Posts tagged #books

One form of happiness is ordering a fifteen-year-old out-of-print used hardcover sight unseen, and having it arrive looking more or less like it is hot off the press.

Dear Literature Geeks

Are there any of you out there? Folks who crave a challenging, somewhat traumatic, and ultimately immeasurably-rewarding reading experience? Let me recommend something on the highest possible terms: Infinite Summer is your chance to spend the summer reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest with online guidance and support sponsored by The Morning News and An Event Apart.

After Wallace’s death last fall, I pulled my copy of the Jest off the shelf. Its bookmarks (yes, plural; you need two to read this book) were still right where I’d left them; I’d quit a few years back, less than a fifth of the way through. But the tail-end of 2008 turned out to be the right time for me to tackle the thing again, and when I finished it early this year, all I really knew was that I’d never had a literary experience so meaningful. (This from someone who’s … read full post…

Showered With Blessings

A coupla weeks back, the new SFGate CultureBlog had a little writeup on a book called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings. They offered a snippet that got me intrigued. A sample:
Thousands of things go right for you every day, beginning the moment you wake up. Through some magic you don’t fully understand, you’re still breathing and your heart is beating, even though you’ve been unconscious for many hours. The air is a mix of gases that’s just right for your body’s needs, as it was before you fell asleep.

You can see! Light of many colors floods into your eyes, registered by nerves that took God or evolution or some process millions of years to perfect. The interesting gift of these vivid hues comes to you courtesy of an unimaginably immense globe of fire, the sun, …
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Just Five Books

Earlier today, the_lucky_duck asked me a hypothetical question which I shall rephrase thusly:
The Gestapo is enforcing a new rule: Everyone gets to own five (and only five) books, and those five are the only books you ever get to crack open again. (Book sharing will be punishable by death or something. I dunno. Just play along, okay?) So, which five books do you want to have with you for the rest of your days?
A ridiculous question, and one that’s perfect to answer on a blog and solicit additional answers to in the comments. My five (at this point in time, anyway):
Finnegans Wake
The Sound and the Fury
The Mezzanine
Stranger In a Strange Land
The Power of Now
Your turn!

Why I Read Finnegans Wake (part 2)

Tonight, the Berkeley Finnegans Wake Group hit this:
Poor Isa sits a glooming so gleaming in the gloaming; the tincelles a touch tarnished wind no lovelinoise awound her swan’s. Hey, lass! Woefear gleam she so glooming, this pooripathete I solde? Her beauman’s gone of a cool. Be good enough to symperise. If he’s at anywhere she’s therefor to join him. If it’s to nowhere she’s going to too. Buf if he’ll go to be a son to France’s she’ll stay daughter of Clare. Bring tansy, throw myrtle, strew rue, rue, rue. She is fading out like Journee’s clothes so you can’t see her now. Still we know how Day the Dyer works, in dims and deeps and dusks and darks. And among the shades that Eve’s now wearing she’ll meet anew fiancy, tryst and trow. Mammy was, Mimmy is, Minuscoline’s to be. In the Dee dips a dame and the …
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Another Grumble From the Grave

Fifteen years after his death, Robert A. Heinlein’s long-lost first novel is being published. Posthumous productions are generally disappointing, but Heinlein, in death, has amazed me before: The uncut edition of Stranger in a Strange Land is one of my all-time favorite reads. (I have what I think is a killer film adaptation rumbling around in my head. Perhaps someday I’ll let it pour out.)

Got Book?

If not, I highly recommend The Bear Went Over the Mountain. Just finished it. Don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. Very funny, and in its own strange way, very, very deep.

The closest thing to it I can think of is Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman. (What? Never read that? Imagine the product of an early 20th-century Irish Douglas Adams. Drool.)