What Are You Reading?

It’s back to school time for many and the required reading lists are out in full force. Whether you’ve been handed a list or have one of your own creation, we’d like to hear what you’ve been reading lately, how you feel about it and what you’re planning to pick up next. (If you need some recommendations, this is the place to get those as well.) Jamelah’s reading the classics, but what are you reading?

58 Responses

  1. Balancing ActFinishing Plexus
    Balancing Act

    Finishing Plexus by Henry Miller and The Emigrants by Sebald. Going to complete The Rosy Crucifixion with Nexus, then move on, yes, to The DaVinci Code.

    Why? I believe that sometimes things get so big that you must familiarize yourself with them so as not to have gaps in your pop culture education. After Brown, more Sebald then Mozart’s Letters, Mozart’s Life: Selected Letters.

  2. cryptonomiconMy

    My cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk self-education is still in full force. I’m currently finishing up Gibson’s third book in his “Bridge” trilogy, All Tomorrow’s Parties.

    After, it’s on to Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. The size is daunting but my will is strong. I hope.

  3. SteinbeckI’ve lately been

    I’ve lately been re-reading some of my old favorites, including classics. If motivation stirs me, I may re-read The Grapes of Wrath soon. It is so human and so atmospheric. (I couldn’t resist throwing this in…): I read several books over the summer and none were incomparably bad as Gravity’s Rainbow.

  4. I read the DaVinci Code a few
    I read the DaVinci Code a few months back for almost that identical reason. It was definitely no masterwork, but entertainingly readable nonetheless. Advice: Resist the urge to read Angels and Demons when you are done — it’s just more of the same.

  5. Comparative lit this
    Comparative lit this year…

    …so they decided to throw Saramago’s All the Names and Allende’s Paula at us. The first was horrible, and even though Allende’s tone can get a little over-the-top (especially since it was written as a sort of memoir to her own daughter), it’s worth a read even if you don’t have to.

  6. Nanoa or NeverNanoa Sakaki
    Nanoa or Never

    Nanoa Sakaki Walks Earth A
    Blackberry Books copyright 2000

    Great book of poems, stories, photos & interviews with the very much alive Japanese poet and world traveler. Edited by Gary Lawless with pieces by Gary Snyder, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Rick Fields, Red Pine, and many more. Nanoa is a world treasure….242 pages with photos, just got it from Amazon.com and can’t put it down.

  7. Right now I’m reading’Women’
    Right now I’m reading

    ‘Women’ by Charles Bukowski and ‘Pattern Recognition’ by William Gibson. Buks book is the smoother of the two so far. Don’t get me wrong, Gibson’s book is a great read, trippy is the word that comes to mind.

    But Buk is a little closer to home, for me anyway, I’ve always loved his writing style. Also got ‘Running with Scissors’ by Augusten Burroughs on cd from the library.

    Lucky for me every now and then at work I can listen to a book on my mp3 player. Going to download Burroughs’s book tonight and hopefully listen to it at work tomorrow. But that’s only if ‘they’ don’t come for me, probation’s been on my ass latey. Don’t blame them, really, to old for the blame game. Just gotta keep out of trouble and maybe they will one day stay off my ass.

    Easier said then done!

    Like Pascal once said, ‘All man’s troubles come from not knowing how to sit still in one room.’ So true, so true.

    (well maybe not all, but a good many)

  8. reading Miller good for the
    reading Miller good for the spirit and the mind, have you tried the Colossus or Time of the Asassins ’bout Rimbaud… the pop culture thing has never played into my reading material choices…

  9. Time AdjustersI just got a
    Time Adjusters

    I just got a copy of Bill Ectric’s new book Time Adjusters, from Amazon. You’ve got to read this; it is quite excellent. I remember back in school, in study hall we were supposed to be studying. We weren’t. We were reading Vonnegut and Bradbury, Asimov and AE Van Vogt. Well, Bill Ectric is right there on that list. Time Adjusters is a group of nine short stories that will expand your imagination. Some are touching and poetic, others are hard-biting and funny, all are well-written and skillfully crafted. I highly recommend this as something different, something special. Give it a read and see if it’s not one of the best new books you’ve seen.

    Also, just an update on PG Wodehouse. Since I’ve bought a good number of the 90 or so books he wrote (my father’s a Wodehouse fanatic) I would particularly recommend the Blandings Castle/Lord Emsworth stories as that is such a peaceful place to escape to in a hectic world.

  10. Lewis CarrollI recently
    Lewis Carroll

    I recently picked up “Alice in Wonderland.” I realized it has been over 30 years since my father read it to me. I was so enchanted by it that I am now reading “Through the Looking Glass.” Mr. Carroll’s imagination is a thing to behold. I’ve decided not to think about it too much and just sit back and let it all flow.

  11. Yeah, I read Time of the
    Yeah, I read Time of the Assassins, but BEFORE I read any other Miller, so I saw him as some dilettante. I have to go back, now that I bow before his ravenous kick dreaming prose.

  12. Booker prize winnersI’m
    Booker prize winners

    I’m almost through Tash Aw’s “The Harmony Silk Factory,” an impressive debut thus far. It reminds me of David Mitchell and Paul Bowles as the book shifts points of view as the narrator changes. And I recently saw it was longlisted for the Booker Prize this year, alongside a few giants like Rushdie, Banville, Barnes, Coetzee, McEwan, Ishiguro, etc. “A short history of tractors in Ukrainian,” which I believe I heard about on this site, also made the list. The shortlist comes out on September 8th if anyone is looking for reading recommendations.


  13. Ha Jin’s WaitingIt just came
    Ha Jin’s Waiting

    It just came in the mail and the prose flows and the sentences are simple and clear.

  14. Sayonara, Gangsters by
    Sayonara, Gangsters by Genichiro Tak

    Sayonara, Gangsters by Genichiro Takahashi. I’m a sucker for anything Japanese. I read somewhere that it’s not so much a novel as a Brautigan, and that fits so well. simple, yet surreal. like where people choose their own names and the old names are tossed into the river. “Sayonara, Gangsters”, btw, is the narrator’s name.

    Still reading (it’s huge, gotta take a break now and then) Neal Stephenson’s The Confusion, and Killing the Buddha (road trips are fine, but sometimes you’ve got to stay in one city for a little while. otherwise, you’re just a tourist).

  15. All Kurt Vonnegut’s
    All Kurt Vonnegut’s works

    Every single book that Kurt Vonnegut has written. (By the end of this school year)

  16. “Gibsons books is a great
    “Gibsons books is a great read”


    That reminds me of the song “Bukowski” by Modest Mouse:

    Woke this morning seemed to be
    a little bit more like Bukowski,
    Yeah, I know he’s a pretty good read,
    but who would want to be, who would want to be an such an asshole…”

  17. That sounds like a great
    That sounds like a great project. I think your brain will be in strange shape when you’re done. Let us know which one you like the best.

  18. Yes, I too am interested in
    Yes, I too am interested in your comments after reading all the Vonnegut books.

  19. I am re-reading Buk’s Women
    I am re-reading Buk’s Women right now. It was the first Bukowski book that I ever read when I first discovered him in the early 90’s. It is my favorite Buk novel next to Factotum. The only B. read that I never cared for was his second-to-last novel, Hollywood.

  20. We Wish To Inform You …I’m
    We Wish To Inform You …

    I’m reading “We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families”, a study of the genocide in Rwanda in April to July 1994.

    I picked this up after seeing the film “Hotel Rwanda”. This is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time, and I can’t believe Don Cheadle didn’t win the Oscar for his role (Jamie Foxx was okay as Ray, but this was better). If you haven’t seen this film, I strongly recommend it. I don’t know how the filmmakers did it, but they even made the story of Rwanda in 1994 uplifting.

    The book by Philip Gourevitch is more of a deadpan account of the ugly details, and there’s not much uplifting about it. Gourevitch lays out the history of the hundred-year ethnic conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis that exploded in 1994, and it’s a tale as complex and ironic as any Shakespearean history play. I think the story of this genocide reveals a lot about human nature, and I don’t think I mean that as a compliment to human nature. Another heart of darkness to throw on the pile.

  21. the truth about hillarythis
    the truth about hillary

    this book is a smear campaign against the next and first woman prez. it reveals all the uptight bs people wanna say bout sex. That’s their own biz i say.

  22. Yes, my family recently
    Yes, my family recently rented that movie. It is appalling yet important to see what goes on in the world.

  23. I like Steinbeck, but I just
    I like Steinbeck, but I just read Travels with Charley, and found that while the writing was good, the author came off as irredeemably pompous, in the sneaky faux self-deprecating way of pompousity.

    I didn’t like Sweet Thursday either, his ‘sequel’ to Cannery Row. Had the same issues as any sequel; just a watered down rehash of the first (very good) book.

  24. Cloud AtlasI’m re-reading
    Cloud Atlas

    I’m re-reading this one. I like David Mitchell’s books.

    Cloud Atlas is similar to his first book, Ghostwritten, in that it is a set of linked stories as novel. Except this one is stretched over about 1,000 years, involving 6 stories that stop in the middle before restarting again later. The format being 1,2,3,4,5,6,5,4,3,2,1.

    1. Adam Ewing, a mid-19th century notary transporting valuable documents from the Chatham Islands to Gold Rush San Francisco. Along the way he helps an escaped slave and becomes friends with a doctor who seems to be helping cure him of a parasitic brain worm he acquired in the tropics.

    2. Set in the 1930s, Robert Frobisher, a bisexual dilletante composer who manages to finagle his way to being an aging composer’s secretary, while sleeping with his wife and composing his own masterpiece.

    3. Louisa Rey, a 1970s reporter for a tabloid magazine who stumbles into political intrigue in the form of an newly built nuclear reactor that may go Chernobyl on Southern California, according to a secret report being supppressed by powerful interests.

    4. Timothy Cavendish, a 60-something owner of a London-based vanity press, he bumbles into a bestseller when one of his authors, a thug who wrote an autobiographical novel call ed “Knuckle Sandwich” throws a literary critic off the 12th floor during an awards dinner. Cavendish is soon on the run from the thug’s three brothers, who want their jailed brother’s share of royalties, and Timothy ends up unintentionally confining himself to a nursing home. Kafka-eque humor ensues.

    5. In a future Korean superstate, Sonmi-451, a replicant worker drone in McDonalds-type diner is ‘ascendeded’ to consciousness by some scientists with questionable experimental motives. Told in the format of her final interview before her execution. In this future dystopia, called the Corpocracy, society is divided into caste like strata; people who can afford to have their children ‘genomed’ and grown in wombtanks, movies are called ‘disneys’, shoes are called ‘nikes’ credit cards are implants called ‘souls’ and you are required to spend a certain amount per month based on strata. Information is tightly-controlled and advertisments are projected onto the moon. 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 all rolled inyo one.

    6. The Story of Zach’ry, a semi-primitive tribesman in post-apocalyptic Hawaii, attempts to tie all the stories together thematically, and the only one that is told straight thru, not breaking off in the middle.

    And it is implied that each main character is actually a reincarnation of the previous story’s protagonist. And that each protagonist somehow manages to read the previous character’s story. Frobisher discovers Adam Ewing’s journal, Louisa Rey comes into possesion of Frobisher’s letters to his friends Rufus Sixsmith. Someone submits Rey’s story as a novel to Cavendish, Sonmi-451 watches Cavendish’s story, which was made into a movie, and Sonmi-451 has become a God in the world of Zach’ry.

    This may sound like too much to swallow, too clever, too many conceits. And to some reviewers it was. I don’t care, I’m not smart enough to tell. Whatever the philosophical or artistic shortcomings (real and/or percieved) he just knows how to tell an absorbing story. It’s amazing how he can inhabit the voices of so many different characters. For the time you are reading his book, you are transported to another, very real world. One reviewer, marvelling at Mitchell’s story-weaving abilities (if not at his literary conceits) wrote that being in Mitchell’s head must be like being at the helm of some fantastic dream machine. And really, that’s what I want out of a story.

    Here’s some more intelligent reviews of the book.

  25. So Hotel Rwanda manages to be
    So Hotel Rwanda manages to be uplifting? See, every time me and the old lady go to the video store, we consider renting that but then decide we’re not in the mood for a movie about genocide. Because as middle class white Americans, we have the privilege of ignoring the suffering of much of the rest of the world, and we enjoy invoking that privilege.

    I’ve read about Romeo Dallaire a Canadian Lt. General who disobeyed orders to evacuate and did his best to use his peacekeeping force to save lives. It’s really heartbreaking stuff.

  26. I agree. This book was a
    I agree. This book was a welcome relief as it doesn’t resemble anything else I’ve read lately. I wanted to pick up one of his other books but was a little disappointed to find out he wrote them in the same style. I found this unique and purposeful, not just another random flashy postmodern technique. One of my favorite overall themes, devolution. And it couldn’t have been portrayed better by the forward in time then backwards in time style. Any thoughts on his other books?

  27. Well, Shamatha, I’m kinda
    Well, Shamatha, I’m kinda stretching it when I say it’s uplifting. But the movie is sort of a “Schindler’s List” of Rwanda, and the true story of this hotel manager’s efforts to save lives really is amazing. I admire him very much (the book “We Wish To Inform You” has several pages about him as well) and, again, I thought Don Cheadle breathed a lot of life into the characterization. It’s a beautifully made movie, and you won’t be sorry if you watch it, I don’t think …

  28. Great summary, Shamatha —
    Great summary, Shamatha — hey, don’t ever hesitate to submit something like this as an article if you’d ever like. That’d make it easier for other readers to find via Google, our category links, etc. I don’t know this book, but I think I’ll try it out.

  29. Well, of his three books, the
    Well, of his three books, the one that really resembles Cloud Atlas in structure is Ghostwritten, his first book. Ghostwritten, (it’s been a couple years) is a set of nine stories, where the characters aren’t obviously connected, though something does connect them. Looking back, it definitely feels like a first novel, and a sort of dry run for Cloud Atlas.

    number9dream, on the other hand, only follows one character Eeji, who goes to Tokyo to search for his father, with many tangents and many “is this real/is this a dream?”sidetracks. Very Haruki Murakami-esque. In fact, this is one issue I could take with this book. I’d never read Murakami, but after reading that Mitchell was in the same vein, I picked him up. It definitely colored my opinion of number9dream, which is so like a Murakami book as to almost be an imitation, though a good one.

  30. The Heart is a Lonely
    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

    What would you have me say? It’s McCullers and it’s good. Good enough to be read and re-read. Good enough to read and leave the damn thing lying around for weeks before picking it up again and reading straight through the night before repeating the cycle. I have been known to read other things. Not just lately.

  31. prince machiavelliIt all
    prince machiavelli

    It all starts humbly enough. Court favorite, two time all conversationalist in 1400 ish Italy, gets the punnish and proverbial boot (now proverbs was most likely set in the middle east but Italy has got to be good for some sort of pre empire cameo).

    With no apparent, or immediate audience our man ‘velli dreams up all the governments from the newly romantic past. Waning in between western civ’s greatest hits; drawing conclusions on the wall.

    Now I should pause here and vociferate strict denial of any politics, modern not Aristotelian. For this book has got to do with war, and what it is “good for”.

    Much of the text is dry and practical. The allusions are tough to stomach on the first read through, as curiosity will have you fumbling south for footnotes, pause, north, read on.

    Discussions range concisely in topic, and are usually preoccupied with alliances. Though disguised in cloaks of mercenary hiring versus ally building, public posture versus espionage, speeches versus strategy, well I was never good with the Whitman listing, I believe enough to say whether speaking of blood or family the focus lay up on the personal. Manipulative, sure, but you won’t stop reading.

  32. Interesting. So, am I correct
    Interesting. So, am I correct in thinking that Machiavelli said that a ruler should do whatever is necessary to get and keep power. That’s always been my understanding of him.

    You know, I’ve been reading up on the history of Iraq, which includes the Ottoman Empire, and it has really been impressed on me more than ever what a war-torn world we live in. I mean, there hardly seems to be any place in the world that hasn’t been ruthlessly taken from someone else at least once, and usually many times.

  33. The only Murakami I’ve ever
    The only Murakami I’ve ever read is Hardboiled Wonderland, which I felt was lacking something in the way of depth. It was interesting and whimsical, yet it was just an overblown detective story in the vein of Jasper Fforde. That being said, it was way more interesting than an average mystery would be. Worth a read, but there’s better stuff out there. It sounds like Mitchell might be put on hold until his next novel comes out.

  34. Earning my stripesThere are
    Earning my stripes

    There are so many great books out there that ofeten it is hard to know where to begin. There are however those books that your always here about, the ones friends constantly harp on about, the books you simply must read. So lately Ive been taking my pals upon this and finding that the books I have waited so long for were truly worth the wait. The three I have read most recently have been Post Office and Factotum by C. Bukowski and Big Sur by (Hey, I won’t patronise you here!!). I have been a fan of both Bukowski and Kerouac but these books together seemed to represent a kind of drunken wandering and aimlessness that I had been feeling in my own life and really struck a chord with their honesty, intensity and depth. Im a true believer in the idea that a book often finds you at the right time and such is the case with these three giants. I also feel that when a friend recommends a book, get it at all costs, because having someone to share that joy with is a truly wonderful thing. Next up is The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass, I’ve read it before but it was years ago, recently saw the film and it rekindled a love for the bizarre adventures of young Oskar, surly one of the oddest protagonists in literature.

  35. Douglas CouplandI am reading
    Douglas Coupland

    I am reading All Families are Psychotic by one of my favorite contemporary authors, Douglas Coupland. He first came to fame in the early 1990’s with Generation X and spots on MTV. He has written several other quirky and entertaining novels including Miss Wyoming, Microserfs, Girlfriend in a Coma, Shampoo Planet and Life After God to name a few-perhaps check him out if you haven’t. Next up: Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley and our own Caryn Thurman’s Firecracker Chapbook!

  36. Queensboro Balladsand Other
    Queensboro Ballads

    and Other Stories by Levi Asher.

    Very interesting, I especially liked Watching, Chicken Wire Mother, Apparition, and Where He Lived. I didn’t read these in sequence, but as I found them paging around in LitKicks.

    I was first impressed with Levis’ speaking directly to the reader, as it seems so honest and from the heart. That’s great to hear from a writer because it’s like going behind the mask. But to me, there’s a bit of a wistfulness and melancholy tone that’s kind of sad, like Faulkner in some of his stories.

    Then in reading the earliest stories last, Thieves, and Jeannie, I realized that the writing is very good. Not something you’d learn in workshop or from reading a lot, but a gift, a special talent for the flow of words, like Saroyan or Vonnegut (in his earlier works). Like you’d say “quit your day job, and just write.”

    Of the stories I particularly liked, Where He Lived, was going along fine; but from my point of view, I can’t go along with the last couple of sentences. On
    the other hand, Watching, which is somewhat Kafka-esque (as they’d say in literary circles) presents a sentiment that I feel strongly in agreement with.

    Chicken Wire Mother really made me think because I had just written a short piece about my own mummy’s leaving, and I’d never really thought about it in that context before.

    Apparition reminded me of this place I walked by in Greenwich Village many years ago. It had a plaque out front saying Bob Dylan first performed here in 1961; Peter, Paul, and Mary first performed here in 1963. It was somewhere around Magda’s Coffee Shop where a friend of mine was working at that time.

    I get the feeling that much of the writing is allegorical in nature. At least that’s how it comes across to me, though I don’t think I’d ever get past Stacy LaTota. All in all, it’s really good, thoughtful reading.

  37. Well, thanks, Stokey — I’m
    Well, thanks, Stokey — I’m humbled, really. It’s never easy to think of any poor soul condemned to read my complete works. But I do appreciate your comments, and it’s nice to be read.

  38. It is not only the “by any
    It is not only the “by any means necessary” lines of ‘the prince’ that gave it its main thrust. I saw that only when those lines couple with a given of the character of the leader, often by way of two characters in contrast, that anything meaningful was said.

    Ironically, this meaningfulness is stock full of subjective bonds. So much of the argument rested solely upon antiquated thoughts, that often their translation was buttressed by a secondary, parenthetical definition. Editors seemed challenged in their notation to convey a context without creating one.

    nice….i miss college some times! just pouring it out knowing you’ve got a friend grading (friend here meaning anyone who loves the stuff enough to play with it, fuck with it, have a ball with it, knowing germinally it was the same as any other topic, with depth and, or, surface). i recall writing a final my senior year, laughing to myself as I had finally found an intriguing modern counterpart to humanism, and discussing it at length in a goodbye college essay entitled, “i hope you’ve seen 90210”.

    the keys to Machiavelli’s thoughts do seem to be subjective though. often the root of virtue is drawn beside that of fortune. here are the predications that underlay the whole deal; yes, you should pose and posture, yes, you should murder and belie, yes you should take without question, so long as you did so in a manner that was fitting with the particulars of your situation.


    don’t reward your peers or punish your servants. conclusions being drawn: that raising the expectations of those with the most potential for competing leaderships will only hope to enable them, and punishing those with nothing will only bring about disloyalty, if not revolt.

    but always the verbs are laced with overly, unjustly, unduly or other subjective innuendo that works to weaken and qualify the points. ‘avelli (as he is known to those of us he has graciously titled ‘homeboy’), works best in summation of the past, with aims toward explaining a more recent past. his conclusions for successful future (he is addressing this whole thing to some rich ostracized buddy of his who might have the means of acting upon such noble aspirations) are often contradictory with his previous ‘lessons’, and undermined by a recognition that his sources for this archetypal ancient political wisdom are mostly heroic poems which by deviation from an accountable history, take poetic license.

    So take for what it is. Mostly vague and frustrated as many a nostalgic man before and aft.

  39. Some more obscure thingsMy
    Some more obscure things

    My background includes reading the old classics though no one can cover them all. Of Shakespeare, I would choose to read his poems, like the Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis. These are the only ones he actually “published” in his lifetime.

    I wouldn’t mind reading some more of the Greek tragedies. I recently read Philoctetes. Then found out that Haney has a new translation that is more poetic. It is an almost archetypal story of a man stranded on an island.

    I don’t read novels very well since I was trained to read Greek and Latin (and other older) poetry, which involves a line by line analysis, looking up every other word and scansion etc. So turning pages in big fat novels scares me off. But I am in love with the ocean and want to read more sea tales so I figured I should pick up both Melville and Verne. Any other recommendations?

    What I tend to read, and am reading now in intensity, is non-fiction. In particular, and this is a classic in its own way, a lost classic, is Ernst Becker’s The Denial of Death, which won the Pulitzer Prize in the 70s. It is a startling book! And very thought provoking.

    And I continue to read zen, buddhism, psychology, and haiku, as always.

  40. As you love the sea and I
    As you love the sea and I love Victor Hugo, I thought this might be a good time to recommend Toilers of the Sea. I have never read it, nor have I ever met anyone who has read it, but it is not in Hugo to write a bad sentence, much less a bad novel. I’ve always wanted to read it, though its not the easiest book to find. If you do read it, I’d be very interested to hear what you think.

    Another recent tale of the sea is The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This one is different from any tale of the sea you have ever read. It involves many creatures who should not be at sea.

  41. Thanks for the comment and
    Thanks for the comment and suggestion; the details help a lot to give me a nudge toward reading it. I have read some Hugo before so maybe I could give this a go. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    OH YES, I read Life of Pi and was thrilled! For one thing I think of myself as shipwrecked and for another my totem animal is the tiger, being born in the Year of the Water Tiger (and for other reasons). So great resonances here. Love the ending!

    Thanks again. I will look for your posts and try to reciprocate.

  42. Hi, Stokey. I remember
    Hi, Stokey. I remember reading ‘Where He Lived’ and being quite impressed by it. I’m trying to remember the last couple of sentences, the ones you can’t go along with. You’ve got me curious now. Could you expand on that? I might agree with you, I just can’t remember the details.

  43. The Secret History by Donna
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt

    Wonderful! I am enthused and will read more…

    A very bizarre pretense that works in the setting, both time and place.

  44. AureliaAurelia By Gerard de

    Aurelia By Gerard de Nerval.

    If there was a mirror you could look in to see your dreams, then this book would be the mirror facing it, cascading images and their reflections into infinity. A picture of insanity.

    “When I recover what men call my reason, shall I be obliged to regret having lost these pleasures?”

  45. The Lone Ranger & Tonto
    The Lone Ranger & Tonto Fistfight ..

    I’ve been reading The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. Though I haven’t confirmed this, I believe that Alexie wrote the movie Smoke Signals.

    The imagery reminds me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Particularly the parts talking about a change in the size of the narrator. I have been wondering if it is the northwest that does this to a person.

  46. A few years ago a read a
    A few years ago a read a number of sea books. The ones that have stayed with me the most are Melville’s Typee, Moby Dick, and Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World. Slocum’s book is an amazing tale of a journey he undertook. It is a read worth considering.

  47. I’ve a certain fondness for
    I’ve a certain fondness for Eugene O’Neill’s sea plays. You might find they’re terrible and they probably are; but I kind of like them.

  48. Sherman Alexie is one of my
    Sherman Alexie is one of my favorites. And yeah, he is responsible for Smoke Signals, which has one of my favorite lines, ever. (Sometimes it’s a good day to die, and sometimes it’s a good day to have breakfast.)

  49. hot and sweaty……love and
    hot and sweaty……love and cholera

    So, though I have a reading list about “yae-long” I was walking through the bookstore, picked up “Love in the Time of Cholera” and without any particular reason, bought and started reading it. It was quite appropriate since the past summer here in the midwest was one of the hottest ever. It is a very balmy book. I get hot and sweaty reading the author’s description of caribbean life years ago not to mention the love stories intertwined within. While the writing is beautiful, detailed, and insightful regarding life on the island as well as the human psyche, I have had great difficulty actually liking any of the characters, thus it is almost October and after 3 months, have not yet finished it. (spent the last month catching up on the Harry Potter series which are extremely addicting, especially when you read all 6 books in a row) It is difficult to choose between a one-sided obsession (rather SCARY obsession) and an egoist, “for the hell-of-it”, non-love relationship….both are depressing to me. While I think it is an important book for literary, cultural and historical reasons, I need some motivation. Someone please help me! I do not want my relationship with Garcia to go the way of my relationship with Virginia Woolf (I have read exactly half of “To the Lighthouse”, “The Waves”, AND “Mrs. Dalloway”….just couldn’t finish, and I am usually a stern finisher of all books I read)

    Anyways, if anyone has read this book and has some insight for me, please help.

  50. Lonesome Traveler by Jack
    Lonesome Traveler by Jack Kerouac

    I’ve been reading a lot of Kerouac lately, starting with On The Road, The Dharma Bums, and The Subterraneans. So far, I like Dharma Bums the best. Lonesome Traveler is a little hard to follow, but I just started reading it.

  51. I agree with you about Dharma
    I agree with you about Dharma Bums; it’s a very good book. Big Sur is similar in style and tone, I think. But I don’t know why The City and the Town doesn’t get more attention. To me, it’s one of Kerouac’s best. I think it’d be excellent for adaptation to cinema or tv. With all the crap on television, I could appreciate a continuing dramatic series based on that book.

  52. Lonesome Traveller is one of
    Lonesome Traveller is one of the best Jack books, in my opinion, if you stay with it. The Kerouac vision is articulated wonderfully in the various essays featured, especially when he’s ruminating on Mexican peasants or the vanishing American hobo. And though it’s a little-examined form, he’s the premier writer of rail and ocean; the railroad earth and sea stories contain marvellously vivid descriptions and energy.

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