What are you reading?

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sitka
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What are you reading?

Post by sitka » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:26 am

Read any good books lately?

sitka
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by sitka » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:31 am

I just finished reading Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. Apollo and Hermes grant human intelligence to fifteen Toronto dogs to see if they’ll be miserable or not. They escape from their kennels into a confusing new world where they have to figure out their relationships to each other, to other dogs, humans and their own mortality. It all gets a bit metaphysical and Lord of the Flies/Animal Farm from there. Some bits were so beautiful I cried.

I think Alexis did a really good job of getting inside the heads of dogs and articulating a very non-human point of view. I’ve been to Toronto and I’m pretty familiar with it from film and books but it was a novel experience to navigate through the city mostly by smell.

It’s the first one that I’ve read of his Quincunx and I think I’ll go hunt down the others.

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Blorg
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Blorg » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:45 am

@sitka that sounds really interesting! I'll add it to my list.

Right now I'm reading The Underground Railroad. Cool concept - the underground railroad is an actual thing. I'm only a few pages in and so far I have mixed feelings. There have been comparisons to Toni Morrison that I think are off-base. What Morrison does is interconnect beauty and sorrow or use them to somehow enter into dialogue with each other. This writer doesn't get there. I mean, it's very well-written, but it strikes me more as an adventure story so far (seems strange saying that about a slavery story, but that's what the writing style reminds me of).

I also like Educated the more I think about it. Has anyone here read that one?

jigglypuff
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by jigglypuff » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:11 pm

good to see you here @sitka :)
sitka wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:31 am
I just finished reading Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. Apollo and Hermes grant human intelligence to fifteen Toronto dogs to see if they’ll be miserable or not. They escape from their kennels into a confusing new world where they have to figure out their relationships to each other, to other dogs, humans and their own mortality. It all gets a bit metaphysical and Lord of the Flies/Animal Farm from there. Some bits were so beautiful I cried.

I think Alexis did a really good job of getting inside the heads of dogs and articulating a very non-human point of view. I’ve been to Toronto and I’m pretty familiar with it from film and books but it was a novel experience to navigate through the city mostly by smell.

It’s the first one that I’ve read of his Quincunx and I think I’ll go hunt down the others.
hey, i saw this author talk at the bay area book fest earlier this year (he did this interview with joyce carol oates). i really wanna read this.

right now i'm in the middle of two books:

the uncensored picture of dorian gray by oscar wilde
this is the original, unedited version of the novel. i've never actually read the edited version for some reason. enjoying it so far.

kill all normies: online culture wars from 4chan and tumblr to trump and the alt-right by angela nagle
apparently this book is controversial and i've come across some quotes taken out of context that make this sound really ignorant and like something i don't wanna read, but i started this cuz i wanted to get into some political discussion online that was referencing this, haha. it's true that it's very poorly edited, like they rushed to get this out or something. i actually really appreciate her analysis of the nationalist white supremacist alt-right VS the "alt-light" cuz it doesn't seem like most people make this distinction. i'm halfway through, about to start the tumblr chapter. i can't say what i think about this overall just yet. what i can say is that her analysis (in the beginning of the book) of harambe memes was pretty entertaining to read.

sitka
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by sitka » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:04 am

Blorg wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:45 am
I also like Educated the more I think about it. Has anyone here read that one?
Is that the one by Tara Westover? I could only take it out of the library on five day loan so I think I read through it a bit too fast. I thought her description of her family and their community was fascinating. Some of the stuff about their family dynamic of abuse and gaslighting hit a little too close to home for comfort though. There were some parts that were a bit gratuitous and/or felt redundant, and I feel like some scenes could have been pruned without really harming the book. But I guess in a way that's kind of the point. I know a common complaint about the book is "why didn't she just leave?" but trauma makes people do things that are irrational and that dysfunctional behaviour is hard to stop.
jigglypuff wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:11 pm
good to see you here @sitka :)
Hey! :)
the uncensored picture of dorian gray by oscar wilde
this is the original, unedited version of the novel. i've never actually read the edited version for some reason. enjoying it so far.
Slightly embarassed to say I haven't read either version but I probably should.
kill all normies: online culture wars from 4chan and tumblr to trump and the alt-right by angela nagle
apparently this book is controversial and i've come across some quotes taken out of context that make this sound really ignorant and like something i don't wanna read, but i started this cuz i wanted to get into some political discussion online that was referencing this, haha. it's true that it's very poorly edited, like they rushed to get this out or something. i actually really appreciate her analysis of the nationalist white supremacist alt-right VS the "alt-light" cuz it doesn't seem like most people make this distinction. i'm halfway through, about to start the tumblr chapter. i can't say what i think about this overall just yet. what i can say is that her analysis (in the beginning of the book) of harambe memes was pretty entertaining to read.
I haven't read this either but this topic is so important to understand right now. I'm not that surprised about the poor editing. The margins in publishing are so slim and even rush production takes several months so if something seems like it's on trend publishers want to ship and cash in as quickly as possible before the moment is lost. Unfortunately that has an impact on the quality of the work. I've seen that a lot lately with some books from indigenous and trans writers. Good writers with important perspectives to share, but the books could have benefitted from another revision or a bit more time. The publishing industry got woke overnight (or suddenly needed to prove wokeness in grant applications) and suddenly needed to come up with a lot of new titles from historically underrepresented groups. And everyone's always competing with the internet constantly churning out more content than anyone will ever be able to consume ever.

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Utisz
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Utisz » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:37 pm

jigglypuff wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:11 pm
the uncensored picture of dorian gray by oscar wilde
this is the original, unedited version of the novel. i've never actually read the edited version for some reason. enjoying it so far.
I always feel a bit embarrassed when folks talk to me about Irish authors when, being Irish, I haven't read squat. I've never read a book by Oscar Wilde or James Joyce. It's weird because in Ireland we tend to focus on Irish-language authors, and much of that material is pretty crap compared to Irish authors writing in the English language. I think it might be because of the conservatism of education in Ireland.

The most recent book I read was The old man and the sea by Hemingway. It's short and sweet. I liked it a lot. Reminded me of old-timers from the countryside in Ireland.

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