Hot!What are you reading?

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mr chips
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/05 08:02:48 (permalink)
Just finished "Echo Park" by Michael Connely. The Harry Bosch books remain some of the best detective books about Los Angeles ever written Also just finished the play "King John" by some English hack named Shakespeare. Okay piece of writing.
improviser
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/05 16:30:58 (permalink)
I read two collections of E.C. comic books over the weekend. I'd recommend "Weird Science" and "Shock Suspense" stories for anybody whose into comics, science fiction, horror, or humor. Great stuff. The Comic Book Code, the industry's way of self-policing their stories and making sure outside parties didn't step in and do it for them, pretty much killed off EC comics, which were known for their grue and gore but collections like these keep the memory alive. I hope there are more to come.
improviser
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/23 11:41:24 (permalink)
This week I finished Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson. I really enjoyed this book, the first Matheson I've read. He really knows how to build tension and character in a few short strokes. A movie was made of this book a few years back starring Kevin Bacon. If it's half as good as the book, I'll be a happy viewer.

Last night I finished Approaching Oblivion by Harlan Ellison, a collection of short stories. While there are some weak pieces here, the stories "One Life In Early Poverty," "Knox", "Silence in Gehenna" and "480 Seconds" are very strong. In fact, the introduction, where Harlan includes a letter taking him to task for some earlier comments regaring the students killed at Kent State (the reader chids Harlan for dedicating a book to them, asking Harlan why he doesn't realize they deserved to die) is worth the price of the book. Chilling stuff.

This weekend I'm going to sit down and read some books by two authors, one whom I've already interviewed, one who I'm interviewing next week.

K.L. Going is the author of Fat Kid Rules the World, a Young Adult novel. I work at a small newspaper and recently wrote an article about our local school board banning the book. A week later, I was able to get in touch with K.L. and get her take. I found her to be intelligent and very likable, she defended her book with passion and intelligence, addressing all the points the board raised concerning her novel. The article is one of the things I've written in my admittedly short newspaper career that I'm most proud of. I'm going to read Fat Kid and another of her books, Saint Iggy, this weekend.

This week I'm interviewing Mark Zupan. If you've seen the documentary Murderball (and I hope you have, it's a terrific movie) you've seen Zupan. He plays wheelchair rugby and is the focus of Murderball. He has a new book out called GImp.

This is another reason I like writing for the paper. It gives me an excuse to buy books. But who needs an excuse?
BhamBabe
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/23 12:14:55 (permalink)
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig: Part mystery, part romance, part comedy. Fun read

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson: Dealing with tough subjects in whispers of the Southern Gothic style. A very good read!

I'm going to re read this thread. I need new books!
Davydd
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/23 13:49:05 (permalink)
After reading Vince Flynn's Consent to Kill with Mitch Rapp having his way, I red Lee Child's Die Trying to see if Jack Reacher is the equal to Mitch Rapp.

My penance for reading so much killing mayhem. I am now reading The Origins of the British, A Genetic Detective Story: The Surprising Roots of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh by Stephen Oppenheimer.
Dude111
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/24 04:58:54 (permalink)
My screen
mr chips
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/24 10:02:58 (permalink)
Finished "Hundred Dollar Baby", a Spenser work by Robert Parker. I've always enjoyed the Spenser books and Spenser and Hawk remain remain two of my favorite characters in detective fiction. Read "Thunderstruck" by Erik Larson. This intertwines the story of Marconi's development of radio with the famous murder tale of Dr. Crippen. It tells a great story
Davydd
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/24 12:53:54 (permalink)
mr chips, did you read Erik Larson's, "Devil in the White Tower"? That was a good book too.

I've read almost all the Spenser novels by Parker. They are good reads, a bit overblown caricature, and what grates on me is his dialog. Every dialog sentence uses, "he said" or "Spenser said". "Said" over and over drives me nuts especially when the dialog is only between two people. Anyone else notice that?
Scorereader
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/28 12:20:11 (permalink)
in just two days, I've eaten my way though about 2/3 of the 328 page book Mozart in the Jungle. A book written by a former freelance oboist turned journalist about the sex, drugs and other assorted eccentricities of the classical music world. It's a raw memoir and not suited for kids. But any parent whose child is thinking about a career as a professional player should read this book. Although the drug use and sexual openess of the classical music realm has waned a bit recently and the publishing of this book has put a critical eye on the goings on of orchestral personnel, much of what she describes still happens today. Maybe not in your town, but in NYC where a freelance musician can actually eke out a living, the lifestyle still persists to some extent.
Davydd
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/28 22:03:13 (permalink)
Today I got a good start on Killing Floor by Lee Child. It was the first Jack Reacher novel. How did I get a good start? I flew down to Memphis, TN and back to Minneapolis after about 30 minutes in the Memphis Airport. My intent was to connect and go to San Antonio, TX but after 1-1/2 hours sitting on the tarmac before taking off I missed my connect in Memphis to go on to San Antonio. They could get me there on a later flight at just about time to catch a flight back to Minneapolis. Since I was going to miss my meeting I cast around for an immediate return to Minneapolis. At the next gate over they were loading a plane for Minneapolis. So I asked if they could book me on it and they did with 2 minutes to spare before closing the door. As it turned out that flight was late taking off because they were waiting for the flight crew on the earlier flight I was on. Had I not made that flight I would have been stuck in the Memphis Airport several more hours. Anyway, I got a lot of book reading in.
mr chips
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/03/29 01:25:49 (permalink)
Originally posted by Davydd

mr chips, did you read Erik Larson's, "Devil in the White Tower"? That was a good book too.

I've read almost all the Spenser novels by Parker. They are good reads, a bit overblown caricature, and what grates on me is his dialog. Every dialog sentence uses, "he said" or "Spenser said". "Said" over and over drives me nuts especially when the dialog is only between two people. Anyone else notice that?
[/quote"Devil in the White Tower" was the main reason I read "Thunderstruck". Devil was well-written and told a a fascinating double story. it was a great read and I learned a lot as well.
improviser
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/09 17:40:05 (permalink)
This weekend I finished Refuge by Dot Jackson, a local author. The story of a woman's flight from her family in Charleston and her return to the mountain town of her father's side of the family, this is a book I'd recommend for fans of Ron Rash. I really enjoyed it. I bought it back in October, started it but couldn't get into it. This weekend I picked it back up and finished it off. I guess I was in the right mood.

I interviewed the author for a Halloween story about local legends I wrote last year. She helped me out enormously and was very kind and very funny. She autographed the copy of her book I bought from her that day. Dot used to work at the paper that I know write for and she wrote me a very sweet note about the beginning of my own fledgling writing career. Very sweet, talented woman.

I also finished the first volume of Popeye comic strips. I've been working on reading this thing for over two months now. I really enjoyed it. I only knew Popeye from the cartoons. He doesn't consume a single can of spinach in this book. He does punch people, lots of people.

I learned that Popeye didn't make his appearance in the original strip, Thimble Theatre, until the strip had been running for over ten years. After that his character took off and replaced the stars of Thimble Theatre, Castor Oyl (Olive's brother) and Ham Gravy (her first boyfriend).

Highly recommended for Popeye fans.

I also read The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover by Kinky Friedman. This was a pretty good book from ol' Kinky. Kinky is usually more interested in his characters than he in the actual mystery plots of his book. Sometimes this irks me, sometimes it doesn't. This time it didn't. A fun read from the Kinkster.
xannie_01
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/09 17:45:15 (permalink)
i'm reading 3 books at once, all on the same topic.
down and out in paris and london- george orwell
let us now praise famous men- james agee and walker evans
poor people- william t. vollmann
i have no idea what abject poverty is but
i'm learning.
improviser
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/09 17:48:50 (permalink)
I started Down and Out in Paris and London once, xannie, but never finished it. I'll put it back on the reading list (which keeps growing and growing and growing). I've always wanted to read Let Us Now Praise Famous Men too, the title alone grabbed my interest.
xannie_01
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/09 17:51:20 (permalink)
improviser,
those books make me ashamed to admit i've never gone without food.
improviser
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/09 17:56:13 (permalink)
A lot of people never have.

Back at the low point in my life, my flat-broke days, my ramen noodle days, I still knew I was very fortunate. I didn't feel fortunate at the time but compared to the truly poor and impoverished, I was doing all right.
BhamBabe
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/09 22:21:35 (permalink)
Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. A fictional history of Johannes Vermeer and the girl that inspires the painting he is most known for.

Also re reading Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. One of my favorites.
Pwingsx
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/10 17:36:06 (permalink)
Just picked up "Cover the Butter" by Carrie Kabak, and "Redbird Christmas" by Fannie Flagg.

I LOVE Fannie Flagg's books. She's got a new one coming out this month.
improviser
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/12 13:14:15 (permalink)
Right now I'm reading "Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the birth of the comic book." Only a few chapters in but I like it so far.

I might have to read some Vonnegut over the weekend, in honor of the man's passing. I've only read Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, Mother Night, and God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian. I've always enjoyed his work.
Davydd
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/12 21:23:06 (permalink)
I read all the old Kurt Vonnegut novels but not his recent stuff. It might be time to re-read. What struck me was his sentence mannerisms of writing were such that I could recognize some of his Indianapolis upbringing. It is hard to put an example. It was just so familiar at the time in the 60s and 70s when I read the early novels. Now that I have been away from Indianapolis some 40+ years I wonder if I will still sense it again.
MikeS.
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/15 04:02:46 (permalink)
Slaughterhouse 5 was always a favorite of mine. I might have to reread it in his honor.

I'm currently reading Robert Tanenbaum's Butch Karp series.

mikeS.
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/15 06:36:30 (permalink)
Hello All,
I am currently reading "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong.
It is twisting my mind. She is an ex-nun, now an atheist, but
she writes with a compelling historical perspective.
It is a rich read, but so challenging to believers of God,
examining the evolution of the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem
faiths. She is respectful, but I sense a disapproval and
dismissiveness that alarms my soul. It makes me wish I could
read the original languages of ancient writings. Her interruption
is intriguing, makes me feel ignorant, and question what I have
been taught. It is a very good read.
Take Care,
Fieldthistle
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/16 00:21:04 (permalink)
I finished "Mozart in the Jungle" about a day and half after my previous post. I have finally opened Julia Child's "My Life in France" which I got as a Birthday gift last July. I've read the introductory stuuf and a, currently in chapter 1 - so, I haven't read enough to form opinion of the book. I'll let you know when I'm done.
improviser
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/18 11:41:57 (permalink)
I finished "Summerland" a young adult novel by Michael Chabon.
It's about a baseball team that has to save the world, well, actually, all the worlds, from destruction.
While I liked it, it's not his best work. It has a very leisurely pace that I found irritating. Just when things should be coming to a head, the plot meanders arounds. I think Chabon was trying to mirror the pace of some baseball games but it was off-putting to me. I'd recommend "The Amazings Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" or "The Final Solution" to first-time Chabon readers, not this.

That said, I can't wait for his next book, "The Yiddish Policeman's Union," set in a world where the Jewish nation was created in Alaska, not Israel.
Jimeats
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/18 13:22:38 (permalink)
Currently I'm reading "A Fool's Errand" by Albion Tourgee. Based on a true story about a carpetbagger in N.C. during the reconstruction.
Chow Jim
xannie_01
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/18 13:26:43 (permalink)
i'm reading heyday by kurt anderson. life in 1848 america.
next up is the secret life of houdini by william kalush and larry sloman.
buffetbuster
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/18 13:35:27 (permalink)
Since I am on jury duty this week, I have had plenty of opportunity to do some reading. Before the week began, I went to the book store and bought several books I thought I might like. The first one up is Johnstown Flood by David McCullough. Even though I live only two hours away from Johnstown, Pa., I knew very little about it before I started the book. So far, about 100 pages in, I am really enjoying it.
Pwingsx
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/18 16:21:25 (permalink)
Buffetbuster, I loved that book. I first read it as a kid when it was in Reader's Digest Condensed Books (damn them to hell for presuming to chop up good books).

I only wish the quality of the photographs were a little better.
ardee
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/18 21:55:09 (permalink)
I just finished a collection of stories written by Erle Stanley Gardner, best know for his Perry Mason novels, in the 1920s and 1930s. Since they were written for the pulp mystery magazines of the day, they were not that strong in the plot department. However, some of the writing was outstanding; the following is an excerpt that illustrates this:

...he was acting as escort for a vivacious little blonde who was bubbling forth good nature and a incessant line of small talk. She ran more words to the inch than any girl I have ever seen, and she said less to the word. That girl could have written a complete set of fifty volumes on the weather and it would have all strung together in perfect continuity and then when a fellow had read everything that was in the fifty volumes he'd still have to stick his head out of the window to see if it was raining. That's the sort of baby she was...
- Erle Stanley Gardner, "Dead Men's Letters", 1926
jmckee
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RE: What are you reading? 2007/04/23 10:18:24 (permalink)
I'm currently reading "Doing FaithJustice," by Fred Kammer, S.J., for a course in Catholic Social Justice I'm taking. Leisure reading is "Flawed Giant" (the second and last volume of Robert Dallek's biography of LBJ) and Barbara Kafka's magnum opus cookbooks "Vegetable Love".
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