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Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 1, 2014 - 06:02pm PT
I know exactly what you mean! Have you read Krokodil? It's even more magical realism- rich than The Nose! One of the reasons I law tied to learn Russian was to read the Nose, and the Overcoat, in the original language.

I think that some of that romance and magical realism carried over into the Soviet realism as seen in the revolutionary Posters. The imagery and iconography, of some of those images coupled with the the aphorisms, is amazing, "the hard workers are behind us, in this is our strength,". Forgive or correct me, Alexey & Vitalliy, I think it goes like, Трудяшихся за нас, в етом, наша Сила!

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Feb 1, 2014 - 08:03pm PT
Made a good haul at the library yesterday. Cold weather today, so I spent most of it in bed finishing Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories. Next: Stephen Spender's World within World, and Robert Pinsky's anthology Singing Class.

Trad climber
Feb 1, 2014 - 08:23pm PT
Jaybro, true about Chekhov. Saw his Cherry Orchard and Seagull at Ashland a few years back. The smartest character with the best zinger lines about life was the doctor (a country estate guest).

James Joyce was nearly a doctor. The Kite Runner author still practices medicine.


Trad climber
Feb 3, 2014 - 12:31pm PT
God: A Biography. Jack Miles
An incedibly intellegent - we can say - post modern look at the Jewish idea of god.

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Feb 3, 2014 - 12:58pm PT
"American Sniper" by the late Chris Kyle.

Credit: pud

Interesting look into the military's ability to locate and exploit a young man's angst and aggression.

At least that's what I am taking from it.

Gym climber
Feb 3, 2014 - 01:16pm PT
How about recommendations for out-of-copyright or otherwise free Kindle books?
Anything from the stuff we read (or were supposed to read) in high school to stuff most of us have never heard of.
I'll start (with one of the high school variety): Call of the Wild, by Jack London. Pretty good, but didn't necessarily make me want to read more London--kind of been there/done that.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Feb 3, 2014 - 01:23pm PT
The Flamethrowers - Rachel Kushner

Sort of Tom Robbins meets an easier to read Pynchon. All the protagonist is missing is big thumbs.
Killer K

Boulder climber
Sacramento, CA
Feb 3, 2014 - 03:15pm PT
Just finished the illustrated man again so cool how many of the stories dont seem so far fetched today as they did when they were written. Bradbury was a genius.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Feb 3, 2014 - 03:18pm PT
Credit: Ward Trotter

Exhaustive and fairly well-written account of the period, the science, the history, the human accounts, surrounding the world's most destructive and awesome volcanic eruption of modern times.
A good read only if you can appreciate the minutiae of context within which such episodic events transpire.

Such books come and go as a matter of course, largely under the radar. However, if there is ever an eruption on the scale of the1883 Krakatoa event anytime soon, anywhere on the globe---this book, and books like it ,will instantly receive huge and well-deserved attention as a sort of general reference manual for these apocalyptic , world-changing cataclysms and the tragic aftermaths.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Feb 3, 2014 - 03:52pm PT
Winchester's Kratatoa book is excellent as are some of the others he has written, including: The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World.

Currently am reading the excellent Lawrence In Arabia, by Scott Anderson

Credit: looking sketchy there...

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Feb 6, 2014 - 03:04pm PT
Credit: pud

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Feb 6, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
The Abominable by Dan Simmons.

Sort of historical horror mystery, similar to his novel the Terror, about the Franklin Expedition that disappeared in northern Canada. I liked that, and this one is good so far. Simmons is a good writer and does a lot of historical research to give context to his fictional narrative.

More importantly, this ties into climbing, as it centers around an expedition to Mt. Everest shortly after Mallory and Irvine.

Sport climber
Feb 6, 2014 - 03:45pm PT

Thinking, fast and slow...Second time... spot-reading and marking...slow reading...
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:45am PT
Have read two I'd strongly recommend this week:

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, a tragic novel about three soldiers unraveling during the Iraq War. Beautifully written and moving.

Peter Stark's Astoria, about John Jacob Astor's unsuccessful attempt to found a fur trading outpost at the mouth of the Columbia River, 1810-1812. Astor's plan was sound, but things went horribly wrong. Stark does a great job taking us along and giving us a view of North America before it was "civilized.

I'll also kick down my enthusiasm for Simon Winchester. I've read a bunch of his books, and have enjoyed them all: The Professor and the Madman, The Map that Changed the World, Krakatoa, The Man Who Loved China, The River at the Center of the World, The Crack at the Edge of the World.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:50am PT
The Man in the High Castle Phillip K Dick

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 6, 2014 - 12:16pm PT
A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn

The Upanishads, Eknath Easwaran translation

Trad Climbers' Bible, Croft/Long

Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved, Shulgin

The first two should be must-reads for any stupid american.

Trad bible I'm only about 20 pages into. Has great pics and good tales, but so far my biggest impression is that it needs a serious re-editing. Cringeworthy, overwrought prose and sporting ridiculous slang that was "in" for about 3 minutes in the 90s ("gettin' jiggy" etc), poor word choice (using the noun drill, as in a synonym for exercise, in a sentence about trad climbing within a paragraph that is trying to differentiate it from sport climbing). I had a hard time getting past those things. I expect it will improve when I get into the meat of it and past the introductory philosophical pondering.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 6, 2014 - 12:30pm PT
I rarely read only one book.

The Desert Fox by David Irving. Despite turning into a Holocaust denier
Irving's bio seems totally free of his late looniness and is very impartial
to the point that Rommel comes under fire for his enfatuation with Der Fuhrer.

The War for all the Oceans by Roy and Lesley Adkins. The Napoleonic Wars
were won on the high seas. Waterloo was a mopping up operation.

The Russian Mind by Ronald Hingley. What with the current insanity I've
dragged out this seminal work from my university days by the Emeritus Fellow at Oxford.
You do know that Nihilism was and is a Russian creation?


Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Mar 6, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
Telex From Cuba - Rachel Kushner
The Glowering Sailor

Mt. Humphreys
Mar 6, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
Have read two I'd strongly recommend this week:

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, a tragic novel about three soldiers unraveling during the Iraq War. Beautifully written and moving.

Thanks for reminding me about this. I bought it not long after it came out and haven't gotten to it yet.

Elcapinyoazz, them's fightin' words 'round here, wut wif the paranoiacs, wingnuts, and various other trailer park critters who call this place home.

Good reading the both of yiz.

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Mar 6, 2014 - 01:17pm PT
just finished Hawkeye: my life as a weapon (Marvel comics) not sure if there are any comic fans out there....bygones if not.

now reading Ed Abbey's "Down the River"...prolly already read by most. As it should be.

Abbey quoted Thoreau in the first essay of that book, a line that has stuck with me today - "Goodness is the only investment that will never fail"
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