What books are you reading?

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chrisb
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby chrisb » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:10 am

Bought some books I plan to read after I finish with some school work. I'm really looking forward to reading again.

Can anyone recommend some good depressing books? I love a good heartbreaker.
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby aya honda » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:23 pm

^ How come you're in the mood for something depressing?

I am currently reading Andrei Plesu - About Angels which is very philosophical and full of lore about angels, but I like it so much. It's very interesting and it has tons of annotations with lots of useful information. I also made a list of books out of them and see when I can read them.

In the mean time I keep trying to find "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. I keep finding quotes from it or talking with people that have rwad it and it seems really interesting. This point is I can't find it anywhere. :cry:

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby chrisb » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:33 pm

^ I just want a good sad story, it's my favorite kind. Doesn't have to be bleak but I do like beautiful tragic stories along the lines of A Dog of Flanders.
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Not a Jellyfish » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:10 am

aya honda wrote:In the mean time I keep trying to find "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. I keep finding quotes from it or talking with people that have rwad it and it seems really interesting. This point is I can't find it anywhere. :cry:


You should be able to walk into any chain bookstore and find at least 2 or 3 copies. We kept it in constant stock at my old B&N. It does go through random phases where it gets really popular and sells out, but check with your bookseller to see if they can order it. It's one of my favorite books ever and worth putting in a bet more effort to get a hold of. It's really quite incredible.

I just had my first experience with Virginia Woolf, reading "To the Lighthouse". It was absolutely incredible. A very interesting account of the space between people and how we can never fully know or understand others. I plan to write a paper on it this week. She writes incredibly well, shifting a focalized narrative between characters quite smoothly and beautifully. I really liked it.
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby d.yaro » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:58 am

Ah.... Forgot to mention this book which I read while I was on vacation: The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw. I believe this is the first novel by this author to be published. It's a story about a Malayan-Chinese man's life told in somewhat "Rashomon-like" fashion by his son, wife and a British friend. The stories in the book span both sides of the WWII era but the central event takes place before the war (if I recall correctly). The author is an engaging writer who pulls off different styles quite flawlessly; the investigative style of the son, the first person voice of the wife and the first person voice of the aged (and a touch eccentric, i.e: non-conformist) Brit. The copy of the book I have was published by Harper Perennials and has only a UK price on it so I don't know if it's available outside of the UK. Anyways, just thought I'd toss that one out...
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Sentire » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:10 am

chrisb wrote:^ I just want a good sad story, it's my favorite kind. Doesn't have to be bleak but I do like beautiful tragic stories along the lines of A Dog of Flanders.

I have a few suggestions. Here they are, along with the summaries as written on Shelfari. Although I may not have cried at the endings, all of these stories had me moved to tears at different points. I'm not sure if that is what you are looking for, but I did enjoy each one.

"The Gargoyle" by Andrew Davidson:

An extraordinary debut novel of love that survives the fires of hell and transcends the boundaries of time. On a burn ward, a man lies between living and dying, so disfigured that no one from his past life would even recognize him. His only comfort comes from imagining various inventive ways to end his misery. Then a woman named Marianne Engel walks into his hospital room, a wild-haired, schizophrenic sculptress on the lam from the psych ward upstairs, who insists that she knows him – that she has known him, in fact, for seven hundred years. She remembers vividly when they met, in another hospital ward at a convent in medieval Germany, when she was a nun and he was a wounded mercenary left to die. If he has forgotten this, he is not to worry: she will prove it to him. And so Marianne Engel begins to tell him their story, carving away his disbelief and slowly drawing him into the orbit and power of a word he'd never uttered: love.

"Moloka'i" by Alan Brennert:

This richly imagined novel, set in Hawaii more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end---but instead she discovers it is only just beginning. With a vibrant cast of vividly realized characters, Moloka'i is the true-to-life chronicle of a people who embraced life in the face of death. Such is the warmth, humor, and compassion of this novel that "few readers will remain unchanged by Rachel's story" (mostlyfiction.com).

"Honolulu" by Alan Brennert:

Irresistible story of a young immigrant bride in a ramshackle town that becomes a great modern city “In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents’ feelings on the birth of a daughter: I knew a girl named Anger, and another called Pity. As for me, my parents named me Regret.” Honolulu is the rich, unforgettable story of a young “picture bride” who journeys to Hawai'i in 1914 in search of a better life. Instead of the affluent young husband and chance at an education that she has been promised, she is quickly married off to a poor, embittered laborer who takes his frustrations out on his new wife. Renaming herself Jin, she makes her own way in this strange land, finding both opportunity and prejudice. With the help of three of her fellow picture brides, Jin prospers along with her adopted city, now growing from a small territorial capital into the great multicultural city it is today. But paradise has its dark side, whether it’s the daily struggle for survival in Honolulu’s tenements, or a crime that will become the most infamous in the islands’ history... With its passionate knowledge of people and places in Hawai'i far off the tourist track, Honolulu is most of all the spellbinding tale of four women in a new world, united by dreams, disappointment, sacrifices, and friendship.

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Not a Jellyfish » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:47 pm

This week's books for class are:

W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants read alongside the film BOY A. Sebald is a really interesting author, but very difficult to read. He uses a lot of photographic images within his text, but does not caption them. So, much of the discussion around the book is how the images relate to the text (not so far removed from a comic book!) and particularly how they both relate to the idea of exilehood and emigration.

T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land". I haven't gotten very far, and I'm not sure when it comes to poetry, but I do really like Eliot and am looking forward to delving further in to this poem.

And Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. You will not likely ever hear these words come out of my mouth again, but, honestly, unless you are a scholar, don't bother reading the original edition. Just read a cheap, modernized edition. Seriously. Defoe's works (we also read his Moll Flanders for class) are PRE-standardized English. What this means? Random capitals everywhere. Run-on sentences. Fragments. Odd spelling of words (satyr = satire. What? Last I checked a Satyr was a mythological man-goat!). Convoluted sentence structures. Weird and random punctuation. Defoe is credited with being the inventor of the English novel, and his works came around right at the rise or increased printing technology and print culture. So, they are interesting. BUT. There is likely not any really need to read it in its original form. Unless this sounds interesting to you, and not a pain in the ass. Crusoe was written in 1719, so it is also in a rather old English style and language. Regardless, the project we are doing around the text is tons of fun! We are actually working in the Rare Books Room at the Boston Public Library, where they have a very large Defoe Collection. A few weeks ago we transcribed some early Print documents. (Our first project was to transcribe manuscript documents from the Mass State Archives in relation to The Scarlet Letter.) This week we are looking at other Defoe works and creating a "Descriptive Bibliography". It is like an Annotated Biblio, but instead of describing and analyzing the work, we are actually describing the physical printed item itself, such as describing the cover, pictures, lettering, print format and size, etc. Being an English Grad student is tons of work, but it's projects like this that just really make me happy to be here!
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Psycho 101 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:43 am

Right now being in my STar Wars mood I have a bunch of books from various time periods in the SW Universe. I have 2 novels from the Clone Wars era (Jedi Healer: Medstar 1 and 2), 2 from the Old Republic Era (Deceived and Fatal Alliance) and one set in between those time periods. Knight Errant.

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby aya honda » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:22 pm

I bought and read The Perks of Being A Wallflower. I liked it, I liked it so much. I knew I had to read this book. I don't know why it was so great for me but I just felt like I couldn't leave it from my hand. I loved Charlie and his awkward moments and the way he finally makes friends and the way he tries to come up with his life and what he wants. And I loved the ending. It's so full of hope. Loved it so much.

Currently I am reading The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey. Interesting book, though I barely read 20 pages. I will see how this one goes.

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:39 pm

Woohoo! Actual books!

I got some books on tape for my recent trip up to Boston and got the second book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by accident (didn't know it was the second), but I figured out pretty quickly that I enjoyed its style and decided not to spoil myself on it anymore. So then I ordered the Ultimate edition from Amazon for like $12, read the first half of the first vol, I do quite enjoy its sense of style and humor! I did not know that this is where the term "Babel Fish" came from, awesomeness!

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby chrisb » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:59 am

Currently reading Fade by Robert Cormier. A confused 13 year old boy discovers he can turn invisible and starts spying on his friends. I love the disturbing nature of the book, but this is so not appropriate for the grade level (8-10th grade) it is aimed at :lol: I do love teen books that don't sugar coat reality so kudos Mr. Cormier. I love the less outrageous moments because they are tender and real, but the horrifying scenes are all pretty cringe worthy even for my desensitized ass.
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Sentire » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:55 pm

I recently finished Every Visible Thing: A Novel, by Lisa Carey. Basically it is about a family trying to cope with the disappearance of the eldest child. The author immerses you into the family itself, so that you can really see why they would act that way, right or wrong. The ending was particularly well done, it made sense. I would definitely recommend it.

Right now I am enjoying "A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness. In the world there are humans and creatures that consist of vampires, demons and witches. Humans do not know the creatures exist, and the creatures typically do not get along. The protagonist is a self-denied witch that finds a long-lost, magical scroll. This scroll holds the interest of all creatures, because it supposedly answers the age old question "Why do we exist?". The author does a good job of not beating the reader over the head with the protagonist's denial of who or what she truly is, a witch. It comes up at appropriate times and hasn't become tiresome.... yet. I could see the fine line the author is dancing around, where it could easily turn into the reader saying "C'mon, how long are you going to deny it?"... leading the reader to think negatively of the protagonist.

In any case, guess I'll see how it continues.

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby d.yaro » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:02 am

A coworker lent me his copy of "Freekonomics"(sic). It's a interesting collection of articles applying economic analysis skills to everyday problems and questions. An example is an article relating cheating in sumo wrestling to white collar crime. The text of the book is lively and flows from point to point quite quickly. Not a bad read.
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby aya honda » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:16 pm

I have started the great saga of George R.R. Martin A Song Of Ice and Fire, by currently reading A Game Of Thrones. There's something completely fascinating about the world that this man has created. I am happy that I am not very much spoiled about the series, just enough to make me curious. I love it very much.

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Pastachan » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:29 pm

I'm still trying to finish Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. Halfway through, currently.

It's a really great book, and I gotta buy some of his other works. Though right now I have too much backlog to add more to my collection. Anyway, I'm hoping to finish this one relatively soon. Gonna take it on the plane to NYC to see how much I can clear.
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Sentire » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:20 pm

aya honda wrote:I have started the great saga of George R.R. Martin A Song Of Ice and Fire, by currently reading A Game Of Thrones. There's something completely fascinating about the world that this man has created. I am happy that I am not very much spoiled about the series, just enough to make me curious. I love it very much.

My father has been talking about this series for years... I think it is his favorite. Now with it being on TV, he unfortunately does not have HBO and is unable to watch. :(

Aya, do you use the site Shelfari? If so, I'd like to see your shelf and friend you if that is okay. Same with you Pastachan....

Anyone else using Shelfari? I love that site.

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby aya honda » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:22 pm

Sentire wrote:Aya, do you use the site Shelfari? If so, I'd like to see your shelf and friend you if that is okay. Same with you Pastachan....
Oh,sweetie, I don't have an account there, but it definitely picked my curiosity so I will go and make an account and then you can explain to me how we can befriend each other there. :D

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby d.yaro » Wed May 02, 2012 6:56 am

I bought a copy of "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" this past weekend. Was reading a bit between all the stuff I was doing in Tokyo. It's quite good. I trip myself up when reading the dialogue because I tend to skim over it too fast. I like how there are all these little details and tangent directions of narrative in the book.
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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby aya honda » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:38 pm

I have finished The Maze Runnertrilogy by James Dashner. I must admit that it didn't raise to my expectations. Many people told me that this is a really good book, a must-read. Although the book doesn't lack originality and pure imagination, I was often annoyed by the main character, Thomas and I felt at times quite hard to sympathize with him, or even care what happens to him. In spite of the trials he's been going through, I felt myself more attracted to secondary characters such as Minho and Newt (both my favorite characters with different endings).

I felt also cheated somehow because I felt like Dashner has chosen the easy way out and failed to explain some important aspects of the book, not offering many explanations regarding a few important factors in the story. But I found out that he wants to publish in August this year a prequel to the first book of the trilogy so I guess that explains a lot.

Anyway, I feel a little disappointed because half through the The Death Cure (the final book), I realized how it might end and unfortunately the ending wasn't surprising for me at all. It was quite predictable to a certain, extent with the except of one incident.

Never mind that now. I'm going back to George R.R. Martin. I still have to start A Dance with Dragons. It is the size of three small Bibles put together so that will take a while. :ugeek:

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Re: What books are you reading?

Postby Truered » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:45 pm

Finished off the girl with the dragon tattoo a couple of days ago.

And today the novel of Battle royale turned up, so I'll start that soon.

Also need to read Mockingjay and continue with A clash of kings
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