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Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:09 pm
by daSwami
doclinkin wrote:
Since we agree on Exley and Karr, who else should I read when I'm done with this one?


oh man, tough one. based on the above, i'm still trying to get a "read" on what you like. Exley and Karr are hard to match visavis style and substance, i.e., "writerly" (good word) writers who explore the very dark corners of their lives. Although not so "writerly," I guess you could put most of Bukowki's truth-based fiction on the list (esp. "Women" and "Hollywod"). Martin Amis is another in that vein. But both of those guys are so firmly entrenched in the hipster-lit canon that I'd wager that you're already familiar with their stuff.

Doc, i love that you're a fellow Exley fan. I've recommended "Fan's" (his first, not the next 2 sucky ones) to so many people, but very few have shared my enthusiasm for it. I really haven't encountered an author since who has so moved me. (Jonathan Yardley apparently shares this sentiment, he wrote a book about Exley, with whom he formed an odd friendship. Yardley wrote a glowing review of "Fan's" for the WaPo, and Exley got all needy and stalkerish afterwards.)

Anyhoo, I think the "spoken aloud" vernacular was perfected in Dave Eggers' "Heartbreaking" - again, i'll assume you've read that. now, throw some recs my way.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:52 pm
by doclinkin
daSwami wrote: throw some recs my way.


Um, this thread? I put a few in here.

I'll read a wide variety, from kids books to comics to the more hoity toity. I tend to read less fiction unless I go on a jag, but when I do I can devour large gulping chunks without pausing to chew.. (I'm about to start Book Three of the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, but will pause to taste Mary Karr as a bracing palate cleanser first).

But anyway to distill from the thread, some realistic fiction or memoir, in no particular order:

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy
The Barfighter, by Ivan something or other
Spider Boys, by Ming Cher
In Pharoah's Army by Tobias Wolff
How late it was how late by James Kelman
The Same River Twice, by Chris Offutt
Crazy for the Storm. by Norman Ollestad
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
Easter Day 1941, by GF Borden (good luck finding that one... )


Young Adult stuff:
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Tales from the Madman Underground, by John Barnes

There's probably a thread through all of the above, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. There are a number of good scifi or other non-realistic books I'll read as well, but the above have a quality, a kinship that reminds me of Exley or Bukowski (I think I've read all his prose now, another favorite). Not that any match the depraved self-destruction of Ex or Buk. Except perhaps Glaswegan James Kelman whose book is narrated by a scot who drinks himself blind then crawls through the gutters of Glasgow.

But that's a few good ones anyway.

Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:16 pm
by Induveca
doclinkin wrote:
daSwami wrote: throw some recs my way.


Um, this thread? I put a few in here.

I'll read a wide variety, from kids books to comics to the more hoity toity. I tend to read less fiction unless I go on a jag, but when I do I can devour large gulping chunks without pausing to chew.. (I'm about to start Book Three of the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, but will pause to taste Mary Karr as a bracing palate cleanser first).

But anyway to distill from the thread, some realistic fiction or memoir, in no particular order:

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy
The Barfighter, by Ivan something or other
Spider Boys, by Ming Cher
In Pharoah's Army by Tobias Wolff
How late it was how late by James Kelman
The Same River Twice, by Chris Offutt
Crazy for the Storm. by Norman Ollestad
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
Easter Day 1941, by GF Borden (good luck finding that one... )


Young Adult stuff:
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Tales from the Madman Underground, by John Barnes

There's probably a thread through all of the above, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. There are a number of good scifi or other non-realistic books I'll read as well, but the above have a quality, a kinship that reminds me of Exley or Bukowski (I think I've read all his prose now, another favorite). Not that any match the depraved self-destruction of Ex or Buk. Except perhaps Glaswegan James Kelman whose book is narrated by a scot who drinks himself blind then crawls through the gutters of Glasgow.

But that's a few good ones anyway.


Cosign on the brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao. Dominicanos!!!

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:53 am
by pineappleheadindc
I just pre-ordered the soon-to-be-available 1,000 page Haruki Murakami novel, 1Q84. I think it'll be released and shipped in October.

I'm a real fan of his. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of my fave books.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:41 am
by hands11
Reading Jim Web, A time to flight. So far so good. But I just started.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:43 pm
by W. Unseld
At the risk of embarrasment has anyone else read "The 4 Hour Work Week"? It's certainly not a work of literature but it does have me rethinking some things, particularly retirement.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:43 pm
by W. Unseld
At the risk of embarrasment has anyone else read "The 4 Hour Work Week"? It's certainly not a work of literature but it does have me rethinking some things, particularly retirement.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:20 pm
by Zonkerbl
I'm reading the steampunk magnum opus Boneshaker.

Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:08 pm
by Induveca
W. Unseld wrote:At the risk of embarrasment has anyone else read "The 4 Hour Work Week"? It's certainly not a work of literature but it does have me rethinking some things, particularly retirement.


Read it a long time ago, I was honestly already living that lifestyle so was more of a reenforcement, but it's legit advice.

The one obvious part they leave out is you need talent and can't expect to be lazy for the first few years.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:48 pm
by dobrojim
reading Collapse by Jared Diamond - scary stuff

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:22 pm
by pineappleheadindc
pineappleheadindc wrote:I just pre-ordered the soon-to-be-available 1,000 page Haruki Murakami novel, 1Q84. I think it'll be released and shipped in October.

I'm a real fan of his. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of my fave books.



Amazon.com says that my book should arrive Friday.

This is a good thing.

(I'm currently re-reading some old novel I got in an airport when I was away on business. Replay - about a guy who time travels back into his past over and over again).

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:33 pm
by fishercob
A childhood friend just published his memoir about his brief life in the world of porn:

American Gangbang: A Love Story

Description:

A thoughtful, hilarious, and compulsively readable memoir by an Ivy League graduate-turned-pornographer who sets out to bring sophistication and equality to sexual cinema—only to find that he can’t change porn, but porn can certainly change him.
American Gangbang heralds the arrival of a profound and gifted new voice in narrative nonfiction. In 1999, after four years of studying at Brown University, Sam Benjamin heads to California in a twenty-year-old Volvo, dead set on turning himself into an artist, despite his complete lack of talent. There, stoned, he has an epiphany—he will make progressive porn. And so begins his turbulent journey. . . .

In whip-smart, lyrical prose, Benjamin traces his three-year immersion into the world of Hollywood’s bleak, screen glow–lit doppelganger: the southern California sex industry. His rapid ascent from the dingy storefront rental of a starving artist to the multimillion-dollar Malibu villa of a full-fledged porn producer confronts him with the uncomfortably alluring realities of America's strangest industry: gun-toting actors, high on terrible, drug-induced potency; giggling actresses battling internal demons in wobbly heels and pink fishnets; the insatiable consumer demands to sink ever lower, more exploitative, nastier. The result is the titillating, dramatic chronicle of a young man who invites the deepest, most troubling parts of himself to rise to the surface in order to get a good look at them—only to find that what he sees makes his world seem suddenly very small.

A provocative, universal coming-of-age story, American Gangbang explores with unflinching honesty the darkly rich junction of sex and self-discovery.


And he got a great review from none other than Bethlehem Shoals at Free Darko:

"Remarkably, Sam Benjamin has written a book that will appeal to porn enthusiasts, anti-porn crusaders, and the millions of who find themselves stuck in the middle. Sure, American Gangbang is filthy and over-sexed; it's also deeply conflicted and at times, unsettling. But the real shock is how much anyone can relate in spite of all the fake tits and endless flowing lube. In American Gangbang, as in life, smut just kind of happens. In that, it looks an awful lot like love."—Bethlehem Shoals, founder of FreeDarko.com and co-author of The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History


I'm two thirds of the way through. It's extremely compelling, well-written, graphic, funny, sad, dark, twisted, etc.

And here's a HuffPo interview with the author entitled How To Get Your Memoir Published

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:38 pm
by daSwami
fishercob wrote:A childhood friend just published his memoir about his brief life in the world of porn:



Thanks. I just downloaded the kindle version. I've been on a bit of a memoir kick lately (working on one of my own). I also enjoy me some porn, so it seemed like a good fit for me right now. My childhood friends are all boring.

Has anyone read the Steve Jobs bio? I downloaded it, too. I'm a sucker for the hype I guess.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:34 pm
by Zonkerbl
pineappleheadindc wrote:
pineappleheadindc wrote:I just pre-ordered the soon-to-be-available 1,000 page Haruki Murakami novel, 1Q84. I think it'll be released and shipped in October.

I'm a real fan of his. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of my fave books.



Amazon.com says that my book should arrive Friday.

This is a good thing.

(I'm currently re-reading some old novel I got in an airport when I was away on business. Replay - about a guy who time travels back into his past over and over again).


OMG YAY CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:36 pm
by Zonkerbl
Currently reading China Mieville's Embassytown OMG SO AWESOME. Dude is the Shakespeare of science fiction.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:26 am
by pineappleheadindc
Zonkerbl wrote:
pineappleheadindc wrote:
pineappleheadindc wrote:I just pre-ordered the soon-to-be-available 1,000 page Haruki Murakami novel, 1Q84. I think it'll be released and shipped in October.

I'm a real fan of his. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of my fave books.



Amazon.com says that my book should arrive Friday.

This is a good thing.

(I'm currently re-reading some old novel I got in an airport when I was away on business. Replay - about a guy who time travels back into his past over and over again).


OMG YAY CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!



Dude, you may have seen it on my FB page, but the book arrived. I'm reading it slowly to try and enjoy it. But it comes in over 1,000 pages, so I'll be reading it a while.

A friend of mine who's a Prof at UMD got it yesterday brick-and-mortar (with his academic discount). So it's available retail in DC now.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:23 pm
by Zonkerbl
Can't wait 'cause my gf ordered a copy and it's in the mail. Yay!

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:12 pm
by willbcocks
Seems not random enough for the random thoughts thread, so I'll put it in here.

I had lunch with two Pulitzer prize for fiction winners today: Edward Jones and Junot Diaz. I'm the control officer for Edward's trip to the Philippines, and Junot Diaz was there for the same film festival. Both of them are good folk and fabulous writers.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:31 am
by DallasShalDune
That's amazing, will. I'm jealous. I need to read Oscar Wao (Diaz).

Book thread on-topic--I'm starting Infinite Jest. I'm excited to see what it's all cracked up to be.

Re: Book Thread. I have nothing good to read.

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:26 pm
by Nivek
Way cool, will. I'd love to do something like that someday. Or win a Pulitzer. Then I'd be eating with a Pulitzer winner EVERY day. ;)