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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by imwjl, Jan 16, 2021.
Perhaps you were the low bidder.
I sunk completely into Walker Percy’s fiction and essays in 1977-79. I especially liked The Moviegoer, The Last Gentleman and Love in the Ruins. In August 1979, I was excited to be a groomsman in a New Orleans society wedding in which Percy’s niece was one of the fourteen bridesmaids. As with many youthful infatuations, this one faded, and I now find Percy’s writing to be mannered and preachy, other than The Moviegoer, which I’ll always love.
Tony Hillerman ...... Coyote Waits.
The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride is a great historical fiction about the abolitionist John Brown and in particular the attempt to take the armory at Harper's Ferry, preceding the Civil War. Twain-ian storytelling style and plenty of humor along with the heavy .... good stuff!
I love to read. I was on our library board for several years because they had an opening, and it’s one of my favorite places to hang out. I love books.
I read about all fiction and nonfiction. A close friend gave me a stack of outdoor books a bit ago after I’d taken him some reading while he was recuperating from a medical thing. I read that type of book very sparingly, but I was reminded again just how cool my friend is when I started reading his offerings. I don’t know if you fish, but to anybody that does or even has an interest in waters, go get this book and enjoy it. It’s a near existential experience.
Lots of good stuff here. Terry Pratchett was mentioned. I am reading the Discworld series on my kindle. It's kind of like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's hilarious and droll. Great fun!
You might appreciate my owning an old Ray Bergman book.
David Graeber, Debt: The First Five Thousand Years.
A really remarkable book. Applies the anthropological literature on "the gift cycle" to economic analysis. Seems to tick most of your boxes.
Ari Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre, on history and commemoration, beautifully done
Louise Knight, Citizen Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy. a very fine biography of Addams, a very important political thinker with tremendous relevance for our times
Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman, A Mind At Play. A biography of Claude Shannon, the father of "information theory" and really the primary inventory of digital media
I just finished Johnny Marr's autobiography, which was a very enjoyable read.
Some novels that I've read in the last few months that I would recommend are...
Things Worth Burying by Matt Mayr
The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (sci-fi)
Like Rum-Drunk Angels by Tyler Enfield
This has been recommended to me enough times that I'll read it.
Right. Folks, don't see the movie and think it's a retelling of the book. The book is very engaging, with complex characters and deeper motives for what they do.
Plus, the monster is the original Partscaster.
Oh, that's excellent!
He's the Telecaster of monsters, obviously.
... drum roll ... Bolt-on neck!
Authors: V.S. Naipaul and Bruce Chatwin for both fiction and non-fiction, and John McPhee for non-fiction.
Anything they have written.
Just started reading:
It was one of several books Mick Taylor of That Pedal Show recommended as helping him ward off a case of depression last year. Scroll to the 15:00 minute mark if you want to hear a deep dive from the co-host of Britain's premiere YouTube show on guitar effects pedals into Freudian and Adlerian-based psychology and self-help books:
The Mezzanine, by Nicholson Baker. Well-written and funny. Fiction, but just barely.
It's the only book I've ever read more than twice.
I was young but I had a gift for concentration and focus as long as something held my interest.
Problem was that I loved windbags and so I went and tried out their ideas like they were a science project. I didn’t mean to, it was just inevitable.
Most here I would surmise are past that age of drastic malleability, but I’ll blow some sails anyway.
Head butting hard objects for laughs didn’t help the formation of my prefrontal cortex I’m sure, and I wasn’t old enough to corral disparate concepts or precipitate long-term consequences, so I wouldn’t sleep for three days at a time and just chipped away.
Spoken word and poetry, speeches, manifestos, lectures, stand-up comedy, philosophy, performance art, psychology, literature, letters...I thought I just might find something if I looked hard enough, so I gazed into the abyss.
In the process I transformed the foundation of my value system for a time, which put me around troubled people and bad intentions with just enough wherewithal to drive and cook pasta.
I started listening to vocabulary tapes starting about age 10 and was recording them myself by the time I was 15 or 16 instead of doing homework.
Just wasn’t excited by school or schoolwork, didn’t see value in much of it. I read Beowulf and Chaucer and whatever I had to, but something was missing and Shakespeare had that ruffle thingy around his neck.
I could earn good enough grades phoning it in for the most part, but I didn’t want to be (and wasn’t) like people I saw all around me.
Furthermore, I was extremely driven to do things that no one I knew really liked to do. Conversely, I hated to do anything I didn’t feel was worth the trouble, which was pretty much everything responsible.
This line of thinking ultimately led to a life of working like a mule and sounding like an ass, which was all right by me as long as I could do my art and music, but didn’t put me in good graces with old money, groups, or the straight shooters.
I recorded some of my favorite books on cassettes and would listen to them over and over. I recorded Nietzsche’s work in its entirety, for instance.
I slept listening to tapes all night long every night. The Waste Land and Four Quartets I had mostly memorized.
My rebellious streak sought out the usual freshman fare like Plath, Huxley, Poe, Schopenhauer, Rimbaud, Kinsey, Skinner, Rand, Freud, Paglia, Jung, Pirsig, Stirner, Kerouac, and Sartre, and I did silly things like drive to Key West for one of Hemingway’s coconuts and performed public disruption experiments that were a pathetic nod to Dada and the Situationist Internationale.
Add to that all of the self-help I bought into like NLP, Napoleon Hill, biographies and peak-performance stuff, and I started to think “Hey, I might be someone special.”
It did work, I did do seemingly impossible things, but it changed who I really was and set my course on only what I wanted to do.
It’s a fearful thing to accomplish what you set out to do, as your loved ones die and people give up on “bringing you around” one by one.
There are reasons to be out and about doing errands at 4am, but I didn’t have very good ones. Music is a tough gig.
I had given up everything to try and be great, and in so doing, lost my unique voice.
I would imagine that writing is primarily a sedentary activity for many authors, therefore it stands to reason that there is only so much actionability to run with.
These ideas I was so crazy about, were they really just lazy ideas from people who didn’t know much about how to get along with people (or get along period) in the real world?
It is embarrassing to even document my blunders here, but I do so in the hope that others are reminded to be scrupulous and use discernment in everthing that goes into their minds, lest they Dance Russe for the wrong reasons and walk right past their shadow.
I enjoy nonfiction essays - it's just a fun form form. Check out Chuck Palahniuk's "Stranger Than Fiction." Also good is "Half Empty" by David Rakoff.
That I do. I have a copy of “Trout” at my cottage. I’m also a huge Robert Traver fan. The McGuane book is truly an exceptional work, different than most and almost stunning in its capture of “the chase” in a fishing sense, but much more than that.
This thread has reminded me: I’m nearly done with my stack and gotta get some more books!