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kari
CH, yes, Caleb Carr!

Crosby, I saw the movie, but didn't read the book. I would like to read it though. I thought the movie was well done.
annabananahannahmontana
i'm trying to read more classics...i'm reading wuthering heights right now. i'm at the part where lockwood sees cathy's ghost....creepy....

i like the characters so far, i like misanthropic bitter characters so this is right up my alley....i even like heathcliff so far....
WasabiNinja
Hello Illustrious women and men of BUST,

MadameHooch
I just checked a bunch of books out form the library - a collection of all Truman Capote's short stories, a large book called Great Neck, and DIY: the Rise of Lo-Fi Culture, which I'm currently reading right now. I know I've read a review about DIY somewhere in the past..not sure if it was Bust or Venus. So far I think it's interesting. I wish I was of age in the 90s to participate in that whole zine/diy/riot grrl culture when it was at it's hey day. I'm a sucker for the romantic notions of letter writing and zine making. The internet has ruined (as well as improved) everything!! haha
anna k
I was really into zines ten years ago, collecting them, making one myself. I got burnt out when I would look for new zines, but not be interested in the writing, my eyes would just glaze over, and it feels like a thing of the past with blogs being so prevalent. Some of my favorite zine writers (Mary Phillips-Sandy, Ayun Halliday) have gone on to be successful writers, or are just all-around awesome (Jeanette Ordas, Carrie Mesrobian), and I do miss that community, but don't like zines that say boring things when the writer thinks they're being thoughtful or unique, or if it's good but too pricey, or whatnot.

And note, two of these writers were commenters on Bust way back in 2001, that's how I heard of their zines.
annabananahannahmontana
i just finished reading Wuthering Heights. i liked it a lot; it's been a while since I've read a book that i couldn't stop thinking about. to me, Heathcliff is probably one of the most pitifully sad characters ever created; so bent on destroying others that eventually he just sort of implodes. he just kept making things worse, and messing everything up. i cried at the end when the second cathy and hareton got together, and she taught him how to read, and everything. it was like finally some bright spot in the whole mess.
roseviolet
Anna, I know Carrie used to be on here, but who is the other one?
annabananahannahmontana
i really need to stop reading such depressing stuff.... does anyone have any funny recommendations?
sevenseconds
oops double post
sevenseconds
oops triple post - can someone PM me how to delete these? please.
sevenseconds
M. John Harrison, ladies (the M. is part of the name). Funny and tender and wise and reckless and elusive and exquisite. Sad is warpped in funny and vice versa with him. He's a Brit, and way underappreciated cuz I have a feeling he can't stand self-promotion and is just a weirdo who hates playing by the rules. I read his last books first, as I am a sci-fi lover/hater and was looking for some sci-fi that isn't all about the fuel and the black hole, you know... Like, literary sci-fi. It's so rare, and yes, he does that. He also writes mainstream, and it is just transcendent what he does with language and how he can make a character drop one line and you just know. For in-your-teeth characters, Climbers. For weird obsessive male views on love, Course of the Heart and Signs of Life, makes me howl. He has this way of pushing romance noir almost over into horror but there is no monster or killer or anything, it's usually some ellusive concept the obsession with which eats everyone alive. Bad explanation, but you'll have to trust me on that.
But Light is the most brilliant piece of sci-fi I've read, and I'm a snob. Trumps even Dahlgren I think. Kind of lockdown to the death with The Left Hand of Darknes ; ) *Almost* trumps Neuromancer, but that's different. And he is so spare.
Ah, getting wet just thinking about the man.
Laura is Great
I am lame and all of my reading is for school. Currently, it's The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett for this awesome class called American Noir Literature, and Hamlet for my Theater and Film class.

anna k
I enjoyed Nam Le's The Boat. Each story takes place in a different country (two in America), and it was incredibly well-written and engaging and interesting. I had heard of him through the anthology Best American New Voices 2009, and thought he was a stunningly good writer.

Now I'm just reading Pen America for fun.

Roseviolet, Mary Phillips-Sandy used to write here under the name Maple.

I tried to find Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? for my book club, but the local library was out, and I don't want to pay a lot for it in the local bookstores, which are chains. I hope I can find an affordable copy, or will read excerpts online.
crazzycat
Some days ago i read I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max and was pleasantly surprised about it
auralpoison
QUOTE(crazzycat @ Sep 7 2009, 09:18 AM) *
Some days ago i read I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max and was pleasantly surprised about it


HUH?! How exactly is one "pleasantly surprised" by IHTSBIH? That you made it through it without throwing up in your own mouth or gouging out your own eyes? It's misogynist, puerile, ridiculous, & full of more lame-ass wholly fictional popped-collar brah anecdotes than you can shake a an empty pitcher at by a guy that prides himself on being a grade A fuckwit. Seriously. I want to know how you found anything even remotely appealing about that book.

I'd rather be forced to read nothing but the Twilight series, hell EAT nothing but the Twilight series for the next year than read one page of Tucker Max's vomitous nonsense.

If that's not putting too fine of a point on it.
MadameHooch
QUOTE(crazzycat @ Sep 7 2009, 09:18 AM) *
Some days ago i read I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max and was pleasantly surprised about it


I'm not a-hatin', but...I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell? Seriously? Even my most non-feminist-as-they-get friends find that book to be hateful and offensive trash. It makes me sad that people as ignorant as the man who wrote that book exist. Not a BUSTie read.
MadameHooch
Almost forgot why I originally visited this thread - does anyone happen to know the name of some book dealing with mix tapes that was featured in the book reviews in this month's issue? I misplaced it and I really wanted to look for that book!
auralpoison
Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture by Thurston Moore, MadameHooch.

And by looking at the rather glib posts I think Crazzycat maybe one of those seeking to reach the lucky number so that they may advertise.
MadameHooch
QUOTE(auralpoison @ Sep 12 2009, 02:49 AM) *
Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture by Thurston Moore, MadameHooch.

And by looking at the rather glib posts I think Crazzycat maybe one of those seeking to reach the lucky number so that they may advertise.


I love Thurston's book and appreciate your help, but I don't think that was it! It was something about mix tapes from past loves or something. I don't think it was going to be released until October. It was in the current ish with Diablo on the cover. If I have the wrong mag in mind and I read this somewhere else, I'll feel like an idiot.

So once you post enough, you can put ads up (don't worry I'm not trying to do that lol). Why would some idiot want to advertise horrendously sexist books on what is clearly a feminist message board? What is this world coming to? (Then again, I asked myself the same thing when I saw the book. How can pigs like that be successful writers and I can't? Grr!)
epinephrine
I'm currently devouring The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and should be finished in the next day or two. It's totally engrossing - a great summer read. I love reading about pre- and post-revolutionary China. Jung Chang's Wild Swans was one of the most fascinating books I ever read - I literally could not put it down. I was lost in that book for weeks after I finished it. I highly, highly recommend it - an utterly amazing story, especially because it actually happened. It's definitely one of the books I'll be giving as a gift to my friends.
MadameHooch
Just wanted to add I found out that I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell was made into a movie recently. How sick that terrible books like that are given so much credit, and that disgusting douche bag who wrote the book is probably rolling in money right now. Grrr to the world!
Persiflager
MadameHooch, you want 'Cassette from my ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves', edited by Jason Bitner, on sale October 27.
koffeewitch
QUOTE(epinephrine @ Sep 15 2009, 01:03 AM) *
I'm currently devouring The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and should be finished in the next day or two. It's totally engrossing - a great summer read. I love reading about pre- and post-revolutionary China. Jung Chang's Wild Swans was one of the most fascinating books I ever read - I literally could not put it down. I was lost in that book for weeks after I finished it. I highly, highly recommend it - an utterly amazing story, especially because it actually happened. It's definitely one of the books I'll be giving as a gift to my friends.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Good Earth!! Sometimes I wish someone would do another film version (one without a bunch of goofy white people in black wigs and eye make-up trying to look Chinese. Ahhh, Hollywood).

Haven't read Wild Swans; but I also love to read about revolutionary China.
If you enjoy Chinese films, I really recommend "2046" if you've never seen it.
anna k
In the middle of Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard. Really good book, very vivid and honest.
raisingirl
Ugh. I know we've talked about this before -- how much time/how many pages you will give a book before you give up on it -- but I have read only a few pages of The Elegance of the Hedgehog and already I am not feeling the love for it. So frustrating when you want to like a book (especially when it's recommended to you by a Bustie you lurve and admire, BUNNY, if you're lurking wink.gif ) and just don't. It's just not grabbing me.

I was 14 at the time I read it, but good god I fucking hated The Good Earth to the nth degree.
lananans
I usually give it a few chapters, or about 50 pages, and if I'm still not loving it by then I just put it down. Even if you love the person who recommended it, it's not worth reading it if it's just not for you.
koffeewitch
I don't know; so many times I haven't been into a novel at the beginning but end up loving it. Case in point, everything by Dostoevsky! Same for some of Tolstoy's novels, but once I finally get into them I can't put them down...

Raisingirl: I've heard a lot of people say that about the Good Earth. I also love THe Grapes of Wrath, another one people seem to really like or really hate. I can't get into Jane E. or the Bronte sisters much (except for some of their poetry). Jane E. books tend to make me want to stab my eyes out with rusty knitting needles. Edith Wharton writes on exactly the same themes as Jane, but I really like E.W.
koffeewitch
QUOTE(sevenseconds @ Sep 1 2009, 06:41 AM) *
But Light is the most brilliant piece of sci-fi I've read, and I'm a snob. Trumps even Dahlgren I think. Kind of lockdown to the death with The Left Hand of Darknes ; ) *Almost* trumps Neuromancer, but that's different. And he is so spare.
Ah, getting wet just thinking about the man.


I am so intrigued...also love really good, really literary sci-fi. Thanks for sharing the recommendation; will surely check it out. Was thinking the other day that it has been 20 years (literally sad.gif ) since I have read Left Hand of Darkness. Getting old sucks...but I'm so looking forward to re-discovering it all over again.
koffeewitch
Sorry about the double post; computer inhabited by a poltergeist today...
epinephrine
I can see how people would hate The Good Earth, with the weird speech patterns and the outrageous mysogyny. My mom hated it, too. The speech is directly translated from Chinese language patterns, though - Pearl S. Buck grew up speaking both English and Chinese. I really felt like it added to the fable-like tone of the novel, too. But it did get annoying how they started every sentence with "Well, and..." but I guess they do that in Chinese.

I finished The Good Earth last night and I think I'll read Hemingway's A Moveable Feast now. I have so much more time for reading now that I'm single!
crazyoldcatlady
i'm also an anti-bronte, pro-edith wharton-ite. i don't know why. ethan frome rocked so much harder than eyre.

i'm now reading f. scott fitzgerald's short story collection babylon revisited. i love when i'm reading something and am so blown away by the prose style that i actually think about how blown away i am by the prose whilst reading it.

been meaning to get to neuromancer, but as much as i like sci fi, i don't really like reading it. *shrug*

60-pages is my limit. there has only been *one* book where i start out thinking, "this isn't for me" and then end of loving it: in cold blood.
raisingirl
Oh wow. I was totally hooked when I read In Cold Blood. TOTALLY. That book just blew my mind (no pun intended) with the content of the story and how it was told. It's one of those books I keep reminding myself I have to reread one of these days.

Pro-Bronte and Pro-Wharton! wink.gif
koffeewitch
I really wish I could get into Hemingway...I guess I feel like I'm missing out on something, but he's just too macho. Liked some of his short stories and novellas, but never finished any of his *great* works.

Love F. Scott Fitzgerald, both his short stories and novels.

Is Good Earth mysogynist? I think Buck created a very faithful portrayal of women's "options" in pre-revolutionary China. The fate of her women is ugly and heart wrenching...I always felt Buck herself was making a very feminist statement about mysogyny in China.

epinephrine: I think the weird speech patterns added to the tone of the novel, too...but I think we are alone in our love for Good Earth...
epinephrine
Oops, I was unclear. I meant that the subject matter was misogynist; I agree that the novel was very feminist. Buck treats the mysogyny of the culture very frankly, and O-lan was clearly meant to come across as the strongest character in the book. But I just don't understand how the book can have that many haters just because of the writing; there must have been something about the story as well, and that was the only thing I could think of.
koffeewitch
I know what you mean, epinephrine...I have wondered why people hate this book, too. It surely is no more mysogynist in content than say, The Joy Luck Club, or Toni Morrison's "Beloved" or "The Bluest Eye" or so many other feminist classics. I love Good Earth so much I have actually read it multiple times; I find myself completely absorbed into Buck's world each and every time. I am fascinated by Olan and everyone's dismissal of her as slow and stupid in spite of her wisdom and competence...I love the book's exploration of classism and strife between generations. I love the clean writing style Buck uses to invoke a sense of the folk tale/ oral story telling tradition...

Why did your mom hate it ?
anna k
I really enjoyed Empire of the Sun, it was incredibly vivid and put me in the center of the story, feeling the pain and despair, and at times gaining sympathy for the Japanese, despite that they were supposed to be Jim's "enemies." I couldn't get John Malkovich and Joe Pantoliano out of my head though for the American sailors, due to the film.

I am almost done with Nicole Krauss' Man Walks Into a Room, which I like as well. It's more lighter fiction (as light as you can get about a man who loses part of his memory due to a tumor), and has a slight science fiction feel to it as he meets up with a scientist who makes an interesting proposition.
epinephrine
Well, I got a few pages into The Sun Also Rises and decided I just wasn't in the mood for that type of book right now, especially because I've never read any Hemingway and it doesn't make sense to start with the autobiography. So I set that one aside for now and started Vincent Lam's Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures instead, mostly because I liked the cover. Hope it's good!
auralpoison
I am currently rereading Morrow's Towing Jehovah.
anna k
I liked Man Walks Into a Room, it had a good ending and was really well-written.

Now reading Jose Saramago's Death with Interruptions.
catsoup
I've got kind of a strange request. I've got really, really bad Baby Fever and am unemployed. I can't have a baby right now and need to find some books that are either very honest about having a baby (telling all the bad stuff and not just romancing pregnancy and babies) or tell stories about lives being changed not for the better with the arrival of a baby. Does that make sense? It sounds horrible but I really need something to distract me. smile.gif
culturehandy
catsoup, I know there was a website about something like what you are looking for, but I of course don't remember the name. If I come across it, I can let you know.

You might want to check out the child free site for something like that.

So, I finished reading the lost symbol, and I did enjoy it, but not nearly as much as angels and demons, and I thought Dan Brown could have cut out the last 50-100 pages of the book. Nothing but wasteful drivel in my opinion.
anna k
I read half of Death With Interruptions before I had to return it to the library. I enjoyed it and thought it was interesting and well-written, but couldn't make myself finish it.

Now I just started Octavia Butler's Kindred, about a black woman who time travels and meets her ancestors, both black and white, in the antebellum South. So far it's really spooky and haunting, but well-written.
epinephrine
So Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures turned out to be fabulous - judging a book by its cover works sometimes. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended. Check it out here. That wasn't the cover that drew me in, by the way. My copy is red with a pretty black oldschool anatomical heart drawing and white lettering. Very striking. Especially 'cause I have a tattoo of a heart like that.

I'm looking for some good fiction that's not pure fantasy, but has a bit of a surreal edge to it and an interesting take on narrative. Basically, I'm looking for more books like Monkey Beach which I see as the most sublimely perfect novel ever written. One review I read mentioned Lois Anne Yamanaka and Sherman Alexie as authors with similar appeal. Anyone know anything about them or have anything to recommend?
epinephrine
Scored a copy of J. K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard at the grocery store for 94 cents the other day, and while most of it is fictional "commentary" by Dumbledore, I am massively impressed by the tales themselves. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised, because J. K. Rowling has a genius for storytelling, but they're not just fluffy spinoff for fans - the stories have a real beauty that's completely independent of their Potter appeal. I wish I'd heard those as a kid and not Cinderella.
damona
just finished reading a non-fiction book, See You In a Hundred Years. it's about a guy and his wife who get sick of living in new york and decide to move to a farm with their toddler and live for a year as though it were 1900. very interesting and, for me, inspiring.
epinephrine
Oh, that sounds great. I'll have to pick up a copy. Have you read The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, of syrupy Eat, Pray, Love fame) or Into the Wild by John Krakauer? They're both similar non-fiction back-to-the-land stories, and they're both excellent. I've heard The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet, a memoir by a woman who spent her summers cruising the west coast with her family in their 25-foot boat in the 1920s and 30s, is excellent, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.
rogue
Oh, epi, I loved Into The Wild. It was an amazing book. I read it after I watched the movie (which I cannot watch without sobbing like a baby) and I was really impressed. I really love John Krakauer. I really want to read his book Under the Banner of Heaven, too.

Right now - I'm a little embarrassed to say - I'm reading The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith. I was a huge fan of her Night World series as a teenager (okay, I admit it, I'm still a huge fan of the series; I've been waiting twelve years for the last book to be released!) and I just thought (what with the show and all) it was a good time to start reading TVD. So far I'm enjoying it, but I also like the show too, so you know. I tend to read a lot of heavy material so I always try to break it up with some young adult material - I guess you could say it's one of my guilty pleasures.
spiderbaby
I just finished Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" and really enjoyed it. The friend who recommended it compared it to The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter ("for grownups"), but I was surprised by how much it brought to mind Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" in places.

Other books read and loved recently have been "Lonely Werewolf Girl" by Martin Millar and Joe
Abercrombie's "First Law" series.

I also finally got to read "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski after the world's longest library wait, but didn't think nearly as much of it as everyone who recommended it to me did.

I just joined paperbackswap.com and have been really pleased by how well that it works, but kind of disappointed with the selection. I am hoping I just don't have a deep enough 'to read' list and so have been reading the archives of this thread for inspiration. With school in full swing now, I don't have the energy for much beyond, like, novelizations of the X Files and stuff, which is sad.
pants
Has anyone read Margaret Atwood's newest yet? I really enjoyed but think if you didn't like Oryx and Crake you will probably find fault with this as well since it's set in the same dystopic post apocalyptic society. I did enjoy Oryx and Crake though so totally loved this and liked the focus shift off of the science and onto the people and the cults.

Also, Spider, have you tried Bookmooch? I've had really good luck finding what I want with it, but I do tend to use it more for my escapist reading than for my quote serious unquote reading.
epinephrine
I tried to read Oryx and Crake years and years ago when it first came out, but I couldn't get into it for some reason. I don't know why, because I'm obsessed with all that apocalyptic stuff. I should try it again. Actually, I should really just try Margaret Atwood again. I think I was just too young to understand the complexity of her work when I read it before.

Currently reading The Catcher in the Rye for the first time and am quite surprised at its readability! I've always found the classics kind of dry and I kind of have to push my way through them, or at least until about the middle when it really gets going, but this book is just reading itself. After this, I'm thinking about reading some Toni Morrison. I read Beloved years ago and it blew me away.
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