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STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

What books, zines or other pulp are you reading? What aren't you reading? What should everyone else read?

Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby white_rabbit » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:49 pm

boston_jeff wrote: Its weird, when memoirist James Frye was outed as a prevaricator, it didn't scare me away from reading his second book, and he's not as good a writer. But with Augusten, I feel betrayed.


I've read "A million little pieces" and thought it was a good read, but read it after the revelations came to light, so I read it as a novel not as a biography. I guess I'm not familiar with the back-story with Augusten. His life and stories are definitely colorful. There are some parts of "Dry" that send chills down my spin, almost like we've lived a parallel life. His writing will in one paragraph make me laugh out loud and in the next make me sob out loud.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby boston_jeff » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:14 pm

I read the second book (My Friend Leonard) essentially in the same manner. Frye seemed like he was so desperate to get published, that he compromised his integrity in order to pass off his fiction as fact. With Augusten its more personal for me I guess. I loved Scissors and Dry and have read his entire output until now. I championed him to my friends, and I went to his readings. I read him in the same manner as I read Sedaris. Obviously, you have to take some of what they both write with a grain of salt. The difference is that Burroughs settled with the family he wrote about in Scissors, and refused to admit that he exaggerated much of his experience. Sedaris is quick to defend his own extrapolations as writer's license, and he freely admits that his work is often embellished, but largely close to the truth. Augusten, by settling, is somehow admitting that he lied. Everything I read by him (as a memoir) is now questionable. It shouldn't matter (especially since I gave Frye, a far inferior writer, a free pass), but it does.

The reviews of the new book are largely what have kept me away, but I am curious if you think its any good.

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20192440,00.html
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby white_rabbit » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:24 pm

I guess I've always known there were rifts between Augusten (Christopher) and his family, thus his adopting his own identity free from his family ties. Everything I read (literary, not historical) I take as an adaptation of one's perceived interpretation of events and naturally assume there will be embellishments in the storytelling. Fuck, I do that with my posts, why should I assume a real writer wouldn't do that with their novels? That being said, Augusten is my most favorite novelist that I've stumbled upon since John Irving and Jeremy Leven.

And yes, I do put Augusten Burroughs in the same leauge as John Irving, he's that good. Unfortunately Jeremy Leven has such a small body of work it's hard to judge, but "Satan: His psychotherapy and cure by the unfortunate Dr. Kassler" remains one of my all time favorite novels.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby boston_jeff » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:06 pm

I love Irving, he indeed is a great novelist. Augusten is a memoirist, in my mind there is a difference, and even if he wasn't falsifying his stories to any extent, I wouldn't put him in the same league. But I enjoy his "stories" and I look forward to hearing what you think of the new one. I will have to check out Leven.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby white_rabbit » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:14 pm

boston_jeff wrote:I love Irving, he indeed is a great novelist. Augusten is a memoirist, in my mind there is a difference, and even if he wasn't falsifying his stories to any extent, I wouldn't put him in the same league.


I guess thats where we part, because as long as it pulls me in and keeps me reading the next page, I don't care if it is fact or fiction. I have a propensity to be biased towards biographical stories, but if the story pulls me in and happens to be fiction I'm not going to be agitated towards the author.

PS, it might be a few weeks before I report on "Wolves" because I have Chelsea Chandler and David Sadaris in the book pile lined up before I get to the next Augusten book.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby lolagirl » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:30 am

Velvet Coffin wrote:Nerd alert:

TDPF book club?

Meet twice a month in a bar to commiserate over our inability to get through Infinite Jest or Gravity's Rainbow? Or in a coffee shop so we're forced by observation and group shaming to get through a couple more pages? Either way, we throw things at whomever's actually making progress.


I like this idea. Let's take it further - start a book club that meets once a month. Choose a book NOT to read. Get together and discuss all the reasons why it wasn't read. A guilt-free book club. I'd join in a minute.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby Galoot » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:42 am

Of course, this book nonreading club should meet at the Malt House. Which night this week? We can also talk about the Xmas gifts we're not buying.

I got about 1/3 of the way through Gravity's Rainbow, back in around 1988, then let the book rot in the back of my pickup truck. This book would be a good one to discuss (not discuss?) at the first book not-reading club meeting.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby Velvet Coffin » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:18 am

lolagirl wrote:
Velvet Coffin wrote:Nerd alert:

TDPF book club?

Meet twice a month in a bar to commiserate over our inability to get through Infinite Jest or Gravity's Rainbow? Or in a coffee shop so we're forced by observation and group shaming to get through a couple more pages? Either way, we throw things at whomever's actually making progress.


I like this idea. Let's take it further - start a book club that meets once a month. Choose a book NOT to read. Get together and discuss all the reasons why it wasn't read. A guilt-free book club. I'd join in a minute.


CORRECT. Gravity's Rainbow will lie before us, limp and defanged outside of its accustomed academic environment. We will not buy it a beer. Darts and blame will be hurled, though; oh yes, we'll castigate that book for all the guilt it's brought us. Do you hear me, Infinite Jest? You paying attention, I Am Charlotte Simmons? We'll see who feels lessened after the Book Club Roast! I'm gonna make those heavy books feel like one-pounders.

(I actually read Ulysses, but I'll come prepared to bury it, not to praise it.)
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby boston_jeff » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:59 am

I tend to prefer fiction, but as you can see I do read a lot of non-fiction/memoirs too. The Chelsea Handler book is pretty funny, I also have the new Sedaris in my pile, looking forward to it.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby blunt » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:07 pm

boston_jeff wrote:I tend to prefer fiction, but as you can see I do read a lot of non-fiction/memoirs too. The Chelsea Handler book is pretty funny, I also have the new Sedaris in my pile, looking forward to it.


My Horizontal LIfe and Hello Vodka? are keepers.
If you like Chelsae and David, please, check out Bill
Bryson's Thunderbolt Kid.
Seriously.
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Re: STUFF I SHOULD READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T

Postby blunt » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:09 pm

Galoot wrote:Of course, this book nonreading club should meet at the Malt House. Which night this week? We can also talk about the Xmas gifts we're not buying.

I got about 1/3 of the way through Gravity's Rainbow, back in around 1988, then let the book rot in the back of my pickup truck. This book would be a good one to discuss (not discuss?) at the first book not-reading club meeting.


Omigod!
The Malt House is the best bar I've never been to!
And Gravity's Rainbow is my favorite book not to read!
Cool!
I spend most of my time not doing great stuff!
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