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Current reading
THE HISTORY OF THE RUNESTAFF Omnibus by Michael Moorcock

Moorcock's gift for imaginative fantasy never fails to impress me.
Originally Posted by ImmortanNick 

Saw Batman v Superman.
Now I know what it's like to see Nickelback in concert.

That's my review.
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Mark Lanegan - Sing Backwards and Weep (a memoir)

I blazed through this in a few days, it was a great read. The stories of the stuff he went through/put himself through are insane. He did drugs with/scored for half the bands in early 90s Seattle.

Hitting the streets and hustling for dope in every city you stop in on tour sounds like way too much work!

My only negative is that it ends in 97/98. Then he's like, "Oh, and then I was in Queens of the Stone Age for a few years." THE END
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Chris Nashawaty - Caddyshack: The Making of A Hollywood Cinderella Story

Picked this up on a whim last weekend and wasn't disappointed. I'm about halfway through the book and they just started talking about Caddyshack. The first half is a fascinating insight into the creation of National Lampoon, SNL, and a little bit of SCTV, and if you ever wondered just how the hell the guy that played "Stork" in Animal House got in the movie, you'll find his whole backstory here and it is insane.

EDIT: And whether by Google magic or some other coincidence, I discovered there was a Netflix movie in 2018 called "A Futile and Stupid Gesture" which was basically the biography of Doug Kenney, who was Stork in Animal House, the co-creator of National Lampoon, and wrote Animal House and Caddyshack. A lot of it is in the book I'm reading--his end is truly depressing for someone so young and talented. And Joel McHale is an INCREDIBLE Chevy Chase. He may not look exactly like him, but his voice and mannerisms are rock solid.
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(12-29-2019, 05:41 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: About two hundred pages into Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson. This strikes me as one of his most accessible novels, despite being a 900 pages hard SciFi novel about the end of the world. I'm only two hundred pages in, and it's as smart and detailed as I'd hoped for, but I am surprised to discover it truly is a brilliant person's take on a Roland Emmerich disaster film, reminding me especially of 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow. I don't mean that as a criticism, as its focus on the harsh realities of the tech involved is fascinating, and based on what I've heard of the book, the apocalypse is more or less just a prologue to the truly bizarre shit to come.

Fun to come back to Stephenson. Will have to keep picking up his back catalogue, although I'll likely have to read something dumb after this as a palate cleanser.

I read this one last month, and I thought it was as good as hard science fiction gets.  Yes, it broke down a little in the last third, but still.  Stephenson made the science accessible, the characters believable, and the dangers palpable.  I've been recommending Seveneves to my friends.
I've seen so many good people in my life that I've almost lost my faith in the wickedness of humankind.

--Will Durant
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Chewed through the Silent Patient. An intriguing little thriller that I did not want to put down with a fun, if manipulative twist ending.

Currently working on a sci fi novel Recursion about people getting memories from other lives they never lived, driving them mad etc. Honestly having trouble hooking into this one. Not a "slow" start, but not really engaged.
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Axiom's End by Lindsay Ellis: I would highly recommend it. It handles how humanity would react to first contact with aliens in a realistic manner. The reason I found it realistic is because it deals with it by making mistakes and engaging in cover ups. Another thing I liked was that most of the characters are already having a rough time before they get caught with dealing with how to communicate with aliens.

 Now that I'm done with Axiom's End, I can finish Men Women and Chainsaws. I was on the last chapter with Ellis's book came out. To be honest, I find it more interesting than enjoyable. While I like horror movies, the author covers some ones that are too disturbing for my tastes. For instance I have no desire to watch I Spit on Your Grave in its entirety. I've seen the second half, which is the revenge portion of the movie.
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is I've lost my way. The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule!
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Just finished Green Hills of Africa. With the exception of The Sun Also Rises, probably the most consistently enjoyable of Hemingway's longer works. While I'm a big fan of Hemingway, I found most of novels after around 1930 to be fairly ponderous at times. Particularly For Whom the Bell Tolls, Death in the Afternoon, and heck, Old Man and the Sea feels twice as long as it is. I think a big part of that is Hemingway's humor, which was dry and often facetious, became a bit too dry and increasingly inscrutable as his career went on. I felt it demanded too much of the reader ... instead of feeling like you were in on a clever joke, you felt like you had to pay an inordinate amount of attention to determine whether there was a joke in there, at all.

Green Hills, thankfully, crackles with that familiar mixture of humor, insight, and strained camaraderie more familiar to The Sun Also Rises and Farewell to Arms. It feels fresh, vital, and despite (or maybe because) it being autobiographical it is surprisingly honest in its depiction of competition between men, what banter that mixes joviality with envious enmity sounds like, and, of course, the sounds and sights associated with a safari in Africa. If you know a bit about Hemingway's life history, the brief but meaningful discussions of places he had lived and causes he was associated with are fascinating.

A few of the most memorable passages are discussed below:

--There is an incredible stream-of-consciousness section that goes on for a few pages describing what I would summarize as the "river of humanity," the notion that one's works, dreams, failures, etc., are just part of an eternal current. It's probably the best depiction I've seen on paper of the "connection" one feels with mankind when on a big time shroom trip. Incredibly memorable, I sat there and re-read it twice.

--There's a scene where Hemingway is just chewing himself up with self-doubt, and reproach, and regrets, and it goes on and on, and someone offers him a beer and the response is "yes" and he just quickly moves on with life. I laughed out loud. How fucking true.

--An amazing passage on writers, writing, and the history of American fiction in the early-going. Some great observations about how "classics" are made, how writers progress through their careers, how fortunate someone has to be to even have an opportunity to write ... great stuff.

--It's a very brief segment, but I don't think Hemingway was ever more honest when he wrote a few paragraphs on how the creation of a piece of art renders the art and artist eternal, while the commerce and economics of an era are, ultimately, completely meaningless to humanity.

--It depicts the innate compulsion amongst men to compete as well as I have ever seen.

There are quite a few safari novels I've enjoyed (Ruark, Capstick), and YMMV may vary in regards to the sections dealing with actual hunting, but I'd say more than half the book concerns reminiscences, conversations, philosophy, etc.

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Finally started on Antkind by Charlie Kaufman. It is a trip so far? The prose comes at you fast, and is thick with jokes and tangents.

Next on the list will be Remain in Love, the new memoir by Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz. Judging by the promo interview, there will be delicious shit-talking of David Byrne and Brian Eno.
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Working my way through the Witcher Series. I really enjoyed the first two, which felt more like collections of short stories. The actual series proper has been a bit more sloggy (where are the monsters?) so I took a break to read Eaters of the Dead. Despite being a Crichton fan I somehow missed this one. Ton of fun and impeccably edited down to the raw bones of the tale.

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(11-19-2020, 08:15 PM)Overlord Wrote: Working my way through the Witcher Series. I really enjoyed the first two, which felt more like collections of short stories.
Maybe it's because they're literally collections of short stories?
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