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Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Moderator1, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Della9250

    Della9250 Well-Known Member

    I believe so. The one that came out earlier was called Beyond the Game.
  2. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Just some quick hits of some reads over the last few months...

    Thought Juliet, Naked was Horby's best book since High Fidelity, and I've read all of them, except I gave up halfway through Long Way Down. It was a pretty interesting examination on the inspiration for art and people's interpretations of it. It's been interesting to watch Hornby "mature" with each book. I think it made him a little boring in some instances (How to Be Good) but here he manages to capture a lot about fatherhood and marriage that's true without being overwrought.

    Homeland by Sam Lipsyte was the funniest book I've read this year. Pretty difficult to describe. Not for everyone, but if you read a lot of literary fiction, you'll appreciate the wackiness and humor he pulls off.

    Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles was really quite good. Actually kind of similar to Homeland in structure. Guy is stuck in an airport so he starts writing an angry letter to American Airlines about everything that's gone wrong with his life. Funny and sad at the same time. Almost a novella more than a novel. Got in a Powell's Books for six dollars after I read a rave review in the LAT, which I believe named it their "Book of the Year." Looking forward to whatever he does next.

    Liked That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo a great deal, which was a relief because I found Bridge of Sighs, his previous book, to be a complete mess. And I adore Russo. He managed to recapture a lot of the wise-guy humor of Nobody's Fool and Straight Man, which are my two favs of his.

    Few months ago, I read Pat Conroy's South of Broad, and mostly came away worried that I've outgrown him as a reader. Didn't see the twist coming at the end, but everything else was predictable. I'm sort of sad because I don't know that he has many more books left in him.

    Prior to that, I slogged my way through Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese and wasn't particularly impressed, even though the book got universally rave reviews. It seemed like it was trying to be Verghese's Poisonwood Bible or Prince of Tides, a sweeping family epic that works in historical events around the narrative, but both those books were far superior in my opinion in that regard.

    If you liked The Road by McCarhy, I'd recommend Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Its already been turned into a movie that made a big splash when it won the Grand Prize at Sundance this year. It's a slice of America that almost never gets written about (poor people, living in the Ozarks, cooking crystal meth) and feels a bit like Faulkner in its prose.

    Currently reading Let the Great World Spin by Collum McCann, National Book Award Winner for '09. About 30 pages in. Beautiful opening. Can't speak to it beyond that.

    On my pile of: "To be read hopefully soon (but not likely since it's hard to find the time these days)...

    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
    A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
    American Rust by Philip Meyer
  3. jhc54

    jhc54 New Member

    Hope you enjoy Great World it was my favorite fiction book of the last year. Its way more coherent then the mess I am currently reading, "Wolf Hall." So enjoy. Those first thirty pages were some of my favorites ever.
  4. Dedo

    Dedo Member

    Loved Great World, although I'm embarrassed to say I completely missed the significance of one small character when I first read it (it isn't giving anything away for me to recommend paying close attention to everything in and around the photo near the center of the book). The closing few pages are just as beautiful as the first 30.

    Also this year, I've read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (just an incredible story and a staggering job of reporting/storytelling) and Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien (I'm way late on that one, even though I've long loved The Things They Carried and should've read more O'Brien by now).

    Halfway through Empire Falls now. Once again, I don't know what took me so long.
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    For the mystery/crime novel fans...

    Just finished "Caught," the new one by Harlan Coben.

    I'm kind of torn. He's a terrific writer, and it's an entertaining read.

    At the same time... it's about horrible family secrets that everyone thought were buried in the past suddenly returning to destroy happy families in a suburban New Jersey city. Just like every other book the guy has written for the past 10+ years.

    I realize he's a bestselling writer now, and very likely has no desire to tinker with a formula that will put his kids through the college of their choice. But egads, man, mix it up. I'm hitting my limit of dead kids and angst-ridden fathers.
  6. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Reading Grisham's 'Playing for Pizza.' My boss gave it to me because he knows I'm a sports fan.
    As with all of my previous encounters with Grisha, it does nothing for me.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I am reading Columbine now. Wow. Will need a heavy dose of easy, light reading after I'm done.
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    A Fiery Peace in a Cold War, by Neil Sheehan, biography of Air Force general Bernard Schriever, who ran the ICBM program in the 1950s. Excellent as biography and as a history of the Cold War, and basically, the history of the U.S. military-industrial complex. Eisenhower is a very, very interesting character.
  9. Layman

    Layman Well-Known Member

    Gracias, PC. I don't read much fiction, but just blasted through Gutshot. Fun read.
  10. Layman

    Layman Well-Known Member

    Also recently read "A Fiery Peace." Good read, although it got a bit repetitive. Still, if you like Sheehan's stuff, you'll like this one.
  11. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    OK, I just finished "Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar." A phenomenal work: superbly and meticulously researched, very, very well-written... and supremely unsettling.

    This firms my opinion that Joseph Stalin was the worst monster in history. Period.

    Yes, Adolf Hitler carried out a systematic policy of genocide against group(s) of people. But Hitler didn't:

    -- Kill the wife of his loyal secretary because she had the temerity to plead for the life of her arrested brother
    -- Wipe out all of his in-laws from both of his marriages
    -- Imprison the wife of his most loyal cohort (Molotov)
    -- Carry out a policy of terror-by-quota that resulted in the death of millions of innocents for nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time or being RELATED to the aforementioned unfortunates. Yes, guilt-by-association was usually fatal in Stalin's Soviet Union.

    And I've barely scratched the surface. The Great Terror must have been one of the most frightening periods in history to live through.

    It was an incredibly powerful book and Simon Montefiore deserves major props for showing all sides of one of the worst excuses for a human being in history.
  12. Gues#t

    Gues#t Guest

    Paul Theroux's antics--fictionalizing his non-fiction, opinions presented as fact, etc--finally got to me. So I dropped Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, and read Oracle Bones by Peter Hesse. It's about the history of China as reflected in its calligraphy, with several intellectuals followed through the Cultural Revolution. Also, plenty of info on China's non-Han indigenous people, with emphasis on the Uighers. Another sub-theme is Chinese movies based on U.S. Westerns. Believe it or not, it all ties together.

    This is a great book. The penultimate chapter is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. If you have an interest in modern China, and what has led up to the way things are today, here's a great place to start.

    Thanks to all posting here--I'm glad to have found this thread.
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