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Thread: Top 10 Books First Read During 2012

  1. #26
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)
    2. The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare
    Too bad, because there are a few hilarious scenes and characters. But the underlying messages and hateful ending are really disturbing.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  2. #27
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    Too bad, because there are a few hilarious scenes and characters. But the underlying messages and hateful ending are really disturbing.
    Yeah, Grumio was pretty great. He consistently made me laugh.

  3. #28
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    1. Underworld - Don DeLillo
    2. A Sport and a Pastime - James Salter
    3. Here and Now! - Pat Martino (autobiography)
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  4. #29
    Best Boy Chac Mool's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Chac Mool (view post)
    1. Rope Burns (F.X. Toole)
    2. Foundation (Isaac Asimov)
    3. Krakatoa (Simon Winchester)
    Updated with Asimov's lean but compelling sci-fi epic.

  5. #30
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    1. At the Mountains of Madness, H. P. Lovecraft
    2. Pym, Mat Johnson
    3. Goodbye, Columbus and Five Other Short Stories, Philip Roth
    4. Fiskadoro, Denis Johnson
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  6. #31
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    1. Matadora, by Steve Perry
    2. In Other Worlds, by A.A. Attanasio
    3. When We Were Executioners, by J.M. McDermott
    4. The Turtle Boy, by Kealan Patrick Burke

    5. Fifty-One Tales, by Lord Dunsany
    6. Imajica, by Clive Barker

  7. #32
    1. Joseph Roth: Radetzkymarsch
    2. Eugen Ruge: In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts
    3. Stephen L. Carter: The Emperor of Ocean Park
    4. James Sallis: The Killer Is Dying
    5. Kobr/Klüpfel: Rauhnacht
    6. Philipp Kerr: A Five Year Plan
    7. S.J. Watson: Before I Go To Sleep

  8. #33
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    1. Titus Groan, Peake (re-read)
    2. Gulliver's Travels, Swift
    3. Iron Council, Mieville
    4. 'Salems lot, King
    5. City of Saints and Madmen, Vandermeer
    6. Elric of Melnibone, Moorcock


    Fantasy!

  9. #34
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    1. Richard III by Shakespeare
    2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    3. The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare

    That's better, Shakespeare. Not perfect, but better.

  10. #35
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)
    That's better, Shakespeare. Not perfect, but better.
    I'm sure he's relieved.

  11. #36
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    I'm sure he's relieved.
    As he should be. I'll be keeping him abreast of my opinions all semester.

  12. #37
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)
    As he should be. I'll be keeping him abreast of my opinions all semester.
    Good tip. In all of your work this semester, remember to put "Shakespeare" in quotation marks. Your lecturer will appreciate it.

  13. #38
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    1. Titus Groan, Peake (re-read)
    2. Gulliver's Travels, Swift
    3. Iron Council, Mieville
    4. 'Salems lot, King
    5. City of Saints and Madmen, Vandermeer
    6. Elric of Melnibone, Moorcock

    Fantasy!
    Wow, look at you!

  14. #39
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    1. Underworld - Don DeLillo
    2. The Metamorphosis and Other Stories - Franz Kafka
    3. A Sport and a Pastime - James Salter
    4. Here and Now! - Pat Martino (autobiography)
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  15. #40
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    1. The Silent Cry (Kenzaburo Oe, 1967) - 8.5
    2. Under the Autumn Star (Hamsun, 1906) - 8.5
    3. A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings (Hamsun, 1909) - 8
    4. Arthur Rimbaud: Complete Works (translator Paul Schmidt, 1868-1900) - 7.5
    5. Murphy (Beckett, 1938) - 6.5
    6. (32 of the) Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Edgar Allan Poe, 1835-49) - 5

    The Silent Cry was big, intricate, and strange. The prose and dialogue read like the monotone speech of a robot obsessed with the grotesque, with both the narration and the characters endlessly explaining the meaning of every minute occurrence, all in the same morbid, unnaturally technical tone. Such an explicit style is sometimes frustrating, but it's also compelling in its idiosyncrasy, and it suits the state of the narrator, who is variously detached from and repulsed and vaguely baffled by existence. The characters in general feel themselves flung into existence, into themselves and what they are culpable for, and they grapple with it. Japan's post-war social decay provides an undertone to this, but it's placed within a broad depiction of how the characters' take personal meaning from their place in a larger personal and cultural history; the way they define themselves and see the world is not just colored by, but integrally connected to the way they interpret that history, which can never truly be known, since its events are buried by time and appropriated into a web of cultural meanings. The ending, which the book so carefully builds to, is profoundly moral: it's a call to action, to risking something and going beyond oneself, and thereby achieving wholeness and meaning for oneself.
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

    lists and reviews

  16. #41
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    1. Matadora, by Steve Perry
    2. In Other Worlds, by A.A. Attanasio
    3. When We Were Executioners, by J.M. McDermott
    4. The Turtle Boy, by Kealan Patrick Burke
    5. Fifty-One Tales, by Lord Dunsany
    6. Battle in the Dawn: The Complete Hok the Mighty, Manly Wade Wellman
    7. Imajica, by Clive Barker
    8. Wildest Dreams, Norman Partridge

  17. #42
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    1. At the Mountains of Madness, H. P. Lovecraft
    2. Pym, Mat Johnson
    3. Saffron Dreams, Shaila Abdullah
    4. Goodbye, Columbus and Five Other Short Stories, Philip Roth
    5. Fiskadoro, Denis Johnson
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  18. #43
    Avatar Thief Robby P's Avatar
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    1. 'The Imperfectionists', Tom Rachman
    2. 'Freedom', Jonathan Franzen
    3. '11/22/63', Stephen King

    Rachman's book is such a truly wonderful debut novel. Magnificent use of a very clever narrative device and such a brilliant mix of humor, tragedy and empathy. The ending just devastated me. I can't wait to read it again some day.

    Moving on to Howard Jacobson's 'The Finkler Question' next.

  19. #44
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    1. At the Mountains of Madness, H. P. Lovecraft
    2. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John le Carré
    3. Pym, Mat Johnson
    4. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
    5. Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris
    6. Saffron Dreams, Shaila Abdullah
    7. Goodbye, Columbus and Five Other Short Stories, Philip Roth
    8. Fiskadoro, Denis Johnson
    9. Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  20. #45
    1. Ragtime (Doctorow)
    2. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (Hoffer)
    3. The Revolution (Paul)
    4. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Murakami)
    5. Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour (O'Malley)
    6. The Man in the High Castle (Dick)
    7. Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe (O'Malley)
    8. Ghost World (Clowes)
    9. The Film Snob's Dictionary (Kamp)

  21. #46
    A Bonerfied Classic Derek's Avatar
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    1) The French Lieutenant's Woman (John Fowles) 9.5
    2) Freedom (Jonathan Franzen) 8.0
    3) Bend Sinister (Vladimir Nabakov) 7.0
    4) The Year of Magical Thinking (Joan Didion) 7.0
    5) A Moveable Feast (Ernest Hemingway) 6.0


    Rereads:

    Franny & Zooey (JD Salinger) 10

  22. #47
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Derek (view post)
    2) Freedom (Jonathan Franzen) 8.0
    The MC fresh/rotten is now at 50% on this one.

    Nice.
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  23. #48
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    1. Matadora, by Steve Perry
    2. In Other Worlds, by A.A. Attanasio
    3. When We Were Executioners, by J.M. McDermott
    4. The Turtle Boy, by Kealan Patrick Burke
    5. The Wizards and the Warlords, by Hugh Cook
    6. Fifty-One Tales, by Lord Dunsany
    7. Battle in the Dawn: The Complete Hok the Mighty, Manly Wade Wellman
    8. Imajica, by Clive Barker
    9. Wildest Dreams, Norman Partridge

  24. #49
    A Bonerfied Classic Derek's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Benny Profane (view post)
    The MC fresh/rotten is now at 50% on this one.

    Nice.
    I can understand people disliking it. Franzen's pessimistic outlook almost borders on misanthropy, but his uncanny ability to always further plumb the neuroses and psychosis of his characters is just so damn engrossing. Mara's right that there's nothing impressive about the story in this one, but in a way, it's more an extended chamber drama, intensely focused on the relationships between the characters and the way they shape and change each others psychological make-ups. To me, it was much more interesting to see how the seemingly endless cause and effects play out in each of their minds rather than have a more detailed, cohesive story. I do think [
    ] was a bit convenient, almost unnecessarily cruel, but Franzen redeemed himself with a rather strong ending after that. It's no The Corrections, but not many books are...so yeah, I'm with you on the Franzen fanboy train.

  25. #50
    And don't you know it ThePlashyBubbler's Avatar
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    1. The Savage Detectives (Roberto Bolano)
    2. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (J.D. Salinger)
    3. V. (Thomas Pynchon)
    4. Beloved (Toni Morrison)
    5. Blood Meridian (Cormac McCarthy)
    6. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (Cormac McCarthy)
    7. Habibi (Craig Thompson)
    8. Bonfire of the Vanities (Tom Wolfe)
    9. Other Electricities (Ander Monson)
    10. 1Q84 (Haruki Murukami)
    Writing things for A Horizontal Myth.


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