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  1.  (22.121)
    I am reading...

    the Sam Shepard's The Tooth of Crime for class. (I know I need to spend less time in the theatre when I read about a character trying to rape herself and my only thought is "Heeeey! I'd love to do that! On a stage! In front of lots of people! Lets pick this play to do over Christmas.")

    Martin McDonagh's the Pillowman for ... fun? Sick pleasure? A small Jeff Goldblum obsession?

    An old issue of Mcsweeney's quarterly concern i found under my bed. It's a lovely illustrated one (number 20)

    Tallulah Bankhead's autobiography

    and my train/subway paperback is Ender's Game.
    • CommentAuthorAnonymous.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    A fellow I know recently got himself published, so I'm reading an ARC of his novel. Rayo Casablanca's 6 Sick Hipsters. Along with that I'm polishing off the last of Stephen Fry's The Hippopotamus, because I heard it was funny, and it has been so far. And I've a pile of books to my neck to read and some to re-read because I've forgotten them before the year's ended, which isn't going to happen, but I'm avoiding buying books until I've downed two more. These include, but are not limited to;

    Franz Kafka's The Trial
    Douglas Coupland's Generation X and JPod
    Alex Garland's The Tesseract
    J.G. Ballard's Kingdom Come
    Henry Miller's On Writing
    Italo Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveller
    Monica Drake's Clown Girl
    Knut Hamsen's Hunger

    I saw a Steven Erikson up there, which I got excited at, but only because I thought it was Steve Erickson who's a fantastic writer, not a fantasy writer. Not that they're mutually exclusive. And all these books are books and not comic books. I'm starting to lose faith in the world. Such a high production rate and I jumped on the wagon far too late.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    Currently trying to drag my way through Gibson's Spook Country and finding myself more and more likely to just drop it and go for The Satanic Verses. Maybe it's a lost cause. That run of books with Rydell in it was always my favourite. I loved Pattern Recognition as well, but there's just something missing from this one. Maybe it's the non-silk cover.

    There's always a rotation of comics entering through one door and leaving through the other here. Books within arm's reach are Brooklyn Dreams, Supreme Power, Dogs and Water, Buddha, Mother Come Home and the cutest stack of Lone Wolf and Cub.

    As for self edification, a book on bookbinding, one on spray finishing and the I Ching.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007

    Italo Calvino makes my pants feel funny. In a good way, I swear.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    Ben -

    Heh. I just finished The Satanic Verses and started Spook Country.

    Spook Country hasn't really grabbed me either, and I've put it down for the moment in favour of some nonfiction.
    I heartily recommend anything by Rushdie though. He's a writer in love with the English language, it's infectious. His books are long and dense, but never a slog.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007 edited
    In the last week I've gazed upon

    An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin by Rohan Kriwaczek
    No Place to Hide by Robert O'Harrow (reread this again b/c my co -worker just borrowed it and we're going to discuss it soon)
    The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson (one of the best books I've read this year)
    Halting State by Charles Stross (gogo bookloan at work)
    Mainspring by Jay Lake
    Tour:Smart by Martin Atkins (more of a curiosity but I actually picked up some useful knowledge)
    • CommentAuthorAnonymous.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007

    I've heard great things about this book, I'm going to spend Christmas Day with it. Hopefully my danglebits will feel funny too.
  2.  (22.128)
    currently reading the collected short stories of hg wells and the insane ramblings of the forums at
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    I'm almost finished with GODS BEHAVING BADLY by Marie Phillips and SPACEMAN BLUES by Brian Francis Slattery.

    I need to restart THE SEARCH FOR THE RED DRAGON by James A. Owen. I was gifted the galley in September, but had to put it down due to deadlines.

    I just acquired HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski. I may or may not get to it before Christmas.
    • CommentAuthorqdaddyo
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL by Tucker Max. I've no opinion on the book...none.
  3.  (22.131)
    Still slowly crawling thru the tome that is THE LAND WHERE THE BLUES BEGAN by Alan Lomax.
    A rich book, jumping between two journeys to the South, between musical observations and insightful storytelling.
    Sometimes Lomax turns academic with a bit of condescension but saves himself at others by stepping back, recognizing the immense priviledge he was granted to witness very private events typically hidden from the eyes and ears of whites.

    Also, finally tearing thru BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy. I began near the middle with the Border trilogy and proceeded thru his recent books. Interesting to see how his prose has inverted....Then, verbose and epic, occasionally spare. Now, bare and minimal, with lavish moments of language.

    The other thing about THE LAND...and i know this is just my imagination, but nearly every chapter coincides with every song on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' The First Born Is Dead...
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    I'm liking Blood Meridian so far. But sometimes I get kinda tired of reading about dust and rocks and prickly pear.
  4.  (22.133)
    Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis
    Formally Know As Justice League
    and old issues of The Nose
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    My business partner loaned me his copy of Psycho Shop by Alfred Bester and Roger Zelazny. I am going to start tackling it this weekend.

    I am also reading The Book of the War edited by Lawrence Miles. I should be getting a couple of new game books during the next week, so those will go onto my pile once they arrive.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    Lately I've been bouncing between:

    William Gibson's Spook Country
    Carissa Halston's A Girl Named Charlie Lester
    and The Invisibles: Counting to None
      CommentAuthorBexx B.S.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    just finished Vamped by David Sosnowski. By the looks of the cover.. trashy romance.. but by first crack.. nope.. far far from it. A world that is filled with vamps.. and humans are "farmed" for food. Amazing.
  5.  (22.137)
    Just finished Charlie Stross's Halting States which was interesting in terms of world design but did not impress me as an actual story. Right now I'm most of the way through Vernon Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep which is proving capable of keeping my attention. Next I will probably work my way through S.W. Sterlings series beginning with Dies the Fire as he has just put out a new book in that series and I need to catch up.

    "Currently trying to drag my way through Gibson's Spook Country and finding myself more and more likely to just drop it and go for The Satanic Verses. Maybe it's a lost cause. That run of books with Rydell in it was always my favourite. I loved Pattern Recognition as well, but there's just something missing from this one."

    I got roughly the same feeling from Spook Country. I've read through it twice now and I think I've pinpointed the problem, for me anyway. The world is interesting, as all of Gibson's are, but the charecters are hard to identify with and the only one I feel any real sypathy for is Tito. Bigend, for all his childlike menace in Patter Recognition is ill-used and one-dimensional. It seems his only real purpose in appearing in the book is to remind the reader that Spook Country takes place in the same world as Pattern Recognition and follows that book sequentially.

    Having no charecters that I identify with means the book relys on the central mystery to keep me interested, which it did until the final reveal. The first reading had me wondering exactly what happened and the second reading left me wondering why I should care, though it might just be that I've never really cared for happy endings.
    • CommentAuthorAnonymous.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007 edited
    House of Leaves is fantastic. I love that book so much. I let a friend borrow it and he's dissappeared pretty much from my life, so I'm going to have to buy another one which is a bitch because it cost me £20 - and ontop of that, a new release was brought out recently, in colour, as opposed to the black and white version I got, and it's £15. Which is a pure pain. But yeah, I'm sure you've been warned about it's many, erm, intricacies. I got scared of the dark whilst reading it. I couldn't walk down the stairs without a light for about a month for fear of being consumed by my house. In four words; it shit me up.

    Steven Thomas & JaredRules-
    I love McCarthy, I've only read No Country For Old Men and The Road, but I'm dying to get into the Border Trilogy. The thing is, there are some parts of, The Road especially, the prose that are boring, droppy and downright flacid, whereas others are so poignant. Sheer brilliance. I should point out this is a post-apocalyptic kind of book, this isn't a spoiler, I promise. This quote for posterity - the end of the world shown so brilliantly and so quickly. None of that shitty Dan Brown rambling, (no offence to Dan Brown fans) - this is a paragraph. I'm 1pretty sure it's alright to post here legally, for educational purposes, but if Warren or any of the others thinks it shouldn't be here then I needn't say they've got the right and power to delete it - my apologies if that's the case, I've only read a rule refferring to personal fiction which I'm guessing is there to prevent plaigarism claims, etcetera. I doubt that'd be applicable here. Again though, apologies if it isn't appropriate. I'm not sure how things go down here yet.

    The clocks stopped at 1:17. A long shear of light and then a series of low concussions. He got up and went to the window. What is it? she said. He didnt answer. He went into the bathroom and threw the lightswitch but the power was already gone. A dull rose glow in the windowglass. He dropped to one knee and raised the lever to stop the tub and then turned on both taps as far as they would go. She was standing in the doorway in her nightwear, clutching the jamb, cradling her belly in one hand. What is it? she said. What is happening?
    I don't know.
    Why are you taking a bath?
    I'm not.

    Cormac McCarthy, The Road, UK, Picador 2007; Page 54.
  6.  (22.139)
    On a different note, for those of you not familiar with it, I've been playing around with goodreads a lot lately. It's a pretty simple to navigate site that lets you keep track of and review the books you've read, are currently reading, and have yet to read, and share them with other users on the site. It comes complete with personal reviews and ratings if you really want to keep track of your thoughts or make valued recommendations to people. It's been a good resource so far for finding new things to explore.

    bschory - thanks for the pointer. Interesting site.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I noticed that Italo Calvino was mentioned a little earlier.
    I totally loved Invisible Cities. I can't even really explain why. But I was way into it.