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What Are You Reading ?

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15 July 2004, 09:09 PM
Mr. Dark
What Are You Reading ?
I simply MUST read "Sophie's World".

I finally read "Atlas Shrugged" over the Christmas break while doing my MA in Philosophy. So many people told me it changed their lives. As I read it, I carried it around, and I have never had a book cause so many strangers to approach me. One guy told me he changed political parties because of reading it. Several women told me they read it EVERY year as a touchstone work.

It often makes "20 most important books" lists.

It is not great philosophy. Nor is it a great novel. But it's a pretty darn good philosophical novel.

It's interesting to see "capitalism" defended in literature, when so often it is just attacked as cold, callous, and the causae of so much grief. Some boring spots, some fascinating stuff. A very, very interesting premise.


[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 07-15-2004).]
19 July 2004, 09:23 PM
groon
Recently finished "The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right"
By Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.
No I'm not looking for Mr. Right. I AM Mr. Right (haha), just reading up on what silly games girls are being taught so I can keep ahead of 'em. Nothing like catching a girl off guard by not falling for every little test she throws at you!
It's just a fun read, seeing how much over-thought was put into the subject of finding Mr. Right, and also fun because of the chain-letter sensibility with which the book is written. "If you 'do the Rules,'" the authors promise, "you WILL find Mr. Right and be happy forever. Period. If, however, you break even one of the Rules, you will definately be miserable forever!"
I don't know, I just thought it was funny.

[This message has been edited by groon (edited 07-19-2004).]
20 July 2004, 10:57 AM
Braling II
Well, I just finished reading "Dandelion Wine" again. It's so good.
I even read it sitting on the porch with my pipe alight - those familiar with the book will appreciate this. If I have a favourite part, it's near the end (p. 172 in my 50 cent autographed (!) Bantam edition) and is the bit about Grandma and her magical cooking which is threatened by Aunt Rose's visit. It's got to be some of the best writing ever. He has that talent, possessed by a few great poets, of combining words in such a way that an entire atmosphere emerges, including sensory perceptions, that engulfs the reader...in short, he can do in a short story what other writers would need a novel to do.
Now - on to "The Cat's Pajamas" !
20 July 2004, 12:16 PM
greenreed
I'm reading "Dandelion Wine" for the third time, but now in English...(those two times was the Russian variant). Trying to compare it with the film "Vino iz oduvanchikov", that was made by Russia/Ukraine.
Haven't made my own opinion yet Smiler

dandelion,
thanks for the question. I will try to answer you Smiler
21 July 2004, 08:11 PM
Translator
Hated Rand's books and philosphy when I read them. Especially "...Intellectual". Never got around to Atlas.


Groon, try reading some things Mordechai Richler wrote about the types of books Mr Right seems to be. It is some od the funniest stuff ever. Could be in Belling the Cat, or some other compilation.

Cheers, Translator
21 July 2004, 09:25 PM
groon
Sounds good, Translator, I'll get to it as soon as I'm finished with "The Cat's Pajamas," which I just started today!
24 July 2004, 06:56 PM
Beirut Wedding
I just got done reading probably the most underrated writer of our time (if not exactly most obscure) Stephen King! I just read GERALD'S GAME and it was excellent and I'm getting ready to start CHILDREN OF THE ALLEY by Naguib Mahfouz.
24 July 2004, 08:34 PM
Korby
Beirut,
If you like King, you should read his Dark Tower books; they're fantastic (in my opinion, anyway!). And virtually everything he's written relates back to that series. It's hard to describe, but it's a kind of sci-fi/western.
24 July 2004, 08:40 PM
Beirut Wedding
Thanx for the recommendation Korby. I've been looking for someone to speak on those books because so far I'd avoided them because King's style doesn't seem to lend itself to the genre. Much the same way I wouldn't expect Bradbury to write a private eye book or say Kundera to write sci-fi. But hey, the guy's a storyteller first and foremost so I'll check 'em out.
06 August 2004, 07:56 AM
Menes
poorlittletally,
I agree, Sophie's World is brilliant! But I liked the first book written by the same author even better - I think the American title is The Solitaire Mystery. The "purple lemonade" mentioned in this book reminds me a bit of Bradbury's story "Powerhouse" as this drink enables you to view the whole picture of existence at once.

[This message has been edited by Menes (edited 08-06-2004).]
06 August 2004, 12:09 PM
redjellydonut
Amazing. Mr. Dark and I have a literary intersection: Mishima and Nick Hornby.

At the moment I'm reading Edward Said's Orientalism. I pick it up when I get home from work and tackle it for a half-hour or so before I start on dinner. Said references Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish so I'm trying to re-read that. I read a bunch of Foucault in college but was too lazy to give it the care it deserved. D & P was the only one that made an immediate impact on me. For laughs I just this week pulled out my old, moldering Jacques Derrida and Roland Barthes. I can only take them in small doses though. I suspect that's more my fault than theirs.

I've got Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island on my nightstand. I love Bryson...and hate him. He's living my life, the devil.

I keep Kipling's Collected Stories handy.(that little Everyman's Library edition). Here in Texas it's been like a sauna outside this week. It's almost soothing to read his 'The City of Dreadful Night'.

Like a lot of folks I didn't pay as much attention to the classics as I should've when I was younger. I'm trying to make amends for that now.

I found a used copy of Terrence Rattigan's The Browning Version, which made me want to read The Agamemnon. Austin's got some good used bookstores so that was easy to find. I went out to by a copy of Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence, which I read in college years and years ago, but B&N wanted 15 bucks for it. I can't afford that so I'll keep haunting the used book stores until I find it. I've always liked Bloom. He has a real, practical critical strategy for reading poetry.

Oh, I also crack open Seamus Heaney's Open Ground at odd hours. Heaney's poetry has that transporting quality that RB's writing has for me.

Have any of you old folks out there had a similar experience where the writings you found tedious as a youngster or student now hold a lot of fascination?
06 August 2004, 12:44 PM
Braling II
In a way, it happened to me with Dickens; not that I found him tedious, but I was having to read many books at a time for school (including "David Copperfield" and "Great Expectations" simultaneously!) and so couldn't appreciate his work like I do now.
I appreciate a lot of authors more now; and I also find some less impressive now than in my youth.
06 August 2004, 01:04 PM
redjellydonut
Yeah! I had the same relationship with Dickens. Found him 'difficult' but now enjoy him. Henry James, too. I had to read The Golden Bowl in college, didn't enjoy the experience, but now like him very much.
07 August 2004, 03:01 PM
Translator
Samuel Butler and Joseph Conrad. At first I didn't care much for them. The more I read, however, the better they became. Now they're one of the "unequals" (a group of writers I consider having no equals while reading them). "The King (or Queesn)" is only on the throne until I pick up a different author. Then I have a different King or queen. But, since they can't all be kings and queens, I just call them the "unequals"

Cheers, Translator
07 August 2004, 03:41 PM
Gothic
The only Conrad I've read so far is the obligatory Heart of Darkness, which I liked. What other books of his can you recommend?