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Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 18, 2012 - 11:17am PT
Hi, Sully. Some people are gaga for Chabon's style. It's a little self-indulgent to me, like one day he wakes up and he's writing in hard-boiled crime voice, and the next he's Kerouac.

The first thing of his that I read was The Mysteries of Pittsburgh just after college when I'd moved here from Pittsburgh. It was hard to tell if it was good or not because I loved reading about college kids in my college town too much to care. Telegraph Ave. is my hoody hood these days, so my enjoyment of the book was highly biased.

I don't think I got 50 pages into Kavalier and Clay though. I just couldn't make myself care enough about comics, golems, or the characters he was presenting to keep engaging. Similarly, in Telegraph Ave. the author shows off for pages and pages with jazz, comics, and movie trivia that would kill me if it wasn't in another context that interested me. I didn't think I could go for a whole novel centered around baseball either, so I haven't tried the Art of Fielding.

Social climber
Eastside (of the Tetons)
Oct 18, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
I picked up 2 classics at the thrift store for a buck each; Ulysses by James Joyce and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

Thumbed through Ulysses and found it almost unreadable. Did I really see a sentence that was 10 pages long? I'll tackle it sometime this winter though.

Robinson Crusoe, while a little difficult to read since it was written in 1720, is an awesome book! The way the character explores his own character, and changes his patterns of thinking to be consciously happy with his lot seems to be the point of the book, intermingled with exciting adventure and immature observations of natural history. Wonderful!

Last year on this thread Woman Who Runs With Wolves was recommended by BooDawg. I had a copy for 5 years and could never get off the ground with it. I have a really hard time understanding what an 'archetype' is, or why I should try to compare myself to one. I found it a very obtuse book that did not make me feel good about being a woman. And I know I'm a wild one. Modern society is very hard for me and my instincts can be killer lethal, especially to myself!
Thoughts? I tried very hard to get through this book and understand it. It is the ONLY book thus far in my life I have failed at.

Trad climber
Oct 18, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
Melissa, I met Chabon at a Cal book event. What a flippin' vision he is! Kav. & Clay is supposed to be an upcoming Kiera Knightly flick. M. of Pittsburg sort of fell flat for me too. He likes to get into the bi side of himself and his characters. I lived it with my ex husband. Enough already. Ch. said he modeled the book after The Great Gatsby, writing it as a grad student in his parent's basement.

Thanks for the heads up on the new book. I'll wait for it to get to my library instead of buying it.


Social climber
Golden, CO
Oct 18, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne.

Not too far into it yet, but looks like it will be good. Batrock, you should read this after you're done with the Kit Carson book. Sounds like it may be the same story from two different persepctives, at least in part. I always like doing that with history themes. Think IŽll try to find your book when I'm done with this one.

I did Kit Carson 1st and then Empire of the Summer Moon. 2 rad books but ones Navajo and ones Comanche, they are sorta similar.

Done with "Che'", that dude had issues. Now I'm onto "Charles II".


Social climber
Oct 18, 2012 - 10:36pm PT
The Fifties by D. Halbersham (as suggested by Guido), Rats by Richard Sullivan. Prior to those two books Eisenhower by Stephen Ambrose.

Rats is an interesting read, about one man's study of rats in some alleys in NYC. Interesting history of warriors in the battle of man vs rat, rat migration throughout the world, the plague and other interesting history.

I came here to look for something to read next. Kit Carson, maybe.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 18, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
Batrock, how's that Fremont do in the end? Pretty well, one-time presidential hopeful and all. There's hope for Mitt, after all.

And I liked the personality of Kit Carson, short and to the point.

I just got nailed for library fines today, but I got even.

Got a copy of Dog Walks Man/John Zeaman and one of Madonna anno domini/verse by Joshua Clover, which is the name of my old bitch German Shorthair, the wanderer. Bought them at the Friends of the Library used book store for one buck each, HC. Delighted!

"Lastly, who was I to broadcast all these regrets about wildness lost? I certainly wasn't wild. Not only was I ill-suited to survive in the wilderness. I wasn't even wild in the social sense. Not since we moved out of the loft in the city. Like Pete, I had heeded the call of the mild."--ch. 10, "Call of the Wild"/Dog Walks Man.

Trad climber
Oct 21, 2012 - 08:20pm PT

Just finished "Revelations" by Jerry Moffatt. Chapter 4- American Dreamer was great.

I thought it was super cool that he credited Mark Hudon as his inspiration for the first onsight lead of The Phoenix.

Great stories of the Gunks, Eldorado Canyon, Yosemite, Joshua Tree back in the eighties.

Trad climber
Oct 24, 2012 - 10:12am PT
Tom Wolfe has a new book out and Terri Gross interviews him today. This has made my morning!!!! Wolfe is my favorite living writer. I'll road trip to see him speak even.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 24, 2012 - 10:33am PT
Thanks for the tip!

Current listen = Mountains Beyond Mountains

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 24, 2012 - 11:57am PT
Just Ride - Grant Petersen
It's about bike riding from an "unracer" perspective. I'd like to write a climbing book along the same lines...

Speaking of living authors, sully, I just finished the new John Irving book, "In one Person" I think you'd find it interesting.

I'll try to Catch Fresh air today.

Trad climber
Oct 24, 2012 - 09:12pm PT
Jaybro, I love J. Irving. I'll add that to my winter break stack. Wolfe is 81, so I'm thinking this is his last book and my last chance to ever see him at an event.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 24, 2012 - 09:45pm PT
I'd go see Wolfe in a second if I had the chance! Missed the interview though, distracted by a storm over Arches

Edit just listened to it on the web. Well there's another book'i'll have to read.
Fascinating interview. Interestingly enough I was thinking about the concept of "the cop stare" today, having encountered it at a coffee shop this morning.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 24, 2012 - 11:55pm PT
So how was the interview?

I thought In One Person was trashy in the bad way, but not as bad as the tattoo book. I used to love JI, but the last two will definitely slow my pace to pick up his next offering.

Anchorage Alaska
Oct 25, 2012 - 12:07am PT
Check out A Single Wave by Web Chiles. Crazy stuff!

Trad climber
Pollock Pines, CA
Oct 25, 2012 - 03:12am PT
Currently reading:
The Rock Warriors Way-Arno Ilgner
A pretty good read so far but it's a lot of info and hard to get into.

The Bible- God's inspired word
Easily the best book on the market today, although a little long

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 25, 2012 - 11:16am PT
Trashy? Really? I don't see that. Maybe too much effort to be topical or something. Def more fourth hand than Hotel New Hampshire. I havn't read the tatoo book, couldn't get through son of the circus, though.

The interview was good. Wolfe always more natural and self- deprecating than I expect, pro ably based on the way he dresses and presents himself, which he poked fun at in the interview.

Oct 25, 2012 - 07:24pm PT

Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin, Nicholas Ostler

An Introduction to Morse Theory, Yukio Matsumoto

A Place So Foreign and 8 More, Cory Doctorow

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, Eric Newby

Spy Hook, Len Deighton


Oct 25, 2012 - 07:57pm PT
They Kill Puppies Don't They? by Christopher Buckley. There is a priceless takeoff of Ann Coulter (who I adore!)


Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 25, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
Jaybro: Irving's fascination with eroticizing molestation just killed both for me. I felt kind of scuzzy for even finishing Until I Find You.

The new Wolfe book has been downloaded to my phone, and hopefully will thrill me for a week of commutes and a fine weekend in the Park. :-)

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 25, 2012 - 09:03pm PT
I see what you mean,though I didn't read it that way. I had to think a bit to place the part you mean.
I get your point, glad you clarified.

Though it brings up other questions....
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