What are you reading?

Discussion regarding other bands, movies, etc.
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dannyboy
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Re: What are you reading?

#201 Post by dannyboy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:14 am

I stole my sister’s copy of The Sellout by Paul Beatty over Christmas. Pummelled it in a few days which is much faster than I normally go!

It’s set in LA and is about racial politics within a mostly black and Hispanic town.

It was really funny and superbly written. It won the Bookerman Prize I the UK last year so don’t just take my word for it!

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/ ... prize-2016

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Larry B.
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Re: What are you reading?

#202 Post by Larry B. » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:45 am

I've recently read Johan Cruyff's autobiography. Really good read, I'd recommend it if you're interested in all things football.

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Re: What are you reading?

#203 Post by wally » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:14 am

I was a big Steven King fan when I was young but had never read the dark tower series. When the movie was coming out i decided I should read the books. Had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time. I just finished the last of the original 7 books. Something like 4000 pages. Now that the movie was largely panned, I'm not super interested in seeing it. I did enjoy the books even though cowboy sci fi has never been my thing.

I just started reading Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
synopsis below

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.

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SR
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Re: What are you reading?

#204 Post by SR » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:09 pm

I've had this for months....and could not bring myself to read......now I am....2 weeks before fury

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/20 ... ident.html

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SR
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Re: What are you reading?

#205 Post by SR » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:16 pm

But this was good....

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/f ... nt-w461390

A real take down of both sides with a real view of the insanity of the trump supporters

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chaos
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Re: What are you reading?

#206 Post by chaos » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:32 am

I just finished The Cloister by James Carroll. This is the first piece of fiction I've read by him. I highly recommend it.

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https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Book-Re ... orgiveness

'The Cloister' probes deeply into matters of faith, dogma, complicity, and forgiveness
In James Carroll's latest novel, the protagonists' present lives are deeply affected by their perceptions of past mistakes.

April Austin
MARCH 16, 2018 —With The Cloister, James Carroll manages a balancing act that would have thwarted lesser novelists. He juggles three stories, from different eras, that each probe deeply into matters of faith, dogma, complicity, and forgiveness. The book, as its title suggests, has a great deal of religion at its center, specifically Roman Catholicism. It's a tradition that Carroll knows well, both as a historian and a former priest.

Readers familiar with his previous work, especially the 2001 nonfiction book, “Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews,” will recognize at least one of Carroll’s preoccupations in this novel: the idea that 20th-century anti-Semitism had its roots in the Catholic Church’s centuries-old assertion that the Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus Christ.

The book’s two main characters are Michael Kavanagh, a priest, and Rachel Vedette, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, who meet in the unlikely setting of The Cloisters in New York in the 1950s. The Cloisters is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s outpost of medieval art atop Fort Tryon Park, overlooking the Hudson River. As the two protagonists become acquainted, the reader begins to understand that their present lives are deeply affected by their perceptions of past mistakes.

We learn about Rachel largely through flashbacks to her life in Nazi-occupied Paris, when she helped her father research an important book on the 12th-century Christian philosopher Peter Abelard. The monk, whose name has been linked with that of his paramour, Héloïse, was an early supporter of Jews in France. The church condemned Abelard as a heretic, effectively silencing his campaign to change church attitudes about the Jews.

Rachel and her father believe that Abelard’s writings point to a fork in the road for Christianity. The story “could have gone another way, and the pivot point, ages ago, was the place of the Jews.” By publicly identifying France’s legendary monk-hero with tolerance toward the Jews, they hope to change the minds of their fellow citizens, whose fear of the Nazi occupiers and hatred of the Jews (fueled by centuries of church-sanctioned vilification) is leading them to betray their Jewish neighbors.

As a counterpoint to Kavanagh’s and Rachel’s stories, the book also weaves the tale of Héloïse and Abelard, “the Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere of la France.” Their devotion to each other, body and soul, showed through their letters when they were forced to live apart (he was banished to a remote monastery, she was sent to a convent). Readers looking for salacious details about their relationship will be disappointed, because author Carroll is more interested in minds than in bodies. In particular, he gives Héloïse the role of Abelard’s champion: She’s the one who preserves Abelard’s writings for a future age, hiding his manuscripts in the cloister garden. It’s a nice touch, to point out that this powerful noblewoman was the first person to recognize the future implications of Abelard’s teaching, not just as it related to the Jews, but also as it regarded the nature of God’s universal love.

This is heady stuff for a novel. Carroll, as religious historian and church insider, goes into a fair amount of ecclesiastical detail about the 12th century, which will fascinate some readers and send others skimming to the end of the chapter. But he keeps the action moving along, particularly in the Paris scenes as Rachel’s story plays out against the backdrop of French collusion with the Germans.

Carroll is at his best in the last few chapters, when he explores each of his characters’ feelings of culpability for the tragedies that they knowingly, and unknowingly, set in motion. For Héloïse, Rachel, and Kavanagh, the challenge is how to move forward, fully conscious of the hurts they’ve inflicted, but not seeking a facile or temporary forgiveness. Here in the braiding together of the three stories, past and present, Carroll shows that for his characters, and indeed for all of us, the greatest wisdom may lie in forgiving oneself.

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Hype
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Re: What are you reading?

#207 Post by Hype » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:51 pm

That sounds great! I'm going to procure a digital copy.

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chaos
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Re: What are you reading?

#208 Post by chaos » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:20 am

Just finished Tara Westover's memoir Educated. It's a page turner.

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Educated Is a Brutal, One-of-a-Kind Memoir

Tara Westover's coming-of-age story follows her upbringing in a survivalist family, and her decision to leave that life behind.

ANN HULBERT
MARCH 2018 ISSUE

EDUCATED: A MEMOIR
BY TARA WESTOVER

Tara westover’s one-of-a-kind memoir is about the shaping of a mind, yet page after page describes the maiming of bodies—not just hers, but the heads, limbs, and torsos of her parents and six siblings, too. The youngest child in a fundamentalist Mormon family living in the foothills of Buck’s Peak, in Idaho, she grew up with a father fanatically determined to protect his family against the “brainwashing” world. Defending his isolated tribe against the physical dangers—literally brain-crushing in some cases—of the survivalist life he imposed was another matter.

Westover, who didn’t set foot in school until she left home in adolescence, toiled at salvaging scrap in his junkyard, awaiting the end days and/or the invading feds her father constantly warned of. Neither came. Nor, amazingly, did death or defeat, despite grisly accidents. Terrified, impaled, set on fire, smashed—the members of this clan learned that pain was the rule, not the exception. But succumbing was not an option, a lesson that ultimately proved liberating for Westover.

In briskly paced prose, she evokes a childhood that completely defined her. Yet it was also, she gradually sensed, deforming her. Baffled, inspired, tenaciously patient with her ignorance, she taught herself enough to take the ACT and enter Brigham Young University at 17. She went on to Cambridge University for a doctorate in history.

For Westover, now turning 32, the mind-opening odyssey is still fresh. So is the soul-wrenching ordeal—she hasn’t seen her parents in years—that isn’t over.
Starting Jon Meacham's The Soul of America. I went to a book signing last night where he spoke for about an hour with a Q & A at the end. He shared several humorous personal anecdotes. Smart, funny, down-to-earth guy.

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Review:

https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Book-Re ... een-tricky

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SR
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Re: What are you reading?

#209 Post by SR » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:56 am

Saw this this am and it looks great for those who've any interest in critical theory, specifically the debate on language and authorial intent v reader interpretation.

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the ... s-claimed/#!

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Bandit72
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Re: What are you reading?

#210 Post by Bandit72 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:42 am

Can anyone recommend a really good music autobiography? Reading Lemmy's at the moment. Ideally I'd like another 80's style one like Slash, The Dirt or Duff's one purely because my head's in that era at the moment. I'm quite happy to go elsewhere though.

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SR
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Re: What are you reading?

#211 Post by SR » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:27 am

The Cure: Never Enough and AK's: Scar Tissue. Bruce Springsteen's: Born To Run was the most articulate autobio I have ever read integrating music as the only natural result from a really soulful and smart, if highly conflicted person.

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Re: What are you reading?

#212 Post by creep » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:32 am

Bandit72 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:42 am
Can anyone recommend a really good music autobiography? Reading Lemmy's at the moment. Ideally I'd like another 80's style one like Slash, The Dirt or Duff's one purely because my head's in that era at the moment. I'm quite happy to go elsewhere though.
This one just came out. I've had it for a few weeks but I haven't read it yet. Pretty much like all books I get.

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Bandit72
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Re: What are you reading?

#213 Post by Bandit72 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:16 pm

Cool, thank you. Definitely, definitely interested in the Cure and AK. And Faith No More, yes please!

I’ve never been a fan of Springsteen but I imagine he’s got some very interesting stories. I remember Tom Morello speaking about him on Nikki Sixx’s show. He was saying his E street band was superb and they played about 180 different songs in about 38 shows or something?

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SR
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Re: What are you reading?

#214 Post by SR » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:30 pm

I think Springsteen himself made the comparison between he and Prince in terms of being great "band" leaders. Don't quote me on that, but it rings a loud bell. I like the comparison though I think it was a lot more difficult to follow Prince as a player than BS...definitely far fewer consequences with missed cues. As for the non interest, I get it; a lot of people on this board don't dig him. Anyways the band leader thing is pretty awesome in P's cover of Motherless Child

:worship:

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chaos
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Re: What are you reading?

#215 Post by chaos » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:26 am

Just started the Shakespeare Requirement. It is hysterical.

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https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/book ... 385542340/

ABOUT THE SHAKESPEARE REQUIREMENT

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune keep hitting beleaguered English professor Jason Fitger right between the eyes in this hilarious and eagerly awaited sequel to the cult classic of anhedonic academe, the Thurber Prize-winning Dear Committee Members. Once more into the breach…

Now is the fall of his discontent, as Jason Fitger, newly appointed chair of the English Department of Payne University, takes arms against a sea of troubles, personal and institutional. His ex-wife is sleeping with the dean who must approve whatever modest initiatives he undertakes. The fearsome department secretary Fran clearly runs the show (when not taking in rescue parrots and dogs) and holds plenty of secrets she’s not sharing. The lavishly funded Econ Department keeps siphoning off English’s meager resources and has taken aim at its remaining office space. And Fitger’s attempt to get a mossbacked and antediluvian Shakespeare scholar to retire backfires spectacularly when the press concludes that the Bard is being kicked to the curricular curb.

Lord, what fools these mortals be! Julie Schumacher proves the point and makes the most of it in this delicious romp of satire.

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chaos
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Re: What are you reading?

#216 Post by chaos » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:14 pm

It got lukewarm reviews, but I'm enjoying McEwan's latest novel.


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chaos
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Re: What are you reading?

#217 Post by chaos » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:48 pm

Just read the first chapter of The Uninhabitable Earth. In a nutshell - we are doomed.

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https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/ ... lace-wells

Enough to induce a panic attack ... a brutal portrait of climate change and our future lives on Earth. But we have the tools to avoid it
Mark O'Connell
Wed 27 Feb 2019 02.30 EST Last modified on Wed 27 Feb 2019 04.40 EST

You already know it’s bad. You already know the weather has gone weird, the ice caps are melting, the insects are disappearing from the Earth. You already know that your children, and your children’s children, if they are reckless or brave enough to reproduce, face a vista of rising seas, vanishing coastal cities, storms, wildfires, biblical floods. As someone who reads the news and is sensitive to the general mood of the times, you have a general sense of what we’re looking at. But do you truly understand the scale of the tribulations we face? David Wallace-Wells, author of the distressingly titled The Uninhabitable Earth, is here to tell you that you do not. “It is,” as he puts it in the book’s first line, “worse, much worse, than you think.”

The book expands on a viral article, also titled The Uninhabitable Earth, which Wallace-Wells published in New York in the summer of 2017, and which frightened the life out of everyone who read it. Writing at length, he is even more remorseless in his delineation of what the not nearly distant enough future probably holds for us. The book’s longest section, entitled Elements of Chaos, is composed of 12 short and brutal chapters, each of which foretells a specific dimension of our forecast doom, and whose titles alone – Heat Death; Dying Oceans; Unbreathable Air; Plagues of Warming – are enough to induce an honest-to-God panic attack.

Wallace-Wells identifies a tendency, even among those of us who think we are already sufficiently terrified of the future, to be strangely complacent about the figures. Yes, we know that climate change will cause sea level rises of between four to eight feet before the end of this century, but then again what’s a few feet if you happen to live a couple of miles inland? “That so many feel already acclimated to the prospect of a near-future world with dramatically higher oceans,” he writes, “should be as dispiriting and disconcerting as if we’d already come to accept the inevitability of extended nuclear war – because that is the scale of devastation the rising oceans will bring.”

The book is extremely effective in shaking the reader out of that complacency. Some things I did not want to learn, but learned anyway: every return flight from London to New York costs the Arctic three square metres of ice; for every half degree of warming, societies see between a 10 and 20% increase in the likelihood of armed conflict; global plastic production is expected to triple by 2050, by which point there will be more plastic than fish in the planet’s oceans. The margins of my review copy of the book are scrawled with expressions of terror and despair, declining in articulacy as the pages proceed, until it’s all just cartoon sad faces and swear words.

There is a widespread inclination to think of climate change as a form of compound payback for two centuries of industrial capitalism. But among Wallace-Wells’s most bracing revelations is how recent the bulk of the destruction has been, how sickeningly fast its results. Most of the real damage, in fact, has taken place in the time since the reality of climate change became known. And we are not slowing down. One of the sentences I found most upsetting in this book composed almost exclusively of upsetting sentences: “We are now burning 80% more coal than we were just in the year 2000.”

There’s also a temptation, when thinking about climate change, to focus on denialism as the villain of the piece. The bigger problem, Wallace-Wells points out, is the much vaster number of people (and governments) who acknowledge the true scale of the problem, and still act as if it’s not happening. Outright climate denialism as a political force, he argues, is essentially a US phenomenon – which is to say, essentially, a phenomenon of the Republican party – and the US is responsible for only 15% of the world’s emissions. “To believe the fault for global warming lies exclusively with the Republican party or its fossil-fuel backers is a form of American narcissism.” (I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone make quite so simplistic a case, but the point about denialism as largely a red herring is an important one.)

This all makes for relentlessly grim reading, particularly in that first section. As is generally the case in any sustained exposure to the subject of climate change – a subject that can seem increasingly like the only subject – a kind of apocalyptic glaze descends over even the most conscientious eyes, a peculiarly contemporary compound of boredom and horror. (“Human kind,” as the bird in TS Eliot’s Four Quartets sagely points out, “cannot bear very much reality.”) It’s a problem of which Wallace-Wells is clearly aware. “If you have made it this far, you are a brave reader,” as he puts it, somewhere past the halfway point, acknowledging the likelihood of the material he’s sifting through causing despondency in anyone considering it. “But you are not merely considering it,” he clarifies, “you are about to embark on living it. In many cases, in many places, we already are.”

That last point turns out to be one of the most crucial of the book’s warnings. Because as dire as the projections are, if you are surveying the topic from a privileged western vantage, it’s easy to overlook how bad things have already got, to accept the hurricanes and the heatstroke deaths as simply the unfortunate nature of things. In this way, Wallace-Wells raises the disquieting spectre of future normalisation – the prospect that we might raise, incrementally but inexorably, our baseline of acceptable human suffering. (This phenomenon is not without precedent. See, for example, the whole of human history.)

For a relatively short book, The Uninhabitable Earth covers a great deal of cursed ground – drought, floods, wildfires, economic crises, political instability, the collapse of the myth of progress – and reading it can feel like taking a hop-on hop-off tour of the future’s sprawling hellscape. It’s not without its hopeful notes: in a sense, none of this would even be worth talking about if there were nothing we could do about it. As Wallace-Wells points out, we already have all the tools we need to avoid the worst of what is to come: “a carbon tax and the political apparatus to aggressively phase out dirty energy; a new approach to agricultural practices and a shift away from beef and dairy in the global diet; and public investment in green energy and carbon capture”. The fact that the route out of this hell is straightforward does not mean, of course, that it won’t be incredibly arduous, or that we should be confident of making it.

The book, however, is less focused on solutions than on clarifying the scale of the problem, the horror of its effects. You could call it alarmist, and you would not be wrong. (In the closing pages, Wallace-Wells himself accepts the charge as “fair enough, because I am alarmed”.) But to read The Uninhabitable Earth – or to consider in any serious way the scale of the crisis we face – is to understand the collapse of the distinction between alarmism and plain realism. To fail to be alarmed is to fail to think about the problem, and to fail to think about the problem is to relinquish all hope of its solution.

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