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The Book Shelf
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Kieran Offline
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The Book Shelf
What are you reading?

I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. First time I read a book of his, it's for the book club I'm in. About 13 pages in, he has a style of writing that's conversational, almost. Punctuation is dispensed with, on occasion. I almost hear the narrators grim voice from the movie 300, it's so choppy and personal. I'll take a break now because I'm mixing my genres! Big Smile

I'm enjoying this book so far. It has an ominous tone. I doubt it has a happy ending, but so far it's making me want to read more...
16-Apr-2013 07:06 AM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(16-Apr-2013 07:06 AM)Kieran Wrote:  What are you reading?

I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. First time I read a book of his, it's for the book club I'm in. About 13 pages in, he has a style of writing that's conversational, almost. Punctuation is dispensed with, on occasion. I almost hear the narrators grim voice from the movie 300, it's so choppy and personal. I'll take a break now because I'm mixing my genres! Big Smile

I'm enjoying this book so far. It has an ominous tone. I doubt it has a happy ending, but so far it's making me want to read more...

I think he's a gorgeous writer. (Have you read any others?) The Road is very bleak. I didn't see the film, because I felt I could only go there once, with the book. However, there is redemption, as I remember it, if only in the prose. I'll be interested to hear what you think.
16-Apr-2013 07:30 PM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
The last good book I read was "Ike--An American Hero", but that was a biography of sorts. I have been reading Anthony DiStefano's "Angels All Around Us", but it is not holding my attention. I have been meaning to tackle a big biography on J. Edgar Hoover (Titled "The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover"), which will likely delve into his long time affair with his number two man, naturally, but which will fascinate more in terms of McCarthyism, the famed battles with the Kennedys, counterintelligence as to Soviet and Cuban incursions domestically and his relationship with Ike. That is probably to where I shall go starting this evening.
17-Apr-2013 09:59 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(16-Apr-2013 07:30 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  
(16-Apr-2013 07:06 AM)Kieran Wrote:  What are you reading?

I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. First time I read a book of his, it's for the book club I'm in. About 13 pages in, he has a style of writing that's conversational, almost. Punctuation is dispensed with, on occasion. I almost hear the narrators grim voice from the movie 300, it's so choppy and personal. I'll take a break now because I'm mixing my genres! Big Smile

I'm enjoying this book so far. It has an ominous tone. I doubt it has a happy ending, but so far it's making me want to read more...

I think he's a gorgeous writer. (Have you read any others?) The Road is very bleak. I didn't see the film, because I felt I could only go there once, with the book. However, there is redemption, as I remember it, if only in the prose. I'll be interested to hear what you think.

did we talk about The Road on the old board? boy, that's a great book. i love his style, the flow of his language and storytelling. and yes, "bleak". by comparison, i think the movie (which i though was good) was a walk in the park on a sunny spring day. the book is just one big sucker punch in the stomach. but yes, so beautifully written.


for a polar opposite, i'm currently giving Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" novels a try. reading "Mort". quite funny, entertaining. different, for sure.
also reading "See No Evil", the autobiography of former top middle east CIA officer Robert Baer (for the movie buffs: it's the inspiration for "Syriana". Clooney's character is based on the Baer). he can't (and doesn't try to) hide that it's basically a disgruntled former employee's account. it's well-written, though, and does give a tiny glimpse into how the whole spying game works/used to work.
17-Apr-2013 02:15 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(16-Apr-2013 07:30 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  
(16-Apr-2013 07:06 AM)Kieran Wrote:  What are you reading?

I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. First time I read a book of his, it's for the book club I'm in. About 13 pages in, he has a style of writing that's conversational, almost. Punctuation is dispensed with, on occasion. I almost hear the narrators grim voice from the movie 300, it's so choppy and personal. I'll take a break now because I'm mixing my genres! Big Smile

I'm enjoying this book so far. It has an ominous tone. I doubt it has a happy ending, but so far it's making me want to read more...

I think he's a gorgeous writer. (Have you read any others?) The Road is very bleak. I didn't see the film, because I felt I could only go there once, with the book. However, there is redemption, as I remember it, if only in the prose. I'll be interested to hear what you think.

I haven't read anything else by him, but I saw the film, No Country For Old Men. I saw an interview where he discusses his disdain for punctuation, which is quite clear reading this book! I don't mind that, I think his writing is quite beautiful. I find the brevity of the verses or chapters or paragraphs to be a little distracting, it's like I can't get too near the characters because of it, and their conversations are sharp and witty, but quite formal, but this is the style and overall it's very impressive. It is bleak, and it's incredible too.

I have about 60 pages to go. Please say they come across a community that lives in a giant immune biospherical bubble, with loads of kids and women and food and drink....Wink
18-Apr-2013 12:07 PM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
^ yup. actually, they get to the coast and board a ship to Ireland, which is covered in whole by that bubble Smile
18-Apr-2013 03:53 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(18-Apr-2013 03:53 PM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  ^ yup. actually, they get to the coast and board a ship to Ireland, which is covered in whole by that bubble Smile

Tongue

I think in a book like this, there isn't even a sliver of hope come forth yet, which is odd for a book, given that it still remains compelling...
18-Apr-2013 04:01 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
"The Road"...One of the most depressing books I have ever read. McCarthy does depressing well.

I am currently reading Baldacci's The Forgotten. I have always enjoyed Baldacci's books for what they are, but recently he is ripping off Lee Child's character Jack Reacher, and I am not liking it...

19-Apr-2013 08:45 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
I finished The Road. The ending. Hmm. Either too ham-fisted and sentimental or heavy-handed with the symbolism.

Was it?

I wondered a few times with this one, what exactly is he getting at? What's the point he's making? About survival? I didn't 'enjoy' it because it isn't that book, but I turned it about a bit like a Rubik's cube to see what the point was, and I'm a little lost on that too...
20-Apr-2013 11:13 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
^ what's he getting at is a good question - one that's really jumping at you from every page. tbh, i never even try to answer these, personally. all kinds of crypto-symbolic-messages and such things? i acknowledge what i notice, but never really care about it, tbh. i read for the joy of reading, not much more. almost ironic, considering the guy whose name i nicked fills his novels up to the brink with biblical symbolism. Smile
21-Apr-2013 09:25 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(21-Apr-2013 09:25 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  ^ what's he getting at is a good question - one that's really jumping at you from every page. tbh, i never even try to answer these, personally. all kinds of crypto-symbolic-messages and such things? i acknowledge what i notice, but never really care about it, tbh. i read for the joy of reading, not much more. almost ironic, considering the guy whose name i nicked fills his novels up to the brink with biblical symbolism. Smile

That's the truth, but to be honest, your namesake is a far superior writer, from what I could see. Now, I've read several Steinbeck but only one by Cormac, so maybe it's unfair, but what I mean is, when Steinbeck uses symbolism, it's proper and it works, and he doesn't have to obfuscate and conceal anything, he's so masterful that the sentences burn a hole in your brain, no tricks, no gimmicks.

There's no gimmicks here either, but whatever he was getting at didn't make itself apparent to me. Especially the ending. I love the end of Grapes of Wrath because it's so potent and yet it's laden with religious hope, amid all the despair. But this book didn't offer that earlier and then it did. Or did it? I'm not sure.

Anyway, it isn't fair to compare anyone to Steinbeck and I thought The Road was a really great book but I was a little underwhelmed at the end, I must admit. I am willing to admit, however, that the coldness might be my fault and not the author's. Another read five years from now might yield a different reaction...
22-Apr-2013 04:24 AM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
I bought William Percy's Lantern's on the Levee (memoir about living in the gulf U.S. south at the turn of the 20th century) this weekend, and am looking forward to reading a book not related to my research for a change.
22-Apr-2013 09:46 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(22-Apr-2013 09:46 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  I bought William Percy's Lantern's on the Levee (memoir about living in the gulf U.S. south at the turn of the 20th century) this weekend, and am looking forward to reading a book not related to my research for a change.

So your research isn't levee-based? Tongue

I just looked this one up on Amazon, looks like a mighty read!
23-Apr-2013 03:53 AM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(23-Apr-2013 03:53 AM)Kieran Wrote:  
(22-Apr-2013 09:46 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  I bought William Percy's Lantern's on the Levee (memoir about living in the gulf U.S. south at the turn of the 20th century) this weekend, and am looking forward to reading a book not related to my research for a change.

So your research isn't levee-based? Tongue

I just looked this one up on Amazon, looks like a mighty read!

Sadly there are few levees in my research. Lots of the U.S. South though(I study Southern history). The idea of a planter's son, WWI veteran, and sexual free thinker living in rural mississippi certainly seems to be a very crazy life to read about. It is interesting that tennis fans (at least on this board) tend to have good taste across the board. Not surprising, considering we are brought together by the greatest sport.

(22-Apr-2013 04:24 AM)Kieran Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 09:25 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  ^ what's he getting at is a good question - one that's really jumping at you from every page. tbh, i never even try to answer these, personally. all kinds of crypto-symbolic-messages and such things? i acknowledge what i notice, but never really care about it, tbh. i read for the joy of reading, not much more. almost ironic, considering the guy whose name i nicked fills his novels up to the brink with biblical symbolism. Smile

That's the truth, but to be honest, your namesake is a far superior writer, from what I could see. Now, I've read several Steinbeck but only one by Cormac, so maybe it's unfair, but what I mean is, when Steinbeck uses symbolism, it's proper and it works, and he doesn't have to obfuscate and conceal anything, he's so masterful that the sentences burn a hole in your brain, no tricks, no gimmicks.

There's no gimmicks here either, but whatever he was getting at didn't make itself apparent to me. Especially the ending. I love the end of Grapes of Wrath because it's so potent and yet it's laden with religious hope, amid all the despair. But this book didn't offer that earlier and then it did. Or did it? I'm not sure.

Anyway, it isn't fair to compare anyone to Steinbeck and I thought The Road was a really great book but I was a little underwhelmed at the end, I must admit. I am willing to admit, however, that the coldness might be my fault and not the author's. Another read five years from now might yield a different reaction...

Steinbeck is one of my favorites also. He has the most brutally depressing endings. Grapes of wrath is a great example. To a God UnKnown also has an uncompromisingly brutal conclusion. In my mind, I always compare grapes of wrath to catcher in the rye. in one book you have people who seldom whine, but are dealing with some of the worst conditions imaginable, and in the other, a spoiled kid who complains about everything.
(This post was last modified: 23-Apr-2013 10:06 AM by Riotbeard.)
23-Apr-2013 10:02 AM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
I am reading American Psycho , again, after 15 years. I am wondering if I will be as disturbed as the first time around, or have I been desensitized enough not to care...

15-May-2013 08:32 PM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(15-May-2013 08:32 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  I am reading American Psycho , again, after 15 years. I am wondering if I will be as disturbed as the first time around, or have I been desensitized enough not to care...

Great book, but if you are not disturbed, I might question your humanity.
15-May-2013 08:49 PM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
I am now reading My Life with the Saints by James Martin, S.J.

It's a good read and he is a very down-to-earth Jesuit who intersperses anecdotal episodes from his life concerning old college roommates, girlfriends, old jobs at the cinema, etc. that enlivens his trip through the years and his gradual coming of age with the lives of various saints and how they have come to impact him.

Virgil Cane is the name ...
16-May-2013 09:28 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
Sounds like a good book, Shawn, will look into that one... Smile
16-May-2013 09:50 AM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/the-...5wodDRkAAA


I am very interested in reading this when it comes out.

25-Jul-2013 06:56 AM
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special700 Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
May I ask how do you know she did not register for the over 30 rule?
31-Jul-2013 06:42 AM
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