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What are you reading when your not reading House of Leaves?

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  • What are you reading when your not reading House of Leaves?

    what have you read lately?

    This week, I'm reading Bukowski's posthumous 'Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way', which has some good poems, but overall isn't his best work.

    Though it is the best available, recently-published, previously-unpublished writing you can get from any dead beat writer. You should at least pick it up in the store and read the first poem, titled 'so you want to be a writer?'

    I also just finished a book called Raven's End. I was disappointed with one weak link in the plot and the ending seemed somewhat weak, but I am a harsh judge of book endings. The writing in it was excellent, and the story was mostly very strong.

    Anyway, I'm looking for something new to read. Anyone have any suggestions?

  • #2
    What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

    Reading at the moment:
    Lanark by Alastair Gray, on the back of recommendations from here (I think). Like a cross between Flann O' Brien and Rab C. Nesbitt. Excellent.
    G by John Berger. Not sure about this, I've just started it. Anyone read it?
    The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster. Autobiographical musings. Best thing I've read in a long time. His latest novel (Oracle Night is out in the US, I hear. Have any of you Yanks read it yet? Books within books, disappearing manuscipts, blind prophets, footnotes that overwhelm the main text. Sounds interesting.

    Read recently:
    The Third Policeman by Flann O' Brien. Like a cross between Alastair Gray and Father Ted.
    First Love, Last Rites by Ian McEwan (short-story collection). If you've never read anything by him, do so immediately.
    Atomised, Platform, Whatever by Michel Houellebecq. Insipid, styleless, soulless, pessimistic, racist, misogynistic hate-filled rants and idiotic social critiques from a wannabe philosopher. Why can't we write novels like this in the English-speaking world? Recommended.
    Habitus by James Flint (if it was good enough for Claro, it's good enough for you). Engrossing.
    Vice City Players' Guide. I've got the helicopter!

    quote:
    Originally posted by DaethisJain:

    Though it is the best available, recently-published, previously-unpublished writing you can get from any dead beat writer.



    Was that deliberate? If so,
    [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] Either way, I'm using it.

    Comment


    • #3
      What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

      For some reason I went my entire childhood without reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, so I'm reading that now. The only other book I'm reading right now is a book of short stories by Stephen Crane. Maggie: The Girl of the Streets is probably the best short story I have ever read. And I also just finished re-reading Atlas Shrugged and Nietzsche's The Antichrist.

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      • #4
        What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

        In the past couple of weeks:
        On the Road - Jack Kerouac
        Pale Fire - Vladmir Nabokov
        Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

        The following two are collections of short stories that I have been reading off and on:
        Song of the Silent Snow - Hubert Selby, Jr
        Collected Stories - Franz Kafka

        Currently:
        Lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk

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        • #5
          What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

          the portrait of dorian gray and skimming through the bible every so often...what...it passes the time...

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          • #6
            What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

            right now:
            the day of the triffids by john wyndham
            titus groan, by mervyn peake
            something wicked this way comes by ray bradbury
            the most recent Onion collection

            in the last year(a long list... so i only include really good ones)
            diary by chuck palahniuk
            farenheit 451 by ray bradbury
            bushwhacked by molly ivins(if you're into that sort of thing...)
            battle royale by koushun takami(the novel. i don't know about the comic)
            microserfs by douglas coupland
            fugitive days by bill ayers
            the neverending story by michael ende(i believe i am the last person on the board to read this, but it's good, so i will mention it just in case.)

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            • #7
              What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

              Right now: Ulysses by James Joyce.
              Just finished: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, very good, although I did prefer The Virgin Suicides.
              And a few that I read before that:
              Fight Club by Palahniuk, which I didn't think much of.
              The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco, which I didn't like nearly as much as his first two.
              Dirty Havana Trilogy by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez. Don't know why I bothered, really.
              The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. Good but not overwhelming. The Locked Room was definitely the best.
              The Informers by Brett Easton-Ellis. Excellent.
              of Leaves by this guy Danielewski. Dunno if you will have heard of it. A bit crap to be honest.

              Next on my list: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Murakami and Hr. Alheimur (Mr. Universe) by Hallgrímur Helgason, a book pretending to be a film in which all the characters have the names of the actors playing them in brackets after their name on their first appearance. The first line, roughly translated, reads: "God (Marlon Brando) was on the phone".



              [ January 27, 2004: Message edited by: fearful_syzygy ]

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              • #8
                What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                Recently finished To The Light by Virginia Woolf, Anthem by Ayn Rand, and Kazan: The Master Director Discusses His Films (A book of interviews with Elia Kazan by Jeff Young). Am currently about a third the way into Plutarch's Lives.

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                • #9
                  What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                  quote:
                  Originally posted by pwhite:
                  His latest novel (Oracle Night is out in the US, I hear. Have any of you Yanks read it yet? Books within books, disappearing manuscipts, blind prophets, footnotes that overwhelm the main text. Sounds interesting.




                  I started reading Oracle Night in the bookstore the week it came out. It's engrossing from the get-go. I didn't buy it because of my, um, lack of liquidity. But I do want to own it and finish it.

                  Right now, I'm reading Jazz by Toni Morrison. It's one of those books that is good on its own terms but disappointing when compared to her best work (Beloved, in case you're wondering). I recently bought Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct as part of a New Year's resolution to read something other than student essays that is also outside my discipline. So, that one is next. Also, I plan to join a reading group that some of my colleagues will be starting up.

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                  • #10
                    What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                    I am currently reading Oliver Twist, which is brilliant...

                    Books I have read (re-read) recently include:

                    The Subtle Knife
                    Northern Lights
                    The Water Babies
                    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
                    Alice in Wonderland
                    Peter Pan
                    The Hobbit
                    A Room of Ones own
                    Jane Eyre
                    Great Expectations

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                    • #11
                      What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                      quote:
                      Originally posted by fearful_syzygy:
                      Next on my list: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Murakami


                      Fantastic choice! Murakami is an utter genius.

                      As for me: currently reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.

                      Most recently finished:
                      The New Brain by Richard Restak
                      Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
                      Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
                      after the quake by Haruki Murakami
                      Edison's Eve by Gaby Wood
                      Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
                      (among others)

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                      • #12
                        What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                        quote:
                        Originally posted by fearful_syzygy:
                        Fight Club by Palahniuk, which I didn't think much of.

                        Are you a Palahniuk fan? I have read Choke and I am just finishing Lullaby. In those two books he has failed to impress me. Too often does his style of writing pull me out of the text rather than keep me in.

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                        • #13
                          What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                          I've only read Fight Club, which as I say didn't do much for me. I wouldn't mind reading something that I haven't seen the film of, though. So I might give Survivor a go. But I have to finish Ulysses first though...

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                          • #14
                            What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by John B.:


                            I started reading Oracle Night in the bookstore the week it came out. It's engrossing from the get-go. I didn't buy it because of my, um, lack of liquidity. But I do want to own it and finish it.



                            From what I've read it's met with a somewhat lukewarm reception. The consensus seems to be that it's a bit 'Auster-by-numbers'. Still, I'm looking forward to reading it when it does eventually come out on this side of the pond.

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by John B.:
                            I recently bought Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct


                            Very readable and a lot of fun; it gets to the heart of the matter without making it seem like hard work, unlike a lot of popular science writing. His cognitive psychology book How the mind works is also worth reading. It's interesting, but a little simplistic at times, especially when he tries to explain art and aesthetics using the evolutionary-psychology model.

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by Circus:
                            Fantastic choice! Murakami is an utter genius.



                            I'm not so sure. I enjoyed reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, but since then I've been unable to get into anything else of his. I usually give up after a couple of chapters. I think I was all Murakami'd-out after reading the Chronicle, which is a little overlong, you must admit. It's difficult to take so much metaphysical bizarreness when the style of writing is so flat (although perhaps the translation is to blame for this). You get the impression that he's not really saying anything important, just going through the motions. The sections set in Manchuria/China were definitely the best parts of the book.

                            [ January 27, 2004: Message edited by: pwhite ]

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                            • #15
                              What are you reading when your not reading of Leaves?

                              quote:
                              Originally posted by pwhite:
                              I'm not so sure. I enjoyed reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, but since then I've been unable to get into anything else of his. I usually give up after a couple of chapters. I think I was all Murakami'd-out after reading the Chronicle, which is a little overlong, you must admit. It's difficult to take so much metaphysical bizzareness when the style of writing is so flat (although perhaps the translation is to blame for this). You get the impression that he's not really saying anything important, just going through the motions. The sections set in Manchuria/China were definitely the best parts of the book.


                              I'm not sure if it's the translation as much as the problem that nothing ever fully translates, regardless of the skill of the translator. I have a feeling that there are many nuances that are impossible to understand without either being Japanese or having an intimate knowledge of the language and culture.

                              I disagree that his writing is "flat"; i think it's a conscious choice on his part, an approach he chose because the subject matter is so bizarre. This is something one finds elsewhere in modern Japanese storytelling--if you've ever seen Spirited Away, you'll find a similar "flat" response to very strange events and metaphysical ideas.

                              Personally, i think many contemporary and popular American writers have a very grating tendency to weigh every word down with some sort of drama or oozing meaningfulness--and it's sometimes overwhelming.

                              Though i do agree that the China/Manchuria bits were excellent.

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