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What are you reading at the moment?

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Re: What are you reading at the moment?


Post by PirateJenny » May 1st, 2019, 7:15 pm

Well, it was quite a quick read, and bildungsroman is the wrong word, it's an autobiography that reads halfway fiction. I read Pop. 1820 and have an epub of The Killer Inside Me. I get burned out quite quickly reading crime fiction when it's so pulpy or hardboiled. Especially after having two doses of Ellroy recently.

Only Thompson film I've seen is Serie Noire, love the nihilism and sociopathy . Might watch/read the Getaway next.

Any recommendations for crime fiction even though I'm a bit burned out? I've also got William Irish Marihuana and Steve Fisher's I Wake Up Screaming staring at me in digital format.

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Post by brokenface » May 2nd, 2019, 7:58 pm

Patricia Highsmith? Nihilism and sociopathy with a slightly different flavour, but some great stuff there.

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Post by PirateJenny » May 3rd, 2019, 10:40 am

Been meaning to read the Ripley novels for a while now. She'd make a good antidote, being a bit more austere and coldly plotted than the Ellroy's or Thompson's.

Strangers on a Train is the one I've read and love that plot, and the film too.

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Post by PirateJenny » May 5th, 2019, 12:12 pm

Just started: The Falcon and the Snowman - Robert Lindsey

It's a true crime story that reads like a cold war espionage novel. The film is also a favourite of mine so it will be interesting to compare the two. It starts with a lot of background on the boys, their middle class upbringing, before hopefully it gets to the good bit where they start working for the KGB.

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Post by PirateJenny » May 8th, 2019, 9:03 am

The Mass Psychology of Fascism - Wilhelm Reich

I'd been meaning to read this for a while and it's as good I thought it would be. It's basically a lot of things that I've already been thinking about recently watching what's happening in British poiitics especially, maybe it's confirmation bias at work but I'm sure it's been used as a blueprint for the political agenda. Looking forward to reading The Sexual Revolution and The Function of the Orgasm next. These are 'books I probably should have already read' although times have changed slightly since it was written the same principles apply I have slightly different thoughts than him on the authoritarian family, which has changed since then, now the state does most of that work too!

All of this is why I love noir fiction, from a time when the USA was on its way to becoming a world leader, and the same reasons why German films post WW2 were generally schlock.

Are there any books to recommend on psychoanalysis and film noir or crime fiction? No way would a femme fatale pass in the metoo era.

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Post by Cippenham » May 10th, 2019, 4:54 am

Just found a book called The Tribe. The Liberal Left and the System of Diversity by Ben Cobley so will try that this weekend.

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/ ... edir_esc=y

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Post by OldAle1 » June 8th, 2019, 7:17 pm

I already posted a little bit about this in another topic


And now I've finished it. The book is Best.Movie.Year.Ever by Brian Raftery, and I guess the best way to describe it is to call it a catalog of films that he deems important from 1999. He doesn't exhibit any real understanding of or interest in film history that might allow him to make a case for why Fight Club, The Matrix, Run Lola Run, Boys Don't Cry, The Wood, Cruel Intentions, etc, collectively make this year so special - and he also doesn't really make it personal, talk about what his own tastes are and why he has these feelings of admiration for this year's films; rather, he does the worst thing he can do if he wants to be taken serious (he probably doesn't): he just makes bold assertions like "people remember where they first saw The Phantom Menace, The Blair Witch Project and American Pie and makes weird statements like the claim that the many teen films of the year were made "long before Columbine". I guess he could be talking about "long before" as a state of mind or something, but his language usually isn't that subtle - and Columbine happened while some of these films were probably still in production or post-production. Ultimately this is just a piece of would-be late-90s nostalgia meant to sell books, and I doubt it would be of much value to anyone who knows much about film beyond Hollywood of that era. Also, Sonic Youth is "fuzzy-dreamy"? Maybe I've just listened to their atypical works?

I read a second book in the past couple of weeks also, yay me! Maybe I need to have more computer problems. Anyway it's The Darkening Age: the Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey. This is a better book than the Raftery book, but not by a lot, and it shares a problem - it's clear that Nixey had made up her mind that Christianity was worse for culture than any of the older religions it supplanted before she ever wrote the book, just as the 1999 book's author can't help but show his infatuation with his chosen year - but neither writer does a particularly good job of explaining why. Nixey does OK with the how and the what, giving us plenty of details about the havoc wreaked on Greco-Roman paganism and philosophy by Christians in the roughly 450 year period beginning during Nero's rain in the 60s, but she fails to really get at the reasons behind it - after all there had been monotheistic religions before preaching the truth of a particular god, with Judaism and Zoroastrianism being only the most prominent, but neither seems to have made an impact in the same way, and certainly neither is associated with the kinds of censorship and inquisitional attitudes that we've seen in Christianity and later Islam. I realize some of this is fairly obvious, but I still think some insight into the thinking of these early Christian apologists and promoters would have been helpful - what we get is too often just vitriol directed at them by the author in the guise of the various pagans she quotes. One also gets the sense here that the Romans and Greeks must have been very tolerant of other beliefs - and that they didn't burn books or destroy temples themselves, something I suspect is at best a half-truth. There is some good information here though - she goes into some depth about what martyrdom meant to Christians of the era, something I really didn't know much about, and her closing chapter on Damascius, last of the Academy scholars in Athens who was forced to leave in 529 or die, is pretty strong. Overall a mixed bag and I have to say as a pretty committed non-religious person, I don't think this kind of harshness and sometimes sloppy scholarship does a lot of good for the cause.

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Post by blocho » July 7th, 2019, 11:54 pm

I've been reading some books lately because I liked the movies that were adapted from them. It began about a year ago when I read LA Confidential, which is a really really crappy book. Unreadable at times. The movie, which only uses the characters and maybe one-third of the book's plot, is an enormous improvement on the written work.

Then, over the summer, I read Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool, which I really liked and was adapted faithfully into a good Paul Newman movie. I also read Children of Men, which I also liked but is much different from the movie. After that, I read Red Dragon and followed it up last month with The Silence of the Lambs. I was surprised that Red Dragon was a much better novel.

Last fall, I read Fat City, which I didn't like nearly as much as the John Huston movie. And I read Different Seasons, the Stephen King compendium of novellas that includes the original material on which three movies were based: Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, and Stand By Me. I haven't seen Apt Pupil, but the source novella is intensely disturbing. I liked the Shawshank story, but I didn't like The Body (which was retitled Stand By Me for the movie version).

In the winter, I read The Big Short, which was very good. And I just finished reading Lean on Pete, which I liked as a book and loved as a movie.

I'm not sure what's next. This is a strange, new approach to reading for me. In years past, I always went from book to movie but almost never from movie to book. At times, I'm not sure what I get out of it. Lean on Pete (the book) is very, very similar to Lean on Pete (the movie). The same with The Silence of the Lambs. So there's nothing surprising in the narrative when I read the books. And a lot of the dialogue is the same. Still, I enjoy the experience.

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Post by funkybusiness » July 8th, 2019, 3:29 am

A bit of a coincidence, I recently went thru the Criterion list and wrote down a list of them whose source material I was interested in reading. Here's the list if you want to peruse for potential picks:
The Killers
Great Expectations (read it a long time ago in HS)
Red River
Rashômon (two different sources, one for the title, one for the story)
Sanshô the Bailiff
Mr. Arkadin
White Nights
A Night to Remember
Hiroshima mon amour
Shoot the Piano Player
Zazie dans le métro
The Innocents
Teshigahara three film boxset/Kobo Abe
The Leopard
Lord of the Flies (read it a long time ago in HS)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (read it a few years back and want to re-read)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
Death in Venice
Solyaris (make sure to read the new translation)
Don't Look Now
Watership Down
Berlin Alexanderplatz (recently published)
Coup de torchon
The French Lieutenant's Woman
A Room with a View
Howards End
The Age of Innocence (just about the only Wharton book I haven't read)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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Post by RedHawk10 » July 23rd, 2019, 9:39 pm

I'm at a great reading pace right now, plowing through a bunch of shit I've had lined up for ages. Currently on MOBY DICK, which I'm absolutely embarrassed took me this long to get to. It's fantastic, favorite part so far is Ishmael thinking about how people distance themselves from the dead, and how he is not afraid of death because he has a soul.

This book also kind of reminds me of Citizen Kane in a funny way, and it's not even that both are up there for most acclaimed work in the English language in their respective mediums, but that it's extremely entertaining and captivating despite having a reputation among a lot of casual readers/viewers as being boring. The average rating it holds on Goodreads is a whopping 3.5/5, drastically lower than any of the Harry Potter books. :rip:

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Post by blueboybob » July 24th, 2019, 12:00 am

Just started "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable"

If anyone wnts to follow me on GoodReads -- https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4735233-blue-boybob

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Post by mightysparks » July 24th, 2019, 2:12 pm

I keep feeling like I want to read again and then I can't find anything that really sparks my interest and then I don't read. I'm part way through Jurassic Park and Dark Matter at the moment. I'd like to get in the habit of reading for an hour or so before I go to sleep, but then I wanna play games and listen to music and watch movies and annoy my boyfriend while he plays video games and I can't do them all at once. There's a subreddit called 'suggestmeabook' so I've been browsing there for recs and stuff lately, and I've been in the mood for nonfiction but I'm not sure exactly what I'm in the mood for :shrug:
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Post by Coryn » August 1st, 2019, 9:49 am

Would anybody here be remotely interested in me showing off my Tolkien books collection ? I can post on Reddit all I want but I don't know anybody who responds so it feels a bit clueless to me.
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Post by 3eyes » August 2nd, 2019, 3:23 pm

Revisiting Damon Runyon's Broadway stories and having a great time. (Runyon is out of favor and hard to find - my old paperbook is in shreds but I just find a 1992 hardover with decent-sized print.) For those who don't know, films of his work include Guys and Dolls, Little Miss Marker and others - but the stories themselves are so much better.

As yawl know, I'm not one for films involving gangsters or gamblers - that is the subject of these stories (set in the 30s) and I daresay are not only dated but gloriously un-PC. I love them not for the subject matter but for the language - written in an idiosyncratic argot (understatements and circumlocutions and not a past-tense verb in the joint) - in that respect in the Clockwork Orange ballpark, but knowledge of Russian irrelevant - and I don't read CO for the subject matter either.
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Post by GruesomeTwosome » August 2nd, 2019, 4:23 pm

I just started reading Annihilation (adapted into the 2018 film, which I really liked), the first book in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy.
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Post by nimimerkillinen » August 2nd, 2019, 4:41 pm

Middle Pillar - Israel Regardie (About psychology, Magic, golden dawn)
Valonkantajat - Book about history of finnish occult/new age stuff

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Post by Traveller » August 2nd, 2019, 6:17 pm

Since the last post I read Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 by Gilles Deleuze as well as The Unholy Consult, the last book in R. Scott Bakker's The Aspect Emperor series, which is all I ever wanted from a fantasy series (and have been trying to put together myself). Which also leaves me with a big, big problem... what now? There's nothing even remotely on its level, and I can't go back reading all that mediocre stuff. Trying Dune at the moment, at least Frank Herbert's books.
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Post by tirefeet » August 9th, 2019, 11:41 pm

Second-hand booksellers are a big draw in Istanbul and also some other big cities in Turkey for bookworms even though they don’t have their allure they had a decade ago according to their operators due to spread of internet and advanced technology (their words).

There’s a website called “nadirkitap.com” (which literally translates to rarebook.com) that is dedicated to trade of used books but there are new ones also or “unused” before. The second-hand booksellers showcase their products and provide good prices to customers compared to the mainstream book selling entities. Well unless they don’t keep the sole copy of a book available on the market, because then they set high prices like ten times higher than what would have been the expected market value.

Three years ago I purchased “Course in General Linguistics” by Ferdinand de Saussure using this website for a reasonable price. It found its way to my bookshelf from a certain library “Boca Raton” in Florida.

I am spending summer time in Istanbul currently and I decided to use the website again to put my hands on some economics / philosophy books, which are,
“On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill
“The Road to Serfdom” Friedrich Hayek
and “Principles of Economics” by Carl Menger

I am also expecting a trilogy by the historian Steven Runciman on crusades to arrive next week.

The website has suppliers located around the world, for example this one in Paris: https://www.nadirkitap.com/meretseger-b ... 57162.html
Their catalogue: https://www.nadirkitap.com/kitapara.php ... ici=357162

If you decide to place an order somehow, don’t hesitate to contact me if you require help 😊

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Post by Cippenham » August 21st, 2019, 5:14 pm

The Road to Serfdom is one of the greats. I am reading Boris Johnson The Churchill Factor, interesting for the insights it may give from one Prime Minister on his great predecessor.

People’s always think Government can solve problems but government control can lead to a lack of Choice and tyranny . Nazism and fascism also had its origins in socialism as Hayek point out. These things did not originate as a capitalist reaction to socialism but evolved from socialism.

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