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derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

Helen DeWitt, Olga Tokarczuk, .... I haven't read much written this century, so I'm probably not much help.

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The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

derp posted:

Helen DeWitt, Olga Tokarczuk, .... I haven't read much written this century, so I'm probably not much help.

I liked the Ferrante novels a lot.

I’m reading Atwood’s The Blind Assassin with my wife and we’re both on the same page about it dragging in the middle (we’re a little more than halfway done). Does everything pay off? I feel that my criticism is a bit weird considering I’m ploughing through Knausgaard, where the same criticism could be leveled.

Unrelated, I’m rereading Gravity’s Rainbow (75 years since when it takes place!) with the Weisenburger companion and getting a lot out of it. Anyone have any good articles or commentaries about the book?

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



svetlana alekseievich (sp.) is good too.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Dasa Drndic wrote most of her stuff since 2000. I've only read Doppelganger but it was a hoot.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

I've recommended Oksana Zabuzhko before and am recommending her again.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

I've been wanting to read some history lately, because I'm uneducated. Any subject other than American history. But I want stuff with top notch prose. Any standouts in the non-fiction / world history area that shouldn't be missed? The more focused and obscure the better.

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

derp posted:

I've been wanting to read some history lately, because I'm uneducated. Any subject other than American history. But I want stuff with top notch prose. Any standouts in the non-fiction / world history area that shouldn't be missed? The more focused and obscure the better.

Hobsbawn’s Age of ____ is a 4 parter from 1789 (French Rev) through around 1991 in world history. May be a little less lit-y, though.

China Mieville’s October is about the October revolution in Russia. Written in prose.

More political, but Naomi Klein is a good writer. The Shock Doctrine covers how the US and IMF gently caress up weaker countries and ruin their social services in the name of the free market.

sorry I didn’t see ‘other than American history’

People’s History by Zinn is the standard lefty history of the US. Still a bit textbook-y.

Caro’s LBJ books are really well written biography of LBJ and his pal Jumbo.

Perlstein’s 3 books on Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan document the rise of the modern Republican Party. Not as good of a writer as Caro, IMO, but interesting.

McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom may be the gold standard for the civil war.

Anything by Mike Davis will be more niche.

If you want something really niche, try The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. It’s about a 1904 incident where Irish orphans were sent to Arizona to live with Mexican families (since they’re also catholic) and the response from the White settlers in the town where they end up. Shifting identities in America, who is or is not ‘us’, etc.

The North Tower fucked around with this message at 20:14 on May 13, 2020

Ras Het
May 23, 2007

when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child - but now I am a man.


derp posted:

The more focused and obscure the better.

Montaillou
The Cheese & The Worms
The Return of Martin Guerre
The Hanged Man (Robert Bartlett)

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

Ras Het posted:

Montaillou
The Cheese & The Worms
The Return of Martin Guerre
The Hanged Man (Robert Bartlett)

The Great Cat Massacre
SPQR by Mary Beard

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

Ras Het posted:

Montaillou
The Cheese & The Worms
The Return of Martin Guerre
The Hanged Man (Robert Bartlett)


The North Tower posted:

The Great Cat Massacre
SPQR by Mary Beard

YES exactly the kind of stuff i was looking for, thank you

Mokelumne Trekka
Nov 22, 2015

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?



derp posted:

Helen DeWitt

Ah, interesting. At one point I was skimming old pages ITT and saw a few good comments about The Last Samurai, but I overlooked the author. I'll look more into this book.

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

derp posted:

YES exactly the kind of stuff i was looking for, thank you

French people were hosed up in the best way. Literature chaser could be Gargantua & Pentagruel.

For history-history, I can’t recommend Hobsbawm enough, though. He covers arts, as well.

Ras Het
May 23, 2007

when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child - but now I am a man.


Hobsbawm is good but he's usually grand, sweeping, the machine of history-y

Duck Rodgers
Oct 9, 2012


I would second Hobsbawm's Age of series. He's widely referenced, particularly among marxists, and he includes sections on historical trends evident in and driving art, literature, etc.

I'm reading Fossil Capital by Andreas Malm about the historical materialist development of climate change, and he references a book on literary criticism and Teju Cole in the first ten pages.

lost in postation
Aug 14, 2009



derp posted:

I've been wanting to read some history lately, because I'm uneducated. Any subject other than American history. But I want stuff with top notch prose. Any standouts in the non-fiction / world history area that shouldn't be missed? The more focused and obscure the better.

Marc Bloch's The Royal Touch (or, to use the much cooler French title, Les Rois thaumaturges) deals with a completely bizarre part of the royal mystique in Western Europe and is one of the first works of modern history. It's very good.

Lex Neville
Apr 15, 2009


derp where are you from again? you should absolutely give Antonio Scurati's novel about Mussolini a go if it's available in a language you can read (the english translation isn't out yet iirc)

Lex Neville fucked around with this message at 21:33 on May 13, 2020

lost in postation
Aug 14, 2009



Ras Het posted:

Montaillou
The Cheese & The Worms
The Return of Martin Guerre
The Hanged Man (Robert Bartlett)

Have you read any Alain Corbin? Based on this list I think you might dig him.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

Lex Neville posted:

derp where are you from again? you should absolutely give Antonio Scurati's novel about Mussolini a go if it's available in a language you can read (the english translation isn't out yet iirc)

I'm in the US (seattle area) so sadly i can only read english and some very basic spanish (like, children's story basic).

MystOpportunity
Jun 27, 2004


derp posted:

I've been wanting to read some history lately, because I'm uneducated. Any subject other than American history. But I want stuff with top notch prose. Any standouts in the non-fiction / world history area that shouldn't be missed? The more focused and obscure the better.

If you’re open to works looser with fact and more focused on impressionistic narratives that capture the “then and there” feeling of events, I would highly recommend Ryszard Kapuscinski. Only has maybe six slim books translated into English, but all are wonderful and often lyrical firsthand(ish) accounts of slices of history in developing nations.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

MystOpportunity posted:

If you’re open to works looser with fact and more focused on impressionistic narratives that capture the “then and there” feeling of events, I would highly recommend Ryszard Kapuscinski. Only has maybe six slim books translated into English, but all are wonderful and often lyrical firsthand(ish) accounts of slices of history in developing nations.

those look right like they are just my kind of thing, thanks

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.


Mokelumne Trekka posted:

This sounds cool and it did remind me of something I thought this thread could answer.

21st century literature by women. Who are the top names/works?

maybe it's a dumb question but I rarely see woman writers mentioned by the literati in the last twenty years. I'm probably out of the loop in general though

I'm partial to Jennifer Egan.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

derp posted:

I've been wanting to read some history lately, because I'm uneducated. Any subject other than American history. But I want stuff with top notch prose. Any standouts in the non-fiction / world history area that shouldn't be missed? The more focused and obscure the better.
Russia's First Civil War, by Chester Dunning, about the Time of Troubles. Hell of a time, hell of a book. Not a particularly obscure topic, but the book is a personal favorite, if (forgivably) given to editorializing.

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at 23:42 on May 13, 2020

Karenina
Jul 9, 2013



ulvir posted:

svetlana alekseievich (sp.) is good too.

alexievich is great. more people should read war's unwomanly face and secondhand time.

Bandiet
Dec 30, 2015



As long as we're on literary non-fiction, what's some good poetic nature writing? Something like Eugčne Marais or J.A. Baker.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

im from norway



ali smith's four seasons (well, three atm) are very funny and good middlebrow lit

e. re contemporary female authors

Ras Het
May 23, 2007

when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child - but now I am a man.


lost in postation posted:

Have you read any Alain Corbin? Based on this list I think you might dig him.

No and there isn't any available on Wordery so you'll have to remind me again post-corona or find me another bookshop

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

derp, Just thought of another: The Berlin to Baghdad Railway. A series of goof-em-ups by German failsons during WW1. Will the Germans complete their railway? Will they ignite a pan-Islamic jihad against the British, from India to Egypt? Will anyone take them seriously?

Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

I think this is a pretty good draft class overall. It's really shaping up that way because of the water types.


Mokelumne Trekka posted:

This sounds cool and it did remind me of something I thought this thread could answer.

21st century literature by women. Who are the top names/works?

maybe it's a dumb question but I rarely see woman writers mentioned by the literati in the last twenty years. I'm probably out of the loop in general though

Jennifer Weiner

jk

Valeria Luiselli is p. dope and the Gilead Trilogy by Marilynne Robinson is probably the pinnacle of American Fiction of this century

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

The North Tower posted:

derp, Just thought of another: The Berlin to Baghdad Railway. A series of goof-em-ups by German failsons during WW1. Will the Germans complete their railway? Will they ignite a pan-Islamic jihad against the British, from India to Egypt? Will anyone take them seriously?

This looks cool, thanks!

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Bandiet posted:

As long as we're on literary non-fiction, what's some good poetic nature writing? Something like Eugčne Marais or J.A. Baker.

This 19th century guy Richard Jefferies wrote some good stuff about the English countryside, check out 'The Gamekeeper at Home'(it's on gutenberg with all his other works)

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


Soiled Meat

spqr is bad and only became famous due to a massive media and ad push by the publishers

Officer Sandvich
Feb 14, 2010


Bandiet posted:

As long as we're on literary non-fiction, what's some good poetic nature writing? Something like Eugčne Marais or J.A. Baker.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek if you haven't read it. She quotes a lot from Jean-Henri Fabre and while idk if I would call him poetic his insect books are very cool too.

fez_machine
Nov 27, 2004
You have1 unread message



derp posted:

I've been wanting to read some history lately, because I'm uneducated. Any subject other than American history. But I want stuff with top notch prose. Any standouts in the non-fiction / world history area that shouldn't be missed? The more focused and obscure the better.

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbons is often wrong but it's got sick burns aplenty

Memoirs from Beyond The Grave is lovely

John Mchphee is great but it's American history

If you want obscure micro-histories Tim Robinson's Stones of Arran books are fantastic

Ian Sinclair if you want eliptical walking histories of London.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Mel Mudkiper posted:

after the first chapter you are gonna have a question and you are gonna read the whole book for an answer to that question and I am telling you right now there is not an answer to that question

I'm about 50 pages in and doing my best to read slowly and follow the text the best I can but I'm not sure what question I'm supposed to have? Why did Hal collapse during the interview??

mdemone
Mar 14, 2001

There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.




TrixRabbi posted:

I'm about 50 pages in and doing my best to read slowly and follow the text the best I can but I'm not sure what question I'm supposed to have? Why did Hal collapse during the interview??

Yeah or just more broadly what happened to Hal?

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Infinite Quest.. for a better book!

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



speaking of pointless mysteries that never get resolved because the author trusts that 'i dont know this thing' is compelling in and of itself, sword of the lictor and citadel of the autarch might actually be good. they still have exactly the same problems as shadow & claw and its not worth reading the entire book of the new sun for, but the density of fun ideas has ramped up. i like the ascians.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


The best part of those books was when that little kid gets zapped by the cursed Mt Rushmore head and Severian just shrugs and moves on.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



mdemone posted:

Yeah or just more broadly what happened to Hal?

the reefer madness got 'im

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Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

I think this is a pretty good draft class overall. It's really shaping up that way because of the water types.


cest moi liking Shadow and Claw is such a reversal of everything I thought I understood

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