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What are you reading? 
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Post Re: What are you reading?
Timmy Shoes wrote:
I am currently reading Ulysses by James Joyce.

Ulysses is going to be my next "Mt. Everest" book (which I define to be a monumental work of literature that is a challenge to read and finish). My current "Mt. Everest" book is "Gravity's Rainbow." I think what helps with these sorts of books is plenty of side reading. So my current side reading with GR is "Permanent Midnight", a Hollywood insider/drug-addict's memoir (made into a movie starring Ben Stiller).


Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:42 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
I'm currently trying to read Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and I find his prose to be very annoying. It's like a poor man's Who's On First routine. Yet everything I hear about this book is great. Two persons, with opinions I trust, claim this to be their favorite book. Because this is a book that I'm supposed to like I will be a trooper and continue with hopes my opinion will change.

With that in mind...

Have you read any acclaimed novels that you didn't enjoy? I'm not talking about a Stephen King book but the classics or something that would make a "best of " list in literary circles.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:04 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
I'm reading "Wolf Brother" by Michelle Paver.

Yes, I know it's a kids' book. My 9-year-old daughter loved it. Anything but Potter, I say...


Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:10 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Bondurant wrote:
I'm currently trying to read Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and I find his prose to be very annoying. It's like a poor man's Who's On First routine. Yet everything I hear about this book is great. Two persons, with opinions I trust, claim this to be their favorite book. Because this is a book that I'm supposed to like I will be a trooper and continue with hopes my opinion will change.



Catch-22 needed two attempts to earn enough momentum to carry me to the end and now I'm among those that claim this is one of the best American books of the past so long so long. The chapters are short and the story is broad enough that, even if it takes you a month to finish, you won't be lost. If you are then Heller's done his job, anyway.

Bondurant wrote:
Have you read any acclaimed novels that you didn't enjoy? I'm not talking about a Stephen King book but the classics or something that would make a "best of " list in literary circles.


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon had enough praised heaped upon it that, when I started in, it seemed ridiculous to assume this one would be anything less than a major event. It wasn't an event even though it wasn't anything less than epic. The story never veered outside of John Irving territory with its fetish (this time for comic books), sexual confusion (as is required in all Chabon books a character must learn about his homosexuality long after the reader figures it out), and its too-epic-for-its-subject scale. Entertaining at times but definitely not the literary milestone the Pulitzer Prize might have some people think it is.

Animal Farm. Orwell. You know the drill. If the book were geared toward children then it'd be great but somewhere around the fifteenth page came a feeling that this was written for adults. Where's the chill of 1984? Where's the subtlety of argument? I don't know anyone currently in high school but I'd like to know if they've summarily rejected this heavy-handed classic or, maybe better, if they find it a curious footnote to Orwell's great essays and other like fiction. Of course it isn't terrible but it isn't a masterpiece, either.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Pirsig. Truly "GREAT" in the strictest sense: influential, readable, popular, thought-provoking. Also narcissistic, sophomoric, and strangely simple for something that seems to be on everyone's shelf. There's an insane quality to the book that makes it, in the end, a great advertisement for Pirsig -- it's a primer, at best, for anyone over the age of 20.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:38 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
majoraphasia wrote:
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon had enough praised heaped upon it that, when I started in, it seemed ridiculous to assume this one would be anything less than a major event. It wasn't an event even though it wasn't anything less than epic. The story never veered outside of John Irving territory with its fetish (this time for comic books), sexual confusion (as is required in all Chabon books a character must learn about his homosexuality long after the reader figures it out), and its too-epic-for-its-subject scale. Entertaining at times but definitely not the literary milestone the Pulitzer Prize might have some people think it is.


I'm about fifty pages through this one, and I think I'm gonna feel the same way about it that you do. I can only take so many adjectives and comparisons in one sentence before I think he's showing off. There's a lot more of the book left however, and hopefully it'll engage me more as I continue (and you're right, I'm only reading this one because of the hype and the big P that it won).


Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:14 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
majoraphasia wrote:



The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon had enough praised heaped upon it that, when I started in, it seemed ridiculous to assume this one would be anything less than a major event. It wasn't an event even though it wasn't anything less than epic. The story never veered outside of John Irving territory with its fetish (this time for comic books), sexual confusion (as is required in all Chabon books a character must learn about his homosexuality long after the reader figures it out), and its too-epic-for-its-subject scale. Entertaining at times but definitely not the literary milestone the Pulitzer Prize might have some people think it is.



I thought it was an okay read. At first I was really into it and then it plateaued. The sexual confusion part was really cliche.


Last edited by Bondurant on Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:27 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Bondurant wrote:

Animal Farm. Orwell. You know the drill. If the book were geared toward children then it'd be great but somewhere around the fifteenth page came a feeling that this was written for adults. Where's the chill of 1984? Where's the subtlety of argument? I don't know anyone currently in high school but I'd like to know if they've summarily rejected this heavy-handed classic or, maybe better, if they find it a curious footnote to Orwell's great essays and other like fiction. Of course it isn't terrible but it isn't a masterpiece, either.


I read AF three or so years ago. I thought it was good for ninth grade reading, but I knew there was better stuff out there. 1984 was considerably better.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
El Duderino wrote:

I'm about fifty pages through this one, and I think I'm gonna feel the same way about it that you do. I can only take so many adjectives and comparisons in one sentence before I think he's showing off. There's a lot more of the book left however, and hopefully it'll engage me more as I continue (and you're right, I'm only reading this one because of the hype and the big P that it won).


I KNOW! RIGHT?! This over-adjectivizing (copyright of term not pending) is old, old, old but recently life has been breathed into it and -- for the love of God -- modern authors just can't help themselves. In the dreadful Special Topics In Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl there were enough similes to feed a starving nation.

Quote:
"The trees, swaying like a lonely piñata at a friendless Mexican emigré's ingloriously fading-by-moments debutante ball, coveted the stars as bankrupt repayment on the miscast dreams of fools wandering the eternal solicitude like the purveyors of promises broken."


Needless to say, Dude, I read the book for the very same reasons. I've been ahead of the curve only a few times and, most recently, it was with The Corrections. 8 years ago. (Fun fact! If you've read The Corrections and then went on to read other books by Franzen you've learned something invaluable: his other books aren't widely read for a damn good reason.)


Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:41 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
ed_metal_head wrote:

Recommend anything specific? I just wrapped The Rats in the Wall. Great short story.

I grabbed the "best of" from my library. It has the Rats in the Walls, which is indeed great stuff. I tend to attract odd gazes when I pull it out in school though. :P


Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:48 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
I'm a few chapters into John Fowles' The Magus. I've heard a lot of good stuff about both the author and the novel, so high hopes for this one.

Bondurant wrote:
I'm currently trying to read Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and I find his prose to be very annoying. It's like a poor man's Who's On First routine. Yet everything I hear about this book is great. Two persons, with opinions I trust, claim this to be their favorite book. Because this is a book that I'm supposed to like I will be a trooper and continue with hopes my opinion will change.

With that in mind...

Have you read any acclaimed novels that you didn't enjoy? I'm not talking about a Stephen King book but the classics or something that would make a "best of " list in literary circles.

I also found that Catch-22 took me some perseverance to finish; the jumbled plot meant that anytime it started to get interesting it then cut away to something else. I much preferred Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five.

Other acclaimed novels that disappointed:

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice. Couldn't make it more than a few chapters before the annoying characters and dialogue put me off.

J.D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye. It's been years since I read it, but I remember wondering why there was such widespread admiration for the book.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:56 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
If you're a teenager that's having troubles talking to girls, go read the Twilight series. I guarantee you'd be taking a date to your prom come the end of the term.

In fact most girls sees it as a plus if a guy reads - so yeah that's pretty much half the reason why I do it; to impress the ladies 8-) On another note since most movies are based on book adaptations, it's always good to have some idea of the original source material.

Currently reading Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. Having really enjoyed the movie Atonement, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about this Brooker prize winning book. It's been okay so far given that it's not really my genre - but yeah that McEwan definitely possesses a pretty good prose.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:24 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë-- main reason for picking this, just its status and word of mouth if you will. finally got onto it. completed it yesterday. i can say i like it. i got a little disinterested around the 80% mark when she's living with the cousins, but on the whole it was good. very good to be honest. loved the very existence of helen burns. awesome decision by the writer.
can really see how influential it is. and what its are. all i want to say is, im reading childe harold's pilgrimage before i reach for anything else now.

Update:another movie for this, planned for this year : BBC production. Ellen Page as the lead. im hopeful.

new_xieland wrote:
In fact most girls sees it as a plus if a guy reads - so yeah that's pretty much half the reason why I do it; to impress the ladies 8-)


you keep telling yourself that, mate. :lol:


just kidding. just cant resist a cheap joke.


Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:05 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
"Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" by David Simon.

Superbly written, well researched, and always engrossing.

After watching "The Wire", I was eager to read or write anything, that David Simon has worked on. Halfway through this book; and it's been a magnificent read thus far.


Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:36 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Bondurant wrote:
I'm currently trying to read Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and I find his prose to be very annoying. It's like a poor man's Who's On First routine. Yet everything I hear about this book is great. Two persons, with opinions I trust, claim this to be their favorite book. Because this is a book that I'm supposed to like I will be a trooper and continue with hopes my opinion will change.

With that in mind...

Have you read any acclaimed novels that you didn't enjoy? I'm not talking about a Stephen King book but the classics or something that would make a "best of " list in literary circles.


I guess you gave up on Dune?

I'm with majoraphasia on Catch-22. I think it's one of the best books I've ever read. I especially liked his iterative way of telling the story, that makes it a rewarding re-read.

Lord of the Flies and Tom Sawyer are two classics that left me underwhelmed.


Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:48 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Moovy1 wrote:
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell :ugeek:


I read Outliers (by Malcolm Gladwell) not too long ago. Very entertaining and interesting book.


Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:28 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
I have yet to read that one, but I've read the summary on Wikipedia and I think I'll be picking it up in the future.


Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:15 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
I just picked up more stuff from Dennis Lehane as well as from Chuck Palahniuk (I have only read Fight Club thus far but I want to read the rest of his stuff) but I probably won't be reading any of it for at least another month or two (after school lets out for the semester).


Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:36 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
oafolay wrote:
I just picked up more stuff from Dennis Lehane as well as from Chuck Palahniuk (I have only read Fight Club thus far but I want to read the rest of his stuff) but I probably won't be reading any of it for at least another month or two (after school lets out for the semester).


Get Survivor, better than Fight Club.


Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:39 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Patrick wrote:
oafolay wrote:
I just picked up more stuff from Dennis Lehane as well as from Chuck Palahniuk (I have only read Fight Club thus far but I want to read the rest of his stuff) but I probably won't be reading any of it for at least another month or two (after school lets out for the semester).


Get Survivor, better than Fight Club.


I believe that the ones that I got were Lullaby and Diary, basically because these were the only ones on the shelf where I was shopping. Any word on those?


Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:43 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
A couple months ago I finished The Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman. I read a lot of chef books. Anthony Bourdain and Ruhlman, I think I've read 3 books each. I love to cook and I love their writing.

A couple weeks ago I was cleaning out the garage and found Maus, the first book. I remember buying it for a World Civilization class in college and never reading it. I just started reading it now and am very intrigued.


Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 pm
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