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I just finished reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and am now about 30% through Steinbeck's East of Eden. My wife and I are listening to the audiobook of Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay, the last book in her dystopian The Hunger Games trilogy. On my walk to school, I'm listening to Matt Taibbi's Griftopia, an unbalanced, profane, highly entertaining broadside against corporate and government corruption, and their complicity in the financial crisis.

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Just picked up a used copy of Truffaut's The Films in my Life - what a delightful director and writer: generous, accessible, provocative, and highly adept at using other people's quotes to illustrate his theses. A couple of faves thus far:

- 'Bad reviews preserve an author better than alcohol preserves a piece of fruit.' - Jean Paulhan

- Andre Bazin - Films are like mayonnaise - they either emulsified or did not.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Joe Henry on Facebook:

just finished jonathan franzen's novel "freedom," and have concluded that he has a brilliant publicist.

Perfect. I thought the same thing after reading The Corrections.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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In the middle of:

-The Truth Is Stranger Than It Used To Be, by Brian Walsh and J. Middleton. Good stuff, this, though a little over my head in spots. A look at the lingering modernity / wisps of post-modernity in western culture v. a biblical worldview. Nothing new, but some good analysis and huge sections of Bruce Cockburn lyrics make it fresh in areas.

-Conspiracies: A Repairman Jack Novel, by F. Paul Wilson. This is my second Repairman Jack novel, and definitely the more interesting of the two. Wilson is a meat-and-potatoes writer, but has enough wit to make what could be a typical adventure/horror exercise into something a little more exciting. Jack is helping a guy find his conspiracy theory expert wife, who has been missing for days. So far, I can't put it down.

I also started William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties, but am not far enough in to have any thoughts on it.

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I also started William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties, but am not far enough in to have any thoughts on it.

Have you read the previous two? I don't think it actually matters, just wondering.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I also started William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties, but am not far enough in to have any thoughts on it.

Have you read the previous two? I don't think it actually matters, just wondering.

Oh great, another Gibson trilogy? For some reason I thought this was standalone.

* Looks stuff up on Wikipedia *

And I have NOT read the previous two. Maybe I should just start Burning Chrome instead. Or the Bigend trilogy.

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FInished reading Gringo Nightmare by Eric Volz. A very indepth look at what he went through during his unjust imprisonment, the depth of corruption at all levels of the Nicaraguan government, and the people behind the scenes who got him freed. An amazing story, truly terrifying, and shows what a miracle that Eric was able to get out of that horrible mess.

Now wading into Quicksilver, the first book of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. It a heck of a lot to bite off, but the details of these early scientific experiments are fascinating. The politics, not so much. But I'm hooked in for the long haul. And I know I will finish the entire Baroque Cycle in a fairly reasonable amount of time. Like this year. Maybe.

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Now wading into Quicksilver, the first book of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. It a heck of a lot to bite off, but the details of these early scientific experiments are fascinating. The politics, not so much. But I'm hooked in for the long haul. And I know I will finish the entire Baroque Cycle in a fairly reasonable amount of time. Like this year. Maybe.

I think you'll like The Confusion once you get to it, Jim. Daniel sadly takes a backseat, but the majority of the book is Jack Shaftoe doing gonzo things. Just wait 'til you see the Cabal. Completely craziness. Eliza's chapters are a little more interesting here too, though her subplot becomes increasing labyrinthine. But Stephenson wouldn't be Stephenson without it, I think.

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Enjoyed H.P. Lovecraft's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, and now plowing through his essay on "Supernatural Horror in Fiction."

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Truffaut: A Biography, by de Baecque and Toubiana - Eighty pages in, and so far, it's everything I'd want in a film director's biography: skillfully written, rich in cultural context and psychological insight, with plenty of opportunity to let the subject speak for himself through his letters and interviews.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Listening to the audiobook of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. I learned after I had begun it that it is one of the most challenging Faulkner novels for the uninitiated. In the first hour, I could see that. Now that I'm about a third of the way through, I can really see that! In the way that this novel is both fascinating and baffling at the same time, it reminds me very much of the experience I had watching the film Synecdoche, New York.

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I'm still wading through Neal Stephenson's final installment in the Baroque Cycle, The System of the World. I'm trying to read a few pages each morning (and a few pages in the morning only). It's working well, and the story is getting quite interesting.

Also just read The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness, co-written by Derek Mallaby and one of my grad school professors, Don Opitz. It's a great primer for high school seniors / first-year college students on the integration of faith and learning.

I'm also in the midst of Stephen King's From a Buick 8 and N.T. Wright's Judas and the Gospel of Jesus. I'm liking both very much. The former is kind of a ghost story involving a weird car (vaguely reminiscent of Christine, but not) set in a fictional western PA county that seems to be not too far from where I live. The latter is a quick read, and serves as a great take-down of the beliefs that the 'Gospel of Judas' is legit.

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Finished Matterhorn. It could have been 300 pages lighter.

Couldn't get into that one, although maybe the audiobook narrator is to blame.

I finished One Day, and through much of it, actively hated the novel and its characters. But I kept with it -- it's not bad, or badly written, just grating and frustrating. I saw in an ad today in the paper that Focus Features has a film version coming out sometime this year. Maybe I knew that in the back of my mind when I checked out One Day? I can't imagine the movie will work better than the novel did, but you never know.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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All of the talk about Murakami and Norwegian Wood inspired me to pick up a used copy for 3 bucks. It lacks the sometime surreal quality of Wind Up Bird and Kafka, but it's still dreamlike and very much in Murakami-land, which is a good thing.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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I forgot to mention that I'm reading a paper-and-ink book: Justin Vaisse's Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement. I'm only 60 pages into it, but it's very good.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Currently on:

-George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords. Just fantastic stuff. I really can't put this book down.

-Paul Auster's Book of Illusions. Haven't gotten far enough into it to make a judgement, but if it's like the other Auster stuff I've read, I'm sure I'll like it just fine.

-Calvin Seerveld's Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves. Like the Auster book, I'm not too far into it (just through the foreward). If it's like the other Seerveld I've read, I'll not understand much, but love what I do understand.

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