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Old
09-04-2013, 12:07 AM
  #1
Andy
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Off-season: Let's Talk about...Books?

So, I thought that since we have a thread about film and that it's going over well, maybe it would be a good idea to share some of our opinions about books/novels/comics we've read recently.

I have to admit, the first time I ever opened a book to read was in CEGEP and it was a textbook. So I'm a little behind in ALL literature. I found a niche in Sci-fi utopia/distopia novels. I really enjoy them. So In the last few months I've started with some Classics.

1984
A Brave New World
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
The Time Machine.

I really enjoyed the last two. Was disappointed by A Brave New World and still have no opinion of 1984. For 1984, I really liked the beginning, found the romance aspect to drag on, and was perplexed by the ending.

My favorite of the bunch is The Time Machine, it's short, but good.

I don't know where to go to next.

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09-04-2013, 12:13 AM
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50 Shades of Grey has to be your next reading.

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09-04-2013, 12:13 AM
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50 Shades of Grey has to be your next reading.



NO!

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09-04-2013, 12:17 AM
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You could always read A Clockwork Orange. I remember reading it in High School and spending way too much time to understand the invented language...

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09-04-2013, 12:19 AM
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Catch-22 is my all-time favorite. AINEC It's absolutely hilarious, while still being a deep dystopian novel with tons of thought-provoking themes.

I also love me some Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron is just a short story, but it really relates to how I feel like the world is more and more becoming.

On another note, Flowers for Algernon was excellent, with some beautifully written passages.

I'm currently reading Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, and I love her prose.

Sorry to hear you didn't like Brave New World. Why was it disappointing for you? It's one of my favorites in the genre.

And Ryan North's To Be or Not to Be: That is the Adventure is a work of genius as well.

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09-04-2013, 12:19 AM
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You could always read A Clockwork Orange. I remember reading it in High School and spending way too much time to understand the invented language...
I had no idea it was a novel. I'm so ignorant. Will definitely check that out.

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09-04-2013, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ARSTNEIO View Post
Catch-22 is my all-time favorite. AINEC It's absolutely hilarious, while still being a deep dystopian novel with tons of thought-provoking themes.

I also love me some Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron is just a short story, but it really relates to how I feel like the world is more and more becoming.

On another note, Flowers for Algernon was excellent, with some beautifully written passages.

I'm currently reading Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, and I love her prose.

Sorry to hear you didn't like Brave New World. Why was it disappointing for you? It's one of my favorites in the genre.

And Ryan North's To Be or Not to Be: That is the Adventure is a work of genius as well.
Checked out the premise of Harrison Bergeron. Since it's a short story, it might be my next read. Thanks for that.

As for Brave New World. His conception of the future was cool, I really appreciated it. But I found that the story dragged on and was kind of a little all over the place at times. Not to spoil, but I found it odd that the novel abandoned its original main character for another. I enjoyed the philosophical debate. As a whole though, the novel just didn't do it for me. I guess it's somethng I would have to re-read. I did enjoy the influences from Plato's Republic and the nods to other philosophers.


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09-04-2013, 12:31 AM
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Awesome, I just reread it yesterday so it's fresh in my mind. It shouldn't take you more than ten minutes to read--it's really quite a quick one. Enjoy!

On a yet another note, I read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness this offseason, before I started my job. I enjoyed it--it was at times hard to get through, at times riveting--but I'm still not sure I understand it fully on the deeper levels.

On a completely different note, I've been making slow, steady progress through Hofstatder's Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. It's an arcane topic--the book is ostensibly about thinking and artificial intelligence--but it comes together in a beautiful way. The publisher describes it as "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll" and indeed, I can't think of a better description. This book, moreso than any other I've read, truly embodies non-fiction, no, literature in general as a sublime art form. If you're looking for a quick taste of this one, one of my favorite chapters is titled Contracrostipunctus, and can be found easily online.

I like books.

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09-04-2013, 12:36 AM
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I could actually go for some suggestions in futuristic sci-fi/ dystopian settings, if anyone has anything recent-ish.

I picked up the last two novels by Warren Ellis (writer of Transmetropolitan, see below) Crooked Little Vein and Gun Machine. I liked Crooked little vein (his earlier piece) but I really enjoyed Gun Machine. It's a police procedural, and I always hate those, but I came out loving this one.

A song of ice and fire is a fantastic run. Everyone knows it now for the TV series, but it is just so well written. If GRRM gets hit by a bus before he's done, I'm flipping all the desks.

Started reading some Joe Hill stuff recently. Horns is being made into a movie soon with the guy from harry potter and I also enjoyed Heart Shaped Box.

Since I work in the comic industry, I can definitely rattle off a few good titles. If anything, my taste will probably match up with those who don't consider themselves to be typical fans of comics, or fans at all.

Transmetropolitan - just ****ing read it

Everything else Warren Ellis - Planetary (very good series, has about 9 TPBs, iirc), Global Frequency, Black Summer, Fell are all very good. If you don't consider yourself to be on the left-side of the political spectrum, I wouldn't touch it

For those into Batman, Killing Joke is required reading. The new 52 Batman run is also very good if you mean to get into something that is still on-going. A more recent story with the Joker that is also quite excellent is Joker by Brian Azzerello. Very well done, imo.

There are tons of batman classics, out there, including the knightfall saga, DKR, death in the family. I'm really not a 'superhero comic' kind of guy, but I love me some ****ing batman.

The new 52 x-men stuff is pretty good as well, expecially Uncanny Avengers (yes, it's still kinda x-men)

Superior Spiderman is suprisingly well done. Took everyone by surprise.

Currently reading Morning Glories. It's pretty good. But it's like trying to read 8 M. Night Shyamalan movies rolled into one. So many ****ing twists.

Walking Dead is walking dead. Will be considered a classic 15 years from now. If it isn't still going 15 years from now...

Y The Last Man is also fantastic. Premise is that an unknown calamity has wiped out the entire male population except 1 dude. He doesn't have as good of a time as you might think.

The new TMNT run is also VERY good. I buy every trade that comes out. It has one of the original creators on board so it won't be going downhill anytime soon.

If you're into anything Lovecraft, give Locke and Key a try. Good stuff.


I was supposed to go jogging when I started writing this. Damn you, andy. You've made me fatter for the last time!

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09-04-2013, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlords View Post

For those into Batman, Killing Joke is required reading. The new 52 Batman run is also very good if you mean to get into something that is still on-going. A more recent story with the Joker that is also quite excellent is Joker by Brian Azzerello. Very well done, imo.

There are tons of batman classics, out there, including the knightfall saga, DKR, death in the family. I'm really not a 'superhero comic' kind of guy, but I love me some ****ing batman.
I'm in the same boat. I ****ing love Batman. No joke, but until I was about 16, my goal in life was to be Batman. I secretly still want to, but I know it's not possible

I've read Long-Halloween, Hush, The Dark Knight returns, Year One, Joker and Knightfall. I really really enjoyed all of them aside from Hush (still good, but not as good).

I never know where to go next. I want a longer Batman graphic novel, but they get expensive. Wanted to get the no man's land collection, but they're like 25$ each. Don't like the premise of Batman R.I.P or Batman incorporated. I loved the other ones I mentioned because they're gritty and semi-grounded in reality, by that I mean they aren't as fantastical as other novels.


Quote:
I was supposed to go jogging when I started writing this. Damn you, andy. You've made me fatter for the last time!
I promised myself I'd go to bed at 10:30 tonight. That won't be happening for a while ahaha.

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09-04-2013, 12:47 AM
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It's too bad there aren't many good hockey books and I have none to recommend but 3 baseball books I enjoyed were: 1) Shoeless Joe - became the Field of Dreams movie and 2) Pure Baseball by Keith Hernadez and 3) to a lesser extent - Men At Work by George F. Will.

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09-04-2013, 12:49 AM
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overlords
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I'm in the same boat. I ****ing love Batman. No joke, but until I was about 16, my goal in life was to be Batman. I secretly still want to, but I know it's not possible

I've read Long-Halloween, Hush, The Dark Knight returns, Year One, Joker and Knightfall. I really really enjoyed all of them aside from Hush (still good, but not as good).

I never know where to go next. I want a longer Batman graphic novel, but they get expensive. Wanted to get the no man's land collection, but they're like 25$ each.




I promised myself I'd go to bed at 10:30 tonight. That won't be happening for a while ahaha.
I'd skip No Man's Land, TBH. I mean, it's good, but there's better stuff out there.

Surprised you didn't like Hush, that's a great one. Killing Joke isn't very long, but it's a classic. Highly recommend it.

Try picking up the first TPBs from the Batman and Batman & Robin new 52 runs. You'll probably really enjoy them. If so, you can branch out into the other titles. I think the 3rd tpbs are coming out soon.

Gotham by gaslight is another great batman story. Batman vs. jack the ripper. 'nuff said.

I'd also avoid arkham asylum. I find it incredibly overrated. I also hate grant morrison.

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09-04-2013, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ARSTNEIO View Post
Catch-22 is my all-time favorite. AINEC It's absolutely hilarious, while still being a deep dystopian novel with tons of thought-provoking themes.

I also love me some Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron is just a short story, but it really relates to how I feel like the world is more and more becoming.
Catch 22 is definitely one of the funniest books ever. Confederacy of Dunces is hilarious too. Philip Roth's Great American Novel's a good one too.

Co-sign Vonnegut though I thought Breakfast of Champions didn't end as well as it should've.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARSTNEIO View Post

On a completely different note, I've been making slow, steady progress through Hofstatder's Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. It's an arcane topic--the book is ostensibly about thinking and artificial intelligence--but it comes together in a beautiful way. The publisher describes it as "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll" and indeed, I can't think of a better description. This book, moreso than any other I've read, truly embodies non-fiction, no, literature in general as a sublime art form. If you're looking for a quick taste of this one, one of my favorite chapters is titled Contracrostipunctus, and can be found easily online.

I like books.
Bought Escher...at a book store because it seemed crazy. Worried it might be dated but I like what you're saying about it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlords View Post
I could actually go for some suggestions in futuristic sci-fi/ dystopian settings, if anyone has anything recent-ish.

I picked up the last two novels by Warren Ellis (writer of Transmetropolitan, see below) Crooked Little Vein and Gun Machine. I liked Crooked little vein (his earlier piece) but I really enjoyed Gun Machine. It's a police procedural, and I always hate those, but I came out loving this one.

A song of ice and fire is a fantastic run. Everyone knows it now for the TV series, but it is just so well written. If GRRM gets hit by a bus before he's done, I'm flipping all the desks.

Started reading some Joe Hill stuff recently. Horns is being made into a movie soon with the guy from harry potter and I also enjoyed Heart Shaped Box.

Since I work in the comic industry, I can definitely rattle off a few good titles. If anything, my taste will probably match up with those who don't consider themselves to be typical fans of comics, or fans at all.

Transmetropolitan - just ****ing read it

Everything else Warren Ellis - Planetary (very good series, has about 9 TPBs, iirc), Global Frequency, Black Summer, Fell are all very good. If you don't consider yourself to be on the left-side of the political spectrum, I wouldn't touch it

For those into Batman, Killing Joke is required reading. The new 52 Batman run is also very good if you mean to get into something that is still on-going. A more recent story with the Joker that is also quite excellent is Joker by Brian Azzerello. Very well done, imo.

There are tons of batman classics, out there, including the knightfall saga, DKR, death in the family. I'm really not a 'superhero comic' kind of guy, but I love me some ****ing batman.

The new 52 x-men stuff is pretty good as well, expecially Uncanny Avengers (yes, it's still kinda x-men)

Superior Spiderman is suprisingly well done. Took everyone by surprise.

Currently reading Morning Glories. It's pretty good. But it's like trying to read 8 M. Night Shyamalan movies rolled into one. So many ****ing twists.

Walking Dead is walking dead. Will be considered a classic 15 years from now. If it isn't still going 15 years from now...

Y The Last Man is also fantastic. Premise is that an unknown calamity has wiped out the entire male population except 1 dude. He doesn't have as good of a time as you might think.

The new TMNT run is also VERY good. I buy every trade that comes out. It has one of the original creators on board so it won't be going downhill anytime soon.

If you're into anything Lovecraft, give Locke and Key a try. Good stuff.


I was supposed to go jogging when I started writing this. Damn you, andy. You've made me fatter for the last time!
I need to get on these and I'm Co-signing the ones I've read.

Have you read the Boys? I got 4 volumes in and loved it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I'm in the same boat. I ****ing love Batman. No joke, but until I was about 16, my goal in life was to be Batman. I secretly still want to, but I know it's not possible

I've read Long-Halloween, Hush, The Dark Knight returns, Year One, Joker and Knightfall. I really really enjoyed all of them aside from Hush (still good, but not as good).

I never know where to go next. I want a longer Batman graphic novel, but they get expensive. Wanted to get the no man's land collection, but they're like 25$ each. Don't like the premise of Batman R.I.P or Batman incorporated. I loved the other ones I mentioned because they're gritty and semi-grounded in reality, by that I mean they aren't as fantastical as other novels.
I need to get in on those Batmans. I've only read the Frank Miller ones which are great. If you haven't read Killing Joke, like overlords said, it's a must.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozenice View Post
It's too bad there aren't many good hockey books and I have none to recommend but 3 baseball books I enjoyed were: 1) Shoeless Joe - became the Field of Dreams movie and 2) Pure Baseball by Keith Hernadez and 3) to a lesser extent - Men At Work by George F. Will.
Ty Cobb's autobiography is real good. Still need to read the unauthorized one by the dude who helped him write the 'authorized' one but I still liked it. Doesn't seem like such a monster.

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09-04-2013, 02:14 AM
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Anyone read Pynchon? V and Gravity's Rainbow are some of the craziest things I've ever read. If I had to pick a favourite author, I think I'd have to go with him.

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09-04-2013, 03:04 AM
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In science fiction

Asimov: Foundation series and Robot series.
Frank Herbert: Dune series.
Jack Vance
A.E. Van Vogt

Of course there is Philip K Dick that I never was able to finish but ended up being the inspiration of so many films (Blade Runner, Total Recall, Next, etc).

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09-04-2013, 06:22 AM
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All Quiet on the Western Front.

Probably one of the best books I've ever opened up.

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09-04-2013, 06:45 AM
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boooooo

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09-04-2013, 07:43 AM
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1984 is my all-time favorite book. I wanted to read it this summer but I lost my only copy of it.

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09-04-2013, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
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In science fiction

Asimov: Foundation series and Robot series.
Frank Herbert: Dune series.
Jack Vance
A.E. Van Vogt

Of course there is Philip K Dick that I never was able to finish but ended up being the inspiration of so many films (Blade Runner, Total Recall, Next, etc).
Good list.
I've read Foundation series and Dune series a couple of times each.
I would add Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. Awesome sci fi.

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09-04-2013, 07:54 AM
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reread huckleberry finn, just this last weekend, from my childhood. the adult themes I never understood made it much better.


grapes of wrath
don quixote

this world needs more book talk!!

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09-04-2013, 07:56 AM
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I really liked The Firm by John Grisham. Actually all of Grisham's books are good.

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09-04-2013, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dackelljuneaubulis02 View Post
Anyone read Pynchon? V and Gravity's Rainbow are some of the craziest things I've ever read. If I had to pick a favourite author, I think I'd have to go with him.
I recently read The Crying of Lot 54 (the first and only Pynchon I've read so far)...I started out enjoying it but I didn't really care for the direction in went in. V and Gravity's Rainbow are on the "someday" list.

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09-04-2013, 09:33 AM
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Sci-Fi: Asimov's stuff
Fantasy: Jordan's Wheel of Times.
I also like classics like Dumas, Cervantes, Defoe, etc.
Or more disturbing stuff like Orwell, Lagerkvist, Huxley, etc.

But now I'm mostly just into comics. I like Vertigo's stuff better but Image has done good with Walking Dead.

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09-04-2013, 10:26 AM
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After an unfortunate ~3 months since I last sat down to read a book I went on a spree the other day and got a few I've been meaning to open up.

The Master and the Margarita by Bulgakov, Pale Fire by Nabokov and For Whom the Bells Toll by Hemingway.

I'd absolutely second A Confederacy of Dunces, it is easily the funniest book I've ever read. Most people can't stand it when the protagonist isn't likable (think: less endearing, less aware Micheal Scott from the Office. It's cringe-worthy yes, but also hilarious) but I've read the book multiple times now and it's by far my favorite novel. Catch-22 is also fantastic in so many ways - the wordplay, the symmetry, the irony - just as funny, but much deeper and timeless to boot.

I've heard so much about Pynchon (and Foster Wallace) that I think I should just dive in. After the aforementioned three, I suppose those are up next. I had a hard time with Heart of Darkness earlier in 2013, the language was thorny and dense but I found it to be very satisfying by the end. Is Pynchon similar?

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09-04-2013, 10:32 AM
  #25
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Oh, and I've been absolutely meaning to get into more graphic novels - and after someone here referred to me as Spider Jerusalem (a Hunter S Thompson superhero! Sweet!) I've been really meaning to read those Transmetropolitan comics but I'm not sure if I'll like them... I usually pirate the first copy and then buy the bound book if I like it (like with Watchmen) but I haven't had any luck yet.

And for the record, if you want a light but engaging read I highly recommend The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson. HST wrote that novel so early in his career, he was in his early 20s I believe, and it's been an enduring source of inspiration for me in my own creative endeavors. Same goes for Stephen King's The Gunslinger.

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