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Re: Book Talk

Postby duskyamp on Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:41 am

At some point in the last year or two I fell down a Hainish Cycle rabbit hole with Ursula K Le Guin. It's so gripping for me, and I can hardly think of reading anything else, except when I'm reading electronics texts. I keep thinking I've read them all, panic, then find something else to read, relieved. This can't go on much longer. The way she can imagine thoroughly alien human societies and invest them the full measure of humanity is nothing short of breathtaking. I must say, there is also some relief, in these times, from going to completely different world for a time.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby goatlord on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

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Two weird assholes see a bird hanged, so they obsses about it until they both go mad, on a Polish desert. There's also a business about the mouths of two women. Can't recommend this book enough. It's like a mix of Kafka, Bernhard and Pessoa.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby enframed on Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:23 am

goatlord wrote:It's like a mix of Kafka, Bernhard and Pessoa.


I'm in.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby sparky on Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:19 am

Gombrowicz! I've only read Ferdydurke, for which I felt more admiration than passion, but the bits of browsed of his diaries are cattily imaginative, and a Polish friend who is a fan of him says the diaries are his best. The man had a difficult life, marooned as a bank clerk in Argentina when the Second World War started when he was gallivanting.

I'm reading James Salter's A Sport and a Pastime, exquisite sauce.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby goatlord on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:53 pm

Bought a Thomas Ligotti in spanish, but the translation was so GODDAMN FUCKING AWFUL that I have downloaded an e-book that has all his short stories. Last time I read him, I was depressed beyond belief, and I really identified with his anti-natalist, nihilist outlook. Now that I'm quite content and happy? I don't find it as annoying as other over-the-top depressive books, because he is a superb writter of truly scary stuff, even though a little verbose, but I really find it funny for some reason! It's really fucking dark humor, but some of his characters are such a caricature of the despaired Lovecraft guy, that you can't help but laugh. And I think that he is self-knowing enough to appreciate that.

Also, I really like how he can be a really transgresive writter without using any tabboo stuff. No rape, weird sex, racism or overt torture-violence, but it really fucks you up.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby Beetown on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:29 pm

^You read his Conspiracy Against the Human Race book? It's basically an outline of his pessimistic philosophy and how it relates to his horror writing. For some reason I get a weird sense of comfort knowing that my more nihilistic thoughts seem to be philosophically sound.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby goatlord on Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:51 am

Beetown wrote:^You read his Conspiracy Against the Human Race book? It's basically an outline of his pessimistic philosophy and how it relates to his horror writing. For some reason I get a weird sense of comfort knowing that my more nihilistic thoughts seem to be philosophically sound.


Yeah, it was the first book I read of him! It didn't do me much good, because I was absolutely miserable when I read it, and it was harsh to read that kind of stuff. That being said, when I finish his short stories, I plan to read it again. I hope it doesn't make me as miserable, it was a good book!
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Re: Book Talk

Postby jimmy spako on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:44 am

Most recently:

The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier

I wrote elsewhere:

"Stunningly composed, fundamentally, almost cartoonishly flawed. If the whole thing is meant as a sly dressing-down of the (semi-autobiographical) protagonist's conceits, then this novel would be a real masterpiece, but the construction of the plot, specifically the way the (all three!) female characters are used as barely one-dimensional foils and plot devices (without plausible motives of their own: most glaringly, it is not made at all clear why Rosario would ever be attracted to the narrator, zero words in this elaborate story are wasted on it in fact), is the smoking gun regarding how sincere the author's intentions are here. Deeply misogynist and essentialising among other things, the anti-hero's account of his supposed journey to self-knowledge will seem familiar if you have ever met anyone that a good trip was essentially wasted on. Read this way, it is an insightful portrait of a clueless everyman, entertaining even, but I doubt that this is what Carpentier had in mind. A page turner for sure, but I am left disappointed after finally getting around to reading my copy that I had been looking forward to diving into for almost two decades."

I was honestly shocked at how bad it was. I would not recommend it unless you are interested in the meta-aspect of what it says about patriarchy, even supposed outsiders and malcontents in the patriarchy.

Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers

A deeply beautiful book, did not dissapoint. Tarkovsky's Stalker is a very free, loose adaptation of the basic premise and the Strugatsky brothers (or one of them, don't remember exactly) wrote the screenplay with him. The two works complement each other really well, the book enriched my love for Stalker. Very inspiring to see what AT saw in it and where he took it. I would love to see a straight-up adaptation in series or movie form. Read this book!

Currently halfway through The Soundscape by R. Murray Schafer. It is kind of stuffy and there are a lot of declarative sentences that are dubious where something that is clearly a value judgement is presented as fact, which is off-putting, but this has become a key work for sound studies so I thought I would give it a go. Enough interesting concepts in it and enough observations that sharpen your hearing/listening to make it worth it.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby goatlord on Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:56 am

Reading John Ashbery right now, in my obessesion of trying to understand poetry and seeing what I like of it.

I highly enjoy reading him, he seems like a gentlier version of Burroughs. It's all very dream-like and playful. Sometimes it's deep and unresolved and full of misteries like a late Scott Walker song, which I think is something that I really like about poetry but I can't find in a lot of authors?. The only problem, and the problem that I have with a lot of modern poetry, is that I can't get into the rythm of the reading, because the line breaks seem arbritary, and I pause when I don't have to and go on when I have to pause and JESUS FUCKING CHRIST IT'S A BIT ANNOYING. Sorry, but I tend to make a "poetry pause" when there's a line break and there are thousands of line breaks, and some make sense and some don't and I don't know how to read this.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby jimmy spako on Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:45 am

I'm reading Jörn Klare's "Als meine Mutter ihre Küche nicht mehr fand," an account of a parent's worsening dementia written by the brother of a good friend (and former bandmate) of mine. It's part memoir, part doing the rounds and talking with experts from various fields to get at what the author's mother is experiencing and the implications for individuals affected and society at large. It's written for a wide audience. My dad has Lewy's body dementia. The book is helping me a lot. Not available yet in English, but highly recommended for German readers wrestling with the topic.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby hayate on Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:34 pm

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Informative and useful little 200 page introduction to learning disorders.. would recommend to anybody who experiences some form of add or autism or live with someone who does.

In Smart Moves, Hannaford looks at the body's role in thinking and learning, citing research from child development, physiology, and neuroscience.[1][2] Hannaford examines the ways that sensorimotor experiences effect short- and long-term memory, from infancy through adulthood, and argues that movement is crucial to learning.

In her book, Hannaford offers alternatives to enhance learning ability. Included in the list are: de-emphasizing rote learning; more experiential, active instruction; less labeling of learning disabilities; more physical movement; more personal expression through arts, sports and music; less prescribing of Ritalin and other drugs whose long-term effects are unknown. She also details the roles in learning played by various areas of the brain, and examines the interplay of brain, body, and environment.

Hannaford is an advocate of movement and play in learning, discussing the importance of sensorimotor development (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic readiness) to the learning process. She provides several case examples of children whose learning improved remarkably through use of the Brain Gym activities, as well as including her own research done with Brain Gym
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Re: Book Talk

Postby hayate on Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:34 pm

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Reminded of something I picked up some years ago... This informative little 200 page introduction to learning disorders.. and would recommend to anybody who experiences some form of adhd or autism or otherwise lives with someone who does.

In Smart Moves, Hannaford looks at the body's role in thinking and learning, citing research from child development, physiology, and neuroscience.[1][2] Hannaford examines the ways that sensorimotor experiences effect short- and long-term memory, from infancy through adulthood, and argues that movement is crucial to learning.

In her book, Hannaford offers alternatives to enhance learning ability. Included in the list are: de-emphasizing rote learning; more experiential, active instruction; less labeling of learning disabilities; more physical movement; more personal expression through arts, sports and music; less prescribing of Ritalin and other drugs whose long-term effects are unknown. She also details the roles in learning played by various areas of the brain, and examines the interplay of brain, body, and environment.

Hannaford is an advocate of movement and play in learning, discussing the importance of sensorimotor development (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic readiness) to the learning process. She provides several case examples of children whose learning improved remarkably through use of the Brain Gym activities, as well as including her own research done with Brain Gym
Neofascism will be the ultimate expression of libertarian social liberalism, of the unit which starts in May 68. Its specificity holds in this formula: All is allowed, but nothing is possible. -M.C.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby enframed on Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:12 pm

just finished volume 1 of The Man Without Qualities and taking a break for a bit. Read Ivan Turgenev's Smoke, which is great, and now in the middle of Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch, which is good, but seems like a book I'd have enjoyed more in my youth. Gonna tackle volume 2 of The Man Without Qualities next. I use the word tackle sincerely.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby sulfur)addict on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:45 am

I've knocked out two novels and a play so far this year, halfway through another novel.

Granted, the only sizable one was Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru - which should've been longer! He teased a second climax but pulled back to leave it open-ended.

Cocaine Romance by that Russian pseudonym was lightweight Dostoevsky, but there were some really insightful passages. Great capture of an adolescent mind, I'd say.

Spring Awakening by Wedekind was perfect, slightly stodgy translation by some schmuck named John Franzen, but that play has real magic.

Most of the way through We'll To The Woods No More. It's dated. I should be done with it by the middle of next week.

I'm just happy that I've picked up my reading pace back to what it used to be.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby enframed on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:57 am

sulfur)addict wrote:I'm just happy that I've picked up my reading pace back to what it used to be.


Indeed. I've realized that as I get older I absolutely need [fiction, or poetry] to read to feel human. Makes life so much better, more tolerable.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby yard barf on Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:01 am

enframed wrote:Indeed. I've realized that as I get older I absolutely need [fiction, or poetry] to read to feel human. Makes life so much better, more tolerable.


Same here. It's exciting, it's escapist, it's a weird way to get intimate with a total stranger's mind. I need it pretty much everyday.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby kokorodoko on Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:15 am

During the last six months I have read more fiction more frequently than probably at any other point in my life, and it feels great. "All those books I want to read" is laid out like a buffet in my mind, picked off as I go along.

One of those is Beckett. However reading some about him it seems he is one of those modernist-experimental types. I know that such things can be like a brick wall, and since I'm just getting into the groove I feel intimidated. Is my worry justified?
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Re: Book Talk

Postby hayate on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:49 pm

Fictions good for you bro. Study's have suggested that it improves synapses in yer prefrontal cortex, moreso than anything else. And the more rabelaisian the better.

Still waiting on Derrida's "Gift of Death" to come in the mail.. So started on The Reasonable Art of Fly-Fishing by Terry Mort.. and very pleased with it. Not gritty or over-embellished.. straightforward, chilled out.. just what I need right now while I wait for the law to give me my license back.

Many, many books I've picked up I quickly gave up because their thought process was irritatingly weak and or otherwise unacceptable. An enjoyable book is always a relief.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby prd on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:54 pm

Finally finished 2010: Odyssey Two by A.C. Clarke and hated every single page of it. I dislike most of science fiction. The only reason I put my hand on this is I just needed to read something and this was the only book in sight. My mind kept running away from it every time I lost my guard.

Began Northwest Passage. I'm about seventy pages in, so far loving it. Everything is always good after Sci-fi.
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Re: Book Talk

Postby kokorodoko on Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:07 pm

I'm no sci-fi aficionado at all, but I see how it can suffer the same danger as fantasy: That a writer can be so good at inventing other worlds that they think this will save them from having to write a story. That, and the ever-present temptation of tech-nerdery.

I like Philip K. Dick because his books are much more about what the psychological experience of living in such a world would be like.
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