ghost of miles

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Found a 'new to me' SF author; John Scalzi. I've read Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades so far and have been impressed. More is on the way...

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A strange novel, cast in realistic mode, but having near-fantastic elements. The Heat of the Day and The Death of the Heart remain my favorite Bowens.

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This morning I finished Bill Crow's Jazz Anecdotes: Second Time Around.

I read the original edition when it was first out many years ago. This has a few new stories, but not many.

I noticed that, unlike the first edition, this one did not doubt the sincerity of the blacks who became Muslims in the '40s.

The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps: The Best Crime Stories From The Pulps During Their Golden Age -- The 20s, The 30s,& 40s. Slowly making my way through this very enjoyable collection. I've become addicted to pulp fictions lately.

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Matthew, if you like that one, you will probably like another of Otto Penzler's books, The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories. I recommend it!

Thanks for the tip, I oredered it yesterday.

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Jean Toomer - Cane [Norton Critical edition]

thanks to Marion Brown via Leeway

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Jean Toomer - Cane [Norton Critical edition]

thanks to Marion Brown via Leeway

I hope you found it of interest. At least is indicates what was in Marion's mind at time of recording.

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Jean Toomer - Cane [Norton Critical edition]

thanks to Marion Brown via Leeway

I hope you found it of interest. At least is indicates what was in Marion's mind at time of recording.

I did indeed. The Brown connection made perfect sense. It was a stimulating and in parts somewhat challenging read but time well spent. I can imagine I'll revisit it

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I've just started Elizabeth Jane Howard's Falling, which is inspired by the true story of how a con man worked his way into her affections and nearly married her (apparently just to get his hands on her house/money). The book alternates chapters between Henry (the con man, told in first person perspective) and Daisy (his victim, told in third person perspective). While it is interesting and fairly dark, my feeling about 20% in is that it is just too long. It would have been better served by cutting a lot of the flashbacks and making it a leaner book.

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0395590728.jpg

Belinda Rathbone: Walker Evans - A Biography

I was trying to find out if Belinda was related to Basil (apparently not), when I came across Belinda's previous book, which covers the period when she was writing the Walker Evans biography:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/23/garden/23guynd.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Sounds amusing; the Laird sounds a bit still enamored of his ex-wife. What did you think of the Evans book?

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0395590728.jpg

Belinda Rathbone: Walker Evans - A Biography

I was trying to find out if Belinda was related to Basil (apparently not), when I came across Belinda's previous book, which covers the period when she was writing the Walker Evans biography:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/23/garden/23guynd.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Sounds amusing; the Laird sounds a bit still enamored of his ex-wife. What did you think of the Evans book?

Rathbone's Evans bio reads well and provides a lot of information on the photographer's life. I'm going to read James Mellows'

Evans biography soon. It was written with the cooperation of the Evans estate - Rathbone didn't have all of the access that Mellow did - although Mellow died of a heart attack before the book was completed. So, in essence, it's 2/3rds of a biography.

Between the two biographies, I will probably know more than I want to about Walker Evans' life. I'm not much of a fan of artist biographies, but I made an exception here simply because Evans' photographs speak so strongly to me.

Edited by paul secor

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Catton: Luminaries

Long, but worth it so far.

Not an airplane read. :w:tophat:

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Finaly decided to read something from one of our (the Netherlands) most famous writers:

Louis Couperus - De stille kracht (The hidden force)

vdi9789025301064.jpg

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Jean Toomer - Cane [Norton Critical edition]

thanks to Marion Brown via Leeway

I hope you found it of interest. At least is indicates what was in Marion's mind at time of recording.

I did indeed. The Brown connection made perfect sense. It was a stimulating and in parts somewhat challenging read but time well spent. I can imagine I'll revisit it

Wasn't Andrew Hill's "Dusk" based on "Cane" also?

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Jean Toomer - Cane [Norton Critical edition]

thanks to Marion Brown via Leeway

I hope you found it of interest. At least is indicates what was in Marion's mind at time of recording.

I did indeed. The Brown connection made perfect sense. It was a stimulating and in parts somewhat challenging read but time well spent. I can imagine I'll revisit it

Wasn't Andrew Hill's "Dusk" based on "Cane" also?

According to the liner notes to the CD, the title tune was inspired by "Cane." Nice catch Matthew. Need to give that disk a spin, it's been a while.

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Jean Toomer - Cane [Norton Critical edition]

thanks to Marion Brown via Leeway

I hope you found it of interest. At least is indicates what was in Marion's mind at time of recording.

I did indeed. The Brown connection made perfect sense. It was a stimulating and in parts somewhat challenging read but time well spent. I can imagine I'll revisit it

Wasn't Andrew Hill's "Dusk" based on "Cane" also?

According to the liner notes to the CD, the title tune was inspired by "Cane." Nice catch Matthew. Need to give that disk a spin, it's been a while.

I feel a potential new thread coming on - music inspired by literature

Thanks Matthew

and so do I need to listen to Dusk again now.

Edited by mjazzg

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I've just started Elizabeth Jane Howard's Falling, which is inspired by the true story of how a con man worked his way into her affections and nearly married her (apparently just to get his hands on her house/money). The book alternates chapters between Henry (the con man, told in first person perspective) and Daisy (his victim, told in third person perspective). While it is interesting and fairly dark, my feeling about 20% in is that it is just too long. It would have been better served by cutting a lot of the flashbacks and making it a leaner book.

I'm not enjoying Falling, but I have only about 100 pages left, so I think I'll plow through. It is curious that the author thought this her best book. I suspect she means it was the one that she was the most emotionally involved with and that felt the most urgent or "true" or something. (Though sometimes authors are not the best judge of their own work...)

Anyway, I will say it makes me a lot less interested the Cazalet books, though maybe I will give the first one a chance down the line. A similar thing happened to me with Hillary Mantel's Beyond Black, which I really didn't like. It has kept me from reading Wolf Hall, though it is written in a different style and set in a completely different period.

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Just came across this article which suggests that by reading people like Iris Murdoch, we're swimming strongly against the tide of today's literary trends. Hooray! It also mentions the continuing popularity of Barbara Pym. Now there's a good novelist! Have you tried her, Leeway?

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/10/literary-reputations-zero-hero-dj-taylor

If you really want to swim against the tide, try Molly Keane or better yet Barbara Comyns. The latter has one of the most unique literary voices I've ever come across. I wouldn't want to befriend any of her feckless characters, but the writing is generally quite compelling, and as I think I mentioned before both Keane and Comyns get to the point. Very few of their novels crack the 250 page mark.

That said, I like Barbara Pym quite a bit, when I am in the right mood. I read all her novels in my 20s and recently picked up a box set of them to give them another go, ideally starting next year. I do, perversely, like An Academic Question the best, which most aficionados consider her worst!

I am nearly done with Proust's The Fugitive, then will read Elizabeth Jane Howard's Falling, then Keane's Treasure Hunt and finally Comyns' The House of Dolls (I believe this is her final novel).

Didn't see BillF's comment when it was first posted, so I'll respond to that first. I haven't read any Pym, but my wife has read quite a bit of her and has plenty of titles on her bookshelf, so I should be able to dip into her work. Bayley and A.N Wilson were big fans of Pym. Wilson tells some amusing tales about Pym, and Pym-Iris-Bayley. RE: the linked article, I'm not surprised that Iris' stock has fallen. Bayley's books have done her reputation a lot of harm by turning her image from a serious writer into a crazy old lady in a diaper. Plus she probably wrote too much, but there is a core of work that I think will stay the course.

EJP626, I've not come across Keane or Comyns, really new to me, so I will have to take note of them. Feckless characters sound good to me. Iris has quite a bunch in her work as well. I think what sets Iris apart is the philosophical dimension in her work; for better or worse, sometimes more or less successfully, Iris strives to work serious philosophical concepts or issues into her work. A Platonic novelist ,or maybe sometimes just Plato-Lite. Her formula: plenty of sex and higher thoughts. Maybe based on her own life. Seemed to work in life and art.

Scottish, not Irish, but I like Muriel Spark quite a bit too. Just wanted to get a mention in of her.

Great minds think alike! A return to her is next on my list.

Just finished The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. A little masterpiece! I'm sure it will be just the first of several Sparks on my reading list.

Edited by BillF

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Just came across this article which suggests that by reading people like Iris Murdoch, we're swimming strongly against the tide of today's literary trends. Hooray! It also mentions the continuing popularity of Barbara Pym. Now there's a good novelist! Have you tried her, Leeway?

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/10/literary-reputations-zero-hero-dj-taylor

If you really want to swim against the tide, try Molly Keane or better yet Barbara Comyns. The latter has one of the most unique literary voices I've ever come across. I wouldn't want to befriend any of her feckless characters, but the writing is generally quite compelling, and as I think I mentioned before both Keane and Comyns get to the point. Very few of their novels crack the 250 page mark.

That said, I like Barbara Pym quite a bit, when I am in the right mood. I read all her novels in my 20s and recently picked up a box set of them to give them another go, ideally starting next year. I do, perversely, like An Academic Question the best, which most aficionados consider her worst!

I am nearly done with Proust's The Fugitive, then will read Elizabeth Jane Howard's Falling, then Keane's Treasure Hunt and finally Comyns' The House of Dolls (I believe this is her final novel).

Didn't see BillF's comment when it was first posted, so I'll respond to that first. I haven't read any Pym, but my wife has read quite a bit of her and has plenty of titles on her bookshelf, so I should be able to dip into her work. Bayley and A.N Wilson were big fans of Pym. Wilson tells some amusing tales about Pym, and Pym-Iris-Bayley. RE: the linked article, I'm not surprised that Iris' stock has fallen. Bayley's books have done her reputation a lot of harm by turning her image from a serious writer into a crazy old lady in a diaper. Plus she probably wrote too much, but there is a core of work that I think will stay the course.

EJP626, I've not come across Keane or Comyns, really new to me, so I will have to take note of them. Feckless characters sound good to me. Iris has quite a bunch in her work as well. I think what sets Iris apart is the philosophical dimension in her work; for better or worse, sometimes more or less successfully, Iris strives to work serious philosophical concepts or issues into her work. A Platonic novelist ,or maybe sometimes just Plato-Lite. Her formula: plenty of sex and higher thoughts. Maybe based on her own life. Seemed to work in life and art.

Scottish, not Irish, but I like Muriel Spark quite a bit too. Just wanted to get a mention in of her.

Great minds think alike! A return to her is next on my list.

Just finished The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. A little masterpiece! I'm sure it will be just the first of several Sparks on my reading list.

Yes, that is a good one!

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It's a vacation week, so I managed to read a couple of books from the 'new' shelf, John Scalzi's Redshirts and John Varley's Rolling Thunder. Redshirts wasn't bad, but it wasn't up to the level of Scalzi's Old Man's War or its sequels. The fact that it won the Hugo says more about the Hugo than it does about the book. As for Rolling Thunder, only my respect for John Varley got me through the thing. It's bad.

These books have something in common: they read like they're designed to appeal to The Fan rather than The Reader, if you get my drift.

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Just finishing the Churchill bio I started a few weeks back and then got sidetracked from.

Also this:

18712884.jpg

Like her earlier 'Zennor in Darkness', set around St. Ives in Cornwall. Whereas the latter was in the heart of the war this one takes place in 1920 but with frequent flashbacks to the Western Front. Very impressive.

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Just finishing the Churchill bio I started a few weeks back and then got sidetracked from.

Also this:

18712884.jpg

... Very impressive.

And the Good Housekeeping Stamp of Approval no less... ;)

I am within striking distance of wrapping up Proust (300 more pages). It has been a dreary slog that I should have pulled the plug on months ago. But I was determined to finish it.

Next up in rough order: Molly Keane's Laughter without Tears, Martin Amis's Other People, Iris Murdoch's Under the Net, Hugh MacLennan's Two Solitudes.

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Just finishing the Churchill bio I started a few weeks back and then got sidetracked from.

Also this:

18712884.jpg

... Very impressive.

And the Good Housekeeping Stamp of Approval no less... ;)

There's quite a bit of kitchen activity. They've just warmed a pie.

Edit: Some good gardening tips too.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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1001004005398543.jpg

Haruki Murakami - The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (unabridged Dutch edition)

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Had to come up with a winner after the last two, so I finally pulled The Handmaid's Tale of the shelf, not knowing if it was a guaranteed winner or just overrated. I'm about halfway through, and the chances of it being overrated have disappeared.

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