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Old 09-16-2009, 01:03 AM   #2601
spaceman Bryce
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Well I have read most of the books on your list and I can say with a pretty high level of confidence that it is impossible to actually read Ulysses.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:07 AM   #2602
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Which brings me to a rant: I own maybe 2000 books of which I have read about 1100 of them. And so on my desk sits a copy of Ulysses. I bought it three years ago. It is true that my time is valuable, i go to school, I work for 40 hrs a week and play lots of poker. But during my free time I often decide to do some reading. And Ulysses sits there daring me to read its contents.
Being a man of merely average intelligence, it gives me an inferiority complex, like something must be wrong with me to not be able to read it... I hate that book.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:28 AM   #2603
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Originally Posted by spaceman Bryce View Post
Which brings me to a rant: I own maybe 2000 books of which I have read about 1100 of them. And so on my desk sits a copy of Ulysses. I bought it three years ago. It is true that my time is valuable, i go to school, I work for 40 hrs a week and play lots of poker. But during my free time I often decide to do some reading. And Ulysses sits there daring me to read its contents.
Being a man of merely average intelligence, it gives me an inferiority complex, like something must be wrong with me to not be able to read it... I hate that book.
All the graduate student English classes that I saw which taught Ulysses taught it along with this book: Ulysses Annotated.

Maybe it would help you out too...
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:30 AM   #2604
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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All the graduate student English classes that I saw which taught Ulysses taught it along with this book: Ulysses Annotated.

Maybe it would help you out too...
lol nah, Im going to properly read it some day.. when I "have time"
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:56 AM   #2605
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Invisible Cities is one of my favorite books, by one of the few imaginative writers I have encountered who is also top notch on a literary level. I found it an incredible treat. Hope you like it.

It's well worth reading pretty much every Calvino you can get your hands on. He does write in a variety of styles and subject matters, though, so you may not like everything he does even if you are crazy about a few things. I like much more of it than not.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:23 AM   #2606
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Just started (and almost done with) A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. I really, really like it so far. At first, the odd language used by Alex and his droogs made the read really slow for me and I had to reread numerous sentences.

But eventually you catch on, especially when he's talking with people using proper English. I'm glad I randomly chose this book to read and a little sad it's so short.

Also, I think the American version is shorter than the English? Or is it the other way around?
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:01 AM   #2607
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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My dad finally talked me into trying out Jack Vance. Anyone familiar with his work?

I just started:
Tales of the Dying Earth, of which Cugel's Saga is the third book, is fantastic. Not so much for it's characters (which come and go, though Cugel is a despicable rogue it's hard not to like) or plot (which also comes and goes), but more for a tour through an insane and entertaining universe.

For more straightforward Vance, try The Demon Princes, five short books which are usually gathered into two volumes these days. Just as interesting and insane a universe, but a coherent plot with consistent characters. Sci-fi rather than fantasy though.

I didn't really appreciate them, but others enjoy the Lyonesse series as well.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:11 AM   #2608
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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So far I've read Slaughterhouse Five, Metamorphosis, Dune, Blindness, and Blindsight. I enjoyed every one of them quite a bit.

Possible considerations for my next book: Ulysses, Breakfast of Champions, Notes From The Underground, Invisible Cities, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
I'd second the suggestion of Invisible Cities. Calvino is absorbing and subtle while staying easy to read. More intricate than Paulo Coelho, lighter than Umberto Eco, and more accessible than Jorge Luis Borges.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:53 AM   #2609
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Usually 'round this time of year I want to read a long dense classic of sorts. Last year was Brothers Karamazov, this year I'm thinking Les Miserables. Anyone heartily recommend or advise to stay away? Preference for a translation?
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:52 PM   #2610
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

finally finished Let The Right One In. Excellent book...I liked the difference between it and the movie, as well as how the rest of it was very similar. If you've seen the film, the older man who is initially with Eli is more of a major character.

And we get to see a little bit of Eli's origins.

Incredibly well-written, too.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:08 PM   #2611
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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I'd second the suggestion of Invisible Cities. Calvino is absorbing and subtle while staying easy to read. More intricate than Paulo Coelho, lighter than Umberto Eco, and more accessible than Jorge Luis Borges.
lol, the bolded made me laugh. I love Eco, but that basically encompasses all of human writing right there.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:47 PM   #2612
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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I wish I started reading fiction earlier, I'm overwhelmed by how much literature is out there and by a desire to "catch up."

So far I've read Slaughterhouse Five, Metamorphosis, Dune, Blindness, and Blindsight. I enjoyed every one of them quite a bit.

Possible considerations for my next book: Ulysses, Breakfast of Champions, Notes From The Underground, Invisible Cities, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

There's a few series (Song of Ice and Fire, Red/Green/Blue Mars, In Search of Lost Time) that interest me too but I think I'm still too early in my reading career to be trying to tackle any story that spans that many pages.

Words of wisdom and suggestions from seasoned readers greatly appreciated.
Maybe finish Vonnegut first so you wont get put off by the "harder" ones.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:17 PM   #2613
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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lol nah, Im going to properly read it some day.. when I "have time"
Maybe read The Odyssey and also The Hero with a Thousand Faces to get prepped.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:17 PM   #2614
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

The Dan Brown Sequel Generator, put together by Slate in honor of the release of his new book, "The Lost Symbol." Put in a city and a sect, and the program writes you a synopsis of a Dan Brown story!

Here's mine for Jerusalem and Scientology:

An ancient puzzle at the heart of Jerusalem.
A nefarious cult determined to protect it.
A frantic race to uncover the Scientologists' darkest secret.

THE INVISIBLE CRYPT

When celebrated Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the Dome of the Rock to analyze a mysterious ancient script—imprinted on a gold ring lying next to the disfigured form of the head docent—he discovers evidence of the unthinkable: the resurgence of the ancient cult of the Baalinati, a secret branch of the Scientologists that has surfaced from the shadows to carry out its legendary vendetta against its mortal enemy, the Vatican.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed when a messenger from the Baalinati appears at the Western Wall to deliver a grim ultimatum: Turn over the archbishop, or one cherub will disappear from the Sistine Chapel every day. With the countdown under way, Langdon joins forces with the louche and charming daughter of the murdered docent in a desperate bid to crack the code that will reveal the cult's secret plan.

Embarking on a frantic hunt, Langdon and his companion follow a 500-year-old trail through Jerusalem's most venerable buildings and historic statues, pursued by a one-eyed assassin the cult has sent to thwart them. What they discover threatens to expose a conspiracy that goes all the way back to L. Ron Hubbard and the very founding of the Scientologists.


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Old 09-17-2009, 12:51 AM   #2615
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I just finished Fooled By Randomness which got a lot of praise in this thread and in these forums as a whole. I also enjoy the Malcolm Gladwell books. Anything off the top of your head that is similar to these that you would like to recommend?
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:24 PM   #2616
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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I just finished Fooled By Randomness which got a lot of praise in this thread and in these forums as a whole. I also enjoy the Malcolm Gladwell books. Anything off the top of your head that is similar to these that you would like to recommend?
Maybe Freakonomics.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:50 PM   #2617
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Ernest Hemingway writes the best poker insults. I gotta try using these lines at the table sometime.

Quote:
"How do you feel fish?" he asked aloud "I feel good and my left hand is better and I have food for a night and a day. Pull the boat, fish."
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:55 PM   #2618
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Maybe read The Odyssey and also The Hero with a Thousand Faces to get prepped.
Both _Ulysses_ and T.S. Eliot's _The Waste Land_ are works that ought to be read to understand the early twentieth century and the influence of such high modernists as Joyce and Eliot on everything that followed, but neither can be "read" in the way you read most fiction or poetry. That was part of their point.

So, yes, if you want to read _Ulysses_ you really do need a guidebook. And, yes, _Ulysses Annotated_ is a very good one. And while reading _The Odyssey_ first isn't absolutely necessary, it's a great preparation. And besides, if you haven't already read it, it's greatly enjoyable. (Choose a good translation.)

You don't need to read _The Hero with a Thousand Faces_, though that's quite interesting for a number of other reasons. But if you haven't read Joyce's _Dubliners_, you might like to start there: those short stories are easy to read (though again annotations are nice for historical context, etc.) and a good introduction to Joyce. (And they really were tremendously influential in their own way.)
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:01 PM   #2619
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Usually 'round this time of year I want to read a long dense classic of sorts. Last year was Brothers Karamazov, this year I'm thinking Les Miserables. Anyone heartily recommend or advise to stay away? Preference for a translation?
This isn't a direct answer, but a suggestion. If you liked Dostoevsky's _Brothers K_, then (if you haven't read it already) a great "long dense classic of sorts" to follow up with is Tolstoy's _Anna Karenina_.
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:05 PM   #2620
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Good God, you don't want to be reading Ulysses. Listen to Cream's song Tales of Brave Ulysses and call that good.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:29 PM   #2621
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Maybe read The Odyssey and also The Hero with a Thousand Faces to get prepped.
fwiw, I have read the odyssey and the iliad.
A book I have that is even more impossible to read is John Milton's poems with paradise lost and stuff. He is also humanly impossible to read unless you are a genius.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:37 PM   #2622
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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fwiw, I have read the odyssey and the iliad.
A book I have that is even more impossible to read is John Milton's poems with paradise lost and stuff. He is also humanly impossible to read unless you are a genius.
We read Paradise Lost in my lit class last year. I thought it was stupid so when we were going over it I'd skip to a different place in the book and read Hamlet. Still need to finish Hamlet, too.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:42 PM   #2623
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I faked my way through a survey of English Lit 1 without reading Beowulf, Paradise Lost, King Lear, or Spenser's Faerie Queene. I learned next to nothing, but I got a B. Low academic standards ftw[l].
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:06 AM   #2624
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

The Road
Cormac McCarthy

A man and his son journey south in the dim hope of finding some means of keeping them selves alive in a world in which nearly all living things are dead or dying.
Beautifully written. The sparse short sentences and short punchy descriptions almost mirror the gray, dead, desolate world they describe. The sense of place it evokes captured my imagination and there was just enough action to keep my interest which might have waned had the whole thing been about them foraging for food in the wreckage.
I was really liking it right up until the ending which I felt was a cop out.
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:31 PM   #2625
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I finished The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss today and it was very good. One reviewer called it Harry Potter for adults. Highly recommended especially if you've grown bored of typical high fantasy conventions and gimmicks.

I know in late December last year I posted about not being interested in fantasy at all before starting ASOIAF but now that I've finished that and this I have to admit that it's growing on me. I just ordered the first book of Joe Abercrombie's series, hopefully I can pick it up from the store tomorrow and get started. I guess once you realise fantasy is more than just Tolkien and Narnia then there's actually a lot of good stuff to be found, or perhaps I've just been lucky that the two fantasy works I've read have both been excellent and not a fair representation of all fantasy.
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