Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 13 Dec 2017, 7:35pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:17pm
Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:07pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:04pm
Bedtime book, starting tonight:
Image
I mentioned a few weeks ago seeing the movie for the first time and being totally captured by the romance of it all, so I'm going to give the original book a shot.
I've wanted to find an audiobook of that for a while.
I just looked on audible.com and it's not there, which makes me suspect that an audio version doesn't exist (or has never been digitized).
Yeah, think I've looked for one there before. Guess I'll just use my eyes some day, like a chump.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Kory » 13 Dec 2017, 8:24pm

Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 7:35pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:17pm
Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:07pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:04pm
Bedtime book, starting tonight:
Image
I mentioned a few weeks ago seeing the movie for the first time and being totally captured by the romance of it all, so I'm going to give the original book a shot.
I've wanted to find an audiobook of that for a while.
I just looked on audible.com and it's not there, which makes me suspect that an audio version doesn't exist (or has never been digitized).
Yeah, think I've looked for one there before. Guess I'll just use my eyes some day, like a chump.
Coming out in February:
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 13 Dec 2017, 8:34pm

Kory wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 8:24pm
Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 7:35pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:17pm
Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:07pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:04pm
Bedtime book, starting tonight:
Image
I mentioned a few weeks ago seeing the movie for the first time and being totally captured by the romance of it all, so I'm going to give the original book a shot.
I've wanted to find an audiobook of that for a while.
I just looked on audible.com and it's not there, which makes me suspect that an audio version doesn't exist (or has never been digitized).
Yeah, think I've looked for one there before. Guess I'll just use my eyes some day, like a chump.
Coming out in February:
Perfect, I'll wait til then. It's just the exact kind of book I want read to me while I do other activites.
Ain't no man in this land
Who gets up and works for fifty grand


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 31 Dec 2017, 3:54pm

Tub books the past week was re-reading Matt Beaumont's three E novels (well, two novels and a novella). Still amusing epistolary stories consisting of e-mails, blog posts, and texts between members of a cynical London ad agency. The characters are broadly drawn stereotypes, but the humour is more silly than sharp, so it works.

One episode left in Ken Burns' Vietnam War documentary, so I decided to revisit a book that I last read in the early 90s.
Image

I remember liking it a great deal and as far as I know it's still well regarded.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 01 Jan 2018, 6:35pm

36) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin. Fascinating fantasy that I'm going to be talking about in further depth in the future. Audiobook, completed December 30th. I got a kick of taking the Count from Sesame st.'s approach to my leisure reading this year, going to continue to number all the books I finish in 2018.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 02 Jan 2018, 12:00pm

Finally finished Kurt Andersen's Fantasyland this morning. It's a book whose evidence is compelling but the underlying argument less so. Yes, one can roll their eyes and wince at the devolution into conspiracies, quack medicine, loopier forms of religion, and alternative facts narcissism that has gained traction in the US in the last couple decades. But there's an underlying smugness to it all that suggests, "Trust the liberal technocrats." Clear-eyed liberalism is the way to go, to insulate society from the crazy dreamers. Well, okay, but it was crazy dreamers who led abolitionism and worker's rights and environmentalist causes, etc etc. As well, there's a deep problem about causation that Andersen sidesteps. The fantasist impulse is built right into America's founding, with the Puritans in New England and the treasure hunters in the south, and all follows from there. The problem is: explain Canada. How come Canada doesn't go the loopy route? Whenever theories about America are put forth that see some significance in its founding, it's rare to assess why that other set of British colonies is seemingly different. Not saying that there isn't a plausible hypothesis in all that to explain the differences, but given that Canada and the US have fairly common origins, if you want to assert something fundamental about one, you have to consider the other. So, in the end, chunks of the book may entertain and provide a kind of a therapeutic frustration about the dopiness around us, it's a limited argument.

Onto this:
Image

I read a huge anthology of Beaumont five or six years ago, and I'm not sure of the exact contents of this, but the guy was entertaining as hell, while delivering strong morality plays, often on the theme of life in a mass society.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 02 Jan 2018, 6:33pm

I'll have to get that Beaumont book. I return to Matheson's short stories all the time.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 02 Jan 2018, 6:57pm

Silent Majority wrote:
02 Jan 2018, 6:33pm
I'll have to get that Beaumont book. I return to Matheson's short stories all the time.
If you're looking for a text version, the Beaumont collection I have is called The Howling Man and has about three-dozen short stories.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 05 Jan 2018, 11:29am

This Maltese Falcon audiobook kicks arse because the reader is doing spot on Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet impersonations for the appropriate characters. I keep thinking of the Simpsons' "Oh crap! I certainly shouldn't have said it was... illegal."
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 08 Jan 2018, 6:45pm

1) The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett. Audiobook. It's somewhat unfair to compare Hammett to Chandler, because it feels as though Hammett invented a lot of the foundations that Chandler would move into two and a half dimensions. Once I got past the feeling that an element was missing, I was able to enjoy this a good deal. The plot was a lot more fun than the arbitrary maze that Marlowe would get pushed through. Spade is an unlikable dick. The most interesting character is the gay dude that Peter Lorre would play in the movie adaptation and he's the one I wish we were following, but that's not the reason to read a thriller from 1929. Trashy boyish japes with the retrograde "tough" attitudes that I can just about tolerate in this context.

2) Anarchy - Errico Malatesta. A short essay which came to me in book form, this is a handy introduction to anarchist ideas where I'm shocked again and again how relevant words railing against the ruling classes remain a century on. His condemnation of authoritarian socialism is also appreciated, written, as it was, before even the Russian Revolution. A real treat.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 08 Jan 2018, 8:45pm

Silent Majority wrote:
08 Jan 2018, 6:45pm
1) The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett. Audiobook. It's somewhat unfair to compare Hammett to Chandler, because it feels as though Hammett invented a lot of the foundations that Chandler would move into two and a half dimensions. Once I got past the feeling that an element was missing, I was able to enjoy this a good deal. The plot was a lot more fun than the arbitrary maze that Marlowe would get pushed through. Spade is an unlikable dick. The most interesting character is the gay dude that Peter Lorre would play in the movie adaptation and he's the one I wish we were following, but that's not the reason to read a thriller from 1929. Trashy boyish japes with the retrograde "tough" attitudes that I can just about tolerate in this context.
I honestly can't say whether I prefer the novel or the movie. They're both fantastic. It's a romance novel for guys (all hard-boiled and noir novels are, really). Appreciating the historical context of men feeling emasculated (especially important for noir published in the 1950s, when white collar work begins to predominate the cultural norm) helps emphasize what a fantasy these novels represent. (Avoid like the plague the prequel novel Spade and Archer that came out about ten years ago. Total trash.)
Endut! Hoch Hech!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 10 Jan 2018, 10:37am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
08 Jan 2018, 8:45pm
Silent Majority wrote:
08 Jan 2018, 6:45pm
1) The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett. Audiobook. It's somewhat unfair to compare Hammett to Chandler, because it feels as though Hammett invented a lot of the foundations that Chandler would move into two and a half dimensions. Once I got past the feeling that an element was missing, I was able to enjoy this a good deal. The plot was a lot more fun than the arbitrary maze that Marlowe would get pushed through. Spade is an unlikable dick. The most interesting character is the gay dude that Peter Lorre would play in the movie adaptation and he's the one I wish we were following, but that's not the reason to read a thriller from 1929. Trashy boyish japes with the retrograde "tough" attitudes that I can just about tolerate in this context.
I honestly can't say whether I prefer the novel or the movie. They're both fantastic. It's a romance novel for guys (all hard-boiled and noir novels are, really). Appreciating the historical context of men feeling emasculated (especially important for noir published in the 1950s, when white collar work begins to predominate the cultural norm) helps emphasize what a fantasy these novels represent. (Avoid like the plague the prequel novel Spade and Archer that came out about ten years ago. Total trash.)
That's where the fun is - that hyper competent wish fulfilment.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 10 Jan 2018, 1:00pm

Finally finished The Right Stuff last night (kept getting distracted by other things). Quite good, generating both the romance of the early astronauts and poking holes in it. I'd say the movie is better, tho.

Image
Starting this tonight. It's a fictionalized account of the year that Orwell isolated himself on an island off of Scotland and wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four. I've heard good things about it, so giving it a shot.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 11 Jan 2018, 7:49pm

3) Fire & Fury - Michael Wolff. Audiobook. This rundown of the first chunk of the Trump presidency feels like history as gossip. Lots of unsourced, off the record parts which add up to confirm what lots of us just simply assume its like in the White House. I found it useful (and very readable) as a way to get a refresher on the extremely wearing 2017 US political scene. Bannon is a scumbag but he comes off as the only one of these pampered children with any drive or wit - albeit a white supremacist who should hurry up and choke on whatever antifreeze he's chugging.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jan 2018, 8:25pm

Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 7:49pm
3) Fire & Fury - Michael Wolff. Audiobook. This rundown of the first chunk of the Trump presidency feels like history as gossip. Lots of unsourced, off the record parts which add up to confirm what lots of us just simply assume its like in the White House. I found it useful (and very readable) as a way to get a refresher on the extremely wearing 2017 US political scene. Bannon is a scumbag but he comes off as the only one of these pampered children with any drive or wit - albeit a white supremacist who should hurry up and choke on whatever antifreeze he's chugging.
I obtained a copy of the eBook for family members who are salivating for it, but I don't have great passion to read it myself. It might be entertaining, but I get terribly depressed when I think too long about dystopic normal. I had a student today ask me what I thought about the book and I inelegantly deflected because we're too early into the course for me to come off as despairing or otherwise unhinged (once the course evaluations are done, tho …!).

(Side note: First lecture today, about Truman and the early Cold War, and I got a distinct impression that people thought I was being unfair to Stalin for calling him paranoid and the Communists as maybe kinda pretty awful in seizing control of Eastern Europe and trying to starve out Berlin. This is going to be so much fun if students think I'm some kind of right-winger!)
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