Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
FlorenceArt
High Priestess
FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
FlorenceArt's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,523
Karma: 2290913
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreuil sous bois, France
Device: iPad Air, iPhone 4S
The MR Literary Society

Hi All,

I am starting this thread in the hope that, like me, others feel the need to set aside a space to discuss "serious" or quality literature. If not, well, this thread will simply sink to oblivion, but at least I will have tried

I have nothing against escapist or purely recreational reading. For me it has completely replaced television in the last few years. It's great to be able to come home from a hard and stressful day and just pick up an undemanding and enjoyable book.

But reading is also a way to travel in time and space, to expand our horizon, to learn something about ourselves and others. And sometimes also to simply bask in the warm glow of language, wonderful, treacherous, unreliable, musical language.

I am a bit saddened to see that the same books, or types of books, keep popping up over and over in discussions, when there is a whole world to discover out there. We are incredibly privileged to have at our disposal several millenniums of books from all over the world. I don't think any human society has ever had so many, so easily available. Teenage sorcerers, dragon tamers and vampires are great, but there are so many more stories out there!

So let's pick up a fork and dig in! As my mother used to say, don't say you don't like it until you have tried it at least once.

I won't attempt to define "serious" or "quality" literature. It's been discussed before, and I don't think it's very useful really. There is no universal definition, and even if two persons could come to an agreement on that definition, there will always be at least one book on which they disagree. And that's fine! I'm just trying to start a discussion, not a catalog

So, finally I come to the point and start by offering my current read, Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives. Here is one book that will make you travel: from the streets of Mexico City to those of Barcelona and Paris, with a lot of topographical details. It's like the author wrote his book with a street map of each city before him, and he describes the characters' long rambling walks so that you could follow it on the map (which I haven't tried but I assume you could).

I'm about halfway through and liking it more and more. The first part was only so-so for me, but the second part suddenly expands the points of view (it's presented as a series of interviews of many different people), and also expands geographically (as I said, between Mexico and Europe) and in time. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but I am now in the thick of it and loving it

So, let's hear from you guys!
FlorenceArt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 04:18 PM   #2
TGS
Country Member
TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
TGS's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,041
Karma: 7606841
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denmark
Device: Liseuse: Irex DR800. PRS 505 in the house, and the missus has an iPad.
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.
TGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
FlorenceArt
High Priestess
FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
FlorenceArt's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,523
Karma: 2290913
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreuil sous bois, France
Device: iPad Air, iPhone 4S
Welcome to the MRLS, TGS!

I certainly wouldn't presume on choosing books for anyone! And I think Blood Meridian is quite as literary. And it happens that I read it just before The Savage Detective. I loved it, though I preferred the more sober style of The Road, which I read a few months before.
FlorenceArt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 04:37 PM   #4
covingtoncat73
Guru
covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
covingtoncat73's Avatar
 
Posts: 981
Karma: 14829785
Join Date: Mar 2011
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo WiFi, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Acer 10'' Tablet
Well, a literary fiction I read recently was The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. It was amazing. It is about a Dutch clerk with the East India company in 1799 Japan (when the story opens). He meets a Japanese midwife with a scarred face. It isn't a romance in the genre sense at all, though. It is one of the best things I have read in recent years
covingtoncat73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
TGS
Country Member
TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
TGS's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,041
Karma: 7606841
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denmark
Device: Liseuse: Irex DR800. PRS 505 in the house, and the missus has an iPad.
Well, for those who might like to know more about Blood Meridian - and it is not an easy novel to summarise other than to say it's set in the middle of the nineteenth century in the American west - a quite enlightening review and discussion can be found here.

Last edited by TGS; 05-03-2011 at 04:41 PM.
TGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 04:40 PM   #6
TGS
Country Member
TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
TGS's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,041
Karma: 7606841
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denmark
Device: Liseuse: Irex DR800. PRS 505 in the house, and the missus has an iPad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by covingtoncat73 View Post
Well, a literary fiction I read recently was The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. It was amazing. It is about a Dutch clerk with the East India company in 1799 Japan (when the story opens). He meets a Japanese midwife with a scarred face. It isn't a romance in the genre sense at all, though. It is one of the best things I have read in recent years
I read it recently too and thought it was excellent. I'm not one for "love stories" but the love story aspect of this was one of the most poignant things I've read for a long time.
TGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
FlorenceArt
High Priestess
FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
FlorenceArt's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,523
Karma: 2290913
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreuil sous bois, France
Device: iPad Air, iPhone 4S
I have nothing against love stories, in fact I will happily read trashy love stories, but if they are well written it's even better!! I've read about this Jacob de Zoet book before, I'll check it out.
FlorenceArt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 05:51 PM   #8
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,839
Karma: 35774580
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
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.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 06:06 PM   #9
covingtoncat73
Guru
covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.covingtoncat73 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
covingtoncat73's Avatar
 
Posts: 981
Karma: 14829785
Join Date: Mar 2011
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo WiFi, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Acer 10'' Tablet
Oh, and if any of you like Jacob de Zoet, I can also reccomend The Coffee Trader by David Liss. I am not too much on Sci-Fi but I love dark fantasy/horror (Gaiman, King, and Joe Hill are pretty tops with me). But I do also love historically-set literary fiction.
covingtoncat73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 06:10 PM   #10
Fbone
Is that a sandwich?
Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Fbone's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,238
Karma: 67642077
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: Searching ...
Not quite sure if this is "quality."

Last year I read Shadow of the Wind and thought the writing was wonderful. The story wasn't action-packed but the artistry was excellent even translated from Spanish. I understand the original Spanish edition is even better; poetic even.
Fbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 07:41 PM   #11
jgaiser
Omnivorous
jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jgaiser's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,975
Karma: 20846667
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Rural NW Oregon
Device: Kindle Fire HD, Kindle GDX, Kindle 3, KPW, Nook HD+
Ok, as long as we don't have read Joyce.... (Someday I'm going to get through Ulysses).

While a do read a lot of mindless fiction, I'm also interested in expanding my horizons. As with TGS, I might not read everything but I'm willing to give more literary fiction a chance.
jgaiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 08:10 PM   #12
poohbear_nc
Non-Edible Chicken
poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
poohbear_nc's Avatar
 
Posts: 28,781
Karma: 47549725
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Durham, NC
Device: Every Kindle Ever Made & To Be Made + Kobo Aura + Nexus7.2!
Brilliant! I'll be joining in too! David Mitchell is one of my "must read" authors.

I too enjoy both "serious" reads [currently on a read though of the entire Henry James canon] and "trashy" thrillers/dark fantasy, etc. My tastes are MOST eclectic!
poohbear_nc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #13
straygator
Connoisseur
straygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolatestraygator is generous with chocolate
 
straygator's Avatar
 
Posts: 88
Karma: 33904
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cayman Islands
Device: Kindle
Excellent thread. And thanks, all, for the heads-up on Jacob de Zoet and The Savage Detectives. I'm tracking those down asap.

I tend to ignore a work's 'genre' and labeling and seek out fiction that goes beyond who did what to whom - that explores the 'whys,' and how those 'whys' relate to (and should be important to) the reader.

Blood Meridian is excellent. As I posted on the literary fiction thread a few days ago, I just started Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife, and the writing is phenomenal. Also, a recent, quirky re-read that surprised me was Peter Matthiessen's Far Tortuga.
straygator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 09:32 PM   #14
jgaiser
Omnivorous
jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jgaiser's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,975
Karma: 20846667
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Rural NW Oregon
Device: Kindle Fire HD, Kindle GDX, Kindle 3, KPW, Nook HD+
In February SF Signal (a Speculative Fiction website) posted an article on 10 Literary Novels for Genre Readers. The list includes Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy, and Margaret Atwood. Do any of these titles fit into anyones definition of literary fiction?
jgaiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 09:54 PM   #15
poohbear_nc
Non-Edible Chicken
poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
poohbear_nc's Avatar
 
Posts: 28,781
Karma: 47549725
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Durham, NC
Device: Every Kindle Ever Made & To Be Made + Kobo Aura + Nexus7.2!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
In February SF Signal (a Speculative Fiction website) posted an article on 10 Literary Novels for Genre Readers. The list includes Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy, and Margaret Atwood. Do any of these titles fit into anyones definition of literary fiction?
Oh indeed - all - into my definition.
poohbear_nc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Mysterious Benedict Society wyndslash Reading Recommendations 3 07-17-2011 08:31 PM
The Society: Proof ASCrabill Self-Promotions by Authors and Publishers 1 02-06-2011 08:44 AM
Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (UK) Richard Herley Writers' Corner 0 08-25-2010 12:59 PM
The Folio Society lene1949 Lounge 2 12-04-2009 05:58 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:57 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.