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Goner Message Board / ???? / fave books thisyear
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 6:28 am
 
the re issues of wahloo/sjowall martin beck detective novels

the edited florida trilogy by mathiesson now called shadow country

detective stuff:
chinaman
the broken shore

2666-- a GREAT novel

and some non fiction
nixonland
10 cent plague
mrs astor regrets
champlain's dream
pictures at a revolution
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 10:31 am
 
Just finished "devil in the white city" about the world's fair of Chicago (and it's resident serial killer) of 1893. Great book!
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 11:09 am
 
My three cents about book stuffs:

1. Whatever you do don't read the new Wally Lamb book...it's 750 pages long and by the time you realize you despise it and want to die, it's too late to turn back.

2. Chuck Klosterman is a-ok with me even when he writes fiction and takes "write what you know" about 5 steps too far...WE GET IT! You grew up in North Dakota!

3. Everyone should be required to read every single thing Joan Didion ever wrote.
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 11:40 am
 
So you Want to be a Rock and Roll Star :The Byrds Day-By-Day 1965-1973 by Christopher Hjort.
It's like taking Johnny Rogans excellent Byrds book and filling in the tiny details.
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 12:10 pm
 
2666-- a GREAT novel

I bought- but haven't read- this. If it's anywhere near as good as the Savage Detectives, and most people say it's better, than it'll be the best read of '09.

The best single piece of writing I read this year was an essay in Harper's called "Standoff in Columbus: Guns, Dogs, and the Language of Totality" by Frederick Busch.
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 12:48 pm
 
Night of the Gun (still reading so it will be on 2009's list too)

Best American Crime Reporting 2008

Apartment Therapy--the coffee table book
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 2:14 pm
 
outside of rereads of ulysses and of human bondage, all i read this year was history and economics. farewell to alms is an interesting read into malthusian economics with lots of graphs and talk of the bathroom habits of 18th century londoners. a good primer for the dim-witted like myself. the battle for spain is an excellent read on the complicated goings-on of the spanish civil war. flame of pure fire, about jack dempsey, was an excellent read, also, for the boxing enthusiast.

got to get back to fiction in 09. all this history is making me a dour, old fart.
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 3:21 pm
 
The Dumbest Generation
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 4:44 pm
 
13th floor elevators book. Much better than Destroyers Of Civilization (TG story), but that wasn't bad.

3. Everyone should be required to read every single thing Joan Didion ever wrote.

I love her non-fiction, never have gotten into her fiction.
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 8:03 pm
 
"devil in the white city"

i've been meaning to read that one. it's probably next on my reading list. i read this really interesting book that was kind of weird popular history of this high dollar brothel back around the turn of the century in chicago called the everleigh. i didn't particularly care for the style in which it was written, but the tidbits of history were pretty nifty.

all this history is making me a dour, old fart.
maybe that's what my problem is. heh. all i read is history anymore. i only get to rec read in between semesters. of the history books this year that i've read, probably the most awesome one i read was by studs terkel called the good war. and then i also read george mosse's fallen soldiers which was neat. tony judt's book postwar is a very very long, but very very comprehensive look at europe and how fragile it was while they were rebuilding after world war 2 and it's really good too.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 8:53 am
 
I just finished The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant, about a family of bootleggers. Really dug it, but full disclosure - I only bought it because Nick Cave is writing the screenplay. It's right up his alley.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 10:25 am
 

I love her non-fiction, never have gotten into her fiction.


Even Play it as it Lays?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 11:04 am
 
twinkie, deconstructed - a food writer researches the natural origins of all the ingredients on a twinkie label. if you liked fast food nation, this is a similar book.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 11:24 am
 
I just finished the Bible, by God. Maybe you've heard of it?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 11:57 am
 
"devil in the white city"

Really good book.....
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 12:23 pm
 
2. Chuck Klosterman is a-ok with me


you are dead to me.

on the other hand, the room mate has a bunch of joan didion here and i'm ready to read something other than want ads for jobs that i'm not getting. any rec's?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 12:57 pm
 
I just finished "Lush Life" by Richard Price and was singularly unimpressed.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 1:04 pm
 
really??!?? i LOVED lush life.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 1:04 pm
 
in fact, fuck it, i'm gonna read that again.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 1:11 pm
 
2. Chuck Klosterman is a-ok with me


you are dead to me.



he's the worst--and an old friend!


on the other hand, the room mate has a bunch of joan didion here and i'm ready to read something other than want ads for jobs that i'm not getting. any rec's?


there's a collection called we tell ourselves... that collects most of her important non fiction

within that latge expanse i like her first three a lot; i don't warm up to her political writings-many of which were prompted by the imbecilic, somnolent reign of ronnie reagan.

although of course salvador is political, but her reconstruction of place there is pretty amazing

her fiction is thin: i prefer her husband's true confessions (and his excello The Studio, a great book on hollywood--but irene already knows that)

speaking of her husband, she wrote a knockout memorial (year of magical thinking (thinkers?) about him in the last ten years

very sad very moving

i don't THINK it's in the above-mentioned collection

i love price; i love the song lush life, i love billy strayhorn, but i did not love Lush Life
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 1:13 pm
 

The best single piece of writing I read this year was an essay in Harper's called "Standoff in Columbus: Guns, Dogs, and the Language of Totality" by Frederick Busch.



amazing

thanks joe

do you know busch's short fiction? dynamite stuff
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 2:23 pm | Edited by: LisaLisa
 
I liked Chuck Klosterman's novel and I'm assuming neither of you read it so suck it until you read it... then you can tell me why I'm wrong.

Joan Didion's fiction in "thin" ?????? as in thin on amount? or thin on quality?

Kevin read The White Album or Play it as it Lays... Year of Magical Thinking (the memoir Baker mentioned) is amazing but not for a first read of her stuff.

I also tried Lush Life and couldn't get through it.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 2:27 pm
 
play it as it lays is in her bookcase, i'll grab it shortly.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 2:28 pm
 
I also tried Lush Life and couldn't get through it.


WHO ARE YOU??!?!? I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU ANYMORE!!!
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 2:30 pm
 
reading is gay
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 2:59 pm
 
do you know busch's short fiction? dynamite stuff



The Harper's essay was my first exposure to Busch. I recently picked up a collection of his short fiction, and I'm looking forward to it, but was disappointed by lack of more essays.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 3:07 pm | Edited by: Seamus
 
I forgot Blood and Thunder, the book on Kit Carson & the Navajo conquest. Gripping stuff, especially some of the more earthy descriptions of daily life in those times & especially various medical procedures.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 4:11 pm
 
i did not love Lush Life

too much police procedural. i hate police procedurals.

i think Price has tapped out
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 4:23 pm
 
i still thought it was great, didn't dig the delving into the psyches of ike's parents but all in all i thought it was fantastic.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 4:39 pm
 
too much police procedural. i hate police procedurals.

I think this was my problem too.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 5:08 pm
 
Not released this year, but I read it this year...
Epson 3000 Service Manual.

Sure, I've read the User's manual many times, but the Service Manual takes me to different realms with each chapter!
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 5:16 pm
 
Year of Magical Thinking (the memoir Baker mentioned) is amazing

i've been meaning to read this one too. i've heard it's fantastic. i have two weeks before school starts and i may have to just grab this and read it on the train. (after the devil in the white city book, of course.)
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 5:26 pm
 
devil in the white city was great. i wish i hadn't sold it because i wound up working at the u of c press which was on the grounds of the columbian exposition and would have liked to have explored some of the places mentioned.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 5:30 pm
 
the u of c press


one book I liked was the history of the AACM, I think UnivChgo published it, by George Lewis, "A Power Stronger Than Itself"

i've been reading a lot of non-fiction. For fiction I read pulp, usually old pulp. Hard Case Crime had some good reprints in 2008
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 5:33 pm
 
currently reading Jarecki's The American Way of War. Will report back.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 6:39 pm
 
ne book I liked was the history of the AACM, I think UnivChgo published it,

yep, u of c books division, across the hall from where i used to work.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 6:43 pm
 
who hates who
night of the gun
pimp
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 8:33 pm
 
would have liked to have explored some of the places mentioned.

are any of the buildings actually still standing? i was under the impression that the entire place was demolished and gone. or are you just talkin' 'bout exploring where they stood?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 8:36 pm
 
oan Didion's fiction in "thin" ?????? as in thin on amount? or thin on quality?


thin as in content

not my bag
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 8:36 pm
 
thin on amount would be a good thing
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 8:39 pm
 
I liked Chuck Klosterman's novel and I'm assuming neither of you read it so suck it until you read it... then you can tell me why I'm wrong.


i consider him the worst prose stylist in the western world and i'm counting my puerto rican ESL teenagers

i'll skip his "imaginative" adventures

he is also supercilious and dogmatic. those are bad qualities. for a writer. and human.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 8:54 pm
 
thin as in content
i think she did that on purpose, given the content, context and theme, especially in play it as it lays.

flight - alexie
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 9:52 pm
 
are any of the buildings actually still standing?


some still are, the museum of science and industry was the "palace of fine arts". after the exposition the city leaders decided if chicago was going to be a world class city it would need a world class university and they founded u of c, some of the buildings still remain. the wooded island is still there.

even though most of the white city burned to the ground i'd still like to see what's there now.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 9:59 pm
 
i read an issue of rocktober from 1995 while i was sitting on my toilet today.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 10:05 pm
 
hey! that one came in the mail today. right on time.
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 10:29 pm
 
chicago was going to be a world class city it would need a world class university


my two fave topics: buildings and chicago

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/740668uc.html
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 10:30 pm
 
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 10:32 pm
 
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 10:34 pm
 
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 12:38 am
 
my two fave topics: buildings and chicago

same here. the architecture there just blows me away. i could ride the train around all day just looking at the buildings on the way around town. one of the many reasons i'm wanting to move there. i could never get bored and always have something to look at just riding around.

even though most of the white city burned to the ground i'd still like to see what's there now.

see that's what i thought had happened to the entirety of it. i wasn't sure if any of it was still left. i hear ya on wanting to know what is there even if it isn't the same buildings. i get curious like that too as well. it's interesting me just to know what used to be somewhere.

those pictures are great, baker. thanks. :)
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 6:03 am
 
found these over the past few months on the ir way to the recycle shedder
lot's a' good photos and art in many, they are

Ivring's The Sketch-Book
of Geoffrey Crayton, Gent.
edited with comments, notes biblio and topics for study by
HA Davidson, M.A.

Boston D.C. Heath and Co Publishers 1909

Lawrence Welk's Musical Family Album
Welk/McGeehan
Prentice Hall
1977

Mountains Of The Gods (Himalaya and Mts of Central Asia)
Ian Cameron (in association with the Royal Geo Society)
1984

Pattern & Society (intro to creative systems theory)
Charles M Jonston, MD
private pub for seminar
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 9:32 am
 
i consider him the worst prose stylist in the western world and i'm counting my puerto rican ESL teenagers

i'll skip his "imaginative" adventures

he is also supercilious and dogmatic. those are bad qualities. for a writer. and human.


Apparently I'm the only person here that enjoys a little "light" reading once in a while geez! Also, Baker, I'm a little mystified that you can dismiss Didion that way. Her writing is most definitely purposefully stark and terse. I'm sure this is going to really chap you ass, but to me, she's a lot like Hemingway.
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 10:13 am
 
i have chapstick for my ass so not to worry. i hate klosterman's tone and style, not that he is intellectually akin to a Midwest male teen stoner. i have friends for that role. i like "light" reading. note i always include detective novels. those martin beck novels are not metafictional rewritings of post-husserlian phenomenology. they are detective novels.

and i find hemingway fascinating but not for his terseness (i prefer robbe grillet and Nathalie Sarraute and duras for THAT) but rather his sense of place: the nick adams stories and nature and, of course, his one indispensable masterwork, The Sun Also rises, for his depiction of Paris.

you can keep the rest.

play it as it lays is ok. and i love 4 of her books. you would have thought i hate her or so. nope. just ain't got time for her fiction. tried it. rejected it.

I shd stop playing K's something else every 45 minutes or i might just say it's my fave LP of all time.

how's the gene clark gene clark lisalisa?
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 11:33 pm
 
I will also recommend Devil in the White City, though I cannot claim it as the best book I read this year because I already used it on one of these book threads as my favorite book several years ago. Excellent book. Every few pages you have to pinch yourself and remember it is not fiction. Great stuff. Another book I'd recommend, if you liked that one is Delerious Manhattan, by Rem Koolhass.

For best book this year I was going to say, OUT OF CONTROL: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World, by Kevin Kelly, but I see I read that the year before... all a blur-- time goes by too fast. It's from 1995, but is still very timely, pretty amazing, that. I think it may have been Malcolm Gladwell that called it the most important book of the second half of the 20th Century. Bold claim, great book.

Um... This year. It was an OK year for reading, but none that blew me away, unfortunately. Best book... probably The Post American World by Farik Az... how you spell his name? Got himself a Sunday talkshow on CNN out of that. Pretty good book there.
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 12:45 am
 
Has anyone read the new Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers ?

Oh, and the Rem Koolhaas book is titled Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan (not Delirious Manhattan).
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 9:32 am
 
Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers

I read the other two and I think I'm done with him...not that they aren't interesting reads, I guess, I think maybe the target audience is pseudo-intellectual stoners.
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