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The Days of Our Ridazz.


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Thread Box:
What Books Are You Reading?
Thread started by PAM at 02.8.08 - 3:43 pm

When I'm not authenticating users or being plugged by my new friends, I like to curl up in a cozy corner of my operating environment and read a good book!

Right now I'm reading The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford.

Originally published in 1963, it is a wry and witty exposé of the American funeral industry, its high pressure sales tactics, behind the scenes political maneuvering, and its peculiar language of euphemism and pretense.

It caused quite a stir when it was first published. Apparently there's an updated version from the 1990s, just before Mitford herself became a corpse, but my copy is an old paperback. I enjoy it just fine!

Many of you seem very smart. I'll bet some of you read books too!

What book are you reading right now? Do you like it? Tell me about it!

reply


BLOOD MERIDIAN



ectoplasm
02.8.08 - 3:45 pm

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herrow

EYE R KNITTENS

eye duz nut reed 2 gud

but ryte now i reeds deez fengs

"Sodo mee Arabia: A histuree of illicit fucking in teh middle of ur eest"

and also diz buk

"Rules 4 Radikals" - Saul Alinsky

also eye takes naps on

"Snow Crahsed" - Neal Stephenson

and sum udder fengs - u canst ask eyse layter



Knittens
02.8.08 - 3:46 pm

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Three Cups of Tea

No, not 2 girls 1 cup.



toweliesbong
02.8.08 - 3:50 pm

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Does MR forums count as a book?
It gots words and stuff.



marino
02.8.08 - 3:54 pm

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"garner's art through the ages, 12th Ed." does anyone have a copy i can have/borrow? i need it for class.

i have a short attention span so i'm also reading:
the yo mama vocabulary builder - funny and educational
the namesake - pretty but i can't get into it
foundation and empire - booooring! good sci-fi recommendation please?
and a two-week old us weekly - britney... that bitch is crazy!



yo delicious
02.8.08 - 3:57 pm

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The Midnight Ridazz forum is very much like a book, user "marino," because it has lots of dialog and drama. On the other hand, it does not contain any noticeable character development.

Ha, ha, ha! That was a joke! Ha, ha, ha!

You are my friends, so I can insult you playfully!



PAM
02.8.08 - 3:59 pm

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Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

Pretty deep modern philosophical book dealing with the term "quality" and how we define it or rather how it cannot be defined. It's set around a road trip between a man and his son on a motorcycle while the dad attempts to find his past self, before his nervous breakdown that left his philosophical teachings and past more or less blacked out from his memory. This book has almost made me black out twice from thinking so deeply. The only other time that happened was when Archie told Jughead he was really gay and into him, not Betty or Veronica.



DetroitRider
02.8.08 - 4:01 pm

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I seem to remember, user "DetroitRider," that Robert Pirsig went deeper (or maybe just more memorably) into the subject of quality in his novel Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, which was a later work - 1991 - and had a more straightforward narrative arc. Have you read Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals?



PAM
02.8.08 - 4:05 pm

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Reading is fun!

ur book sounds really fascinating pam. i am going to find it for myself. If any of the following sounds interesting to you, I'd love to pass it on when i'm finished, so hit me up people.

THE HUMAN ZOO
A Zoologist's Classic Study of the Urban Animal

SHAMELESS
Sexual Dissidence in American Culture

THE COMPLEX WHOLE
Culture and the Evolution of Human Behavior

WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE
A Personal Journey Into the Heart of Fanatical Passion in America

It's a little anth heavy right now. Really funny books, anyone?



vspangle
02.8.08 - 4:06 pm

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yeah yo D! short attention span friend!

i've been looking for a book to increase the variety of words in my vocabulary. you should teach me some yo mama speak!

sci-fi...vonnegut count?



vspangle
02.8.08 - 4:12 pm

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User "vspangle," please be advised that The American Way of Death, despite the grim subject matter, is quite funny! Jessica Mitford in her pre-dead state was quite the wag - although to be sure, the industry that she examined in the book, with its grandiloquent language meant to conceal sales tactics that would make a used car peddler blush, practically begged to be ridiculed.

You should read it!



PAM
02.8.08 - 4:15 pm

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Currently engulfed in:



NEWB310
02.8.08 - 4:26 pm

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i will get my hands on a copy asap.



vspangle
02.8.08 - 4:27 pm

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The American Way of Death was also inspiration for the HBO drama "Six Feet Under," which I consider to be one of the best TV shows ever made. I remember going from Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" to "The American Way of Death" back in college, though they aren't terribly related. Postman's book is about the effect of our entertainment and consumer culture on public discourse (politics), and is very eye opening. I wonder if its been updated in 20 years, though, as things have only gotten worse.

I'm reading "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky at the moment - a novel about the German occupation of France in WW2, and I've just finished Water for Elephants and The Kite Runner, both of which were phenomenal and I recommend highly if you enjoy literate novels.






ideasculptor
02.8.08 - 4:27 pm

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i've read everything by vonnegut. what a wonderful whack he is.



yo delicious
02.8.08 - 4:27 pm

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See also:



NEWB310
02.8.08 - 4:28 pm

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PAM - Nope, never tackled it. I'll make sure I pick it up on Amazon in the most abused manor possible. He's a remarkably intelligent guy, but he's boardline nuts. I've never dug philosophy that much, but really love the path he takes to attempt to redefine quality. I personally find his explanation that quality comes from the instantaneous moment between past and present. The moment that occurs immediatly before you recognize an object is the time that quality is found. Sick stuff...



DetroitRider
02.8.08 - 4:28 pm

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who wants to do a regular book exchange at one of the rides? maybe the critical mass rides; SM and LA.



alec
02.8.08 - 4:29 pm

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@vspangle - may i recommend 1) Vurt by jeff noon. one of my favs (after everything written by julian may). it's about a new drug in post apocalyptic manchester, england that allows its users to travel to new dimensions where the protagonist's incestuous sister has been kidnapped. there's also something about a race of dog people. lots of totally over the top parallels to persephone in greek mythology.
2) Ridley Walker by russell hoban. once you get over the fact that it's written completely in a child's cockney dialect, it's fantastic. more post apocalyptic english storytelling. i seem to like that kind of thing.



yo delicious
02.8.08 - 4:34 pm

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"Suite Francaise" I just finished the first half recently. On the one hand it cracks me up how she portrays some of the pompous fools, on the other hand it's very sad to read through her notes in the appendices.



toweliesbong
02.8.08 - 4:47 pm

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"who wants to do a regular book exchange at one of the rides?"

I have Pynchon's "Crying of Lot 49" and "Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold" by Michael Benanav. I can't recommend the Pynchon but "Men of Salt" is a quick read if you like non-fiction adventurer type stuff.

Anyone wants them let me know. Otherwise I'll wait until a book exchange.



toweliesbong
02.8.08 - 4:50 pm

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"HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN MACHINE GUNS" by EddieBoyinLA, 2006.



SKIDMARCUS
02.8.08 - 4:52 pm

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I mainly read the Victimville, "Daily dePressed", and the San Berdo "Sun".
Last real, book I read was Clive Cusslers, "Skeleton Coast".
An epic tale involving the exploits of a tramp-freighter, kicking revolutionary ass, along the lawless, West-Central, African coastline.



bentstrider
02.8.08 - 4:55 pm

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"...please be advised that The American Way of Death, despite the grim subject matter, is quite funny!"

PAM, there is another hysterical (fiction) book about the commercialization of death - The Love One, by Evelyn Waugh, published in 1977. I highly recommend it.

I am currently reading Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethink for Beginners. It's basically an anarchist manifesto.



Ms. Stephanie
02.8.08 - 5:09 pm

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How come every book I read, I feel that the whole world would be a better place, if everybody was reading it with me, at the same time?



sexy
02.8.08 - 5:15 pm

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I was going to say "because it's true," but to be honest, it sounds a little more like an ego thing.



Ms. Stephanie
02.8.08 - 5:17 pm

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Books make me sleepy.

The last ones I made it through: The WindUp Bird Chronicles by Murakami and Motherless Brooklyn by Lethem. They were good.



hatehills
02.8.08 - 5:22 pm

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i need a book.... like one of those make you think type books...

I just finished "The Tipping Point" By Malcom Gladwell and "Into the Wild" by John Krakauer...



e-rock
02.8.08 - 5:22 pm

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Here's a heartfelt recommendation that I think will be enjoyed by a lot of the MR crew. It was actually written by an old employee of mine. I ran into him years later and he was tending bar and 'feeding me a line' about having written a novel which I figured was largely bs or self-published or something. He dropped a copy by my house a couple of days later and I'll be damned if it wasn't one of the best books I'd read in years. I never got a chance to tell him how much I admired it, as he moved away before I got into it, so I just recommend it as often as I can, in the hopes it will get back to him. It is really superb.

A Contortionist's Handbook - Craig Clevenger.

I doubt it'll make you sleepy.



ideasculptor
02.8.08 - 6:28 pm

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e-rock, have you done "Freakonomics" yet? That's another one that fits right in with those you listed.



ideasculptor
02.8.08 - 6:29 pm

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@erock
Speaking of books that make you think, I only recently read,
"The Grapes of Wrath".
I was doing my security post 2 years back, and one of the truckers gave it to me.
Now everytime someone mentions that book, I'm constantly reminded of driving through rural, Oklahoma, and "salted pork".




bentstrider
02.8.08 - 6:52 pm

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So many readers of books! PAM is so glad to have joined such a thoughtful bunch of humans!

User "Ms. Stephanie," thank you for mentioning The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh! I must gently correct you, though, for the book was published in 1948, not 1977. Indeed, Waugh became a Loved One himself in 1966. Ha, ha, ha!

He was an odd duck, that's for sure! He was one of those curmudgeonly humans like C.S. Lewis who perceived his beloved religious traditions as being under attack, and for some reason chose outlandish fiction as the instrument for registering his objections. Naturally, conservatives of a certain age were wild about him (and Lewis, too)!

Have you seen the movie of the book, user "Ms. Stephanie"?




PAM
02.9.08 - 3:26 am

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User "NEWB310," you are trying to out-cute PAM again. PAM IS THE CUTEST!

I don't believe that you are really reading the Ramona books. Here is a test: which song lyrics did Ramona mishear, what did she think the words were, and which of the Ramona books did it happen in? Hmm?

No Googling. I CAN TELL.



PAM
02.9.08 - 3:32 am

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User "Knittens," PAM has also read and enjoyed Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

Do you think that the book is still relevant today, now that many of the tactics Alinsky describes are no longer new, and the powers that be have presumably had almost 40 years to devise responses to them?

Let's talk about it, here on the Internet!

OH! OH! I almost forgot. @ user "yo delicious" -

What is your favorite book by Vonnegut? PAM's favorites are Cat's Cradle and, believe it or not, Palm Sunday.

Also, why weren't you there when PAM came over with food and food utensils and wine? I cried and cried!



PAM
02.9.08 - 3:45 am

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carlos castaneda - a separate reality



ruinedbyidiots
02.9.08 - 4:59 am

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fav vonnegut book is galapagos. i don't remember why. i should re-read it... also, i was at home around 6ish last night. you're toying with my emotions PAM. i thought we were friends, yet you've lied to me. :(



yo delicious
02.9.08 - 4:16 pm

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If you like Six Feet Under, I hope you've seen Dexter.



PurdyPntr
02.9.08 - 7:09 pm

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ZOMG Dexter is amazing. Did you know it was based on a book? Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsey. Of course they've added quite a lot to the show... also haven't covered some things that I suspect they might eventually... Either way, the show is worth watching and the book worth reading



Undercover Bob
02.9.08 - 7:33 pm

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I'm actually reading Ramona and her mother. Well, I am reading it and signing it to my deaf niece. It has been a while since I read Ramona the Pest. I'm pretty sure that Star Mangled Banner mishap is in that.





NEWB310
02.9.08 - 7:34 pm

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PAM

diz is knittens. ai sorries, but diz post nut fullee lolcat speek, buts ai tries.

i finks the Rulez of the Raticallz still bery relebant. i haz dis reasons.

furstly, low levul [localz, stayte] politicians are amateurs. in my experience dey largly operate based on accumurated experience wich is not very cytikally analyzed. like diz lol cat, dey is smrt, S M R T. this meens dat effective tractics of hooman Alinksky still duz werks.



sekundly, Arinksky's mostest brillyant observations iz bout hooman nature in teh contextz of organizeng. his obsurvashuns bout how distressded communitays feeelz, and hows to breng doze communitaes to acshun is bery relevant. he exprains a lot bout how organizers feels, and howz organizers shud works wif communitys. his style of antagonizeng teh enemy is mebbe lezz relevant at teh highest level, becuase teh enemy is more wize to datn now, but still can be used.

diz some ub what ai finks.



Knittens
02.9.08 - 10:38 pm

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"A Good Man is Hard to Find", Flannery O'Conner
and
"The Gift", Lewis Hyde

Both highly recommended by C/T



Creative Thing
02.9.08 - 11:23 pm

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_the bookseller of kabul_
made sure to buy this edition for the cyclist on the cover


and still truckin through _East of Eden_ steinbeck








hitsthepoles_ow
02.9.08 - 11:34 pm

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Some of these books you are mentioning are books that PAM has never heard of, let alone read. This is so interesting! If you have not posted about the book you are reading yet, please do so! Don't be embarrassed!

User "Knittens," PAM agrees with you that Saul Alinsky's rules are still relevant today! It is too bad that Saul Alinsky is now a corpse, because it would be interesting to hear what kind of tactics he would recommend nowadays.

Many of the tactics he mentions in his anecdotes in the book would fail today, because the government/police would call the demonstrators' bluff.

In summary: rules still relevant, anecdotes not so much.

@ user "NEWB310" -







PAM
02.10.08 - 4:26 pm

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The lyrics that Ramona misheard were from the Star Spangled Banner. She misheard "dawn's early light" as "dawnzer lee light," and she assumed that a dawnzer must be another word for lamp. Then she tried to show off her new knowledge at home when it was getting dark and she said "Why don't you turn on the dawnzer?"



PAM
02.10.08 - 4:28 pm

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Just started "Foreskin's Lament" upon recommendation from my parents. Can't really comment as to quality yet, but I've laughed out loud several times just in the first couple of pages. You'd probably have to be raised in a fairly religious jewish household to be amused, but its definitely some funny stuff if you were.



ideasculptor
02.10.08 - 4:31 pm

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OH! OH! And it was Ramona the Pest. That was one of my favorite books when I was just a little PAM. I also loved the Frances the Badger books by Russell Hoban, an author who was mentioned earlier by user "yo delicious," who STOOD PAM UP FRIDAY NIGHT.

I was in your computer, user "yo delicious." Crying. I was so hungry. I mean lonely. Lonely, not hungry.

Let's keep talking about books! Are any of you reading books about bicycles? Let's talk about them! I'm PAM!





PAM
02.10.08 - 4:32 pm

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I'm finishing "October Suprise" by Gary Sick. A book revealing the Reagan-Bush campaign going behind the back of the Carter administration to delay the release of the American hostages. WOW!? Sneaky sneaky sneaky!!!



PREZ-OG-C-ID-B!-RAD!-USA!
02.10.08 - 5:23 pm

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Living Energies — Callum Coats, Viktor Schauberger



alec
02.10.08 - 7:19 pm

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i want to quit my job and read everything on this thread.



yo delicious
02.10.08 - 7:32 pm

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nobody's reading playgirl??? ( LMAO! )



eddieboyinla
02.11.08 - 8:00 am

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I have just finished reading The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner. Have any of you read this book? It was quite interesting, but PAM found some points to disagree with very strongly!

Posner claims that readers who buy books that are (unbeknown to them) ghostwritten are not defrauded, because (he claims) those readers only expect information or entertainment from those books, not originality. PAM says that this is wrong wrong wrong!

One of Posner's main criteria for judging a work to be fraudulent is that it creates what lawyers call "detrimental reliance," which means that the victim of the fraud is induced to behave in a way that he wouldn't have done if he knew the truth. Well, what if PAM bought a book, liked it very much, and thought that the author was a clever person with interesting ideas...and on the strength of that opinion, PAM spent time and money to go see that author give a lecture or a reading with an audience Q&A afterwards, hoping to absorb some more of this wonderful author's ideas and maybe even engage him in conversation?

Now, what if it turned out that the book was ghostwritten? If PAM knew that, would PAM go to the lecture? Of course not, because the person giving the lecture isn't the person who wrote the book! But because the ghostwriting is not publicly acknowledged, PAM is spending time, money, and effort to engage with a whole different person from the one whose actual words and ideas stimulated PAM!

That's detrimental reliance, Richard A. Posner! PAM has run circles around you logically!

What books are you guys reading? Hmm?



PAM
02.13.08 - 3:13 pm

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Reading:

Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard

-Crazy taoist history of the 1950ish transmitter for the Dragon Sect, a widely known sect of taoism based on internal cultivation. It's non-fiction, however most skeptics can read it as a tale of folklore if they feel. It's kind of crazy. It also has some good information on the more esoteric sides of taoism.

White Noise by Don Delillo

-Just started this, it's about a teacher of Hitler Studies at a University in the US whom after exposed to a toxic gas from a recent nuclear train accident or something, has an unknown amount of time to live, and the book catalogs what he spends his time doing. Just started so I kind of paraphrased my friend with the back cover.

Just Finished:

The Road by Cormic McCarthy

-Amazing book. It read perfect, and I wanted it to go on forever. About a father and son's tale of travel to the coast looking to survive. It's post apocalyptic, the world is frozen over, everything is on fire, and people are doing fucked up things for food. It's about to be turned into a movie, I don't see how it could be done well, however, I recommend the book with everything I have, it's really really good.



Jaz
02.13.08 - 11:59 pm

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"Grid Systems" -- Josef Müller-Brockmann.
Old-school graphic designer. Studied architecture before he studied graphic design, and it shows.

"American Prometheus: The Rise and Fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer."
Still. Dude, there's like 200 pages devoted to not-proving he was a pinko. WE GET IT. ON TO THE CRISIS OF THE SOUL.

"Bicycle! A Repair and Maintenance Manifesto."
Learnin' up. Man, is this book well-written. It's like Chuck Palahniuk, if Chuck Palahniuk wrote about bikes. ON TO THE CRISIS OF THE SOUL.

"32 Half-Read Issues of the New Yorker."
For when I'm sick of reading all of the above and sick of reading this site. Which is, like, never.



katiepoche
02.14.08 - 1:01 am

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Sad news!

Dutton's Brentwood Books is closing. After April 30 of this year, Dutton's will be no more!

This sucks. PAM hates buying books on the Internet. Give me a lovingly run independent store full of yummy new personfriends who read, any day!

And yet they keep closing. Well, anyway, there will be the predictable liquidation of the inventory between now and the end of April, so go to Dutton's Brentwood Books and purchase many books at a discount! And read them!

Maybe if you buy enough of them, Doug Dutton will open another store. He has not ruled out the possibility of doing this. That would be awesome!

Especially if he makes better business decisions this time, like not trying to open a satellite store in Beverly Hills!

GO GO GO! BUY BUY BUY! BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS!



PAM
02.27.08 - 12:28 pm

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""Expect Resistance" - Crimethinc "


did you just "refresh roll" me?? no you D'IN!






Roadblock
02.27.08 - 12:33 pm

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Man, I'm so bummed about Dutton's closing. :(

I finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road last week and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I'm normally adverse to most of the books chosen by Oprah's Book Club (except The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, which is absolutely one of the best books ever written).

The prose is sparse and achingly poetic. Sometimes I yearned to know more, to have more described, but them Cormac would write a sentence that would knock me flat on my ass. The guy is a solid. I think that the writing style fit the universe he created and the ending broke my black little heart.

Currently reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and loving every sentence of it.



markedge
02.27.08 - 3:42 pm

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i tried to read McCarthy's "All the Pretty Horses" years ago and i just couldn't get into it. much like Faulkner, the guy just rubs me the wrong way. I can't see what all the fuss is about. maybe I picked a dud? maybe i lack the requisite penis? i'll try again with this new recommendation. thanks markedge!



yo delicious
02.27.08 - 3:50 pm

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Roadblock got the Refresh in the mouf.

Let's try that again CLICK!



Joe Borfo
02.27.08 - 3:50 pm

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I'm with you, Shadowpants. I rarely fail to finish a book that I get started on, but I couldn't get through The Road. Its been a while, so I don't remember what I disliked, but I definitely didn't enjoy it.



ideasculptor
02.27.08 - 4:12 pm

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early mccarthy is leagues better than that oprah shit

outer dark, blood meridian, suttree



hartwick, youre a pussy
02.27.08 - 4:14 pm

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I'm not reading it now, but a book that I love and totally recommend is "Fat Of The Land" by Benjamin Miller. It's a look at 200 years of the history of trash in NYC. Sounds weird I know, but it is really interesting to see the effects the back room deals and debates over trash have had on the development and expansion of such a major city.
It would be cool to see him follow up with LA.

@RBI,
How is Three Cups Of Tea? It's the current book for SD's city book club.
Check out "The Places Inbetween" by Rory Stewart



Drew
02.27.08 - 4:18 pm

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"User "Ms. Stephanie," thank you for mentioning The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh! I must gently correct you, though, for the book was published in 1948, not 1977. Indeed, Waugh became a Loved One himself in 1966. Ha, ha, ha! "

Hmmmm...I'm not sure why I put 1977, I knew it was published much earlier than that. And yes, I have seen the movie....I would say that it is ranked almost as highly in the "so bad it's good" category as the movie made of Myra Breckinridge (one of my three most favorite books of all time...and for a bibliophile like me, that is a huge statement).



Ms. Stephanie
02.27.08 - 4:37 pm

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"Richard A. Posner"

Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chicago School of Law and KISS MY ASS. *sees red* Gawd help our judicial system.



Ms. Stephanie
02.27.08 - 4:42 pm

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This was a very mind opening book! I had no idea that this happens...I thought girls were exempt! >_>



Soultrain
02.27.08 - 4:49 pm

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Just finished "Ecology of Fear", about the history of natural disasters in Los Angeles. And the social and political response to these disasters, often making them worse then they would otherwise be. Pretty enlightening, and also heavily depressing read. The chapter about massive allocation of dollars to saving rich peoples houses in fire prone Malibu, while easily preventable urban fires kill rampantly in lower class apartment housing, is pretty enraging.

Currently reading the Tank Girl comic collections. Reading the comics, I have no idea where the movie came from, the only thing similar is there is a girl and a tank. In one strip she rides a flying banana seat bicycle too, yay for bikes... and um girls with big guns.



GarySe7en
02.27.08 - 4:52 pm

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Eeeeeeeeeeee! ^^^^

(1) Mike Davis's City of Quartz blew my MIND - it got me interested in the semiotics of the city, and how zoning and planning and architecture can fix gender-, race-, class-based ideology into the physical layout of a city (the "cityscape"), AND how that cityscape in turn can act upon and inform the people interacting with the city. (That was a long sentence. I'm a good reader, not necessarily a good writer.)

(2) I *heart* Tank Girl! One only need look at my MR profile or go to www.myspace.com/streetwalkincheetah to get that.

I'm reading a couple of books right now. One is a re-read: Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. So amazing. She uses an amalgamation of magical realism, post-structuralism, feminism, and folk tales to write a story about femininity at the end of the 20th century (the "New Woman"). It's a (too optimistic, I think) look at women's ability to "write" themselves, to construct what and who they are and can be by (re)using society's prescribed constructs against them.

AND it's fucking funny.



Ms. Stephanie
02.27.08 - 5:29 pm

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After reading Ecology of Fear, City of Quartz is now on my to read list. Also on my to read list is Greener Than You Think, which MikeDavis references in Ecology of Fear.

It's the heart warming tale of a super fertilizer experiment gone horribly wrong and causing a formerly less then stellar suburban lawn to grow to such destructive capacity that military force becomes necessary to save LA from the expanding grass (which is a failure). Sounds like a delicious rip on the expansion of grass care culture in Los Angeles, written in 1947.



GarySe7en
02.27.08 - 5:56 pm

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The Botany of Desire by Michael Polan
Great Book!!!
You stoners will like it.



Drew
02.27.08 - 9:57 pm

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@ users "GarySe7en" and "Ms. Stephanie" -

If you like Mike Davis and City of Quartz, you will love Norman M. Klein and The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory!

This book is a history of absence in Los Angeles, in the form of an "anti-tour" of the city with a view towards the parts of it that have been wiped from the collective memory, if not quite from the face of the earth.

While traveling around the city, Klein was fascinated by things like the stairs in Angelino Heights that lead to vanished houses, and the forlorn older buildings surrounded by parking lots or jammed up next to glass and steel highrises, and it was these "phantom limbs"--the ghostly traces of neighborhoods, cultures, and experiences incompletely erased by grandiose urban renewal policies--that led him to write a book about Los Angeles as a giant collective project of social amnesia (driven, to be sure, by the rich and powerful). If you are familiar with the idea of the social imaginary you will dig this!

Be forewarned that, as with everything Klein writes, the book is part essay, part memoir, and part fiction. An entire chapter is devoted to a sort of novella from the point of view of a (fictional, idealized) Vietnamese immigrant to California. Reviewers have tended to pan this part of the book, although PAM found it quite engaging! Nevertheless, you can skip it if you want to, without losing much of the thread.

Above all, Norman M. Klein is CUTE! Here is a picture:



PAM has seen him speak several times. He is adorable! He's like your adorable jovial contrarian postmodern grandpa!

The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory is a good book! Read it! Maybe they have a copy at Dutton's! Who knows?




PAM
02.28.08 - 2:35 pm

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doors of perception!!! Huxley



dl1245
02.28.08 - 2:48 pm

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@PAM:

I, too, am saddened by the impending demise of Dutton's. Unfortunately, as it is on the Westside, and therefore quite a distance for me, I have not patronized it for quite some time...perhaps since my days at the nearby university, as a matter of fact. I still mourn the passing of Midnight Special, which was a regular haunt of mine during the years I lived in Venice, and an excellent bookstore. As a downtown resident, I give my local bookshop - Metropolis Book on Main St. - as much of my patronage as I can, but I fear it will soon be obliterated by the horrific downtown developments, at least one of which has announced the presence of a Borders.

Regarding the book recommendation: Thank you! I will indeed search it out. I have read some on the social imaginary, and I must admit that Jacques Lacan and his school of thought has a tendency to cause my eyes to glaze over. BUT! I suspect I don't need to grasp Lacan in order to enjoy your recommendation. (An aside: Reading Julia Kristeva was a watershed moment for me during my studies, in that she made me question the relevance of the "ivory tower". I have since moved beyond that crisis, but it was a huge crisis at the time.)



Ms. Stephanie
02.28.08 - 3:17 pm

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I'm in the middle of two at the moment:

Machine shop trade secrets, because I bought a mill and don't really know how to use it yet.

and

CMOS cookbook, because I'm nerdy enough to think digital logic is cool.



Mook
02.28.08 - 9:22 pm

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MILL'S ARE INTERESTING, YOU CAN MANUFACTURE ALMOST ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY CNC CONTROLLED, THATS WHERE YOUR BOOK ON "CMOS" COMES IN!



eddieboyinla
02.29.08 - 12:10 am

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Manifesto ~ Three classic essays on how to change the world!!

I am becoming a socialist....!




pumpkinhead
02.29.08 - 12:30 am

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Oryx and Crake, a sci-fi novel by Margaret Atwood.



bananaphone
02.29.08 - 5:32 am

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Please indulge PAM for a moment, would you? I would like to say a few words about one of my most favorite book-writing humans ever, William F. Buckley Jr., who died on Wednesday at 82.

Yes, that's right! I said Buckley was one of PAM's favorites!

Sure, he was from the Other Side. Sure, he once worked as a CIA agent under the despicable E. Howard Hunt in Mexico City. Sure, he associated with the likes of Henry Kissinger and Ronald Reagan. PAM loved Buckley because Buckley loved language!

And he used it like nobody else did! He was never ashamed of his famously immense vocabulary, but his use of those ten dollar words was surprisingly judicious. And if he sent his readers scurrying to the dictionary from time to time, so what? HMM? They expected it of him, and they came away from the experience with a better appreciation for the utility of words like tergiversation and cynosure and asymptote. (Despite the popular misconception, Buckley didn't much care for indubitably.)

OH! OH! And about the politics. You might not think there would be much to say about a fellow who sipped cocktails and went skiing in Gstaad while his friends in the Reagan administration funneled money to murderers of peasants in Central America. But there was a little more to it. There's ALWAYS a little more to it!

The conservative movement in the fifties, to the extent there was one, was a wreck. The social conservatives didn't trust the libertarians, the Cold Warriors didn't trust the social conservatives, the libertarians didn't trust anybody, and nobody trusted the country club Republicans. Buckley was able to bring these groups together with his editorship of the National Review because he was a little bit of all of those things! God and Man at Yale, for example, was as socially conservative a book as you can possibly imagine; but OTOH Buckley was critical of the "war" on drugs as early as the 1960s. And he never relented! PAM remembers going to a bookstore in 1996 and seeing this on the cover of the National Review: THE WAR ON DRUGS IS LOST. Imagine that!

Conservatism in Buckley's heyday was a deeply pessimistic movement. Conservative intellectuals believed, almost as strongly as the Marxists did, that they were on the losing side of a historically inevitable struggle. They saw themselves as a beleaguered minority about to get run down by the twin juggernauts of moral relativism and socialist statism, which explains Buckley's famous declaration in the first issue of TNR in 1955 that the magazine "stands athwart history, yelling Stop."

To stand athwart history, yelling Stop: PAM thinks that this would be a fitting slogan for today's anti-globalization activists. Political movements are so cute when they're young, aren't they?

You know what else was cute? Buckley. He was CUTE CUTE CUTE! Look!



Well, you've indulged PAM's Buckleyphilia enough, I think. I really wanted to quote an excerpt from one of PAM's favorite pieces of Buckley's writing, but I can't find it on Google. It was NEAT-O! It managed to combine three of Buckley's favorite things - sailing, rhetoric, and God - into one lovely piece. Oh, well. Some other time.

Sail on, and RIP, WFB. A part of PAM hopes you found your way to that farthest fixed star. Say hi to those murdered campesinos for me, won't you?

<3





PAM
02.29.08 - 4:12 pm

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig,
In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky,
Endgame: The Problem of Civilization by Derrick Jensen,
The History of Philosophy by Will Durant,
The Life of the Mind by Hannah Arendt,
The Origin of Consciousness In the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes,
The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell,
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins,
Pathways to Success by Dale Carnegie,
Ender's Game by Orson Scott,
1984 by Geaorge Orwell,
Collapse by Jared Diamond,
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond,
The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas,
From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun,
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield,
Human Nature by Paul Ehrlich,
Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher,
The Elements of Style by Wiliam Strunk,
Fundamentals of Esoteric Philosophy by G. De Purucker,
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker,
Man and his Symbols by Carl Jung,

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:18 am

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oooh how can I forget..

How to make friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie!!



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:18 am

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im reading a book called PIMP by Iceberg Slim
its a really good book so far :]



pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:20 am

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I'm currently reading Lila by Robert M. Pirsig, which the sequel to Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. I recommend the latter to everyone, since it's my favorite book of all time. It reminds me of me when I'm on my bike...except it's not motorized but same shit!



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:23 am

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Pimp: The Story of My Life by Iceberg Slim Pictures, Images and Photos




pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:23 am

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Wait a minute, I don't ever recall writing that book!!



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:24 am

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I am reading, "The Prophet" by khalil Gibran.

Its about this wise man who is leaving this one city to go back to his original home. As he leaves he gives the people some advice on life. Is a good book, I Found it online for free here: http://leb.net/~mira/works/prophet/prophet.html



kaslik
03.14.09 - 1:27 am

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Speaking about online books!

Check this one out, it's pretty dope, I read it several years ago and bookmarked it.. I just remembered about it right now

It's called Passport to Eternity by Lawrence W. Foreman, it's kind of eerie in some parts..

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Island/2771/passport/passport-0.htm



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:30 am

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I really recommend this book
its fucken Great........

Photobucket



pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:40 am

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is there any porn?



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:40 am

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Hahahahaha
lol Funny
dude




pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:44 am

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is that a yes?



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:45 am

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damnit

everytime I see the title "FIRST CONFESSION"

I can't help but imagine a little kid and a priest..

...don't tell me if there's porn or not, I don't want to know anymore



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:47 am

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Ummmmmmmmm
i have Nooooo idea
fuck porn dude
i know u could get the real deal
Right




pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:47 am

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haha yeah, I actually got laid.. I'd say... about an hour ago..

: |



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:49 am

reply


or no
lol




pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:49 am

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Hahahahahahahahahahaa
lol
CoOl KoOl...........



pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:50 am

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yeah it was pretty cool

.. it would've been more cool if I lasted more than 3 minutes...



godmode
03.14.09 - 1:53 am

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Hahahahahahah
ahahahahahahaha
haahhaahhaha
ahahhhahh
ahhahh
LOL
Funny dude..............




pop iggy
03.14.09 - 1:58 am

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If you're into environmental issues, I highly recommend "What Environmentalists Need to Know About Economics" by Jason Scorse. A nice concise read with lots of good information.

And its available online for free (don't actually know any other way to get it):
http://policy.miis.edu/faculty/scorse.html




jgsteven
03.14.09 - 3:30 am

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yo bitches i just finished reading revolutionary road by richard yates and i even reviewed that shit on here but that punkass bitch roadblock deleted the thread. ur fucken loss cuz i broke that shit down pretty good. basicly an unflinching look in2 the meanness of the life on offer to the average dumass in the mid 20th century & the hopelessly flawed ways that various ppl respond 2 that discovery. also the vanity of trying 2 build a whole culture around sentimental notions of happiness when any1 with an understanding of history could tell u that life is tragic & ppl are complicated.

also basicly calling out everybody as a punkass phony, which would be pretty appropriate around here cuz u are the biggest bunch of phonies i ever seen. not me i keep it real



PC
03.14.09 - 3:54 am

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I just finished reading Prozac Nation, aha oh man.



imachynna
03.14.09 - 6:47 am

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Love in the Time of Cholera



Gav
03.14.09 - 8:33 am

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yes



Candy Cane
03.14.09 - 3:08 pm

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Halfway thru Haunted (Chuck Palahnuik). Thanks Funanu!



kryxtanicole
03.14.09 - 3:14 pm

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PRINCIPIA DISCORDIA
or
HOW I FOUND GODDESS & WHAT I DID TO HER
WHEN I FOUND HER

being a Beginning Introduction to
The Erisian Mysterees

WHICH IS MOST INTERESTING

-><-

as Divinely Revealed to
My High Reverence MALACLYPSE THE YOUNGER, KSC
Omnibenevolent Polyfather of Virginity in Gold
and HIGH PRIEST of
THE PARATHEO-ANAMETAMYSTIKHOOD OF ERIS ESOTERIC (POEE)

[which can be found online here: http://www.principiadiscordia.com/book/1.php]



the reverend dak
03.14.09 - 3:17 pm

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I'm borrowing that (haven't started it yet!) from Rev. Napastack right now! I am also reading like 12 self help books at a time... and 3 "Starting Your Own Business" and "Entrepreneurship for Dummies!" etc. jaja



mixtemotions
03.14.09 - 3:35 pm

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Live Ship Traders Trilogy by Robin Hobb.

I'm on the last book and always give away my books. Good trilogy, would love to give it to someone in the ridazz community. Any takers?



Eric Hair
03.14.09 - 3:58 pm

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I am reading, Foe (1986) ISBN 0-14-009623-X, by J.M. Coetzee

I would like to look at what everyone else is reading, but I have to meet some people for dinner. I will get back to this thread.



tern
03.14.09 - 4:35 pm

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fuckin tern puts the isbn in there like we r gonna look that shit up in the liberry of congress hahahahahaha ur strugglin hahahaha u funny tho



PC
03.14.09 - 5:12 pm

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Guns, Germs, and Steel



aksendz
03.14.09 - 5:15 pm

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Actually, PC, I put all the info in my post so that if you have some degree of inquisitory dexterity, and a some luck, you can read a good long portion, or even the entire book I am reading without having to pay for it.

Thank you. Good night.



tern
03.14.09 - 5:37 pm

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I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan.

Wittiest book I've read in quite some time. Here's a recap:

And the Prince of Darkness has just been offered one hell of a deal: reentry into Heaven for eternity - if he can live out a well-behaved life in a human body on earth. It's the ultimate case of trying without buying and despite the limitations of the human body in question (previous owner one suicidally unsuccessful write, Declan Gunn). Luce seizes the opportunity to run riot through the real of the senses. This is his chance to straighten the biblical record (Adam, it's hinted, was a misguided variation on the Eve design), to celebrate his greatest achievements (everything from the Inquisition to Elton John), and most important, to get Julia Roberts attached to his screenplay. But the experience of walking among us isn't what His Majesty expected; instead of teaching us what it's like to be him, Lucifer finds himself understanding what it's like to be us.


"Stylish... Fiendishly funny, wickedly eloquent... hilarious pyrotechnic prose."

"A wicked, impoish conceit, all ably orchestrated with Duncan's playful intelligence and sizzling wit."

"Duncan packs more wit and energy into one page of I, Lucifer than most writers fit into an entire novel. The book is a leap forward in prose."




GodLovesUgly
03.14.09 - 6:49 pm

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this one too



Candy Cane
03.14.09 - 9:25 pm

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Paul Fussell died today. He was an enemy of euphemism, pretense, and all other forms of genteel fraud, and was admired by fans of authenticity everywhere.

PAM could not be reached for comment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/books/paul-fussell-literary-scholar-and-critic-is-dead-at-88.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

...so, I guess you guys don't read books anymore? Or you just, I dunno, read 'em on Facebook or some shit?



PC
05.23.12 - 10:21 pm

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twilight



cannondale310
05.23.12 - 11:07 pm

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GTFO



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by cannondale310
05.24.12 - 3:19 am

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Let's seriously bring this thread back!


I'm currently rereading Man's Emerging Mind. It's pretty cool. It's about how human evolution has shaped human nature and the future.




Rosiekins
05.24.12 - 11:50 am

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A Short History of Nearly Everything, by. Bill Bryson.

LINK HERE if you want to read it too.



Joe Borfo
05.24.12 - 11:55 am

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I'm going to go check out that dude Proust's book. Seriously. Anybody care to recommend a particular translation?



lackflag
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
05.24.12 - 2:05 pm

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Nevermind I think I found a good one, for the first volume at least. Lydia Davis'.

You should read this. Its shorter.

http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/the-emergence-of-the-fix-it-society/



lackflag
05.24.12 - 2:20 pm

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I can't recommend a translation, but I can try to summarize it for you...



PC
responding to a comment by lackflag
05.24.12 - 3:12 pm

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Duff McKagan: It's So Easy and Other Lies





barleye
05.24.12 - 3:39 pm

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20 pages in. This is good shit. Not really sure what its about yet, but Proust can write the fuck out of a sentence.



lackflag
responding to a comment by PC
05.24.12 - 8:32 pm

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PORN



rayrayray
05.24.12 - 11:46 pm

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"...but Proust can write the fuck out of a sentence." HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA



Rosiekins
responding to a comment by lackflag
05.25.12 - 10:51 am

reply


These are the books that I'm returning to the library today...

Are Men Necessary?
Gangster Government
Healthy at 100
Woman's Inhumanity to Woman

So who wants to live to be 100 in a world dominated by thugs where men aren't necessary and women don't like each other much either...lol.






alicestrong
05.26.12 - 6:25 am

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Books! I think I've finally found something to bring me back to the MR forums.
I'm currently reading Dante's Inferno and an Astronomy textbook. I'm also in the middle of The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson, but I don't think I'll be finishing it. The overwriting got too boring.



danya
05.27.12 - 8:03 am

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I've been reading The Inferno on n off for a few years now... Or shall I say the footnotes (which make up half the page)...

Aside from linguistics/anatomy textbooks I've been tryin to finally finish Zen & the art of Motorcycle maintenence. Also, I just downloaded The Jungle, Paradise Lost and Farenheit 451... At first I was anti ereaders, but wow do they save space! I am literally tripping over books in this house...



Gizzard
responding to a comment by danya
05.27.12 - 3:23 pm

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The Hobbit



rayrayray
05.27.12 - 8:55 pm

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Me too, rayrayray! I started it after I finished Hunger Games a few weeks ago, but havent made much progress.... is it possible that I am only capable of reading Hunger Games books???



mixtemotions
responding to a comment by rayrayray
05.27.12 - 11:55 pm

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I'm reading "An Invitation to a Beheading" by Nabokov. I want to read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran-- a few people told me that it's a good reference book for life.



Coe coe buttaa
05.28.12 - 1:13 am

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That's how I've been reading it too! I've been reading a canto here and there for 4-5 months now. I think I've read 4 other books in full since I started on The Inferno.



danya
responding to a comment by Gizzard
05.28.12 - 9:25 am

reply


"The Death-Ray" By Daniel Clowes (graphic novel)
"A confederacy of Dunces" John kennedy Toole (writer of the Neon Bible, also a great read!)
and "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion, a romantic story with a zombie as the lead.



GodLovesUgly
05.28.12 - 2:00 pm

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Ridazz! Recommend me an awesome book that will take me on an adventure through words and between thoughts.



Rosiekins
05.29.12 - 3:37 pm

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War and Peace. Pevear/Volokhonsky translation. Long as fuck but totally worth it.



lackflag
responding to a comment by Rosiekins
05.29.12 - 5:25 pm

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Or my other favorite book: Catch-22.



lackflag
05.29.12 - 5:26 pm

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When I finished reading Catch-22 for the first time, I immediately turned back to the first page and started reading it again.



lackflag
05.29.12 - 5:27 pm

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You're inches from dead every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age?



Rosiekins
responding to a comment by lackflag
05.29.12 - 5:31 pm

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moar talks about books!



Rosiekins
06.1.12 - 12:14 pm

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i'm in between books.

i think i've exhausted all my bizzaro alt-lit and depressed zines, so it's time to stare at the bookshelf library again.

pynchon's "the crying of lot 49"? finish the dfw short stories i started a while back? vonnegut "welcome to the monkey house"? behan's "borstal boy"?

i'm running out of options.



slowrighthand
06.1.12 - 12:35 pm

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Ah, I was just looking at starting to read Welcome To The Monkey House. We should read it at the same time and compile a list of our favorite stories so we can read those ones to Bob Dole.



Rosiekins
responding to a comment by slowrighthand
06.1.12 - 2:01 pm

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start a book club. you ride to read



andres84
responding to a comment by Rosiekins
06.1.12 - 2:07 pm

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Right now I'm reading this.

Here are some other interesting reads.



theroyalacademy
06.1.12 - 3:00 pm

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Midnight Readazz....who's down?!



Rosiekins
06.1.12 - 3:15 pm

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Have you read Galapagos? It's the only Vonnnnneghut I've read. 'twas mighty fine.



lackflag
responding to a comment by slowrighthand
06.2.12 - 4:04 pm

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i've been reading the works of nietzsche. my ADD makes it difficult to concentrate and sometimes i have to read over his work a few times before understanding it as a whole. but i enjoy his voice as he reminds me of my best friend's grandfather who i used to have dinner with once a week for a year. at 92 his advice, stories (voice) reflected nietzche now as i read him.

"do not mistake me for someone else." i took this, there's another part to it the quote, but i liked this part on its own for the book i've been writing. to me it represents my hero's journey as i design her path. any other suggestions (other than Joseph Campbell as i have already studied his work) would be much appreciated. thanks.





bondink
06.6.12 - 9:05 am

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Schopenhauer was a big influence on Nietzsche. Might wanna check him out.



lackflag
responding to a comment by bondink
06.6.12 - 11:38 am

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I started a Midnight Readazz book club 2 months ago but no one showed much interest. A few of us did get to read "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers. Look it up on FB. I'll send you an invite if needed.



July
responding to a comment by Rosiekins
06.6.12 - 3:43 pm

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Here's a link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/359861417378504/



July
06.6.12 - 3:44 pm

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Let me in your group!



Rosiekins
responding to a comment by July
06.6.12 - 4:11 pm

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Be Not Content: A Subterranean Journal by William Craddock

A great read. I highly recommend it.



Joe Borfo
07.9.12 - 12:37 am

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This looks awesome! Picking this up asap



Rosiekins
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
07.9.12 - 10:03 am

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Smart people read books? I've been studying for a L2 high power rocketry certification exam and a ham radio license exam which required reading books. That's the kind of stuff I do since I don't go on ridez anymore.



Velocipede
07.9.12 - 12:36 pm

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Currently deep into Ed Abbey's Monkeywrench Gang.

Midnight Readazz: Read on!



kryxtanicole
07.13.12 - 11:43 pm

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Yevgeny Yevtushenko -collected poems 1952-1990 off and on
Mike Zwerin - La Tristesse de Saint Louis
Peter Kropotkin - Mutual Aid
And i just found Henry Miller's Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch which i started a year ago but lost the book in my apartment for a while.



Kakihara
responding to a comment by kryxtanicole
07.14.12 - 4:00 am

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theroyalacademy
07.14.12 - 10:27 am

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Boner!



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by theroyalacademy
07.14.12 - 11:07 am

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It's really good.



theroyalacademy
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
07.14.12 - 11:08 am

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new toys... http://twitpic.com/a7m2gj



slowrighthand
07.14.12 - 3:36 pm

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I've been studying for a L2 high power rocketry certification exam and a ham radio license exam which required reading books.

Sheeit, they don't even make you learn Morse anymore for the ham radio license. Don't know about the rocketry certification. Wouldn't that be something, though? Dahdidahdah dit dididit it would!

Anyway.

David Graeber - Revolutions in Reverse. Some light reading about anarchist/anticapitalist movements that is very of-the-moment, albeit written before Occupy. Contains one of the most arresting articles I've read in a mainstream magazine (Harpers) in the last few years, Army of Altruists. Check it out.




PC
responding to a comment by Velocipede
07.17.12 - 4:20 pm

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Sounds good. I did like his Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology [PDF].



theroyalacademy
responding to a comment by PC
07.18.12 - 3:15 pm

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"Direct Action" is pretty dope too, if you have the interest to read through that thing.



markd
responding to a comment by theroyalacademy
07.18.12 - 9:34 pm

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