And Now For Something Completely Different…

So, what’s in your reading queue?

26 Responses

  1. Great choices. Impressed by
    Great choices. Impressed by the Spanish “Solitude”.

    Myself, I’m also hittin’ the classics. Reading short stories by Guy de Maupassant, and skimming Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” (the battle scenes, mainly). Also that French book about the brainy concierge, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”.

  2. It’s like having a deranged
    It’s like having a deranged librarian on meth right in my own living room, which is completely perfect. I’m pretty sure you can take on James Joyce with one hand tied behind your back, though. Also I think not talking you out of ordering that book was one of my best moves yet.

    In my reading queue? Hmmm … nothing at the moment. I overdosed on a thrilling epic of mitochondrial DNA recently and I have not yet come back from that. That and Bloglines.

  3. Rarely do I re-read or for
    Rarely do I re-read or for that matter re-write anything, but Cool format…rinse and repeat!

  4. I’ve also been putting off
    I’ve also been putting off reading Ulysses and got about half-way through A Hundred Years of Solitude…it’s a total ‘mood’ thing with me.

    But I am currently enjoying Infinite Worlds by Louis Dudek, and I can’t seem to get my nose out of my newly acquired Universe-The Definitive Visual Guide,(a DK book) it’s simply THE most amazing book in the world, I want to marry it. 😉

    Love the audio rendition btw

  5. I’ve been reading Jim
    I’ve been reading Jim Hightower, John Dean, David Sirota and Thomas Frank–Ted Berrigan

  6. Nice idea…

    First, two
    Nice idea…

    First, two quick points:
    1. By coincidence, I am doing something similar on my blog today (click on my name for details)
    2. By the end of this video, I was madly in love with Jamelah

    Okay, my five:

    1. Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur
    2. Topiary by Adam Engel
    3. The Last Great Fight by Joe Layden
    4. Vacation by Jeremy Shipp
    5. Rose of No Man’s Land by Michelle Tea

  7. As much as I try, I can’t top
    As much as I try, I can’t top “deranged librarian on meth”. Well played, Caryn! And correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought I saw some jazz hands in there.

    Re-reading “Town And The City”, which I always read in the autumn. Also reading a book on the Romanovs. Did you know in the 16th century the Romanovs kept a coterie of dwarves for the children to play with? Well, they did. How awesome/terrifying is THAT?

    As someone who has read “Ulysses”…um, that’s really all I wanted to say. I just like throwing that out there occasionally and often incongruously.

  8. Parable of the Talents by
    Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler, having previously read the “prequel” Parable of the Sower. Both highly recommended, especially to those who look down on “science fiction.”

    Real Magic, by Isaac Boneqitz, a refreshing, candid and humorous take on the often annoying but always intriguing world of magicians, Wiccans, druids, and psychics.

    Looking forward to the “new” Bolano, 2666, Nova by Samuel Delany, and The Way Fiction Works, which has been gathering e-dust in my Amazon cart since its release.

  9. Hi,

    I came here from Mickeys

    I came here from Mickeys place. it seems a few of us have a mental block with ulysses.

    good vid though being a Scot I don’t have a soft spot for queen elizabeth

    Aldous Huxley – The Giaconda smile
    Mother Jones – the autobiography
    Henry David Thoreau – Walden
    Ursula K Le Guin – The world for the world is forest
    John Kennedy Toole – A confederacy of Dunces.

    also looking forward to the shrubs memoirs, for some comedy value.

  10. oh hi 🙂

    I like your
    oh hi 🙂

    I like your recommendation of Immortality, I’ll have to get that on my list.

    Right now I have the Aims of Education by A.N. Whitehead and Poems of Denise Levertov 1972-1982

  11. 1. East is East-TC Boyle (Can
    1. East is East-TC Boyle (Can someone let me know if this will disappoint, as Talk, Talk did? just started it last noc)
    2.Martin and Meditations on the South Valley- Jimmy Santiago Baca
    3.The Owens Valley and the Los Angeles Water Controversy-Owens Valley as I knew it Richard Cook Wood (!)
    4.The People Look Like Flowers At Last
    Charles Bukowski
    5.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian-Sherman Alexi ( At the INSISTENCE of a friend who wants it back)

    A sweet and charming vid Jamelah,
    So many books, so little time

  12. After three months I’m
    After three months I’m finally finishing up Doctor Zhivago. While I love the use of language, the Russian names of towns and people, the fragile barriers portrayed between compassion and madness, I’d be remiss in saying that I was happy to pick up the book every time I decided to try and excavate the next chapter. It’s a great read, and I’m glad I’m reading it, but it’s rather like the literary version of a fig newton. Sure it’s good, and sure it’s good for you, but I’d really rather be having cheesecake.

    The book I’m reading next / book I picked up at constant urging while going through one of the more depressing portions of DZ, is Lolita. I’ve vowed not to touch the book again until I’ve finished with the good doctor. The temptation however is strong, Nabokov’s writing _is_ literary cheesecake.

    Then it’s a few books of poetry to ease into before my next big thing; I’m thinking definitely Plath, McGrath, Tate, Gibran’s The Prophet, and a few scattered anthologies if I’m feeling up to it. Perhaps I’ll even start reading Bukowski, perhaps not.

    The play Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead, and a few short stories from Gogol. Plays and short stories just seem right for each other. From what I’ve heard both of these are well worth their small page count. Will assuredly check out Diary of a Madman.

    Lastly, either

    A. A dictionary of Khazars.


    B. Shelly’s Frankenstein.

    or, if I’m feeling especially political,

    C. Benazir Bhutto’s autobiography, Reconciliation

    We’ll see.

  13. 1. 2666: Bolaño. Boy did I
    1. 2666: Bolaño. Boy did I get an advanced readers copy!

    2. Hopscotch: Cortazar. Would be number one except for that sweet readers copy.

    3. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge: Rilke. Been looking forward to this one for a while.

    4. Either The Road, I Served the King of England, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, or Blindness. All movies coming out from books I’ve always wanted to read. I love Hrabal, especially Too Loud a Solitude, so I’ll probably go with it. But everyone tells me The Road is amazing, including the Pulitzer committee, though my previous McCarthy was unfulfilling (albeit a long time ago). David Foster Wallace is a double, in the news and coming out with a movie, and I’ve never read this book, even though it sounds like one of his most interesting. And Saramago is an author I’ve never read, but always wanted to. Seems like as good a time as any. Kind of irrelevant as I probably won’t get to any of them before the movies come out because of 2666, which looks like a meaty book.

    5. The Tunnel: William Gass. I am starting to fear I will never read this book as it has been in my next 5 list since I acquired it a few years ago.

    I would skip Dictionary of the Khazars, as it was one of my biggest disappointments of the decade, and Diary of a Madman is amazing. The Nose is hilarious as well.

  14. Dig it!

    oops did I say that
    Dig it!

    oops did I say that out loud?


    As far JJ goes the closest I ever got was
    a group of lectures from which
    I thought were great!

    I have the book and to my credit I must admit that I have indeed read all the way thur page 1!

  15. Does reading books at
    Does reading books at particular times of the year make any difference to the enjoyment of them? I can’t say i’ve ever noticed! does anyone else have to read thru an enitre author’s catalogue, chronologically? i’m attempting bellow at the moment, up to augie march. next author on the list is nabokov, then its kafka, then its henry james maybe.

    i am also slightly falling in love with jamelah, you are too lovely.

  16. Zinn’s People’s History of
    Zinn’s People’s History of the United States and Grass’s My Century are my next reads, the latter because I never read him, and the former because I read parts of it before and got a paperback edition that covers the 2000 election and some of the September 11th attacks, how much I can’t remember because I have been reading DeLillo’s Libra. I want to buy Cary Tennis’ book of his columns from and a book from that teaches your kid to read in less than a 100 lessons.

  17. Lord knows, if I could reach
    Lord knows, if I could reach into the screen and, once and for all, flip that strand of hair out of your eye, I would.

    Well. The books I’ve got lined up are
    1. Shriek, (not Shrek) by Jeff VanderMeer
    2. Little Brother, by Corey Doctorow
    3. Why Should I Cut Your Throat? by Jeff VanderMeer (this one is actually non-fiction about the world of writing horror, fantasy, & science fiction)
    4. And Your Point Is? by Steve Aylett
    5. Pete Brown’s autobiography if it finally come out

  18. I am in the US for a while,
    I am in the US for a while, so I only have five books. I am currently reading “Thus Spake Zarathustra” by Friedrich Neitzsche. It’s like the Bible, except God is dead.

    I just finished “Life on the Mississippi” by Mark Twain. This is just a good read, although Twain kind of slapped it together, with a core built on some articles he wrote for Harpers, and then an added section about a trip on the Mississippi he took twenty years after his life as a pilot.

    In the proposed queue:
    “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace – I never got around to this when he was alive, so I better read it now.

    “The Last of the Mocassins” by Charles Plymell. There was a link to this a while back on LitKicks and it piqued my interest.

    “Break on Through, The Life and Death of Jim Morrison.” I admit it, I am a confirmed Morrison head. I haven’t read this book yet. I would like to write a book about his last days in Paris. Anyone interested in collaborating on that?

  19. I read No One Here Gets Out
    I read No One Here Gets Out Alive back in the summer of ’80. It changed me, helped accelerate my drink and drug usage but, more importantly, opened doors.

    After Morrison’s death, Ray Manzarek jammed w/ Iggy Pop and Jim Carroll.

    Oliver Stone was holding open auditions prior to the filming of his Doors. I almost flew to LA.
    I could’ve given Stone some pointers.

    I don’t think too much happened to Morrison while he was in Paris. He wrote some, partied too much and died.

    Ever read Manzarek’s Poet in Exile?

  20. I’m reading “Bridge of Sighs”
    I’m reading “Bridge of Sighs” by Richard Russo. He wrote the Pulitzer prize winner “Empire Falls”.
    A good read!

  21. Uh, stack by the side of the
    Uh, stack by the side of the bed, yep that’s on par with my extremely organized reading list. Awesome vlog, okay:
    – Sophie’s World (again, just brushing up on my basic philosophy)
    – Plot Against America, Philip Roth
    – Little Heathens, Mildred Kalish

  22. My five books are a mixed
    My five books are a mixed bag. The first is a huge complicated tome by Niall Ferguson, called THE PITY OF WAR: Explaining World War I, put out in 1999 by Basic Books and the Perseus Group. It was first published by Penguin Books. I had to borrow my daughter’s college Economics text to plow hauntingly through it. The photos and statistics are gripping as are the poets who are quoted in it. You do need a firm understanding of economics to get the gist of a holistic view of the work. It was a hugely researched undertaking and very thoroughly done.

    My next book is adjunct reading for the above called: WORLD WAR ONE BRITISH POETS: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenburg, and Others, Edited by Candace Ward, Dover Thrift editions, 1997. I really “got into” World War I culture and mindset. We could learn a thing or two by looking at this period in history and literature…Especially about the economics of war and threshholds which are crossed when folks are in dire straits. Trench warfare was horrible and it has been repeated in Modern history in the Iran/Iraq War, and the India/Pakistan Wars.

    My third book is NOW AND THEN: From Coney Island to Here, an autobiography by Joseph Heller, Knopf, 1998, the author of CATCH 22–which I also have read. Heller’s take on personal history is both engrossing and very revealing of the culture surrounding him, his family, during & prior to World War II and, especially, the Great Depression. Another era close to bringing me up to date.

    My fourth book is LEGACY of ASHES: The History of the CIA, by Tim Weiner, Doubleday, 2007. Weiner’s book has been reviewed partially by me before and by Brooklyn. LEGACY of ASHES is a must read for any “policy wonk” as well as THE PITY OF WAR. I would highly recommend both books. We MUST be able to understand history in order to see parallels between problems in our time as well as problems in the past. Solving problems should be done in a bipartisan way.

    We learn by our mistakes, supposedly. The current 700 billion bank/insurance/stock bailout is one time when THE PITY OF WAR would come in handy as a reference book for modern economists. You don’t fight wars on a shoestring. One way or the other, credit eventually comes due. On the ground intelligence is important in our modern age. We need to know about our enemies. We need to lose our Eurocentric or Western Hemisphere biases.

    Finally, book number five: DON’T TELL DAD by Peter Fonda, Hyperion Books, 1998. Yes, I like biographies. Peter Fonda’s take on everything from radical politics to womanizing and moviemaking was fascinating. He pretty much brought me up to date as an adjunct book to LEGACY of ASHES. Much lighter reading but also done in a gripping style during the more harrowing aspects of his life. “P.F. Flyer”, his nickname, had so many wrecks that he is a walking miracle to still be standing. Furthermore, he knows practically everybody in Hollywood and Deadwood. “Easy Rider” his signature movie, was an experiment which nearly didn’t happen. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper had a big legal hassle and lawsuit about the written rights to the film which left them not speaking to each other for years. I am on the side of Peter Fonda about this thing. I admire both gentlemen and hope they will patch this thing up. Heck, if Thompson and Steadman can get along, why can’t the above kind gentlemen also get along? (I still miss Hunter Thompson.) Thus, abruptly ends my peruse of five books. God Bless you all and may your reading days be sweet.

  23. Good list, Plonk — I’m glad
    Good list, Plonk — I’m glad you took up my recommendation to read “The Legacy of Ashes” and I just want to mention that I have also highly recommended the first book on your list, “The Pity of War” by Niall Ferguson, here on LitKicks. Very good book.

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