I have some free time and want to do some reading. Any suggestions? Im thinking of starting off with the book "Born To Run"


  • Ummmmm American Psycho. I think I have read it 6 times.
  • I'm reading a Clockwork Orange right now. You should check that out.
  • Walden. It's pretty entertaining.
  • is that the one about Henry David Thoreau? where he gets put in jail for not paying his taxes? Transcendentalism and Walden pond? Also welcome, what is American Psycho about?
  • It's not about him; it's by him. If you read something about his work and his time in jail, Walden (the book he wrote) is the reason why. Just read the second chapter, it's like 20 pages. It's incredible stuff, really incredible.
  • Ill have to check that one out for sure.
  • [quote]what is American Psycho about? [/quote] the 80s and killing kittens! made into a hit emotion picture!
  • been meaning to read that one at some point!
  • [quote=Mitch]what is American Psycho about?[/quote] It is about a Wall Street yuppie named Patrick Bateman, who lives of life full of completely materialistic excesses in the 1980s. He does drugs (Cocaine, Xanax, Ecstasy, Valium, Halcion) which leads to halluncinations and outbursts of rage (and an ATM tells him to feed it a stray cat). He has an extreme case of OCD. He also has the compulsion to kill and his slayings are described in great detail. He does terrible things to prostitutes. The novel is somewhat postmodern. There are pages of him rambling about the details of peoples clothes and their assets. Some people are mistaken for other people and their is never a correction made exhibiting the idea that their is no "individual". The novel is essentially about the unraveling of his sanity and a reflection of society and its shallowness and how that selfish mindset ultimately leads to disaster and a horrible feeling of emptiness that can never satiated. The character of Patrick Bateman is basically a metaphor for the faults of this materialistic age. I kind of over-explained but I really hope you read it. It has so many layers which is why it can be read over and over and over and over again from a different perspective. You should also read Lolita, Running with Scissors and Valley of the Dolls. And I really recommend the work of Edward Albee. I recently read Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Zoo Story and The American Dream and they were all wonderful.
  • What was the last book you read that YOU would recommend to others, Mitch?
  • I like graphic novel memoirs like 'Fun House' and 'Are you my mother?' by Alison Bechdel. Edward Abbey, Carl Hiaasen, Tom Robbins, Nick Hornby. Mary Roach is a great nonfiction writer- Bonk, Stiff and Spook. (sex, death and the afterlife, respectively) John Irving. Oliver Sachs.
  • 'Franny and Zooey' by JD Salinger, 'A Confession' by Leo Tolstoy, and Anne Frank's diary are well worth reading, and are all really influential on my worldview.
  • Anna Karenina's pretty incredible. Only Tolstoy I've read, though.
  • A Confession is really short. It's nonfiction, about his mid-life crisis. You can find it online.
  • I havent read a book in a while, but the last thing that I enjoyed from school was Beowulf. Lemme do some thinkin
  • Dubliners by James Joyce. In order to write short fiction I need to internalize lots of it, so here we go
  • Finnegan's Awake!
  • edited November 2012
    These are all really extreme examples. I'm sure all of you honestly read these titles but (ahem) if I didn't know you, and came across this thread, I'd think that you are all a bunch of pretentious weiners. Keep in mind the age difference and my profession (I'm a librarian, y'all). How about reading for pleasure? Like, to create a pleasurable feeling? Not a HARD FUCKING HITTING BAM LET'S FIND THE CRAZIEST SHIT IN THE CANON AND READ THE HELL OUT OF IT MOFO (but seriously, I know this sounds ageist, but if someone asks you to recommend a book and you say almost any of the above titles, they're going to know you're a kid. I don't know how We know this, but We do.) But Beowulf, ok, what did you like best about it? The historical aspect? The battles? The poetic shit? The fantastic elements? Here goes: American Gods, Neil Gaiman. Grendel, John Gardner. The Magus, John Fowles (a personal fave) Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien. Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman. HP Lovecraft. The Road, Cormac McCarthy.
  • edited November 2012
    [quote=Dave]Finnegan's Awake![/quote] I just read that book. [quote=Mitch]I havent read a book in a while, but the last thing that I enjoyed from school was Beowulf. Lemme do some thinkin[/quote] I have bought Beowolf and have been meaning to read it for awhile. Anything written by John Green is magnificent.
  • I recently bought Lady Chatterley's Lover... can't wait. I've been waiting four years to read this book.
  • [quote=Xiomera]'Franny and Zooey' by JD Salinger, [/quote] i saw someone reading that at school! i was like, isnt that the guy that wrote Catcher in the RYe? and he responded, "yes it is" i'm actually doing my final project for my "writer's craft" course on A Series of Unfortunate Events. We need to do a Style Analysis essay, and then come up with a creative peace that is based off of the works of the chosen author.I'm gonna have so much fun coming up with a persona as interesting as Lemony Snicket! i cant wait! and re-reading those books now that im older, it's still very entertaining, even some humor that i probably didnt appreciate as a 9 year old when i first started reading the series is popping up. i really love it.
  • I used to love A Series of Unfortunate Events.. I'm sure I still would. Also Harry Potter was the shit, of course.
  • edited November 2012
    Coincidentally, we were talking about the meaning of dreams in Psych class today and a girl said she had a dream about being attacked by leeches while on a boat like in the book/film.I also just watched a commerical the yesterday for his new book "Who Could it Be at This Hour?" I read ASoUE a few years ago on a whim. They were pretty good (until I started guessing the ending on some of them, which caused me to never have the urge to finish the entire series). I also read The Beatrice Letters, which was quite interesting. Also, Mitch, you should read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And Warhol's POPism.
  • edited November 2012
    Hey wini, I've never read Finnegan's Wake, though I'd like to. I was referring to an orchestral composition by Phil Lesh entitled "Finnegan's Awake." But I find both Walden and Anna Karenina intensely pleasurable... They're both just packed with beauty. Walden feels like the book equivalent of listening to early Jerry. They take attention, but it's not like reading Ulysses or something without punctuation or something similarly impenetrable. Though I have a feeling Finnegan's Wake isn't as impenetrable as people make it out to be. Remember, I grew up in an English professor's house and had at least ten thousand books around the house at any given time... Including a shelf of my dad's old anarchist books from the 60s. I started reading Bakunin and just stopped. I tried reading Moby Dick when I was taking 1000mg of Seroquel every day... There was an exercise in futility. Melville's been almost impossible for me to get into, his writing has some kind of genius that really doesn't have that much surface appeal for me. Ok, I actually think I'm going to go out to Powell's right now and pick up a copy of Finnegan's Wake. Now I want to know... Will I get it? Harry Potter [i]is[/i] great. I've read the series a bunch of times, it's like reading a candy bar. Carl Hiassen does good light reading, not stupid. My favorite light reading is Phillip K. Dick, though. On Joyce, I remember reading Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and didn't get it, but I was fifteen, coming off drugs (morphine analogue) and on so many psych meds I couldn't even focus enough to read a Jerry Garcia biography. Also, wini, I think it's clear how you know this: once you're older, you don't have to show off as much.
  • Got it! Now I just have to read it.
  • edited November 2012
    Ok, the feeling it evokes is kind of gleeful insanity, at least so far. I'm telling you, it's like the Dead at their happenenest.
  • I'm so horrible sometimes! :) I'm glad you guys understand where my reflections come from. I guess just...providing a reflection. Thanks for loving me all the same!
  • edited November 2012
    Dave, I'm reading That's not a feeling by Dan Josefson. It's about a kid at a "theraputic boarding school" and is funny and sad and well written, and I wonder if youd like it! Also reading Folks this ain't normal by Joel Salatin about human scale farming, finishing up Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, and just finished Big Questions by Anders Nilsen. I have a degree in English and have never read most of the canon because I am an anticanonite.
  • edited November 2012
    I might if I were ballsy enough to read it, but I find most art having to do with children in institutions kind of excruciating. But the things in the canon are there a lot of the time because they're so good! I don't understand the anti-canon... Or the pro-canon! Like the snooty English professors with their heads deep in their own... The pro-canon [i]is[/i] far worse, the pompous bastards. I guess I'm a pro-what-I-like-inite (at night). Ok, seriously practical suggestion for anyone who's a human: Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • [quote=winilula]The Road, Cormac McCarthy.[/quote] I started that book, haven't even got a quarter through. Worth continuing in your opinion? Did you enjoy it? I think the whole bleakness, the grey monotonony of the words, is very interesting.
  • edited November 2012
    Oh and I almost forgot: I read [i]Metamorphosis[/i], by Franz Kafka. Franz Kafka is awesome. Who else agrees that Franz Kafka is awesome? [img][/img]
  • i know about that kafka story because someone compared it to the lyrics of Let Down by Radiohead. Also, The Road is worth continuing. I didn't find it nearly as powerful as other people seem to find it, but it's still worth reading in my opinion. still reading clockwork orange. its crazy how after just the first chapter you get used to all the slang and can understand everything without any trouble. i love reading random sentences out loud to my friends and watching their reactions
  • BEOWUlf!!
  • I already posted this in another thread, but here you go. Check out House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Probably my favorite book of all time ever, and its definitely the best experimental novel in existence. I have no clue how to explain it to you, but basically (an understatement) it's about a guy named johnny truant who moves into the apartment of someone who recently died. He finds this old dead guy's notes and scribblings, which turn out to be a manuscript for a 'novel' which is an in depth analysis of a documentary that doesn't actually exist. The book itself is this novel that johnny puts together, while johnny's story is told through foot notes. The documentary is about a house that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, and it gradually gets more convoluted. Here's a picture of one of the pages, Navidson is the guy who owns the house and he is lost in it. [img][/img]
  • house of leaves...i love it but i don't know that i would recommend it. it's the only book i've read that's given me nightmares. when i finished it, i had that sickly feeling you get when you're getting over an illness, like your fever broke. it's one of my favorites and one of the few i still have a physical copy of and i will never ever re-read it
  • House of leaves is not a book that you read. I am a librarian. You people NEVER listen to me, I am 42 years old and have a damn Master's degree in LIBRARY SCIENCE (actually library and information science) and yet what gets recommended? Books that are not just BOOKS. sheesh.
  • "House of leaves is not a book that you read." ha! in the opening pages it even says THIS IS NOT FOR YOU i'm currently reading MZD's The 50 Year Sword it came out in 2005 but was so limited you could not get ahold of it and now here it is available 7 years later... i waited seven years for THIS! i'll give my thoughts when i'm finished i'm trying not to rush through it i could see someone reading through the whole thing in one sitting though...
  • right now i am reading gibbons' decline and fall of the roman empire because pike's morals and dogma was just making my eyes gloss over
  • I'm sure everyone here's read socrates, nietzsche, aristotle, and plato. But they can be kind of dry, right? [url=]This guy[/url] translates their works and ideas into 'modern' language. Hilariously modern language.
  • Dude came into the library and he's like, I'm looking for Nitzki. I'm like, hmm, Nitzki. He says, he's a russian author. So I says well, I heard of Solzhenitsyn, and Dostoyevsky and them but not Nitzki. (and I'm thinking, the man can't possibly mean Nietzsche) And dude says, well, all my friends are reading him and YOU MUST JUST NOT KNOW WHO I'M TALKING ABOUT. And I walk over to the German philosophy section and I'm like, uh, Nietzsche? NEE-CHUH? I stopped paying attention to the interaction after that, I was inner-chuckling too hard. I have never "read" any of them but I am familiar with them! How about Chamfort? (I'm looking forward to checking out that link, it looks great!)
  • No Chamfort I'm afraid. If I would recommend a first read it would be his rendition of Plato's [url=]cave allegory[/url].
  • chamfort? is that one of those stinky french cheeses? what does it go well with?
  • Haha, Chamfort is a "pet" philosopher of The Recent Appearer. I hadn't heard of him, either, but he says some good stuff, pretty much they are all re-interpretations and re-wordings of the same concepts the bear of average intelligence figures out alone. I guess they are Describers more than Philosopher. It's not like they are the FIRST to conceptualize.
  • I am totally not knocking anyone, btw. I love having stuff explained so i can get it!
  • im getting american psycho and a clockwork orange for christmas. two movies that i love and im looking forward to reading them
  • yay, to those novel choices, ty. i lent my copy of AP to a person a few months ago and I dont know if im ever going to get it back.
  • Has anyone read Fight Club? It ruined the movie, because the ending of the movie is terrible.
  • did not know it was a book, aren't most movies with a plot the spawn of books?
  • chuck chuck pahlaniuk (palahniuk?) OH YOU KIDS wasting your innocence on such subjects...
  • protip: the ending of clockwork orange will ruin the movie for you (although AFAIK that's not stanley kubrick's fault, he/the writers were working off the american version of the book which left off the 21st chapter). you can still viddy the movie after, but you don't get the full denouement.
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