What are you currently reading?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
chiral3
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by chiral3 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:00 pm

Ebullience? He's downright purple in his writing. If Miller is Chopin at the height of his romantic garishness can I suggest some Arvo Part with some hidden Scriabin? Murakami's Wild Sheep Chase and also the wonderful Colorless Tsukuro Tazaki. These were my fovorite Murakami books, and they are both considered minor (compared to, say, Norwegian Wood)
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:07 am

Murakami's 'westernized' sensibility may simply reflect what's happening at this point in history. David Mitrchell is Irish but grew up in Japan. His Number 9 Dream is Murakami in a mirror. All of the main characters are Japanese and it certainly has a lot of urban angst and the same fantastical touches as Murakami. It may be that this is a sort of international style. Tokyo is New York is Sydney. Bharatti Mukarjee writes novels about the placelessness of Indians in both the U.S. and in India--neither one nor the other.

Marquez's magical realism is won honestly, I think, in that he's really just describing historical artifacts (the opera house in the jungle which really existed) or the newness of something like ice, or nature in the jungle--swarms of butterflies that also exist. Alejo Carpentier, a near contemporary of Marquez, also writes what seems fantastical prose about the jungle in the Lost Steps, which features a couple of very existential ex-pats living in Paris in the 50's who return to south America. this all feels different than Murakami or Mitchell to me; history has changed and the style serves different purposes. Random thoughts here too; I gotta go!
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zupfgeiger
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:46 am

Andrew Fryer wrote:I've come to the conclusion that I don't buy into what I consider to be pseudo-genres such as "magical realism" or "gypsy jazz". For me, magical realism is just imitation Marquez, and gypsy jazz is just imitation Hot Club de France. I read one of Berniere's Latin American books and just thought it was second-hand Marquez. And for that matter, the second time I read Marquez's oeuvre I didn't enjoy it any more - I just found it too strained after effect and silly in places. But that was nose-to-tail in chronological order, the whole lot, so perhaps I should just tackle Cien Anos on its own some time. Same goes for Proust - when I get to the last volume, my mind is mush, so I'll have to read it as a stand-alone one day. So when I read in the blurb that Murakami writes about "urban alienation", I just think, for god's sake, if you live in a city and feel alienated, join a social club or something. Just adding pretend madness and surrealism like ingedients to a cake isn't going to convey an experience that Murakami doesn't even have himself. I went through the phase of reading existentialism when I was younger. Even today I have to look up existentialism in the dictionary because I still don't have any real idea what the hell it is supposed to be. The reason I'm reading the Wind-up Bird Chronicle is because this year I watched half a dozen old Japanese movies and was intrigued by how often wells feature in them, and a friend suggested I read the book, but I'm surprised at just how little emotional or mythical or symbolic content wells have for Murakami, at least in contrast to the movies. In fact his whole world is more American than Japanese, and the whole book is so slickly translated and so American, that it's only the Japanese names that remind us it's a Japanese novel. I'm not convinced Murakami is making any real point. Is his "urban alienation" to do with living in a cultureless Japan? It just doesn't come across that way for me. Murakami's narrator is in his comfort zone when listening to jazz, although somehow that morphs into Western classical music by about the halfway point. As far as aliens in cities go, I empathise more with Henry Miller, although I, regretfully, lack his ebullience. This isn't meant to be a coherent critique - I've just banged some thoughts down so I can review them later. I'm currently 343 pages in.
Wow, such insightful thoughts about literature, Andrew, and so many books you are consuming. I am struggling with my guitar and my three year old son. Very little time left for reading, which is a pity.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by doug » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:23 am

"The Athena Project" Brad Thor
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manythumbed
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by manythumbed » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:00 pm

Midwinter by John Buchan

Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:51 pm

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben; J.S. Bach's Johannine Theology of the St. John's Passion by Eric Chafe.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:37 am

Dan Simmons ileostomy? What?

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tubeman
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by tubeman » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:45 pm

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:26 pm

zupfgeiger wrote: I am struggling with my guitar and my three year old son. Very little time left for reading, which is a pity.
Well, I haven't touched the guitar for about 3 months, as I've been continually breaking and biting my nails, not that I ever practised it much.
I have concentration problems, but at my friend's house, although there's a TV in the bedroom, I never watch it and I've managed to read 607 pages in two weekends (plus an introduction to translation theory), and unfortunately, the wind-up bird chronicle didn't get any better for me. But that's OK, as Murakami is quite prolific and it means I don't have to worry about what I might be missing.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by rojarosguitar » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:44 pm

Still reading "The End of Time" by Julian Barbour, a theoretical physicist. Parallel I read "Sapiens, a Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari; the second is an extremely well written, well informed book, just a big fun to read. The first needs quite a bit of concentration...
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Luuttuaja
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Luuttuaja » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:35 pm

I'm reading "The Pickwick Papers" by Charles Dickens. It's a bit hard for me to read in English as Dickens wrote it almost 200 years ago. I believe it's not among the best Dickens books. The plot goes a bit here and there and lacks some cohesion. But the characters are great. Perhaps next I will read one of Dickens' christmas-themed novels.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:50 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:I read "Sapiens, a Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari
I'm still reading Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, but I'm only 100 pages in, but I'll be at the gf's all Christmas, so I should be able to concentrate on it and finish it. I thought I had ordered another book on palaeoanthropology, but I can't find it.
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doug
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by doug » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:06 am

"Trouble in Paradise," by Robert Parker. My wife is a big Tom Selleck fan, and he plays Jesse Stone in the movie based on this book. It's an easy read.
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KenO
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by KenO » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:00 am

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis. Lewis' best in my opinion. Masterfully, haunting, mysterious and thought provoking...almost done!
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doug
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by doug » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:39 pm

"Flight of Eagles,". Jack Higgins
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