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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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The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Friedman.

 

My father bought this for me at lunch today.  He insisted that I read it.  We'll see.

read this review first.

Finished this over the weekend. A harmless book with much less of an agenda than I expected given Taibi's scathing review. His criticism is hilariously overstated. The book is largely a collection of documented observations about Globalism and economics.

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close  by Jonathan Safran Foer

 

How far into this are you? I've had trouble getting a handle on whether or not I'd like to read it judging from the reviews. I did like Everything is Illuminated.

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close  by Jonathan Safran Foer

 

How far into this are you? I've had trouble getting a handle on whether or not I'd like to read it judging from the reviews. I did like Everything is Illuminated.

I just bought it at lunch. I decided that I needed to ignore the reviews and get over my own envy of Mr. Foer's success and ability and just read the damn book.

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Eagerly awaiting your impressions..

 

I read Walter Kirn's review in the Sunday Times book review, but since I have little respect for Kirn it didn't help me very much.

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Eagerly awaiting your impressions..

 

I read Walter Kirn's review in the Sunday Times book review, but since I have little respect for Kirn it didn't help me very much.

I read that as well, and was disappointed that he was the one selected to review the book. I will report forthwithly.

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Recently read a fascinating biography called Lilla's Feast by Frances Osborne about her great-grandmother who was born in China in the late 19th c to English parents. Lilla was a product of the British Empire - she spent most of her life in China and India. During WWII she was imprisoned by the Japanese and while in captivity she wrote a cookbook, to keep her sanity, which is currently in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

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I just finished "Magical Thinking" by Augusten Burroughs. I was laughing so hard through it that tears came down my face. He sounds like so many of my good friends I can't believe I haven't read "Running with Scissors" yet...

 

Magical Thinking

 

Very fun book to read.

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I just finished "Magical Thinking" by Augusten Burroughs. I was laughing so hard through it that tears came down my face. He sounds like so many of my good friends I can't believe I haven't read "Running with Scissors" yet...

 

Magical Thinking

 

Very fun book to read.

I read Running with Scissors and the one about being a drunk, both were hilarious and poignant. The guy seems to be limited to memoirs, but with a life like his who cares. He is a talented writer and very funny.

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close  by Jonathan Safran Foer

 

How far into this are you? I've had trouble getting a handle on whether or not I'd like to read it judging from the reviews. I did like Everything is Illuminated.

Alright, he's done it again. This is a damn fine book.

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The Coffee Trader by David Liss, extremely readable mystery set in Jewish community of 17th century Amsterdam, with, as the title suggests, a twisted plot involving, among much else, high stakes trading in the then novel commodity of coffee.

 

The Shadow of the Wind, by Carl Ruiz Zafor: Funny, touching, oddly gripping mystery turning on a failed writer, young and thwarted love, and used books and the people who traffic in them. Set in Barcelona from the Thirties onward.

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I couldn't wait to start reading "Pearl" by Mary Gorden when it came out and even now I have only read the first part (I ended up leaving it in CT by mistake)  but, wow.  I highly recommend, as does John Leonard in the NYTimes. Clickety

 

" I must dance around what happens next, while insisting that you read the book or go to hell."- John Leonard

I can't wait to read that. I absolutely adored Spending.

Spending was unbelievably engrossing especially for me, a woman painter, as you can imagine having read the book.

 

This is much more dense, complex and, oh my, religious (!!!! not my cup of tea) but I just love this woman, Mary Gordon, and every word that emanates from her hand.

 

You should read Shadow Man(non-fiction) if you haven't already done so, before Pearl IMHO.

I finally got my hands on a copy of Pearl. I see what you mean about it being religious.

 

I don't love narrative voice. It's leaving me a bit cold. But it's definitely thought provoking.

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Just finishing:

 

Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages, Mark Abley

 

Part travelogue, part cultural history/analysis, I found this very engaging. If you're interested in the history and future of languages, I'd recommend it.

 

Current commute reading:

 

The Fun of It: Stories from the Talk of the Town -- The New Yorker, edited by Lillian Ross

 

Quite a chronology. Who says the N'Yawker can't blog like Gawker?! Fascinating stuff. Most of it brilliant and humble. Some of it downright rot, but still fascinating.

 

Just starting:

 

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, the next one from Jared Diamond. So far so good. Solid analyst and deep thinker. This one is reminding me a bit of the excellent Dark Age Ahead by the underrated (IMHO of course) Jane Jacobs, though with a much more ambitious historical narrative.

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