What are you reading these days?

One of my favorites!

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Like many in this thread are or have, I’m reading The Brothers Karamazov. I have enjoyed it and found it compelling to read. I’m finding its really long paragraphs of direct speech pull you along, and immediately after time with it I find the short sentences of modern style pretty interruptive.

Something unexpected I get from it is – before I read this, the only place I ever saw the insult ‘blockhead’ was in Peanuts. Where it’s used a lot. I wonder if Charles Schulz got the idea from here? He has a lot of jokes about Russian novelists and kids being lumbered with enormous Russian novels to read over summer break, etc. Googling only says that he found words that start with a B to be funnier than average.

-Wade

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I’ve been reading an as-told-to memoir: Code Talker by Chester Nez. I have only a superficial knowledge of World War II and don’t know much about the Navajo people, so it’s educational. I like getting things from his point of view. It’s a fascinating read.

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I just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. wow! I’m impressed! I’m even more impressed that there’s a stage play of it and the overall review is that it’s great and something you should see!

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The play is awesome. The light effects were really clever in the version I saw, and everything fit. Everybody should see it.

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Today I started with Diaspora by Greg Egan.

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I’d actually finished the novel a few days ago, but since I polished off the final essay based on it tonight, I thought I’d share that I’ve wrapped up reading Time’s Arrow: or The Nature of the Offence by Martin Amis.

I’m quite pleased with the finished assignment. The prompt I chose (from a list of many) was to determine the major themes of Frankenstein, and describe how they resonate with Time’s Arrow. The other options didn’t really appeal to me- mostly dealing with the structural timeline of the narrative told in reverse (and how it impacts our perception of culpability within the novel). I am, after all, a Gothic girlie at heart, so I was quite thrilled to see an option to write about Frankenstein on the list.

I wound up writing from a feminist perspective on the use of sex and surgery as dual explorations of what bodily transgressions are permissible, and on patriarchal subjugation and covetousness of the female body. Had a great time writing it. Really interesting thoughts to mull over while nibbling on watermelon candy and sipping black coffee- I might just have to make a IF work based on some of them…

Anyways, the novel’s not really something I’d recommend for light reading, but it has some really gorgeous turns of phrase that I’ll probably think about ambiently for awhile. I probably would not revisit it, or read it of my own accord for pleasure, but I don’t necessarily feel like the time I spent with it was wasted, either. The priest was an interesting character. (I usually find priests to be interesting characters, regardless of how interesting they might be.)

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I’m a little more than halfway through Gideon the Ninth, following a strong rec by my best friend

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I’ve been reading Apothecary Diaries manga.

I haven’t seen the anime series yet, but reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

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Added Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente to my daily reading. It’s novella size book and goes nicely with Diaspora.

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I recently dropped Coração, Cabeça e Estômago (it translated to something like Heart, Head and Stomach, but I couldn’t find if there’s an English version out there) by Camilo Castelo Branco. I wouldn’t say the book is all that bad, it just didn’t fit my taste.

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OH This one is sooo good!

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A few days ago I started A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark TwineTwain. It’s actually the first time I’ve gotten a full book of his, rather than reading excerpts or watching an adaptation. It’s pretty funny so far…
I’m not sure if the author is making fun of just Europeans (esp the British), but also the Americans as well in it…

Edit: I need to stop opening Twine…

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My aunt gave me David Grann’s new book, The Wager, and insisted I drop everything and read it now (Grann wrote Killers of the Flower Moon, for those of you wondering where you’ve heard that name). Just finished it.

And The Wager is a ripping yarn, a nonfiction account of an 18th century British sea expedition gone horribly wrong. Like, as wrong as it can go. I’m actually amazed at how much the Brits accomplished in world domination, given how dreadfully bad their decision-making processes were about naval missions. Like (spoilers for the book), if your ships are all rotting, half your sailors are dying of typhus, you have to use press gangs to force people into naval service and everybody is deserting like crazy (even the press gangs), and you haven’t even left London yet, maybe you should rethink your attitude that you’re going to whip Spain.

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Mark Twine would slap as the title of a Mark Twain inspired Twine game. Just saying.

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:100:
I haven’t read enough of Twain to do something about it :joy:
ISGT I almost did the same mistake again…

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Ever since COVID-19 ruined my reading schedule, I’ve been trying to get back into reading by starting a new newsletter on Japanese literature and maybe some other stuff that could be fun to write about:

I read a book titled Gurenkan no Satsujin, which features a burning mansion. I love burning mansions.

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Just started with The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon.

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Still been reflecting on finishing a re-read of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. It’s a striking book. I was thinking of following it up with Beloved.

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Since September I’ve gotten 38% of the way through Moby Dick according to my e-reader and posted thoughts here.

Something unexpected I get from it is – before I read this, the only place I ever saw the insult ‘blockhead’ was in Peanuts. Where it’s used a lot. I wonder if Charles Schulz got the idea from here?

@severedhand Is it maybe a weird translation thing? What was the Russian word?

I remember someone commenting somewhere else a long time ago on something similar. They observed that Dostoevsky novels always say someone “flew at” someone else.

I don’t know whether that was a translation thing. It was a popular idiom at one time, I guess, but I don’t know whether it was Dostoevsky that used the Russian equivalent, or whether the translators turned a bunch of different Russian verbs into the same English idiom over and over.

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