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Just finished Ask the Dust by John Fante, a slim novel which didn't live up to the extravagant praise I've heard from Bukowski fans. Henry Miller and Hubert Selby did this kind of thing much better.

I'm currently reading Middlesex, has anyone else read it? I remember it being discussed elsewhere and people were criticizing the fact that it won the pulitzer prize. Maybe not Pulitzer Prize worthy

Several of the pieces in Paris to the Moon appeared earlier as Gopnik's monthly Letters from Paris to The New Yorker. His use of adjectives to describe the weather, the neighborhood, etc impressed me

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I wanted to know more after finishing The Family, by Jeff Sharlet, and shopping my very own bookshelves, found The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays, by Richard Hofstadter. The current nuttiness of the American scene is nothing new, but the inescapable presence of media has amplified it.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which has turned out to be a much better book than one would think based on its cutesy title.

 

The sections about the German occupation during WWII are much better than the romance.

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Rising From The Plains / John McPhee

 

You will never look at Wyoming in the same way again. If indeed you ever thought much about Wyoming. I hadn't.

 

You may also never look at geology in the same way again. Forty years too late, I am realizing that I probably should have been a geologist. Who'd of thunk it.

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I read about 50 pages of I Loved, I lost, I Made Spaghetti, by Giulia Melucci before I decided not to waste any more time, but not before I had the thought run through my mind that I'm glad I'm not young anymore. Why did this book get good reviews? No, strike that. How did this book get published? Oh, yeah, something to do with her years in the publishing industry.

 

Now I'm reading The Places In Between, by Rory Stewart and asking myself what the point of it is. I usually like travel books, either because they make me envious of the author's trip or glad that he/she went and I don't have to. This trip, however, is just as uncomfortable, unpleasant and boring as I expected. Maybe if I finish it, I'll see why he thought it was worth writing about, but so far, I don't.

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I took a break from Rory Stewart with Moira Hodgson's memoir, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. Now that has been a life worth writing about and she writes about it very well, indeed.

 

Back to Afghanistan.

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Sarah Waters' The Night Watch. Intersecting lives of several Londoners during and just after WWII. The book starts in 1947 and goes backwards in time.

Oooh, I liked that one a lot. I'm about to start reading her newest one, The Little Stranger.

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I took a break from Rory Stewart with Moira Hodgson's memoir, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. Now that has been a life worth writing about and she writes about it very well, indeed.

 

Back to Afghanistan.

 

I see a copy of Ms Hodgson's book has become available at the library. I am waiting for William Grimes' Appetite City, a history of New York dining, to return to the shelves. That looks interesting.

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Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals--stories of when he, his older siblings, and his mother lived on Corfu during the 1930s. I'm not all that into zoology, so I find the description of Corfu's animal life a little tedious, but his descriptions of the people are very funny (especially his family).

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Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals--stories of when he, his older siblings, and his mother lived on Corfu during the 1930s. I'm not all that into zoology, so I find the description of Corfu's animal life a little tedious, but his descriptions of the people are very funny (especially his family).

I haven't read that, but it made for a delightful film.

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Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals--stories of when he, his older siblings, and his mother lived on Corfu during the 1930s. I'm not all that into zoology, so I find the description of Corfu's animal life a little tedious, but his descriptions of the people are very funny (especially his family).

 

one of the favorite books of my childhood. larry comes off like a p.g wodehouse character. imagine my shock when i picked up a copy of "justine" in high school.

 

there were a couple of sequels. "birds, beasts and relatives", and another whose name escapes me for the moment.

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Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann. Disclosure: I know Colum, but would still think this is a beautifully-written novel even if I didn't. It was just shortlisted for the National Book Award, so I'm not alone in that estimation.

 

Recently re-read John The Revelator by Peter Murphy, another Irish writer that I happen to be acquainted with. It's his first novel (after many years as a music journalist). It's a dark, rural Irish coming-of-age tale set in Wexford, which Peter describes as South East Gothic in a nod to Flannery O'Connor. Roddy Doyle's blurb for the book is hilariously over the top: "Everything about JOHN THE REVELATOR excited me - I couldn't wait to turn the page and keep on going. It was like reading for the first time, almost as if I'd never read a novel before." But don't let that put you off...

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