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read about half of shteyngart (russian debutante's handbook), then got bored. might finish it eventually, but probably not. it was witty, but meh, i didn't really care what happened.

think i'll check fykey's blog for more ideas, she was right about shteyngart ;)

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read about half of shteyngart (russian debutante's handbook), then got bored. might finish it eventually, but probably not. it was witty, but meh, i didn't really care what happened.

think i'll check fykey's blog for more ideas, she was right about shteyngart ;)

That was pretty much how I felt about Absurdistan!! It was witty in parts -- but those parts were few and far between, and didn't make up for the fact that I just didn't care about the characters or the plot.

 

Sorry to hear you didn't have better luck with his first book!

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picked up ghostwritten and black swan green at the library

nice! I liked that they are both so different - it's not like he's doing the same thing over and over. let me know what you think!

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I noticed in Barnes and Noble yesterday that they had a big display for "House of Leaves". They've come up with a new fancy edition..fyi.

Yeah, I bought it on Amazon. It's in my book pile right under the new Harper Lee bio, which I intend to start once I wrench myself away from the last fifty pages or so of Seven Types of Ambiguity. I've kind of been dragging out the last bit because I've really enjoyed the book and don't want it to end. I'm tempted to reread it to see what I missed the first time, but considering that it's taken me two weeks of stealing time to read it once...maybe I'll wait.

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I noticed in Barnes and Noble yesterday that they had a big display for "House of Leaves". They've come up with a new fancy edition..fyi.

Yeah, I bought it on Amazon. It's in my book pile right under the new Harper Lee bio, which I intend to start once I wrench myself away from the last fifty pages or so of Seven Types of Ambiguity. I've kind of been dragging out the last bit because I've really enjoyed the book and don't want it to end. I'm tempted to reread it to see what I missed the first time, but considering that it's taken me two weeks of stealing time to read it once...maybe I'll wait.

 

The new edition of House is probably due to the fact that Danielewski's second book just came out - it sounds really interesting; apparently the text is printed in a circular fashion, causing the reader to turn the book around and around. It's called Only Revolutions, I believe, although I'm not totally positive. I'll give it a whirl -- it's a good sign that he takes so long to publish a book, as if he's *really* working on it ;)

 

I can't wait to hear what you thought of Seven Types of Ambiguity, bittermuch?!

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Ok, done with Seven Types of Ambiguity. I liked a lot of things about it and would recommend it. Very involving. Engagingly written. Some comments / thoughts (not really spoilers but just in case, I'll spoiler it): (1) too little differentiation in the voices of the different narrators. there would be initial conspicuous efforts to create a new voice, but inevitably the characters would fall back into the same vocabulary and tone; (2) book kind of fell off with the last two narrators. I felt Anna should have remained silent and maintained her mystique, and I actually expected that would be the case until I began reading her section; (3) Simon was kind of a Mary Sue for the author; (4) the main characters - Simon, Anna, Joe, and Alex - were generally the least-interesting to me. I was more interested in Angela, Gina, Dennis Mitchell, etc.; (5) I particularly thought the female characters seemed less convincing and more tritely imagined, even though I did think some of them were intriguing; (6) sometimes I felt like I was reading the work of a bright, hyper-literate and highly smug college student - like the young Simon? - who still occasionally fell into purple prose.

 

One thing that struck me towards the end was how much the whole book was like a trial, each character's testimony adding to the picture of "truth." I didn't think my perceptions changed jarringly as I read along. I just felt like I was getting a fuller picture of people and their motivations rather than an inconsistent picture. Maybe being a litigator has accustomed me to acquiring truth that way? Who knows. I didn't find it disorienting or jarring, or really find any of the narrators particularly unreliable. There were some very vivid moments with peripheral characters - the ones that stand out most in my mind were in Dennis Mitchell's section about the retreat and his gambling with Angelique

 

That said, the book was engrossing and captivating until the last section or so, and there were some really vivid and indelible moments. I am glad I read it and I enjoyed the experience (and don't feel like I need to shower or eat some green vegetables afterwards. LOL.)

Edited by bittermuch?

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Finished Black Swan Green. It was pretty good, but I prefer Cloud Atlas. Starting on Ghostwritten...

Yeah, for me Cloud Atlas was the end-all be-all of Mitchell's work thus far. I thought all that I read of his was good, but none compared to that.

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That said, the book was engrossing and captivating until the last section or so, and there were some really vivid and indelible moments. I am glad I read it and I enjoyed the experience (and don't feel like I need to shower or eat some green vegetables afterwards. LOL.)

I agree with a lot of what you said - the main characters were definitely not as interesting as the minor ones; the minor characters definitely told the best story. I would have to say that I found Simon's narrative somewhat unreliable; in my mind, the rest of the stories clarified and refined his "truth," such as it was. I agree about the final section: part of me liked it, part of me didn't -- but I went with liking it overall because after reading all that, I wanted a sense of closure, and the last section did that. Then again, if it left you wondering, I probably would have liked that too.

 

When it's all said and done, I really enjoyed reading the book but I'm not sure I would read more of the author, if that makes sense.

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Overall I really liked the book too and reading it was an enjoyable experience. I guess his first book contains even more overt social / political commentary. Never would have run across this book without your blog, fykey! Thanks!

 

 

Started Mockingbird last night but fell asleep (and promptly dreamt there were cats walking on my bed for some reason - dog was very unsettled when I, half-awake, commanded her to get them).

Edited by bittermuch?

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Overall I really liked the book too and reading it was an enjoyable experience. I guess his first book contains even more overt social / political commentary. Never would have run across this book without your blog, fykey! Thanks!

You're absolutely welcome!! I'm just glad I have a reader or two - I thought it would be pretty much just me forever, LOL.

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really enjoying ghostwritten so far. do you know if it was written before or after the aum shinrikyo sarin gas attack? probably after, but that would be really creepy if it was before. someone recommended murakami's book (underground) about it, so i'll probably read that next.

 

and ditto on fykey's blog - so helpful!

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I put aside the Harper Lee bio to read a book I borrowed from a friend - Anonymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman. Based on the blog by the same name. Pretty entertaining (if scary) for anyone who has ever worked for a big law firm (like me).

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I just finished Gigi by Colette.

Nice book, I love aunt Alicia and Mamita, I'm reading A long way down by Nick Horby, the characterization is really nice

 

I liked A Long Way Down a lot - I thought it was quite entertaining!

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I liked A Long Way Down a lot - I thought it was quite entertaining!

I like it too, it's very a very entertaining read for the week-end, I'm reading The dwarves of death by Jonathan Coe as well, and I like it a lot : the way he describes William and Madeline's relationship reminds me of some painful dates ! I had never read anything by J Coe before, I'll definitely read more of his work ! Edited by myosotis

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I have to ask fellow booklovers a silly question--if you were going on an 11-day vacation (a cruise that has FOUR "at sea" days) how many books would you bring?? I am sorting & picking my books now, I figure I'll take at least 11 books, possibly 15 (1 per day plus extra, just in case) My husband looks at me like I'm nuts (though, less and less as years go by and he sees how quickly I plow through the books) Just looking for a little validation here :unsure:

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Hoya - I am with you take at least one per day plus at least three extra. hopefully you will be having too much fun to read that much, but in case you really just need to relax......

 

You need extra knowing that there is at least one of the original eleven you are on the fence about reading -I know when I am vacation I think I want to catch up on my heavy reading, but no, I always choose the light and easy reads.

 

My mom made the mistake of just packing Ulysses, thinking it would make her read it. She was off to the bookstore in two days.

 

 

 

 

I need help - I am trying to get through Cider House Rules Probably two hundred pages in and it still isn't doing it for me... Is it worth it to continue - anyone?

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