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Old 08-04-2013, 10:03 PM   #241
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Another opera prep:

The Adventures of Falstaff, by Myron Stagman

This was a nice little book outlining the character of Falstaff, especially in the Henry IV plays of Shakespeare. I really didn't want to read Henry IV, Part 1 or Part 2, so this book was a good idea. Stagman gives much of the pertinent (or impertinent) dialogue involving Falstaff, along with summaries and explications. He didn't cover much of The Merry Wives of Windsor, so I had to go get that from the library today. That's what's up next.

But when I was at the library today, I found this:

Jane Austen's History of England. It's not very long, but it's funny and charming. She wrote in when she was almost 16, and it's a funny parody of histories of England that were used as textbooks when she was young. I liked it very much.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:44 AM   #242
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I swear I'm never going to finish the Novak/Grubb Dungeons & Dragons novel I've been trying to read for several months now. I kinda want to, just to tie up the particular series with the characters from it, but I also just find their books, for the most part, beyond dull. The settings are drawn merely okay, and there's virtually no character development. It's trope-y and generic stuff, and while the books are pretty short (300 pages of simply written, geared toward ages 12 and up or so), the fact that they routinely put me to sleep prevents them from being the quick read that they should be. In a world where there are way too many books and far too little time to read everything I want to read, I shouldn't have as difficult a time giving up on a crappy read as I sometimes do. Call it being OCD about finishing a series or something.

The next book up for interrupting my slog through the aforementioned, would be R A Salvatore's The Companions. I ceased to be a big Drizzt fan several series ago, but I do want to know what happened to him after the ending of the last one. And this whole D&D shift to fifth edition/Sundering thing could make for some decent storytelling (although if I'm honest, the Paul S Kemp installment is really the only one I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on. The other authors I'm fairly lukewarm on). But buying it as an ebook presents me with the spoilerific opportunity to type a certain name into the search function to see how prominently he may feature in the novel. And since my favorite character only seems to be mentioned by the other characters a handful of times, I just went from planning to spend the day reading it to meh, maybe it's just nap time.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:37 AM   #243
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Someone was talking about Infinite Jest in here recently. I've also been reading it, and it's been lasting me a few months and I'm still early on. Mainly because I read slowly, duh, and because I tend to read three things at once. Typically a real long novel, and one or two shorter ones which tend to finish then be replaced with new short ones and the long one goes on forever and ever. It's a terrible way to read, so I've started dedicated all my read-time to IJ. It's really hit a groove though, and gotten considerably funnier than I felt it was at the start. Though that might also just have something to do with the period of adaptation in the beginning before I really tuned into Wallace's particular structural and comedic strategies here. Meaning I'm sure it was hilarious the whole time, I'm just a retard.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:41 AM   #244
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I can only read one book at a time.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #245
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I probably should, only.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:40 PM   #246
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Someone was talking about Infinite Jest in here recently. I've also been reading it, and it's been lasting me a few months and I'm still early on. Mainly because I read slowly, duh, and because I tend to read three things at once. Typically a real long novel, and one or two shorter ones which tend to finish then be replaced with new short ones and the long one goes on forever and ever. It's a terrible way to read, so I've started dedicated all my read-time to IJ. It's really hit a groove though, and gotten considerably funnier than I felt it was at the start. Though that might also just have something to do with the period of adaptation in the beginning before I really tuned into Wallace's particular structural and comedic strategies here. Meaning I'm sure it was hilarious the whole time, I'm just a retard.
I read it when I was 26 or so (around when the first paperback edition was released) and there's definitely a hump I had to get over before I was able to fully engage with it.

A common piece of advice at the time was to re-read the first 50-80 pages after completing the book. This was partially to come down from the ironic addiction to reading the whole thing, partially to make sense of the ending, and perhaps also to savor what might have been initially hard to get through.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:45 PM   #247
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I was admittedly confused with the first chapter, but the second was already pretty hilarious. I'm now about 100 pages in. It's going slow, it's going to take a couple of months, but I got into it quite quickly and I'm not seeing that I'll give up on it. In fact, according to some comments and impressions, it should only get better.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:39 PM   #248
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Initially a lot of the digressions from the tennis stuff came like a slap to the face and would really disorient me and slow me down for the first hundred or so pages, but now I think I've fallen into the rhythm of the thing and savor every new thread.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:35 PM   #249
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I can only read one book at a time.
Normally I do only read one at a time. When I'm reading something I don't particularly care for is when I start getting easily pulled off it by new releases or things I'd otherwise just add to the to-read pile. Should really be a red flag right there.


Seems like everyone I know is trying to read infinite jest. Most of them are people who don't normally read books, and whine about it kicking their ass.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #250
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I have never heard of Infinite Jest except in this thread.

I'm still reading The Iliad and have gotten over my dislike for the translation. The story was was hard to get into at first because I didn't catch on to all the names for a while. Apparently a lot of the gods and characters that we all know, like Athena and Paris, have other names, and the author indiscriminately switches from one to the other. So it took me a little while to realize that Alexandros is Paris, Cronion is Zeus, Atriedes is Agamemnon, Pallas is Athena, etc. Or maybe that's totally wrong and I am more confused than I thought.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:56 PM   #251
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I have never heard of Infinite Jest except in this thread.

I'm still reading The Iliad and have gotten over my dislike for the translation. The story was was hard to get into at first because I didn't catch on to all the names for a while. Apparently a lot of the gods and characters that we all know, like Athena and Paris, have other names, and the author indiscriminately switches from one to the other. So it took me a little while to realize that Alexandros is Paris, Cronion is Zeus, Atriedes is Agamemnon, Pallas is Athena, etc. Or maybe that's totally wrong and I am more confused than I thought.
Yes they have more than one name. Great book!
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:01 AM   #252
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Initially a lot of the digressions from the tennis stuff came like a slap to the face and would really disorient me and slow me down for the first hundred or so pages, but now I think I've fallen into the rhythm of the thing and savor every new thread.
If you're sometimes confused about the acronyms as I am, this site might prove to be helpful (it also explains some funny words and countless references to grammar, mathematics, philosophy, literature etc.):

Infinite Jest Page by Page - David Foster Wallace Wiki : Infinite Jest

It's completely spoiler-free.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:56 PM   #253
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Opera reading almost finsihed:

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Not Shakespeare's best, but I chuckled once or twice.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:39 PM   #254
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I'll post this in here as some of you might have read the Book about these cells and the family from which they came

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/sc...ted=1&_r=1&hpw

If you haven't read it yet, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is amazing
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:43 AM   #255
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I was familiar with Henrietta Lacks but haven't read the book - I should get on that.

Recently finished Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan, and absolutely loved it. Brillant dark comedy set in colonial Tasmania - grotesque, funny and heartbreakingly sad all at once. Sometimes you read a book that almost seems tailor made to your interests, this was certainly one of them for me. I'm gonna have to check out all his other stuff now.
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