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What are you reading? 
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Post Re: What are you reading?
I don't get to do as much reading as I would like. My work schedule keeps me busy, and other activities I've got have prioritiy over the books I want to read.

However, I've lately been reading The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam. For those interested in history, this book is a must-read. Halberstam, in painstaking detail, examines how some of the most intelligent, most well-educated men in America managed to screw up the Vietnam War so badly, and lays out how the policy decisions made in Washington doomed the United States to failure in Southeast Asia from the very start.

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Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:24 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
I've been going through a case of Reader's Block (does such a thing exist?) while trying to work my way through Don Quixote. I decided to take a quick break and checked out Into the Wild. Imho, the book is worth a read even if you've already seen the movie. It provides a lot more information about Chris McCandless, his family and the people he came across. I think the film is a little guilty of over-romanticising his trip, and while the book also portrays his actions in a similar manner, it's a little more balanced and shows how selfish and silly McCandless could be. The author, however, finds the need to interject himself into the story during various points including a two chapter description of one his own excursions into the wild. There's some other padding in the book too that the film does well to avoid. Imho, the movie is the better medium to experience the story but the book is great for those who want to know a little more.


Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:07 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra: A Life. It's a brother-marrying, relative-murdering good time*.

*This kind of good time isn't a historical rarity.


Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:38 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford.
Any play where a protagonist of the play breaks into the birthday party of his archenemy and proceeds to exclaim that he has their mutual lover's heart on a knife is clearly the height of art.


Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:33 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
Just bought One Power in the 'Verse: Finding God in Firefly and Serenity, a book that, as the title suggests, is on the topic of faith in Firefly and Serenity.

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Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:44 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
firefly wrote:
Just bought One Power in the 'Verse: Finding God in Firefly and Serenity, a book that, as the title suggests, is on the topic of faith in Firefly and Serenity.


There's a publishing trend around Whedon's works -- Buffy spawned similar tomes, got devoted articles at National Review (of all places! Buckley was clearly more Plimpton than I gave him credit for)... not all pop culture is treated with such respect. Whedon: snarky, republican, devout Christian, feminist, gay activisit... the many boxes he's been put into.


Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:16 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
majoraphasia wrote:
firefly wrote:
Just bought One Power in the 'Verse: Finding God in Firefly and Serenity, a book that, as the title suggests, is on the topic of faith in Firefly and Serenity.


There's a publishing trend around Whedon's works -- Buffy spawned similar tomes, got devoted articles at National Review (of all places! Buckley was clearly more Plimpton than I gave him credit for)... not all pop culture is treated with such respect. Whedon: snarky, republican, devout Christian, feminist, gay activisit... the many boxes he's been put into.


Hehe, indeed. I previously have read a book on Whedon's existentialism, as well as a collection of essays on Firefly and Serenity (Investigating Firefly and Serenity) that covered a number of topics--gender relations, language, the construction of the Reavers, etc. from a scholarly perspective.

So, once I complete my phd, I fully plan on trying to publish a book on the politics of Firefly and Serenity--like everyone else, I interpret Whedon's work as fitting my POV, so I hold it to be a great example of libertarianism on screen.

I think that Whedon writes on a different level than almost every other pop tv show creator. So, his material can be enjoyed by everyone from teen girls to professors of literature.

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Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:40 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
firefly wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
firefly wrote:
Just bought One Power in the 'Verse: Finding God in Firefly and Serenity, a book that, as the title suggests, is on the topic of faith in Firefly and Serenity.


There's a publishing trend around Whedon's works -- Buffy spawned similar tomes, got devoted articles at National Review (of all places! Buckley was clearly more Plimpton than I gave him credit for)... not all pop culture is treated with such respect. Whedon: snarky, republican, devout Christian, feminist, gay activisit... the many boxes he's been put into.


Hehe, indeed. I previously have read a book on Whedon's existentialism, as well as a collection of essays on Firefly and Serenity (Investigating Firefly and Serenity) that covered a number of topics--gender relations, language, the construction of the Reavers, etc. from a scholarly perspective.

So, once I complete my phd, I fully plan on trying to publish a book on the politics of Firefly and Serenity--like everyone else, I interpret Whedon's work as fitting my POV, so I hold it to be a great example of libertarianism on screen.


Which is HILARIOUS because I find Buffy to be a good example of SOCIALISM on screen. Not really but... not libertarianism. But that's Buffy, not Firefly.
firefly wrote:
I think that Whedon writes on a different level than almost every other pop tv show creator. So, his material can be enjoyed by everyone from teen girls to professors of literature.


Agreed. He's a fine writer, easily the best I've seen working in network television. He's also wildly uneven but, with the risks he takes, who cares?

He recommended Veronica Mars and I faithfully purchased the first season based on the rec. He's clearly not to be trusted outside of his 'Verse, unfortunately.


Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:30 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
majoraphasia wrote:
He recommended Veronica Mars and I faithfully purchased the first season based on the rec. He's clearly not to be trusted outside of his 'Verse, unfortunately.


But I like Veronica Mars... Not the greatest show in the world, but as far as fluff goes it's some damn, damn fine fluff. A great time-killer of a TV show if there ever was one (Note: I also look for a lot less in my Television than my film, so keep that in mind).

On topic, I finished John Cheever's Bullet Park in two days and recommend it to everyone even a little interested in good literature and am now reading Michael Lewis' The Big Short (to get all smart and stuff) and Philip Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect for a class, though as far as psychological studies go this, so far, is a good one.


Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:09 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Zeppelin wrote:
On topic, I finished John Cheever's Bullet Park in two days and recommend it to everyone even a little interested in good literature and am now reading Michael Lewis' The Big Short (to get all smart and stuff) and Philip Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect for a class, though as far as psychological studies go this, so far, is a good one.


Oh god, where to begin...

Outside of Don Quixote is there a quest quite as maddening as one man's search for a perfect yellow room?

So much great... can hardly contain myself...

"Wonderful, wonderful..."

and (paraphrase)

"Can't a person eat on the floor without being bothered?!"

and (more paraphrase)

"I dreamed I watched an entire movie last night."

Bullet Park is the final statement on suburbia written DECADES before the rest caught up with Cheever's work on every day rising a frustrated potential yellow room-free day. What a novel! +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 points for someone else on this forum reading it!

I'm excited enough to post a retraction to my first mention of Johnny Love Letters on this board:

viewtopic.php?p=16483#p16483

BULLET PARK! YAY!


Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:24 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters.

Wow that's a long title. Was an entertaining enough read. Simplistic sci-fi adventure set in the Starcraftverse.


Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:29 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
I needed some fluff to clear my mind this weekend so I picked up and read the latest James Patterson, Cross Fire. The writing quality in this series is utter rubbish but I like the protagonist and the early novels that I keep getting suckered in. This one is about the same as the others with the title character getting involved with hunting another serial killer while one from the past reemerges. I am very curious to see Idris Elba take on the Alex Cross role that originated with Morgan Freeman.


Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:38 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
majoraphasia wrote:

Which is HILARIOUS because I find Buffy to be a good example of SOCIALISM on screen. Not really but... not libertarianism. But that's Buffy, not Firefly.


It'd be interesting to do a comparative study. Unfortunately though I have essentially zero knowledge of Buffy--I never watched an episode. I watched a few episodes of Dollhouse but as much as I really, really, really wanted to get into it...I didn't :(

I'm wondering if the difference could be Tim Minear--Minear is a libertarian-leaning writer, and was heavily involved with Firefly.

Quote:
Agreed. He's a fine writer, easily the best I've seen working in network television. He's also wildly uneven but, with the risks he takes, who cares?

He recommended Veronica Mars and I faithfully purchased the first season based on the rec. He's clearly not to be trusted outside of his 'Verse, unfortunately.


He did at least also recommend Battlestar Galactica, so he's not always wrong outside of his own work.

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Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:44 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
firefly wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:

Which is HILARIOUS because I find Buffy to be a good example of SOCIALISM on screen. Not really but... not libertarianism. But that's Buffy, not Firefly.


It'd be interesting to do a comparative study. Unfortunately though I have essentially zero knowledge of Buffy--I never watched an episode. I watched a few episodes of Dollhouse but as much as I really, really, really wanted to get into it...I didn't :(

I'm wondering if the difference could be Tim Minear--Minear is a libertarian-leaning writer, and was heavily involved with Firefly.

Quote:
Agreed. He's a fine writer, easily the best I've seen working in network television. He's also wildly uneven but, with the risks he takes, who cares?

He recommended Veronica Mars and I faithfully purchased the first season based on the rec. He's clearly not to be trusted outside of his 'Verse, unfortunately.


He did at least also recommend Battlestar Galactica, so he's not always wrong outside of his own work.



You know, you've really sparked my interest here. I own Firefly and liked Firefly the one time I was through it. For some reason I saw the show as lacking the ethical challenge of Buffy until the last episode made me realize I'd missed something. And by then it was a lot of work to go back (plus I watched the entire series over a weekend. That's TV on DVD for you) so I just shelved the DVDs. But now... .


Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:22 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
majoraphasia wrote:
firefly wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:

Which is HILARIOUS because I find Buffy to be a good example of SOCIALISM on screen. Not really but... not libertarianism. But that's Buffy, not Firefly.


It'd be interesting to do a comparative study. Unfortunately though I have essentially zero knowledge of Buffy--I never watched an episode. I watched a few episodes of Dollhouse but as much as I really, really, really wanted to get into it...I didn't :(

I'm wondering if the difference could be Tim Minear--Minear is a libertarian-leaning writer, and was heavily involved with Firefly.

Quote:
Agreed. He's a fine writer, easily the best I've seen working in network television. He's also wildly uneven but, with the risks he takes, who cares?

He recommended Veronica Mars and I faithfully purchased the first season based on the rec. He's clearly not to be trusted outside of his 'Verse, unfortunately.


He did at least also recommend Battlestar Galactica, so he's not always wrong outside of his own work.



You know, you've really sparked my interest here. I own Firefly and liked Firefly the one time I was through it. For some reason I saw the show as lacking the ethical challenge of Buffy until the last episode made me realize I'd missed something. And by then it was a lot of work to go back (plus I watched the entire series over a weekend. That's TV on DVD for you) so I just shelved the DVDs. But now... .


Yes pull them out again and go through them--try to take one a night, I'd say, and space them out a little. There are a few weak spots, but there are several astoundingly good episodes. I just finished up Objects In Space (final episode), which is probably the philosophically deepest (not just of the series, but maybe in all of recent primetime tv), which ended a rewatching that lasted perhaps two months. I try to watch the episodes once every 6 months or so, and the movie about the same.

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Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:34 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
ed_metal_head wrote:
I've been going through a case of Reader's Block (does such a thing exist?) while trying to work my way through Don Quixote.


I hate when that happens. I tried (and failed) to read Finnegans Wake -- after the first page I dreaded picking the book up. I'm certain I'll never actually read it.

But it doesn't have to be James Joyce to sink my spirits -- The Human Stain was hard to get through (slow/boring + mock serious Roth) as was, if you can believe it, The Graveyard Book. I never looked forward to reading either one of those. There are more.


Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:15 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford.

A sordid, satirical, colorful play about incest, revenge, and dark matters of the heart. Reminds me vaguely of Tarantino. a delight to read.


Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:24 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Great Rao, Suttree is a dense and trying read. I leafed through Blood Meridian at the bookstore and was depressed to find that it's around half as long and much more clearly written. Fuck me.


Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:12 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Ken wrote:
Great Rao, Suttree is a dense and trying read. I leafed through Blood Meridian at the bookstore and was depressed to find that it's around half as long and much more clearly written. Fuck me.


Meaning what? I found Blood Meridian more challenging than anything else McCarthy has written. I'll give you that Suttree is vernacular-heavy but, aside from being somewhat slow going, it's stylistically diverse enough to generate some real momentum ~50 pages in. No love for all the talk of drink and vomit?


Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:41 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Keep in mind, I did not read Blood Meridian in the bookstore, so I can only comment on the apparent clarity of the prose. Suttree is most definitely rewarding in its way, but it doesn't let you have anything easily.


Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:38 am
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