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Old 08-09-2013, 10:36 AM   #256
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I never post in this thread, so I might as well start:

The Orphan Master's Son (Adam Johnson, 2012): a harrowing genre-crossing work (coming-of-age story, political thriller, psychological novel) about a rural boy who climbs the social ladder in North Korea and, serendipitously, finds himself in Kim Jong-il's entourage. This is a plot-driven book, and a page-turner, but it ceases to explore a number of interesting questions at a deeply personal level (the meaning of identity in a totalitarian state, the power of stories, etc). It's also a well-researched analysis of life in North Korea - Johnson spent, I believe, some six years researching for this book, and you can feel his deep knowledge on the page.

The Emperor's Children (Claire Messud, 2006): Messud is as perfect a novelist as it gets. She's been described before as a writer's writer, and I can see why: her prose is perfectly crafted, nuanced, elegant, and flat-out gripping. But this novel is also thematically very strong, and I would say it's one of the best literary portraits of pre-9/11 New York City, and in particular of its liberal intelligentsia. This is probably the best book I've read this year.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:54 AM   #257
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The Orphan Master's Son sounds very, very interesting.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:19 AM   #258
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It is. I was a bit skeptical at first, but it really captivated me.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:52 PM   #259
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Orphan Master's Son is on my list, and I loved The Emperor's Children.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:35 PM   #260
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One day, I hope to be an Orphan Master
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #261
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I said I was getting well into a groove with Infinite Jest, and I am, but that's kindle territory, and I found myself convalescing from a fever today in my living room with plenty of natural non-vampire-friendly light, and pulled Murakami's Norwegian Wood off the shelf which has been there for ages, and read close to half of it in a single sitting, which is rare for me. Wonderful novel so far.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:02 PM   #262
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Have you read other Murakami?

Haven't made it to Norwegian Wood yet, but I've read four others that I loved.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:15 PM   #263
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This is my first though I also have The Windup Bird Chronicle. So far my Exposure to Japanese literature has been limited to Kawabata and Oe.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:16 PM   #264
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I've read Chronicle, which many feel is the best. My personal favorite so far has been Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:08 PM   #265
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Quote:
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Haven't made it to Norwegian Wood yet
Still working your way east across the UK?
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:58 PM   #266
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Karl Marx- Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy Edited by Maximilien Rubel

I am venturing ever leftward. Always useful to understand the history and philosophical underpinnings of your arguments.
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:06 AM   #267
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Read The Kreutzer Sonata by Tolstoy. It was a riveting description of a failed marriage. It had such accurate descriptions of ego fights. The murder sequence was so detailed and realistic that the reader feels they actually witnessed or took part in it. I have a suspicion that Tolstoy didn't have a good marriage.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:55 PM   #268
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I'm trying really hard to read A Dance with Dragons, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. I don't find myself getting into that groove of wanting to read it, so much as feeling that I should be reading it. It's not that it's bad, but wow, I don't care about some of these characters he's focusing on so far in this one.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:17 PM   #269
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I've about a quarter of the way into Rowling's (under a pen name) new murder mystery. Thus far it's a bit meh.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:22 PM   #270
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Quote:
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I've about a quarter of the way into Rowling's (under a pen name) new murder mystery. Thus far it's a bit meh.
It sold, what, 1,000 copies under the pen name? That whole situation left such a bad taste in my mouth. The only thing positive about it was that before they "outed" her, it was receiving positive reviews.



So, after my post yesterday, Travis and I started catching up on GoT season 3. Was enjoying watching it so much, I stayed up all night reading Dance with Dragons. I'm hooked in now. Maybe not as strongly as I was with the first four, but I'm finally a good chunk of the way in and the book is far more active. I just feel like

 
All of the stuff in the Free Cities is getting a touch ridiculous. Especially with Tyrion now running around with Jorah. It's not that I don't believe he could've run into him, I just don't quite yet see the purpose of having hm waylaid, only for him to get to exactly where he was aiming to go before (granted, staying with Griff, he never would have arrived in Mereen).


Anyways, I love this books series, I love these characters, I'm just anxious to arrive at the point in the book where we meet up with Feast For Crows characters again.
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