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Book recommendations, The literate TSM. For literate TSMers
Carnival
post Apr 27 2006, 12:38 PM
Post #61


Meanest of Muggz


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I don't read that often. But I will say Animal Farm is the greatest book ever written.
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k thx
post Apr 27 2006, 01:16 PM
Post #62


TehMOCcccc


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1984 is miles better.
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vivalaultra
post Apr 27 2006, 01:41 PM
Post #63


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Today I finished reading the latest Gabriel Garcia Marquez novella. I can't recommend Garcia Marquez enough. The book is short and beautifully written and it has the greatest title of any book I have ever read-Memories of my Melancholy Whores. Everyone should it and become more interested in Latin American magical realism.
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Red Baron
post Apr 27 2006, 01:53 PM
Post #64


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QUOTE(Felonies! @ Apr 27 2006, 12:29 PM) *
Would you agree with my earlier assessment that people who think The Da Vinci Code is a brilliant work, rather than another middlebrow potboiler, are some of the most tragically uncompelling people around?


Yes, they think its the greatest book next to Angels and Demons.
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vivalaultra
post Apr 27 2006, 02:33 PM
Post #65


Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel


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QUOTE(redbaron51 @ Apr 27 2006, 03:53 PM) *
QUOTE(Felonies! @ Apr 27 2006, 12:29 PM) *

Would you agree with my earlier assessment that people who think The Da Vinci Code is a brilliant work, rather than another middlebrow potboiler, are some of the most tragically uncompelling people around?


Yes, they think its the greatest book next to Angels and Demons.


That's poppycock! Invisible Fortress is clearly the best Dan Brown novel ever! I'm not so frustrated with The Da Vinci Cody by itself. It's nothing more than a mid-temp potboiler written in an extrenuatingly bad style, but there's bunches of those. It's just the media hype that's surrounded it that's so annoying. It seems like every single week that I go into the bookstore, half of the "New in Hardcover" rack is dominated by books that analyze the Da Vinci Code[u], both from a Christian and non-Christian perspective. Like...yeesh, it's not like Dan Brown or The Da Vinci Code[/u] warrants that much attention. And now there's people that are so obviously imitating the book, like that Spaniard...I forget his name, but he wrote this new book that's out that's supposedly very similar to Dan Brown's. And Dan Brown is such a smug bastard, too. There's a million starving novelists that are more worthy of America's attention.
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Dr. Tyler; Capta...
post Apr 27 2006, 08:37 PM
Post #66


wait, wat


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Animal Farm was solid. I think I like it better than 1984 now that I've gotten more insight on the subject matter.
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vivalaultra
post Apr 27 2006, 08:52 PM
Post #67


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While we're talking Orwell, I'd like to give "propers" to Burmese Days, which is every bit as good as 1984 or Animal Farm, I think, but gets little to no recognition next to those two.
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DARRYLXWF
post Apr 28 2006, 12:51 AM
Post #68


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QUOTE(??? @ Apr 28 2006, 05:16 AM) *
1984 is miles better.


I begin to hate 1984 when it's put into a contemporary perspective. I would say every year since the publication of that book, hundreds of pseudo-intellectuals have run around crying about how their town/state/country/world is turning into the society depicted in 1984, thanks largely to [insert government here].

Animal Farm, to me, has the most resonance because it happens all the time. Be it in a government or an organisation of some sort. It depicts a dark part of human nature which applies to everyone, but no one wants to admit.
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Guest_Felonies!_*
post Apr 28 2006, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE(DARRYLXWF @ Apr 28 2006, 01:51 AM) *
Animal Farm, to me, has the most resonance because it happens all the time. Be it in a government or an organisation of some sort.

http://forums.thesmartmarks.com
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Hank Kingsley
post Apr 28 2006, 08:08 PM
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I picked up One-Hundred Years of Solitude for the summer, thanks for that recommendation.

Also on the list for the summer:
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
my second attempt at Paradise Lost by Milton


As for a recommendation, Candide by Voltaire is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Really ludicrous, melodramatic, and a whole lot of fun.
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vivalaultra
post Apr 28 2006, 08:42 PM
Post #71


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QUOTE(The Superstar @ Apr 28 2006, 10:08 PM) *
I picked up One-Hundred Years of Solitude for the summer, thanks for that recommendation.

Also on the list for the summer:
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
my second attempt at Paradise Lost by Milton


As for a recommendation, Candide by Voltaire is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Really ludicrous, melodramatic, and a whole lot of fun.



Great pick on the Garcia Marquez. It might be a little slow getting into it. It's got a really cool style to it, kinda Kafka-esque. You'll see what I mean. And also, you might find it hard to keep track of characters, because they all have very similar names (either Arcadio or Aureliano), but that's used for one of the main themes in the book. American audiences, however, were lost when they first read it, so the publishers included a family tree in the beginning of the book, which I think takes away from the point Garcia Marquez was trying to make. I honestly think it's the most wonderful book ever written. Kind of a mix in style of Kafka, Faulkner, and Garcia Marquez's grandmother, from whom he learned that the only way to make a story believable was to tell everything, no matter how fantastic or extraordinary as if you believed every word. Enjoy it.
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tekcop
post Apr 28 2006, 10:06 PM
Post #72


ti ekoms dna epip ruoy ni taht kcits


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I'm currently rereading The Question of God for the fourth time. It's a Havard professor's attempt to pit C. S. Lewis again Sigmund Frued in a philosophical batter. Lewis comes off great in this book, whereas Frued, well "poor Frued" is all I can say. Not only is nearly everything he says nicely and neatly destroyed by Lewis, but we also get a look into his personal life that I probably would have been happier not knowing about. He wasn't a very happy man at all. This is definitely high school level reading level, though, which may explain why I always pick it up when I'm looking for something random to read.

I've also been reading Bertrand Russell's The Problems with Philosophy online recently. I'm currently only at third chapter or so. It's touted at being a good introduction to philosophy by many, but I can't agree at all. I'm a huge fan of Russell's work, but he's defnitely not for someone who isn't already big into philosophy. I'd say this is more like someone who really knows his shit explaining the basics of said shit to a group of people who already know their shit. Basically, he already expects you to understand everything he's talking about before he says it. Still fun, though.
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snuffbox
post Apr 30 2006, 11:13 PM
Post #73


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David Mccollough's 1776 is a pretty compelling narrative so far.
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EricMM
post May 1 2006, 06:11 AM
Post #74


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I don't trust anything thats as pop as The Davinci Code has become.

It may be a fine book, but I can't see it being genius.

Paradise Lost? Good luck. Good but huge!
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Your Paragon of ...
post May 2 2006, 06:07 PM
Post #75


Nineteen and...WUUUNNNNNNN


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Disco Bloodbath.

I want to read this.

I cannot find it anywhere for a reasonable price.

Does anyone want to be generous enough to help a brother out?
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CanadianChris
post May 2 2006, 06:56 PM
Post #76


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Ever look back on your assigned reading from high school English and realize what great books they were in retrospect? The last few posts got me thinking about that.

Books I'd recommend from high school English:

Fahrenheit 451
To Kill A Mockingbird
Animal Farm
The Chrysalids
Lord Of The Flies
Brave New World
1984
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Masked Man of My...
post May 2 2006, 09:19 PM
Post #77


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You read much better stuff than we did. We did Shakesspeare, but until my senior year my teacgers weren't bothering to really help you learn it and appreciate it. Every year but my senior year we had to read "black" literature ie Their Eyes Were Watching God, Raisin In the Sun, Song of Solomon(or something like that by Maya Angelou, it's the Milkman story), and something about laughing in the title, the whole point was black people laughed to deal with their struggle or something. That was real interesting considering 3 of my four English teachers were pasty old white women, and the one black teacher I had was out for a month or two because her son had been shot by some psycho
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Guest_Felonies!_*
post May 2 2006, 10:32 PM
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Raisin in the Sun is badass. Their Eyes Were Watching God, considerably less so. Brave New World is good stuff, as is Animal Farm. I never cared for Fahrenheit 451, but that's because we read it during a media literacy class (wtf) and I spent the entire unit bitching that we should be studying newspaper and radio instead of this.
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Hank Kingsley
post May 3 2006, 04:37 AM
Post #79


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How much does Brave New World resemble 1984? I really enjoyed the latter but at times the anti-totalitarian preaching got a little ridiculous and out of hand (then again, given the time period I guess it had to be).

Assigned reading was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, this year I learned to appreciate Shakespeare (Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet) and Conrad's Heart of Darkness (there was also Crime and Punishment, but...that's the exception), but my junior year, outside of The Crucible, consisted of stuff like The Awakening and Their Eyes... which I couldn't stand. My least favorite experience was The Good Earth in 10th grade, but that was balanced out by reading Things Fall Apart immediately after.
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vivalaultra
post May 3 2006, 08:31 AM
Post #80


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QUOTE(Masked Man of Mystery @ May 2 2006, 11:19 PM) *
You read much better stuff than we did. We did Shakesspeare, but until my senior year my teacgers weren't bothering to really help you learn it and appreciate it. Every year but my senior year we had to read "black" literature ie Their Eyes Were Watching God, Raisin In the Sun, Song of Solomon(or something like that by Maya Angelou, it's the Milkman story), and something about laughing in the title, the whole point was black people laughed to deal with their struggle or something. That was real interesting considering 3 of my four English teachers were pasty old white women, and the one black teacher I had was out for a month or two because her son had been shot by some psycho


Actually, Song of Solomon was written by Toni Morrisson, who also wrote Beloved. Maya Angelou wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Song of Solomon and Belovedare both great books. "Solomon" won the Pulitzer. They're different from Zora Nelly Hurston in that Toni Morrisson, in those two books, wrote more about the myths and folktales and reclamation of magic in the African American community...kinda what Garcia Marquez did for the Colombians and Leslie Marmon Silko did for the Native Americans. And the main character in "Solomon" is named Milkman Dead. That's a kickass name.
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vivalaultra
post May 3 2006, 08:35 AM
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Funny story about assigned highschool reading. When I was in 10th grade, I was in the "Gifted" English class. We had to read uh..some Shakespeare....some Poe...and then, since Catcher in the Rye is "Dangerous", we had to read a cheap imitation of Catcher in the Rye called A Seperate Peace by John Knowles. It totally reeked of imitation. And we also read "The Metamorphosis" by Kafka...wearing trash bags to see what it's like to be a bug. My teacher was a dumbass.
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Guest_Felonies!_*
post May 3 2006, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE(The Superstar @ May 3 2006, 05:37 AM) *
How much does Brave New World resemble 1984? I really enjoyed the latter but at times the anti-totalitarian preaching got a little ridiculous and out of hand (then again, given the time period I guess it had to be).

Assigned reading was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, this year I learned to appreciate Shakespeare (Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet) and Conrad's Heart of Darkness (there was also Crime and Punishment, but...that's the exception), but my junior year, outside of The Crucible, consisted of stuff like The Awakening and Their Eyes... which I couldn't stand. My least favorite experience was The Good Earth in 10th grade, but that was balanced out by reading Things Fall Apart immediately after.

Brave New World is hornier than 1984.

I think the Southern black vernacular is what drags TEWWG down. It just gets to be cumbersome.

viva: I don't think A Separate Peace is really the same as The Catcher in the Rye at all. They're similar insofar as they both take place at Northeastern prep schools in the 1940s, but that's pretty superficial. I think The Catcher in the Rye is more general in how it handles the whole coming-of-age thing, whereas A Separate Peace is more specific. Everything is based around the guy pushing his friend out of a tree and indirectly causing his death. Gene and Holden are pretty different characters to me. Holden is basically going at it alone in the book; he comes in contact with lots of various characters throughout, but they just drift in and out and aren't as pivotal to the plot. There's never the same dynamic between Holden and Stradlater or Holden and Ackley or anyone as there is with Gene and Finny, so that definitely makes SP different. Also, did anyone else notice that there are some really homoerotic sequences in there? Comes with the territory at an all-boys school, I guess.

Oh yeah, Heart of Darkness was great, but that was one that we just glossed over in the last week of May because there was no time left. We wasted all our time on Cry, the Beloved Country, which I never got into. I tried to protest the fact that technically, this is South African literature, and the class is AP English Literature, so pleeeeeeeeease can we just get to Heart of Darkness, I helped my friends do their video for it when they took AP English last year and I've been waiting for it ever since, but to no avail.
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EricMM
post May 3 2006, 11:30 AM
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BNW is not like 1984 except that it describes future societies.

Beyond the social controls, the BNW world didn't sound to bad. All the orgies...
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Guest_Felonies!_*
post May 3 2006, 11:32 AM
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Hey Eric, we just watched a video this morning about The Population Bomb. How do you feel about that one? Just seems like poor Paul Ehrlich gets owned by everybody. Personally, I think his measures to combat overpopulation are too far-fetched to work, and encroach on basic human rights.
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EricMM
post May 3 2006, 11:36 AM
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He thought it was an imminent disaster.

He was wrong.

In the end we can't all live like Americans (the world) but if everyone wants to live like Africans, the Earth can support many many more people.

Barring desertification etc.

He's more right that if things continue with everyone improving their standards, either we will find ways to live as well as we do with less, or we will fight over whats left.
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Guest_Felonies!_*
post May 3 2006, 11:40 AM
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Okay, but trying to vasectomize India? Is that really the best way to solve the problem? I mean, yeah, he has some good points, but he's all too willing to play God at times.
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EricMM
post May 3 2006, 11:45 AM
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I have that book at home, but I didn't read too much into it.

He was deluded that he could save the world from exploding.
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Guest_Felonies!_*
post May 3 2006, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE(Cato Institute's remembrance of Julian Simon; Ehrlich's biggest opponent)
Julian Simon loved good news. And the good news of his life is that, today, the great bogeyman of our time, Malthusianism, has, like communism, been relegated to the dustbin of history with the only remaining believers to be found on the faculties of American universities. The tragedy is that it is the Paul Ehrlichs of the world who still write the textbooks that mislead our children with wrongheaded ideas. And it was Paul Ehrlich, not Julian Simon, who won the MacArthur Foundation's "genius award."

Well said
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EricMM
post May 3 2006, 12:01 PM
Post #89


Little Green Bastard


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Honestly, running out of food is not going to as large of a problem as say water or cheap energy.

And half of that is because humans insist on turning deserts into Las freakin Vegas.

The Malthusian Vice has been disproven for food, but it is closer to truth when it comes to cheap energy. After all, if we stopped eating meat, we'd increase our caloric production by double, triple, quadruple. Get protein from eggs. I'm just saying, we could support such numbers.

And just ask Tokyo citizens about how much space humans *REALLY* need...

But then again, these alternatives are not particularly NICE. Our population probably won't crash, but it may become unpleasant.
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Masked Man of My...
post May 3 2006, 12:33 PM
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QUOTE(vivalaultra @ May 3 2006, 10:31 AM) *
QUOTE(Masked Man of Mystery @ May 2 2006, 11:19 PM) *

You read much better stuff than we did. We did Shakesspeare, but until my senior year my teacgers weren't bothering to really help you learn it and appreciate it. Every year but my senior year we had to read "black" literature ie Their Eyes Were Watching God, Raisin In the Sun, Song of Solomon(or something like that by Maya Angelou, it's the Milkman story), and something about laughing in the title, the whole point was black people laughed to deal with their struggle or something. That was real interesting considering 3 of my four English teachers were pasty old white women, and the one black teacher I had was out for a month or two because her son had been shot by some psycho


Actually, Song of Solomon was written by Toni Morrisson, who also wrote Beloved. Maya Angelou wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Song of Solomon and Belovedare both great books. "Solomon" won the Pulitzer. They're different from Zora Nelly Hurston in that Toni Morrisson, in those two books, wrote more about the myths and folktales and reclamation of magic in the African American community...kinda what Garcia Marquez did for the Colombians and Leslie Marmon Silko did for the Native Americans. And the main character in "Solomon" is named Milkman Dead. That's a kickass name.

Excuse me please, I had a brainfart on the author. I'm aware of the whole thing with Solomon, but it doesn't mean I liked it very much.
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