What are you reading today/book club

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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby rjbman » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:25 pm

Suggestions for the next book? I'd like to do something either genre (scifi / fantasy / mystery?) or nonfiction, but don't let that stop you from suggesting something else.

My thoughts:
  • I know Murder on the Orient Express has a movie coming out soon - Agatha Christie mystery
  • The final book of the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin came out recently, we could do the first one for folks who have yet to read it - fantasy
  • Could do a short story collection - I've been meaning to read Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang (turned into Arrival)
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities is the standard for urban planning, first published in 1961 - nonfiction
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby Cowboy » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:04 pm

Cowboy wrote:I read Crime and Punishment and enjoyed it.

Reading 100 years of Solitude now



Stayed up until 4 am last night finishing off the latter half+ and watching speedruns to decompress after.

Wow. I loved it. I feel like I haven't ever been one to genuinely review things, So I tend to keep it simple, but something I do want to note is that this book struck a massive cultural chord with me. Something about the balance of passion with tradition and stoicism feels so very me, and so reflective of the cultural amalgamation I am. Ursula is my cuban grandmother, and Sofia is my cuban grandmother, and Amaranta is my cuban grandmother, and all three are also my Argentinean Grandmother. The Aurelios are my father, and the world as a whole is that kernel of Argentina in me.

It's really hard to put to words and I just woke up so bear with me here.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby talkin2snakes » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:14 am

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/ ... nniversary

saddens me that bruce chatwin is not much read these days, for all that (as i've said before) his whole 'well off white guy espousing nomadic lifestyle' stance was a bit suspect he was way better than all those annoying posh idiots like colin thubron, tim butcher and also this new lot who soothe their first world 'trauma' by training hawks/going to live in a hut in orkney or whatever boring nonsense.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby rjbman » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:21 pm

rjbman wrote:Suggestions for the next book? I'd like to do something either genre (scifi / fantasy / mystery?) or nonfiction, but don't let that stop you from suggesting something else.

My thoughts:
  • I know Murder on the Orient Express has a movie coming out soon - Agatha Christie mystery
  • The final book of the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin came out recently, we could do the first one for folks who have yet to read it - fantasy
  • Could do a short story collection - I've been meaning to read Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang (turned into Arrival)
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities is the standard for urban planning, first published in 1961 - nonfiction


OK let's do Murder on the Orient Express. Movie comes out Nov 10 in the US at least, so let's do Nov 1 as the deadline?
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby INNIT » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:31 pm

used the reading break to read (and reread) a few things for myself:

"the good man of nanking" - the personal diaries of a german man named john rabe who established a safe zone in nanking during the 1937 japanese invasion, saving thousands of lives. his diaries were very emotional for me and made me want to be more courageous. cried several times.

"beloved," toni morrison - really havent read enough of toni morrison (or, to be honest, any african american author) but quite enjoyed this novel. it exposed and dwelled upon the deep wounds of slavery without engaging in the kind of hollywood pornotroping that makes my stomach turn. also lots of spooky ghost stuff

"finnegans wake," joyce - i reread this because i wanted to write about it in my thesis but i think it's one of those works that i should just personally enjoy and not close read. best bit is still the part where the washerwomen turn to stone.

"habeas viscus," weheliye - okay boring theory book that i actually had to read for class (but i've been wanting to read it for awhile now anyways sooo). probably good if you want to jump into contemporary black studies and dont know where to start (has a firm basis in OG black feminism). best bit is where he analyzes that MIA video where the police kill red-haired kids.

"the river between" ngugi - i wanted to end off reading break with a beautiful novel that transported me firmly out of my alienated existence and this really did it for me. takes place in kenya and follows the gikuyu people during the early days of white settler invasions. colonialism lingers and interrupts the flows of what is otherwise meaningful and fluid existence. his prose is simple and wonderful.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:06 pm

Just finished "We have always lived in the castle" nice and witchy
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby Copeland » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:31 pm

Fiction recs from 2017?
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby rjbman » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:12 am

if you're down with scifi, i loved walkaway by cory doctorow
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby HexKeySet » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:07 pm

Finally finished volume 1 of the Modern Library edition of Proust's "In Search of Lost Time". Took me 7! years to finish it...there was an STM ticket from 2010 inside. Structurally challenging read but emotionally rewarding!

Stumbling through Lowry's "Under The Volcano"...mmmmezcal! Was not expecting to laugh while reading this, but this bit cracked me up:
Code: Select all
 "But suppose you could only buy your farm in some place like Saskatchewan," Hugh objected..."In some place with a name like Product. Or even Dumble," he went on. "There must be a Dumble. In fact I know there's a Dumble."
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby Roosterruby » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:24 am

Gravity and Grace by Simone Weil- this book has saved my ass for the past few weeks

The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch- my favorite memoir and a huge source of kinship for me, as Yuknavitch is also a big alcoholic who has lost a lot of love

The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson- nice and snarky
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby INNIT » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:48 am

finished "the crying of lot 49". the main character's gradual descent into an alienated world of total disintegration/collapse perfectly describes my experience of grad schools thus far
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby npuox » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:21 pm

American Psychopat ( Reading today before I go in the bed )
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby comix_corp » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:27 am

i'm trying to read through samson agonistes by milton but man is it hard. it's like he tries to find the most roundabout way to say something on purpose. then he repeats it in an even more complex way. samson has complained about his haircut like three times now with three different poetic conceits and i'm only three pages in.

i've been taking breaks from it by reading some of the poems in sinan antoun's poetics of the obscene in premodern arabic poetry, which is a serious, scholarly text about some very not-serious dirty old arabic poets from the 9th century. in the year 850 europeans were probably still writing like "i love you jesus why did you die" in latin or something, but in the arab world, we were ascending to such artistic heights as:

Image

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i love it
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby Ques » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:00 am

Cat Person has been storming the internet as of late, but I think it's still a worthwhile read, hype discounted. The way she teases out who Robert really is was really well done. Frustrating how people forget that it's fiction, and not a personal essay, but what can you do.

Extra by Yiyun Li is a really exemplary piece that wonderfully toes the line between character building and subtly imbedded political commentary. She was recommended to me by Cherbydis and I plan on reading more of her when I can get ahold of it. I find it fascinating how modern day Chinese fiction has in so many ways splintered, with writers growing up outside of China, the more recently departed diaspora a la Li, and then those who have stayed. Do writers of the diaspora still count as writing Chinese literature?

The Picture of Dorian Gray has been on my reading list for a while, but I finally got around to it yesterday, and couldn't put it down. Ended up devouring it in just two sittings. I'm a real sucker for repressed homoeroticism in literature, and the victorian aesthetes in general, so this was a perfect match for me. I feel like this pairs really well with Donna Tartt's The Secret History, which I reread recently and enjoyed even more the second time around. Highly recommend both.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby rjbman » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:14 pm

rjbman wrote:
rjbman wrote:Suggestions for the next book? I'd like to do something either genre (scifi / fantasy / mystery?) or nonfiction, but don't let that stop you from suggesting something else.

My thoughts:
  • I know Murder on the Orient Express has a movie coming out soon - Agatha Christie mystery
  • The final book of the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin came out recently, we could do the first one for folks who have yet to read it - fantasy
  • Could do a short story collection - I've been meaning to read Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang (turned into Arrival)
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities is the standard for urban planning, first published in 1961 - nonfiction


OK let's do Murder on the Orient Express. Movie comes out Nov 10 in the US at least, so let's do Nov 1 as the deadline?


Uh yikes so missed the deadline on this one - but I did get around to reading it. First Christie novel I've read; I enjoyed it pretty well. The ending was stellar. Not sure that I'm going to start reading a ton of mystery books now though.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby 106-2 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:49 pm

Christie is a total guilty pleasure of mine so I was super pleased this was chosen. I'd probably rate this second in terms of her novels I've read, and yeah the ending is great. To anyone who saw the film without having read the book, I feel 4 U - they got the characterisation of Poirot way wrong, painting him as so really brash and egotistical where in the novels he's portrayed as (usually) much more reserved (I think I've repressed all memory of the fight scenes too).

If anyone read this and fancied more Poirot (or Christie), my favourite is the ABC Murders (first favourite)
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby JewTurk » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:56 pm

Finished Soleri's The Bridge Between Matter & Spirit is Matter Becoming Spirit. It seemed to be a collection of essays he wrote over the course of 11 years, they definitely stand better together than separate. Some of the reading was very enjoyable but near the end it felt like he was writing in such large ambiguities it was hard at times to see what he was getting at. Other essays were much more well developed. There's a .pdf available on archive.org @ https://archive.org/details/bridgebetweenmat00sole . It was an interesting look at how to cultivate "spirit", and culture through a society as opposed to a more individualistic approach. Which went along really well with Watt's The book on the taboo against knowing who you are which I had just finished prior, I think I'm going to read The Way of Zen next as I really enjoy Watt's writing style, very palatable/easy reading.

Anyone read Soleri's by chance, or one of the specific essays in it? I want to see how The City in the image of Man compares with the collection of essays.

Turns out, about 2 months ago, Soleri's daughter came forward about Soleri's sexual misconduct with her in her youth, you can read the article on Medium:

https://medium.com/@soleri/sexual-abuse ... ecb8e99648

Where do you all fall on the line about reading authors who have moral issues in their background?

@rjbman

I'll probably grab a copy of The Death and Life of... because I've been really interested in the urban planning/ecological footprint stuff as of late.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby rjbman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:31 pm

would be down to do it for first book club book of 2018... anyone else interested in urban planning etc? (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby rjbman » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:45 pm

ok! we will read Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs - try and have it read by February 11th!
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby JewTurk » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:47 pm

rjbman wrote:ok! we will read Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs - try and have it read by February 11th!


DEAL
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby zevolution » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:48 pm

I am currently reading "Parables for the Virtual" by Brian Massumi because I'm on a theory kick, and besides because Theory has always brought me a certain sort of pleasure and fire-in-the-belly type feeling that not much else does.

Sort of a useless read though because i'm abt to graduate from undergrad and I have mixed emotions about grad school. if anyone wants to chat about grad school please contact me
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby INNIT » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:01 am

zevolution wrote:I am currently reading "Parables for the Virtual" by Brian Massumi because I'm on a theory kick, and besides because Theory has always brought me a certain sort of pleasure and fire-in-the-belly type feeling that not much else does.

Sort of a useless read though because i'm abt to graduate from undergrad and I have mixed emotions about grad school. if anyone wants to chat about grad school please contact me


wowee, super excited to see someone on this forum reading about affect theory. parables is very foundational to my work/my current outlook on the world, i highly recommend his other book "politics of affect," if youre interested.

if you like reading theory, grad school may be the place for you, lol
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby wogbog » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:58 pm

reading Flannery O'Connor - A Good Man is Hard to find and wondering why it has taken me so long (i think it's been sitting on my shelf for close to a decade) because every story here!! she has a way with words
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby Ques » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:00 am

i just finished Nevada by Imogen Binnie and I'm feeling some sort of special way about it. it's the first book by a trans author that i've read that doesn't feel targeted at a cis audience (not that there's anything wrong with that). there is no magically simple narrative bookended by a digestable binary, the dysphoria, dissociation, the depression is all left out there to fester, nothing's been packed away. the book was hard for me to read, but, at the same time, i couldn't put it down and finished it in a single marathon sitting. binnie incorporates a few techniques that i've seen used by other authors recently––karl ove's attention to the minutia of life, the queer autotheory of precadio's testo junkie, and the plethora of writers who've been doing away with quote-bound dialogue––in a way that highlights the simultaneous distance and proximity the protagonist has to her own existence. she is so innately bound up in her physical embodiment and the tensions she faces just living in the body she does, and yet, as a defensive mechanism, she has to put as much distance as possible between herself and the world. the narrative drifts from first person to third and then all the way over to second, sometimes within the space of a single page, or even paragraph––the reader is left just as dislocated as maria, scrambling to latch on to anything. the way Binnie ends the novel is bold, impressively so. i felt like i knew how she was going to do it for a while, and then she completely surprised me, in a way that initially upset me, and i've still yet to process completely. i won't spoil it here, as i hope that fellow-taggers will go out and read the novel themselves (it's free on amazon with their 30 day trial of kindle unlimited if, like me, you don't currently have access to a physical copy of the book, otherwise please go support her with your money!), but if anyone does read it and wants to talk about it please reach out !
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby wogbog » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:21 pm

@rjbman title story was all i'd read for a long time too! i really enjoyed it this time around (i think i was somewhat baffled by it when i read it for class) but the other more day-to-day stories are connecting w me more and hitting me harder. there's so much going on with the writing and events of them
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby kickingthefly » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:26 pm

sort of related to the above, this is a social activist hedge fund that brian massumi put me onto (he's a member). might suit up and coming young tech types looking for ways to waste money @bels

http://www.robinhoodcoop.org/
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby INNIT » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:05 am

reading dave eggers' "the circle" and i am sure that it's the 1984 of our time (i don't like his prose but his concepts are spot on).

whoaaa apparently there's a movie too? is it any good?
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby sunblam » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:55 am

INNIT wrote:reading dave eggers' "the circle" and i am sure that it's the 1984 of our time (i don't like his prose but his concepts are spot on).

whoaaa apparently there's a movie too? is it any good?


Haven't read The Circle, but I just finished Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? and loved it. Finished it in two sittings. I also highly recommend A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and You Shall Know Our Velocity if you change your mind and decide you do like his prose.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby tweefwend » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:23 am

Just binge read "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes

really amazing read.

No spoilers, here's one favorite excerpt from the read:

" we live with such easy assumptions, don't we? For instance, that memory equals events plus time. But it's all much odder than this. Who was it said that memory is what we thought we'd forgotten? And it ought to be obvious to us that time doesn't act as a fixative, rather as a solvent. But it's not convenient - it's not useful - to believe this; it doesn't help us get on with our lives; so we ignore it. "
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby rjbman » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:28 pm

rjbman wrote:ok! we will read Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs - try and have it read by February 11th!


took wayyyy too long to finish this but this was such an excellent choice! Spent the whole time analyzing the arguments within the context of my (former) neighborhood in Chicago. I just really wanna get involved with city planning now. Only thing I don't think it touches on too much, certainly not explicitly, is the idea of gentrification. I think most of the Chicago neighborhooods have been victims of excessively fast "unslumming" (this word feels like a bad one to use) and in the process has modernized everything at the cost of uniformly expensive housing.

Does anyone work in city planning who can educate me on how much this book affected / affects modern city planning? 50 years is a long time and I'd hope this would have been incorporated.
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