What's everybody reading?

For discussions of subjects relating to literature and theater.
Okri
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Postby Okri » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:16 pm

I'll wager on The Little Stranger making the shortlist. It's very good.

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Postby Franz Ferdinand » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:47 pm

Still slogging through Infinite Jest, possibly slightly behind the 75-pages-per-week pace, still going from the laugh out loud funny to the befuddled "huh?" throughout.

Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is finished. Wow. It's about all I can offer to add on this novel right now, it is a complex and fascinating read.

Booker season is almost upon us and I am looking forward to the slate this year, I hope it is better than last's!

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Postby Franz Ferdinand » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:25 pm

I've read every single other Murakami, I guess I was letting my anticipation for Wind-Up Bird simmer for a while to get more out of it. It is just great so far. I also can't wait for his new novel to be translated and released here, it sounds fantastic.

Infinite Jest is about what I expected. I will just try to plow through it the first time, let myself get immersed without worrying about understanding it too much of it. So far I've found that a lot of the 200+ footnotes might be about pills, although the filmography of James O. Incandenza is just hilarious. There is a lot of comedy that I can appreciate, and his flights of rhetorical fancy aren't too out there. I am looking forward to being enriched by having read it ???

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Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:06 pm

flipp525 wrote:
Franz Ferdinand wrote:I am also in the middle of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"; you can imagine the intellectual pounding my brain is getting right now!

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of the best books I've ever read. It's almost life-changing.

I just started it...it is great so far




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Damien
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Postby Damien » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:47 am

The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher. Some of the most beautiful, most evocative prose ever written.
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Postby cam » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:09 am

I have been doing a lot of reading--some political commentary, so biographies--but mainly during all this I am reading detective novels: Henning Mankells' Kurt Wallander; Peter Robinson's Alan Banks; Robert Crais' Elvis Cole. I have read a number of each author and character.
For summer reading, every character above is memorable. There is nothing more enjoyable than an afternoon nap preceded by a hunk of one of these.

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:40 pm

Franz Ferdinand wrote:I am also in the middle of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"; you can imagine the intellectual pounding my brain is getting right now!

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of the best books I've ever read. It's almost life-changing.

How is Infinite Jest? I own it, too, just never got around to reading it.
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Postby Franz Ferdinand » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:32 pm

http://infinitesummer.org

A quest to read and finish the late David Foster Wallace's behemoth "Infinite Jest" over a three month period. I had no idea about this when I planned my year's reading list (reading that entire thing over May? Pure folly!), but it gave me an excuse (and a fairly firm time period) to get around the book in earnest and attempt to scale it.

Since his new book was recently published in Japan, with no date for a translation set for N. America, I have decided to tackle my final unread Murakami. So along with "Infinite Jest", I am also in the middle of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"; you can imagine the intellectual pounding my brain is getting right now!

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Postby Franz Ferdinand » Sun May 31, 2009 10:38 pm

I've been reading Rick Perlstein's "Nixonland" and have found it an idiosyncratic and densely-packed historical tome, but altogether enjoyable. My yearly reading list took a bit of a hit this past month as I have been unable to finish Dante's "Divine Comedy" and am due to start "Ulysses" tomorrow. We shall see! Also picked up "The Grapes of Wrath" and plan to read it sometime.

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Postby Penelope » Tue May 19, 2009 10:15 pm

Well, I finished Jane Eyre and loved it; easy to see how it was an influence on Daphne de Maurier's Rebecca. Also just finished Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, which I enjoyed, though not as much as his The Mayor of Casterbridge. I've put both the 1944 version of Jane Eyre (dir Robert Stevenson, starring Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles) and the 1967 version of Madding Crowd (dir John Schlesinger, starring Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Terence Stamp) at the top of my Netflix queue.

Just started reading Liberators: South America's Savage Wars of Freedom 1810-1830 (2000) by Robert Harvey--only 50 pages in and I already find it to be a marvelous, fascinating read.
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Postby FilmFan720 » Tue May 19, 2009 6:47 pm

I just finished Ron Rosenbaum's The Shakespeare Wars, which I believe I first heard of from someone here, but can't remember who (Okri, maybe?). It is a really wonderful read, although the last third start to get a little tedious, which follows many of the scholarly debates that have emerged through the years over Shakespeare's works...worth reading for sure.
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Postby OscarGuy » Tue May 19, 2009 2:57 pm

I would agree with that. It would be really difficult to adapt, but I think Cuaron could certainly do the best with it.
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Postby Mister Tee » Tue May 19, 2009 2:11 pm

OscarGuy wrote:a really great filmmaker could adapt it beautifully to the screen...

I see it as a great Alfonso Cuaron movie

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Postby OscarGuy » Tue May 19, 2009 2:08 pm

That opening part sounds like something that I found a bit of a chore to get through and I must say I liked the book, though I'm not sure how much as it's entirely bizarre, though, a really great filmmaker could adapt it beautifully to the screen...

House of Leaves is the book. It's definitely not for the easily distracted.
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Postby Mister Tee » Tue May 19, 2009 12:48 pm

In the earlier books thread, two people mentioned abandoning reading The Savage Detectives. I guess I can see how this happened. The early diary-entry section, while full of energy, had an "and then...and then..." quality that made you wonder if t was going anywhere. Then the long, oral-history middle section did sometimes feel, as Sonic said, like a batch of short stories thrown in with only tangential connection to the main narrative, with more characters to keep straight than your standard Russian novel. There was also Bolano's occasional indulgence, in 1-2 page lists of street names or writers of whom you've never heard...not to mention the lawyer who threw out all that untranslated Latin (and made me realize how much I'd forgotten since high school).

All that's true. But I found every time I picked up the book, I ended up reading more pages than planned. and by the time I got to the end, I felt elated. This was the most satisfying, buoyant and expansive reading experience I've had in years. The book managed to simultaneously capture the thrill of arrogant youth (with its certainty it sees a future its elders never imagine), the compromises of middle-age, and the disillusionment of later life. And its all told in a vivid, literary-but-not-stifling style that has some of the joie de vivre of On the Road, but a capacity for imagery and insight that Kerouac couldn't approach. What an achievement.

After this, I'm salivating for 2666 -- but I think I'll wait a bit. Why cram the finite number of truly thrilling literary experiences into too short a period?


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