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What are you reading?


Parky
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9 hours ago, Troll said:

What's the most highbrow/clever book you've ever read?  I've never dreamed of going near Ulysses or Tolstoy/Dostoyevsky, and probably wouldn't touch Proust with a bargepole.  I think it'd probably be Lolita or something by Kafka.  Maybe Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

 

 

 

I wouldn't call Dostoyevsky particularly high brow compared to the likes of Proust (at least Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov werent). Saying that I've only read snippets of Proust as a sample.

 

One hundred years of solitude and Love in the time of cholera (Marquez) are both fantastic.

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I do want to throw this out. If any of you are hard core Sci Fi fan this is the best trilogy I ever read. It was written by a Chinese writer and translated into English in 2012.

Starts a bit slow but holy shit, it turned into the most epic grand story of all time for me.

 

Edit: Would help if I mentioned what it was. First book was "The Three Body Problem" 

 

 

Edited by McDog

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3 hours ago, McDog said:

I do want to throw this out. If any of you are hard core Sci Fi fan this is the best trilogy I ever read. It was written by a Chinese writer and translated into English in 2012.

Starts a bit slow but holy shit, it turned into the most epic grand story of all time for me.

 

Edit: Would help if I mentioned what it was. First book was "The Three Body Problem" 

 

 

 


I made reference to the TV version that is coming out in the TV thread (there appears to be a Chinese and US version)

 

It’s written by Cixin Liu and I’m currently 70% through the last book (Death’s End), which is equally as good as the first. Would highly recommend the trilogy and I’ll be checking out some more of his work. 

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Finished Fernando Pessoa's Book of Disquiet last night. A frank and beautiful evocation of what I assume was Pessoa's own surrender to a life of solitude, although it is written in the guise of one of his many 'heteronyms'. Undecided as to whether I should read Kenzaburo Oe's The Silent Cry or Celine's Journey to the End of the Night next.

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21 hours ago, Troll said:

What's the most highbrow/clever book you've ever read?  I've never dreamed of going near Ulysses or Tolstoy/Dostoyevsky, and probably wouldn't touch Proust with a bargepole.  I think it'd probably be Lolita or something by Kafka.  Maybe Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

 

 

 

 

I think it might be a phase of life thing.

 

I have read Tolstoy/Nabokov/Marquez. Didn't think of it as particularly high brow/inaccessible at the time but I was much younger. War and Peace was gripping tbh.

 

However I tried to read a classic when I was older (A Sentimental Education by Flaubert, which I think most would say is less cerebral) and it was unbearably dry. The reading equivalent of chewing ready mix concrete.

 

Doesn't sound like I'd enjoy Proust with the available time I have to dedicate to reading!

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2 hours ago, Beren said:

 

I think it might be a phase of life thing.

 

I have read Tolstoy/Nabokov/Marquez. Didn't think of it as particularly high brow/inaccessible at the time but I was much younger. War and Peace was gripping tbh.

 

However I tried to read a classic when I was older (A Sentimental Education by Flaubert, which I think most would say is less cerebral) and it was unbearably dry. The reading equivalent of chewing ready mix concrete.

 

Doesn't sound like I'd enjoy Proust with the available time I have to dedicate to reading!

I think reading many older, classic books require you to almost build up to them to get the most out of them. I think you need to train your reading skills up to tackle difficult books. Of course you can skim or gloss over books that you only partially understand and then go back for a second reading but expecting to start right back reading Flaubert or Dickens after years of reading much lighter work is asking a lot of your brain

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It depends on what you mean by 'difficult' IMO. Flaubert was perfectly intelligible, and I believe I got the underlying themes - but I just found it unrelatable and uninteresting in the extreme :lol:

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Perhaps that’s understandable as Flaubert apparently dreamt of writing a book about nothing. Maybe that’s all he ever did!

 

However I’m very much on the side of the book against myself in cases like this. If I read a book I think I should like and I don’t, I imagine that it’s because I’ve somehow missed something in it (and usually read around authors and works before I embark on reading these types of books).

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On 23/01/2023 at 16:47, Troll said:

What's the most highbrow/clever book you've ever read?  I've never dreamed of going near Ulysses or Tolstoy/Dostoyevsky, and probably wouldn't touch Proust with a bargepole.  I think it'd probably be Lolita or something by Kafka.  Maybe Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

 

 

 

The Third Policeman by Flann O Brien.

That Banshees of Inershirin made me think about it, funnily enough.

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Stoked to get stuck into this:

 

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/717356/the-creative-act-by-rick-rubin/

 

image.png.6fa375088c2a2bd3f7244b4de9dfd4f5.png

 

Quote

From the legendary music producer, a master at helping people connect with the wellsprings of their creativity, comes a beautifully crafted book many years in the making that offers that same deep wisdom to all of us.

“A gorgeous and inspiring work of art on creation, creativity, the work of the artist. It will gladden the hearts of writers and artists everywhere, and get them working again with a new sense of meaning and direction. A stunning accomplishment.” —Anne Lamott

“I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be.” —Rick Rubin

Many famed music producers are known for a particular sound that has its day. Rick Rubin is known for something else: creating a space where artists of all different genres and traditions can home in on who they really are and what they really offer. He has made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Over the years, as he has thought deeply about where creativity comes from and where it doesn’t, he has learned that being an artist isn’t about your specific output, it’s about your relationship to the world. Creativity has a place in everyone’s life, and everyone can make that place larger. In fact, there are few more important responsibilities.

The Creative Act is a beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow. It distills the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime’s work into a luminous reading experience that puts the power to create moments—and lifetimes—of exhilaration and transcendence within closer reach for all of us.

 

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18 hours ago, mouldy_uk said:


I made reference to the TV version that is coming out in the TV thread (there appears to be a Chinese and US version)

 

It’s written by Cixin Liu and I’m currently 70% through the last book (Death’s End), which is equally as good as the first. Would highly recommend the trilogy and I’ll be checking out some more of his work. 

 

 

Let us know what you think after finishing that. I was blown away. There was a fourth book called "The Redemption of time" which was NOT written by  Cixin Liu  but I completely enjoyed it.

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Following on from Proust I'm now reading À rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans, known in my version as Against Nature (Robert Baldick translation)

 

It's another decadent fin de siècle study but this time it focuses on a single character, apparently baseed on the same character Proust based the infamous Charlus character on.

 

From the intro it appears to be a reaction against the naturalism of Zola et al, or rather showing it's essential emptyness by taking it to it's perverse logical conclusion. 

 

I've always had a soft spot for the extremes of modernism.

 

I may read Baudelaire next!

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Has anyone gone from being a massive reader as kid to then practically not picking a book up for the last 10-15 years? I think I want to get back into it, do people set aside a certain amount of time per day for it as a start to getting back into the rhythm of things or is it as simple as just picking up a book and seeing where it takes you. 

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6 minutes ago, KDT said:

Has anyone gone from being a massive reader as kid to then practically not picking a book up for the last 10-15 years? I think I want to get back into it, do people set aside a certain amount of time per day for it as a start to getting back into the rhythm of things or is it as simple as just picking up a book and seeing where it takes you. 


I’m convinced pandemic stress ruined my ability to read. Guess I don’t have a commute anymore either. 
 

I thought I was retraining myself before Christmas, but that book is still on my table with a third unread :(


I take the easier options like podcast, TV, computer game way too much. 

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I bought a book for a holiday 5 years ago this summer that still remains untouched, I do think there's too much easy access to other forms of media now and that's the main problem, or at least my excuse for it.

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13 minutes ago, KDT said:

I bought a book for a holiday 5 years ago this summer that still remains untouched, I do think there's too much easy access to other forms of media now and that's the main problem, or at least my excuse for it.

Come on, on tenterhooks here mam, what was the book ?

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27 minutes ago, KDT said:

Has anyone gone from being a massive reader as kid to then practically not picking a book up for the last 10-15 years? I think I want to get back into it, do people set aside a certain amount of time per day for it as a start to getting back into the rhythm of things or is it as simple as just picking up a book and seeing where it takes you. 

Not so much as a kid but read loads from leaving school. The main block to my reading is what I'm doing right now, farting about online.

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