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Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


my bony fealty posted:

I think this will be my next reread, its been a few years and I've read a few more Eco books since then.

if you haven't read more of his then check out Baudolino next, he'd honed his writing style perfectly by then (or Weaver honed the translation at least) and its overall just a ton of melancholy fun.

Island of the Day Before is my sleeper favorite though, it's a bit disjointed and rough but has some really cool ideas and historical context.

Thanks! Baudolino sounds fantastic! I don't think I want to dive right back into Eco right now but this sounds like an amazing read.

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Roth
Jul 9, 2016


Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata just became the first book I've read in quite a while that wasn't a Star Wars book or nonfiction.

I enjoyed it quite a bit. I think as somebody working customer service and not sure if I'll ever manage to escape, I think I related to Furukawa a bit too much at points. I also really wasn't expecting a decent portion of the book to be an exploration of inceldom

weed cat
Dec 23, 2010

weed cat is back, and he loves to suck dick





Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. Stopped reading it a couple months ago about 3/4 done and finally knocked out the last bit last night. It felt like pretty fun sci-fi. Maybe I'll read the next book in the series. I don't have much to add... I liked it, it was fun.

weed cat
Dec 23, 2010

weed cat is back, and he loves to suck dick





Burned through Into The Wild (Jon Krakauer) today. Really enjoyed Krakauer's writing. I think I read, or at least skimmed parts of this book over 15 years ago. It was definitely more fascinating this time around with all my lived experience that's happened in the time since. Plus, all the traveling I did with a band gave me personal experience in a lot of the places McCandless traveled (although not Alaska). I was initially reminded of this book after a classic thread came up in the PYF SA Sagas thread: Hiking Across America: My Clothes Were Too Heavy.

nonathlon
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

weed cat posted:

Burned through Into The Wild (Jon Krakauer) today. Really enjoyed Krakauer's writing. I think I read, or at least skimmed parts of this book over 15 years ago. It was definitely more fascinating this time around with all my lived experience that's happened in the time since. Plus, all the traveling I did with a band gave me personal experience in a lot of the places McCandless traveled (although not Alaska). I was initially reminded of this book after a classic thread came up in the PYF SA Sagas thread: Hiking Across America: My Clothes Were Too Heavy.

That's a real interesting book and it's interesting to different people's takes on it. (Or takes via the movie, which I haven't seen.)

I thought Krakauer was telling quite a nuanced story - of how young men do foolish things, the events that set McCandless adrift, of how we celebrate those who dare and succeed while forgetting those who fail - but I've met many who wave off McCandless as "just an idiot, he deserved to die". Which seems an almost inhuman reaction to me.

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


nonathlon posted:

I've met many who wave off McCandless as "just an idiot, he deserved to die". Which seems an almost inhuman reaction to me.

Deserved to die is perhaps harsh, but the outcome was eminently predictable and all the mistakes made along the way were McCandless's.

The Moon Monster
Dec 30, 2005
THIS CUSTOM TITLE WILL COME IN HANDY WHILE LURKING


I just finished Killing Commendatore and thought it was Haruki Murakami at his most formulaic and worst. The protagonist is so passive he barely exists, the supernatural elements mostly veered past "mysterious" into simply "nonsense", one of the main characters is basically a parody of a mysterious man of wealth and taste, and it's constantly dwelling on the budding breasts of 13 year old girls. Just re-read Wind Up Bird Chronicle if you feel the urge to read some Murakami.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



The Moon Monster posted:

and it's constantly dwelling on the budding breasts of 13 year old girls.

lol loving Murakami

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Killing Commentadore, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


empty sea posted:

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay, The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling and Mongrels: A Novel by Stephen Graham Jones.

I found all three books to be decent, non-challenging, if sometimes uncomfortable reads and since they were all horror, they were each unsettling in different ways. The ending of The Luminous Dead honestly infuriated me so much that I only skimmed the last chapter. It was a good premise and I enjoyed the first 1/2 to 1/3 of the book but I'll never loving read it again.

The Cabin really stayed with me for a few days, just that uneasy mood. Mongrels was fantastic with lots of world-building tidbits that were delivered very matter of factly. I'd love a movie or show of this book.

Mongrels and The Cabin are two I'd read again, just to see the foreshadowing bits and find pieces I missed the first time. Mongrels is definitely the best of the three and the most original and engaging. In fact, the morning I finished it I had to work and ended up only sleeping about 3 hours because I just had to finish it!

Read Mongrels based on this and found it really fun. A lighter read for sure but definitely very enjoyable.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


The Moon Monster posted:

I just finished Killing Commendatore and thought it was Haruki Murakami at his most formulaic and worst. The protagonist is so passive he barely exists, the supernatural elements mostly veered past "mysterious" into simply "nonsense", one of the main characters is basically a parody of a mysterious man of wealth and taste, and it's constantly dwelling on the budding breasts of 13 year old girls. Just re-read Wind Up Bird Chronicle if you feel the urge to read some Murakami.

Murakami hasnt written anything good since 2005.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013




The Moon Monster posted:

I just finished Killing Commendatore and thought it was Haruki Murakami at his most formulaic and worst. The protagonist is so passive he barely exists, the supernatural elements mostly veered past "mysterious" into simply "nonsense", one of the main characters is basically a parody of a mysterious man of wealth and taste, and it's constantly dwelling on the budding breasts of 13 year old girls. Just re-read Wind Up Bird Chronicle if you feel the urge to read some Murakami.

ah, murakami's signature literary device: every woman is always thinking about their breasts at all times

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



going by the summary it seems like he is literally recycling everything he has written for the past 20 years

good on him for knowing how to earn a quick buck with minimal effort I guess

nut
Jul 30, 2019



ulvir posted:

going by the summary it seems like he is literally recycling everything he has written for the past 20 years

I remember reading wild sheep, wind up, and Kafka back to back to back and when I think back I just vaguely remember one long story about feeling lazy and chill and lists of old rock albums

Kangxi
Nov 12, 2016

The hat is mandatory.


Wuhan Diary, by Fang Fang.

Originally a series of Weibo posts, now published in book form and translated by Michael Berry.

It's a touch repetitive, probably due to writing just to fill time in quarantine, but I found a lot that was very familiar to my own experiences in lockdown. Mixing boredom and the occasional bit of terror. She feels hope at her neighbors being kind to each other in quarantine, the frustration at the government's slapdash and incompetent response. About halfway through, her posts have been attacked by nationalists and other figures who say she's smearing the government's response, and her Weibo posts disappear from time to time.

It's something that people will praise, but I don't know how many will read it. I appreciate it, but right now I'm itching for a good travel book.

weed cat
Dec 23, 2010

weed cat is back, and he loves to suck dick





nonathlon posted:

That's a real interesting book and it's interesting to different people's takes on it. (Or takes via the movie, which I haven't seen.)

I thought Krakauer was telling quite a nuanced story - of how young men do foolish things, the events that set McCandless adrift, of how we celebrate those who dare and succeed while forgetting those who fail - but I've met many who wave off McCandless as "just an idiot, he deserved to die". Which seems an almost inhuman reaction to me.

I too thought it was a nuanced "take" on the whole thing. A cautionary tale, but I also sympathize with McCandless wanting something drastically new and different. The latest version has some new research from 2015 or so in the afterward; Krakauer paid to have the wild potato seeds chemically analyzed and found it was a toxic amino acid on the seeds that probably poisoned McCandless. Had he not eaten those, it's likely he could have held on the last 20-ish days before other visitors came to the bus. NPR article about the scientific findings

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Lockback posted:

Read Mongrels based on this and found it really fun. A lighter read for sure but definitely very enjoyable.

I kinda love Stephen Graham Jones. I'd recommend Mapping the Interior if you're down for a short horror book.

nut
Jul 30, 2019



The Auctioneer by Joan Samson. I picked this up on a recommendation for horror fiction from a friend. I thought it was relatively solid, but where the scariest moments were conceptually good, I feel like the writing failed to communicate the horror to me. A fun idea for a scary story and a pretty easy read, though.

Dr.D-O
Jan 3, 2020


Just finished On Writing by Stephen King. My grandmother gave me a copy when I was around 10 years old. I read almost all of King's novels when I was 9-13 or so, but I never got through On Writing because I thought it didn't apply to me since I'd probably never write anything. I thought that this quarantine would be a good opportunity to finish it and, I have to admit, it's made me want to try and write fiction. I also realize that my grandmother probably gave it to me because she wanted me to write fiction (she was always commenting on my creativity/imagination).

weed cat
Dec 23, 2010

weed cat is back, and he loves to suck dick





Just finished Neuromancer (William Gibson). Saw it on a bunch of cyberpunk/sci-fi lists. Enjoyed it - reminded me of Snowcrash and The Diamond Age; the end reminded me of the latter's end, as well as 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kind of a cinematic read, made me think of Cowboy Bebop and, of course, The Matrix when I read it. I may have burned through it a little quickly; I can see parts of the book you could want to savor more.

Bifauxnen
Aug 11, 2010

Resurrected
Living in a lighthouse
The lions and the lambs ain't sleeping yet


weed cat posted:

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. Stopped reading it a couple months ago about 3/4 done and finally knocked out the last bit last night. It felt like pretty fun sci-fi. Maybe I'll read the next book in the series. I don't have much to add... I liked it, it was fun.

I still haven't read Altered Carbon yet, but I really loved Market Forces by the same author. I'd definitely recommend that one if you're speeding through a bunch of stuff right now.

Eat This Glob
Jan 14, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

I just finished the last of the main books of the Song of Ice and Fire series that have so far been printed. They were fine, but I probably wont revisit them again. If GRRM finishes the series I'll likely finish it too though. Also, way less diarrhea than I was expecting.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Eat This Glob posted:

I just finished the last of the main books of the Song of Ice and Fire series that have so far been printed. They were fine, but I probably wont revisit them again. If GRRM finishes the series I'll likely finish it too though. Also, way less diarrhea than I was expecting.

do yourself a favour and watch the last season of the show....just for the chuckles.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton is a cozy, short novella about an old teacher who does his best and is loved by everyone. This story is going for a sweet sentiment and it achieves a little bit of that in the end, but I was distracted by Chips' irritating speech tic and the story's quaint opinion of upper-class universities.

nut
Jul 30, 2019



The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches by Gaétan Soucy. A pretty disturbing but evocative read. By the end I was floored for how poetic the entire book was being not only an English translation but also written by a quasi-literate character.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


The Pale King
by David Foster Wallace

This is a work of genius. It is branded as being 'unfinished' due to the author's untimely death, but its actually very complete. The ending climax takes the form of a conversation between two work colleagues and is one of the best pieces of writing I've ever read. In a way, the 'unfinished' nature of the novel is actually a blessing as it does not suffer from the bloat that I felt Infinite Jest did. It was a pleasure to read. I strongly recommend.

up next: either Book 6 of The Expanse, Wolf Hall or Adults in the Room...

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States
by François Cusset

As an academic in the natural historical sciences, my first introduction to what is in this book called French Theory came from the Alan Sokal affair--his publication of outright nonsense in the critical journal Social Text. It seemed that "postmodernism" was useless from this perspective. Yet, my partner found Foucault and especially Derrida--once she was able to penetrate the density of the verbiage--extremely useful in her legal theory classes in grad school. I always struggled with this dichotomy; how could a useful tool of analysis also generate complete gibberish?

So it was on fertile ground that Stanley Fish's review in the NY Times fell, and I went out and bought this book that would hopefully answer my questions. And it's a remarkable book! It begins with the very same Sokal affair, but then goes into the historical development of French Theory (spending a lot of time in Paris in 1968), and how in America these writers (Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Lacan, Lyotard, etc.) were well received and theory led to the development of communitarian based politics of what we now call "intersectionality", whereas in France there was a rejection of these academics and a retrenchment into the ideology of the previous centuries.

It was a surprisingly easy read given the subject matter, but it still took me some years to work through because so much of it was new material to me, not coming up in a humanities stream of study beyond the basic liberal arts requirements of my undergraduate. Reading another introductory text on literary theory well beyond the structuralists and poststructuralists was enormously helpful for me in the end. I do wonder what postscript Cusset would write given the rapid changes in Western democracy and the rise of the new authoritarianism of the past few years.

bromplicated
Mar 28, 2003

Mur-ur-ur-ur

The Dark Tower VII by Stephen King

It took me a little over a year to read through these, and now that I just finished this one, regardless of the quality of the ending or not, I cried a little bit knowing it was finally over. Finishing this felt like I have parted ways with an old friend.
I started reading the 1st volume on the plane ride over to moving to a new country. Having these books with me gave me a sense of feeling like I was back home, even if they took me to strange places.
I felt kind of bad for King that he had to explain the ending the way he did. I was fine with it as it was. But then again I read all of them over a year, I didn't have to wait however many years between books like some people did.

joedevola
Sep 11, 2004

worst song, played on ugliest guitar

Resurrection Man by Eoin McNamee

It's a fictionalised account of the Shankhill Butchers who spent a good amount of the 1970s torturing people (usually randomly chosen Catholics) to death in Belfast.

The first thing to say is the tone is very heavily indebted to Cormac McCarthy. It's basically Buckfast Meridian. That said, it does a fantastic job of encapsulating the claustrophobic inevitability of violence in the city at the time. Worth a read if you want to get a feel for what living through the troubles was like.

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FPyat
Jan 17, 2020


An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson. Did an decent enough job of conveying the events of the North African campaign, but I'm left with the suspicion that Antony Beevor or some other writer might be more my style when it comes to narrative history. The narrow focus on the US and British Armies meant I was mostly left in the dark as to what was going on at sea and in the air. More in-depth Axis perspectives would also have improved things.

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