What Are You Reading Now.

Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Writing Forums Staff, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    Fifty pages in, A Farewell to Arms definitely seems like the type of book I wouldn't have any trouble finishing in a couple of days.
     
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  2. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    This is exactly how it was for me, only my follow-up to TOMatS was To Have and Have Not.
     
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    It took me just under a full day. It wasn't my favourite of his. I found the dialogue got increasingly more grating as I went and Hemingway is pretty terrible at writing romantic bits.

    ETA: Just realized I was thinking of For Whom The Bell Tolls when I wrote this, so criticism doesn't really hold. Except for the terrible romantic bits, but it seems to fit better in this book for whatever reason.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  4. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

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    Novakovitch's The Writer's Workshop. Not a fan to be honest, and I disagree on a lot of his methodology and rules for writing. Seems far too narrow minded for anyone with non-linear plotting or genre fiction styles. Not my favorite book on writing.

    On the contrary though, I'm also reading The Oxford Book of American Short Stories edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and I'm finding quite a bit of good work in there. So far out of that collection I've read a few that really caught my eye. Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" comes off as the quintessential Vietnam era short story, and I'm a bit sad I never read it in its entirety before. Every class I've been in has had a short chunk of the text, but it really needs to be read in full to grasp the messages O'Brien presents. There was also Jhumpa Lahiri's "Heaven-Hell" in there, which is excellent in maintaining difficult, international themes, and in controlling dynamic characters throughout. She's been one of my favorites for a while, so it's good to see her pop up in here too. The last I noted so far was Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," which was a pretty wild attack on blindly following tradition. Short, extremely absurd, and poignant. Was pretty interested in the history of a story so de-centering to life at the time, and wasn't disappointed at what I found. Apparently the story was deemed obscene by many venues, and she received a huge amount of hate-mail and threats because of it. You know you're doing something right when your making waves on other's unstable footing.
     
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  5. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    If you have the time (or just willpower) then it's definitely something you can finish in a day. But it really isn't a page turner.
     
  6. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I was reading them for school. It's a lot easier to get through books like that when you're in the habit.
     
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  7. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    As a writer, I find it interesting how fucking shit some of the passages in this book are, lol. He's the Clint Eastwood of writing, or maybe Clint Eastwood is the Hemingway of writing.
     
  8. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    There are a lot of things I enjoy about Hemingway, but he is like the Oscar bait version of authors.
     
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  9. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    Interestingly enough, his prose isn't particularly inviting. The sometimes dry language is off putting to a lot of people. I don't think Hemingway would make it as a particularly renowned writer in today's world of literature. But then again, E. L. James is a bestselling author.
     
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  10. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    This is really well done. . .

    Effortless style. Not florid at all, but so nicely descriptive. The characters do have a 60's feel to them, just to their mannerisms, but I love that too because it's very sincere. It's written in 1966, after all.

    I've been reading other horror books recommended by bookTube (basically just youTube reviewers), and they've been consistently terrible. And I mean one-star trash. I want to list them, but I suppose I won't (for now). Rosemary's Baby is the modern progenitor. It's so much better. The only problem is that I've already seen the movie.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  11. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    That's a good one. Better than The Stepford Wives, which I believe is also by Levin.
     
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  12. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    I picked up two of his recently, Rosemary's Baby and The Boys from Brazil. I'd planned to start with the latter, but you may have changed my mind. Oddly, my interest too was sparked by a best horror list, but this was actually a good one:
    https://the-line-up.com/best-horror-books
    A few I'd read, a few I had already planned to read, and the few of which I was completely unaware have been good so far. In fact, I highly recommend Song of Kali by Dan Simmons, if you haven't read it.

    By the way, I'm halfway through Consider This and loving it. It's less about how to write a book and more about how to write a Chuck Palahniuk book, but that is sort of what I had hoped it would be.
     
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  13. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I read The Boys From Brazil a long, long time ago. I remember it being okay. I feel like Rosemary's Baby is much better, but it's been so long that I'm not sure. I really think it might be. It's definitely better than the horrible horror picks I've tried lately.

    You're doing kind of what I'm doing. LOL. I have this link open. There are some SUPERB books on it, but some duds too (The Fisherman, The Ruins, Come Closer, The October Country . . . yuck. Avoid those.) And I loved Beloved, but I wouldn't call it horror. Those lists are great though just to show you what you missed.

    I agree about Consider This. CP's definitely showing you his particular approach and a lot of it is just to entertain, but it's really fun if you like his style.
     
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  14. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    I heart NPR best book lists! There are lots in common between the two. Great stuff on this one though. (I read The Yellow Wallpaper four times the week I discovered it. I almost never reread anything, especially inside ten years.) They stretched the word "horror," but I love that they included things like The Lord of the Flies, which is very like actual nightmares I've had.

    ETA: Why does everyone put I am Legend on their list? If you need a Richard Matheson for horror, use Hell House. Duh.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
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  15. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    Still A Farewell to Arms. I take back everything I've said. Don't read Hemingway.

    I have too many interesting books waiting for me that finishing this one is immensely hard.
     
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  16. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Television Was a Baby Crawling Toward that Death Chamber - a very small (56 pages) collection of Ginsberg's poetry.
     
  17. Yaldabaoth

    Yaldabaoth Member

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    I started the Malazan series with Gardens of The Moon.

    I do like fantasy, quite a lot, but it can be a challenge to get into a new series when you're wading through several glossaries after only a few chapters.
     
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  18. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    That's the Steven Erikson novels right? I did look at them once but there are like ten of them or something. I like series but that's a lot.
     
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  19. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm getting into The Women At Point Sur, by Robinson Jeffers. It's a book-length narrative poem. I've read the Prelude to it before, and it was just about the most harrowing, shocking, bleak poem I'd ever read. H.P. Lovecraft would have killed to be able to creep his readers out the way that creeped me. I'm wondering how the whole poem turns out.
     
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  20. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    Been perusing my history book case, which is actually in a closet partially obscured by a bunch of hanging coats and off-season garments (we have a huge closet in every room of our loft apartment, so several furniture things have ended up there to conserve floor space, haha). Some of the books I reference regularly, others I haven't read since college. Got an entire shelf of Nazi books, another for Latin America, another for the Cold War, and a separate section for quick reference source books, which I remember arranging like that to assemble the footnote and reference section for all the essays I used to have to write.

    I'm thinking I might work my way through Latin American history... been a minute since I did that. Not sure if I should go geographically (like from the Mexican revolution in the north to Chilean atrocities in the South), or chronologically (like from Simon Bolivar to Iran-Contra), or maybe go from one revolutionary personality to another: Che, Porferio Diaz, Jacobo Arbenz, Augusto Sandino.

    Not sure. But for whatever reason, I've found the quarantine rekindling the academic in me. Thought I killed his ass years ago... but maybe not?
     
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  21. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    Do you enjoy reading history or do you just deal with it for the sake of getting smarter? I can't get through my only history book.
     
  22. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    Yeah, that was my jam in college. I kicked the tires on getting a PhD in it about ten years ago, but that didn't go very far. Too old to be a poor college student for 7 years.

    But there's a lot of shit books out there, and even more that have become dated or "contradicted" by more popular schools of thought over the years. Some of the hardcore books are barely readable unless your compelled to for a specific research question. I like to pick a universal subject--like liberalism, genocide, or populist movements--and track it across different periods and cultures to find the patterns. Often leads me to reading a chapter or two in 10 - 15 books. Marijuana is sometimes involved.
     
  23. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    I think speed would help me. I have a copy of Iron Kingdom by Christopher Clarke on my shelf and I only read it if I am between books (and I have literally nothing else to read). I think I got for Christmas like five years ago and I have read 230 pages, lol.
     
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  24. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    Googling... I see it: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947

    That sounds interesting. It covers a long period, so I'd imagine it might be on the dry side. Lots of shit to work through in three in a half centuries. But those general period books can be good if it's a subject you're unfamiliar with.

    But they'll be some fascinating shit in there. The Prussian Military caste system, and how it evolved from Napoleon to the interwar years, is worth examination. Or how Prussian aristocracy reacted to unification, pan-Germanism, and fascism. That's kind of how the rabbit hole starts. You look at how Prussia constructed an army led by a caste of aristocratic officers, to how Hitler organized one around ideologues, to how the Americans developed a civilian military that didn't do much until the second half of the 20th century, to how the Soviets raised an incalculable horde of conscripts, to how the Israeli's have compulsory military service, to... wait... didn't the Polish have compulsory service prior to WWII? Didn't that slow the Germans down for a few weeks?

    It gets out of control quickly.
     
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  25. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    It is told in chronological order, so you start off with the Hohenzollern and that jazz and move up. The only interesting passage so far was about the thirty year war and Frederick William.
     
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