What Are You Reading?

(Well, besides the latest scandal expose, of course.) Give us the scoop on your latest picks, pans and plans. Slogging through a tough classic? Discovering a new favorite? Check in here with your latest reads or get some recommendations. And don’t try to fake it, because we will find you out and you will face the wrath of Oprah. And no one wants that.

29 Responses

  1. peter hoeg, borderlinersi am
    peter hoeg, borderliners

    i am reading borderliners by peter hoeg, a disturbing story about a danish private school atended by refugees from orphanages and reform schools, children in danger of being institutionalized for not fitting in: by borderliners. what they do not know is that they all are subjects of a secret experiment in social darwinism.

    within this institution of rigid time frames, the only escape for peter (one of the institutionalized kids and the narrator of the story) and his friends is to do their own experiment – to recreate their own time and space in slow and quiet rebellion.

    the german version of the book title is “the plan of repealing the dark” (the danish original title “de maske egnede”, the appropriate mask), and this is what peter, the narrator, realizes: that the whole school is merely a mechanism to eliminate doubt and dark, and that the repealing of the darkness is successful when the dark things (which are all things different, the ‘other-things’) are wiped out or forced under the the own subjective system of values.

  2. new york here, too – travel
    new york here, too – travel guides and other useful writings.

    and frank o’hara is a good suggestion to be pulled out of the bookshelf and read again – thanks!

  3. ‘Big Sur’ by Jack
    ‘Big Sur’ by Jack Kerouac.

    Quite a departure in some ways from ‘On the Road’ and ‘The Dharma Bums’ (the only other Kerouac books I’ve read).

    I also began to read Dostoevsky’s ‘Notes from the Underground’ today; I printed off the first four sections of the ebook on Project Gutenberg. I have to wait ’till Monday, when I’ll have access to the laser printer again, before I can read some more 🙁

  4. Gotta Love the Short StoryI
    Gotta Love the Short Story

    I will be reading Time Adjusters by one Billectric next, as soon as I get it from Mr. Mailman.

    Until then, I picked up that Great American Short Stories 2005 and started that.

  5. I hear that’s the best book
    I hear that’s the best book of the year – Oprah’s next pick!

  6. ConfessionsI must confess

    I must confess (somewhat embarrassingly) that I am just finishing On The Road. There are so many reasons why I haven’t read it until now, all of them too personal and boring to go into. A precious friend sent me On The Road and The Dharma Bums last week for my birthday. I picked up On The Road Monday and now have only a few pages left and I’m loathe to finish. Sometimes a book requires some investment, you have to get into 10 or 20 or 100 pages before you really start feeling it. For me, it happened on page 5.

    “But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like the fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” “

    I was gone after that. Dead gone.

  7. John O’HaraI’m going through
    John O’Hara

    I’m going through the John O’Hara postings in the early New Yorkers on DVD-Rom. Really enjoying it.

    And what am I writing? A future LitKicks article about the early writings of John O’Hara.

  8. That’s my 2nd favorite
    That’s my 2nd favorite Kerouac novel after On the Road. Next would be Dr. Sax I suppose.

  9. Merton’Zen and the Birds of

    ‘Zen and the Birds of Appetite’, by Thomas Merton. I bought this book 2 years ago…. finally into it. I’m only 20 pages in and he’s writing about a ‘shift in Christian consciousness’ over time, from the days of Christ. The first Christians experienced themselves as “men of the last days”, expecting Christ’s imminent return. Hmmm…. rings a bell…. But it’s good stuff. It promises to be an instructive and valuable read for me.

  10. Trout Fishing In AmericaI’ve
    Trout Fishing In America

    I’ve read it once before a long time ago and thought I’d have another go at it after reading some of his short stories. Strangely, I remember every line and what I was doing when I read it the first time. Very Brautiganesque.

    Next stop: Agape Agape by William Gaddis

  11. Bukowski/DosPassos/Melville/F

    Breezed through the latest posthumous Bukowski book, “Come On In!”. Liked it but, having read so much Bukowski over the years, it seemed a bit familiar. I kept thinking, “Haven’t I read this before?”

    Just started on “Manhattan Transfer” by Dos Passos. It’s my first venture into his work and it’s an incredible portrait of humanity in NY in the ’20s. Enjoying it immensely.

    Periodically reading from “Great Short Works of Melville”. Some of my favorites include “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, “Benito Cereno” and “The Encantadas.”

    Also, recently finished “The Sound and The Fury”. Faulkner is right there with Joyce with that book. I can see why so many people have stuggled with it, but it’s a phenomenal piece of writing.

    That might sound like a lot of reading, but they’re all pretty short books and, other than Faulkner, pretty easy reading.

  12. Haruki Murakami’s
    Haruki Murakami’s Underground

    The book reads as if the same story is told again and again by different people. That’s what it is but it got a little monotonous so I started reading a book of his short stories, as well as Tobias Wolfe’s short story collection Back in the World and Reich’s Locked in the Cabinet. The last time I went book shopping I wanted to get lengthy narratives and the only one I got was A Beautiful Mind which isn’t really a narrative. I also wanted to buy stuff that was worth the read and the price and that wasn’t unbelievable bullshit.

  13. haruki murakami’sHaruki
    haruki murakami’s

    Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

    This book is so soo fucking good read it!!!!!!

  14. Poetry and classic
    Poetry and classic sci-fi

    lately, that seems to be the name of my game.

    Just finished Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. Damn good. I’m usually more into experimental/cyberpunk/post-modern sci-fi, but this shit is a read.

    The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester was the best book I’ve read in a while. Think Beat sci-fi mixed with the Count of Monte Cristo.

    Also, reluctantly picked up The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. I usually steer clear of such over the top titles. Mostly hype, normally. However, where else can you get David Lerner, d.a. levy and Jack Micheline in between the same sheets?

  15. The Age of SinatraThe Age of
    The Age of Sinatra

    The Age of Sinatra, by David Ohle, a masterpiece, wild imaginative world, sharp horrendous and yet unhappily Rat reminds you of Bush. David Ohle also wrote Motorman.

  16. Tropic of CapricornI had been
    Tropic of Capricorn

    I had been reading various Bukowski books, and looking to buy online saw numerous references to Miller, usually prefaced with some combination of the words “anti-Semitic” or “assbag” (I don’t think he is, by the way…the racist part at least). I’m about halfway through and quickly losing sleep as I lose track of time while reading this, and I can only read at night. Alternately surreal, gritty, and funny. You should read it. No, I mean it. Now. Go.

  17. Thomas Swick + …V.S.
    Thomas Swick + …V.S. Naipaul

    “Magic Seeds” by V.S Naipaul…It made me sometimes think of JP Sartre in “La Naus

  18. Two Weeks AgoTwo weeks ago, I
    Two Weeks Ago

    Two weeks ago, I finished reading THE COLLECTED STORIES OF ARTHUR C. CLARKE by Arthur C. Clarke; TOR Books, New York, NY: 2000. The book has more than 900 pages. It’s an outstanding collection by a world renowned science fiction writer. See my earlier review of a portion of the book on a November 7th, 2005 thread here on LitKicks called “Recent Reads”.

  19. I keep hearing about Henry
    I keep hearing about Henry Miller. All the time. Sooner or later I’m going to have to check him out.

  20. melville, beowulf and dave
    melville, beowulf and dave eggers

    i’m an undergrad english major so, one supposes beowulf was long overdue. ugh.

    however, i also had to read melville’s bartleby the scrivener which i suprised myself by actually loving. i read it over morning coffee and have thought about its tragic, absurdist beauty for days.

    and dave eggers is a constant for me — i’m finally reading a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, after years of enjoying his best american nonrequired reading selections and a little less time than that enjoying believer magazine.

    btw, levi and caryn, couldn’t remember my password for the other login name so i created another. i’m actually posting! check me out. it’s a great procrastination tool…

  21. hI, John Dos Passos made me
    hI, John Dos Passos made me feel like I had jump in a time machine…a Sci-Fi sensation. It is because he describe everything so vividly. Specially the scenes in trains (the name of the book …!) it make all senses work.

    Loved it. I would have liked to live during the 30’s – 40’s so I was served.

  22. Bartleby! I remember that
    Bartleby! I remember that one. I remember thinking it was very odd when I read it (a long time ago). I should read it again and see if it’s the same as I remember it.

    Dave Eggers is one of my favorites.

  23. Couple of questions, if you
    Couple of questions, if you don’t mind:

    (1) Would you say that Arthur C. Clarke is one of the architects of modern science fiction?

    (2) What do you think about Philip K. Dick?

    I read Childhood’s End in college, for a lit course, and really liked it. When I was much younger, I started reading the Foundation Trilogy but couldn’t into it (I had talked my parents into enrolling me in a Science Fiction book club and that was one of the selections).

  24. Design PatternsHead First
    Design Patterns

    Head First Design Patterns by Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, and Kathy Sierra.

    How literate is that?

  25. Infinite Lifeby Robert
    Infinite Life

    by Robert Thurman….not the best piece of Dharma writing I have ever read…..far too academic…too many musts and shoulds…..

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