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> Books, CAN YOU READ?!
Dr Strum
post Jun 26 2016, 06:48 PM
Post #406


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A Hundred Years of Solitude was amazing and has changed the way I think about literature and writing. It also left me with an existential crisis about my role in the world.

I soon after read Daytripper by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties which they did with Neil Gaiman. Bother are amazing, but especially Daytripper which just pounds you in the gut over and over again but in a hopeful way, yah?

Currently trading off between The Familiar v2 and Murakami's The Windup Bird Chronicles. Realizing that I hate Murakami as a writer from a narrative perspective and that I only like his writing for the heavy symbolism and metaphor, and the mixing of Japanese spirituality with jazz and beatnik influences. As for Danielewski, I hate him for his ambition and continual pursuit thereof.


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Rhiannon
post Jul 21 2016, 01:50 AM
Post #407


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QUOTE
It was very sterile. Which is half a result of Huxley's writing style, half a result of the atmosphere he was trying to evoke for his dystopia. Did you notice how the language changed when he visited the "savages?"
I did notice that, at least unconsciously. It became a lot easier to read around that part.
QUOTE
Um. Maybe use spoiler tags and then I can figure out what [censored][censored] means and we can discuss it lol. I recommend giving Paradise Lost a go and then rereading Frankenstein, as Shelley drew heavily on Milton's masterpiece for Frankenstein.
OR YOU COULD JUST GO JUMP INTO THE OCEAN LIKE EVERYONE ELSE

I've been reading a lot. Here's a (warning, it is long) list of things I read this year because I don't remember if I read anything in 2015 that I didn't post about already, and opinions on them:
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

Phew. Okay. So. That's what I've finished. Right now I'm reading The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino because you know what? This guy's a genius. I've only read a single story in it but it was already super imaginative and honestly kind of sad at times. ... Maybe amusing too. I've read about half of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, and I've also finally started reading Chapterhouse: Dune by Frank Herbert. Going through that last one slowly, cautiously, in fact, because Heretics of Dune was just wtf every single page.

I'm also reading Mein Kampf which is enraging because at first Hitler seemed to make so much sense and be such a normal person, but then suddenly he'll go off on tirades against Jews for completely shallow reasons and with the most wild logic jumps ever (and he basically believes they're trying to destroy the world???) and also anyone who isn't a raging nationalist like him. Whenever I finish a chapter of this it's like. Holy crap. I need to take a breather. And despite how much I hate the things he's saying, the translator of the English version is kind of an asshole who needs to stop being such a biased pansy and leave out comments like "OH BUT THIS WAS A COMMON THING TO REFERENCE HITLER PROBABLY NEVER READ THIS LOL HE WAS TOO MUCH OF AN IDIOT TO ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE THINGS." Just fucking say it was common to reference in Germany at that time period and be done with it. Ugh.


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Dr Strum
post Aug 8 2016, 03:35 PM
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Invisible Cities was amazing. I read that at some point this year.
I'm kind of just picking up shit off my bookshelf whenever I get in the mood to read, not really focusing on any books right now, but I might go to the used bookstore today to try to find something for my upcoming road trip.


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Rhiannon
post Nov 26 2016, 05:10 AM
Post #409


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Do you guys realize how many months we skipped? Bad. Just bad.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I finished it! It was a bizarre effort because I was trying to read it before going to sleep and my mind was totally awake and ready for it but my eyes insisted on closing so it took a lot longer to read the last few pages than it should have. It kind of disappointed me. Actually, it's my least favorite Steinbeck thing so far and I even *gasp* threw it into a giant metal book donation box instead of my cubical book shelves.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris. Told you I was gonna read more from him. This was particularly wonderful because it was poking some serious fun at the terrible ways that real people actually act, with only minor exaggerations. Also, everyone was animals and whoever did the illustrations was a glorious fit for the stories.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. again. This was great too. I'm running out of words and the length of this post is surely happy about that fact.

Also read two books on dysautonomia because my mother bought them and made me and they were not very enlightening. In fact, they can both be summarized by "do this thing that's literally impossible," "your doctor is never going to listen to you," and "thing #1 will help you tons *next page* thing #1 will fuck you right up." Also, more Legend of the Galactic Heroes. IT'S HAPPENING. FRIENDSHIPS. BEING. DESTROYED. ALL OVER AGAIN.

I am currently over half way through Mein Kampf (I will finish this in 2016. I will do it. I do not want to have it still hanging over my head in 2017 I've had the stupid thing since I was like 14). Also working through another David Sedaris book and a book by David Duchovny which I discovered in the book store by accident and it's definitely the most bizarre thing I've ever read. More on all that next time.


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Dr Strum
post Dec 12 2016, 11:17 PM
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I bought a bunch of books for my road trip! And forgot them all! Then I borrowed some from little sister Rhea! And forgot them all!

So when I was in Yosemite park I picked up a biography of John Muir from the gift shop. That man was awesome. I can only hope to have half the appreciation for the natural world that he did, or half the spine in defending it.

Now I'm reading Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut. I love his writing so much. Very heavily edited, keeping every sentence down to the bare minimum whilst somehow delivering the sort of effect I take paragraphs building. Also been doing a lot of research on mushrooms and electronics. Also reading a book about pantheism. I really can't recommend it unless you really want to hear about a woman struggling to decide whether she is a believer and what kind she is, so I'm not even going to bother getting up to remind myself of the name unless someone specifically demands it.


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DustyHaru
post Dec 25 2016, 07:59 PM
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Bought my dad An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and read it before gifting it to him. If anything it was encouraging to read about someone's thought process, optimism, pragmatism, and goal setting to achieve his dream.

The Audiobook is also fun to listen to on long commutes.
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Dr Strum
post Jan 27 2017, 01:29 AM
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I was exceptionally pleased with Standing in the Light - the one about Pantheism. It got better? It seemed really dodgy and whiny at first but the latter half impressed upon me.
I also read If on a winter's night a traveler and all I've got to say is Calvino is a dick. I loved the book.

I just got a kindle today and amazon is killing me with these 99cent philosophy anthologies and classics.

BUT CAN ANYONE RECOMMEND A SUPERIOR TRANSLATION OF MARCEL PROUST'S IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME
If I'm gonna dedicate that much time to a book it better be a decent version...


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Frisk
post Feb 24 2017, 04:13 PM
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I've been working my way through the complete fiction of H.P
Lovecraft recently, reading a work or two a day. I've read about half of his stories now, in written chronological order (which ends up meaning all of his shorter stuff). Its really interesting to see his development as a writer. In the annotations, it talks about how he was heavily influenced by Poe and Dunsany. I haven't read any Dunsany, but the influence is pretty tangible in his earlier stuff- it's more the work of flowery fairy tales and allegories than the cosmic eldritch horror we all know him for. What I haven't seen is any mention of Robert Chamber Williams (I believe that's right), the author of The King in Yellow, who blends a Dunsany style with horror in a way I think works better than Lovecraft.

By the by, favorites so far have been "Polaris", "Memory" "The Picture in the House", and "The Quest of Iranon". I'm like two stories away from finally starting to get into his more well-known stuff.

Also, I finished the Book of the New Sun series, and there are lots of good things to say about it but I'm posting from my phone and have already written a good bit, so for now just take my recommendation and if you get it be prepared for some quality time with Google.

EDIT: I also bought Ada, or Ardor for my phone, but that is a difficult book, and I am a simple Vahn.

EDIT EDIT RHIA I SAW IN A BOOKSTORE PAUL AUSTER HAS A NEW BOOK OUT I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN KNOWING THAT.
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Frisk
post Feb 24 2017, 08:21 PM
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Some other stuff I have read but never brought up in this thread (like ever, surprisingly. Maybe I just talk in the channel and forget)

I picked up a YA fantasy book at a con last year called The Wizard's Way. It was a generic steampunk fantasy novel, but the author's had their own booth and were selling autographed copies and it had a talking pug Butler that fenced and that last thing in itself was enough to sell me. I read it in like a day, and will probably continue to read it as the series develops. I cant give it an actual recommendation, but it's charming.

The Kingkiller Chronicles, on the other hand, I recommend wholeheartedly. I really don't know exactly what to say about these books except if you like fantasy, you truly do owe it to yourself to read them. They're beautiful and moving, and you should read them forum guest or user.

I actually did read the first two books of the New York Trilogy, and want to reread the series as a whole so I can talk about them in more detail. They're stories that play with the idea of what a story is, and also what a reader is, and also what a plot is, and ask: how do you know any of those things are actually any of those things?
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Frisk
post Mar 20 2017, 04:48 AM
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I bought The Turn of the Screw in a drunken state and finished it.

I appreciate a neat little ghost story about children. I'm writing a neat little ghost story about children. It wasn't written in a difficult way to read, but sometimes the sentence structure would get awkward. Also, while reading it, I looked into some other stuff analyzing it and I feel like that might have colored the way I interpreted it.
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Rhiannon
post Mar 23 2017, 06:21 PM
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I'm really moved by the chicken bone
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QUOTE
I actually did read the first two books of the New York Trilogy, and want to reread the series as a whole so I can talk about them in more detail. They're stories that play with the idea of what a story is, and also what a reader is, and also what a plot is, and ask: how do you know any of those things are actually any of those things?

I still remember the whole thing where it was like, "Is a broken umbrella even an umbrella anymore?" I don't know why but that part stuck with me a lot. ALSO I SHOULD REREAD IT BECAUSE I LOVED IT.

Things I've read since last time... The Wonderful World of Wigglers, which is some book meant for elementary school children (except genuinely useful even for adults if you're into worms and nature and junk) and is ancient enough to use the word Xerox as a verb. Very interesting. Don't tell Sturm I read it before I gave it to him for Christmas or I'll make Rai make a dex where every instance of "Sturm" is replaced with "Starm" or "Starmie."

Finished David Duchovny's Holy Cow. Still the most bizarre thing I've ever read. Pig named Jerry decides to become Jewish, changes his name to Shalom, and also gets circumcized in the book. What in the. AND THAT'S ONLY THE HALF OF WHAT'S MESSED UP ABOUT THIS BOOK. I greatly enjoyed some of the animal-based phrase things, like the cow thinking, "all six of my stomachs leapt into my throat" or something like that. Don't remember the exact quote but it definitely had multiple stomachs, like a real cow would. I recommend this book only if you're crazy because I can't decide if it was good or bad. It was just weird, and probably offensive.

David Sedaris things still. Still stuck on him a bit I guess. I read Barrel Fever which was very uh. It seemed a lot more vulgar and sometimes mean-spirited compared to anything else I've read by him. Still loved it though. Also read Holidays on Ice and don't have anything special to say about that one.

Albert Camus' The Outsider which was also a strange book. And made me feel weird and uncomfortable about how the main character handled all the situations. He just seemed to take everything in stride... I don't know, maybe I should read the book again. It was short enough that it wouldn't be a huge time sink to do so anyway.

Never did finish Mein Kampf. Hopefully this year I'll be able to bring myself to. Currently reading some nonfiction mostly. Some crappy cheapo self-help book about anxiety which is definitely already worthless and not worth naming, and as for the exciting nonfiction, I'm reading Maia Szalavitz's Help at Any Cost which is about the crazy abuses of mental health patients, particularly in in-patient and wilderness programs. Putting this under spoiler tag since it's kinda long and is as close to spoilers as you can get in nonfiction:
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


P.S. THERE'S A BOOK CALLED NARWHAL: UNICORN OF THE SEA AND I HAVE IT AND READ IT AND IT IS A GOOD TITLE


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Frisk
post Dec 2 2018, 09:17 PM
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Since last posting, I picked up everything written so far of occultic;nine. I've read two out of three books, and it's fun enough to knock a book out in a day or two. Nothing particularly thought provoking.

I got a new copy of Only Revolutions for Christmas last year and read maybe a third of it before putting it aside. I should really finish it but I'm thinking of giving it to someone else as a present this year. I think it might honestly be my favorite Danielewski book (which is a weird thing to say considering I've never finished it).

Another pickup was The Dying Earth collection by Jack Vance, the guy who inspired DnD style magic. I'm a sucker for fanciful environments, short stories, and ancient, forgotten magic, so it's been a pleasant read.

Next to last, a not too great Young Adult romance fantasy called Tiger's Curse I'm reading because it's someone else's favorite book series. It's a little trashy and poorly written but reading it gives me a warmth imagining the other person reading it when they were younger.

Last, Worm. A 1.6 million mega webnovel about superheroes and supervillains. Feel like I need to explain, but that the explaining would spoil too much of what makes it so fucking GOOD. I'm on the last leg of the story, I read it at night while I'm at work. https://parahumans.wordpress.com/
If you want an action story with amazing, gradual character development and some of the best foreshadowing in a story ever, check this shit out.
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