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What are you reading at the moment?

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What are you reading at the moment?

#961

Post by 3eyes » June 11th, 2015, 12:16 am

Knaldskalle on Apr 12 2015, 12:29:25 PM wrote:Finally finished War and Peace the other day. It's a great book and that is of course the reason why I kept reading despite its great length and the insane amount of time it took me. I started reading it March 1st 2014 and finished it April 7 2015, so more than 13 months. I've never taken this long to read a book. I might give Anna Karenina a shot later, but definitely not right away.

I've started reading Frazer's The Golden Bough, but I don't know if I'll stay focused on that or pick up some lighter reading at some point.
Congrats on finishing it. I first read it when I was 16, and because of going somewhere for the summer I had to resume reading it in a different translation -- as if all the variations on the names of the thousand characters weren't enough, I now had to deal with Peter and Andrew etc instead of Pierre and Andrei ... - and then go back to the first translation before I finished it.

(Later I read a good deal of it in Russian, though I skimmed the war parts.)

I had already read Anna Karenina on the sly, because it was about (gasp!) adultery and I didn't think my parents would approve. Then my father caught me reading War and Peace and said, "I think you'd like Anna Karenina better." But I didn't.

I pretty much gave up reading novels after I translated a bunch of Norwegian ones. Currently I'm reading a poetry book and Weird Worlds, a popular book on astronomy, dealing mostly with the current state of our knowledge of the solar system.
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#962

Post by themagician » June 27th, 2015, 11:07 pm

Found a treasure trove at the local library. I had no idea they had such a huge collection of film books. Here's what I picked to read for the next 6 weeks:

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I wish I could say they're mine!

(First row, first book is Antti Alanen's 1,100 greatest films and first row, second book is Antti Alanen's 640 directors).

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#963

Post by mightysparks » July 6th, 2015, 3:46 am

burneyfan on Jul 30 2013, 09:49:41 PM wrote:
Leopardi on Jul 30 2013, 09:22:23 PM wrote:Burneyfan, I take it from your literary background that you're a fan of Fanny Burney? I ask because I've only read one work by her (Camilla) a long time ago and just wasn't able to get into it at all, despite generally enjoying books from this era. I have another book of hers (The Wanderer) on the shelf and it's fallen onto my list of 'top ten books I most dread reading' because of that first experience. Do you have any inspirational words on Ms. Burney and her writing? What made you a fan of hers?
Hi, Leopardi.
Yes, my name is an allusion to Fanny Burney, and I love her works -- including Camilla, but my background is in eighteenth-century literature, so I'm a bit biased. Camilla and The Wanderer are arguably the least accessible among her novels; if you really want to stick with the novels, my favorite is Cecilia, and the most well-known (and shortest, I believe) is Evelina. Her writings that I really love most and recommend, though, are her journals and diaries; she had a fascinating life, and her personal writings are full of wit and keen observation -- better than her novels. She grew up in a household where famous writers and artists were frequent dinner guests; she penned and published her first (critically-lauded) novel in secret; she wound up at the court of George III (and wrote on his illness); she married a poor (but connected) French émigré at 42; she tramped around France during the Napoleonic Wars; she had a mastectomy with anaesthetic (and wrote about it)... She's a strong storyteller, but in her real life even more than in her fiction!
Eh. So although I'm still in the middle of a book, I was reading about Burney's novels to work out which one I should attempt first. The two that interested me the most were Camilla and The Wanderer :unsure:
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#964

Post by Leopardi » July 6th, 2015, 3:58 am

mightysparks on Jul 5 2015, 09:46:21 PM wrote:
burneyfan on Jul 30 2013, 09:49:41 PM wrote:
Leopardi on Jul 30 2013, 09:22:23 PM wrote:Burneyfan, I take it from your literary background that you're a fan of Fanny Burney? I ask because I've only read one work by her (Camilla) a long time ago and just wasn't able to get into it at all, despite generally enjoying books from this era. I have another book of hers (The Wanderer) on the shelf and it's fallen onto my list of 'top ten books I most dread reading' because of that first experience. Do you have any inspirational words on Ms. Burney and her writing? What made you a fan of hers?
Hi, Leopardi.
Yes, my name is an allusion to Fanny Burney, and I love her works -- including Camilla, but my background is in eighteenth-century literature, so I'm a bit biased. Camilla and The Wanderer are arguably the least accessible among her novels; if you really want to stick with the novels, my favorite is Cecilia, and the most well-known (and shortest, I believe) is Evelina. Her writings that I really love most and recommend, though, are her journals and diaries; she had a fascinating life, and her personal writings are full of wit and keen observation -- better than her novels. She grew up in a household where famous writers and artists were frequent dinner guests; she penned and published her first (critically-lauded) novel in secret; she wound up at the court of George III (and wrote on his illness); she married a poor (but connected) French émigré at 42; she tramped around France during the Napoleonic Wars; she had a mastectomy with anaesthetic (and wrote about it)... She's a strong storyteller, but in her real life even more than in her fiction!
Eh. So although I'm still in the middle of a book, I was reading about Burney's novels to work out which one I should attempt first. The two that interested me the most were Camilla and The Wanderer :unsure:
I'd read a chapter or two to see if they're what you're looking for. They're both significant commitments, almost 1000 pages each, so if you're not a fan early on you're in for a long ride.

I did manage to pick up a Penguin edition of her journals and letters a few months ago, by the way. I haven't read it yet, but with what Burney (our Burney) has said my hopes and expectations are high!
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#965

Post by jgwr » July 6th, 2015, 4:40 pm

Gershwin on May 26 2015, 12:42:57 PM wrote:
brokenface on May 25 2015, 09:03:59 AM wrote:(...)

Umberto Eco - The Prague Cemetery - I don't think I finished his previous novel and sadly this is not looking like a return to form so far
The first 100, 150 pages are hell, but it's really good. Try to stay focused and finish it. :)
I really liked this, but HOLY SHIT the lead character is a horror. Which is, obviously, the point, and I know Eco doesn't agree with Simonini's rhetoric or anything like that, but there's still so much of that invective that it's kind of hard going. Also, I didn't get a lot of the intertextual business going on cos I'm not familiar with most of the books Eco leans on (apart from Huysmans' La-bas), but I did get more from the book cos I already had some familiarity with the actual history of the Protocols (I actually applauded the bit where Eco reverses the facts and has Goedsche rip off the Protocols for his novel Biarritz).

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#966

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » July 12th, 2015, 10:14 pm

Great quote from Flannery O'Connor:

I hope you don’t have friends who recommend Ayn Rand to you. The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re: fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.
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#967

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » July 16th, 2015, 5:09 pm

Still not reading anything yet, but I just ordered 4 books. The Inferno, Discipline & Punish, Nausea, and Either/Or.
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#968

Post by Kasparius » July 16th, 2015, 6:32 pm

ArthurYanthar on Jul 12 2015, 04:14:42 PM wrote:Great quote from Flannery O'Connor:

I hope you don’t have friends who recommend Ayn Rand to you. The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re: fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.
Preach it, sister! Ayn Rand is the vilest.
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#969

Post by funkybusiness » July 16th, 2015, 7:11 pm

wait you bought just the inferno? :/ bitch please. also, what translation? it matters.

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#970

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » August 31st, 2015, 6:11 pm

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The book is awesome btw
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#971

Post by Knaldskalle » August 31st, 2015, 9:01 pm

ArthurYanthar on Jul 16 2015, 11:09:28 AM wrote:Still not reading anything yet, but I just ordered 4 books. The Inferno, Discipline & Punish, Nausea, and Either/Or.
That combo is somehow disturbing...
Personal film goals for 2019.
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#972

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » August 31st, 2015, 9:03 pm

Knaldskalle on Aug 31 2015, 03:01:05 PM wrote:
ArthurYanthar on Jul 16 2015, 11:09:28 AM wrote:Still not reading anything yet, but I just ordered 4 books. The Inferno, Discipline & Punish, Nausea, and Either/Or.
That combo is somehow disturbing...
Thank you :) that's just the reaction I was hoping to get
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#973

Post by 3eyes » September 1st, 2015, 3:23 am

ArthurYanthar on Aug 31 2015, 03:03:41 PM wrote:
Knaldskalle on Aug 31 2015, 03:01:05 PM wrote:
ArthurYanthar on Jul 16 2015, 11:09:28 AM wrote:Still not reading anything yet, but I just ordered 4 books. The Inferno, Discipline & Punish, Nausea, and Either/Or.
That combo is somehow disturbing...
Thank you :) that's just the reaction I was hoping to get
Do you plan to read a page of each in rotation? Or make Burroughs-style fold-ins and cut-ups?

Or there's the Oulipian Chimera: In source text A you replace nouns with those from B, verbs from C, and adjectives from D.
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#974

Post by jgwr » September 1st, 2015, 2:57 pm

At the moment I seem to be on some sort of horror kick. Been investigating a few recent luminaries in that field (Thomas Ligotti, Laird Barron, Tom Piccirilli, Scott Thomas), and I'm also checking out some of the older stuff in that vein (reread Castle of Otranto last night, which is about as old as horror fiction gets).

Anyone got recommendations? I do have a few names I want to check out (e.g. Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Michael McDowell, Simon Strantzas, John Langan), but I'm open to suggestions for others...

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#975

Post by 3eyes » September 1st, 2015, 5:47 pm

Am rereading A Tale of Two Cities and realizing how much I missed the first two (I think) times around.
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#976

Post by Nuclearplanet » September 1st, 2015, 10:50 pm

Started reading Infinite Jest. Have been terrified of this book since I got it, but it's a waist to have it wait on my bookshelf any longer. Anyone else ever attempted reading it?

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#977

Post by jgwr » September 2nd, 2015, 5:54 am

Nuclearplanet on Sep 1 2015, 04:50:31 PM wrote:Started reading Infinite Jest. Have been terrified of this book since I got it, but it's a waist to have it wait on my bookshelf any longer. Anyone else ever attempted reading it?
I attempted it several years ago.
The attempt was unsuccessful.

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#978

Post by 3eyes » September 2nd, 2015, 12:46 pm

I got thru maybe 50 pages.
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#979

Post by ormazd » September 2nd, 2015, 2:20 pm

Nuclearplanet on Sep 1 2015, 04:50:31 PM wrote:Started reading Infinite Jest. Have been terrified of this book since I got it, but it's a waist to have it wait on my bookshelf any longer. Anyone else ever attempted reading it?
Inspired by The End of the Tour, I'm also tackling this white whale. So far, so good.

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#980

Post by mightysparks » September 2nd, 2015, 2:24 pm

jgwr on Sep 1 2015, 08:57:59 AM wrote:At the moment I seem to be on some sort of horror kick. Been investigating a few recent luminaries in that field (Thomas Ligotti, Laird Barron, Tom Piccirilli, Scott Thomas), and I'm also checking out some of the older stuff in that vein (reread Castle of Otranto last night, which is about as old as horror fiction gets).

Anyone got recommendations? I do have a few names I want to check out (e.g. Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Michael McDowell, Simon Strantzas, John Langan), but I'm open to suggestions for others...
I love Graham Masterton (well, he's my favourite author...), but some of his stuff is a bit wishy washy and his writing style isn't really that classy but I like it :P Flesh and Blood, Spirit and Family Portrait are my favourites.
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#981

Post by frbrown » September 2nd, 2015, 4:56 pm

jgwr on Sep 1 2015, 08:57:59 AM wrote:At the moment I seem to be on some sort of horror kick. Been investigating a few recent luminaries in that field (Thomas Ligotti, Laird Barron, Tom Piccirilli, Scott Thomas), and I'm also checking out some of the older stuff in that vein (reread Castle of Otranto last night, which is about as old as horror fiction gets).

Anyone got recommendations? I do have a few names I want to check out (e.g. Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Michael McDowell, Simon Strantzas, John Langan), but I'm open to suggestions for others...
I'm not much of a horror fan (or much of a reader :sweat: ), but here goes:

William Hope Hodgson

Early 20th century, with that kind of elegant, well-educated prose style. I've read and liked Ghost Pirates and Boats of the Glen Carrig, which are both nautical horror novels, as the titles imply, and House on the Borderland, a mix of monster story and end-of-the-Universe non-horror fantasy.


Fritz Leiber

I've read and liked Conjure Wife, about petty rivalries in a small college town - with witches, and Our Lady of Darkness, a ghost story and a nice time capsule of 1970s San Francisco.
He also wrote a lot of non-horror stuff.


Edogawa Rampo

I've only read Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which is collection of stories in different genres. There is no supernatural/monster horror, instead it has some sick psycho-sexual stories, like "Human Chair", about a guy who lives in a chair and gets his kicks from women seating on the chair, or "The Caterpillar", about a woman married to a war veteran who lost all his limbs.
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#982

Post by Hunziker » September 2nd, 2015, 5:31 pm

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#983

Post by jgwr » September 3rd, 2015, 7:31 am

Knaldskalle on Apr 12 2015, 12:29:25 PM wrote:Finally finished War and Peace the other day. It's a great book and that is of course the reason why I kept reading despite its great length and the insane amount of time it took me. I started reading it March 1st 2014 and finished it April 7 2015, so more than 13 months. I've never taken this long to read a book. I might give Anna Karenina a shot later, but definitely not right away.
Belated congratulations on this. I've tried W&P twice, two different translations, and failed both times. Indeed, the second time round (the translation by Tolstoy's friends Louise & Aylmer Maude) I actually got through less of it than I did the first time (the Rosemary Edmonds translation). I did sit through the whole of the 1960s Russian film version, which led me to think I might not have missed that much somehow... still, I haven't had a crack at it since 1999 or thereabouts, maybe I should finally have another go...

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#984

Post by jgwr » September 3rd, 2015, 7:53 am

I'm not much of a horror fan (or much of a reader :sweat: ), but here goes:

William Hope Hodgson

Early 20th century, with that kind of elegant, well-educated prose style. I've read and liked Ghost Pirates and Boats of the Glen Carrig, which are both nautical horror novels, as the titles imply, and House on the Borderland, a mix of monster story and end-of-the-Universe non-horror fantasy.
I have his novels waiting to be read. Read House a long time ago and wasn't blown away by it then, but willing to give him another chance. There's quite a few authors of that sort of thing from the late 19th/early 20th century (e.g. Blackwood, M.R. James) I need to catch up with.
Fritz Leiber

I've read and liked Conjure Wife, about petty rivalries in a small college town - with witches, and Our Lady of Darkness, a ghost story and a nice time capsule of 1970s San Francisco.
He also wrote a lot of non-horror stuff.
I've read and enjoyed both of those that you named. Think they're due for a re-read.
Edogawa Rampo

I've only read Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which is collection of stories in different genres. There is no supernatural/monster horror, instead it has some sick psycho-sexual stories, like "Human Chair", about a guy who lives in a chair and gets his kicks from women seating on the chair, or "The Caterpillar", about a woman married to a war veteran who lost all his limbs.
That's one I've been wondering about too. I have Blind Beast but haven't read it yet; I have seen the film, which is... kind of fucked up, and I gather the book is even more so.

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#985

Post by frbrown » September 3rd, 2015, 3:58 pm

jgwr on Sep 3 2015, 01:53:10 AM wrote:
Edogawa Rampo

I've only read Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which is collection of stories in different genres. There is no supernatural/monster horror, instead it has some sick psycho-sexual stories, like "Human Chair", about a guy who lives in a chair and gets his kicks from women seating on the chair, or "The Caterpillar", about a woman married to a war veteran who lost all his limbs.
That's one I've been wondering about too. I have Blind Beast but haven't read it yet; I have seen the film, which is... kind of fucked up, and I gather the book is even more so.
The two stories I named (and one more: "Hell of Mirrors") are the same kind of fucked up as Blind Beast (the movie - I haven't read the book either).
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#986

Post by Nuclearplanet » September 3rd, 2015, 11:50 pm

ormazd on Sep 2 2015, 08:20:09 AM wrote:
Nuclearplanet on Sep 1 2015, 04:50:31 PM wrote:Started reading Infinite Jest. Have been terrified of this book since I got it, but it's a waist to have it wait on my bookshelf any longer. Anyone else ever attempted reading it?
Inspired by The End of the Tour, I'm also tackling this white whale. So far, so good.
Also Inspired by The End Of The Tour.

White Whale = Moby Dick? You should be this guy then :P
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#987

Post by Kowry » September 14th, 2015, 9:52 pm

Reading Ray Bradbury's short story collection The Illustrated Man (which has been on loan from my local library for half a year...) .It's fun to read short stories for a change, and Bradbury's writing is very enjoyable to read, even though any of the stories this far haven't been that spectacular.

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#988

Post by 3eyes » September 16th, 2015, 3:33 am

I seem to have gone off movies for the time being - am reading some of Colin Cotterill's Dr Siri mysteries - set in 1970s newly Communist Laos. Very funny.
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#989

Post by Cippenham » October 2nd, 2015, 9:38 pm

Reading Dominic Sandbrooks new book on British culture The Great British Dream factory, will list films it mentions As I go on ,first Danny Boyles 2012🍥Olympic opening and Kes. Everyone thought the Olympics would go badly but it was a great success. Next mention tv series The Thick of It. He mentions many books but I won't list those but I will to series and shows. Doctor Who. Coronation Street. Sherlock. Downtown Abbey. Chariots of Fire. Top Gear. Monty Python. Trainspotting. Henry V (Olivier). The Avengers -sixties and seventies tv series. 28 Days Later. The Prisoner. He also mentions many books turned into TVs series or films but unless the film or TVs series are mentioned I won't list those or the film directors mentioned usually. The jazz Singer. Not all films listed are British but are mentioned as an influence. Fame 1979. Upstairs Downstairs. Brides head Revisited 1981. To the Manor Born. You Only Live Twice. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. The Spy Who Loved Me. Lord of thoe Flies. Roylal Flash 1975. And Then There Were None 1945. Great Expectations 1946' Village of the Damned 1960 Room at the Top. 1959. I'm alright Jack 1959' Billy Elliot 2000
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#990

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » October 12th, 2015, 11:46 pm

Foucault's Discipline and Punish was amazing. Next up, Kierkegaard's Either/Or.
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#991

Post by xianjiro » November 12th, 2015, 5:45 am

I'm almost done with The Rescue at Dead Dog Beach.

The subject is very, very difficult to deal with. It's hard to deal with so much 'inhumanity' especially when one considers it's a small step from harming dogs to harming children or other people - a regular perusal of news headlines pretty much confirms this.

Next up is The Commodore. I'm looking forward to the change of pace.
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#992

Post by plasma_birds » November 18th, 2015, 9:40 am

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Even for Chinese poetry, with its tradition of sophisticated literary allusion, the background you need for these is pretty extreme. Without them, it'd be like reading Dante or Milton with no background in Greco-Roman classics. Luckily there's footnotes and introductions of course. I swear I'm reading them 70% of the time and the poems the other 30% lol. But that isn't a bad thing; it actually has made the experience much richer.

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#993

Post by funkybusiness » November 18th, 2015, 9:44 am

I've been meaning to take the dive into Chinese poetry but it is pretty intimidating. NYRB has started publishing volumes and they all seem quite interesting...

so the footnotes are worthwhile in that edition? and are they actual footnotes or endnotes? I know most of the Penguin editions I have (of other things, not Chinese poetry) tend to have endnotes.

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#994

Post by plasma_birds » November 21st, 2015, 7:05 am

funkybusiness on Nov 18 2015, 02:44:28 AM wrote:I've been meaning to take the dive into Chinese poetry but it is pretty intimidating. NYRB has started publishing volumes and they all seem quite interesting...

so the footnotes are worthwhile in that edition? and are they actual footnotes or endnotes? I know most of the Penguin editions I have (of other things, not Chinese poetry) tend to have endnotes.
Yeah, misspoke, they're endnotes. But very helpful, I think. More so here than somewhere else because there are just names upon names upon names, but you'll start to remember them more clearly.

I'd say that Kenneth Rexroth's One Hundred Poems from the Chinese and the NYRB's Poems of the Late T'ang are probably the best places to start. T'ang poetry is a lot more accessible. In those, even if you don't understand the ancient literary/historical references, the language and descriptions of nature combined with emotion are beautiful enough to make a profound effect.

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#995

Post by 3eyes » December 21st, 2015, 5:08 pm

Just finished Robert Kunzig's Mapping the Deep, a history of oceanography written in 1999 which left me wanting an update on research on things like the relationship between ocean currents and air currents (are we in for anther ice age if the glaciers melt enough to change the salinity of the ocean???).

Now I've been toying with the idea of reading some of the literary classics I never got through. Poked around our houseful of books and set up a shelf of candidates. It's getting harder and harder to get rid of print books, so I might as well read which I have on hand before braving the world of ebooks. I am attempting Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, which was required reading in English lit 101 in my day, but I never took a college course in English lit - only French and Russian. It was my English-teacher aunt's copy, and there are helpful marginal notes in her hand.

Dunno how long this will last as I've just found someone to help me put together another book of poetry, which I plan to get going on after Christmas.
:run: STILL the Gaffer!

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#996

Post by jgwr » December 22nd, 2015, 4:56 pm

Currently it's Dickens' Christmas books (I'm partway through Cricket on the Hearth).

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#997

Post by Neemu » January 2nd, 2016, 6:40 pm

I'm currently reading "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper for a book club. I like it, because the main character is a very relatable introverted kid.

I've heard the film adaptation is atrocious.

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#998

Post by Kowry » January 2nd, 2016, 9:53 pm

Soft Machine by Burroughs. I liked Junkie, really not sure about this one. It keeps switching from fascinatingly odd to near incomprehensibility. I know writing conventional prose wasn't exactly Burrough's intention, but it gets to the point where I go through a page and realise I have no idea what I just read.
Last edited by Kowry on January 2nd, 2016, 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#999

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » January 4th, 2016, 7:55 am

Image
My father didn’t have the skill of a professional cameraman. The result? Avant-garde cinema.

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#1000

Post by funkybusiness » January 4th, 2016, 10:12 am

are those multiple Lana del Rey tattoos?


and I'm reading or re-reading the complete works of Thomas Pynchon in order. Started the 1st, almost thru V.

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