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Pulp Stories of Raymond Chandler. Vol. 1 Library of America Edition.

Great bedtime reading ;)

Matthew, I've got both of those LOAs but haven't read all of the pulp stories yet. Last summer I read THE LITTLE SISTER & THE LONG GOODBYE back-to-back... will definitely re-read THE LONG GOODBYE. I could stand to re-read the earlier ones, too. Library of America also put out two anthologies of crime novels covering the 30's/40's and the 50's, which included some great ones like Kenneth Fearing's THE BIG CLOCK, Chester Himes' THE REAL COOL KILLERS, and William Gresham's NIGHTMARE ALLEY. Are you a fan of either Hammett or James Cain?

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Nielsen and Chuang - Quantum Computation and Information Theory - what computers of the future might look like and what they might be capable of.

Datta - Electronic Transport in Mesoscopic Systems - How to model the response characteristics of nanoelectronic circuit components. Anyone want to talk nanotech??

Supersymmetry in Disordered Systems - First there was math, then new math, now we're talking about "supermathematics".

I wish I had time for novels, but with all the pressure from school I barely have time to read the boards.

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Reading "1984" for the first time. With all the references to the "Orwellian" society I've read on the board, I decided to buy the book and see what it's all about. I'm about 1/3 through the book, and it's been very interesting thus far. The mind control aspect of the book is probably the most interesting part for me. There are many parallels between the tactics used by Big Brother and the religion in which I was raised.

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Nielsen and Chuang - Quantum Computation and Information Theory - what computers of the future might look like and what they might be capable of.

Datta - Electronic Transport in Mesoscopic Systems - How to model the response characteristics of nanoelectronic circuit components. Anyone want to talk nanotech??

Supersymmetry in Disordered Systems - First there was math, then new math, now we're talking about "supermathematics".

I wish I had time for novels, but with all the pressure from school I barely have time to read the boards.

I'm impressed! What are you studying?

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I'm writing my PhD in mathematical physics on new connections between classical and quantum systems, with some view towards applications to next-generation nanoelectronics. Basic things like Ohm's Law (I=V/R) break down at the size scales that we will be manufacturing circuit components on within the next ten years or so, so one needs to understand the quantum mechanics of classically chaotic systems in order to properly design such devices. As horrible as this all may sound to many people, I actually find it lots of fun! It's as if my job is to solve puzzles all day.

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Outside of "The Maltese Falcon" I'm not a fan of Hemmett's writing, for some reason it just leaves me flat. Love Cain though, has a great sense of humor. I was deep into detective novels a couple of years ago, and I'm just starting to get the bug again. I think I'll buy the LOA anthology sometime soon.

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I am currently reading Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles (University of California Press, 1998), edited by Clora Bryant, Buddy Collette, William Green, Steven Isoardi, Jack Kelson, Horace Tapscott, Gerald Wilson, and Marl Young. It is comprised largely of the autobiographical narratives of several important Los Angeles musicians who were active in the once-vibrant music scene that was on L.A.'s Central Avenue from the 1930s till the '50s. These narratives - collected, transcribed, and compiled by U.C.L.A.'s Oral History Program - offer a lot of insights and anecdotes that illuminate a seminal, though too-often forgotten or neglected, period in Los Angeles cultural history, and is deepening my appreciation of Los Angeles's key role in the development of jazz. It's also reawakened a sense of pride and connection for me with the city where I was born and raised.

The list of contributors is impressive and includes Marshal Royal, Britt Woodman, Buddy Collette, "Big Jay" McNeely, Melba Liston, Art Farmer, Horace Tapscott, Gerald Wilson, and several others. They give a real feeling what it was like working, living, and often coming of age in L.A. during those times. They share intimate reminiscences of familiar figures, such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker,Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy, and many others, as well as many now less-known, though no less important, people, personalities, and institutions that played vital roles in the development of the music.

Central Avenue Sounds is a wonderful book that I enthusiastically recommend.

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Currently reading: Red Had 8 Linux Bible (trying desperately to finish my senior thesis)

Of the sizable backlog I have accrued from visiting used bookstores in boston, I think first up come May (when I get to kiss the thesis goodbye) is Thomas Pynchon's V I read The Crying of Lot 49 and loved it. Go postmodernism.

Cheers,

Tom

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Currently reading Dickens' GREAT EXPECTATIONS for the first time. (Don't know what took me so long to get to it, but as I get older I'm learning that there's a right time for everything.) I'm a slow reader and am savoring every page.

For in between times, I'm reading 52 McG.s, a collection of obituaries written for the New York Times by Robert McG. Thomas Jr. As Thomas Mallon's forward notes, Thomas was "a lover of the farfetched and overlooked." Among the people whose lives and passings he honored were Toots Barger, 13 time world duckpin champion (I had never heard of duckpins until I read her obit.) and John Fulton, Spain's first U.S. matador.

From 52 McG.s:

"Anton Rosenberg, a storied sometime artist and occasional musician who embodied the Greenwich Village hipster ideal of 1950's cool to such a laid back degree and with such determined detachment that he never amounted to much of anything, died on Feb. 14 at a hospital near his Woodstock home."

"The Rev. Louis A. Saunders, who spent a half century as such a quietly dedicated minister, missionary and religious official that he became known chiefly for a single, instinctive act of Christian duty, died on April 5 at his home in suburban Dallas. He was 88 and the man who gave Lee Harvey Oswald a Christian burial."

Robert McG. Thomas Jr. knew how to write a lead.

Highly recommended.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Edmund S. Morgan, "Benjamin Franklin"--it's a very well written short biography that tends to focus on his political activities. Indispensable for me to get a picture of the man who contributed a hell of a lot to my (newly-adopted) city and the world...it's got me curious about the "scholarly" treatments. Does anyone have any recommendations for a "definitive" Benjamin Franklin bio?

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UNIX for Mac OS X :blink:

UNIX isn't the most intuitive OS in the world, but it's great once you get the hang of it. It's especially great if you want to do programming or scripting. I've really warmed up to the Mac implementation. I hardly use my Sun workstation at all anymore.

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I actually built myself a PC recently and have been using Windows for the first time in years. My old PowerBook would choke on OS X, so I gave up.

I plan on installing FreeBSD or Linux on a separate partition and jumping back into the UNIX fold again. ;)

Edited by Jim Dye
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I feel a bit like Hardbop on the old board here, following myself on the now-reading thread, but I just finished Flannery O'Connor's novel THE VIOLENT BEAR IT AWAY and wanted to recommend it to anybody who enjoys her short stories. A very familiar O'Connor motif at work here--the adolescent protagonist with a dark side who truly believes in God at odds with an "enlightened" adult intellectual who preaches a doctrine of rationalism. (If you've ever read her story "The Lame Shall Enter First," you might find the novel very similar, right down to the inclusion of a holy-goof child character.) O' Connor is a powerful and sharply observant writer, whether one agrees or not with her rather brimstone-ish view of religion.

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Just finished reading Lewis Porter's short, but extremely informative and enlightening book, LESTER YOUNG. As many of you probably know, there are transcriptions of Pres' solos (both complete and snippets of smaller motifs, phrases, etc) that really add to an understanding of his utter genius. The main theme consists of showing how Young's music changed, not necessarily declined. There's a short biography at the start, but the main focus of the book is on the music itself. I learned a lot about Pres' playing and how he constructs solos, which I probably never would have, without reading this book. Now time to get more of his recordings!

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GOM, was that "Confessions of Zeno"? If so, one of my favorite novels, one I can read ever decade and get something else out of it because of my life experience. One of the great works of literature that has a little bit of everything in it and is stone cold funny while being deep.

I'm currently reading Caetano Velloso's "Tropical Truth," after finishing "Jazz on the Barbary Coast" and "The Hours."

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GOM, was that "Confessions of Zeno"? If so, one of my favorite novels, one I can read ever decade and get something else out of it because of my life experience. One of the great works of literature that has a little bit of everything in it and is stone cold funny while being deep.

Yep, one & the same (the new Everyman translation changes the title). I still haven't started it--read MISS LONELYHEARTS first and then got sidetracked with Horace McCoy's KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE--but it's now about to step up to bat in my literary reading game. I can definitely empathize with any book about a guy who continuously vows to quit smoking and then fails; it took me a long, long time to succeed. You know the old Mark Twain joke--"It's easy to quit smoking--I've done it hundreds of times."

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Yes, that is a great vehicle he uses in the book. I love this book, it really resonates with me somehow about life, and I find it so amazing how he uses humor to illuminate truths of human life in this book. I'm sure you are going to enjoy it a lot.

It's going to be a lot different than the Horace McCoy I bet (I haven't read that one.)

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