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Bookclub

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Comments

  • edited 2013-04-23 23:43:31
    Has friends besides tanks now

    I feel bad triple-posting here, but this might interest @JHM, in particular:


    A writing professor brought his two Intro to Fiction classes, mine and another, out to a local bookstore, where I got eight books for $30 and another two for free from the teacher himself (though they were only $1.50 together). One of these books is the Library of America's first volume of Henry James's Literary Criticism, for $10 (upperclassmen classmates expected they'd go for $30-40, and the base selling price listed on Amazon is $50). The store also had four of the LoA novel collections of Henry James stuff, and the other book on Literary Criticism, for $10-15 apiece, including, I think, the one on European writers. I really hope that I've read enough of the volume I have right now over the summer that I could justify slowly acquiring the rest of the collection and can justify attempts at reading the rest of it, because it's all here and I probably won't be able to find a better price even on the Internet, never mind traveling out to other bookstores to find similar deals. And because I feel bad for breaking up the collection.


    As for the book itself: it's a titanic collection of writing, and not the easiest reading, as is to be expected with Henry James, but it should be very informative and whatnot. I've only read his essay on the Works of Epictetus so far (which immediately piqued my interest because I read selected precepts from the Enchiridion for a Philosophy class this semester), but it was pretty reasonable, I thought. Took longer for me to read than I'm proud of, but I think it was worth the time.


    I also picked up One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (already read it last year, but I liked it enough that I'll put it on my bookshelf), The Sheltering Sky (on the professor's recommendation, after I jokingly suggested Gone with the Wind and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; these two were the ones my professor bought for me, since he apparently regards the former book as one of the best novels ever), Journey to the End of the Night, A Passage to India (on the recommendation of my nonfic teacher from last semester), and Something Wicked This Way Comes (a huge favorite of a friend here; he apparently reads through it as many times as possible each October) for $2 each, Candide and The Stranger for 50c each, Best American Short Stories of the Century for $3, and a new copy of The Bell Jar for $10 (should have gone with the cheaper one so I could also get Oblomov and whatever else was on the $1 paperback shelf that was of interest, but a friend rushed me along so she could try to get food at a nearby cafe).


    Bummed out that an already-obnoxious classmate beat me to Frankenstein, though.


    Good day, all in all.

  • JHMJHM
    Here, There, Everywhere

    That is a freaking awesome haul. Special kudos for picking up The Sheltering Sky; Paul Bowles is a really underrated, brilliant author. If you ever come across his collected short fiction, buy it without hesitation. His work is mesmerising, at once beautiful and deeply disturbing. Genius stuff.

  • edited 2013-04-24 17:40:58
    Has friends besides tanks now

    Ah, cool. He and Louis-Ferdinand Céline were the only authors I hadn't heard of (besides myriad authors in the short story collection), and my teacher's taste isn't exactly a perfect match with mine, so I wasn't sure. But two recommendations bode well.


    In other news, I just found remembered my change jar, and counted roughly $7.50, plus a dollar I got back from the cafe yesterday. Makes me wish leftover money on my meals came back as change, though, because by now I'd probably have enough change from that to get the other book on Literary Criticism and then some.

  • You can change. You can.

    "it's still about a fucking whale!"



    ahahaha


    oh my god


    that is just priceless.


    (I never could go through Moby Dick but it's because I am dumb and my English is dumber)

  • Kickstarter to make Juan read Ulysses, let's do this thing.

  • You can change. You can.

    Who says I haven't?

  • edited 2013-04-24 20:02:29
    Has friends besides tanks now

    Wait, you could read Ulysses, but not Moby-Dick? I mean, Ishmael rambles like mad, but he's at least comprehensible. (Note: I haven't read Ulysses yet. I just know that most people go through it with a reading guide the first time, and that's terrible)

  • edited 2013-04-24 19:17:39
    "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

    Moby-Dick ended pretty anticlimactically. I mean, after getting so pumped-up for the awesome mano-a-cetaceano ultimate Man vs. Beast showdown, the actual ending was kinda quick and, like, not really that much awesome and ultimate.


    Even the badass last words of Ahab were pretty devoid of badassitude in the translation I've read.

  • edited 2013-04-24 21:19:50
    Has friends besides tanks now

    Hmm. Well, hopefully it doesn't end up being too important, what the climax is. It's not exactly an action novel so far. So far, it really just feels a lot more like Melville just wanted to write a lot of stuff about sperm whales with a vague excuse plot. Slow going, and I wish I had time to invest in a more straightforward story to read alongside this before the semester ends, but it's been interesting.


    Also, Library of America apparently has fifteen volumes of Henry James's writing, including 4713 pages in shorter stories, 6793 pages in novels, 2946 pages of literary criticism, and 1736 pages of travel writing, for a grand total of 16,188 pages of collected writing.


    god. DAMN.


    Clearly the moral of this story is that math is fun.

  • Guys. I've just got the whole collection of GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire for just 2 pounds. Sweeeet.

  • edited 2013-04-25 08:45:52
    Has friends besides tanks now

    So I stumble upon Goodreads's Worst Books of All Time list, and after scrolling past the Twilight saga, obviously at the top, and numerous books by politicians, what do I see but George Orwell and Ray Bradbury in the top 40, out of 5097.


    Somehow I doubt Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 451 are that bad. They're also much higher up than Mein Kampf, too. You disappoint me, Goodreads community. :|

  • JHMJHM
    Here, There, Everywhere

    I'm suspecting trolls, whiny disappointed contrarians and/or people that really didn't get it.

  • edited 2013-04-25 09:26:33
    Has friends besides tanks now

    Well, yeah, that would seemingly cover just about all of them. :V


    Unfortunately, this would be a pretty silly and ineffectual form of trolling, and the latter two groups are terminally obnoxious.


    Do you have a Goodreads, by chance? I know there are a few BTL'ers who have one, or at least AutumnComet does.

  • JHMJHM
    Here, There, Everywhere

    I don't, actually. I just never really saw the appeal for me personally.

  • edited 2013-04-25 09:53:00
    Has friends besides tanks now

    I've found it very useful for keeping track of lots of books that sound interesting. Unfortunately, I have four-and-a-half times as many books to read as I do books read (584:134), and literally half of the books (or, 66 vs 68, so, y' know, close enough) I've read are One Piece volumes. I really wonder what my life would be like now if I'd been better about reading as a child. I was the kid whose teacher told me to read either Billy Budd or The Deerslayer for a writing assignment as a freshman, and who chose the latter because it has a cooler name. I know now that that was the wrong choice. But at least this way I'm not prematurely ruined on Melville, I guess?

  • JHMJHM
    Here, There, Everywhere

    Maybe you would have ended up like me: A hopeless shut-in with too many ideas and not enough outlets.

  • edited 2013-04-25 09:50:53
    Has friends besides tanks now

    I'm pretty close to being that already, except I've gotten better about socializing since getting to college. The trick is to make it count.

  • JHMJHM
    Here, There, Everywhere

    Oh, I have friends and all. I just barely leave my house. That way I can be with my books and music and tea and squalor...


    I'm hoping that eventually I'll turn into a dragon like Fafnir and it will all be worthwhile.

  • a little muffled

    Billy Budd
    Blech.

  • Has friends besides tanks now

    ^^ Ah. I'm sorta like that when I'm home, unless mom drags me off to places, or I want to go out and get CD's. I'm hoping to get a job at a music/book/hobby store I've been going to for a few years this summer, though, and I saw something about free books and CD's for employees or something like that. So, if that works out, I'll be getting outta the house, at least.


    ^ Out of curiosity, what didn't you like about it?


    I liked "Bartleby the Scrivener" a lot, and Moby-Dick is still pretty good so far, digressions and all, but I haven't read Billy Budd yet.

  • edited 2013-04-25 14:27:26
    a little muffled

    Mostly I just found it really dull and the writing style did not work for me. Like, you said this about Moby-Dick:

    So far, it really just feels a lot more like Melville just wanted to write a lot of stuff about sperm whales with a vague excuse plot.
    Billy Budd is much the same, replacing "sperm whales" with "British naval history". I guess if it didn't bother you in Moby-Dick it won't bother you here either, but it bothered me. Also the Billy Budd = Jesus symbolism doesn't really quite fit with the plot, but eh.


    I won't deny that I probably wouldn't hate it as much if I hadn't had to write an essay about it. (But then, it's not as though I hate every book I had to write an essay about.)

  • You can change. You can.

    Wait, you could read Ulysses, but not Moby-Dick? I mean, Ishmael rambles like mad, but he's at least comprehensible. (Note: I haven't read Ulysses yet. I just know that most people go through it with a reading guide the first time, and that's terrible)



    I went through Ulysses with a reading guide. Moby Dick...well, the lack of familiarity with a lot of the words and the fact that I couldn't find a reading guide made me drop it.

  • edited 2013-04-25 19:08:44
    Has friends besides tanks now
    ^^ I guess I have to grant that he can be dull. but the language, tho. I mean, on chapters of Moby-Dick like Cetology, or The Affidavit, or The Surmises, I'm pushing through mostly because I think Melville's writing is consistently beautiful and relaxing, and because I really like Ishmael as a narrator. To each his own, I suppose.



    ^ Ah. Yeah, that would do it. Tons of jargon in MD (though I have to imagine Ulysses would have been much worse, comparatively, without a reading guide. Just the fact that Joyce's writings have all but necessitated reading guides for those outside his educational and cultural background effectively speaks volumes (dohoho) as to why I hate him).
  • edited 2013-05-05 22:44:13
    Has friends besides tanks now

    So, in the middle of trading in >$100 in CD's and books to get >$100 of different books at the store I've mentioned a few times, one of the clerks mentioned (since I decided to pick up The Name of the Wind so I can form my own opinions about it) that Patrick Rothfuss was his landlord once upon a time. He said Rothfuss found him in the middle of preparing for a D&D game, and Rothfuss was like, "hey, I have a book you might like."


    I think I'll start Lolita tomorrow, and then split up the rest of Moby-DIck in three-chapter chunks, in the hopes of having it done by the end of the month. In the middle of whatever other smaller things I decide to read. Dunno how far I'll get in Lolita, or, for that matter, the shitton of other books I have on my shelf at the moment before summer's over.

  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

    So I thought I might dig up the thread.


    So, I mean, I read a certain fantasy novel recently. I say fantasy, 'cause I tend to read either spec-fic or non-fic recently. I read a couple others in the same setting, but this one is kinda the best of 'em. The setting is actually quite far from fantasy standards, no stock races (there're intelligent cats and vultures) or evil overlords (there is a primitive evil race restricted to one small area, all manner of bandits, and the ruling political entity gets oppressive at times, but none of the typical threats to the entire world, so the stories tend to involve smaller scale conflicts) or all that stuff, and magic is pretty esoteric too. The story was specifically about daughters of a famous pirate trying to get their hands on his booty in order to fund various schemes of theirs. So like I said, it was quite a decent read, which aroused my interest on some sort of a meta-level, since there was like a single sympathetic character, and he was a minor who died somewhere halfway through the story.

  • There is love everywhere, I already know

    of course i'd update this with LN talk but:


    Yen Press is doing great lately; the Blood Lad copies I got are pretty nice (can't read them until I watch the anime because... reasons) and they've licensed Accel World (and the atrocity that is Sword Art Online, but I will read Alicization when it comes out because it possibly ties to AW).


    As for Novels that are not Light, I read some of Tokyo Cancelled and it is possibly the worst reading experience I've had to endure this year and I'm wondering if anybody has read 18Q4.

  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

    You know what, I've been thinking about Terry Pratchett for some time. I've come to a conclusion that he's like a reverse Terry Goodkind. The latter writes fantasy, but claims it's really just philosophy (ie. preaching). The former writes philosophy (ie. preaching), but claims it's really just fantasy.

  • You should all read The King's Shadow by Elizabeth Alder, but don't look up what it's about and don't read the back of the book or anything; no reading summaries or reviews, just straight-up go into it blind and read it.




    And no posting spoilers for it, except in ye olde ciphers.  Popular books don't lose all that much when you're spoiled, because there's only so far you can go without learning the great classics and popular literature (I did manage to read The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyl and Mister Hyde completely unspoiled; and was sincerely shocked by the ending; but obscure books lose a lot.

  • edited 2013-12-06 09:18:03
    "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

    Oh, and I've finally laid my hands on Sapkowski's newest novel. Back to the Witcherworld, we get a nice insight into the inner workings of magic and the magical community, plus all the expected sex, wordplay and ripped guts.


    edit: Already finished. I could complain. I could point out that it feels at moments like it's put from spare parts, that it could do without some of the allusions, so on. But I'll just say, this is kick-ass.

  • There is love everywhere, I already know

    but don't look up what it's about and don't read the back of the book or anything; no reading summaries or reviews, just straight-up go into it blind and read it.



    I love to avoid spoilers, but it's a bit extreme to spend 5-ish dollars on something I know nothing about. Sypnoses never hurt.


    In credibility ruining news; I thought about The Clique series for the first time in like 2-ish years (Tale of Two Pretties was early 2012 IIRC) since Pretenders is coming out soon. I feel like the entire series was ruined by book 5 (of 12) since Dial L for Loser was just the culmination of all the "People Love Claire For No Reason"-ing.


    I could stand it until Massie and Derrington broke up, which makes me sound like a complete fangirl/shipper or whatever, but Derrington was a great character (relatively, for this series) and it just added to Massie's downfall as the protagonist of the series. A position Claire and everybody else fought over until it ended since Massie had by then evolved into a crazed, power hungry one-liner machine. Then Dylan became interested in Derrington and I vowed to never read any more (Which I did because I've always hated myself, though reading this series in the first place was a labour of self-hate).


    But even though the books were terrible, until book 5 it was an interesting look into the psychology of the mean girl phenomenon with Massie. But then Layne became important again and the MC fighting began and it all went downhill.


    I still believe that Lisi Harrison can pull what she did off again with those first five books in Pretenders (Even though she's more about perfecting her nice leads now ie Monster High, which nobody should ever read and Alphas, which beats Ravenswood as the most pointlessly unrealistic spinoff of all time). But really, the only way I'm actually reading Pretenders is if one of them turns out to be some sort of non-cis non-heterosexual since I kind of expect that from that kind of book (There are five of them, not all of them can be perfectly manicured Westchester-esque kids with problems only as big as their egos).


    Finally; A Tale of Two Pretties financial situation never made any sense. I know Massie needed to move to London so the Pretty Committee could break up for no reason other than to end the series because there was no other finale she could go with (A character based one would have been even worse) but nobody immediately loses all their money and immediately gets it back in two weeks like that <_< (Also I think William Block would have diversified his investments because all throughout the series he was pretty smart).

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