what are you reading right now?

Health insurance rip off lying FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they're multiplying
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We'll kick your ass in

Postby alaska » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:32 pm

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:ryan:
mactheo wrote:
Emily Dickinson wrote:Our lives are ... so cool
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Postby Smerdyakov » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:59 pm

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Also read some sci-fi. It was pretty engrossing.
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Postby saranclaps » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:25 am

Tried robin Sloan mr penumbra too twee

Reading fortune smiles by Adam johnson. Only one story in but so far very good
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Postby jenmichaeljarre » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:47 am

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Postby water, sunbeams » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:29 am

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Was like a dream. Highly recc'd.

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Currently reading, and is more like a nightmare. Frantic, almost schizophrenic. reminds me of amiri Baraka's writing. Happy for Darius Jones to be able to get this reprinted through nyrb as he's had a rough go of things.
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Postby garbiel » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:35 pm

j-ol wrote:
rushedbehind wrote:I just bought Ducks, Newburyport this afternoon. Looks really good.


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i bought this over the weekend on the strength of bingo's goodreads review. it's so good i need to share it here (w/o permission)

I tore through this Brick over the course of 4 days lazing about a man-made beach at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean (my first - and almost certainly final - resort experience). I read surrounded by people ignoring their kids and wearing shirts that said DAY DRINKING in big black letters. I read alongside a man who was shouting at his drone which had just hit a palm tree and spiraled down into the brush below. This setting was ideal.

Ducks… is unique in many ways, chief among them being that it very definitely could not exist before 2019. More importantly, it is a novel that actually feels like a new permutation of the form. The last time I felt this way was after finishing The Lost Scrapbook- but Ellmann’s prose is even more reactionary and, indeed, revolutionary. It is a two-pronged affront to conservatism, dealing with both political and literary dimensions in one fell swoop.

Perhaps we might think of it as the first (?) metamodern literary masterpiece. Or maybe as a JR for the post-Buzzfeed set (I believe, counter to the press blurbs which consistently reference Ulysses as a touchstone, that Ellmann’s novel is very definitely a spiritual successor to Gaddis’ crowning achievement). Or perhaps it’s a new canon entry for the "Fuck the Canon" generation.

In general I’m hyper-suspicious of contemporary fiction that gets marketed as literary or groundbreaking. I’m talking about clever, snarky, “Yes I’m very educated and have done a lot of Important Workshops” fiction that I often label "MFA-core" or “n+1 type beats.” I’ll confess that initially I was tempted to write off Ducks… because of the “the fact that” conceit and because, I’d read, it is “one long sentence” (it’s not, really). Typically, stuff like this is precisely the kind of artifice that has me deleting .mobi files before I hit “2% read.” So if you’re like me and a fear of gimmick is your blocker, get over it- there’s so much to love here.

Ellmann has constructed a book that engages with our horrifying and ever-increasing attention illiteracy in a remarkable way. It is a massive novel of tiny, digestible, even glossable moments. You can zone out a little bit and not be punished (but you'll be duly rewarded for staying alert). “The fact that” functions like a sort memespeak, a TFW or Drakepost mapped onto the consciousness of a constantly ruminating, neurotic as hell, absolutely hilarious protagonist. But really it's a canny device that allows Ellmann to move through ideas, people, mountains of cultural detritus, and everything PLUS the kitchen sink with tremendous alacrity and poise. The tone she concocts here is just incredible, suffusing the absurdity, urbanity, and breeziness of a novel like JR with a sort of charming, rustic coziness (pies! cinnamon rolls!) and a deeply felt terror at what we've let the world become.

I love this book and I don’t like many/any new books (and am admittedly a bit of a shit in this regard). Read it now, I bet you’ll love it.


I done finished this and it's pretty good.
Sissy Spacerock wrote:IRL will only be inhabited by those of us who have learned to derive pleasure in suffering
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Postby ahungbunny » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:48 pm

i vastly prefer your review garbiel
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Postby the upland trout » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:11 am

Finished this earlier:

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I mostly enjoyed it. The anti-government pro-market shit was kinda obnoxious. Though I do want to re-read Fire Upon The Deep.

Started these today:

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I've read very little, have done very little, these past few months. Other than move in with my girlfriend, which involved packing, moving, and unpacking over 6,000 books. Hoping that I'm finally getting back to normal.
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Postby guy forget » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:17 am

Man I totally loved Deepness I wanna reread that book

I don’t remember the anti gov pro market stuff? Remind me?
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Postby mudd » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:13 am

moving with books is the worst. Next time I’m gonna make the far off lands come to me instead.

Texas: the great theft had a great set-up, but it’s a little lecturery sometimes.

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Postby dvr » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:34 am

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Postby garbiel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:37 am

Will never forget reading A Fire Upon the Deep and coming to a full stop when encountering the term "combat programmer"
Sissy Spacerock wrote:IRL will only be inhabited by those of us who have learned to derive pleasure in suffering
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Postby the upland trout » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:12 pm

guy forget wrote:Man I totally loved Deepness I wanna reread that book

I don’t remember the anti gov pro market stuff? Remind me?


It's all over the book once you start to notice it. For example, there are a couple points in the novel in which it is revealed that a civilization has failed because of attempts to centralize control under a government. These central authorities do not have the capacity to manage the systems they govern, and thus they collapse. It is suggested that the solution to these problems that government can't manage are private enterprise and the free market.

Ideologically the book is quite libertarian and to a certain extent I think it harms Vinge's world building (and character building). At least with regards to the social aspects of worldbuilding, Vinge's got nothing on someone like Le Guin, who I think is much more insightful on these matters and creates more interesting cultures and societies as a result.

Which is not to say that other parts of Vinge's worldbuilding aren't really great. I'm a bit disappointed that there is only one other novel set in this universe that I've not read. It's a really cool setting.
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Postby guy forget » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:42 pm

I’ll def be rereading Fire and Deepness at some point so I’ll be on the lookout, thanks for responding UT
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Postby reversemigraine » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:13 pm

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Studs is balm for me.
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Postby the upland trout » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:34 pm

Division Street America looks really interesting. Might grab a copy.

After looking up that book I read Terkel's wikipedia entry, saw that he had a television show, and found this on YouTube:

Quite charming.

I've never read Terkel, though I've had a copy of Working forever.
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Postby Merciel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:06 pm

Finished the Neapolitan Novels. Loved the first three, was a little underwhelmed by the fourth.

Now reading Jenny Offill's _Weather_, which is great halfway through. I'll probably finish it tonight, it's a super quick read.
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Postby scramble » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:15 pm

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This Life offers a profoundly inspiring basis for transforming our lives, demonstrating that our commitment to freedom and democracy should lead us beyond both religion and capitalism. Philosopher Martin Hägglund argues that we need to cultivate not a religious faith in eternity but a secular faith devoted to our finite life together. He shows that all spiritual questions of freedom are inseparable from economic and material conditions: what matters is how we treat one another in this life and what we do with our time.

Engaging with great philosophers from Aristotle to Hegel and Marx, literary writers from Dante to Proust and Knausgaard, political economists from Mill to Keynes and Hayek, and religious thinkers from Augustine to Kierkegaard and Martin Luther King, Jr., Hägglund points the way to an emancipated life.
Kenny wrote:Some day when I am dead, you slow pokes will get that I have been hilarious for years.
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Postby Kenny » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:42 am

I finished Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer last night.

I probably wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't just listened to a podcast where a couple of guys I like a lot raved about it. The sex stuff and calling every woman a cunt got in the way, but there were real passages of power and eventually when you got used to the vomit I could tell that there was something interesting there. I dunno. I get its place, a 1930s book talking about fucking like people would today, to show that we've always been messy and dirty despite what you can get from popular culture etc. Some of the philosophy that sparked through was really good too.

I probably wouldn't read another Henry Miller book though unless the sex stuff died down, or at least he stopped calling every woman "Cunt", but from a brief look it seems like he just wrote the same thing over and over

I can see 100% how this inspired Kerouac, but I feel like Kerouac did it much better. Or maybe I'm just more hung up on what is life about/spirituality than fucking

and scramble, that book sounds fucking perfect for me
Image [PEACE] [LOVE] [UNITY] [RESPECT] ImageImage

You are a sacred being of light projected into reality for a purpose. Demand the right to your moment in this holographic gift with no rules, no borders, except for those who you choose to accept and live by.

Just wanna play videogames all the time and everyday.
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Postby shizaam » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:55 am

just started Image
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Postby Jeremy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:59 am

I feel like I went about 18 months where I literally couldn't read. Easing myself back in with Gibson's The Peripheral. I like how it's kind of written like he knows like reality has caught up with him.
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Postby lefthandshake » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:53 pm

hey, i've been reading the peripheral too. once i resigned myself to the fact that he's never going to return to his neuromancer style of prose, i've been enjoying it and am glad that he's writing genuine sf again. wish that his made-up brands didn't have such flavo-fibes-ass names though
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Postby i_am_agriculture » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:32 pm

i_am_agriculture wrote:Image

I ended up with an extra copy of this book. Anyone here interested in it? If you're in the US, I'll mail it to you for free.

Lev Ozerov’s Portraits Without Frames offers fifty shrewd and moving glimpses into the lives of Soviet writers, composers, and artists caught between the demands of art and politics. Some of the subjects—like Anna Akhmatova, Isaac Babel, Andrey Platonov, and Dmitry Shostakovich—are well-known, others less so. All are evoked with great subtlety and vividness, as is the fraught and dangerous time in which they lived. Composed in free verse of deceptively artless simplicity, Ozerov’s portraits are like nothing else in Russian poetry.


I still have this if anyone wants it. Also have a spare copy of this:

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Postby warmhouse » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:29 am

question for people who have read the Caro LBJ books - is it cool if I just dive in to the later books, or will I be doing a disservice to myself by not reading them chronologically?
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:29 am

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Matei Brunul - Lucian Dan Teodorovici
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Postby ahungbunny » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:34 am

i am ag, i'll gladly take those if you still have 'em. can venmo you to cover media mail as well, pm me if so

currently reading children of time and it's fine
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Postby The Producer » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:11 am

warmhouse wrote:question for people who have read the Caro LBJ books - is it cool if I just dive in to the later books, or will I be doing a disservice to myself by not reading them chronologically?

yeah I just started on the second one

but powerbrokers the real priority! :ryan:
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Postby hadlex » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:31 am

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The laughing jumbo of Europe's gay spots.
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Postby HotFingersClub » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:19 am

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Richard Powers – The Overstory
This guy needs to relax a bit; he’s straining for profundity on every page and it’s a real bummer. Not a good novel.


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Joseph Brodsky – Watermark
I love Venice more than anywhere but didn’t get what I wanted out of this. Lots of people saying it’s “wonderfully evocative”. I got none of that and way too much of this:
I always adhered to the idea that God is time, or at least that His spirit is. Perhaps this idea was even of my own manufacture, but now I don’t remember. In any case, I always thought that if the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water, the water was bound to reflect it. Hence my sentiment for water, for its folds, wrinkles, and ripples, and – as I am a Northerner – for its grayness…



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Miranda July – The First Bad Man
Unexpectedly loved this. Spare, funny and very strange, like a cross between George Saunders and Muriel Spark. One of the best novels I’ve read recently.


Now:
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Jerome K. Jerome – Three Men in a Boat
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Postby dvr » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:42 am

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