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Last Book You Read and Rate It (Part II)

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Old
02-16-2013, 07:31 AM
  #501
stingo
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Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
Just ordered The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Those will be my first trips.

After that will probably be The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and Lord of the Flies (which isn't by an American but probably a 'classic' I should still check out)
I'd recommend Hemingway's, A Farewell To Arms.

A classic, and one of my favorite books.

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02-16-2013, 08:26 AM
  #502
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I'd recommend Hemingway's, A Farewell To Arms.

A classic, and one of my favorite books.
Noted. Thanks, stingo!

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02-16-2013, 08:46 AM
  #503
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Noted. Thanks, stingo!
Did you buy the books new? Seems like an awful waste, libraries and old book stores have those volumes by the bushel

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02-16-2013, 10:18 AM
  #504
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Did you buy the books new? Seems like an awful waste, libraries and old book stores have those volumes by the bushel
I did. I recently purchased a bookshelf, so I want to get some sort of collection going

I will make better use of the library though if reading as a hobby picks up for me.

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02-16-2013, 12:39 PM
  #505
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3rd game of thrones book so far. almost half way through. really good so far

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02-16-2013, 01:01 PM
  #506
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I did. I recently purchased a bookshelf, so I want to get some sort of collection going

I will make better use of the library though if reading as a hobby picks up for me.
As I said before, I think you should start with some lighter and less controversial fares. There's a very strong possibility you'll hate Catcher in the Rye on your first attempt - the main character, who tells the entire story, is a big whiny dweeb - you should try to understand that this is a perspective and that the real story is HOW he's telling it and why he's so annoying/whiny.

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02-16-2013, 08:41 PM
  #507
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Originally Posted by WhiskeySeven View Post
As I said before, I think you should start with some lighter and less controversial fares. There's a very strong possibility you'll hate Catcher in the Rye on your first attempt - the main character, who tells the entire story, is a big whiny dweeb - you should try to understand that this is a perspective and that the real story is HOW he's telling it and why he's so annoying/whiny.
Hm, interesting. I'll definitely keep that in mind when I start.

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02-18-2013, 08:42 AM
  #508
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How Music Works, by David Byrne: This is no aging rocker's indulgent autobiography. This is a serious undertaking by Talking Heads' frontman to investigate the social, scientific and philosophical implications of music itself. Some chapters discuss aspects of performance; others explore the whole notion of music, its historical roots, the act of creating it, and how that act is linked to sociocultural and psychological implications and realities. It could be used as a text in an upper level or graduate Fine Arts course that looked at music from various perspectives. However, How Music Works is not dry; rather, it is a fascinating look at music from angles that we seldom think about when we casually listen to our favourite songs. It also discusses the factors that privilege some forms of music over others, and the dangers inherent in creating rigid hierarchies about what is and is not art and what is or is not socially beneficial. The elements of personal history that it does contain are related to aspects of music creation that Byrne has experienced and knows intimately. As is evident from much of the music he makes, Byrne is obviously a very bright guy and an original thinker, and he has written a book that is not just informative but is highly intellectually engaging. How Music Works is one of the finest works of non-fiction that I have read in a long time.


Last edited by kihei: 02-18-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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02-18-2013, 02:33 PM
  #509
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Just seen Josh Bazell has a sequal to "Beat the Reaper" called "Wild thing". Anyone read it? I am picking it up tomorrow.
Just went through "Beat the Reaper" & "Wild Thing" in the last week or so - the unabridged audiobook versions.



Very good.

Interesting setup - mob-hitman-***-federal-informant goes to medical school under the witness protection program and is recognized by a mob patient as a resident MD at a scuzzy NY hospital.

Fast paced thriller - in kind of a Michael Crichton meets Mario Puzo / House meets the Sopranos kind of way. Lots of extraneous medical info and mob background adds to the atmosphere.

Told in the first person - present day and flashbacks filling in his background - with a running interior monologue, Bazell has a strong, unique narrative voice. Some of it is a bit over the top - and some scenes stretch credulity to the breaking point - but it is a solid, entertaining read

8/10



Disappointing.

Whereas Beat the Reaper was Dr Peter Brown's/Pietro Brwna's story - this is just nominally the same character dropped into someone else's. The somewhat convoluted story of a Reclusive Billionaire hiring the ex-Dr Brown to investigate what may or may not be a hoax involving a Bigfoot/Nessie-esque creature in a remote Minnesota lake. It has only superficial connections to Reaper - and with minor changes, could really be retold with a different main character.

It reads as one part "my publisher demanded a sequel" and one part "I'm too damn lazy to create a new character".

Bezell still has a decent story telling style - but occasional changes from the straight first person style of Reaper to other character POVs (with weak rationalizations of how the main character/narrator knows the details) come across as jarring and inconsistent.

Bezell also throws in unnecessary political commentary - including the gratuitous inclusion of Sarah Palin as a character, just to be the easy target of <insert your favorite Caribou Barbie stereotypes here> barbs - which distract the storytelling.

5/10

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02-19-2013, 12:36 PM
  #510
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Really interesting look at the intended and unintended results of Prohibition. 8/10.



I liked it well enough. 6/10.

Right now I'm in the middle of this:



So far it's fantastic. Great look at an immigrant's life and a fun tour through the 20th century art world.

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02-19-2013, 10:50 PM
  #511
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Last book I read was Duff McKagan's biography. Very well written book, good read for any music fans and a must read for any Guns n Roses fans.

I'm currently reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, on the first book so far and it makes me wonder why I haven't read these before. I've had the LOTR trilogy lying around my house for years.

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02-20-2013, 11:24 AM
  #512
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
Just ordered The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Those will be my first trips.

After that will probably be The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and Lord of the Flies (which isn't by an American but probably a 'classic' I should still check out)
I did this the summer after my freshman year, and it was one of the best decisions I've made. Six years later and I'm still always reading something.

In fact I started off with many of the same things, Lord of the Flies, Grapes of Wrath, Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye were all books I got into that first summer, I think.

What I did was google it, and whether or not it's accurate, you can pick and choose off of lists like these:

http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/

Obviously there are hundreds of fantastic books out there that are left off of lists like this.

Personally, I'd recommend Catch-22, 1984, Brave New World, East of Eden (really anything by Steinbeck).

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02-20-2013, 12:12 PM
  #513
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I did this the summer after my freshman year, and it was one of the best decisions I've made. Six years later and I'm still always reading something.

In fact I started off with many of the same things, Lord of the Flies, Grapes of Wrath, Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye were all books I got into that first summer, I think.

What I did was google it, and whether or not it's accurate, you can pick and choose off of lists like these:

http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/

Obviously there are hundreds of fantastic books out there that are left off of lists like this.

Personally, I'd recommend Catch-22, 1984, Brave New World, East of Eden (really anything by Steinbeck).
While the Board's List is reasonable and unsurpirising ...

I'll take "Why you should ignore self selecting internet polls" for $500 Alex.

Quote:
1. ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand
2. THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
3. BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
4. THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien
5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
6. 1984 by George Orwell
7. ANTHEM by Ayn Rand
8. WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand
9. MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
10. FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard

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02-20-2013, 12:21 PM
  #514
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While the Board's List is reasonable and unsurpirising ...

I'll take "Why you should ignore self selecting internet polls" for $500 Alex.
Haha, yeah I was more referring to the board's list.

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02-26-2013, 08:02 PM
  #515
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Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks: Sacks is a professor of neurology at Columbia and writes fascinating books about how the brain works and how it can screw up in truly spectacular ways. His books includes Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, An Anthropologist on Mars, and Musicophilia. Hallucinations examines a number of illnesses and conditions that can lead to hallucinations and relies heavily on the stories of his vast number of patients. After providing a case, Sacks then explains what is really going on and what both its social and medical implications are. He delves deep into self-induced hallucinations, as well, maybe the best chapter in the book. Here, Sacks recounts his own '60s experiences, some of which are funny, some of which are a little daunting. All in all, another very readable and informative book from Sacks about the workings of the mind and the functions of the brain.

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03-02-2013, 05:37 PM
  #516
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8.5/10. A great book that I couldn't put down. Lynch is like a young GRRM. He doesn't have Martin's world building ability, but Lynch can write a great character. The novel can be very brutal at times, but that's what I look for these days. I can't wait to read book 2.

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03-04-2013, 08:23 AM
  #517
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The Hot Kid, by Elmore Leonard: In the '20s, a young US Marshall, not shy about getting his name in the papers, and a rich-kid psycho killer, whose goal it is to be Public Enemy #1, dangerously cross paths. This is the usual fun read from Leonard full of colourful characters, economic prose, and laconic dialogue. Certainly among Leonard's best, which is high praise.

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03-04-2013, 09:22 AM
  #518
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8/10 blood meridianish



reading this now


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03-04-2013, 10:50 AM
  #519
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6/10. Started off pretty strong but got kind of boring and vague towards the end. It seems like there is not enough material here for a whole book. If I'm not cool/influential enough to recommend an unknown book/article of clothing, people will ignore my recommendation. However, if someone who is cool/personable recommends these things, it will catch on. That seems like the majority of the book right there. I did like the accounts of NYC crime in the 80's and 90's.

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03-05-2013, 09:23 AM
  #520
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The Walking Dead - Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman



Bought it on a whim while at the bookstore as I'm a fan of the TV series and the plot sounded interesting. It's just a basic Walking Dead novel, every situation and problem that comes up in the shows or video games is explored once again "these things come back to life unless you put one in their head?", "people just turn?"...

Decent backstory on the Governor, with a pretty exciting ending with the twist. Overall just an average paperback easy read book. Nothing groundbreaking, not to be expected either. Good for a bus trip or plane ride, easy entertainment.

5.5/10

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03-07-2013, 02:09 PM
  #521
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A suggestion of my brother (who is himself, a trader)



6/10

Didn't really like it because it didn't really speak to me. Most, if not all of Taleb's examples fell back on trading which bores me to death. Understandable, as that was his profession, but it was harder for me to relate to his ideologies and thoughts. His intelligence jumps off the page at you, and was enough to keep me interested enough to try and finish the book.

Going to dive into some fiction now.

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03-07-2013, 03:14 PM
  #522
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Re: Previous discussion of 'American classics,' it's a shame if you got put off Gatsby by a bad teacher. I did it in school... five years ago and there will be many people from that class going to see the new film when it comes out because of how much we all enjoyed it.

In any case, Gatsby is definitely worth it. As is the rest of Fitzgerald's stuff, he's a fantastic writer. I liked Catcher in the Rye when I did it at school, though I was closer to Holden's age when I did it. Raymond Chandler is a good writer too, if you can really call him American.

And in any case, you're limiting yourself horribly with just American writers. Get some Dickens in you.

Ed - And don't read Atlas Shrugged. I read it in the summer of 2011 and I've only just got back to being able to read books, keep my attention focused on them and enjoy them.

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03-07-2013, 03:25 PM
  #523
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Anyway, the last thing I read:



The Crying of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon

Rating? Well, I feel as if it could have been more. My copy is secondhand so there's a bunch of notes and selected passages in it that made me think the whole thing was leading somewhere and it just... didn't.

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03-07-2013, 09:05 PM
  #524
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Anyway, the last thing I read:



The Crying of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon

Rating? Well, I feel as if it could have been more. My copy is secondhand so there's a bunch of notes and selected passages in it that made me think the whole thing was leading somewhere and it just... didn't.
I'd rather have a root canal than try to plow through this again.

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03-07-2013, 09:13 PM
  #525
silverfish
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Originally Posted by Ceremony View Post
Re: Previous discussion of 'American classics,' it's a shame if you got put off Gatsby by a bad teacher. I did it in school... five years ago and there will be many people from that class going to see the new film when it comes out because of how much we all enjoyed it.

In any case, Gatsby is definitely worth it. As is the rest of Fitzgerald's stuff, he's a fantastic writer. I liked Catcher in the Rye when I did it at school, though I was closer to Holden's age when I did it. Raymond Chandler is a good writer too, if you can really call him American.

And in any case, you're limiting yourself horribly with just American writers. Get some Dickens in you.

Ed - And don't read Atlas Shrugged. I read it in the summer of 2011 and I've only just got back to being able to read books, keep my attention focused on them and enjoy them.
Thanks for the input. I'm going to start with To Kill A Mockingbird. Will be opening it up tomorrow, and I'm excited to get started.

I will definitely broaden my horizons as time goes on, but I'm starting with American writers first. I think my first foray out of American writers will be with William Golding.

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