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***Book Club***

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Aug 18, 2009
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elapid said:
Personal preferences are funny, aren't they? I couldn't put the book down and I finished it in an afternoon.
That's why so many different books get published. Keeps writers, agents and publishers in business, which isn't a bad thing. :D
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ak-zaaf said:
Almost done with the first part of the 'millennium trilogy' by Stieg Larsson.
It's good, but I honestly don't get the hype.
I probably will read the second part when I'm done with this since it's only €10,- here now. :)
FWIW my wife had almost the same reaction to the first one, even reading it in it's original text, but started the second one, and has follow head over heels for the series. She says the second one brought it all together for her, and she's very much into it now.

To the point now we "get" to watch the movies...with Swedish text and Norwegian subtitles...should push my right into "in over my head" in about 15 minutes! :D
 
I'm on a Southern US literature kick. First I read by favourite Faulkner short story, "Shall Not Perish."

Now I'm reading Death of a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

Then it will be back to Faulkner, Go down Moses, (which includes The Bear, also an incredible story) and then the collected short stories.

Susan
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Susan Westemeyer said:
Now I'm reading Death of a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
I assume you mean "To Kill a Mockingbird"? I loved that book, especially the choice of Scout to tell the story.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Susan Westemeyer said:
Damn! Of course I meant "To Kill a MOckingbird."

Yeah, the use of Scout's viewpoint was very clever.

Susan
I like the scene where Scout is at the tea party that her aunt, the mean nasty aunt that she doesn't like, is holding. Scout doesn't understand what is going on, which is obvious, but the reader gets it immediately. That scene is a great use of POV that I recommend any writer read a few times.
 
Great closing line on that scene, something like, "If Aunt Alexandra could be a lady at this time, then so could I."

I have family background in small southern towns, so a lot of the book is very familiar to me.

Susan
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Susan Westemeyer said:
Damn! Of course I meant "To Kill a MOckingbird."

Yeah, the use of Scout's viewpoint was very clever.

Susan
To Kill A Mockingbird is a great novel. And the witty and dandy cousin who vists that summer from Mississipi is based up an actual person: Truman Capote.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Susan Westemeyer said:
That was the only novel she ever wrote. Truman Capote was her childhood friend, and she accompanied him to do research on "In Cold Blood".

Bio material here: http://www.harperlee.com/bio.htm
"In Cold Blood" is partly dedicated to her as well. I loved "In Cold Blood," which Capote called a non-fiction novel.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Reading the latest Pynchon - if the Cohen brothers don't snap up the rights and film it with Jeff Bridges as Doc then I'm a Dutchman.

Alternating with 'Absalom, Absalom' and Flannery O'Connor and I grew up in the industrial north of England - there's just something about the Southern Gothic genre that resonates and appeals.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Labyrinth

Anyone try Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse? It's set in France, in the Pyrenees. Splits between modern times and the crusades, lots of accurate, interesting historical background. Did a bit of research to see if the background was accurate and it was - mostly about the Cathars around the time of the Crusades. Started reading it during a cycling trip to the Pyrenees, was set in the exact area where we were... Very good read. Kind of new-age, holy grail quest deal, not unlike some of Dan Brown's writing.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I think Ernest Hemingway's early short stories is some of the best writing in American fiction. I am especially fond of the Nick Adams stories--my favorite being The Big Two-Hearted River. Of his novels many feel that the Sun Also Rises is the best and most likely they are right--it has a killer last sentence "It would be pretty to think so". But I prefer A Farewell to Arms. The introductory paragraph setting the war scene with the description of the landscape "that year" is just quite amazing.

Faulkner is a favorite too. His story The Bear and Isaac McCalsin's relationship with his half-brother who was sired as a slave is intriguing among other things. The Sound and the Fury is a fantastic and confusing novel which. along with Light in August, is great. Sex and necrophilia that can be disturbing in the story A Rose for Emily. Sanctruary, a novel, deals with rape and impotence. The character Popeye is another disturbing type who is a seminal character in all of Faulkner's work. Although it was not well received, but The Wild Palms is another work of his that I like as its subject matter is one of abortion and the conflicts surrounding it. The Snopses are a type that Faulkner gave to the world who take up residence in Faulkner's mythical county and are a fixture in much of his work. They are poor and will do anything to get a step up in the world. Their ruthlessness is a success and toward the end of his work they run the banks and whatnot replacing the old southern aristorcacy which is an ongoing conflict in Faulkner's work.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ak-zaaf said:
Almost done with the first part of the 'millennium trilogy' by Stieg Larsson.
It's good, but I honestly don't get the hype.
I probably will read the second part when I'm done with this since it's only €10,- here now. :)


But overall I still prefer to read cycling books. I have a small collection of about 200 now and I still enjoy reading new ones and searching for old ones.
Have yor read Bruno Schull's The Long Season? It's a novel about a young cyclist trying to move up through the categories. Schull takes on the Hemingway minimalist stlyle and pulls it off fairly well.
 
May 13, 2009
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Steampunk said:
Am currently enjoying China Miéville's Perdido Street Station.
I've read that. It's a good read. I think he wrote two more, 'The Scar' and 'Iron Council'. I haven't looked at it yet, but I heard 'The Scar' is supposed to be good. Usually I wait until the library carries it.
 
May 13, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
With the near collapse of the world's financial system and new administration here in the U.S. I've been reading Ayn Rand. Tedious, but she was ahead of her time. "Atlas Shrugged" gives some insight as to where this country may be headed economically.
I have a friend who's really into that and Ron Paul. He couldn't stop talking about it. So I looked into it and it seemed to me that it is pretty fringe. First of all, it is an entirely US phenomenon. Discussion of the material is practically absent in any other country. And even here in the US, this type of economic and moral philosophy is not taken seriously in academia. Apparently Alan Greenspan was at least partly influenced by it. Look how it worked out for him. He even said he had changed his mind on some important points when the crisis was at its worst.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
I've read that. It's a good read. I think he wrote two more, 'The Scar' and 'Iron Council'. I haven't looked at it yet, but I heard 'The Scar' is supposed to be good. Usually I wait until the library carries it.
The Scar is on my night table right now; haven't had a chance to start it, though. I bought his Un Lun Dun for my kids.
 
Aug 19, 2009
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Emerson, Ralph and Waldo

RDV4ROUBAIX said:
A place to recommend and discuss literature.

My current read is 'Selected Essays, Lectures, and Poems' by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

If you've never read Emerson, you should. He's one of the great literary minds and philosophers from the US. So far the writings that have really struck me are 'Woman', 'Nature' and 'Self-Reliance'

Brilliant stuff!
I just finished The Over-Soul, by Emerson. Great suggestion RDV! Many thanks.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
elapid said:
All-time favourites are, in order of preference:
-The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey
-Touching the Void, Joe Simpson
-The Road, Cormac McCarthy
-Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
-Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger
-Power of One, Bryce Courtney
-Angels & Demons, and Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown

I have been on a bit of a history and classics kick recently. Just finished Gallipoli: The Fatal Shore, Catch-22 and Fightclub, and have 1984 and To Kill A Mockingbird up next. Also bought Born to Run on the advice of TFF, but that's sitting third on the book shelf with another Gallipoli book.

+1 for Grapes of Wrath.
The strange thing is that the top 5 on yours I have read. So let me add some (and I will read the Power of One), though you may have read them:

A Confederacy of Dunces-John Kennedy Toole (Possibly my favorite book of all time)

Blood Meridian- Cormac McCarthy (better to me than The Road. There is a page towards the end where he explains human conflict through one of the characters that is one of the best monologues I have ever read in ANY book)

Choke- Chuck Palahniuk (really REALLY screwed up novel, but I LOVE it)

How to lose friends and alienate people-Toby Young

Non Fiction:

Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground- Mike Watt (If you ever listened to punk in the 80's this is the book to read.)

Freakonomics- Steven Levitt

Desert Solitaire- Edward Abbey

An Army at Dawn-Rick Atkinson

The Day of Battle- Same

We were soldiers once...and young-Lt Gen "Hal" Moore

I could go on for days...Born to Run is a QUICK read.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Susan Westemeyer said:
I'm on a Southern US literature kick. First I read by favourite Faulkner short story, "Shall Not Perish."

Now I'm reading Death of a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

Then it will be back to Faulkner, Go down Moses, (which includes The Bear, also an incredible story) and then the collected short stories.

Susan
Then you HAVE to read Confederacy of Dunces by Toole! He wrote the book, put is aside and later committed suicide. His mom found the book 11 years after his death, took it to Walker Percy and made him read it. He couldn't put it down. It won the Pulitzer for Fiction in 1981. Just a GREAT book. HILARIOUS to boot. I have never laughed out loud that much ever reading a book (Choke comes close... I laughed at the line "Pilgrimage isn't the right word, but its the first word that comes to mind" for a couple of days..not constantly, just whenever I thought of it, but I digress) Read it. It is incredibly sad that someone THAT intelligent only gave the world one book.
 
Thoughtforfood said:
Then you HAVE to read Confederacy of Dunces by Toole! He wrote the book, put is aside and later committed suicide. His mom found the book 11 years after his death, took it to Walker Percy and made him read it. He couldn't put it down. It won the Pulitzer for Fiction in 1981. Just a GREAT book. HILARIOUS to boot. I have never laughed out loud that much ever reading a book (Choke comes close... I laughed at the line "Pilgrimage isn't the right word, but its the first word that comes to mind" for a couple of days..not constantly, just whenever I thought of it, but I digress) Read it. It is incredibly sad that someone THAT intelligent only gave the world one book.
This is one of my absolute favourites, I re-read it every few years. REally incredible -- and so sad that he never wrote anything else.

Susan
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
The strange thing is that the top 5 on yours I have read. So let me add some (and I will read the Power of One), though you may have read them:

A Confederacy of Dunces-John Kennedy Toole (Possibly my favorite book of all time)

Blood Meridian- Cormac McCarthy (better to me than The Road. There is a page towards the end where he explains human conflict through one of the characters that is one of the best monologues I have ever read in ANY book)

Choke- Chuck Palahniuk (really REALLY screwed up novel, but I LOVE it)

How to lose friends and alienate people-Toby Young

Non Fiction:

Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground- Mike Watt (If you ever listened to punk in the 80's this is the book to read.)

Freakonomics- Steven Levitt

Desert Solitaire- Edward Abbey

An Army at Dawn-Rick Atkinson

The Day of Battle- Same

We were soldiers once...and young-Lt Gen "Hal" Moore

I could go on for days...Born to Run is a QUICK read.
Excellent. Thanks for the suggestions. From this list, I have only read We Were Soldiers Once and Young. Fantastic book. Stormin' Norman Shwarzkopf, who was one of the soldiers in the book, signed my copy. Four stars and all.

As I was looking through my library, there is another book I really enjoyed: Catch Me If You Can. Daring and amazing what feats Abagnale was able to get away with.
 

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