Modernity") that i'm fortunate enough to be teaching this semester. in addition to Shelley's Frankenstein, Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, and Hamid's Exit West the department makes us teach out of volume 2 of the Norton Anthology of World Literature.

i'm definitely assigning James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son," and so while looking for some kind of brief clip on Youtube on Richard Wright's Native Son to provide some background/context--since Baldwin's essay (and the book of essays it comes from) is essentially a response to Wright's novel and the character Bigger Thomas--i came across this trailer for a film i did not even know existed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghfwH5jWTbc

Ashton Sanders is truly outstanding in Moonlight and this looks incredible...and i'm just curious for anyone who has seen it and is familiar with the novel, if you have any thoughts on specific scenes that are doing interesting things with Wright's original character of Bigger Thomas?
It's been a very long time since I read "Native Son", so it's hard for me to comment faithfully on similarities or deviations from the text that occur in the movie. I do know that when I watched this, the general plot made me feel like I was revisiting the book, if that makes sense. So I guess I would say that it is probably relatively faithful to the source material, just in a modern setting. Which, race and class relations in modern day Chicago probably haven't really changed that much since the time that Wright wrote the book. Anyway, I loved the book when I read it 20 years ago, and the movie was good too.

 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.



Deputy Wendell

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Re: books to read
« Reply #3437 on: January 13, 2021, 09:10:30 AM »
Expand Quote
i'm working on the schedule for the literature class ("Encountering Modernity") that i'm fortunate enough to be teaching this semester. in addition to Shelley's Frankenstein, Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, and Hamid's Exit West the department makes us teach out of volume 2 of the Norton Anthology of World Literature.

i'm definitely assigning James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son," and so while looking for some kind of brief clip on Youtube on Richard Wright's Native Son to provide some background/context--since Baldwin's essay (and the book of essays it comes from) is essentially a response to Wright's novel and the character Bigger Thomas--i came across this trailer for a film i did not even know existed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghfwH5jWTbc

Ashton Sanders is truly outstanding in Moonlight and this looks incredible...and i'm just curious for anyone who has seen it and is familiar with the novel, if you have any thoughts on specific scenes that are doing interesting things with Wright's original character of Bigger Thomas?
[close]
It's been a very long time since I read "Native Son", so it's hard for me to comment faithfully on similarities or deviations from the text that occur in the movie. I do know that when I watched this, the general plot made me feel like I was revisiting the book, if that makes sense. So I guess I would say that it is probably relatively faithful to the source material, just in a modern setting. Which, race and class relations in modern day Chicago probably haven't really changed that much since the time that Wright wrote the book. Anyway, I loved the book when I read it 20 years ago, and the movie was good too.

i'm much obliged for your thoughts brycickle--i'm looking forward to seeing it whether it plays a part in my class or not...we'll be reading and discussing Baldwin (and perhaps Wright) in the section of the course dealing with "Urban Realism," so it may be interesting to think about then and now in a city like Chicago...cheers.