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Started by mgriffin, December 07, 2007, 09:39:14 AM

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Ein Sophistry

Cormac McCarthy - The Road

Deliciously bleak. I want to eat these sentences. "Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it."


I just finished The Road myself and I think it's the best thing I've read in years.  Cormac McCarthy is amazing.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


I have to agree, that is a great book! I need to look into reading some more of his stuff.
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.


Paths Beyond the Ego - The Transpersonal Vision A collection of essays on Transpersonal Psychology.

Georges Bataille - An Intellectual Biography A biography of French philosopher, Georges Bataille.


Quote from: coleio on August 24, 2010, 03:46:24 AM
Paths Beyond the Ego - The Transpersonal Vision A collection of essays on Transpersonal Psychology.

Georges Bataille - An Intellectual Biography A biography of French philosopher, Georges Bataille.

Good to see someone doing a bit of light reading ;)

Not sure I'd call Bataille a philosopher, though he was certainly influential on a number of the postmoderns.
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans


Speaking of philosophy, I've been re-reading some Heidegger essays recently. Always a treat.

And I'm always reading the poetry of Wallace Stevens ... the master.
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans


Recently read Pretty Monsters, a collection of short stories by Kelly Link.  She's one of the most interesting writers working in the fantasy, sf, horror, weird and slipstream/interstitial loose conglomeration of genres.  Speaking of which, if you think we have a hard time defining ambient music, genre fiction has the same border disputes. 

This is Link's third story collection (she has not yet written a novel, though her stories are acclaimed), and her first geared toward a "young adult" audience.  It incorporates stories from her first two collections, in fact my favorite stories here were already familiar to me from her Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen collections.

The stories here waver between a slightly disturbing dreamlike weirdness reminiscent of David Lynch's films, and a more whimsical, and at times humorous, fairy tale quality.  Link's stories consistently have a casual, friendly narrative voice, and that's a big part of their appeal.  It's a lot like having a funny friend tell you a really interesting, weird story by a campfire.  There is a great deal of imagination and invention on display in these stories, and if any of the above sounds appealing, I'd definitely give Kelly Link a try....

But I'd start with one of her first two books instead, unless you're a young reader.

[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


Just finished

Alastair Reynolds: Terminal World

This is his most recent sci-fi. Its a tad different, for him. A new and
interesting setting. Very linear plot. An easy read. Enjoyable, but in
the end I found it a bit slow and predictable. Will probably turn into
a series.
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans


Just finished this one:

Senna Versus Prost: The Story of the Most Deadly Rivalry in Formula One

Have now started this one:
Winning Is Not Enough: The Autobiography

Next up will be this one:
Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon

Take care.

- Loren Nerell


Frankie Boyle's autobiography - My Shit Life So Far.....

much much much much less censored than TV appearances - I find it hard to believe he has not been sued yet.....


Walter Kirn, "Lost In The Meritocracy". Funny send-up of the American education paradigm.
Thomas Park
Mystified / Mister Vapor


Now that I'm done with the Kelly Link collection (above) I'm moving on to two things.

First, another short story collection: Occultation by Laird Barron.  It's a weird, creepy, brilliantly written set of stories with a modern horror flavor.  At times reminiscent of Lovecraft, though I think the similarity or imprint is overstated in the reviews I've read.  I'll have more to say about this when I finish, because the stories are so different from one another (well, most of them) that I won't really know how to sum it up until I'm finished.  I've been trying to think of the last time I read a stronger single-author story collection, and I'm having a hard time without reading for Big Names.

Also, a little more in the direction of "fun" is Old Man's War by John Scalzi.  I think it would be fair to refer to this as an update of Heinlein's Starship Troopers, in fact Scalzi thanks Heinlein in the front of the book.  The twist here is that in the future, an off-planet colonial group recruits Earthlings on their 75th birthday to undergo a physical "renewal" process and take part in an alien war.  The tone varies between straight-ahead and lighthearted, without ever veering too far into the serious.  Scalzi's a capable and proficient writer without really being a stylist at all, but that's OK.  He reminds me of Heinlein in that regard, with the breezy, confident, wisecracking narration.

I'm not too far into Old Man's War yet I can already see why it's so popular.

[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |

Dave Michuda


I think you'll enjoy "Old Man's War", it's a lot of fun.  The sequels are pretty good too, just not as good as the first one.

I'm currently reading two books...

Line War by Neal Asher -  this is the fifth(and final?) book in the Ian Cormac series which is one of a number of series that Asher has written that take place in the "Polity" universe.  I've read just about everything he's done & they are all very good.  Whether it's super tough sea captains battling giant sea slugs or AI battle dreadnoughts at war or hand to hand combat with alien lobsters or entire civilizations wiped out by viral technology, it's all a fun ride.

The Guinea Pig Diaries : My Life as an Experiment by A.J. Jacobs - His first two books were year-long experiments. In the first he read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica & the second was about his year of following the bible as literally as possible.  For this book he does a series of month-long experiments, with each being a new chapter.  Jacobs is very funny as he goes from total obedience to his long-suffering wife and 'Radical Honesty', to living as a beautiful woman and outsourcing his personal life to India.  A fun & amusing read.


Old Man's War was very good.

I just finished The Hunger Games, the first in a "young adult" series that seems to have Harry Potter-like popularity. It was a pretty engaging story, fun, and surprisingly dark for something so beloved by teens.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


My daughter loves the Hunger Games books.  She's re-reading them now.

I picked up a book for a dime in a thrift store, knowing just enough about it to make it worth the dime, and now I'm hooked.  It was one of the Stephanie Plum books -- a chic-lit bounty hunter series set in Trenton, NJ.  There are enough real neighborhoods and landmarks to make it fun, and they're quick, light reads.  So far I've read five or six, all from thrift stores or second hand book stores.
Science News, Vol. 175, No. 9, April 25, 2009, page 1 -- "New mapping of the human genome shows none of us are normal."


Sometimes lightweight, popular reading is a lot of fun.  I was such a book snob in college and right afterward, I'd never let myself read stuff like this. Lately, though, I'd say every second or third book is something bestseller-ish.  I can admit it -- I enjoy reading Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, Lee Child, Tom Clancy, Ann Rice. I even enjoyed the Harry Potter books, and I'd give the first Hunger Games book a thumbs-up.

There, I said it!

I haven't read the Stephanie Plum books but Lena loves them. For that matter, every female I know loves them.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


I'm still finishing up The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, which is fantastic. I've been reading it very slowly, leaving it beside one chair in the house and only reading it once every week or two while I read other stuff.

Recently finished Occultation by Laird Barron, an absolutely top notch collection of horror or "dark/weird" stories. This guy is for real, and I can't wait to see what he does next. I never finished reading all of is first collection The Imago Sequence so I'll go back and finish that while I wait for his novel.

Next I think I'll read House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (sp?) or maybe The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |

Brian Bieniowski

I have read a little Scalzi, but I failed to see what the excitement was about.  Personally, I like my fiction with a little more ... technical flair.  But then, I have never much cared for Heinlein either.  Some of Heinlein's characters and themes have such an arrogance to them; very off-putting to me, even as a teenager.  I do enjoy Joe Haldeman very much.  I loved his post-Vietnam reworking on Heinlein in Forever War.  I really need to read a few more of his works.  When I was in the sci-fi biz, I had dinner with him a few times and he was always calm, charming, and, above all, very wise.

I recently read two Robert B. Parker westerns (Appaloosa and Resolution) and then a book by Jack Vance called Eyes of the Overworld.  All were very entertaining.  I am now reading an old book from 1915 about a naughty highwayman called Dr. Syn by Russell Thorndyke.


Scalzi is a popular favorite these days, but I've yet to see him do anything other than update Heinlein. I guess his next book is an H. Beam Piper update. The books are breezy and perfectly transparent, and they certainly prove that a masterful literary style is not a prerequisite to winning Hugos and Nebulas and being acclaimed by the SF community. I enjoyed the ones I've read so far, though.

Arrogance is a good word to apply to much of the Heinlein I've read, but it doesn't bother me too much. It reminds me a lot of Tom Clancy's "This is the way real men do things, not that most of you pansy-asses who call yourselves men would understand."

Everything I've read about Haldeman makes him seem like an incredibly cool, likable guy.  This article talks a bit about his unusual writing process:

Nobody's surprised to see Cormac McCarthy write using old-fashioned tools, but SF writers are usually more high-tech in their approach. I love the idea of an SF writer with a fountain pen and a notebook, writing by the light of an oil lamp in a dark room.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


I keep starting books and setting them aside if they don't grab me.  I used to finish every book I started, 100% of the time, even if I hated it. But now my reading time is so limited, if it doesn't seem like what I want to read, I don't bother.

I just set aside Eon by Greg Bear, which I'm sure is perfectly fine, and I do plan to read it another time... but it didn't suit my mood at the moment. Too long and slow and confusing a build-up.  Bear's still one of my favorite SF writers, but he's written as many duds as winners.  Overall, I guess Blood Music makes up for Dead Lines, so I'll keep trying.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |