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Thread: Books: What are you reading today?

  1. #51
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    Reading "The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011." Really outstanding. 80% through this anthology and all but one essay is very good. The one stand-out as far as not being good -- and it really is a stand-out, as most entries are so very good -- is full of new age fuzzy-speak, but worse, repetitive. It comes to its few insights and conclusions and then finds different ways to rephrase them to fill out its increasingly tedious space. But that's a lot of complaining about very little -- a short essay wedged into a bunch of longer and always good, often outstanding essays.

    Also, Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War. Great read. Full of surprises, from tactics of the ancients to the horrors of Japan's Unit 731 to modern day. Enlightening and disturbing.

  2. #52
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    Okay, finished Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011. It's one of the most consistently good anthologies I've ever read.

    Here's my review on Amazon, if you're interested or want to give it a little love.

  3. #53
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    Finished "Pressure," by Jeff Strand. I think I've finally gotten a handle on this author, his good points and bad and what I can expect from him. He's fun and fast, but slips out of his characters' voices much too often. With young characters, it's especially jarring, as a 15-year-old might suddenly sound like an 8-year-old. I may read some of his other books I downloaded for free, but don't have the confidence in him anymore to read what I had come to want most from him -- a more serious book. He can't do serious without breaking into jokey non-sequiturs. Just cannot manage it.

    Started Laird Barron's second book of horror shorts, "Occultation," and am not in a hurry to finish it. The first story was an extended fugue state in which the character started out depressed and hallucinatory and ended that way. No surprises to be had. I guess you just have to want to be in that state for a long time, kind of like the state you're in right before throwing up or dropping a load that's been too long coming. Not interesting or varied enough in itself to compel my interest.

    Best Werewolf Stories Vol 1., I'm three stories in. Fun so far. I can go through a lot of short stories at the end of the evening, trying to wind down, so this is just the ticket.

    Also reading "Rock Your Plot," about plotting novels. Interesting. I'm setting up a file in Scrivener to echo her process. Started doing the same for Larry Brooks' "Story Engineering" a while back, but got too distracted by an incredibly long and bad flu to keep my mind straight on it. Will get back to it. Am getting to the point where I'm spread too thin and need to consolidate.

  4. #54
    One of the most important people in the world kdnxdr's Avatar
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    OMG! I am reading The Guttenburg Elegies and I'm in love with a book; I want to marry it!!!

    It's actually The Guttenburg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

    It's like this guy has snuck into my private life and told everyone my most private thoughts and actions as a bibliophile. I feel so exposed when I'm reading his words. Yikes!!
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  5. #55
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    In what ways does he do that?

  6. #56
    figuring it all out ryanswofford's Avatar
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    Almost done reading Book of Blues by Kerouac. My brain has been jazzed.

  7. #57
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    Started "How to Write Groundhog Day," an e-book by the guy who wrote the movie. Annotated script is included. Fun so far.

  8. #58
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    Finished Rock Your Plot, by Cathy Yardley. Very nice, succinct wrap-up of basic novel structure and plotting. Doesn't get into anything but the "A" story, but its being so quick and to the point is a benefit rather than a minus.

  9. #59
    King of Sloth Town ddgryphon's Avatar
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    Started Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
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  10. #60
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    My response on goodreads to a question on what I thought of the new Peter Straub collection of nonfiction, "Sides":

    I'm not thrilled with it so far, Charlene. It's mostly slavishly adulatory forewords for other people's books, and they go on way too long and flaccidly. I adequately enjoyed the one for The Stepford Wives. The one for Caitlin Kiernan was a dreary slog and the one for Poppy Z. Brite a technicolor puke of random, self-indulgent riffs so disorganized and irrelevant it would be hard for most authors not to take it as some over-educated jerk trying to pull off a barely sly and very weird insult. It was the worst foreword I've ever read, and I don't see how anyone is going to top it in the future.

    He's finally doing one on Lawrence Block that I'm enjoying. But I like Lawrence Block. I don't know that everyone would be interested. His subjects so far have been narrow, with a specialist appeal.

    All in all, I'm often getting the feeling of looking forward to him shutting up long enough to say something.

  11. #61
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    Started "The Annotated Hobbit."

  12. #62
    King of Sloth Town ddgryphon's Avatar
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    Les Miserables
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  13. #63
    Why so serious? writeontime's Avatar
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    Started Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk.

    I picked it up because the shape of the narrative intrigued me...
    “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
    - Ernest Hemingway


  14. #64
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    I read Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith this morning while waiting for a doctor's appointment. I'll definitely want to revisit some of her poems. She does a great job of grounding big metaphysical meditations in the nitty gritty details of life.

  15. #65
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Alice Fulton's Felt comes to hand at the moment. Very interested in her concept of fractal poetry.

  16. #66
    get thee behind me, satin SuperModerator poetinahat's Avatar
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    For poetry, I'm bouncing around a volume of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I'm finding that I can open to any page and find something that demands a bookmark.

    For nonfiction, I'm reading Musicophilia, by Oliver Sacks. It's essentially a series of case studies - people who have some form or other of 'music on the brain' - for example, having an earworm that lasts thirty years.

  17. #67
    I'm writing. Undistractable. mccardey's Avatar
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    bluewren cantos which is a volume of poetry by Mark Tredinnick (an Aussie poet who won the Montreal International poetry Prize in 2011 and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition in 2012).

    Especially enjoying his poem Resistance

    But this is what winter's for:
    frost lying late on the ground
    When the wind, that part-time parent will let it;



    etc. Lovely stuff!

  18. #68
    figuring it all out maceleon's Avatar
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    The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.
    “I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
    ― Augusten Burroughs

    http://myburningthoughts.wordpress.com/
    http://www.twitter.com/MasonLieuallen

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