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Discussion in 'Books' started by chazsoccer, Feb 20, 2009.
I'll need to check out Delete. And my first year comp class just finished up writing about the "Banking Concept" chapter of Freire. So, yeah, that's prett weird.
Just picked up Dante in Love by A.N. Wilson on my library's "new book" shelf. I hope I have time to finish it... maybe over Thanksgiving if I get those papers about Paulo Freire read -- but the first 40 pages are pretty interesting.
Right now I'm reading Life on Life by BKS Iyengar...
And of course A Dance with Dragons
Well, I made my last post while I was dropping off a few books and a DVD at the public library, and I decided to go online and check a few scores and see what was up on bigsoccer. On my way out, finally available...
Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding. 200 pages in... pretty good novel so far. It's getting quite a bit of hype, but it lives up to it for the most part.
Stephen King -- Mile 81 (short story/Amazon Kindle Single)
I enjoyed all of Ian Rankin's books thus far.
Is this new? Is it alt history?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I finished reading it about a month ago, and I just found out Amazon named it Book of the Year. I don't agree.
Around October 15th, I went into a self imposed reading challenge, where I'm trying to get through 12 books before 2011 closes to salvage what has sadly been a non-reading year.
So far, I've finished
I tracked down the Amazon top ten list. The only other book I'm thinking about reading is actually on the bottom, and my library is holding it for me as we speak. It's Tea Olbrecht's The Tiger's Wife. So I'll have some comparisons to make by this time next week.
I have 100 pages to go in The Art of Fielding. I'm digging it and I'm thinking it's an impressive debut novel, but I suspect Harbach's getting a bit more attention than he would otherwise because he edits an "important" magazine, N+1. Can't really say if it's a "book of the year," but I'll say it's the best "campus novel" I've read in awhile. Nowhere near the best baseball novel, though.
It also reminds me quite a bit of an early DeLillo novel, End Zone, about an imaginary college football team, though Harbach's book lacks the political paranoia and nuclear worries that marked Delillo's work at that time.
Now reading The Battle of Life, one of Charles Dickens' Christmas Books, collected here:
Tiger's Wife just won the NBA so I'm really looking forward to that. My friend's friend works for Random House so I try to get most of my books from them.
I really enjoyed the setting up of The Art of Fielding. And I really liked following Henry's hero-worship of Mike. But honestly, there were way too many major characters that some of them were really left underdeveloped. And if the theme of sacrifice were any more hammered in, I would nail myself to a cross. But I did have a better time swallowing the themes of confidence and of over analyzing that was all over the book.
Anyway, let me know your thoughts when you finish. Overall, I gave it a B-/B, but maybe a second reading will allow me to raise it a bit.
my general habit is to have two books going at once. the general rule is one in french, one in english, one fiction, one non, one fairly breezy, one harder plowing (it's not always the fiction that's the easiest read). another general regulation that knows regular but never lightly taken exceptions: the author must be 50 years dead; i figure that's wind enough to blow the chaff away.
the zola i finished yesterday. though as naturalistic as anything in the rougon-macquart, i was struck by its even-handedness: zola is never judgmental but the misery and pessimism in his books often lead us to be so. here there's a happy ending more convincing than the last page sunrise some of his novels seem to have simply tacked on; it makes me want to reconsider these in a new light, and why not? most of balzac i wouldn't go wading through again for love nor money, but zola is a much less daunting prospect.
kroeber i really have no business reading but some people collect pez dispensers, or knit scarves just to unravel them and start over; i find ethnology and ethnography soothing. a real anthropologist would probably find me even dafter than you do (the book was written about 100 years ago and a good bit of it probably doesn't even hold up anymore) but i find this classic handbook fascinating.
I'm on vacation down in Cabo, got away from Seattle as the sleet was driving sideways.
So 4 days in, 2 books, now with sand between pages and several Pina Coladas later, Im looking for something else to read. Can't carry them all in my baggage.
I wasn't looking for anything heavy and I like the way both these guys write. Their conversations sound real, the humour isn't forced and their story lines keep you in until the end. Yep I enjoyed them!
That'd be Butcher's latest, and I have finally caught up.
Almost done with:
Michael Herr's Dispatches, which is about as different from Butcher as it gets.
An academic study of the use of insects in warfare. Loaner from a student of mine - some chapters fantastic, some, well, academic.
this is one of the books i've read more than once; in fact it's one of the very rare books i've read more than twice. you can say i've read it right down to the cords, perhaps 5 times in all over the years.
it's special to me for another reason: when i was about 12 my dad bought me what had been his favorite book as a teen: richard halliburton's the royal road to romance, (a 1920's travel book). for years i just couldn't be bothered. then one evening i opened it before going to bed... finished it about 6am, slept until about noon and read it straight through again.
when my son did the vietnam war in history i handed him my copy of dispatches, which promptly got buried somewhere in the shambles he calls his room... until one night and the following day he did a halliburton on it.
I'll recommend Art of Fielding to pretty much anyone on here. I liked the "campus" aspect of the novel, and more than most people would, I had fun with the literary references Harbach dropped throughout, from the obvious Melville ones (the pitcher named "Starblind," as opposed to Ahab's first mate "Starbuck,") and the detail that the college president who carries on with the gay baseball player is named Affenlight, which echos "Aschenbach," the main character in Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice." It's also a comic novel, so there are going to be elements that bother some baseball fans, but that's pretty common even in most baseball novels that are more "realistic."
The book's a bit over-rated, but a lot of other first novels are a lot more flawed than this one.
I'll have to put The Tiger's Wife on hold because I have to figure out what I'm going to assign in composition classes I'm teaching next semester.
Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style by Mark Garvey. And for another section of a similar class...
Academically Adrift: Limiteed Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum and Josipa Rokska
Started this last night. It's moving along quite well, I'll enjoy some more later.
2 young Russian guys during the WWII Seige of Lenningrad.
I read this last week and LOVED it.
Yup, just finished it.
Realised I'd got to the last page and turned the book over with a sense of loss, Oh no! I've finished....
Worth the sunburn, the sand in my shorts and the melted pina colada....!
I love California history!
A good book for history of the west and a good portion covering California is "Men to Match my Mountains" (1987) I found it a great read. Smith, Freemont, Kit Carson, the mormons. Just a wealth of info. I've travelled a lot of those (now) roads and camped along the trails. It reads more like a novel than history. I've read it a couple of times.
It's by Irving Stone who also wrote one of the most boring books (IMHO) I've ever read. "The Agony (to read) and the Ecstasy" (when you finish)