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> What are you reading?, Any good novels to recommend?
sepia5
post Apr 22 2004, 05:03 AM
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I tried this (though out of place) within an existing thread on the general absinthe page, and got no responses, so i thought I'd pose the question here as well: for you literature buffs, what are you currently reading, and what recommendations can you make? I just finished The Stones of Summer, by Dow Mossman - a good coming of age novel that is unlike anything you've read before. I won't lie, you really have to wade through segments of the novel, but it's been quite some time since I've read something that has affected me so intensely. I'm now about half way through Go Tell It On The Mountain, by James Baldwin. I like Baldwin, and thus far this book is enjoyable, but I previously read Another Country, and, to this point, I'd recommend Another Country. Hope I get some good recommendations. Tonight I'm drunk on wonderfully crafted ales from Cleveland's Great Lakes Brewery, rather than the drink that made this site famous. Hope everyone is feeling as temporarily happy as I tonight!


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I_B_Puffin
post Apr 22 2004, 05:23 AM
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I'm usually reading non-fiction, my latest book is Brassey's Encylclopedia of Military History and Biography. As for fiction, my favorite fiction authors are Dostoevsky and Orwell.
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LaMuseVerte
post Apr 22 2004, 05:34 AM
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Fact of the Day: George Orwell's real name was Eric Blair.
Btw, love Dostoevsky too :)

Short list...

Horror:
H.P. Lovecraft short stories are excellent... many anthologies out there to choose from, some better than others: though all of his work is available online free.

Graphic Novels:
Sandman - Neil Gaiman (set of 10 trades)
Star Dust - Vess and Neil Gaiman
Ruse - 19th century-theme comic book series (contact for more info on obtaining them).

Fantasy:
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Sovereign Stone: Well of Darkness - Tracy Hickman & Magaret Weis
Sovereign Stone: Erm... the second one - " " " " not as great as first
Sovereign Stone: Journey into the Void - " " " " not as great as first but better than second.
Dragonlance Legends (I'd start with Chronicles first though -
Legends is 3 book series, so is Chronicles).
The Gunslinger - Stephan King (I couldn't get into it as fast seeing as how I'm into more "high fantasy").
Dragonlance War of Souls - M. Weis, T. Hickman... 3 books (you might need Chronicles, Dragons of Summer Flame - which is 1 book, and Next Generation to understand it - which is 1 book as well).
Sword of Shanarra - I didn't love it, so I'm not even going to look for the authors name - some might though, so I'll list it.
Wheel of Time Book 1 - Robert Jordan, if you like the first book and the pace, you'll like the rest... I didn't like any of them, the pace was terrible... but I'm told this is a great series.

Fiction:
A Passage to India - E.M. Forster (descriptions of Chandrapore were beautiful, the use of symbolism was the best I've seen in a long time, and the story was realistic: very beautiful book and I recommend it).
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - PKD, freakin' great. Mercerism all the way!!!
Madame Bovary - ermm.. Flaubert? Something about it turned me on. There were a lot of boring parts though. Listen.. don't read it... get the Chabrol video verson.
Justine - Lawrence Durrell, Alexandria Quartet
Bathazar - Lawrence Durrell, Alexandria Quartet
Clea - Lawrence Durrell, Alexandria Quartet
Mountolive - Lawrence Durrell, Alexandria Quartet | in my opinion only Justine and Bathazar were good... but depends on taste.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was great
A Clockwork Orange by Burgess if you can read the British slang... gets in the way of enjoying it at times, but easy to catch on.
Dune - Frank Herbert (none of the ones after it though)
Hudson book of fiction for some neat short stories
1984 - orwell (great)
Fahrenheit 451 - Bradbury (good story)
Faust (play) Goethe - seductive, devilish, and great.

Alex Quartet is filled with lovely poetic prose (highly detailed). The characters are unlikable to some... what matters most is the theme. Many people have mixed opinions on the set, but I think they are great! With the exception of Justine, I found the rest dragging somewhat... but the overall experience is beautiful.

Philosophy:
Aesthetics - Croce (non-english is better)
The Gay Science - Nie.
My personal favorite: Being and Nothingness - Sartre
walter kaufmann's work is the best: basic writings of existentialism, Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre is fine for most popular writings in existentialism.

Psych:
Maps of the Mind - Charles Hampden-Turner
Abnormal Psych - Lauren B. Alloy 8th Ed (college book)
Abnorm psych and modern life by Coleman (college but better)

Metaphysics:
I will side with Israel Regardie and say 6th (I believe, it isn't in front of me) edition of The Golden Dawn.
I will say for new folks the.. erm... 13 steps or something to High Magick is an excellent read.
Greek Magical Papyri w/ demotic text - forget the author too, but this is a neat book if you are into it.
Practical Kabbalah (but not really for content - more for an intro... this book pissed me off, but people say it's nice, so I'll add it)
Meditation and Kabbalah by Aryeh Kaplan
Pomegranate by Regardie I believe was a must
Tree of Life by Regardie (I didn't like it one bit: better books out there so beware)

I had a great history book on origins of the quasi-mystical figure 'Hermes Trismegistus'... but can't remember the name. On the subject I have thousands of history books: I can't begin to name them all, but I have a digital copy of the Malleus Maleficarum if anyone is interested: nice translation.

Plenty of good Gnostic books out there *sighs* I don't know where to start to list them.

Not the type of books you read? LOL. I've got a ton over here... so if you need reviews or anything, tell me the name of a book and I'll tell you if I read it (love reading - which is why making a list is rather difficult to do).

Warning: Seduced by Moonlight is a horrible book with NO substance. If people were that shallow in horny... well just makes you want to bash your head against a brick wall. frusty.gif

Reading line up for me: Absinthe Sip of Seduction along with Dragons of a Fallen Sun (War of Souls book I), and then History in a Bottle by Conrad. After that? 'Prolly pick up one of Kallisti/Bookwhore's books on the 17-18th century erotica... those look interesting.
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Maldoror
post Apr 22 2004, 10:10 AM
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Just finishing Hemingway´s Sun Also Rises and a travel guide to Paris.

Earlier this month I read J.- K. Huysmans´ Parisian Sketches, B. Akunin´s The Winter Queen and
M. Ageyev´s Novel With Cocaine.

Recommendations?

A couple of books that I´ve read more than once; Charles Baudelaire: Paris Spleen, Umberto Eco: The Name of The Rose, J. - K. Huysmans: Against Nature,
Comte de Lautreamont: Maldoror, J. S. Le Fanu: In a Glass Darkly, H. P. Lovecraft: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and Arthur Rimbaud: A Season in Hell.




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sixela
post Apr 22 2004, 11:29 AM
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The Crimson Petal and the White.

The Quincunx (and The Unburied).

Yes, I have a penchant for novels set in the Victorian age.

Isaac Asimov's "Nemesis", or better, "The Gods themselves" (saves you from getting dragged into the Robot or Foundation series wink.gif ).

"The Stone Bridal Bed" by Harry Mulisch (quite interesting even in English, though the Dutch version is miles ahead).




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Alpha Soixante
post Apr 22 2004, 01:10 PM
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QUOTE
Recommendations?


Since many of the books you've mentioned are Paris-related or French, I'd recommend:

Hemingway--A Moveable Feast
Henry Miller--Black Spring, Tropic of Cancer
Raymond Queneau--Zazie in the Metro
Louis Aragon--Paris Peasant
Philippe Soupault--Last Nights of Paris
Jacques Prevert--Paroles
anything by Apollinaire
George Orwell--Down and Out in Paris and London

Oh, and listen to some Serge Gainsbourg, while you're at it.
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Gertz
post Apr 22 2004, 01:43 PM
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Comte de Lautréamont: The Songs of Maldoror.

A really crazy book.


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sepia5
post Apr 22 2004, 03:27 PM
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QUOTE (Alpha Soixante @ Apr 22 2004, 05:10 AM)
QUOTE
Recommendations?


Since many of the books you've mentioned are Paris-related or French, I'd recommend:

Hemingway--A Moveable Feast

I'll second that first recommendation. Definitely read A Moveable Feast if you enjoyed the Sun Also Rises. I think I'm going to hit up a Farewell to Arms next.


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Absomphe
post Apr 22 2004, 03:35 PM
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Rereading some favorite authors of late:

Umberto Eco

Mark Helprin

Caleb Carr

Eric Maria Remarque

Elizabeth Hand

Shirley Jackson


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Abnorman
post Apr 22 2004, 04:15 PM
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QUOTE (LaMuseVerte @ Apr 22 2004, 12:34 AM)
A Clockwork Orange by Burgess if you can read the British slang... gets in the way of enjoying it at times, but easy to catch on.
A Clockwork Orange also used a lot of bastardized Russian: "horrorshow" for "khorosho" is just one example.

I've been reading Charles Bukowski's Run With The Hunted lately. It's an autobiographical anthology.

I love Thomas Pynchon, even though reading him can be rather daunting.

William Burroughs can be simultaneously funny and frightening.

William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley is the hardest-boiled noir you'll ever read. It was recently made into a graphic novel illustrated by Spain Rodriguez. And the film adaptation of it (made in 1947 with Tyrone Power) is worth seeing, IF you can find it.

I also enjoyed reading Turn Off Your Mind by Gary Lachman (who used to be in Blondie) which is about the 60s and the New Age and the influences both had on the other.

I need some CoffeeCup2.gif


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turangalila
post Apr 22 2004, 06:46 PM
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Alright, here’s a short list of things I enjoyed reading recently.

Apuleius' "The Golden Ass", if you can do classical Roman stuff, is immensely funny and wonderful.

Milton and Dante are both worth reading. I think that the Inferno is easier to get into than Paradise Lost.

Pascal's Pensées is lovely. Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is also lovely.

Italo Calvino's "If on a winter's night a traveler" I could recommend wholeheartedly. This is one of the best novels I’ve read, ever.

Also, Conan Doyle's "Hound of the Baskervilles": although I wish I'd read some other Holmes first to know the characters, after going through them all, this is clearly the best of them. It's got a nice crumbling Victorian feeling, the same sort one gets from Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher".

What else. Um, David Carrasco's "City of Sacrifice", on Aztec religion, is absolutely outstanding and could probably be very enjoyable.

My girlfriend recommends Anna Karenina. I might recommend Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, or Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.


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Maldoror
post Apr 22 2004, 08:01 PM
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QUOTE (Gertz @ Apr 22 2004, 05:43 AM)
Comte de Lautréamont: The Songs of Maldoror.

A really crazy book.

Yeah, I haven´t been the same since 1st reading about
10 years ago...


Billynorm: Have you read Lachman´s latest "The Dedalus
Book of the Occult"? I´ve been thinking of ordering it soon. Turn Off your Mind was interesting and well researched.

Have to read some more Hemingway in near future. I´ve only read "Whom the Bell Tolls" besides "Sun Also Rises".



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deam
post Apr 22 2004, 08:49 PM
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I'm reading "Hideous Absinthe: A History of the Devil in a Bottle" right now. It's quite an interesting read so far. The stories we all know and love are more detailed in this book than in most other absinthe books I've read. In fact, there are even stories in this book about people I'd never heard of that have something to do with absinthe history. Eg. Edvard Munch and August Strindberg. It seems to be a pretty complete history so far. Definitely worth picking up even though the book costs $40.
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LaMuseVerte
post Apr 22 2004, 09:00 PM
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Anyone read English Assasin, Confessor and the newer book by the same author? I was wondering if I should pick up the new book - I liked English Assasin (Daniel Silva was the name?), and Confessor was decent enough.

Perhaps I'm too much of a historian (which I didn't realize until I saw the myriad of fictional-takes on the actual events, societies and members found within the book), but the Divinci Code really bothered me. (Some folks I've met accepted the information they read in the Dvinci Code is true or "near true"; it became like a cult book, which pisses me off since it was entirely fiction). Again, as far as fiction books are concerned it's decent: but I hear half the fun of the book is "learning" about all these esoteric things mentioned: if you are looking to "learn", don't pick up the book. (As in that regard, reading the book was a waste of time and I found his looking-up.gif poop.gif descriptions putting me to sleep at certain parts during the novel).
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Absomphe
post Apr 22 2004, 09:09 PM
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" In fact, there are even stories in this book about people I'd never heard of that have something to do with absinthe history. Eg. Edvard Munch and August Strindberg."


Heeeeeliiiiuuummmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!! abs-cheers.gif


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