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Thread: Top 10 Books First Read in 2014

  1. #51
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    1. The Recognitions - William Gaddis
    2. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
    3. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon
    4. The Last Picture Show - Larry McMurtry
    5. Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
    6. The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
    7. The Road to Los Angeles - John Fante
    8. The Art of War - Sun Tzu
    9. Looking for Alaska - John Green


    Gonna read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie next just because Gaddis has some bitter vendetta against it. It's one of the most famous books ever written. Want to see what the fuss is about.
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  2. #52
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Fiction
    1. Ishmael (Daniel Quinn, 1992)
    2. Robopocalypse (Daniel H. Wilson, 2011)
    3. Strange Things and Stranger Places (Ramsey Campbell, 1993)

    Non-Fiction
    1. Zombie Makers (Rebecca Johnson, 2013)
    2. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt (tr. Manfred Lurker, 1972)

    Comics
    1. Batman: Arkham Asylum... (Morrison et al, 1989)
    2. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (Frank Miller, 1992)
    3. Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (Frank Miller, 1996)
    4. Batman: Mad Love and others (Dini et al, 1994)
    5. Sin City: The Big Fat Kill (Frank Miller, 1995)
    6. Batman: The Man Who Laughs (Brubaker et al, 2005)
    7. Hellboy: Strange Places (Mike Mignola, 2002)
    8. The Death of Superman (Jurgens et al, 1992)
    9. Sin City: Family Values (Frank Miller, 1997)
    10. The Dark Man (King & Chadbourne, 2013)

  3. #53
    Best Boy ContinentalOp's Avatar
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    Not going to meet my 25 book goal. Kind of going Joe Lansdale crazy as well.
    1. Hyenas by Joe Lansdale
    2. Cold in July by Joe Lansdale
    3. Firebreak by Richard Stark
    4. Leather Maiden by Joe Lansdale
    5. The Drive-In by Joe Lansdale
    6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    Out of ****:
    Chef- ** 1/2
    The Interview- ** 1/2
    White Bird in a Blizzard- ** 1/2
    Frank- *** 1/2
    A Walk Among the Tombstones- ***

  4. #54
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    1. The Halloween Tree - Bradbury
    2. Othello - Shakespeare
    3. Shogun - James Clavell
    4. Gone Girl - Flynn

  5. #55
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    1. The Recognitions - William Gaddis
    2. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
    3. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon
    4. The Last Picture Show - Larry McMurtry
    5. Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
    6. The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
    7. Great Jones Street - Don DeLillo
    8. The Road to Los Angeles - John Fante
    9. The Art of War - Sun Tzu
    10. Looking for Alaska - John Green
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  6. #56
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    1. The Recognitions - William Gaddis
    2. Dusk and Other Stories - James Salter
    3. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
    4. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon
    5. The Last Picture Show - Larry McMurtry
    6. Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
    7. The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
    8. Great Jones Street - Don DeLillo
    9. The Road to Los Angeles - John Fante
    10. The Art of War - Sun Tzu


    [
    ]
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  7. #57
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605/15)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens, 1859)
    • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
    • Strait Is the Gate (André Gide, 1909)
    • Farewell, My Lovely (Raymond Chandler, 1940)
    • Pnin (Vladimir Nabokov, 1957)
    • Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964/74)
    • Narration in the Fiction Film (David Bordwell, 1985)
    At the half-way point, Jane Eyre is the book to beat. Total number of books read: Fourteen and a half counting Don Quixote as two books written ten years apart and Borges' Labyrinths as one half since some of the stories were already familiar to me.
    Just because...
    Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent (François Truffaut, 1971) mild
    Pain and Glory (Pedro Almódovar, 2019) warm
    Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi, 1937) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield


    The (New) World

  8. #58
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Fiction
    1. Ishmael (Daniel Quinn, 1992)
    2. Heart-Shaped Box (Joe Hill, 2007)
    3. Robopocalypse (Daniel H. Wilson, 2011)
    4. Strange Things and Stranger Places(Ramsey Campbell, 1993)

    Non-Fiction
    1. Zombie Makers (Rebecca Johnson, 2013)
    2. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt (tr. Manfred Lurker, 1972)

    Comics
    1. Batman: Arkham Asylum... (Morrison et al, 1989)
    2. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (Frank Miller, 1992)
    3. Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (Frank Miller, 1996)
    4. Animal Man (Morrison et al, 1988)
    5. Batman: Mad Love and others (Dini et al, 1994)
    6. Sin City: The Big Fat Kill (Frank Miller, 1995)
    7. Batman: The Man Who Laughs (Brubaker et al, 2005)
    8. Kid Eternity (Morrison et al, 1991)
    9. Hellboy: Strange Places (Mike Mignola, 2002)
    10. The Death of Superman (Jurgens et al, 1992)
    11. Sin City: Family Values (Frank Miller, 1997)
    12. The Dark Man (King & Chadbourne, 2013)

  9. #59
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Update:

    1. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    2. Amy Waldman’s The Submission
    3. Marilynne Robinson’s Home
    4. Alice Munro’s Friend of my Youth: Stories
    5. Mohsen Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
    6. Phil Klay’s Redeployment: Stories
    7. Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot
    8. Alice Munro’s Open Secrets: Stories
    9. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars
    10. J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World
    [
    ]

    Nonfiction (best to worst):
    Kirk W. Johnson’s To Be a Friend is Fatal: The Fight to Save the Iraqis American Left Behind
    Marilynne Robinson’s When I was a Child I Read Books
    Peter Boxall’s Twenty-First-Century Fiction: An Introduction
    David Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  10. #60
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    1.) Jack Glass (Adam Roberts, 2011)
    2.) Girlvert (Oriana Small, 2011)
    ...

  11. #61
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    1. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
    2. The Crane Wife - Patrick Ness
    3. Paper Towns - John Green
    4. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
    5. The Road Less Traveled - M. Scott Peck
    6. Ascent - Jory Burks

    Now reading: Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

  12. #62
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    1. Phenomenology of Spirit (Hegel, 1807) - 9.5
    2. Sisters by a River (Barbara Comyns, 1954) - 9
    3. Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K Jerome, 1889) - 8.5
    4. The Vet's Daughter (Barbara Comyns, 1959) - 8.5
    5. Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories (Raymond Carver, 1988) - 8.5
    6. Austerlitz (WG Sebald, 2001) - 7
    7. Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier, 1938) - 7
    8. Who was Changed and Who was Dead (Barbara Comyns, 1954) - 6.5
    9. The Woman in the Dunes (Kobo Abe, 1962) - 6.5
    10. Hellboy in Hell, Vol. 1: The Descent (Mike Mignola, 2014) [comic] - 6.5
    11. Some Prefer Nettles (Junichiro Tanizaki, 1928) - 6.5
    12. Tintin in Tibet (Herge, 1959) [comic] - 3.5

    The Carver collection was a mix, but some of the more minimalist, Lish-edited stories were among the best things I've ever read. Stories like `Why Don’t You Dance?’ and `Gazebo’ were beautiful, hard-edged yet sentimental depictions of longing, regret, self-destruction, and the stifling collapse of relationships.
    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

  13. #63
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Fiction
    1. Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell, 2004)
    2. Ishmael (Daniel Quinn, 1992)
    3. Heart-Shaped Box (Joe Hill, 2007)
    4. Robopocalypse (Daniel H. Wilson, 2011)
    5. Strange Things and Stranger Places(Ramsey Campbell, 1993)

    Non-Fiction
    1. Zombie Makers (Rebecca Johnson, 2013)
    2. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt (tr. Manfred Lurker, 1972)

    Comics
    1. Batman: Arkham Asylum... (Morrison et al, 1989)
    2. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (Frank Miller, 1992)
    3. Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (Frank Miller, 1996)
    4. We3 (Morrison et al, 2004)
    5. Animal Man (Morrison et al, 1988)
    6. Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 (Ellis et al, 1997)
    7. Batman: Mad Love and others (Dini et al, 1994)
    8. Sin City: The Big Fat Kill (Frank Miller, 1995)
    9. Batman: The Man Who Laughs (Brubaker et al, 2005)
    10. Kid Eternity (Morrison et al, 1991)
    11. Hellboy: Strange Places (Mike Mignola, 2002)
    12. The Death of Superman (Jurgens et al, 1992)
    13. Sin City: Family Values (Frank Miller, 1997)
    14. The Dark Man (King & Chadbourne, 2013)

  14. #64
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    1. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
    2. The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
    3. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
    4. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
    5. The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    6. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
    7. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
    8. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater & Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
    9. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
    10. Vicious by V. E. Schwab

    The Rest:
    [
    ]
    ...and the milk's in me.

  15. #65
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    1. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
    Have you read anything else by Valente?

    She's pretty much the reigning queen of Weird Fiction. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams. While the original is OOP and very expensive, it has been collected in an incredible anthology (which I plan to read all of, soon), called Myths of Origin.

    Yume No Hon is up there with the Last Dragon as one of the single greatest works of fantastic fiction I know of. Just a tremendous example of expertly written, poetic, surreal, and alluring story telling.

    I am eternally grateful for discovering her via Jeff Vandermeer's blog and writing.

  16. #66
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    1. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury
    2. Othello - Shakespeare
    3. Shogun - James Clavell
    4. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
    5. Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby

  17. #67
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    1.) Jack Glass (Adam Roberts, 2011)
    2.) Girlvert (Oriana Small, 2011)
    3.) Long Lost Dog Of It (Michael Kazepis, 2014)
    ...

  18. #68
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Novels:
    • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605/15)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens, 1859)
    • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
    • Strait Is the Gate (André Gide, 1909)
    • The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner, 1929)
    • Farewell, My Lovely (Raymond Chandler, 1940)
    • Pnin (Vladimir Nabokov, 1957)
    • Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964/74)

    Story story collections:
    • Seven Gothic Tales (Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen], 1934)
    • Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges, 1962)*
    • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction (J.D. Salinger, 1963)
    • The Love of a Good Woman (Alice Munro, 1998)

    Non-fiction:
    • Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Roland Barthes, 1980)
    • Narration in the Fiction Film (David Bordwell, 1985)
    Updated for the end of July-beginning of August. Total number of books read: seventeen and a half.
    Just because...
    Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent (François Truffaut, 1971) mild
    Pain and Glory (Pedro Almódovar, 2019) warm
    Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi, 1937) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield


    The (New) World

  19. #69
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    1. The Recognitions - William Gaddis
    2. Dusk and Other Stories - James Salter
    3. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
    4. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon
    5. The Last Picture Show - Larry McMurtry
    6. Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
    7. The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
    8. Great Jones Street - Don DeLillo
    9. The Road to Los Angeles - John Fante
    10. Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain - Dwight McDonald



    [
    ]

    Dwight McDonald was a literary and culture critic who wrote mostly scathing, negative essays about the death of high culture as a result of capitalism and the rise of the middle class. This is a very good collection, especially the title piece. Obnoxious culture snobs will really like this one
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  20. #70
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    1. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury
    2. Othello - Shakespeare
    3. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    4. Shogun - James Clavell
    5. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
    6. Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby

  21. #71
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Benny Profane (view post)
    10. Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain - Dwight McDonald

    Dwight McDonald was a literary and culture critic who wrote mostly scathing, negative essays about the death of high culture as a result of capitalism and the rise of the middle class. This is a very good collection, especially the title piece. Obnoxious culture snobs will really like this one
    Thanks for commenting on this. I'd never heard of McDonald before but really enjoyed how he approached his thesis; it aligns with other literary commentary that's gained press in the past decade or so (Franzen's "Why Bother?" and Ruth Graham's recent "Against YA"), and his assessment of how otherwise average literature of his day succumbs, via bad writing, to overbearing cliche and lack of nuance was fascinating. I skim-read his James Agee and Hemingway articles, but I'm not otherwise interested in his topics. Would have loved to see him study other Modernist and Realist writers...
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  22. #72
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Novels:
    • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605/15)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens, 1859)
    • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
    • Strait Is the Gate (André Gide, 1909)
    • Howards End (E.M. Forster, 1910)
    • The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner, 1929)
    • Farewell, My Lovely (Raymond Chandler, 1940)
    • Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964/74)

    Story story collections:
    • The Death of Ivan Illych and Other Stories (Leo Tolstoy, 1859-95)
    • Seven Gothic Tales (Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen], 1934)
    • Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges, 1962)*
    • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction (J.D. Salinger, 1963)
    • The Love of a Good Woman (Alice Munro, 1998)

    Non-fiction:
    • Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Roland Barthes, 1980)
    • Narration in the Fiction Film (David Bordwell, 1985)
    Updated for the end of August. Total number of books read: twenty and a half.
    Just because...
    Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent (François Truffaut, 1971) mild
    Pain and Glory (Pedro Almódovar, 2019) warm
    Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi, 1937) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield


    The (New) World

  23. #73
    Absent Minded quido8_5's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Updated for the end of August. Total number of books read: twenty and a half.
    Nice. So glad to see Death of Ivan Illyich on there. For a time it was my favorite Tolstoy, which is saying a whole, whole lot. Probably need to revisit it. What did you think?

    On a related note, what other stories did you read? Happily Ever After I thought was brilliant, a bitterly realistic depiction of love.
    The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
    - Camus

    Films
    Tess (Polanski, 1979): ***.5
    Love and Death (Allen, 1975): **.5
    Lord of the Flies (Brook, 1963): ***.5

    TV
    Brooklyn Nine Nine (Season 1): ***
    Olive Kitteridge (Mini-Series): ****

  24. #74
    Quote Quoting quido8_5 (view post)
    Nice. So glad to see Death of Ivan Illyich on there. For a time it was my favorite Tolstoy, which is saying a whole, whole lot. Probably need to revisit it. What did you think?

    On a related note, what other stories did you read? Happily Ever After I thought was brilliant, a bitterly realistic depiction of love.
    The other stories were "Family Happiness," "The Kreutzer Sonata," and "Master and Man." I thought the first section of "Family Happiness" dragged a bit, though it got more interesting once the troubles started, and I struggled to get interested in "The Kreutzer Sontata" and "Master and Man" to little avail. In the former, the story is merely an illustration of the narrator's eccentric views on human sexuality (which I only subsequently learned that Tolstoy shared), and the latter only became compelling for me once the characters got trapped in the snow. I found "The Death of Ivan Illych" more interesting and the character's last-minute redemption is more convincing than in "Master and Man," but on the whole, it would appear that becoming a crazy religious fanatic had a largely negative effect on Tolstoy's art.
    Just because...
    Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent (François Truffaut, 1971) mild
    Pain and Glory (Pedro Almódovar, 2019) warm
    Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi, 1937) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield


    The (New) World

  25. #75
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    1. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury
    2. Othello - Shakespeare
    3. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    4. Shogun - James Clavell
    5. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
    6. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
    7. Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby

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