Jump to content
Andrew

What we're reading

Recommended Posts

Just finished Jason Zinoman's Shock Value, an informative, relatively quick and easy read about the New Horror cinema of the 1970s. I wanted more depth but will take this -- a very good primer on major horror filmmakers.

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CherylR   

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris

Flannery by Brad Gooch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am reading good capitalist literature -- Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Sinclair Lewis' Babbit and Main Street. With the ongoing drama of Occupy Wall Street, and a Presidential election coming up, it just seemed to be the time. Sadly, neither man can write well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story Of How The Left Took Over Your TV - Ben Shapiro

I find the topic interesting. I've read Shapiro's previous book, Brainwashed, and I'm pleased that he's toned down his sarcasm in Primetime Propaganda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am reading good capitalist literature -- Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Sinclair Lewis' Babbit and Main Street. With the ongoing drama of Occupy Wall Street, and a Presidential election coming up, it just seemed to be the time. Sadly, neither man can write well.

I take issue with that statement. Not that I think Sinclair and Lewis are the masters of their age, but I do think they can write, even if they have some obvious weaknesses.

Edited by Ryan H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am reading good capitalist literature -- Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Sinclair Lewis' Babbit and Main Street. With the ongoing drama of Occupy Wall Street, and a Presidential election coming up, it just seemed to be the time. Sadly, neither man can write well.

I take issue with that statement. Not that I think Sinclair and Lewis are the masters of their age, but I do think they can write, even if they have some obvious weaknesses.

Well, I'll take it back at least as far as Sinclair Lewis is concerned. He's a fine satirist. Upton Sinclair was a classic muckraker, and he's rightly celebrated for his expose of the Chicago stockyards. But he completely lost the story about two-thirds of the way through The Jungle, and the book degenerated into a socialist screed. I liked parts of The Jungle, but near the end I was ready to throw it across the room. But since it was on the Kindle, my capitalist sensibilities won out and I thought better of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently reading the following:

The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII's Most Decorated Platoon, by Alex Kershaw.

Android: Free Fall, by William H. Keith. (A hardboiled sci-fi novel based on a favorite board game that's actually getting good review? Yes please.)

A Small Town in Germany, by John Le Carre.

Finished theses. The Longest Winter had a very compelling story, but was Kershaw's writing wasn't up to snuff. If someone like Cornelius Ryan had written this, it would have been amazing. The Le Carre novel was quite good, though it took a while to get rolling. And the Android novel was actually quite good; fiction based on board or roleplaying games is rarely good, and this book was in the minority. It was exciting, and had a futuristic hard-boiled detective feel to it that — while familiar in spots — hit the spot.

I'm current reading:

Saturday, by Ian McEwan

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, by Eugene Peterson. My first Peterson book...I'm loving it so far.

A Shadow in Summer, by Daniel Abraham.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tyler   

I started reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline yesterday at lunch and finished it tonight. It's a lot of fun. It follows a quest through a virtual game universe called the OASIS--the game's creator set up a contest before he died that will give the winner a controlling stake in the company and set up his avatar as the ruler of the game world. The clues for the contest are based on 80s pop culture trivia and early video games (like Joust and Zork). I'm too young to get more than half the references right away, but the novel is written well explains things so that you can follow along even if you're not a die-hard gamer.

It also set off a bidding war for the movie rights before it was even published. It looks like Cline will write the screenplay himself. He wrote the screenplay for Fanboys before he wrote Ready Player One.

Edited by Tyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading:

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carre.

His Master's Voice, by Stanislaw Lem.

The Challenge of Jesus, by N.T. Wright.

Enjoying all of them, especially the Le Carre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently reading the short story collection After the Apocalypse, by Maureen F. McHugh. The first story, "The Naturalist," is set in a zombie preserve in what used to be Cleveland, Ohio. I feel like I'm right at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started the audiobook of Howard Schulz's Onward, just because it was on the library shelf and I thought, "Why not?" -- even though I'd heard it was bad.

It is. Or at least, it was. But for some reason I kept listening and am now halfway through it, learning a bit about Starbucks through the lens of its founder.

I'm also listening to Roger Ebert's Life Itself, which is much better. I hope I can renew it when it comes due next week. Still got a ways to go with it.

In print, I've started into a book called Keeping Kids Reading: How to Raise Avid Readers in the Video Age, by Mary Leonhardt. It's dated -- from 1996 -- and highly anecdotal, but not uninteresting.

Just finished George Pelecanos' The Cut.

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tyler   

Finished The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach today. I think the most surprising thing about it is how resolutely normal it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
opus   

Finally got around to reading Murakami's 1Q84 and so far, it's been a bit of a slog (I'm about 20% of the way into the novel). Which surprises me, frankly, because Murakami's novels almost always have me pulled in by the first few chapters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andrew   

Finally got around to reading Murakami's 1Q84 and so far, it's been a bit of a slog (I'm about 20% of the way into the novel). Which surprises me, frankly, because Murakami's novels almost always have me pulled in by the first few chapters.

Ruh roh - your comments leave me wondering if you'll make it through all 925 pages. The first two books rocked my world, but I had a tough time keeping interested for the final book, though I thought it finished beautifully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nearing the end of Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I can really see why Chabon is interested in having the Coen Bros. adapt this. It's totally up their alley.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A GATHERING OF SAINTS by Robert Lindsey

An account of the strange tale of Mark Hofmann, who blackmailed the LDS Church with historical documents that threatened to demolish the very foundations of Mormon belief. It's a pretty extraordinary story on multiple levels (better not to know too much going into the book, since it's written like a mystery, revealing layer after layer), and one that I'm surprised isn't talked about more often, given how damaging these events were for the LDS Church. (It's sadly out of print, but you can pick a used copy up pretty cheaply.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feel like I haven't updated here in a few months.

I'm almost done with Walter Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. I'm absolutely smitten; I have a feeling this will be a lifelong favorite. I also finished Richard Price's Lush Life, and also absolutely loved that.

I did not, however, love James Ellroy's Destination: Morgue!. I think the book has a reputation of being one of Ellroy's worst, and I can confirm that. It's about half essays (most of which are honestly pretty good), but the rest of the book — a set of three novellas — is utter garbage. It's Ellroy at his alliterating, extreme worst. That he managed to weave the subjects of almost all of the non-fiction pieces in should have been cool, but it was just terrible.

Also started Candice Millard's The River of Doubt, a look at Teddy Roosevelt's journey down one of the Amazon's most dangerous tributaries in the early 20th century. It's fantastic so far, and I'm only putting it down to pick up the Miller book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started Eugenides' "The Marriage Plot" today.

How'd it go, Andrew? I'm halway through the audiobook (so please, no spoilers), and have gone from deeply appreciative of the writing to caring about some of the characters and marveling at the author's ability to capture certain manifestations of Christian faith. (I'm assuming he's not a believer, but have never looked into the question.)

It may be best to discuss the book in a separate thread, or better to discuss it after I'm finished with it, but I couldn't resist looking at A&F for related posts. I'm glad to see someone here gave the book a try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be best to discuss the book in a separate thread, or better to discuss it after I'm finished with it, but I couldn't resist looking at A&F for related posts. I'm glad to see someone here gave the book a try.

I've read (and liked) all of Eugenides's other novels, so I'll probably give this one a spin once I can find it for cheap at a used book store (that's pretty much how I do all of my buying these days). I could be really off with this, but while I don't think he's a believer, I think he came from a pretty strong Greek Christian background.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×