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Old 03-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #601
Cornboy
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I finished Infinite Jest not too long ago myself. Took a quite a while! I thought it was worthwhile, fun book. There were some sections in it that were flat out amazing. The section in the first 100 pages or so when he introduces Ken Erdedy (the neurotic/anxiety riddled marijuana addict) was amazing. I mentioned elsewhere that had that section been printed by itself, it would have been one of the best short stories I'd ever read.

I thought it was a shame that Erdedy was relegated to basically a background character later on. Some of the more 'main' characters - like Gately - I didn't care for.

At first I didn't really care for the ending. I just felt like we spent 1000 pages getting to the good part and it faded to black. What happened to Hal? Orin? The Entertainment? In the end, leaving me like that might have been a good idea - I spent more time thinking about the book than I would have had it had a traditional ending. I still go back and forth on this. I've read some theories and essays about the book online.

I feel like it's a book I would definitely pick more up from if I went back and read it a second time. But that's not going to happen. I can definitely understand why some folks didn't like it, but I all-in-all, I enjoyed it.

----------------------

I also just finished No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs. Those of you that have read Into Thin Air may recognize the name - he's probably the most accomplished US climber and played a role in the rescue in Into Thin Air, he was part of the IMAX team.

His book wasn't as good as Into Thin Air, but it was still gripping and held my interest. His stories of self-restraint, heading back though being very close to several summits. Probably why he's still alive. One chapter in the book is devoted to the Into Thin Air disaster, his viewpoint of the tragedy and the response. Pretty good stuff, quick read.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:47 PM   #602
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I just finished the first two parts of "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoyevsky and so far it's amazing. It's very compelling and has me enthralled. My only compliant is that I think the translation is a bit wonky. Either certain expressions simply don't translate well to English or, more likely imo, considering it's billed as a "fluent" translation on the back cover, it has been dumb-downed a touch. It doesn't detract much from the overall story and impact though, but there are certain sentences/words that seem noticeably odd and out of place. Either way, I was thinking of reading "Notes from the Underground" afterward.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:11 PM   #603
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Now that my teaching stuff is wrapping up for the most part I'm going to be reading again. The book I currently have is Exploding the Myths by Marc Aronson. It's a collection of his essays about YA lit. I may have mentioned this book earlier in the thread, but I'm too tired and brain drained to go look that up!

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Old 03-28-2008, 08:33 AM   #604
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Sit and Go Strategy - Collin Moshman

Ring - Koji Suzuki

The French Laundry Cookbook - Thomas Keller
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:53 PM   #605
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

The French Laundry Cookbook is great. Anthony Bourdain says it's a great example of "food porn," and he adores Keller. He does a great write-up of a trip to the French Laundry in one of his books, including how blown away he was by Keller's tremendously inventive dish called "coffee and cigarettes," which was right up Bourdian's alley.

I hope I'm thinking of the right one -- there's one real glossy one on the French Laundry, big book with big lovely pictures, that I had but no longer have and which was quite expensive, but I think Keller might have put out a second one about the French Laundry too.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:14 PM   #606
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Anthony Bourdain is right and that quote was the reason why I asked for the two Keller books for Christmas last year. (Bouchon is the other book, named for Keller's other restaurant, and is equally pornographic.) If you are ever looking to replace yours Amazon sells both in a very nice slipcase for about $15 more than you can pick either of them up by themselves for at Borders.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:56 PM   #607
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Currently reading From Hell by Alan Moore.
Also reading other graphic novels: "How to make money like a porn star!" by Neil Strauss, "David Boring" by D. Clowes, "Marvel 1602" by N. Gaiman, "Death: The High Cost of Living" by N. Gaiman and "Edgar Allan Poe" by R. Corben and R. Margopoulos.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:44 PM   #608
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tunaman3000 View Post
Anthony Bourdain is right and that quote was the reason why I asked for the two Keller books for Christmas last year. (Bouchon is the other book, named for Keller's other restaurant, and is equally pornographic.) If you are ever looking to replace yours Amazon sells both in a very nice slipcase for about $15 more than you can pick either of them up by themselves for at Borders.
Thanks for the tip. I wouldn't mind replacing it one day. It was an absolutely beautiful book.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:34 PM   #609
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

So I finished Blood Meridian today and have moved on to The Master and Margarita. Actually, I started The Master and Margarita a few days ago as light reading because I found Blood Meridian so daunting, but then The Master and Margarita wasn't very light so I finished off Blood Meridian to focus on Master. So far, I'm like Master a lot but am overburdened with all of the names in it.

I will probably read Freakonomics next and then Bitter Chocolate: The Dark Side of the World's Most Seductive Sweet.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:48 PM   #610
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

finished reading empire falls yesterday.....i liked it alright although some less renowned books i have liked alot more....i dont think i have very good taste in books theres not many prize winning books i seem to like....

guess it means im a simpleton and cant understand the allegories and whatnot that the authors put in

reading "the known world" right now, im about 100 pages into it and iv gotta say i really dont like it, i think im about to put it down, which i almost never do with books.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:53 PM   #611
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Okay, so I see a promo for "The Ruins" on tv. It says that Stephen King called it the greatest horror novel of the century or something. That's pretty good acclaim, even if it's less than a decade old.

So I go look up the book on Amazon and see that King reviewed it there, too, and glowingly so. I also see that Scott Smith wrote some book called A Simple Plan about a plane crash or something and it was made into a movie.

Anyone read either of these Scott Smith books? I'm not intrigued and wondering if they're worth the reads King thinks they are.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:59 AM   #612
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I'm trying to finish Flatland (which shouldn't be that hard, as it's under a hundred pages), so that I can start reading World War Z which I got in the mail yesterday and am very, very excited about.

Also working through a book called Tensors, Relativity & Cosmology but it's more math then reading.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:03 AM   #613
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I finished I Am Legend today, and will be also starting WWZ
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:14 AM   #614
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Really pleased to have found a book thread on 2+2. I'm reading Beevor's history of the Spanish Civil War. It's pretty good but for some reason I'm not finding it as engaging as Stalingrad. It's a very tough piece of history to explain to a layman, in fairness.

Started WWZ today as well.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:20 AM   #615
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloAJ View Post
Okay, so I see a promo for "The Ruins" on tv. It says that Stephen King called it the greatest horror novel of the century or something. That's pretty good acclaim, even if it's less than a decade old.

So I go look up the book on Amazon and see that King reviewed it there, too, and glowingly so. I also see that Scott Smith wrote some book called A Simple Plan about a plane crash or something and it was made into a movie.

Anyone read either of these Scott Smith books? I'm not intrigued and wondering if they're worth the reads King thinks they are.
Read both "A Simple Plan" and "The Ruins". Scot Smith is a very good writer and both books were good reads. I'm a little worried about "The Ruins" being turned into a movie because they are going to have to cut a lot out (as usual for a book to movie), but I think it will lose a lot of its flavor due to the cuts. They actually did a good job with "A Simple Plan" and I think Billy Bob was excellent in the movie.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:05 PM   #616
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Read both "A Simple Plan" and "The Ruins". Scot Smith is a very good writer and both books were good reads. I'm a little worried about "The Ruins" being turned into a movie because they are going to have to cut a lot out (as usual for a book to movie), but I think it will lose a lot of its flavor due to the cuts. They actually did a good job with "A Simple Plan" and I think Billy Bob was excellent in the movie.
Glad to hear this as I'm probably going to try and pick up both today when I go to the library in a couple hours between classes. That's a long sentence.

I finished Exploding the Myths, Marc Aronson's collected essays (more like his speech transcripts) about adolescent reading. It's really interesting to hear about the conferences and what the librarians and enthusiasts (I guess?) think about the subject. It's funny reading it because a lot of the speeches come from a time when YA was really under the radar. I feel like the YA section of Borders is growing every time I go there and more and more teens seem to be lounging in the area (future Loungers, we can hope!).

I gave it 5*/5 because it was a fascinating read and I'm really interested in YA lit as mentioned before.

Next book will be...I don't know yet. I haven't ordered/bought WWZ yet. I might have to run to Borders and pick that up tonight or tomorrow night.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:28 PM   #617
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I didn't even know The Ruins was a book, but now I'm intrigued. FWIW, A Simple Plan was a really good movie.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:46 PM   #618
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Yeah, I figured it was just some B-rate horror movie coming out. Then, as described above, there was this strange revelation more and more that maybe it would be an interesting read.

I'm debating about how to get a hold of World War Z, Plan, and Ruins right now. Apparently the libraries here and at home don't have any of them (library here has WWZ checked out). Borders will surely have these and I have a 40% off and some giftcards. Amazon has the books for about $4-5 a piece (except WWZ). Too many decisions!
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:24 PM   #619
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

WOW did The Ruins get bad reviews on Amazon! 287 reviews were the worst possible on a scale of 1-5 -- far more than any other number chosen, but followed in good numbers by the other bad reviews, and a number wished they could have given it less than 1.

Honestly the terrible reviews sounded pretty level-headed, and you usually don't see much of that; most books aren't so bad that they're hate-worthy unless you're coming in bristling with hatred yourself. This book is easily one of the worst-reviewed books I can recall reading about.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:53 PM   #620
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jintster View Post
Really pleased to have found a book thread on 2+2. I'm reading Beevor's history of the Spanish Civil War. It's pretty good but for some reason I'm not finding it as engaging as Stalingrad. It's a very tough piece of history to explain to a layman, in fairness.

Started WWZ today as well.
There's a BBC documentary about the Spanish Civil War that is supposed to be very good. A book with a theme about the Civil War in Spain that I liked a lot is "Soldiers of Salamis" by Javier Cercas.

I am getting WWZ this weekend.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:37 PM   #621
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I'm tempted to get the audiobook of WWZ. Supposedly outstanding, but ... abridged! Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I guess.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:53 PM   #622
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I thought about getting the audiobook instead since it's supposed to be an oral history and all. The abridged thing really ruins the idea though.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:59 PM   #623
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

A Simple Plan is a fantastic book and great movie.

Just finished Quantico, Greg Bear's 10-years-in-the-future novel of the FBI and terrorism. Pretty great. I've just started Carl Hiaasen's lates, Nature Girl. I'm a big fan.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:29 PM   #624
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Hiaasen makes me laugh out loud. Listening to Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club in the car, and read most of Six Word Memoirs. "Graduated Harvard. Had baby with crackhead."
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:17 PM   #625
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

because of the recommendations in this thread, I'm started The Queen's Gambit and The Winter of Our Discontent.
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