What Are You Reading?

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#1
I know theres already the "last cd you bought/book you read" thread but I think we need one that is just strickly literary. ANYTHING GOES, as long as we're talking about the books you're currently reading.

so, with all that hoopla outa the way, what are you guys out there reading right now?

Use this to post reviews, info, or just anything about the current books you're reading.

I think this will be a good way for a lot of people to find out about writers that they would have otherwise never heard of.

Right now I'm reading: Chuck Palahniuk's "Invisible Monsters"
It's really an amazing book. I like how he jumps from setting to setting and situation to situation. He does it with a certain ease that is easy to keep up with so you don't get lost. Much like Vonnegut, although Palahniuk's writing is easier to understand and you don't get lost as much as you do with Vonnegut. Let's just say the man is good with his transitions.

Full review coming soon.
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#2
Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation.
Michael J. Hernandez, SQL Queries for Mere Mortals.

I highly recommend both, though neither may be particularly literary. ;)
 

Ninjerk

Over 100 posts
#6
The other day at Barnes & Noble (after an unsuccessful Xmas shopping trip to Best Buy) I bought myself The Game by Neil Strauss, Women, Ham on Rye, and (for only $10) The Book of Ten Rings by Miyamoto Muzashi (that's not the right name, at least not the second part which I think is his first name). I let my aunt get into Women (dammit), so I guess I'll be reading Ham on Rye since I finished The Game already.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
Over 500 posts
#7
i went to a public lecture the other week (not a customary experience - i've only been to one other, and that was yrs ago - Michael Tanner on Nietzsche.) and picked up a signed copy of AC Grayling'sThe form of things (Essays on life, ideas and liberty in the 21st century), which i've been dipping in and out of. it's the fifth in a series of essay collections, "miscellanies" - accessible, interesting, enlightening.
 
#8
Just finished Paul Bowles' Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue. Great travel book from early sixties and provides great insights into Islam. Not to mention, the man knows how to write. Also just finished reading a couple by Dan Fante, in my opinion he has to be considered a real and very good successor to Bukowski. Finally, am currently reading The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi (also wrote The Buddha of Suburbia). It's just ok.
 
#10
Having fun with Factotum again while waiting on my next three Bukowski books to arrive...

Donald Kagan's Peloponnesian War...good, smooth read by one of the best in his field (and a lot easier read than Thucydides).

Just finished The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz...I love true stories of Soviet gulags (ala Solzhenitsyn)- they turn a light on some of the darkness of our humanity, much more so than stories of the Holocoust, in my opinion (although Weisel's Night really did an outstanding job). This one is the first person telling of an escape in 1941 followed by a walk of roughly 3000 miles south to India and freedom that lasted slightly over a year. Amazing stuff, man, amazing stuff...I especially like the discussion of the "legal" processes the Soviets employed (Solzhenitzen was a master teller of such), makes me all warm and giddy inside about being a practicing member of a human society.

And of course, the Gordon's gin bottle label (no, not the Sapphire, just the "regular" dry gin- thought I'd splurge on the "good" stuff, being it's a new year and all).
 

bmcg

Founding member
#11
Love the old what are you reading threads, usually end up putting something on my "to read list'. I have just started Seizure Wet Dreams by Tony O'Neill, liking it very much. Read his first novel Digging the Vein which I thought was excellent "“ came to him via quote by Dan Fante "“ one of the ways I move from book to book or on to someone new to me "“ which was very complimentary.
 
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Ninjerk

Over 100 posts
#13
I tried to read Brave New World last night. I was supposed to read it my senior year of highschool. Upon stumbling through the first chapter I remember why.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#14
I finished Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters.

Now I'm gonna start Survivor, by the same author.

Also currently reading: Bukowski "Locked in the arms of a crazy life"
by howard sounes. I'm about 170 pages into it and boy oh boy is it a really amazing biography.

i like it very much.
review of Invisible Monsters coming soon.
 

bongobill

Over 100 posts
#15
087685479X.jpg


the story is a bit boring and slow
near the end now
hoping the effort pays off
kind of like a boring fuck
just hoping the orgasm will be good

regardless...very well written
 

bongobill

Over 100 posts
#17
hehehehe
you probably don't have them
as often as me
:D



btw
i just finished the book
the ending was tragic/sad
the main character was a pathetic idiot
seems he always made the wrong choices
right up to the end
 
#18
Moby Dick

When I first began I would sometimes catch myself wondering why...
the cliche of the snobs that it has become
BUT it truly is a strange book and I mean this in the most complimentary of ways; strangeness being, I believe, one of the seeds of that which makes a book or author become everlasting
Melville's voice is strange and the form/forms of the novel itself are strange too

also it got me to re-watch Aguirre, the Wrath of God by Werner Herzog, an excellent movie that I wouldn't recomend to everybody, but maybe to everybody on this site

cheers
 
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ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
#19
087685479X.jpg


the story is a bit boring and slow
near the end now
hoping the effort pays off
kind of like a boring fuck
just hoping the orgasm will be good

regardless...very well written
Very well written - but boring?
Not a contradiction? (I would have thought so)

I have not read it - so I'm actually asking.
 

bongobill

Over 100 posts
#20
yes, well written
mr. bowles descriptions of people, places, events, etc.
are done with great skill
example: the main character, nelson dyar
ingests a hallucinogen...and his description
translates the affect of the substance perfectly

the story drags on slowly
to and end that just seems
unfinished...

would i recommend it...sure
i'm looking forward to reading another of his books
'a sheltering sky' and a book of short stories are on the shelf
but they'll have to wait till i finish fante's 'ask the dust'

sorry
i'm not a good critic
not the master of the word
as some members of this forum are
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#21
bongobill, put sheltering sky at the top of your stack after fante. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 

justine

stop the penistry
Over 1000 posts
#22
aswell as the buk books i've mentioned elsewhere, i'm also reading Portnoy's Complaint by Phillip Roth (only 'cos i've heard it's full of filthy sex - flipping thru it i found a chapter entitled "Cunt Crazy", which completely sold me on the book), and i'm about to start Jeff Noon's novel "Automated Alice" for a paper i'm doing this semester on literature and media.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#24
I finished Sounes' Buk bio.

I'm also re-reading Palahniuk's Survivor
I highly recommend it.

Also, I'm working my way through The John Fante reader...
untill my copy of Dreams From Bunker Hill gets here.

and also,
Bukowski is always in rotation. I'm getting through Open All Night too.

I like to read lots of things. all the time.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
#25
i'm rereading factotum (will finish it tonight), and i'm flipping through last night of the earth and the bukowski/sheri martinelli letters at the same time... also reading vol. 2 of thus spake the corpse while i wait for vol. 1 in the mail. some of the stories are dumb, but there's a lot of good stuff in there... and since you can pick up a paper copy on abe for $5-$7, it's really worth it (it makes a great bathroom reader)... of course, i like it more than i thought i would, so now i want to get the special edition (happens with every black sparrow book i read). at least they're cheaper than bukowski books!
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
Over 500 posts
#26
caught the last episode yesterday (19th) of BBC radio 4's BOOK OF THE WEEK: HELLFIRE AND HERRING by CHRISTOPHER RUSH, and thought it worth mentioning here. it's autobiographical and centres on the author's childhood with his alcoholic father... the radio 4 website has a "listen again" feature.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Over 1000 posts
#27
Just started to re-read "The Monkey Wrench Gang." I first read it probably 25 years ago and really enjoyed it. Hoping I like it as much this time, now that I've entered my second childhood.
 
#28
Someone mentioned William Vollmann....

He's a gem for sure. Incredibly prolific, and I usually don't trust writers with that much to say, but he pulls it off, and well at that.

I started with 13 Stories and 13 Epitaphs and was off and running from there.

Objectively speaking, I think his article on the Taliban and Afghanistan is the most important thing he wrote; and his long chapter somewheres in the middle of The Royal Family on the ins and out of how the bail system works, should be required reading for any city dweller.

This guy is the real deal. No myth making here. When he writes about crackhead whores, he gets some rock and does his thing.

His Rising Up and Rising Down should be read by all of our current and potential power position people. But they won't. Not many will.
 
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