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Old 08-19-2013, 09:05 PM   #286
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Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage' Gets Remade By Librarians (VIDEO)
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:17 PM   #287
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Yes.

 
Which one's beegee?
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:31 PM   #288
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Love Among the Ruins, by Angela Thirkell


Number 17 of the 29 Barsetshire novels Thirkell wrote. I'm still working my way through these in order.

(I had suspected that people who liked Downton Abbey would like these. My niece read one and confirmed it. I have yet to see the show.)

Anyway. At first, it seemed like Thirkell was just throwing in old characters for nostalgia, instead of keeping the focus on two or three families, as she usually does, but then I realized that they were all people who'd been in love and hadn't had it work out; those storylines followed the theme and title of the book. The ruins weren't just what was left of England after the war, and trying to make do with the peacetime rationing; they were also the ruins of past relationships. One can be crippled by them, or one can step around the ruins and keep going forward. There's a lot of lamenting of the dying landed gentry class, but Thirkell's beginning to see that maybe the change, while inevitable and upsetting, can be seen as part of the long-term evolution of English society.

And, of course, I laugh out loud at her lovely way with a sentence. Her characterizations are nearly as good as Trollope's in the original Barsetshire novels of the late 1800s. And he was a master at it.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:27 AM   #289
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Which one's beegee?
"Story Time"

MK (U2SavesTheWorld, for those who remember) posted this on my FB the other day. I love it.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:21 AM   #290
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Stalingrad by Antony Beevor

I always enjoy reading books on Russian culture/history written by non-Russians, and this account of the Stalingrad battle was no exception, paricularly as it gives insight into both Soviet and German sides of the story. And mentions facts that probably wouldn't be mentioned in the Russian books, like the fact that thousands of Soviets were fighting on the side of the Germans. Occasionally my eyes were glazing over with the effort of keeping up with all the tactical stuff and army manoeuvres, but where I felt the book was truly outstanding and involving was in the depictions (needless to say, often extremely harrowing and brutal) of the daily lives of the ordinary civilians and soldiers on both sides.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:41 AM   #291
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I'm skeptical towards his work in general, but I was always interested in The Stand by Stephen King. And now I see there are two versions, one significantly longer than the original one (the "uncut" version). Which one I should get if I'd ever delve into the book? I'm leaning towards the shorter one, since my curiosity isn't that big.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:39 PM   #292
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I loved the book, but maybe that's because I'm a tribe member and some of the nuances and language meant more to me. It's no Kavalier & Clay but I still loved it.
Did you ever read Summerland? That piece of shit was an offense to the fabric of my being.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:05 PM   #293
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I skipped it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:52 AM   #294
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Yeah the filmography had me in stitches.

Not sure if you've arrived at the Eschaton play-by-play part yet but that was also a hilarious highlight.
A hilarious highlight indeed. It's so wonderfully written, especially when the whole thing escalates and starts to fall apart. I was laughing the whole time.

Only 700 pages left.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #295
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Forgot to mention that I finished The Killer Inside Me. Loved the ambiguous ending and the slow mental breakdown of the protagonist. Writing a serial killer story in first person was a bold choice and it paid off.

I'm reading the Black Dahlia right now. A lot of people seemed to be turned off by the boxing shit, but I love the sport and found it well written.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:40 PM   #296
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I'm skeptical towards his work in general, but I was always interested in The Stand by Stephen King. And now I see there are two versions, one significantly longer than the original one (the "uncut" version). Which one I should get if I'd ever delve into the book? I'm leaning towards the shorter one, since my curiosity isn't that big.
For the love of God, don't read the Uncut version.

I may be the only person to tell you that, but I can't even begin to express how badly I wish I'd not read that version first.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:04 AM   #297
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Forgot to mention that I finished The Killer Inside Me. Loved the ambiguous ending and the slow mental breakdown of the protagonist. Writing a serial killer story in first person was a bold choice and it paid off.

I'm reading the Black Dahlia right now. A lot of people seemed to be turned off by the boxing shit, but I love the sport and found it well written.
I haven't read the book, but the movie really seemed like a flawed adaptation from the get-go, since I know that the narrator in the book gets more and more unreliable with time, which the film takes a bit too literally as it moves towards a closure. The ending in the movie was ridiculous. I'm still intrigued about the book though.

Cool to see you getting your Ellroy fix. I'd definitely read The Big Nowhere afterwards.

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For the love of God, don't read the Uncut version.

I may be the only person to tell you that, but I can't even begin to express how badly I wish I'd not read that version first.
Heh, it was more of a rhetorical question anyway. I'm not a fan of King so I wouldn't want to spend so much time with one of his books.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:05 AM   #298
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Stephen King is my favorite author so...
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:10 AM   #299
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Yeah the second half of that book is much better than the first. Took me a while to get into it as well. And there aren't that many chapters with the characters from the last book so I wouldn't look forward to it too much. Just lots and lots of Dany, Jon and Tyrion which is fine by me.
I have arrived...and there's still almost 400 pages left. Even if it's not that many chapters featuring the characters themselves, it's certainly a nice breathing point for me. I feel like I finished one book and have begun another. This is a good thing, the size of this book has been weighing me down, figuratively and literally.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:56 AM   #300
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon, 2003): this is a cute little book with a bittersweet story about an autistic boy who decides to investigate the death of his neighbour’s dog. Haddon writes it in the first person, and his greatest merit, in my view, is how he captures the voice/worldview of autism. There are a few gimmicks here and there that annoyed me a bit, but overall it was an interesting read. A short one, too.

By Nightfall (Michael Cunningham, 2010): I didn’t like this one as much. Cunningham, in my view, has a certain disdain for his female characters and an undue fascination for his dull male protagonist, the owner of an art gallery in Chelsea who lives in a Soho loft (does it get more predictable than this?) and who is (guess what?) going through a mid-life crisis and may or may not have feelings for his brother-in-law. To make matters worse, his prose is unnatural and his lyricism is forced. I hate labelling things as pretentious because it is often mistaken for ambition, I would give By Nightfall this label – a made-for-preppies book.

Leviathan (Paul Auster, 1992): Auster is a good example of ambition than is often mistaken for pretention. Leviathan is a touching tale of a writer’s disillusionment and decent towards radicalism. Despite the book-within-a-book structure, Leviathan has a pretty conventional narrative style (at least for Auster), and its beauty lies in the psychological exploration of the two main characters.

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (Kazuo Ishiguro, 2009): I expected more of Ishiguro, although this is perhaps not the best place to start. This is a collection of very loosely connected short-stories that have some relation to music (which was the selling point for me). With one or two exceptions, I didn’t find the stories (or characters) to be very interesting, and Ishiguro’s sparse, simple style didn’t do much for me either.

Cosmopolis (Don DeLillo, 2003): Mixed feelings about this one. I absolutely loved DeLillo’s prose in this one – quite beautiful and lyrical, and often impressionistic. At the same time, I wasn’t crazy for the story or most of the characters (except for the wife). I thought DeLillo went a little overboard with his parable of de-humanization in the digital age; I usually prefer my moral lessons to be subtler, if that makes sense. In any case, the writing was good enough to make me want to dig further into his material. White Noise will be next, most likely.
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