What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:28 pm UTC

Mother Superior wrote:Rendezvous With Rama. Clarke is a god.


RWR is brilliant. But by the time it got to The Garden of Rama...
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Mother Superior » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:44 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
Mother Superior wrote:Rendezvous With Rama. Clarke is a god.


RWR is brilliant. But by the time it got to The Garden of Rama...

Not written by Clarke so I'm not all that interested. Also cause I've been told they're all shit. But again, not written by Clarke.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby existential_elevator » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:54 am UTC

I never got that far with Clarke, sadly.

I'm currently reading The Portrait of Dorian Grey, along with some Lacan, a book of commentary on Lacan by Lorenzo Chiesa, a random assortment of Deleuze [mainly from Desert Islands, and Difference and Repetition] and still trying to plough through some Freud.

I should really pick up one of the books Jesse left here for me...

I'm also pretty surprised at how much I'm enjoying the Lacan. I'd hesitate to say it's more interesting than the Freud. Yipes..

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Mother Superior » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:58 am UTC

existential_elevator wrote:I never got that far with Clarke, sadly.

We've never been very intimate either, to tell you the truth, but I have read alot of his books though.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby nevskey1 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:53 pm UTC

existential_elevator wrote:along with some Lacan, a book of commentary on Lacan by Lorenzo Chiesa, a random assortment of Deleuze [mainly from Desert Islands, and Difference and Repetition] and still trying to plough through some Freud.
Ah, memories. I'm getting a philosophy degree, and I remember my infatuation with this stuff. (I'm back home in analytic now.) I never finished Anti-Oedipus, but it turned me on to two (well three) very important things: Henry Miller and Wilhelm Reich (the third is 1000 Years of Non-Linear History, by Manuel Delanda (he really explains and makes great use of 1000 Platues)). All great stuff. I just grew sick of critical philosophy. ("The world sucks and people are insane." I get it. I prefer to hear it from Dostoevsky and Carlin.) But how is Deleuze's D&R and the other one? I'm still pretty interested in him as a philosopher, if not as a critic. I know it's hard as hell to read, but does he say interesting stuff? I know he takes a lot from Bergson, which is cool.

Oh, yeah, what I'm reading: apart from school stuff: Petersburg, by Andrei Bely, and Wittgenstein's Blue and Brown Notebooks. Both are good. Very, very good.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:47 pm UTC

Mother Superior wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:
Mother Superior wrote:Rendezvous With Rama. Clarke is a god.


RWR is brilliant. But by the time it got to The Garden of Rama...

Not written by Clarke so I'm not all that interested. Also cause I've been told they're all shit. But again, not written by Clarke.


They what? Huh. That explains something to my 12-year old self.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby JayDee » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:15 am UTC

A thread in Dear SB sparked my curiosity, and now I'm reading a book I had previously dismissed as too hard: Night Falls Fast - Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison. It's well written and fascinating and very hard going.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby existential_elevator » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:18 am UTC

nevskey1 wrote:
existential_elevator wrote:along with some Lacan, a book of commentary on Lacan by Lorenzo Chiesa, a random assortment of Deleuze [mainly from Desert Islands, and Difference and Repetition] and still trying to plough through some Freud.
Ah, memories. I'm getting a philosophy degree, and I remember my infatuation with this stuff. (I'm back home in analytic now.) I never finished Anti-Oedipus, but it turned me on to two (well three) very important things: Henry Miller and Wilhelm Reich (the third is 1000 Years of Non-Linear History, by Manuel Delanda (he really explains and makes great use of 1000 Platues)). All great stuff. I just grew sick of critical philosophy. ("The world sucks and people are insane." I get it. I prefer to hear it from Dostoevsky and Carlin.) But how is Deleuze's D&R and the other one? I'm still pretty interested in him as a philosopher, if not as a critic. I know it's hard as hell to read, but does he say interesting stuff? I know he takes a lot from Bergson, which is cool.

Oh, yeah, what I'm reading: apart from school stuff: Petersburg, by Andrei Bely, and Wittgenstein's Blue and Brown Notebooks. Both are good. Very, very good.


Thanks for the info, this finally gives me a good reason to have another bash at some more Delanda.. and I will remember those other two names, too. I'm still not fully sure I'm actually understanding the Deleuze at the moment. I figure I might need to speak to my supervisor again. Desert Islands is pretty accessible though, which is nice. I've had some people say that it might help my understanding to go and read Organs without Bodies, but I've had an equal number of people tell me that's a terrible idea. The only real way I know Bergson, sadly, is through Deleuze's own writings on him; would you recommend it's worth picking up Matter and Memory or something? It's great to stumble upon someone who's been there before :D Even asking across the phD crowd, nobody I know has really had a proper stab at Anti-Oedipus.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Mother Superior » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:17 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
Mother Superior wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:
Mother Superior wrote:Rendezvous With Rama. Clarke is a god.


RWR is brilliant. But by the time it got to The Garden of Rama...

Not written by Clarke so I'm not all that interested. Also cause I've been told they're all shit. But again, not written by Clarke.


They what? Huh. That explains something to my 12-year old self.

Someone called Gentry Lee wrote the Rama-sequels, under Clarke's supervision.
Also, continuing my Clarke-streak, I've just finished Fountains of Paradise and am moving on to Childhood's end.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby nevskey1 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:26 pm UTC

@existential_elivator:
(Spoilered to spare the innocent)
Spoiler:
Deleuze does have some interesting things to say about psychology if you accept a Freudian/Lacanian point of departure. (They are very strongly anti-Freud (hence the title). They see Freudian psychoanalysis as a mechanism (in Foucault's sense of "mechanism of power") of purposely instilling bourgeois neurosis in its subjects, while (D&G hold) the healthy mind is pre-Oedipal.) To my understanding, the main question that they're trying to grapple with in Anti-Oedipus is: "How/Why do people come to desire their own oppression?" This is a major question throughout history, the consideration of which makes conspiracy theories so appealing -- it's hard to believe that people would do this to themselves ("this" here referring to pretty much all of human history). Assuming that people do put on their own shackles, then how and why? What D&G try to do is answer these two and offer a possibility for change (the 3rd part, at which I stopped reading).

Honestly, it's not worthless by any means, but I don't think it's worth the effort. (But that's my view of postmodern stuff generally.) Instead, I would highly and emphatically recommend Wilhelm Reich's The Mass Psychology of Fascism. This is a hugely important person who deserves more respect. He was killed by in prison by the US government and his books were burned by the FDA in the 1950's. He was hated all over the world by both the left and right for his ideas and he was chased out of many countries before coming to America to have his work stopped and then being imprisoned. He was a disciple of Freud and a longtime Marxist, which informs his work, though they all hated him too. His Fascism aims to answer the same question but does so in a dry analytical (non-French (sorry)) way. He exposes both the economic and psychological forces at work in bringing people to desire their own oppression. Anti-Oedipus claims to pick up where he left off. Personally, I don't think that any "picking up" is needed. Anyway, I can't understand D&G, but Reich makes everything very clear. (It's the same as the difference between reading Freud and Lacan.) (Sorry for the rant. I just really want to get this guy known more.)

Bergson is pretty cool, but I find it's more poetry than philosophy (like Nietzsche). He tries to use science to show that nature is a continuous unity that is free and creative. It's cool, but it's very opaque to read, which is why I tend to stay away from continental stuff. What De Landa does is he turns D&G's ideas into a properly philosophical position (or he uses them to defend one). That is very interesting stuff and highly worth checking out. He tries to show that the same "rhyzomatic" dynamics are expressed at every level from the geological, to the socio-economical, to the linguistic. He talks a lot about all the very hip non-linear self-organization thermodynamics stuff, but he actually understands the science behind it. He draws out of it a universal characteristic that he is able to expose in all the above levels of dynamic interaction. My explanation sounds like crap, but it's actually very worthwhile, and unlike D&G, it's very well written and well argued.


Read Wilhelm Reich. Now.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby MotorToad » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

I just scored two free fantasy novels. I haven't read Piers Anthony in-- damn, two full forevers, I guess. But I now have Demons Don't Dream and Isle View to peruse at my leisure. It'll be nice to read something easy after digesting that (rather plain) book of Feynman's lectures.

Hrm, this map of Xanth looks eerily familiar, but I really can't place it... :wink:
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby reflectia » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

Starting Childhood's End. It seems to be good so far.

EDIT: Also, Mark Z. Danielewski is a genius.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Mother Superior » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:17 am UTC

reflectia wrote:Starting Childhood's End. It seems to be good so far.

EDIT: Also, Mark Z. Danielewski is a genius.

Mother Superior wrote:Also, continuing my Clarke-streak, I've just finished Fountains of Paradise and am moving on to Childhood's end.


*twilight zone-theme*
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby existential_elevator » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:30 am UTC

Nevsky, you are my new hero. Thankyou.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby nevskey1 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:06 pm UTC

existential_elevator wrote:Nevsky, you are my new hero. Thankyou.
No problem. Glad to help. Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions or just want to discuss this stuff. Best of luck getting through it.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby bpatrick » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:52 pm UTC

Right now I'm finishing The Savage Detectives and The Ice-Shirt. Not bad. Detectives started out really strong with a first-person narrative about a young poet coming of age in Mexico. The characters were all really likable and I got excited about poetry again but then the structure switched to a kind of oral-history --- several loosely connected first-person accounts which came together to tell a larger story and are very good --- I was just so in love with the first part of the novel the switch disappointed. Ice-Shirt is also O.K. although it is my least favorite Vollmann so far. Ostencibly it's about the Nordic "discovery" of the American continent and their dealings with the native people but I didn't see much of that. It combines history, myth and personal accounts with interesting results but it's nowhere near as good as Europe Central

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby DarkKnightJared » Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:58 am UTC

As You Like It, by ole' Bill Shakespeare. :D

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby 1hitcombo » Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

Currently reading Med School Confidential. Skipped most of the stuff about admissions and college years and focusing on the parts that tell you what med school/residency/rest of that long road is like and it is getting me extremely excited.

After this it's back to something more literary. Considering Lolita

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby |Erasmus| » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

Currently reading "Mr Norrel and Jonathon Strange".

Very good, actually, but sadly I do not have time to read as much as I would like at the moment, so I still haven't finished it.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby fransisco4 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:07 pm UTC

Just finished reading LotR trilogy, farenheit 451 and the Baskerville Hound.

Just bought: Foundation by Asimov.

Question: should i read these book first or it's better if i read them according to the timeline?

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Liet Kynes » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:14 pm UTC

I just finished the Dune series a few days ago, and was going to go to the library tomorrow to get some lovecraft.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby diotimajsh » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:28 am UTC

Finally finished Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces. (I started it back in high school, then took a break from it, then resumed last year.)

Currently reading (off and on) Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity Is Near, Bertrand Russell's Human Knowledge, and Ian Stewart's The Problems of Mathematics.

This forum has convinced me to go buy a copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell ASAP, though.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby JayDee » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:32 am UTC

fransisco4 wrote:Question: should i read these book first or it's better if i read them according to the timeline?
I haven't read any yet (Foundation is in my to read pile) but I understand that it is probably best to read them in publishing order. Books printed later have spoilers for books that chronologically take place earlier.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby |Erasmus| » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:00 pm UTC

diotimajsh wrote:This forum has convinced me to go buy a copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell ASAP, though.

It cost me $6... :D

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Narsil » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:22 pm UTC

My local Dollar Tree store has a stack of them for $1 each. I've already got two copies though.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby McCaber » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:30 pm UTC

I just found House of Leaves at the library. Dang is it creepy, even in the first few chapters.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby bpatrick » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

I've been back and forth on House of Leaves and I'm still not sure. What do you think -- should I check it out?

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:52 pm UTC

bpatrick wrote:I've been back and forth on House of Leaves and I'm still not sure. What do you think -- should I check it out?


It's a book, not a lifestyle choice. I think it's very good, but is it really something you need to go "back and forth" on? Just read it. If you get a few chapters in and can't stand it, turn it back in. Since you said "check it out", I assume you're talking about a library.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Narsil » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:04 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
bpatrick wrote:I've been back and forth on House of Leaves and I'm still not sure. What do you think -- should I check it out?


It's a book, not a lifestyle choice.[citation needed] I think it's very good, but is it really something you need to go "back and forth" on? Just read it.
You will never be the same after reading it. Imagine something equal parts Gravity's Rainbow and...well, that's it really. It's like an orgy of postmodernists, with Wallace and Pynchon giving it to Nabokov and then this is borne from the same womb as Pale Fire. DeLillo just stood back and watched.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:20 am UTC

I've read HoL, loved it, and was certainly affected by it. Sorry, I should stop nitpicking the way other people phrase their dilemmas.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Mother Superior » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:17 pm UTC

The colour of magic. My first Pratchett-book ever. Don't hit me.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby bpatrick » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:35 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:It's a book, not a lifestyle choice

lol. Yeah, I didn't mean to sound so dramatic - it's just that I have four or five books in queue and was wondering if I should jump House of Leaves to the top of the list. It sounds like I should - Narsil's description has my mouth watering--

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Peevish » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:39 am UTC

House of Leaves is a lot poppier than Pynchon or Nabakov. I had an ongoing debate with a friend of mine about whether or not it was brilliant or just pretentious, but neither of us could decide who was defending which side. Never regretted reading it, though.

I am finally reading 100 Years Of Solitude. A girl I was crazy about in high school and I traded books senior year and she gave me that in exchange for the Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, and neither of us read our trade and never traded back. 6 years later and I'm getting around to it.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby meloncrab » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:21 pm UTC

After I've read the first couple of pages of both Gödel, Escher, Bach and The Picture of Dorian Gray, I finally arrived at The Myth of Sisyphos by Camus. And I love it. No book has moved me like that since Herrmann Hesse's Steppenwolf.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby DarkKnightJared » Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:46 pm UTC

Going back and forth between two books: one, Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein, which is really good; the other, The Notebook, by Nicoles Sparks, gives me the urge to kill, and not in a good way.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby the_stabbage » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:41 pm UTC

I'm reading a book on Post-structuralism.

It's difficult but I'm determined to come out of it with some kind of understanding of the movement. So far, I got that deconstruction is a way of reading into a text where you look at how the text contradicts itself with what it says and what it implies. Or maybe I have it completely wrong. All the reference to phenomenologists really makes me want to read Husserl and Heidegger. It doesn't help that this book was lent to me by a friend who's going through Heidegger's "Being and Time" for a second time - voluntarily.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Absolute » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:35 am UTC

Deconstructionism isn't something to read in search of understanding. Fair warning, you will not be satisfied with what you find. But, that's kind of the point, I guess. Anyway, I just started Dune, I don't know how I've avoided reading it for so long, everyone I talk to about it loved it. Unfortunately, I'm just not in a sci-fi mood lately, so I doubt I'll finish it anytime soon.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Nemphael » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:19 pm UTC

Wolf Island by Darren Shan was dumped into my mailbox yesterday. I wanted to read it at school, but noooo (Danny Devito, "One Last Hope"-ish! >:3) - forgot it. When I get home, I'll start reading. I think. *scatterbrain*

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Klapaucius » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:31 pm UTC

I'm reading collected works of Theodore Sturgeon and Jorge Luis Borges. Of the first I have to say that I haven't managed to catch the magic for which he is so often celebrated, and Jorge Luis Borges is great, but this particular translator just doesn't agree with me; for example, he changes the traditional title "Funes the Memorious" for "Funes, His Memory" for no evident reason.

I just finished reading Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang, and it rather defies description, but it's the first genuinely amazing book I've read since GEB at the end of the summer.
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Phi
Has Proportional Boobs (As rumor has it)
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:35 am UTC
Location: Apple, CA

Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Phi » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:27 pm UTC

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs - Chuck Klosterman
First of all, the reactions I get from adults when I'm reading it around them is priceless. They have no clue what it's about, but they get all weird about the title. It's actually really good, contrary to what they think. I'd definitely recommend it if you're interested in reading about culture and whatnots (oddly enough, one of the professors here requires this book to be read in one of their English classes). I wish I could read it faster, though. I feel bad having the same book on my 'currently reading' status for so long.


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