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Old 05-04-2011, 04:21 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone for your replies! Not sure what to reply to whom, so I'll just say a general welcome and maybe come back to reply to individual posts later...
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:45 AM   #17
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Would like to add my support - though cannot promise to always read the chosen book, (I say this having tried The Savage Detectives last year and it being one of the few books I have abandoned!) Not quite as literary but I'm reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy at the moment.
The late Harold Bloom, curmudgeon-critic and literature snob of wide repute (and possibly one of the most respected literature scholars of the century), raved about Blood Meridian and once referred to McCarthy as America's greatest living author.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:56 AM   #18
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The late Harold Bloom, curmudgeon-critic and literature snob of wide repute (and possibly one of the most respected literature scholars of the century), raved about Blood Meridian and once referred to McCarthy as America's greatest living author.
I've read a lot about this guy Bloom lately. I think I've got a couple of his books in my wishlist, but I'm still hesitating. Especially since I don't think they are available digitally. But he sounds like someone worth reading, some day.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:57 AM   #19
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Chiming in with my support. I think MR is a fantastic community, but the books overall seem to tend toward fantasy/sf, which was never my cuppa. On the recommendation of a friend, I've recently started reading fantasy literature and while it keeps me turning the pages, it doesn't nourish my soul--not presuming to speak for anyone else's soul. I'll add that I'm currently in the middle of Jacob de Zoet. We may need a thread for that.

Two logistical questions: does non-fiction qualify? I'm assuming yes. More of my recent great reads have been in that category. A tougher one: what about DTBs? Too many books fall into that chasm between current lit and public domain.
Of course non-fiction is allowed, but not about Mars and Venus, please!

What is DTB?
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:29 AM   #20
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The late Harold Bloom, curmudgeon-critic and literature snob of wide repute (and possibly one of the most respected literature scholars of the century), raved about Blood Meridian and once referred to McCarthy as America's greatest living author.
Is he late? You missed out "alleged letch" from his description
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:31 AM   #21
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What is DTB?
I think a Dead Tree Book - and I would say yes, (bit I'll probably only read it if I can get it digitally).
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:07 AM   #22
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Is he late? You missed out "alleged letch" from his description
According to Librarything, he is not. And he does seem to have a strong personality

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I think a Dead Tree Book - and I would say yes, (bit I'll probably only read it if I can get it digitally).
Ah, OK. Of course they are, I personally don't see why we should make any difference betweens the different ways of reading a book. I prefer digital but I still read a lot of paper books, though I prefer to borrow them from the library but I still buy them once in a while.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:11 AM   #23
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I have been long reading David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and sitting him in my own personal pantheon of OMG!-I-SO-LIKE-TOTALLY-LOVE -THIS-AUTHOR-LIKE-OMG! Greats. The recently slowly-read short story within, Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar To Ecko was most amusing and confusing (thus slowly-read). I have not read any else of Foster Wallace's, though I have Infinite Jest in the TBR pile.

Anyone else read/love/hate any of his works?
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:15 AM   #24
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The Savage Detectives (and 2666) are among my favorite novels ever. I am not going to give my opinion of them because it would seem a gross exageration. I just loved them so much. I haven't read other books by Bolaño, but I plan to read all of them. The guy is a master. So sad he died when he was producing his best work.

Lately I haven't been reading as much as usual. Since my son was born (he is 2 now) I am always tired and find very little time for myself. Right now I prefer novels with strong plots, as they are more likely to keep me awake (just finished Sharpe's Tiger by Bernand Cornwell and loved it). I am currently reading Blood Meridian and, while I am enjoying it, I am reading it very slowly because it requires of all of my concentration (English is not my first language, as you can guess by my poor writing). Several years ago I read The Road in a couple of days and was impressed by the intensity and simplicity of its style. Blood Meridian? I've been reading it for four weeks and I am still not done. I feel like I am wasting a great book.

Anyway, the last great author I discovered is probably Murakami. Loved Kafka on the Shore, Sputnik Sweetheart, his short stories, and, above all else, Norwegian Wood. It's one of the most humane, intense, and moving love stories I've ever read.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:25 AM   #25
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The Savage Detectives (and 2666) are among my favorite novels ever. I am not going to give my opinion of them because it would seem a gross exageration. I just loved them so much. I haven't read other books by Bolaño, but I plan to read all of them. The guy is a master. So sad he died when he was producing his best work.

Lately I haven't been reading as much as usual. Since my son was born (he is 2 now) I am always tired and find very little time for myself. Right now I prefer novels with strong plots, as they are more likely to keep me awake (just finished Sharpe's Tiger by Bernand Cornwell and loved it). I am currently reading Blood Meridian and, while I am enjoying it, I am reading it very slowly because it requires of all of my concentration (English is not my first language, as you can guess by my poor writing). Several years ago I read The Road in a couple of days and was impressed by the intensity and simplicity of its style. Blood Meridian? I've been reading it for four weeks and I am still not done. I feel like I am wasting a great book.

Anyway, the last great author I discovered is probably Murakami. Loved Kafka on the Shore, Sputnik Sweetheart, his short stories, and, above all else, Norwegian Wood. It's one of the most humane, intense, and moving love stories I've ever read.
Perhaps I should give Bolaño another try - I expected to like him, perhaps my head was just not in the right place.

Strange about Blood Meridian, I am a native English speaker and I seem to be reading it very slowly too, (and there is nothing wrong with your English that I can see!). It's not a criticism but I wonder whether it is to do with the style of narration and the "difficulty" of forming representations of what is being read.

Also agree about Murakami - haven't read anything bad by him, (but I could have lived my life quite happily without read "What I think about when...").
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:35 AM   #26
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Although I have mentioned these books many times before, I think they are worth mentioning yet again, especially in this thread: Shayne Parkinson's Promises to Keep quartet. I originally reviewed the books a year ago on my blog (see On Books: The Promises to Keep Quartet).

The books are set in late 19th century to early 20th century New Zealand. The story focuses on Amy Leith and how Victorian morality affected her life in what was then the frontier of the British Empire.

I consider these books to be classics, to be very-high-quality literary historical fiction for many reasons, not the least of which is that a year after having read the books, I still think about them. I still want to put my arms around Amy and tell her all will be right; I still want to physically thrash her husband and older son; I still want to rescue her from an unforgiving and unfair (to women) culture that was really simply another form of slavery.

I am still, one year later, moved by and thinking about the characters and the books in this series.

Interestingly (at least to me), my wife also still speaks about these books even though she read them on my recommendation shortly after I read them. More importantly, when her friends ask for a recommendation, these are still the first books she recommends, and she and several of her friends continue to discuss the books. To me, these are the signs that a book (or series) are classics.

The first book, Sentence of Marriage, is available free at Smashwords; the other books in the series cost $1.99 each. I wish these books were available as hardcovers. I'd gladly buy them for my permanent collection and as gifts for people who I know who do not read ebooks.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:37 AM   #27
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I have been long reading David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and sitting him in my own personal pantheon of OMG!-I-SO-LIKE-TOTALLY-LOVE -THIS-AUTHOR-LIKE-OMG! Greats. The recently slowly-read short story within, Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar To Ecko was most amusing and confusing (thus slowly-read). I have not read any else of Foster Wallace's, though I have Infinite Jest in the TBR pile.

Anyone else read/love/hate any of his works?
Hi Marc!

I too have Infinite Jest on my wishlist, but I haven't read anything by Wallace yet.

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The Savage Detectives (and 2666) are among my favorite novels ever. I am not going to give my opinion of them because it would seem a gross exageration. I just loved them so much. I haven't read other books by Bolaño, but I plan to read all of them. The guy is a master. So sad he died when he was producing his best work.

Lately I haven't been reading as much as usual. Since my son was born (he is 2 now) I am always tired and find very little time for myself. Right now I prefer novels with strong plots, as they are more likely to keep me awake (just finished Sharpe's Tiger by Bernand Cornwell and loved it). I am currently reading Blood Meridian and, while I am enjoying it, I am reading it very slowly because it requires of all of my concentration (English is not my first language, as you can guess by my poor writing). Several years ago I read The Road in a couple of days and was impressed by the intensity and simplicity of its style. Blood Meridian? I've been reading it for four weeks and I am still not done. I feel like I am wasting a great book.

Anyway, the last great author I discovered is probably Murakami. Loved Kafka on the Shore, Sputnik Sweetheart, his short stories, and, above all else, Norwegian Wood. It's one of the most humane, intense, and moving love stories I've ever read.
Never heard of Bernand Cornwell, i'll have to check him out...

I also found that the elaborate style of Blood Meridian got a little in the way of my enjoyment. I have never read a book with so many words I didn't understand and never even had seen before, some of them were not even in my dictionary. I much preferred the style of The Road, to me it feels less showy, the style of a more mature writer who doesn't feel he has anything to prove.

Love Murakami too, and I haven't read enough of his books, I should add them to my wishlist...

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Perhaps I should give Bolaño another try - I expected to like him, perhaps my head was just not in the right place.

Strange about Blood Meridian, I am a native English speaker and I seem to be reading it very slowly too, (and there is nothing wrong with your English that I can see!). It's not a criticism but I wonder whether it is to do with the style of narration and the "difficulty" of forming representations of what is being read.

Also agree about Murakami - haven't read anything bad by him, (but I could have lived my life quite happily without read "What I think about when...").
The Savage Detectives was a slow starter for me. As I said, the first part was OK but I wondered what all the fuss was about. Also, the not so great French translation didn't help. The second part took me some time to get into, with all the different narrators and going back and forth in time, but now I'm loving it and starting to identify and relate to all those different people talking.

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Old 05-04-2011, 10:15 AM   #28
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I've read a lot about this guy Bloom lately. I think I've got a couple of his books in my wishlist, but I'm still hesitating. Especially since I don't think they are available digitally. But he sounds like someone worth reading, some day.
Folks tend to love or hate Bloom. Quite didactic IMHO - I really don't enjoy being told how to read classics, what they "really" mean, and which ones are "the best" - I prefer my own opinions.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:47 AM   #29
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I put a hold on Jacob Zoet at the library. Only two people ahead of me!

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Old 05-04-2011, 11:03 AM   #30
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Folks tend to love or hate Bloom. Quite didactic IMHO - I really don't enjoy being told how to read classics, what they "really" mean, and which ones are "the best" - I prefer my own opinions.
Yes, that's exactly the reason I'm still hesitating to buy his books. There's one that is called "how to read, and why" but according to reviews it mostly tells us what to read and why. Either way, that doesn't appeal to me very much.
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