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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #691
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    You want a fun symbolism book, I can recommend lots: For instance read "The Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison.
    i became obsessed with that book when i was about 19.
    Yes, that's the sort of thing i love, the decoding.
    The black chemical turning the paint white, the question about the minister being both rind and heart, good GOD i loved that book. I read it 3 or 4 times. Can you suggest another?

    Oh, also, check out this Ken Burns doc on the dust bowl.
    Fucking PBS. They are experimenting with pay walls, so i can't link you directly to it. There are other ways i could get it to you though if you are interested.
    Last edited by elevenism; 08-04-2016 at 10:28 AM.

  2. #692
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    Yeah, The Invisible Man is a great American book, for sure. The "Battle Royal" fought with blindfolds symbolizing their inability to see they're being exploited by white men; the white blond stripper with the American flag tattoo ...

    We spent a lot of time in class discussing those light bulbs in his cave. From SparkNotes:

    Obsessed with a need for light to validate his existence, after 20 years seeking his true identity the narrator finally understands the difference between seeing through "physical eyes" and perceiving reality through one's "inner eyes" (that is, he is no longer "blind"). Discovering how to turn his invisibility into an asset because no one acknowledges his existence, the narrator realizes he can live rent-free and obtain enough free electricity from Monopolated Light & Power (the white power source) to fill his "hole" with light. In fact, he points out that his "hole" is illuminated by 1,369 light bulbs. This number may seem like merely a descriptive detail, but 1936 — the year Ellison arrived in New York City and met Alain Locke and Langston Hughes — becomes 1,369 by simply switching two digits, revealing yet another example of Ellison's use of number symbolism. Ellison's numeric "joke" also illustrates his knack for merging elements of fact and fiction.

    Keeping in mind that Ellison's story is an allegory, the narrator's focus on light, light bulbs, and illumination can be interpreted as referring to the process of intellectual enlightenment, and the narrator's seemingly random comments begin to make sense. Through the narrator's numerous references to fighting, Ellison introduces the prizefight imagery in Chapter 1 with the battle royal, playing a key role throughout the novel.

    This scene also introduces the concept of fate, illustrating that despite our scientific knowledge and our diligent efforts to prepare ourselves to meet life's challenges, some things are simply beyond our control.
    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    Can you suggest another?
    Yes! "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides. More contemporary but brilliant interweaving of culture and gender, much through symbolism.

    Also, when I was in my teens a book that changed my friggin' life was "The Magus" by John Fowles, OMG highly recommended.

    And surely you've read Coelho's "The Alchemist?" A simple little profound book.

    I'll try to find that Ken Burns doc, thanks!

    And I'm still tackling "War and Peace" right now but I'll definitely put "The Grapes of Wrath" up higher on my list, thanks!
    Last edited by allegro; 08-04-2016 at 01:43 PM.

  3. #693
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    Oh wow, @allegro , i need to read The Invisible Man again. I haven't read it as an adult.

    Thank you so much for the recommendations. I've had a lifelong love affair with books, but i never know what's good.
    I've read every Stephen King book (i know you think he's a hack, but there's a sublimity to it reminiscent of Mark Twain,) every Anne Rice book (because i adore her flowery prose,) and all the Steinbeck books. I've read all of Ayn Rand's work (would you believe i started out an elitist conservative :P ?) I've also read like 20 books by this archaeologist-turned-writer husband and wife team who combine historical fiction about native americans with contemporary genres with addictive results. So those 5 things are well over 100 beloved books. In between, of course i've read Orwell and Burgess and Salinger and things like Barbara Kingsolver and House of Leaves. I've read Heart of Darkness and The Awakening and Cry the Beloved Country-a lot of early feminist and african stuff. But most of all, sadly, i've read a metric fuckton of "that looks ok" bestsellers from the grocery store and such, and most of that shit makes me consider writing a damn book myself. So i've read a LOT of poor to fair pulp novels. Hundreds, in fact, of the kind of book you read and forget.
    But i have not read The Alchemist, or Middlesex or The Magus. I just haven't had someone point me in the right direction to what is really intellectually stimulating since like my AP english V class in high school.

    I'm REALLY glad i asked, though, and will order the books you suggested posthaste.

  4. #694
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    @elevenism Awesome, let me know when you read one, we could create a discussion thread or something. I can re-read it to do like a book club thing so I can freshen up.

    My dream is to have a library in our house. Between the two of us (G and me), we have at least ten huge wide bookshelves full of books scattered throughout the house but I want to organize them into more of a cozy library type setting. We plan to someday update our basement and want to dedicate at least one room there as a library. Complete with a comfy chair and a gas fireplace. :-)

    Hey, have you ever read Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein?" That one is LOADED with symbolism
    Last edited by allegro; 08-04-2016 at 06:34 PM.

  5. #695
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    @allegro , no, and i guess i loose goth points for that.
    I HAVE read another book loaded with symbolism that's similar: Bram Stoker's subliminally raunchy Dracula.
    Frankenstein i think i have for free on a laptop or tablet around here. I will read it.

    Ooooh, another thing that i really got a kick out of is William S. Burroughs City of the Red Night and The Place of Dead Roads. Did you read any of those? I also read Junkie and Queer.

    As far as having a library, you would slap the shit out of me if you saw my room and my things in general. It is the physical manifestation of a bipolar mind. My books are under the bed and BEHIND shelves on the floor and in the closets. It's awful.
    Also, i've had to move around so much not knowing where i was going so i've lost a lot of books that way, and the other thing is that i give them away.
    Maybe now that i'm more situated i can get books together and know they will stay there (we are thinking of staying here till we inherit it.)

    But like, for instance, i SHOULD have first edition copies of every Stephen King and Anne Rice book written in the past 20 years.
    Last edited by elevenism; 08-04-2016 at 07:01 PM.

  6. #696
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    @allegro , no, and i guess i loose goth points for that.
    I HAVE read another book loaded with symbolism that's similar: Bram Stoker's subliminally raunchy Dracula.
    Frankenstein i think i have for free on a laptop or tablet around here. I will read it.

    Ooooh, another thing that i really got a kick out of is William S. Burroughs City of the Red Night and The Place of Dead Roads. Did you read any of those? I also read Junkie and Queer.
    No, but I read "Naked Lunch." I'm not a big Burroughs fan. I also hated Kerouac's "On the Road," LOL

  7. #697
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    Ohhhh. I thought it was cool because it like pushed the envelope. Same reason i loved house of leaves and am loving Infinite Jest (although i've had to take breaks with that one. I've never read anything so dense!)

    Did you read House of Leaves?

  8. #698
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    Nah, too many other books on my list to read best sellers. :-) I have, seriously, about 30 books on shelves waiting to be read. Some big fat serious ones like Dostoevsky.

    I have enough on my plate right now with this translation of "War and Peace" with all the footnotes and the patronymic names plus nicknames plus all the FRENCH. This translation has 1215 pages.

    Plus I still have to read Jonathan Franzen's "Purity" (516 pages).

    Yes, you should build yourself some bookshelves! To me, it is so comforting being surrounded by books. I have Kindles and I read ebooks on my iPad sometimes but only crap stuff like MTV Kennedy's book or some non-fiction or free books.

    I have hardcover books I have to finish. Like, I never did finish "A Confederacy of Dunces."
    Last edited by allegro; 08-04-2016 at 07:20 PM.

  9. #699
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    In the last few weeks, I've read The Dark Tower series (because it's awesome), Dimiter by William Peter Blatty (which I really liked) and right now I'm reading Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious (because why not?).

    What can I say; I have eclectic tastes.

  10. #700
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Nah, too many other books on my list to read best sellers. :-)
    HoL is definitely worth it though. Have you ever read Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth? It's like that, but novel length.

    Ooooooh @marodi , my wife and i both ADORE The Dark Tower. We plan to get matching Dark Tower tattoos: FOUND in high speech with An-Tet underneath it.

  11. #701
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    also, @allegro , i had recently thought of trying to start a book club type thread myself.

  12. #702
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    also, @allegro , i had recently thought of trying to start a book club type thread myself.
    We have tried it a few times before and it was a disaster. Maybe if a few of us just go ahead and do our own thing, that will be better.

  13. #703
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    Frankenstein i think i have for free on a laptop or tablet around here. I will read it.
    Symbolism hint: It was written during the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-05-2016 at 01:00 PM.

  14. #704
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleiner352 View Post
    I made myself finish Infinite Jest as fast as possible recently. I can only assume Wallace's book A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again is about reading this novel. Not for me whatsoever and I'm extremely disappointed considering the cult of obsession around it. I'm probably going to rinse my literary mouth out with Don DeLillo's Underworld next.
    dude i still haven't finished it.
    i "took a break" and read another book, and now i'm on my FOURTH other book. i WILL finish it though, but goddamn, it IS laborious.
    @eversonpoe i am reading This Book Is Full of Spiders today.
    @allegro i will order one of those books you mentioned soon.

    i've just ordered so many recently that my mommy will probably want me to read the ones i've already ordered before she lets me get new ones (ahh, the joys of not being able to fucking work)
    Last edited by elevenism; 08-14-2016 at 11:22 AM.

  15. #705
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    Sorry for double post, but hey @allegro , did you notice a massive time period of kurt cobain's life was missing from that book of journals, and it just so happens to be from the time period when he was married to Courtney Love?
    She'll probably release them in some kind of 30th anniversary edition for $299 or something.

    there was a LITTLE bit from that time in the book, but not very much.
    Last edited by elevenism; 08-14-2016 at 11:28 AM.

  16. #706
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    Sorry for double post, but hey @allegro , did you notice a massive time period of kurt cobain's life was missing from that book of journals, and it just so happens to be from the time period when he was married to Courtney Love?
    She'll probably release them in some kind of 30th anniversary edition for $299 or something.

    there was a LITTLE bit from that time in the book, but not very much.
    I think he stopped keeping the journals once Nirvana got busy (and he was too fucked up on heroin to have time to write in his journals).

  17. #707
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    Finally broke open Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. It's good in that it melds comedy and sociology together. I'm about three chapters in.

  18. #708
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    going through Dostoevsky again, currently in the middle of my favorite, Notes from Underground. Next is The Brothers Karamazov.

  19. #709
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    @Jinsai I still think few books have had the same degree of impact on me as reading Crime & Punishment at 15 did. I read Kafka's The Trial, C&P and Camus' The Stranger back to back to back and had my whole mind blown.

  20. #710
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    What are you reading?

    I've been a terrible pleasure reader of late. All work related reading or listening to podcasts. Also Facebook and Twitter newsfeed eats my time. So, with effort, I've committed to pleasure read this book: fifth in a series.
    Last edited by Dra508; 08-21-2016 at 01:30 PM.

  21. #711
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    i am reading This Book Is Full of Spiders today.
    don't know how far you are, but please tell me i'm not the only person who envisioned Detective Lance Falconer as Gary Cole, 100%.

  22. #712
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    don't know how far you are, but please tell me i'm not the only person who envisioned Detective Lance Falconer as Gary Cole, 100%.
    i finished it a couple of days ago.
    i really, really loved it. i didn't think of gary cole but it works!

  23. #713
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    @eversonpoe have you ramped anything lately?
    also, what do you think about Dave's memory disappearing, and both amy and john's strange behavior.
    Do you see what i'm getting at?

  24. #714
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    @eversonpoe , re TBIFOS, what i was getting at is the fact that Spoiler: i think that it's quite possible that john, amy, or dave may be infected. Especially dave, as we are never given any explanation as to why he lost his memory. remember, they were told, by Carlos i think, "you don't WANT to know who is infected, TRUST me. Maybe i'm wrong, but i think it may be a plot point going forward.

    Now, i must implore you to read Infinite Jest, you and @allegro both.
    It's not my FAVORITE book that i've ever read, but i believe that in term of the skill of the author, from changing voices, to crazy narrative distance mindfucks, to stylistic and thematic variations, it's the BEST book i've ever read, if that makes any sense.

  25. #715
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    I have had that book on my shelves for YEARS but just haven't felt like picking it up.

  26. #716
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    @eversonpoe , re TBIFOS, what i was getting at is the fact that Spoiler: i think that it's quite possible that john, amy, or dave may be infected. Especially dave, as we are never given any explanation as to why he lost his memory. remember, they were told, by Carlos i think, "you don't WANT to know who is infected, TRUST me. Maybe i'm wrong, but i think it may be a plot point going forward.
    definitely think you're wrong on that, because Spoiler: the sound that fucked up all the spiders would have killed dave, which didn't happen.

  27. #717
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    definitely think you're wrong on that, because Spoiler: the sound that fucked up all the spiders would have killed dave, which didn't happen.
    ahhh, true.

  28. #718
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    on another note, i just finished all the Miss Peregrine's books, which were fabulous. i really, really hope tim burton didn't fuck up the translation to screen too badly. i already know that Spoiler: they switched olive & emma's abilities, but kept everything else in tact about their characters, and dr. golan is no longer a wight, but samuel l. jackson is playing a completely new character called Barron who is a wight, neither of which make sense. but i guess we'll see?

  29. #719
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I have had that book on my shelves for YEARS but just haven't felt like picking it up.
    You just described such a large percentage of people who own Infinite Jest!

  30. #720
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    So, everybody, i'm a huge Anne Rice fan and have read all of her work, and my wife wanted to check it out, so i ordered her a one-volume collection of Interview With the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and Queen of the Damned.

    Well, they accidentally shipped two!

    So whoever wants it, hit me up and i will send it to you.
    Again, this is all three books, unabridged, in one nice hardback volume.
    Whether you would like to reread the books, or it's the first time around, it would make a lovely addition to your collection.
    I just don't need two of them.

    Oh...i don't think i can afford to ship it overseas though.

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