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Post Info TOPIC: Last book you read, and review


Seasoned Mookster

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RE: Last book you read, and review


"My Heartbeat" by Garret Freymann-Weyr

This was one of the best books I've read in a long time.

Also "Playing With Grownups" by Sophie Dahl is good, confusing at times, but still a good book.

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Seasoned Mookster

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"Passenger to Frankfurt" by Agatha Christie.
It was quite mysterious and interesting up to a point, but about 2/3-3/4 of the way through I found myself scanning some sections then having to go back and read it again! Other than a handful of chapters not involving Stafford Nye or Countess Zerkowski (hopefully I got that right) it was pretty engaging! However, I did find the book ended too quickly.

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High Mookish Shaman

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'34 Short Stories' by Katherine Mansfield - Elizabeth Bowen made the selection and I'm a big Bowen fan, so I picked this over 'Bliss and Other Stories', which are the ones Mansfield herself chose for publication. Really excellent, pretty, elliptical things.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY

My friend Templeton lent me a comic called Grotesque, translated from Italian, by a guy called Sergio Ponchione. It's fucking amazing. In 1, which is all I've read, there are three islands (called 'eye-lands'), each one made up of the imaginations, or the dreams, or the beliefs, of three different men. Each man is guided by a weird figure named Mr O'Blique. My favourite is the imagination one because there are some weird characters on it, like the dwarf in a mask who appears on every island, this guy in tweed with a telephone for a head, a strange pyramid thing in a gas mask, and a man with a teacup for a body... and they all just hang out and do really normal things like go to the cinema and play cards and chat.

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High Mookish Shaman

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'The Road of Bones', by Anne Fine.
I decided to read it again, and I still found it to be a good short read. (Okay, I lied. It's 224 pages long, but by my standards, that's pretty short. Also, it took me two days to read it, because of the way I read - fast.) I like the political meaning behind it, and the plot itself is a gripping one. I also found myself dreadfully in love with Yuri about half way through.
And the ending was sad, but in a way that I find too complicated to describe.

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Lady Moustache of Mooky


Mookish Deity Most High

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I've just reread The Hellbound Heart. It's about a couple (Rory and Julia) who don't truly love each other. Their relationship is based mostly on lust on Rory's part. They move into a house where the husband's brother had been recently squatting in before vanishing. Julia, who'd had a passionate affair with the brother, spent a lot of time in a damp room upstairs to daydream about him. Then Rory, poor clumsy butterfingered Rory, cuts his thumb with a chisel and bleeds on the floor in that very room. As it so happened, that is the place where his brother disappeared into the realms of pain and pleasure, but the blood brings him back in a pitiful form. And he needs Julia to help him become the man he used to be...

I love it, it's short yet a very enjoyable and addictive read. I can understand Juila's motives, and why she doesn't love her husband, so although she isn't a very nice woman I can sympathise. The characters are all written believably so it's easy to imagine the events unfolding in real life (if you ignore the Brother Frank parts, ofcourse).

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Honoured Mook

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Wicked, a must read. A seriously inescapable affair that rends apart what we know of the supposed Wicked Witch of the West. She is probably one of my favorite characters in any book i've read now. It makes you stop to think, "so that explains it!" and all you'll want to do is read that book. Macguire is magic with words and you truly feel for those in the story who can't escape the tide of circumstances against them. In other words, set aside some time and read it! Don't miss the allusions to Nazi Germany by the way.

-- Edited by apple juliet sherry on Wednesday 13th of May 2009 11:16:51 PM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Ive read Wicked. I loved it. I even saw the musical.

Veronika Decides To Die - Paolo Coehlo.

I could NOT put it down. As always with Paolo it was thinky. I like thinky books.
Veronika takes an overdose of sleeping pills because although she's not depressed, she just doesn't see the point of life. She's young, pretty and intelligent and she thinks things can only go downhill. The world is boring an monotonous.

She wakes up in an infamous mental asylum where the mildly depressed are kept with the criminally insane. Then she is told she has irreversibly damaged her heart and she has a week at the most to live. In her few days left she decides to find out what it's like to live.

It just reminded me that everyday is important and to live life to the full and all those other similar cheesy, cliche sayings. :)

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High Mookish Shaman

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^I know this is cliched, but have you read The Alchemist? Or Eleven Minutes, which is my personal favourite for, er, obvious reasons.

Read A History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka, which was alright and rather funny but I can't say I especially enjoyed it. It makes a very lucid point about nationalist prejudices and the Eastern Europe / Western Europe divide, but I dunno, I wasn't gripped.

Re-read The Quiet American by Graham Greene also. Fuck me, THAT'S a good book. May have replaced The End of the Affair as my favourite Greene.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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^I read A History Of Tractors In Ukrainian ages ago.
I really struggled to finish it actually. It didn't really grip me either!

-- Edited by "Little Red" Ruby on Monday 25th of May 2009 01:19:42 PM

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Left my carcass with the worms and moles

Souljacker can't get my soul

He can hang my neck from the old flagpole

But the souljacker can't get my soul.

 

Silly Whore.

jen


Regular Crew

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Last book I've read was Kim Wilkins' The Resurrectionists.

Like most of Kim Wilkin's books, it is involved with the supernatural and mystical, with lashings of the 18th Century, horror and sex.
About a young woman who travels to an isolated village in England, she tries to figure out the mysteries of her strange grandmother's death and why the village people are trying to cover it up. It leads her on a path through a diary from the 18th Century, infidelity, awakening the psychic heritage in herself and battling an old evil.

It's just gripping how Wilkins builds up the tension so it pulls you in. I recommend.

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Regular Crew

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Lord of the Flies. Forced to read it for English class. It would have been boring if I hadn't pictured Michael Cera as Ralph and Generic Hot (Fit) Guy (made up) as Jack. I know the kids are supposed to be 12, but that's what it took to read it, pass the test, and get my name called at the graduation ceremony. I haven't read a book since. And that was 3 weeks ago. I really should get on that...

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High Mookish Shaman

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"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand.

HOLY SHIT.

IT WAS AMAZING.

It will make you question everything you have ever regarded as "moral".
It will also make you hate humanity to some degree... but that's ok.

Currently Reading "The Fountainhead". Also by Ayn Rand. It's awesome so far.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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'Storms', by Carol Anne Harris. It was great, makes Stevie Nicks out to be a bit of a bitch though!

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High Mookish Shaman

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"The Magician's Guild" by Trudi Canavan. Excellent book.

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High Mookish Shaman

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Three Girls and Their Brother by Theresa Rebeck. It's a fantastic book about how the rise of fame isn''t really all that cracked up to be.

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Short snippet of my song: Bees Knees

Your eyes they still wail out conflict
But you still think your the bees knees
You keep choking on your vulgar slurs
But in the end it's a comforting pity...
You still like to imagine that you are the bees knees.

SPAM is destroyed. SPAMMERS are banned. Talk of truth and beauty instead.



Honoured Mook

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Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast.


Don't bother, it's like a fanfic... but i had to pay for it :(
About a vampyre.. (that's the spelling in the book) girl with a mark who's supposed to be uber special.
Think Harry potter meets Twilight meets FAIL

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Baby Mook

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Like a velvet glove cast in iron-daniel clowes (graphic novel)
  its like going into a questionable bathroom stall in the city and slipping into a rabbit hole, read the scribbling on the wall.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Ive just read Tease by Immodesty Blaize. Obviously its about a burlesque performer and secrets that she's had to hide from the past until they catch up with her courtesy of a stalker. Pretty good actually, although it takes a while to get into it.

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High Mookish Shaman

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The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg. I am going withhold and review on this for a bit, partly because I suspect Capulet will be able to offer a far more sophisticated and erudite interpretation than I.

Re-read The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, because I read Reflections In A Golden Eye by same and needed a refreshed basis on comparison. I love McCullers' love of androgyny and gender interpretation. I love how she makes sexuality a drifting, spiritual, strange thing. She writes the way I dream of thinking. It must have been wonderful to be inside her mind. In the words of my friend, "She loves her male women." There is so much to be found in that pretty hilarious sentence - what's male, why not masculine, what is 'woman', why does she love them so much, can you buy me another drink?

AS FOR THE SHERLOCK HOLMES OBSESSION, I have read the nineteen stories Arthur Conan Doyle picked out as his favourites, the gay novel by Rohase Piery (My Dearest Holmes) which was not at all smutty and terribly lovely, and the 'fictional biography' Holmes and Watson by June Thomson. And the essay at the back of Strangers: Homosexual Love In The Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb that makes a good case for Holmes being gay, although not Watson. I may well read the rest of this book, I started reading it from the front and it's quite interesting.

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High Mookish Shaman

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Clockbox, I still haven't read "Confessions of a Justified Sinner" because my book by some twist of fate got switched to "The Testament of Gideon Mack" instead. My next purchase will be Justified Sinner though, as I want to go see it on stage in Edinburgh soon, and would have like to have read it first.


Incidently, I really recommend that you read that (And by you, I mean all). I've still not decided what I make of it since finishing it this morning. From I can tell it is a real and as true as the author thinks it is, account of a poor mans life. I can't wait to study it and learn more with re reading it.



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Mookish Deity Most High

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Clockbox, My Dearest Holmes and Strangers: Homosexual Love In The Nineteenth Century sound most interesting! I've always strongly believed that Holmes (if not Watson as well) was gay. Now, gay Victorians are just about the best thing possible and I haven't found many books about that. Any recommendations would be most welcome, especially as you seem very well-educated on the topic. :)


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Mooky's Decadent Victorian Aesthete





High Mookish Shaman

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^I agree, gay Victorians have a certain something about them...

Unfortunately I am not really an expert, I just chat a lot of crap as frequently as I possibly can (you may have noticed). For the approximate Victorian period, however, I do recommend Maurice by E. M. Forster (published posthumously), the short story 'The Prussian Officer' by D.H. Lawrence, anything you can find on the diaries of Anne Lister (who was a Victorian, an aristocrat, an open lesbian, cheerful, with a strong sense of self-awareness and a fantastic and persistent seductress) and anything you can find on 'Michael Field', who was actually a pseudonym for the Victorian lovers Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper. I don't actually like the poetry all that much but the sentiment and style is interesting from a purely queey theory point of view.

Susan Sontag's modern piece 'Notes on Camp' could easily apply to anything Wildean and Baudelairean. (I found out in the course of reading Strangers that Baudelaire's first choice of title for Les Fleurs du Mal was Les Lesbiennes.) Also Sontag is a GENIUS.

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High Mookish Shaman

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Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett.

PLEASE. HAS ANYONE ELSE READ IT YET? CAN WE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HAVE A GEEK OUT AND TALK ABOUT TERRY PRATCHETT?

I have so much love for Lord Vetinari and Archchancellor Ridcully, especially with the Ponder Stibbons dynamic (helped largely by the fact I recently finished the third Science of the Discworld too). I think he's ruined his original characterisation of Lady Margolotta though.

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Regular Crew

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Ironside, by Holly Black- I love the book (it's book 3 of 3 the other two being Tithe and Valiant) I've read in twice lol, Holly black is so very descriptive her writing is beautiful and her characters are great (Roibien is very drool worthy) She models her world off of the actual fairy lore and I adore that.

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller- it's a play he wrote during the Red Scare (a time during the cold war when americans started calling eachother Communists and it was hectic and people got Black listed and even arrested for no reason) it a historically accurate telling of the Salem Witch Trials (do you see the similarities... "YOUR A WITCH" "YOUR A COMMUNIST")... IT IS AMAZING... the emotion is over whelming and the themes powerful

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High Mookish Shaman

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Your Name Written on Water.

This isn't any erotica. This is gender-theory, Nabakov-referencing, myth-of-Narcissus, semantics-of-penetration erotica.

And it's actually very readable and very intelligent. The blurb says it's a bit Duras mixed with Story of O but this hardly does credit to it's depth. God, I wish I was doing my MA, I'd go to town with this and Humbert Humbert / Clare Quilty. Or I could do a very awesome queer theory essay. Sigh.

Clockbox does an edit: My bad. Authoress is Irene Gonzalez Frei. This book was also instrumental in Notebooks codedly admitting he wanted to sleep with me before he vanished across the Atlantic for the rest of the month. Sigh.

-- Edited by clockbox on Saturday 2nd of January 2010 11:26:28 PM

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High Mookish Shaman

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The Trick Is To Keep Breathing - Janice Galloway.

This is difficult. I met Janice Galloway merely a few weeks ago. She was witty, charming, buzzing with energy, ego, she was inspiring and fantastical. Like a rare and exotic bird, I just wanted to stare at her and listen to her wonderful tune. The fact I met Janice Galloway however, makes it difficult to be critical of her books. Maybe it's a little bit easier, actually.

With Galloway you have to settle into the fragmented style in which she writes. She employs the stream of consciousness method to writing, and with that she uses margins to put in sections of the protagonists subconcious. It's interesting, but difficult to comprehend and feel comfortable with (At least that's how I felt) in the beginning. She breaks the rules of grammer and structure. I like it.

The protagonist Joy Stone however, is not a likeable character. The mental illness that is portrayed throughout the novel is well done, but a constant bleak outlook in the beginning makes it difficult to really connect and feel sympathy for her. The development is remarkable though, and after a few readings you realise more parts of the structure and plot that are key to the state of mind of Joy.

In short, I LIKE IT!

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High Mookish Shaman

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Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson.

It was EPIC. It was a pretty complicated plot and it took me a while to get my head around it and I couldn't work it out until after I'd finished it and took half an hour to think about it. I really liked all his characters (I even had a dream I was pregnant by one of them), even the ones that you weren't necessarily supposed to like. I had real sympathy especially for the woman Lorn. I had to keep referring to the character list at the front as well.

The book drips with dramatic irony. There were points where I actually wanted to scream important information at some of the characters, but obviously I couldn't, which distressed me greatly. In a good way.

It was amazing, but I think you have to like a certain type of book to enjoy it - my mum hated it and couldn't get her head around it at all. I'm disappointed I finished it, but there are a further nine books in the series so I think I'll live. :D

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High Mookish Shaman

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The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

This was recommended to me by a colleague at my shop, who I could write a post about in himself. He's so bloody charming, with iron grey hair and an iron grey beard and a dreamy sort of air about him and-

STOP. Where was I? Yes.
(There are far too many attractive older men at my shop. At least this one isn't gay.)

Carrington herself was completely insane but, you can feel this from the book, radiates a kind of hysterical charismatic energy that feeds itself into her writing. First and foremost a painter, this book is filled with set-scenes that have an intrinsic glowing beauty that would look marvellous as paintings. Carrington is very aware of material and colour, and her fanatical attention to tiny details (never overstressed, just many tiny details mentioned in passing) creates vivid tableaux.

The narrator is extremely likeable - a semi-senile, tootheless nonogenarian who likes cats and needs the eponymous hearing trumpet to hear anything - and as charismatic as Carrington herself. Unfortunately, the storyline is utterly ludicrous. The narrator is sent by her family to a peculiar and sinister old people's home, which is set out like some kind of fairytale country and run by a Christian cultist. The narrator notices a painting of a winking nun, who it turns out founded the order - except the order is anti-Christian, semi-Wiccan and all about the Power of Women and basically turns all the legends of Christianity - the Grail, the purity of Mary Magdalen etc - on its head. The old people rebel against their keepers and the world ends in a rather strange mythical fashion. It sounds stupid but is described in such a marvellously lighthearted way I didn't scoff at it, which I might normally have done.

The imagery of the bees and the female body is worth paying attention too, I found everything else too laboured and the bit about werewolves kind of random. Despite all this, The Hearing Trumpet is recommended reading, if only for the magnetism of the writer herself!

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Regular Crew

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The last book I have read was called "More Chicago Haunts" by Ursula Bielski. After reading this, I was amazed that the city and state that I was living in was this haunted and had so much tragic history. But it won't make me leave chicago though. biggrin

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High Mookish Shaman

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I also read Marked by Kristin and P.C. Cast

and yes, it does read like edited fanfic, HOWEVER, it is totally fluff and should be read for pure enjoyment. I actually enjoyed it, but I purposefully did not deeply analyse the characters or the plot line (which is rather cliched).

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