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  • #31
    I just finished Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen It was a good read.

    Before that I read The Laughing Sutra by Mark Salzman for the second time.
    Something...

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    • #32
      Oh and I've also got a book on back-order

      It's Craig Anderton's forthcoming release: 'Saul T. Nads - Remastered (an mp3 Nightmare)'


      a selection of my songs: https://soundcloud.com/songwriter101

      my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SaulTiberiusNads

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      • #33


        Pattern Recogntion - Gibson


        I really, really like that book--not because of Gibson's voice, and certainly not because of his gift for characterization, or lack thereof, but for his world-making muscle. It's an incredibly vivid "present," and incredibly cool take on semiotics and, what's his face, Dawkins and memes.

        I taught that book several times in an Honors Freshman Composition class, thinking they would recognize "their" world in its pages and be stunned by Gibson's vision. The students uniformly loathed it. No matter what I tried to reveal about its cultural theory underpinnings. Now, Nick Hornby, on the other hand, they adored. Sympathetic identification junkies...navel gazers.

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        • #34
          My favorite living writer is probably Jonathan Franzen, who's about due a new novel. If his recent story in the New Yorker fiction edition is any indication, it will be crushingly good. Crushingly. I almost can't live after I read this guy, which, I guess, is a good thing.

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          • #35
            Franzen's The Corrections was so merciless and funny. What an observant eye he trains on poor "ordinary" people. I can't help but wonder if he grew up on a steady diet of Evelyn Waugh.

            I admired the book, but it left me depressed. Such dysfunction - makes a Wes Anderson family look like the Brady Bunch. And it seemed unreal to me that, after so much self-destructive and in important cases, illegal/unethical hijinks, the consequences of such seemed to just sort of dissipate into thin air.

            Reading it for me was like watching one of those movies where you just can't really like anyone in the script, so your involvement gets hindered through lack of sympathy. Not the most objective of reactions - I could have missed the point I suppose.

            I assumed that the title The Corrections was borrowed from stock market lingo, meaning, after wild meanderings in unsustainable regions, the market is forced to "correct" itself. Bearing a certain analogy to the arc of the story line.

            I'd like to hear other takes on the book.

            nat whilk ii

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            • #36
              Franzen's The Corrections was so merciless and funny. What an observant eye he trains on poor "ordinary" people. I can't help but wonder if he grew up on a steady diet of Evelyn Waugh.

              I admired the book, but it left me depressed. Such dysfunction - makes a Wes Anderson family look like the Brady Bunch. And it seemed unreal to me that, after so much self-destructive and in important cases, illegal/unethical hijinks, the consequences of such seemed to just sort of dissipate into thin air.

              Reading it for me was like watching one of those movies where you just can't really like anyone in the script, so your involvement gets hindered through lack of sympathy. Not the most objective of reactions - I could have missed the point I suppose.

              I assumed that the title The Corrections was borrowed from stock market lingo, meaning, after wild meanderings in unsustainable regions, the market is forced to "correct" itself. Bearing a certain analogy to the arc of the story line.

              I'd like to hear other takes on the book.

              nat whilk ii


              I think your take is very fair. For me the depth and clarity of characterization in that novel is affirming, even if there is no redemption or growth or any similar "deliverable..."

              I think the title work on numerous levels--the one you observe; also, the pharamceutical theme--personality correction--and also a reference to the last minute corrections Chip tries to make to his screenplay before it is read by the producer.

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              • #37
                I would heartily recommend: "Yugos In the Mist: The Life and Times of Pink Floyd Cramer". However, it hasn't been written yet. But will guarantee a personally autographed copy if you would be so gracious as to pay-pal me $20.

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                • #38
                  For me the depth and clarity of characterization in that novel is affirming, even if there is no redemption or growth or any similar "deliverable..."


                  That's a statement the jist of which I don't think I've ever heard before....has set me thinking.

                  thinking....thinking...thinking....ok, yeah, here's what it makes me think:

                  If the depth and clarity of characterization is, in and of itself, affirming, then it makes we suspect that the zeitgeist Franzen is writing to/within is one of an overwhelming contemporary atmosphere of desperate loneliness.

                  And then it follows that here we have characters whose social alienation is so dominating, that the other more classic types of alienation (political, economic, intellectual) are secondary effects of the dominant social alienation - dragged along in the wake of the emotional trainwreck. Now that strikes me as a very contemporary mood.

                  Which notion helps me sympathize more easily with the characters. And dang, they were all so disconnected and related to each other from painful and pathetic tangents. I think you've got a better intuition on the book than I was capable of.

                  That would make him something of a literary heir to Camus>>Salinger>>Nathanael West maybe? With a big infusion of Updike in the style. Maybe not - I'm just a part-time amatuer book critic.

                  Anyway, thanks for the insight.

                  nat whilk ii

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                  • #39
                    That's a statement the jist of which I don't think I've ever heard before....has set me thinking.

                    thinking....thinking...thinking....ok, yeah, here's what it makes me think:

                    If the depth and clarity of characterization is, in and of itself, affirming, then it makes we suspect that the zeitgeist Franzen is writing to/within is one of an overwhelming contemporary atmosphere of desperate loneliness.

                    And then it follows that here we have characters whose social alienation is so dominating, that the other more classic types of alienation (political, economic, intellectual) are secondary effects of the dominant social alienation - dragged along in the wake of the emotional trainwreck. Now that strikes me as a very contemporary mood.

                    Which notion helps me sympathize more easily with the characters. And dang, they were all so disconnected and related to each other from painful and pathetic tangents. I think you've got a better intuition on the book than I was capable of.

                    That would make him something of a literary heir to Camus>>Salinger>>Nathanael West maybe? With a big infusion of Updike in the style. Maybe not - I'm just a part-time amatuer book critic.

                    Anyway, thanks for the insight.

                    nat whilk ii


                    I think you're all over it, thematically. But it is done with a light touch and a lot of humor. His story in a recent New Yorker is brutal, brutal but so so dead on again in terms of characterization and mingling intimate and social themes. I think it was called "The Neighborhood." I just thnk the guy's the sh*t.

                    Another unrelentingly bleak writer I like is Martin Amis. I know people who admire his language and his imagination but can stand the lack of sympathetuic characters and affirmation of anything (he's darker than Franzen, if anything).

                    This is not my world view, but somehow, for me, perception and language of that cailber is its own reward, to whatever ends it is applied.

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                    • #40
                      Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

                      This master is great at pointing out how to meditate and what its all about. Keeping your beginner's mind makes life continuously interesting and meaningful.
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">War is over if you want it.<br />
                      - John &amp; Yoko -<br />
                      <br />
                      Nothing fails like success. <br />
                      - Alan Watts - (based on <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra" target="_blank">Samsara</a>)<br />
                      <br />
                      &quot;I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.&quot;<br />
                      -Thomas Edison, in conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, 1931-</div>

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                      • #41
                        This year, I am preparing for upcoming trips to Spain and Mexico....so doing a lot of reading on Madrid, Seville and the Yucatan. Do a lot of reading on photography and highly recommend Freeman's "The Photographer's Eye." That is a decent book on a difficult subject and not everyone will like his treatment. For "fun" (actually these are all fun) I am reading Agincourt: A Novel by B. Cornwell.....my favorite historical author. I have read everything he wrote except (oddly) his most famous series...Sharpe. Oh yeah, reading some software synth manuals too!

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                        • #42
                          How about reading HR 3200. Go straight to the part about "Shared Responsibility".

                          http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text

                          This is a really fun bill.
                          YOUTUBE

                          France

                          Murika

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                          • #43
                            Brief history of time : from the big bang to black holes - Stephen Hawking -I read a page a day and then go curl up in a ball to berate myself on my lack of intellect.


                            A Briefer History of Time - Just to see if Briefer for dummies is for me...and it ain't.

                            Rumors of Spring - Richard Grant - Life in the world after nature has had enough of man and gets...'testy'. 2nd read through.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">The affairs of state must take precedence over the um - uh, affairs of State - <b>Gov. William J. Le Petomane</b></div>

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