Sign in to follow this  
misswonderly3

Somewhat Off-Topic: What have you been reading lately?

514 posts in this topic

I am sorry to say this is a current picture of all of our books from the shelves in the living room and front hallway:

8DmSK2n.jpg

We had scheduled to move in February and began packing accordingly. A problem with the house which we meant to buy pushed the date into March. It was during that delay that we both fell victim to greed and retreated from 'retired' status to 'will work if you pay us much more' situation. We are very much living out of boxes but we do not wish to unpack as we continue to look for a suitable house as work allows.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Books that are buried in boxes have pages that are hard to gaze upon.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2019 at 3:24 PM, SansFin said:

I am sorry to say this is a current picture of all of our books from the shelves in the living room and front hallway:

8DmSK2n.jpg

We had scheduled to move in February and began packing accordingly. A problem with the house which we meant to buy pushed the date into March. It was during that delay that we both fell victim to greed and retreated from 'retired' status to 'will work if you pay us much more' situation. We are very much living out of boxes but we do not wish to unpack as we continue to look for a suitable house as work allows.

This raises a question we are facing.  What do you do with books that you do not wish to keep?  Do not wish to use the book swapping businesses, but prefer not to sent them to a landfill or recycling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, TheCid said:

This raises a question we are facing.  What do you do with books that you do not wish to keep?  Do not wish to use the book swapping businesses, but prefer not to sent them to a landfill or recycling.

Donate them to local charities, libraries, hospitals, retirement homes, etc. I give most of my books and movies that I don't want to a Hospice group that either stocks them at the facility for use by patients and their families, or sells them at a second-hand store to help fund the hospice.

Most of these donations can be tax deductible, as well.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished Red War by Vince Flynn.  Oops, he died in 2013. Actually it is by Kyle Mills, but that is in small print on the cover.  Didn't realize that until I already had it home. Gave it a try.  He is no Vince Flynn.

I finished it, but it really goes way into too much detail.  One two person fight scene took a page and a half if not more for example.

I tend not to purchase books where the famous author "partners" with someone else or the famous author is actually deceased and new person just using the name to sell the books.  The ones I have tried have been very mediocre at best.

Only exception was when Vincent Lardo took over the McNally series for Lawrence Sanders when he died.  Lardo was spot on in the books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit off topic to this thread but the literary critic Harold Bloom died today. He's famous for defending the traditional canon of western literature (Kafka, Cervantes, Freud, Kant, etc.) I've read his famous book on the western canon and recommend it.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2019/10/14/harold-bloom-critic-and-author-anxiety-influence-dies-89/3980044002/

Harold Bloom, author of 'Anxiety of Influence,' dies at 89

NEW YORK — Harold Bloom, the eminent critic and Yale professor whose seminal "The Anxiety of Influence" and melancholy regard for literature's old masters made him a popular author and standard-bearer of Western civilization amid modern trends, died Monday at age 89.

Bloom's wife, Jeanne, said that he had been failing health, although he continued to write books and was teaching as recently as last week. Yale says Bloom died at a New Haven, Connecticut, hospital.

Bloom wrote more than 20 books and prided himself on making scholarly topics accessible to the general reader. Although he frequently bemoaned the decline of literary standards, he was as well placed as a contemporary critic could hope to be.

He appeared on best-seller lists with such works as "The Western Canon" and "The Book of J," was a guest on "Good Morning America" and other programs and was a National Book Award finalist and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A readers' poll commissioned by the Modern Library ranked "The Western Canon" at No. 58 on a list of the 20th century's best nonfiction English-language books.

His greatest legacy could well outlive his own name: the title of his breakthrough book, "The Anxiety of Influence." Bloom argued that creativity was not a grateful bow to the past, but a Freudian wrestle in which artists denied and distorted their literary ancestors while producing work that revealed an unmistakable debt.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/14/2019 at 1:52 AM, laffite said:

Books that are buried in boxes have pages that are hard to gaze upon.

That reads as if it should be preceded by: "Confucius say . . ." 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/14/2019 at 3:06 PM, TheCid said:

This raises a question we are facing.  What do you do with books that you do not wish to keep?  Do not wish to use the book swapping businesses, but prefer not to sent them to a landfill or recycling.

A thrift shop here will take all but encyclopedias and: 'Reader's Digest Condensed Books'. They rotate their stock frequently with other thrift shops operated by their group. They say that any which do not sell within a year are then sent to missions in other countries for benefit of reading time and those who are learning to read English.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, SansFin said:

That reads as if it should be preceded by: "Confucius say . . ." 

Now that you mention it, he probably thought of it first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harold Bloom, the sad-eye professor of pomposity has died. Oh no, how will we ever be

able to understand texts without the near divine guidance of the Martha Stewart of literature.

  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Harold Bloom, the sad-eye professor of pomposity has died. Oh no, how will we ever be

able to understand texts without the near divine guidance of the Martha Stewart of literature.

Come on, V. He just died yesterday. I thought this interview of his is pretty good.

He defended literature from the School of Resentment and people who interjected politics from both sides. Who will defend the Western Canon now? I don't think there is a literary scholar like him around today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Harold Bloom, the sad-eye professor of pomposity has died. Oh no, how will we ever be

able to understand texts without the near divine guidance of the Martha Stewart of literature.

Merely pompous? Methinks he must be on a higher plane than that. No? If I knew anything about this I might think that Jordan Peterson is more like to be referred to in these terms. Bloom seems bona fide brilliant, at least after reading the NYT obit. Mere pomposity does not command a $1.2 million dollar book advance.

Since I wish to be nasty, I really latched on to John Updike's characterization of Harold Bloom's prose as "torturous." Oh God, that's the perfect word for Henry James. Oh, thank you, John ; I knew you were good for something.

//

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As of a week ago, it has been a decade since I've read a work of fiction. I remember the date due to other life events that coincided with the last novel I read. It's been nothing but non-fiction since then.

I feel like I should be sadder about that than I am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

As of a week ago, it has been a decade since I've read a work of fiction. I remember the date due to other life events that coincided with the last novel I read. It's been nothing but non-fiction since then.

I feel like I should be sadder about that than I am.

I don't think that's so bad. I can plow through non-fiction books, but it takes me longer to get through fiction.  I don't know why it is.  The last fiction book I read was The Picture of Dorian Gray (I can never remember if it's "portrait" or "picture." I guess that shows how much I was paying attention). That book was torture.  The 1945 movie with Angela Lansbury was way better.

I don't know if I want to admit this, but meh, who cares, I'm not ashamed.  Right now, I'm reading sTORI Telling, Tori Spelling's autobiography.  I am really only reading it because I wanted some '90210' gossip. Lol.  I am actually surprised by how much I'm enjoying her book.  Learning about what it's like to grow up with a father worth hundreds of millions of dollars is very interesting. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

As of a week ago, it has been a decade since I've read a work of fiction.

We'll let you off the hook. But if you ever go that long without seeing a movie, you're in trouble.

BTW, is your current avatar that Denmarkian "gangster looking" actor I so lately named?:D

//

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, laffite said:

We'll let you off the hook. But if you ever go that long without seeing a movie, you're in trouble.

BTW, is your current avatar that Denmarkian "gangster looking" actor I so lately named?:D

//

Yes, it is Mads Mikkelsen. I was switching the avatars around to feature my favorite foreign-film actors of the decade, while I was watching films from said decade. So, 90's = Takeshi Kitano, 00's = Choi Min-sik, and 10's = Mads Mikkelsen. 

I finished up all of my discs Monday, though, so I should change it again, although I plan on watching several more from 2017-2019 via streaming in the next week. I haven't decided where to go next with the avatar. Maybe my favorite key grips from the classic film era. Or maybe Best Boys through the ages. Or maybe multiple Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominees who never won.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

Come on, V. He just died yesterday. I thought this interview of his is pretty good.

He defended literature from the School of Resentment and people who interjected politics from both sides. Who will defend the Western Canon now? I don't think there is a literary scholar like him around today.

He defended his view of literature from people with different views of literature. It's not like Bloom

owns Western literature. I don't think the Western Canon is in any need of defense. People will

still be reading it on their own or as part of an educational curriculum no matter what. I think

the idea of a canon is somewhat unusual because it consists of literature that is far apart in

geography, time, and content. There's nothing wrong in bundling these works altogether as

the Western canon, but I read books primarily as individual works not as one part of a canon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay...

So when my basement flooded a few years ago, I lost my space where I stored all my DVDs.  The basement hasn't been put back together yet.  I had to store my DVDs in front of my books.  I moved the DVDs and took a photo of the books on mine and my husband's bookshelf. 

IMG-0280.jpg

IMG-0281.jpg

IMG-0282.jpg

IMG-0283.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Lucy book and doll collection.  And the plate I found at an antique store. I don't have my dolls displayed right now, because I'm not sure where to put them where the bird won't damage them.  I hadn't seen them for awhile, I forgot which ones I had! I thought I had the Lucy and Ethel Chocolate Factory set.  Apparently I just thought about getting that set, because I do not have it. 

IMG-0289.jpgIMG-0290.jpg (I forgot this book)

IMG-0287.jpg

IMG-0286.jpg

IMG-0285.jpg

IMG-0288.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I think you "stan" Lucille Ball. Just a little bit.

Haha. I do not stalk her however! This collection is 20+ years in the making.

I didn't even include my Lucille Ball DVDs. I think some VHS that I can't even watch anymore might still be hanging around.

I also have two I Love Lucy games, a bunch of pop-up greeting cards, two wine glasses, two boxes of identical I Love Lucy shot glasses, two I Love Lucy coffee mugs, and probably more that I am not even remembering right now...

Oh! And I have a Vitameatavegamin shirt.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, laffite said:

Merely pompous? Methinks he must be on a higher plane than that. No? If I knew anything about this I might think that Jordan Peterson is more like to be referred to in these terms. Bloom seems bona fide brilliant, at least after reading the NYT obit. Mere pomposity does not command a $1.2 million dollar book advance.

Since I wish to be nasty, I really latched on to John Updike's characterization of Harold Bloom's prose as "torturous." Oh God, that's the perfect word for Henry James. Oh, thank you, John ; I knew you were good for something.

//

I guess lucratively pompous at least. Authors get large advances for the belief their book will be very

popular. I don't think being brilliant or not brilliant is much of a factor. Whatever one might think of

Bloom's literary theories and opinions, he was much smarter than Peterson, but then who isn't? 

I read the NYT obit, very informative. The writer hints that Bloom only named one book of Updike's,

The Witches of Eastwick, on his expanded canonical list, as possible payback for Updike's torturous 

comment. Who knows. There were a few things in the NYT's obituary that might come under the

heading of exaggeration if not actual pomposity. Bloom claimed he could read and understand a 400 page

book in one hour. Okayyy. He also had a photographic memory and said he could recite the whole of

Shakespeare and Blake. That would make a great bar bet. I have no doubt that Henry James, torturous

or not, is firmly ensconced in the literary canon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I guess lucratively pompous at least. Authors get large advances for the belief their book will be very

popular. I don't think being brilliant or not brilliant is much of a factor.

I would mildly disagree. He wasn't writing pulp, after all.

50 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Bloom claimed he could read and understand a 400 page

book in one hour. Okayyy. He also had a photographic memory and said he could recite the whole of

Shakespeare and Blake. That would make a great bar bet

Only because it could never be proven. If he exaggerates, then he is no different than most. If that what you mean by pompous, then hooray. What's new? His accomplishments and reputation would eclipse this.

50 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I have no doubt that Henry James, torturous

or not, is firmly ensconced in the literary canon.

That's not taking much of a leap. :P He is taken seriously by many literary academicians and his fame as a writer is assured. No one would deny that. It is interesting, though, that there are some pretty heavy hitters mentioned in James' Wiki page that seem to have rather grave reservations about James. That's no proof and I wouldn't deign to feel vindicated, but it is a pleasure to see it nonetheless and I am not the least surprised by it. I would not be so eloquent as they as to what they mean but I have an intuitive notion what they might mean. There is something wrong with James, a "false note", if you will :D.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, Bloom was not a Jackie Collins, but advances are all about the hoped for popularity of the book. If it's brilliant and sells, so much the better. If it's not brilliants and sells, that's okay too. Just as long as it sells.

It just seems rather silly for an often very serious man like Bloom to make such claims when they serve no purpose. Reciting the whole of William Blake. Why even bother to make such a ridiculous claim, unless it was meant as a joke, which it doesn't seem to be. Oh well.

Well, most of the writers mentioned in the Western Cannon, at least in the short list, are pretty much the usual suspects that most literary folks would likely mention. No writer is universally liked or within some flaws, including James. IIRC, Voltaire did not have a very high opinion of Shakespeare. I don't see a "false note" in James, at least no more so than in other writers. I will say that his detailed and acute psychological examinations aren't everyone's cup of tea and besides literary judgments are mostly subjective anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us