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read any good books lately...

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Toaster Mantis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2015 at 09:58
this is what I'm reading now...


Essay collection by this post-modern novelist, where he goes through several classics of Western literature from the Odyssee up to the 20th century examining why they're relevant today: Not just through their influence on literary history and how they reflect the cultural social context of the time + place they were written in, but also how the insights found in the stories are relevant to human society today.

As usual Calvino is a pleasure to read, kind of like his countryman Umberto Eco though his sense of humour is a degree sillier and less dry.


Edited by Toaster Mantis - November 25 2015 at 13:11
"The past is not some static being, it is not a previous present, nor a present that has passed away; the past has its own dynamic being which is constantly renewed and renewing." - Claire Colebrook
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldFriede Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2015 at 04:28


Quite a disturbing but fascinating read. The story has many twists and turns, and the two main characters (two women) as well as their relationship are definitely unusual. I really loved it, but I can certainly understand why some people who read it hated it; it is definitely a weird story and not for the faint of heart.








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2015 at 08:47
decided to get into a good fantasy series after all the crap going down everywhere....on the third book in the series......
 
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Toaster Mantis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2015 at 10:28
I need to get around to reading more Zelazny one of these days, though I don't read anywhere as much SF/F as I used to  - being more into the crime/horror genres now. I mean, he's after Michael Moorcock probably the author who's inspired the most Hawkwind lyrics...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2015 at 14:12
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I need to get around to reading more Zelazny one of these days, though I don't read anywhere as much SF/F as I used to  - being more into the crime/horror genres now. I mean, he's after Michael Moorcock probably the author who's inspired the most Hawkwind lyrics...

I'm a fan of his and have read most of his novels though I did this over 30 years ago so I thought I would reread the 9 Princes In Amber which is considered one of the all time great fantasy series.
I did not know that Hawkwind used any Zelazny ideas.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2015 at 05:23
Done with Calvino's Why Read the Classics: That book's biggest asset to me has been discovering a lot of classic Italian literature from the Middle Ages to now that isn't as well known in Northern Europe as the "usual suspects" of Ariosto, Boccaccio, Dante etc.

Right now I'm reading:


Very different from the popular image of the Frankenstein story - I think out of the film adaptations, it's only Kenneth Branagh's 1994 version which sticks that much to the novel and I can already tell even that one is way Hollywoodized. Like a lot of Victorian-era British literature, it's overflowing with philosophical considerations and bombastic prose constantly taking plot twists into completely different directions and "narrative within a narrative within a narrative" framing devices. Then consider how short the novel is, and reading it becomes quite the experience.

I also noticed how Mary Shelley spends much more time on the moral and philosophical implications of what's going on than the actual details... how the monster is brought to life isn't spelled out in detail very much, but there is way more getting into both the heads of Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created in order to explain why they make the decisions they do than in any film adaptation.



A biography of the band written by two roadies who were with Black Sabbath from back when they were still called Earth: There's not so much information about the recording processes of their classic records, but there's plenty of so-embarassing-they're-hilarious anecdotes from touring as well as plenty of revealing insight into the cultural landscape and internal divisions in the UK rock scene back in the 1970s.
"The past is not some static being, it is not a previous present, nor a present that has passed away; the past has its own dynamic being which is constantly renewed and renewing." - Claire Colebrook
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2016 at 21:08
Finished this guy last week. I thought it would just be a fun read where I could feel good about myself laughing at some post-modern pseudo-science nonsense. While I did get to do plenty of that, it's also a rather earnest plea from the two authors. Essential this is a book long elaboration of what Alan Sokal did with his hoax (if anyone even remembers that anymore).

Anyway it was very good and something that I think maybe Pat and Dean among a few others here would really enjoy.

My favorite bit of nonsense included came from Alain Badiou.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2016 at 22:48
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Superb view of the slow but devious rise of spymaster and CIA Chief Allen Dulles alongside brother John Foster, Secretary of State, from the end of WWll and Dulles' backroom dealings with Nazi intelligence men to his careful manipulation of U.S. foreign policy through Eisenhower.   Great reading from Dave Talbot.





The utterly hair-raising White House tapes made by JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 during daily talks with his Chiefs of Staff is harrowing stuff.   One of the most important records ever made of war ~ and world ~ history.





Edited by Atavachron - January 04 2016 at 00:22
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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