Books and stuff - where old men come to read

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Yirba
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by Yirba » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:12 pm

Going to a Simon Armitage reading tonight. Pretty stoked to see one of my favourite poets.
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by Rob3rt » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:57 pm

Been reading the Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. Some really lovely descriptive scenes in the short stories.
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by The False Guwuh » Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:10 pm

Took a break from Dorian Gray and read Old Man and The Sea, loved it
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weakboson
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by weakboson » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:49 pm

I finally got round to reading 1984. Having noticed so many cultural references to it over the years that I was left with no choice. I'm embarrassed it took me this long, to be honest, and it's definitely the best book I've read in a while.

My favourite part was probably the first; the second was marred by fleeting happiness and some lengthy excerpts from the book (but as the only bad editing decision in the book I can easily let that go); and the third, while it gripped my every faculty, was not as close to home as the first, and so I appreciated it more as one would fantasy. I also praise the ending.

It's very well written, too. Extremely easy to read, no pretension, but full of clever ideas and pretty much iconic imagery. I guess this probably isn't new to most people, but I'm glad found it at a time when I can fully appreciate it. Animal Farm is next on the menu.

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masa
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by masa » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:45 pm

1984 is a masterpiece, Orwell's writing style is one i really respect even though thematically he can be somewhat heavy handed. personally i enjoyed animal farm more, the satire is just more enjoyable.

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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by SanTheSly » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:15 pm

Really struggling to enjoy Kyril Bonfiglioni's Don't Point That Thing At Me

It's not a long text, but the structure and content are just so sloggish. Even down to the sentence structure, it's so bloated and awkward to read that it's killing any enjoyment I might've gotten out of the text. A huge shame, it seemed like an interesting read and I can barely muster the interest to finish it.
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weakboson
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by weakboson » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:38 am

masa wrote:1984 is a masterpiece, Orwell's writing style is one i really respect even though thematically he can be somewhat heavy handed. personally i enjoyed animal farm more, the satire is just more enjoyable.
Just finished it and I'm inclined to agree. Although I wouldn't really categorize 1984 as satire, if that was your implication. I think you're right about the heavy handedness as well, but it's one of those flavours that's enjoyable for its full-bodiedness. The presence of strong themes unmasked by an over indulgence in technique is refreshing in a way - he just says "yes, this is what it's about!" and I can respect that along with everything else. His writing is alive with purpose - that too is a craft.

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masa
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by masa » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:50 pm

weakboson wrote:Although I wouldn't really categorize 1984 as satire, if that was your implication.
i'd say 1984 is satire in a looser sense than animal farm - it's extremifying the core tenants of fascism in an attempt to lampoon its dangers. animal farm is a more direct allegory to the horrors of stalinism. (fun fact for those who dont know: Orwell originally wanted to write a direct, non-fiction critique of Stalinism but wasn't allowed by the government due to the British-Soviet alliance in WW2)

in other news books i've read recently:

Comrade Jim by Jim Riordan - the tagline read 'the spy who played for Spartak' which is pretty misleading because the majority of the book is about the authors musings about his life as a member of the British Communist Party living amongst other foreign-born Communists in Moscow during the post-Stalin era. very interesting read

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - a very thoughtful and philosophical children's tale. a quick a worthwhile story, apparently a very big inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki

also A Tale of Two Cities was painfully boring so i gave up, now reading a social history of the irish
1. The Revenge of the Rose - Michael Moorcock
2. A Spaniard in the Works - John Lennon
3. Stoner - John Williams
4. Martian Time-Slip - Philip K Dick
5. I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
6. Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
7. The Prophet - Khalil Gibran
8. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
9. Mimizuku and the King of Night - Izuki Kogyoku
10. Ubik - Philip K. Dick
11. A Complete and Utter History of Art - John Farman
12. A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick
13. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
14. Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World - Louis de Bernières
15. O Rare Amanda!: The Life of Amanda McKittrick Ros - Jack Loudan
16. Green Hills of Africa - Ernest Hemingway
17. Iris on Rainy Days - Takeshi Matsuyama
18. The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
19. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
20. The Street of Crocodiles - Bruno Schulz
21. A View From The Bridge - Arthur Miller
22. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
23. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
24. The Age of Napoleon - Alistair Horne
25. Junky - William S. Burroughs
26. The Tower Menagerie - Daniel Hahn
27. The Edge Chronicles: The Stone Pilot - Paul Stewart
28. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
29. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernières
30. The Giraffe and Pelly and Me - Roald Dahl
31. The Magic Finger - Roald Dahl
32. The Virgin: The Myth and Cult of Mary - Geoffrey Ashe
33. Bionicle Chronicles: Tale of the Toa - Catherine Hapka
34. The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond
35. Comrade Jim - Jim Riordan
36. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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SYF
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by SYF » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:47 pm

I've gotten a third of the way through The Road for A Level English Lit but it just isn't holding my interest, and I'm not sure why it hasn't really appealed to me thus far. Has anyone got any opinions about the book? A reason to get through it? As well as that, I finished reading As You Like It during the half term (which was ages ago but yeah). Being my first Shakespeare play it was quite frustrating to read on my own at times as I had to be a bit more alert and deft then I would reading a normal text but it's kinda worth it for some of the great lines and speeches you get - AYLI was where the 'all the world's a stage' originated from, being a good example.

Oh well, I start studying The Kite Runner tomorrow so there's that to look forward to.
1. Physics of the Impossible - Michio Kaku (2008)
2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick (1962)
3. An Inspector Calls - J.B. Priestley (1946)
4. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (2006)
5. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (2012)
6. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (1937)
7. Paper Towns - John Green (2008)
8. Gone - Michael Grant (2008)
9. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell (2012)
10. Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade - Kurt Vonnegut (1969)
11. Looking for Alaska - John Green (2005)
12. The Elephant Vanishes - Haruki Murakami (1993)
13. Dogsbody - Diana Wynne Jones (1975)
14. Economics: The User Guide - Ha-Joon Chan (2014)
15. Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes (1966)
16. More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell (2013)
17. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut (1963)
18. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami (2013)
19. A Maze of Death - Philip K. Dick (1970)
20. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (2003)
21. As You Like it - William Shakespeare (1599ish)
22. It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini (2006)

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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by Oathkeeper » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:51 pm

Please recommend books to get for christmas, it'd be much appreciated

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Kriken
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by Kriken » Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:36 pm

Get Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.
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masa
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by masa » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:36 pm

hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world was pretty good although heavy on the technobabbly exposition

bambi was pretty cute as well

gonna start Gravity's Rainbow after christmas, wish my sanity luck

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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by Kriken » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:20 pm

Finished reading Gone Girl a few days ago. P good.
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slorp
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by slorp » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:09 pm

I've ended my month or so of panic about interviews, repeatedly reading QED (which is still brilliant) and not reading any fiction by reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
It wasn't as good as The Corrections (which might be the best book I've read this year) but was a nice book. I really liked the final chapter even if it was a bit cheesy.
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by K2. » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:05 am

I picked up The Great Gatsby earlier today for 99p, not sure when I'll get around to reading it but seemed too good to pass up on
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by Rob3rt » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:49 am

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Amazing writing and great exploration of the implications of highly advanced tech
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slorp
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by slorp » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:36 pm

I read American Psycho this week. There were some quite...graphic chapters in it, but there was a lot more to the book than I expected. One of the best books I've read this year.
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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by masa » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:49 pm

books i have read recently:

The Stranger by Albert Camus - good, very reminiscent of Hemingway in that things just seem to happen and the stoic protagonist, but with more exposition and existentialism.

Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri - a beautifully written fable evocative of dreamscapes and the imaginary

Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres - funny and quirky stories that depict a simplicity of life and easy friendships often absent from the contemporary world. i also cried at the end.

The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam - short, succinct poems which examine numerous aspects of the world. mostly about drinking wine tbh. "All things are good in moderation. Except wine."

The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco - a fantastically post-modern 17th Century oceanic cross-continental adventure which takes place on a single shipwreck. captivating and surprisingly easy reading for Eco (for me any way, i was expecting Eco to be far more difficult. although it does get a bit more dense when the character have extensive discussions on the topic of theological metaphysics.)

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - a solid read, though its mediocrity continues to confuse my opinions on Hemingway's merit

Out of Mind by J. Bernlef - one of the best books ive ever read, a chilling and terrifying depiction of the progression of dementia. incredibly moving, poignant, whatever other emotionally descriptive term you can employ. was kind of an impulse read because i borrowed it but i do not regret it.



just started South of the Border, West of the Sun by Murakami, it's good so far. my reading plan in the new year is focused on Ulysses and Gravity's Rainbow, with something light in between so i don't go mad

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Re: Literature Thread - inc. 52 Book Challenge 2014!

Post by Kriken » Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:41 pm

Reading The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. Really getting some Battle Royale vibes with this book. Except it's not about killing each other it's about selling chocolates. It's really good, though.
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by K2. » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:37 pm

After I finish V for Vendetta and then Watchmen I plan to read The Satanic Bible by Anton Lavey, I've heard it is a great read, and offers a very interesting view to be considered
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by ABoxerWhoIsPacifist » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:54 pm

Reading the BOD Autobiography at the moment. Great so far, definetely one of the better autobiographies out there.
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うさぎ
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by うさぎ » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:06 pm

I've set the challenge of reading 20 books in 2015 (I'm trying to get into better habits okay), will possibly update my reads here!! You all have that pleasure in store. Also if anyone wants my Goodreads or LibraryThing, send a PM. x
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weakboson
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by weakboson » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:06 am

Finished Heart of Darkness yesterday. Interesting story. It was written in a peculiar way and I'm not ready to concede the sense of it, but I enjoyed the philosophical flavour. The copy I have comes with the author's Congo diary attached so I'm going to see if that proves illuminating.

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うさぎ
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by うさぎ » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:18 pm

Ahh, I watched Apocalypse Now the other day and now I really want to read Heart of Darkness. Would you recommend it on the whole??
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slorp
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by slorp » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:53 pm

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men was a good collection of short stories, not on the same level as Infinite Jest though. Not sure what to read now, I've got House Of Leaves but I want to read something a bit more conventional before I attempt that
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