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  What Book Are You Currently Reading? (search mode)
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 334589 times)
Gustaf
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« on: December 24, 2010, 06:30:10 pm »

For Christmas I'm reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. The last book I read was The Feast of the Goat (I think that's the English title) by Vargas Llosa. I'm working on my contemporary literature credentials.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2010, 05:00:23 pm »

Finished Freedom. Pretty amazing stuff. I recommend it highly.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 05:45:08 pm »

The last book I read was A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo. A funny, interesting book. 
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Gustaf
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 04:20:46 am »

I'm now reading Hunger by Knud Hamsun, the Norwegian author. It's the current book of the Literary Society of my university.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 04:05:24 pm »

I'm now reading Hunger by Knud Hamsun, the Norwegian author. It's the current book of the Literary Society of my university.

Despite being over a century old, it is ridiculous how accurate to the experience it describes the book is in places. Pity about the author, you know, being a Nazi and all that.

Yeah, that aspect of Hamsun is obviously less palatable. Although from what I recall reading about it he wasn't really a Nazi by Hitler standards, but more of a general conservative fellow who was too naive to bother with what the Nazis were actually up to.

But it's always good to remember that great artists don't necessarily have any political judgement. At all.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 05:14:36 am »

I'm reading Soldier's Pay by William Faulkner.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 08:18:20 am »

Breakfast of Champions really is Vonnegut at his best, isn't it? I've always thought Slaughterhouse Five was pretty stale, so perhaps I should apply the term 'overrated' to it, much as I despise people who use that word with ease.

That almost makes you a horrible person.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 03:22:29 am »
« Edited: July 16, 2011, 02:28:10 pm by Gustaf »

Breakfast of Champions really is Vonnegut at his best, isn't it? I've always thought Slaughterhouse Five was pretty stale, so perhaps I should apply the term 'overrated' to it, much as I despise people who use that word with ease.

That almost makes you a horrible person.



Not sufficiently liking Slaughterhouse Five? Or liking Breakfast of Champions?

Not sufficiently liking Slaughterhouse Five.

In other news, my recent reads are Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Jerusalem by Selma Lagerlöf.

The former was pretty good and an easier read than The Waves, for sure. Jerusalem was wonderful, but then again Selma is always wonderful. Definitely my favourite Swedish author.

Currently I'm reading I Am A Cat by Soseki Natsume. Pretty good so far.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 02:28:37 pm »

My favorite Vonnegut was always Cat's Cradle.

Currently this. Before that I reread Cristo si è fermato a Eboli (after a long long time) and simultaneously The People of the Abyss. Both in German.

Have you read the cat-book I'm reading? You like cats, correct?
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Gustaf
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 11:38:21 am »

I finished I Am A Cat. Very good. My most recent read was a weird book by Italo Calvino, called Cosmicomics. Very interesting but also rather strange. Calvino is really shooting up on my list of favourite writers.

Also, commenting on other stuff, Dostoyevski is hardly grim. If you want grim you should read Zola. Then again, Tolstoy is definitely more positive than him. If you want a less depressing Russian I'd think Bulgakov might be a good choice as well.

Madame Bovary on the other hand...talk about depressing. It makes even Dostoyevski's Demons seem lighthearted...
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Gustaf
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2011, 06:27:55 am »

I am reading The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2011, 02:46:04 am »

Is it legal to read Mein Kampf in Germany?
Yes... but it's illegal to publish without the consent of the copyright holder. Who happens to be the state of Bavaria, and not in the habit of consenting to anything of the sort. So you'd have to purchase used - which is perfectly legal - or have inherited some pre-45 copy. Or just import from somewhere, such as Britain or America or, well, most of the world, that doesn't recognize Bavaria's rather dubious claim to ownership of the copyright. (Turkey recognizes it, for instance... as a means to ban the book without officially banning it.) Will expire in 2016 (70 years after Hitler was officially declared dead), anyhow. What they'll do after that, I dunno.
Attempts to have the book put on the Index (which would ban any but over-the-counter sales, ostensibly to protect the youth) or declare its content seditious (and thus distribution illegal) have been made in the past and failed - the latter paragraphs are so tightly drawn that virtually nothing can be banned under them. Which I think is due to court interpretations aimed at not having to declare the law unconstitutional.


I thought Mein Kampf sold pretty well in Turkey a few years back?

Anyway, I am currently reading Blood Meridian.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 06:41:57 pm »

Nana by Emile Zola. Looking to be about as depressing as every other Zola.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2011, 07:38:18 pm »

Finished Nana. Favourite Zola so far. The fact that it's the upper classes going to hell makes it easier to laugh at the absurdity of their behaviour instead of feeling nauseated.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 06:54:35 pm »

'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole

Approve

Greatly Approve. Obvious influence on Opebo there.

was recommended to me by my half-brother, who named his dog Ignatius in honor.

Fantastic novel, I loved it.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2012, 05:54:05 am »

The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen. Great book, although I prefer Freedom so far. Interesting development of his style when you compare them.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 07:04:11 am »

Finished The Corrections, which was good but a bit depressing. Then I read The Imperfectionists.

Now, it is time for Heidegger if the plan holds up.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 08:18:19 am »

I'm reading War With the Newts by Capek.

Fascinating and pretty funny book. Also read his play, R.U.R.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2012, 06:14:33 pm »

Does anyone have any good suggestions that I could bring up for the next meeting of my international book club? The last book we read was a looping polemic that turned out to have been chosen solely so that the libertarians in the club could use it as a jumping off point to spread their gospel. The next book is Niall Ferguson's "The West and the Rest", and I can already tell that I won't like it. I desperately need to be equipped with a good suggestion the next time around. We want some more women to attend the book club so ideally it would be a book that would attract some more women. I am thinking of Nicholas Kristoff's 'Half the Sky' but I wonder if that is too explicitly feminist. Another book that I like is Mara Hvistendahl's 'Unnatural Selection'.

8 women on a train was in our book club once. Horrible book, yes, but international and feminist. Wink
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Gustaf
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2012, 08:10:14 am »

there's nothing wrong with Krugman, except that he is limited.  it is without argument a good thing that he and Stiglitz (among others) emerged as a neo-Keynesian counterweight during the neoliberal grand slam era of the 90s.  but he basically beats concepts into the ground, ruing the fact that policymakers don't listen... and herein lies the limitation: he has no serious understanding of why neoliberal policies persist, no functioning theory of state power is deployed in his work.  this is likely a product of the absolute taboo on Marxian thought within economics in academia.

Saying there's a taboo on Marxian thought in economics is like saying there is a taboo on Ptolemy thought in astronomy.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2012, 08:54:55 am »


I have Crime and Punishment and The Secret History as summer reading for AP Literature. Thoughts on these?

Crime and Punishment is one of the most amazing books I've ever had the pleasure to read (though, now that I've read The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment needed a bit of a demotion).  IMO, Dostoyevsky ranks with Goethe and Shakespeare on my very short list of authors who truly understand and can vividly depict the inner workings of the human mind.

Yes. I aim to finish my Tolstoy short stories and then move to Pynchon.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2012, 03:27:49 am »

I finished my Tolstoy short stories and now I'm about to finish a book called In Praise of Older Women. I made a deal with a female friend that we would recommend and lend each other a book and read until our next encounter. She gave me that, which is a strange Hungarian book chronicling a man's sexual adventures with older women, basically. A fun read but a bit weird.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2012, 08:58:22 am »

Just began Shame by Salman Rushdie. Very entertaining read so far.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2012, 04:59:42 am »

I finished my Tolstoy short stories and now I'm about to finish a book called In Praise of Older Women. I made a deal with a female friend that we would recommend and lend each other a book and read until our next encounter. She gave me that, which is a strange Hungarian book chronicling a man's sexual adventures with older women, basically. A fun read but a bit weird.

That sounds right up my alley.  Is your friend an Older Woman?  Perhaps she's sending you a not-so-subtle hint.

I'm currently reading one of Somerset Maugham's lesser works - The Magician.

Yeah, I think it safe to say that you'd like it. It's not misogynistic though, which is what made is possible for me to enjoy it.

She is an older woman, yes. Tongue She is a quite strange person though. She invited me to come visit her at some point when I happened to be nearby (we normally live in different cities) and as we were having tea together she asked me if I had had expected to sleep with her upon coming there. I was very awkward and taken aback and sort of just muttered things and then she said that she would have but currently was in a too complicated situation to allow for an extra lover. Tongue

But that was 6 months ago, so I guess things might have changed.
Just began Shame by Salman Rushdie. Very entertaining read so far.
Oh yes.

So, I've finished it and thought it was pretty awesome. I happened to be in a book store yesterday to buy a gift for my dad and stumbled upon several Rushdie books that I very spontaneously bought. What did you think of it and how do you interpret it?

As a side note having had a taste of his sarcasm (this was my first Rushdie) I totally understand that he would get a fatwa against him. The man is a total asshole. And I mean that in the good way.

------------------

Latest is that I'm reading Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene. Awesome read so far, highly entertaining.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2012, 06:51:07 am »

Our Man in Havana is DONE. Now on to something else, haven't decided what yet though.
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