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So what are you reading?

What books, zines or other pulp are you reading? What aren't you reading? What should everyone else read?

Re: So what are you reading?

Postby pjbogart » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:32 am

Personally, I enjoy Stephen King. Even when his plots are at their absurd worst (I'm looking at you, "Cell"), he spins an entertaining yarn that's easy to read and doesn't require any trips to the dictionary.

I'm currently reading "11/22/63." The narrator is shown a "rabbit hole" that takes you back to 1958 and coaxed into seeking out Lee Harvey Oswald to prevent the Kennedy assassination. He decides to first test how changing the past affects the future by going to Derry to try to prevent a murder. His initial adventure reunites you with a few characters you may have met while reading "IT" as well as a shload of references to the book, which I thought was kind of fun.

I won't ruin any critical plot elements, but suffice it to say that the "past is obdurate" meaning that the past seems to try to prevent you from changing it. Furthermore, each time you enter the rabbit hole is a reset, meaning whatever you changed last time will need to be rechanged or it will revert to its original event and time-line.

Overall I've found the book very entertaining. It won't win any style points with the literary sophisticates, but its a wonderful adventure and a great adult bedtime story.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:01 am

Lily wrote:Please, indulge us with names and titles of Madison authors!! At the very least, we should keep these folks stocked in our library.

Here is a start: Madison Writers Network.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby rrnate » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:10 am

Hey PJ, I'm reading it too and really liking it! Plotting-wise, it's up there with some of the best King stuff around; feels like he's really gotten back in to the groove in recent years (this one, "Lisey's Story", "Duma Key" and "The Dome" all being pretty strong).

I'd say that if someone dislikes King's writing tics, they should stay away; like "The Dome", it feels a little first drafty - it's all plot, with some of the repetitive phrasing, quick characterization, etc. However, it's the very definition of a page turner.

Feels to me like King is really pushing himself production-wise lately, at the expense of truly fancy writing that I think he's capable of, but in service of some great story telling.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby scratch » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:23 am

rrnate wrote:Hey PJ, I'm reading it too and really liking it! Plotting-wise, it's up there with some of the best King stuff around; feels like he's really gotten back in to the groove in recent years (this one, "Lisey's Story", "Duma Key" and "The Dome" all being pretty strong).
I'd say that if someone dislikes King's writing tics, they should stay away; like "The Dome", it feels a little first drafty - it's all plot, with some of the repetitive phrasing, quick characterization, etc. However, it's the very definition of a page turner.
Feels to me like King is really pushing himself production-wise lately, at the expense of truly fancy writing that I think he's capable of, but in service of some great story telling.


King's recent stuff seems to me to suffer from a lack of strong editing. It reminds me of Bukowski's later stuff, when he became too big to be edited by mere mortals. Same with James Ellroy.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby rrnate » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:22 am

Yeah, that's a great way to put it.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby scratch » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:21 am

One and only : the untold story of On the road and of Lu Anne Henderson, the woman who started Jack and Neal on their journey / by Gerald Nicosia and Anne Marie Santos

Aside from a ridiculously long (and just plain ridiculous) subtitle, this is a dewy homage to the early Beats that is linked to the On the road film by Walter Salles. If your esteem for the Beats involves an appreciation of pretty much unfiltered reverence, this is for you. As for me, it's an audio book review that makes me question my rate of remuneration for this stuff. Does have some delightfully homey thoughts on bisexuality in the 1940s and 1950s, but not nearly enough about Lucien Carr's murder rap.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Detritus » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:50 am

Just read two books by Candace Millard, one of Teddy Roosevelt's nearly fatal trip down the Amazon (The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey) and the other about the assassination of James Garfield (Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President). Fascinating stuff, especially the Garfield one, about whom I knew absolutely nothing. Millard writes well, a bit like Deborah Blum (to mention a local non-fiction writer) in Ghost Writers.

Next on my list is Scott Miller's book on the assassination of McKinley (The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century)which, unlike Garfield's, was actually political.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby scratch » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:25 pm

Detritus wrote:Next on my list is Scott Miller's book on the assassination of McKinley (The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century)which, unlike Garfield's, was actually political.


I started The President and the Assassin on Monday. Very good so far.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Detritus » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:26 pm

scratch wrote:
Detritus wrote:Next on my list is Scott Miller's book on the assassination of McKinley (The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century)which, unlike Garfield's, was actually political.


I started The President and the Assassin on Monday. Very good so far.

Don't tell me how it ends! I want it to be a surprise.

I also started reading Herbert Bix's biography of Japanese Emperor Hirohito (damn Kindle makes reading too easy....). So far I have to say "meh." I wouldn't have given it a Pulitzer--not even Roxanne.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby scratch » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:17 am

Detritus wrote:
scratch wrote:
Detritus wrote:Next on my list is Scott Miller's book on the assassination of McKinley (The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century)which, unlike Garfield's, was actually political.

I started The President and the Assassin on Monday. Very good so far.

Don't tell me how it ends! I want it to be a surprise.


Okay, no spoiler, but I think you'll especially enjoy the comedic interlude that accompanies the U.S. acquisition of Guam...
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:40 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:My brother just lent me Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, a bio by John Szwed who previously covered Sun Ra and Miles Davis. I've read a bunch about Lomax (and his dad) over the years, so I'm looking forward to digging into this book.

Finally fininished it while on vacation. A very interesting read, although it is a little dry as the author is an academician. The bio is copiously endnoted. Much of it is in Lomax's own words.

This will be a great read if you are a music or history buff. Lomax did record the world.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby scratch » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:05 am

Just started Vigilante / by Stephen J. Cannell. It reads like a slick cop show. Wotta surprise. It's about the investigation into the murder of an LA activist with ties to a Chicano (the author's word) street gang and also involves a shady reality TV host with a grudge against the cops. Too snappy by half, but curiously it works so far.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:25 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Savages by Don Winslow. A novel about the Mexican drug cartels infiltration into Southern California's marijuana trade. A much more unvarnished examination than his The Death And Life of Bobby Z. Oliver Stone is currently turning it into a movie. I'm only about halfway through, but I predict the book will be much better than the flick (as is usually the case).

Stone's movie version is being release July 6. I hope he don't blow it. Anyone know where it will be playing locally? I didn't see it on Sundance's advanced schedule.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:01 pm

Game of Thrones series... done. Just gotta wait now I guess. Thinking "It's Even Worse Than it Looks" or "Rule of the Bone" or Devil in the White City" next. Just gotta pull the trigger on one. Any suggestions between those three?
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Detritus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:50 pm

Just finished The Long Earth by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett. Madison plays a central part in the book, which is science fiction imagining the "many worlds" concept in physics.

Hmm, hmm, interested in hearing what other people think of the portrayal of Madison, which is based on the authors' wanderings during a convention here one summer.
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