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Recently finished The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers and World Leader Pretend by James Bernard Frost. Both are excellent. Anubis Gates is a wonderfully complex time travel novel, while World Leader Pretend shows the loneliness and disconnection of people addicted to MMORPGs, and is one of the better novels that deals with this subject.

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I recently finished Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. Enjoyable for a YA book, the sort of book that I would've loved had it I read it when I was 16. It gets a little preachy in places -- Doctorow loves to stick it to the DHS, and the book suffers a bit for having such one-sided villains -- but as an exercise in nerdery, it's excellent. It's as much an explanation of modern computer programming functions like cryptography as much as it is a screed against increasing privacy and civil rights violations. It explains such potentially daunting tech-y topics as hacking, cryptography, and Bayesian filters in a pretty entertaining way, i.e., from the perspective of a cocky, snarky sixteen-year-old computer geek accused of terrorism.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I'm reading David Foster Wallace's (alas last, unfinished) novel The Pale King

Is it OK that I'm on disc 5 (of 16) in the audio version and don't understand what's going on? It's like a series of character sketches, or vignettes, but they're all compelling in their own way.

DON'T ASK by Donald Westlake. The back-of-the-book blurb was superb, and I need to enhance my familiarity with Westlake's work.

How are you liking this? I'm soon going to dive into book 2 in the Parker series.

"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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Oh man, I finally started Cassavetes on Cassavetes by Ray Carney.

It may not be the type of literature or reading talked about in this thread but it is (so far) an amazing read on processing narrative using film. Maybe even more precisely, it dives into the thoughts of filmic non-narrative via Cassavetes brilliant mind.

The book basically opens with this Cassavetes thought, "It's not about story-telling or entertainment." This is the perfect way for any book on film to begin, for me.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Just finished a nice little boost of encouragement, Steal like An Artist, by Austin Kleon.

Also, a book club started up at the research center I work for and we are reading, Imagine: How Creativity Works. An extremely interesting look at the source of the imagination.

Still with Cassavetes

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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DON'T ASK by Donald Westlake. The back-of-the-book blurb was superb, and I need to enhance my familiarity with Westlake's work.

How are you liking this? I'm soon going to dive into book 2 in the Parker series.

I don't think it's for me. It's a comedy, and I'm not sure its sense of humor is on my wavelength.

I think I prefer Westlake in hardboiled mode.

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Currently reading:

The Alienist, by Caleb Carr. It's a page-turner, for sure, but there are definitely spots where it's clear that Carr is a historian first, novelist second. There are spots that rival Neal Stephenson's infamous "info dumps," but don't have the same pizzazz or charm. That griping aside, it's a really enjoyable read.

I also started Kathleen Norris's Dakota, which I'm loving. I'm also really taking my time with it.

Also finished a complete collection of Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane stories. Straight-up pulp adventure stuff. You can really see how his writing improves dramatically over a several year period.

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I'm also reading The Art of Fielding, which I like very much. I just finished The Map of Time, by Felix J. Palma, which was tepidly written and horribly plotted in spite of the intriguing premise (H.G. Wells as a time-traveling detective). And I'm slowly making my way through Gibbons' massive The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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And I'm slowly making my way through Gibbons' massive The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Yes! So have I. What do you think of it so far? If you want to discuss any of it, let's.

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I'm reading many books right now, but here are a few:

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

-Her long descriptions and observations take a lot of focus for me sometimes, but I enjoy her poetic soul as she reflects upon her natural surroundings.

Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey

-Really great philosophical breakdown of some of the cultural movements within the U.S. More of an overview, but full of a lot of insight for me as a student of the big, wide world of the Humanities. I'm learning a lot, but there is still so much I have to learn...Which is also why I am here on this site. :)

Also, I just finished Wendell Berry's Hannah Coulter. That was a beautiful read!

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Also, I just finished Wendell Berry's Hannah Coulter. That was a beautiful read!

I'm glad you mentioned this. I'm listening to the audio version, having listened to and enjoyed Jayber Crow last year. It's too early in Hannah Coulter for me to say with certainty, but I won't be at all surprised if I ultimately find Coulter the superior read. So far it's lovely, helped immensely by a superb narrator (isn't that always the case with good audiobooks?).

"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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It's too early in Hannah Coulter for me to say with certainty, but I won't be at all surprised if I ultimately find Coulter the superior read. So far it's lovely, helped immensely by a superb narrator (isn't that always the case with good audiobooks?).

Most of the Berry fanatics I know would say Coulter is the better book (I'm a Berry fanatic but haven't read it yet, so I can't say).

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It's too early in Hannah Coulter for me to say with certainty, but I won't be at all surprised if I ultimately find Coulter the superior read. So far it's lovely, helped immensely by a superb narrator (isn't that always the case with good audiobooks?).

Most of the Berry fanatics I know would say Coulter is the better book (I'm a Berry fanatic but haven't read it yet, so I can't say).

Interesting. I had no idea. Thanks.

"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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The Time Traveler's Wife. It's a painful read.

Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie. I'm on an Alexie kick right now. :)

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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The Time Traveler's Wife. It's a painful read.

Then why are you reading it?

It's one of the books on my required reading list for school--it dovetails into the critical paper I wrote last semester by being a good example of what *not* to do when trying to get a reader to buy into your storyline/world. That wasn't the intent when I added to the list--being an example of what *not* to do--but that's the way the reading goes this time. :)

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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Thanks, Cheryl. If it's any consolation, at least you have spared me the pain of trying to read The Time Traveler's Wife. I had a feeling it wouldn't live up to the hype.

What am I reading? Just finished reading The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero, by Susannah Clements (Brazos), which I'm supposed to review, so I'll have to reserve my thoughts on that.

And for fun, an amusing YA confection by Shelley Adina, who also writes Amish romances (which do not interest me) as Adina Senft. She seems to have come up with the perfect antidote to Twilight with Immortal Faith, with combines vampires and an imaginary "plain" religious community in the northwest. I know! I can't believe it works. She writes better than S. Meyer. Only available as e-books/Kindle. Get this woman a contract! Her YA steampunk series is nicely done, too (Lady of Devices, etc.).

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Thanks, Cheryl. If it's any consolation, at least you have spared me the pain of trying to read The Time Traveler's Wife. I had a feeling it wouldn't live up to the hype.

You're most welcome, Beth. I do what I can to help. smile.png I've since started Anansi Boys by Neil Gaimen. Much better. :)

Edited by CherylR

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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Next up: I'm looking forward to Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, which should arrive from Amazon in a day or two.

I've just started this and came here looking for posts. Yours is the only one that turned up in the Lit forum. What did you think of this book?

"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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