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Author Topic: BOOKS: Frankie's prose is finer than a pot of gold, say I  (Read 15674 times)

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bitter pill

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BOOKS: Frankie's prose is finer than a pot of gold, say I
« on: May 23, 2007, 05:52:23 PM »
There's a thread for music, how about one for books?

What are you reading right now? What's on your summer reading list?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 10:35:32 PM by bitter pill »

Angryhaiku

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Re: Books
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2007, 06:09:12 PM »
Oooh! Yay, books. Good thread idea!

I'm just reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Joke (The Joke really really makes me want to write a Jim-and-Pam-living-under-a-totalitarian-regime-AU, but I'm just not literate or ambitious enough to try.) at the same time, which is a really disorienting transition between sweet sentimentalism and perfect anti-sentiment.

Before that, I read Then We Came To the End (about life in an office!), which was great for the first 200 pages, and then completely fell apart.

What should I read when I'm finished with these two?
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Morning Angel

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Re: Books
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2007, 06:11:40 PM »
Oh, good idea.

I just finished reading David Sedaris's "Me Talk Pretty One Day", which is so funny.  It was perfect reading while waiting at the bus stop! :)  Now, I want to finish Thomas Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem", which I had started during my Christmas holidays, and a book in French on fair trade coffee, which I had started last summer.  They're both half read as is a large portion of books in my bookcase.  I get sidetracked so often by grad school; it takes me forever to get through non-school books.

ETA: How are you liking One Hundred Years of Solitude so far, Angryhaiku?  I haven't read it, but have always been intrigued by it...
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 06:18:44 PM by Morning Angel »
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Angryhaiku

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Re: Books
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2007, 06:33:57 PM »
ETA: How are you liking One Hundred Years of Solitude so far, Angryhaiku?  I haven't read it, but have always been intrigued by it...

I'm really of two minds about it: 90% of the time I'm completely in love with it, and that last nagging 10% I want to throw it across the room. (I had that problem with Love In the Time of Cholera, too.) I love magical realism to begin with -- it's like fairy tales, but for grown-ups! (heh, kind of like Jim and Pam) -- but I'm having a lot of problems with the different cultural norms. I know it's really Euro-centric of me, but I can't handle the misogyny.

What I'm trying (inarticulately!) to say is, I like it, but I'd recommend Rushdie (esp. Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses) more strongly.

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bitter pill

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Re: Books
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2007, 06:37:13 PM »
Before that, I read Then We Came To the End (about life in an office!), which was great for the first 200 pages, and then completely fell apart.
I was specifically going to ask if any Office fans had read this book, since it seemed to be an office of crazy characters, but I never make it over to the Chili's thread on TWoP. I started reading some of it in Border's. Good to know I can leave that one on the shelf.

I'm reading Consider the Lobster and Eudora Welty's The Ponder Heart (I'm a bit of a Southern Lit fan) at the moment, though should be done with both pretty soon. I've got a few unread books on the shelf, but I'm looking for suggestions, too.

I get sidetracked so often by grad school; it takes me forever to get through non-school books.
I hear you. When I finished my first fiction book in over a year when I took a break from grad school, I was so completely giddy and inspired. I was a Lit-major for a while and really missed creative reading. Textbooks, technical books and stacks and stacks of journal articles just leave little room (and eye power) for other types of reading.

Angryhaiku

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Re: Books
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2007, 06:45:03 PM »
I was specifically going to ask if any Office fans had read this book, since it seemed to be an office of crazy characters, but I never make it over to the Chili's thread on TWoP. I started reading some of it in Border's. Good to know I can leave that one on the shelf.

It's almost worth reading as an example of the Joss Whedon axiom, "The problem with the third act is the first two acts." It is *so much fun,* and the characters are mostly likable and all entertaining, and there's an office romance!, and I love the group voice thing, but the whole time, in the back of your mind, you're going and how does this end?. The answer is, crappily.
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Morning Angel

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Re: Books
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2007, 07:03:29 PM »
Quote
I know it's really Euro-centric of me, but I can't handle the misogyny.

I have a real problem with that too so thanks for the heads up.  It might still go on my long, long reading list.

Quote
What I'm trying (inarticulately!) to say is, I like it, but I'd recommend Rushdie (esp. Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses) more strongly.

Cool.

Quote
P.S.: I love your icon so, so much.

I'd figure I wouldn't mind seeing this all summer so it seemed like a good plan for an icon.  ;D

You make me think talking about hating misogyny and Joss Whedon in this same thread... I've never watched any of these shows, but someone gave me a link to a blog entry he wrote denouncing violence towards women.  That was a great entry, and it is nice to see men speaking out as well.
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Angryhaiku

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Re: Books
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 07:44:21 PM »
You make me think talking about hating misogyny and Joss Whedon in this same thread... I've never watched any of these shows, but someone gave me a link to a blog entry he wrote denouncing violence towards women.  That was a great entry, and it is nice to see men speaking out as well.

Thank you so, so much for that link. I love Whedon because he really, honestly believes that women are people to the same degree that men are people, and it's nice to be reminded that there are those kind of people every once in a while.

The state of sly misogyny in culture -- American and other -- is so frustrating. I just got a rejection letter from an agent who suggested that my children's fiction might be more marketable if the main character were a boy instead of a girl, because boys won't read stories about girls but girls will read stories about boys, which just seems like a perfect articulation of feminine being both other and inferior. And Buffy is so amazingly feminist -- she's strong but not masculine; powerful and interesting and deeply human. Um, wow, I got off topic; sorry. Thanks for the link!

Okay, books. I just read and loved Alan Alda's autobiography, Absurdistan, the Artemis Fowl books (I sure am alliterative!), The People of Paper, King Leopold's Ghost, and Nickel and Dimed. I'd strongly recommend all of them, but The People of Paper is not really beach reading.
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Re: Books
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 02:11:06 PM »
I have to second David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty One Day - it's hysterical.  In fact I have all his books; I just love him.  I saw him when he appeared here in Columbus last fall; it was just another thing to love about JK when I found out he saw Sedaris while in the Carolinas.... 

If you like Sedaris you'll probably also love Sarah Vowell - her latest is Assassination Vacation.  Her obsession with presidental assassins is totally funnier than it might sound.  She's very dry, like Sedaris - but can bring me to tears. 


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Morning Angel

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Re: Books
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2007, 03:09:24 PM »
Quote
If you like Sedaris you'll probably also love Sarah Vowell - her latest is Assassination Vacation.  Her obsession with presidental assassins is totally funnier than it might sound.  She's very dry, like Sedaris - but can bring me to tears. 

She is great the few times I saw her on The Daily Show.  I always forget to pick up her books... I should do that.

I also borrowed the audiobooks for "Dress Your Family in Corduroys and Jeans" and "Naked"  from the library.  It is the kind of material that works so well with him reading and mimicking the voices of different people.  His sister Amy also read on "Naked".  It was great.
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Re: Books
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2007, 03:35:00 AM »
I laughed my ass off at Me Talk Pretty One Day. Another really funny one is Holidays on Ice, a book of short holiday-themed stories by Sedaris. The funniest one, if you've worked in retail, is about David's time as a Macy's elf at Christmas. I was working in retail at the time and nearly wet myself I laughed so much.

Some books I just have to generally recommend:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Virgin Suicides
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls


Right now I'm reading Seizure by Robin Cook. I LOVE Medical Thrillers.
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Morning Angel

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Re: Books
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2007, 10:25:51 AM »
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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mmmm...One of my top 5 favourite books of all time.

Other of my favourite books:

- Life of Pi by Yann Martel  The storytelling in that book was just brilliant.

- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi  It's about repression of freedom in Iran, but more importantly, it is about a literature professor sharing her love of books.  It really inspired me to read classics after that.  I read Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Emma, The Heart of Darkness, and I started Tender is The Night and Anna Karenina because I was so inspired and curious after reading that book.

- Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.  I read that book a few years ago and thought it was a brilliant explanation of why populations developed they way they did.

- Microserfs by Douglas Coupland.  I need to read JPod, one of his recent books that is supposedly in the same vein as Microserfs, but I have been disappointed with his most recent books so I haven't rushed to get it.
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Re: Books
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2007, 11:38:25 AM »
Has anyone else read anything by John Marsden? (Tomorrow series... Winter... Letters From The Inside?)
They are just simply amazing, so wonderful.... usually kinda a heavy subject matter, so, if you don't like that kind of stuff.

I am such a nerd, but generally, for fun, I have a tendency to read science non fiction books. Like, I am totally looking forward to reading Genome. I have read DNA detectives, and there were a few others like that that are just amazing.

Other fictiony books I am going to read this summer are The Christopher Killer, At Risk, and Just Listen.

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Re: Books
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2007, 04:17:24 PM »
Working on a whole stack of books right now:

--The Moments, Lost by Bruce Olds. Coming-of-age novel by a master prose stylist, set in the pre-WWI era and dealing with the early days of the Mine Workers Union.

--The TV Writer's Workbook by Ellen Sandler. If you have any ambitions in this area, or just want to know how The Office gets written/produced, this is the one book to buy.

--On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Inspired by all those Mean magazine covers with JK, which IMO is a complete homage to the father of Beat prose.
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Re: Books
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2007, 04:24:18 PM »
You make me think talking about hating misogyny and Joss Whedon in this same thread... I've never watched any of these shows, but someone gave me a link to a blog entry he wrote denouncing violence towards women.  That was a great entry, and it is nice to see men speaking out as well.

Oh. My. God. I went and read his blog and followed those links. I want to throw something. Thanks for the links, MA. I have now forgiven Whedon for killing off Wash in Serenity. He's totally right--someone has to do something.
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