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Old 12-13-2008, 05:46 PM   #76
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Regarding 1984, Brave New World is closer to the truth. Orwell was probably a better writer but Huxley was the better predictor/prophet.
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:36 PM   #77
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Looking at Cori's list, I realized I have to add "Mystic River" to my list too. I love the book and the movie.
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:44 PM   #78
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Regarding 1984, Brave New World is closer to the truth. Orwell was probably a better writer but Huxley was the better predictor/prophet.
In the west, yes, but Orwell wrote a pretty good description of Stalinism (although it wasn't as much a prediction of, rather a direct inspiration from).
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:45 PM   #79
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What a fucking misanthropic clown you are.

Seriously.

I'd rather seem a dilettante or have people such as yourself judge me by my book choices than be considered a complete and utter fucking asshole, which is a state of being you seem to relish with much zeal.
It is fun to raise peoples blood pressure, I wasn't judging you as much as I was alluding to what people think when you do answer Orwell.

I like 1984, but I also know that it is a classic student answer, its like when all girls born in 1989 tell me that their favourite book is A Clockwork Orange, and it turns out that it was in their year 12 syllabus; great book, to be sure, but its also one of those books everybody has read. If it does come up I can rattle on the answer I gave in a high school essay about the importance of sex in the novel.

And since I am a total elitist I am going to put down Jurassic Park, and the Lost World, by Michael Crichton, and a healthy load of Sherlock Holmes stories (I really like A Scandal in Bohemia). And Thomas Paines Age of Reason (I like that deistic propaganda).
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:03 PM   #80
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I use a laptop almost exclusively and still find it tough, don't know why. I think I'm just old school in this respect, heh.

I really wish I could get into audio books because I do drive quite a bit. I can handle comedy on there - really liked the Onion's book about the world on a drive to Ottawa once, and I also finished Colbert's book that way too. But with actual fiction I find it a bit hard to follow. I do have a short attention span though so that may be the problem.
I have audio books on my MP3 player for car trips, and tedious work, but I also do much better with hard copy. I generally print and bind the relevant papers for a particular subject so I can always have them there.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:07 PM   #81
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Regarding 1984, Brave New World is closer to the truth. Orwell was probably a better writer but Huxley was the better predictor/prophet.
Except for the soma, in that case it is totally inverted with state violence being exercised around the world in the War on Drugs.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:11 PM   #82
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Time Enough for Love, by Robert Heinlein.

Darwin, by Adrian Desmond and James Moore.

Huxley, Adrian Desmond (I prefer this one, because I find myself more interested in T.H. Huxley as a person).
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:12 PM   #83
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Except for the soma, in that case it is totally inverted with state violence being exercised around the world in the War on Drugs.
But possibly 'soma' was meant to be interpreted metaphorically - he didn't necessarily mean soma was going to be an actual drug - it could be shopping, the consumerist culture, the drug of reality TV, etc.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:26 PM   #84
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I think that the stultifying effects of consumerism are adequately covered by the description of the culture, I took soma to be a mescaline-like drug, the description of tablets and effects (together with Island, and Huxley's later experimentation) lead me to take it literally. It isn't to say that I am incapable of finding metaphor, only that I don't necessarily see one there.

Although to get on a more literal Tom Cruise style bend, the medicating of people from a young age (giving children methylphenidate and plonking them in front of a TV instead of letting them run around outside, taking prozac for ennui etc.), could be analogous.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:36 PM   #85
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I think that the stultifying effects of consumerism are adequately covered by the description of the culture, I took soma to be a mescaline-like drug, the description of tablets and effects (together with Island, and Huxley's later experimentation) lead me to take it literally. It isn't to say that I am incapable of finding metaphor, only that I don't necessarily see one there.
Even if it wasn't intended as metaphor, I think I would credit Huxley with being accurate in a, well, emblematic or allegorical sense.

Earlier on, you implied some people's choices of reading material were motivated by a desire to show off that they are 'well-read', intelligent, or whatever - but the funny thing is, what worries me much, much, more than that is the complete lack of interest in any reading in today's world. One or two of my friends do not read AT ALL, apart from perhaps the sports pages of newspapers, or things they are required to read for work.


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Although to get on a more literal Tom Cruise style bend, the medication of people from a young age (giving children methamphetamine and plonking them in front of a TV instead of letting them run around outside, taking prozac for ennui etc.), could be analogous.
Very true.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:37 PM   #86
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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
84 Charing Cross Road/The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Bible
Grimm's Fairy Tales
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:41 PM   #87
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Even if it wasn't intended as metaphor, I think I would credit Huxley with being accurate in a, well, emblematic or allegorical sense.

Earlier on, you implied some people's choices of reading material were motivated by a desire to show off that they are 'well-read', intelligent, or whatever - but the funny thing is, what worries me much, much, more than that is the complete lack of interest in any reading in today's world. One or two of my friends do not read AT ALL, apart from perhaps the sports pages of newspapers, or things they are required to read for work.
I know that my own capacity for concentration drops when I don't take the opportunity to read frequently, reading must have benefits for the mind.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:01 PM   #88
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I like a lot of John Irving when I'm reading him, but other than Prayer for Owen Meany and Cider House Rules, none of them stuck with me. I didn't much like 1984. I did like Animal Farm. I've certainly enjoyed my share of Agatha Christie, but I can't tell the books apart. Same with Dick Francis, although I love his books and if you give me a couple I haven't read, they will go right to the top of my reading list. I find that my list of favorite books is nothing like my list of favorite authors. Maybe three of the authors of the books I chose would also make it to my favorite author list. I think the favorite books are the ones that stick with you long after you've put them down and the favorite authors are the ones you can't wait to pick up.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:01 PM   #89
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I just found this top 10 fiction list that I'd posted in the book thread in LS in the summer. I'm apparently a dilettante, too.

The Stand - Stephen King
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lolita -Vladimir Nabokov
Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
The Golden Compass/His Dark Materials trilogy - Phillip Pullman
The Harry Potter series - JKR
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
1984 - George Orwell

I'm sure if I put more time into thinking of it, the list would change somewhat. It's almost a list of favourite authors, as much as it is favourite books. I could have included any of several books by King, Rushdie, Vonnegut, Gaiman and Garcia Marquez. As well, I know I cheated by including two series, but it's really hard for me to choose a favourite from each. I tend to think of each as more of a whole than as separate novels. Also, many are books that I've either read or reread in the past 10 years. I'm positive that I've read good books before that, I just can't recall them right now.


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I think the favorite books are the ones that stick with you long after you've put them down
I agree. That's the criterion I used in selecting my list.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:05 PM   #90
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I like a lot of John Irving when I'm reading him, but other than Prayer for Owen Meany and Cider House Rules, none of them stuck with me. I didn't much like 1984. I did like Animal Farm. I've certainly enjoyed my share of Agatha Christie, but I can't tell the books apart. Same with Dick Francis, although I love his books and if you give me a couple I haven't read, they will go right to the top of my reading list. I find that my list of favorite books is nothing like my list of favorite authors. Maybe three of the authors of the books I chose would also make it to my favorite author list. I think the favorite books are the ones that stick with you long after you've put them down and the favorite authors are the ones you can't wait to pick up.
There's a Dick Francis book that takes place on a train. Forget the title, but of all his works, I liked this one best. Yet I cannot recall the title. That's more a function of encroaching senility than anything else, really.
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