what are you reading right now?

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Postby walt whitman » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:38 pm

today, continuing my art book kick, i just had to pick up

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Postby Gnarls » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:01 pm

Joy Williams - The Quick and The Dead
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Andrew Cockburn - Kill Chain
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Frank Stanford - The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You
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Postby walt whitman » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:11 pm

reading this as background for an art history lecture im giving next week.

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its well written and entertaining, and David W led a cool life, but like, writing a biography must be the most miserable thing to do. people just arent that interesting 99% of the time. this thing can be shortened to a 40 page text. the worst is the first section, where every biography discusses family life etc before the subject was born or doing things. but, reading about peoples parents isnt very interesting unless you have big dramatic anecdotes or a cool profession. i just really dont know what to do with the bio genre.
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Postby kyle » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:55 am

I just finished The Oddity. It was amusing, insightful and reminiscent of DFW (who was mentioned twice throughout the book.)

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Postby atomicbombshell » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:18 pm

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☽ ☾ ● ◯ ● ☽ ☾

The moon put her hand over my mouth and told me to shut up and watch.
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Postby dmitry » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:23 pm

I'm about to finish a collection of alice b sheldon shtories
she probably did nearly as much to flesh out cyberpunk as PKD in one story (girl who was plugged in). so highly recommended!!

the really good ones imo are
Slow Music
Girl Who Was Plugged in
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
We Who Stole the Dream
The Screwfly Solution
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Postby Ampersand » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:31 pm

dmitry wrote:I'm about to finish a collection of alice b sheldon shtories
she probably did nearly as much to flesh out cyberpunk as PKD in one story (girl who was plugged in). so highly recommended!!

the really good ones imo are
Slow Music
Girl Who Was Plugged in
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
We Who Stole the Dream
The Screwfly Solution


Nice. I actually finished re-reading this last night!
I love every single story, but want to give a particular shoutout to A Momentary Taste of Being, which hit me good this time.
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Postby vivian darko » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:14 am

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Homer - The Iliad
I like it!

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Claude McKay - Home to Harlem
Fantastic. Impossibly entertaining, evokes a place and feeling without seeming to try. One of the best novels I've read this year. Everyone should read this.

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Claire Messud - The Woman Upstairs
Has a lot of "literary" moments that the writing isn't good enough to sustain. Comes off like Messud thought "angry female narrator" was some radical innovation, and is completely unaware of the literature that this is in conversation with.

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Wallace Thurman - Infants of the Spring
Compelling, some cool moments but nothing really heart-stopping. Thurman's mouthpiece is voice to some pretty despicable ideas that Thurman himself doesn't seem very interested in distancing himself from (although this could be argued). Kinda sad that a novel which argues against the Harlem Renaissance as an idea is most interesting now as Harlem Renaissance gossip.

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Sam Shepard - True West
I guess this is good. It's got some very good parts but it feels kinda like Shepard read half of a Beckett play and then decided to write Beckett For Men.

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Caryl Churchill - Top Girls
This is great. Brecht-worshipping takedown of Thatcher from the early 80s. Holds up astoundingly well in 2017. Structurally fascinating too.

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Homer - The Odyssey
I like it!
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Postby tanaka » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:14 am

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King Leopold's Ghost was the tragedy, this is the farce


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only just started this, but i'm generally a fan of greene's sense of humor and reluctant christianity

Those who marry God, he thought, can become domesticated too - it's just as humdrum a marriage as all the others. The word "Love" means a formal touch of the lips as in the ceremony of the Mass, and "Ave Maria" like "dearest" is a phrase to open a letter. This marriage like the world's marriages was held together by habits and tastes shared in common between God and themselves - it was God's taste to be worshipped and their taste to worship, but only at stated hours like a suburban embrace on a Saturday night.
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Postby Dead_Wizard » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:14 pm

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This is awesome so far and helped me contextualize the Achewood arc based on it :ugeek:
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Postby HotFingersClub » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:23 pm

walt whitman wrote:thanks for the Vollmann recc everyone, i just hope ill stumble onto 1 of the 3 titles mentioned here next time im in a bookstore


I found the novels a bit imposing, but Last Stories and Other Stories is a fucking riot in relatively easy segments, and got me all the way on board
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Postby HotFingersClub » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:39 pm

Recently:

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Paul Scheerbart - Rakkox the Billionaire & The Great Race
Very crazy stuff. I liked Rakkox better than the The Great Race, which was possibly a little abstract for me

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Warren Ellis - Gun Machine
This was a blast on audiobook. Typical melange of serial killers, wearable tech and smoking, but has great energy. I feel like I'm so familiar with Ellis now that I might just as easily have closed my eyes and imagined this book

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Martin Amis - Money
My first Amis. Overall a little tedious

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Claire-Louise Bennett - Pond
Oh my god I loved this. She's such a brilliant noticer of transient thoughts, and she has such a strong voice. Big new crush.
Anyone who likes this, read Heidi Julavits' The Folded Clock as well. I feel it is underread hereabouts and it's amazing.

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Geoff Manaugh - A Burglar's Guide to the City
Yawn. This guy has a pretty annoying style
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Postby atomicbombshell » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:30 pm

atomicbombshell wrote:Image


my first PKD - enjoyed, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. am excited to rewatch blade runner tho.
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Postby atomicbombshell » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:31 pm

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this is silly but I'm enjoying
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The moon put her hand over my mouth and told me to shut up and watch.
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Postby cocoon man » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:59 pm

Ulysses
BILL GATES I'M YOUR STEPSON
I'M SO PROUD TO SHARE YOUR GENES
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Postby cocoon man » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:00 pm

cocoon man wrote:Ulysses



I swear I'm going to do it this time. I've already read Part 1 twice this week
BILL GATES I'M YOUR STEPSON
I'M SO PROUD TO SHARE YOUR GENES
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Postby atomicbombshell » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:48 pm

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this was great
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Postby Sobieski » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:15 pm

that Protagoras dialogue
Johann POOPLER wrote:Progress is the exploration of our own error
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Postby criss elliott » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:18 pm

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Postby Destroyevsky » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:22 pm

Jabberwocky wrote:
moses wrote:finally finished this...

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the majority of my reading time over the last year has been spent reading this trilogy. Pretty great, but not really sure if worth the investment

Congratulations! I really want to tackle this and also his two books on the Mediterranean someday.


that is really incredible. I just got the first volume but I kind of just plan to flip through it on the toilet.
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Postby atomicbombshell » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:10 pm

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☽ ☾ ● ◯ ● ☽ ☾

The moon put her hand over my mouth and told me to shut up and watch.
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Postby wolfie » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:38 am

i just finished this

https://www.amazon.com/Narconomics-How- ... 1610395832

i would give it a B. maybe a B-
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Postby wolfie » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:39 am

the reason i wanna ding it isn't because it's not good, but because it's kind of shallow. it's more made for mass consumption. which is fine, but you know.
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Postby Dead_Wizard » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:25 pm

Henry Miller Library fundraising. Had no idea shit was so dire there this year!

https://www.gofundme.com/ks2zr-bridging-the-gap?
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Postby Frank » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:53 pm

atomicbombshell wrote:Image


love this book
im that guy who got dog diarrhea in his beard
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Postby atomicbombshell » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:49 pm

Frank wrote:
atomicbombshell wrote:Image


love this book


it's actually like a stone in my stomach I love it so much. I haven't felt such a physical reaction to a book in so long.
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Postby mascotte » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:17 am

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This is a concise book about a very expansive mind. But it is a book not just about the mind of Daniel Tammet, but a book about his world as well. And both are worthy of exploration.

Daniel’s phenomenal ability with numbers is incredible. If you ask him to multiply 37 to the power of 4 he will give you almost instantly the total of 1,874,161. Ask him to divide 13 by 97 and he will give you the answer to over 100 decimal places if you wish. He out-distances the ordinary calculator instantly and without effort. You’ll need a computer to see if he is correct. And of course he is correct. Then there is his ability to learn an entire new language – grammar, inflection and comprehension in only one week. The documentary Brainman, first broadcast in the U.K. in 2005, charts Daniel’s mastery of Icelandic in such a brief time, culminating in a live interview on television using his newly acquired language in a sprightly interaction with his Icelandic TV hosts.

Of special interest for me, though, is not just what Daniel can so extraordinarily do, but rather his capacity to describe how he does it. Such first-person explanations of savant abilities are extremely rare, in fact nearly non-existent. Most books are written by others about the special abilities some people have, rather than having been written by the person who has those special skills. Daniel, uniquely, provides an exceptionally insightful account of his mental capacities. This description can now be correlated with imaging studies and other neuropsychological tests, some already underway, thereby providing a rare opportunity to explore more fully the elusive, “how do they do it?” question.

But other things are of interest as well. Daniel’s synaesthesia, which he describes so richly, is unique in that he ‘sees’ individual numbers – each one up to 10,000 – not just as a single colour, but also as a shape, a colour, a texture, a motion and sometimes even an emotional ‘tone’. When he does his massive calculations he literally ‘sees’ the answer in his head, not written out in number form as in a telephone book, but rather as a confluence of these shapes and colours and forms into an ‘answer’ experienced in a newly coalesced shape, form and colour.

Daniel tells us that his synaesthesia began after a series of childhood epileptic seizures. This, for me, puts him into the “acquired” savant category – people who develop savant-like abilities, sometimes at a prodigious level, following some central nervous system trauma, disease or disorder. The “acquired” savant raises important questions about hidden potential, perhaps, dormant within us all, and about how to tap that potential without traumatic event. By studying Daniel more closely – something he is very willing to participate in – we may come closer to being able to tap the “little Rainman” that exists, perhaps, within us all.

Daniel has also been given a diagnosis of high functioning autism, or Asperger’s Disorder as well, a condition he writes openly about. In contrast to the more prominent symptoms and behaviours he displayed as a child, though, his present very high level of functioning underscores his observation that he has “outgrown” some of his autism. Such progress does occur, fortunately, in some other people on the autistic spectrum, as they grow older. Daniel’s part progress has created in him a heartfelt life mission – to serve as an inspiration for other people, whether with epilepsy or Asperger’s, demonstrating by his own example that such conditions need not always interfere with overall development and potential. His mission statement is an empathic one – to make the world a “more welcome place” for people with such disabilities.

I met Daniel for the first time at the Milwaukee Art Museum with its dramatic architecture, rich colours and striking imagery. It was the perfect setting. A towering sculpture with a multitude of glass pieces, of all shapes, sizes and colours, helped me visualise, in a concrete sense, some of the vivid thought imagery that Daniel was describing to me verbally.

In person Daniel is articulate, soft-spoken, pleasant, polite, gentle and modest. Those traits shine through in his writing as well. His plans for the future include continuing to help charities such as the National Autistic Society and the National Society for Epilepsy. His celebrity-status gives him a good podium worldwide from which to carry out that admirable goal. He also wants to continue to work with scientists to study his special abilities in greater detail. And he wants to promote different ways of learning, particularly visual learning, which is so often so important in better understanding, and then teaching, people with autistic spectrum disorders.

At a very personal level his goals mirror those of most of us – becoming closer in our relationships with partners, family and friends. He also wants to seek, and relish, those too few, but precious moments of peace and contentment that he describes in the closing paragraphs of his book. Those are ‘heavenly’ moments.

Daniel says that numbers are his friends. Indeed in his early childhood they seemed to be his only friends. But now Daniel is seeking out and making new friends – literally all over the world. Friendship is reciprocal though. And one comes away from his book – or at least I did – with the feeling, through his openness, candor and reaching out, of having made a new friend as well.

Darold A. Treffert, M.D.
Scientific adviser on the film Rainman
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Postby Honga Ciganesta » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:26 am

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Really good! Just don't expect it to be All That (Wo)man Is, the female characters are barely there at all. Liked it a lot
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Postby David Lobster Wallets » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:59 am

Just finished reading:

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The Door by Madga Szabo was really compelling! I didn't expect it to be a "page-turner" but the intrigue she builds around Emerence made this like a crime-thriller. I was really surprised by how into this book I was. It was great!
im not a business ham, im a business ham
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Postby atomicbombshell » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:12 pm

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The moon put her hand over my mouth and told me to shut up and watch.
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