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ISTHMUS ANNUAL BOOK SECTION NOT ONLY HATES ME BUT SUCKS

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

ISTHMUS ANNUAL BOOK SECTION NOT ONLY HATES ME BUT SUCKS

Postby blunt » Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:39 pm

I asked Leuders if Isthmus would consider myself and a couple others filling in on the annual book review now that Joel is reading online books in the afterlife.
Leuders said NO, there will be no replacement, and they are discontinuing the year end book review because it's boring and they only did it because of Joel.
Leuders is correct about one thing: it's BORING.
But it's back.
Without me. Or you.
WTF?
Of course, I would have done a stellar job, and reviewed an eclectic array----not like this week's half-assed attempt at gathering a few writers and readers togtether no one's heard of or cares about to review a tepid pile of pretentious crap that includes many of literature's biggest goons and over-ranked tedious freaks:
Rick Bass, Ann Patchett, Jim Harrison, Jane Smiley, Alice Munro, and Tim Obrien.

I thought this might be a list of books I would want to find and read, not avoid. But no.
Sigh.
Maybe next year?
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Postby cattyr » Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:57 pm

I am to be LOVING Ann Patchett. Have you read The Magician's Assistant? (And hated it??? I so do not get that.) Jane Smiley is hit-or-miss as far as I'm concerned (Tried The Greenlanders about a million times, but on the other hand I really liked A Thousand Acres.)

Anyway, did you submit a few sample reviews or anything? You probably would be writing in a somewhat different style for the print version, I'm guessing, than your posts here, but without showing them anything how would they know? (I'm thinking they might think your online stuff is a little too...exuberant...? for print.) If you see what I mean.

Please post one here that you might have submitted (if you want), I'd be really interested in your picks and style.
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Postby blunt » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:34 am

cattyr: no, I haven't read the Magician's Assistant.
I will immediately.

And you are right: my print style would be different than my gadfly bluster here.
But tell you what--rather than use this thread for my style samples, I will share with you, one by one, my top ten books of 2006.
I think they are all much more eclectic, interesting, and deserving to be read than almost everything in the Isthmus round-up.

(In no particular order)
#1:
The Devil's Picnic by Taras Grescoe

(The following blurb is not by myself but from Grescoe's website http://www.devilspicnic.ca/aboutbook.php
I am just sharing book recommendations. I will personally pen a few reviews for you a little later.)

Award-winning writer Taras Grescoe admits that he has always been fascinated by the forbidden. Never one to deny his desires, he set out on a global journey, determined to track down the foods and substances that killjoy governments have often bizarrely prohibited. The result is a spread like no other: an aperitif of hjemmebrent, a powerful Norwegian moonshine; a wedge of Ã?poisses, a stinky French cheese that can carry a brain-swelling bacteria; a cup of restorative Bolivian cocaine tea; and a host of legendary and sought-after substances that Grescoe risks health and jail time to dig in to.

Grescoe takes us with him around the world to sample damned food, drink and smoke, along the way serving up a unique and irreverent feast of unsavoury characters and customs. The culmination is a deliciously decadent full-course meal for those brave enough to lay down a blanket, open the basket and partake of the devilâ??s picnic.

Image
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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:04 pm

Holy crap I need to read that book. You've already done a better job than the list you decry.
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Postby blunt » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:15 pm

http://www.lobsterlib.com/feat/davidwallace/index.asp

David Foster Wallace is brilliant, smart, hilarious----even though I still can't make it through Infinite Jest.
This book is gaggle of essays---from attending adult video award ceremonies to teaching Kafka to SNOOTs (Syntax Nudniks of Our Time)((cattyr, nevermore, chuck, etc---you guys will LOVE his hysterically anal take on grammar and grammarians))
Even more interesting about this cerebral collage is that the photo of DFW on the back looks just like the Geico Neandrathal....
Image
But if you want confirmation that Scotty Schwartz (from The Toy and A Christmas Story) really did make a porno flick, and really is an idiot, check it out.
He sticks his tongure on other places.
Image
[/img]
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Postby blunt » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:47 am

Them: Adventures with Extremists
by Jon Ronson

If you enjoy tasting the forbidden via The Devil's Picinic, perhaps you'll enjoy talking to the forbidden, too.
Jon (Jew, true) decides to find out who THEM is and why THEY are persecuting him/us?

Mr. Ronson is the author of the equally cool and brilliantThe Men Who Stare At Goats, the tale of our military psychics and remote viewers who trained themselves to kill goats just by glaring purposively at them.

THEM began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Ronson had got to know some enemies of western democracy - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis Ku Klux Klan - he found that they had one belief in common: that a tiny elite, which meets in secret, determines the course of global events.
(Bilderberger Group, Illuminatis, Madison City Council, etc)
Ronson's quest to locate these secret rulers of the world was both hazardous and hilarious. He was chased by men in dark glasses; he was unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp; he was forced to listen to David Icke expound his theory that the world is controlled by 12-foot lizards; he witnessed international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of Northern California. He also learned some alarming things about the looking-glass world of 'them' and 'us'. Were the extremists right? Or had he become one of THEM?

Image
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Postby blunt » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:20 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/30/books ... yt&emc=rss

You want a brilliant edgy historical novel?
By the guy that wrote Towing Jehovah, about finding God's dead body floating in the ocean?
Here it is.
Inquisition, witches, Native Americans abductions, Newton, etc....
Brilliant.
Wordsmithery.
Every single sentence is breathtaking.
Takes my breath.
READ IT!!!!!!!!
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Postby bbopdaily » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:56 am

I never thought Joel's end of year book review was boring, and it always inspired me to read more, and keep a list myself.
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Postby blunt » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:16 pm

bbopdaily wrote:I never thought Joel's end of year book review was boring, and it always inspired me to read more, and keep a list myself.


Me, too!
Bill Leuders, Ismthus editor is who called Joel
s boring! (But I think it was a figure of speech; he was assuming the public's viewpoint, not his own...)
My poopy-diaper-day petulance was in reference to last year's first post-Joel version.
Leuders told me they weren't going to have a reading lists but they did ---and it was boring and it sucked.
This the title of this thread.........I still say I could come up with a much more varied and vibrant year end reading lis---oh: I already have.
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Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:13 pm

blunt wrote:Even more interesting about this cerebral collage is that the photo of DFW on the back looks just like the Geico Neandrathal....
Image


He also looks a little like country superstar Travis Tritt.
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Postby blunt » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:18 pm

Are you trying to cloud the immediate issue?
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Postby statz » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:09 pm

blunt wrote:Are you trying to cloud the immediate issue?


achy breaky heart?
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Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:30 pm

statz wrote:
blunt wrote:Are you trying to cloud the immediate issue?


achy breaky heart?


Him too.
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Postby blunt » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:09 pm

Let's all go to the Stuff Cloud for Lime Retorts.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:27 pm

blunt wrote:Let's all go to the Stuff Cloud for Lime Retorts.

I've always found them a little bitter, and inferior to the ones you can get on the East Coast anyway.
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