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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: It’s a Wrap!! (122 comments)

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  •  Books I've been up to (13+ / 0-)

    Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils. A successful Welsh pretender returns home, and finds his laurels bittersweet. This won the Booker Prize, and has some savage humor with a big heart behind it. It's probably his second best book. But if you've never read Martin Amis's dad, you should read Lucky Jim. As the linked review says,

    Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954

    Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. A very clever and enjoyable book. Easy to read but hard to deduce.

    J.P. Donleavy, The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms. A brief, bracing and scurrilous tirade of black humor.

    Lord Dunsany, Gods, Men and Ghosts. A collection of his best stories. He has such a rich and colorful imagination, and a winning conversational style. I found many ideas here which later fantasy and SF authors borrowed.

    George Eliot, Daniel Deronda. Impressive. This is Eliot's second most ambitious work. Ground-breaking in its sympathetic and carefully-researched portrayal of Jews and their heritage, and realistic and deep in all its characters. Superbly crafted, except that it feels like two books crammed into one.

    Thomas Frank, Pity the Billionaire. Shows how corrupt and broken our economy is. Very good, but less mind-altering than his epic, What's the Matter With Kansas?

    Michel Houellebecq, The Platform. This is a thoughtful satire, an easy read, and a dirty book all at once. It imagines that sex is the most salable commodity, which is amusing at first, until it becomes grotesque.

    Henry James, The Bostonians. A Southern chauvinist and a Boston feminist fight over the heart of a charismatic ingenue. There's much energy, some sympathy and humor, and a lot of meanness.

    C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism Interesting, easy read. Lewis points out the difficulties and dangers inherent in labeling books good or bad. He then looks from another direction: What makes a good reading of any book, and what makes a bad reading. Says that some readers use a book in search of predictable thrills, while other readers immerse themselves more, and come closer to receiving the entirety of the book that the author actually wrote. Certainly, there are books that invite deep readings, and others designed more for superficial enjoyment.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 05:12:56 PM PST

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