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<  The Third Eye Reading Room  ~  What's On Your Bookshelf?

lissa
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2148 Location: my computer
Let's start by getting a feel for what everyone's reading. Post your reading list, past, present or future, and let's go where the open road takes us!

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Marc
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
I am not a fan of the classics.

I love the Beats, Bukowski, Chandler, Hammett, and counter culture writers like Marco Vassi and Ed Sanders.

Of writers who wrote before the 1950s, Poe and Rimbaud are favorites.

New writers I'm digging include Boston Teran, Jeff Ablow and George Pelecanos.

I dug Anne Rice's first couple of books.
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Marc
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:29 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
also dig Harry Crews, John Fante, James Crumley and Richard Brautigan.
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lissa
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:32 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2148 Location: my computer
Looks like we're going to enjoy diversity here *s*

I also enjoyed Rice's first Vampire book, and the first Mayfair Witches (The Witching Hour) but I found her sequels almost tedious.

However, Cry To Heaven is a masterpiece I could read over and over. In fact, I have to find my copy and get back to it.

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Marc
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:35 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
nonfiction writers I enjoy (and learn from) are

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, Nathalie Goldberg,
Wilhelm Reich, Carl Jung, Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, Ram Dass...

poets:
Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Philip Lamantia, Baudelaire, Whitman, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Diane Di Prima, Sylvia Plath....
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lissa
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:42 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2148 Location: my computer
Goldberg is wonderful, as is Julia Cameron (just got her latest).

I have Shakti Gawain lining my bookshelf, and did some of the creative visualization with my mother when she was about to undergo experimental radiation. While it would not have saved her life, the radiation proved to be effective...and I'm not so sure it wasn't her affirmations.

Non fiction has taken on the flavor of writers' inspirations, and creativity boosters, such as Roger Van Oech. As well, I have been exploring various spirituality, from paranormal to Native spirituality.

More fiction includes Chris Bohjalian's books - now on my night-table is Trans-Sister Radio.

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chillywilly
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:47 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8250 Location: Salt Lake City
current books:
Lying Liers by Al Franken
Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood.

I like both fiction and non-fiction.

Fav. classic work: Jane Austen.

Next 2 books on list: both books by the Clintons.

I'm going to love this new forum.

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Chilly
"If you should die before me / Ask if you could bring a friend"
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bocce
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 4:18 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
i read "the davinci code" on the plane over to europe last month. is it just me or is this the most hugely overrated piece of garbage to have been recently foisted on the ever discerning american reading public?

the subject matter is an "I'm so clever" reworking of themes better rendered in umberto eco's "name of the rose" and the writing style falls somewhere between john grisham and tom clancey. were it not for the fact that i can't sleep on planes, i'd have ditched this schtincker after the first 30 pages.

i know the book and author have a real loyal following. please convince me i missed something. do you think it's filmable with sort of a "ninth gate" feel or, more pointedly, "name of the rose" sort of screenplay?
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billyweeds
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 6:43 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20427 Location: New York City
There are two current books I am aching to get a chance to read. One is called something like "The Curious Affair of the Dog in the Night-Time," which appears to be a fictional first-person account of a dog's murder by an autistic teenager. It's been described as a kind of thriller with Holden Caulfield in the leading role. Anybody heard of it?

The other one is Woodward's Bush-bash. In fact, any Bush bash is find with me, but Woodward's seems to be the bash of choice for high-class readers. Anyone read it?

Of course I have read Franken's funny, trenchant book. It's terrific.
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lshap
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 7:09 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 12 May 2004 Posts: 4246 Location: Montreal
bocce -- The DaVinci Code was a fun, fast read. Dan Brown's got the current popular groove of cock-tease story writing down pat. He entices with an interesting premise, baits each chapter with a tasty cliffhanger and offers just enough reheated facts to give the reader a sense of discovery.

I liked the book for what it was, not for the higher pretensions others ascribed to it.
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Marilyn
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 7:17 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
I'm reading two autobiographies, Bunuel's My Last Sigh and Charles Chaplin: An Autobiography. The last outstanding book I read was Stasiland by Anna Funder, a first-person exploration of the author through East Germany and her interviews with victims of the Stasi and several Stasi officers and operatives. I can't recommend it too highly.

I'm not likely to be involved in a lot of discussion here, as I hardly ever read fiction, and I am not a big reader anyway. But I like history, books about terrorism in all its many forms, and Joseph Campbell. I read a lot of plays, too.
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pedersencr
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 7:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 921 Location: New Orleans
As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for, so here goes. My current stack of books includes:

Mystery/Espionage/Adventure:
Absolute Friends - Le Carre
The Rule of Four - Caldwell, Thomason
The Fifth Woman - Mankell
Digital Fortress - Brown

Current Events:
Onward Muslim Soldiers - Spencer

For personal interest/research:
Zelda, a Biography - Milford
Rough Magic, a biography of Syllvia Plath - Alexander
Virginia Woolf, Becoming a writer - Dalsimer
A biography of Virginia Woolf (on order) - Bell

For when I'm in a super-serious mood:
Evil in Modern Thought - Neiman
Epistemology (which I currently can't put my finger on)

For a diversionary do-it-myself project:
Colloquial Finnish, a course for beginners - Abondolo

For a never-ending project:
Vestiges, a memoir I am writing to preserve family history for the children

Plus scads in storage.

So, if any of that piques any interest with anyone, I'd be glad to comment/discuss.

Charles
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Melody
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:20 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2242 Location: TX
bocce wrote:
... "the davinci code" ... is it just me or is this the most hugely overrated piece of garbage to have been recently foisted on the ever discerning american reading public? ... please convince me i missed something. do you think it's filmable with sort of a "ninth gate" feel or, more pointedly, "name of the rose" sort of screenplay?


Bocce,

You didn't miss anything. I read "DVC" a while back and after the first chapter was INSTANTLY glad I'd borrowed not bought. (I'm a compulsive book buyer/collector.) Brown couldn't decide if he wanted to write a thriller, murder mystery, romance, historical novel, conspiracy theory, or religious polemic -- so he went for everything and IMO failed at all of them, producing a badly written and ultimately silly hodge-podge.

I'd much rather have read a nonfiction, straightforward theory of Opus Dei and why he thinks they're trying to take over the world. Or at least the Louvre.

It will make a fun movie ONLY if the screenplay is handled with sly wink-wink humor and it moves quickly. I tell you what, I'll write the screenplay and let's get Tony Scott to direct. Somebody else will have to cast it.

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tirebiter
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:35 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4011 Location: not far away
Oooh! A book forum!

So happy.

Marc: Ed Sanders is an unsung genius. Many folks know him from The Fugs, but I love his writing: Tales of Beatnik Glory, The Family, Shards of God. Time to read them all again.

For those who liked "DaVinci Code" and want to see where Brown got all his material, I recommend reading 2 books from 20 years ago, "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" and "The Messianic Legacy" by Lincoln and Baigent-- inspired "non-fiction" crackpot conspiracy stuff that's fun to read. The way they go about it, it's almost impossible to tell where the history leaves off and the nuttery begins.

Or, better idea: just read Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum." It's "The DaVinci Code" for adults.

Currently reading "Greenmantle" by John Buchan. He wrote it in 1916, the year after his great success with "The 39 Steps." Buchan is the father of the modern thriller-- wonderful stuff. You've seen and read these stories many times before by his successors, but here they're being told for the FIRST TIME. Fun.

Note: The Buchans are all available for free online, just like almost everything published before 1928. A great resource.
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yambu
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004 9:27 am Reply with quote
Joined: 23 May 2004 Posts: 6441 Location: SF Bay Area
For solid scholarship on the early history of the Church, there is Constantine's Sword, by I forget who. It touches on a lot of DVC material. But my favorite writer on the history of religion is Karen Armstrong.

I'm reading Humboldt's Cosmos. Scientist-explorer Alexander von Humboldt at one time was the second most recognized name in Europe, after Napoleon. He has more places named after him throughout the world than anyone in history (In the US, it's mostly in the western states).

In the wings are Stalin: Court of the Red Tsar, a new biog; Caramba, by Nina Marie Martinez (in Spanglish, featuring a born-again Mariachi band, et al); and Oliver Twist, which I last read in high school.

I recently read a fascinating new biog of Sir Isaac Newton. By his early twenties he had grasped all the mathematics that was known at the time, so there was no place to go but to create his own math universe.

For poetry, I always return to W.B. Yeats, e.e. cummings, Dylan Thomas, A.E. Housman, Ferlinghetti, and Ginsberg. I am so glad I caught Allen live, in Berkeley, about ten years ago.

Now, here's a stretch, but I'll put it out there - my passion is the history of Afro-Cuban music. I have a sizeable library of texts that I bought in Cuba. If anyone has some sources, I would like to hear from them.
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