General Reading / Book Thread for 2019


I might have to have a go at V. then! Haven’t read anything else by him. Does it make more sense rereading GR? I kind of got the impression a lot of it was non sequitur stuff, and deliberately so, but with a hint of continuity to sort of trick the mind into searching for a meaningful throughline (although obviously there are some narrative things that persist).



Crying of Lot 49 is one of the EPs, easier to get into but still stone cold classic.



Yeah but doesn’t he kind of acknowledge that a lot in the book too? It’s been about 15 years since I read it though.

And yeah, I too was immediately inspired to write after I finished it.

Main thing I took from it was the fact he lets the characters dictate his story which suddenly made sense of a lot of his books where they’d peter out in the finalé and I accepted that a lot more once I saw this reasoning.



I had to stop Sapiens half way and I’ve never really had the energy to go back to it. It was interesting though. Cheers for the reminder.



Aww, I think in this context a prequel can work well. I’ve gone back to earlier books in this sort of lightly-linked series and it’s generally fine except for you occasionally know that a given sidekick will have to be killed off because they weren’t in the later book you read.

(Obviously I haven’t read these books so it may just not work in this instance at all I guess.)



I prefer Isn’t Anything to Loveless.

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Yeah it’s hardly the kind of book where I gasp with shock when she’s killed someone so I may save it for when I’m stick to find anything else to read

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I think V. sheds a bit of light (certainly when it comes to the philosophy on history that informs the style), I was kind of lucky with GR that I was already writing a dissertation on it so had to persist through the difficulty (and I remember being frustrated as all hell at points). The best advice is always: if you don’t get a part, keep reading anyway. Quite often, a baffling passage will be followed somewhere along the line by something that makes sense. And if it still doesn’t, you can probably do without getting it.

Also Pynchon is kind of best when discussed with others: it’s definitely not cheating to use companion pieces and online resources - don’t rely on them for interpretation obviously, but they can be great as a roadmap (I used one as an index to keep track of characters) or to shed some light on references (some of what seems random is actually just an incredibly specific reference). All that said, he’s definitely not a writer for everyone: for me, there’s stuff in there that really resonates that I just won’t find anywhere else.



5/30 already down on my 2019 book challenge, so I’ve decided to start 1000 page Magic Mountain. Anyone read it?



Nice start :+1:

I have finished four books so far this year, but it is a bit of a cheat as two were ~100 pages (I think one a littler under). Started reading The Tale of Genji though so that will progress a bit slower due to the density of it.



thought this was good in the end



I basically just lurk around in here waiting for someone to mention ursula so I can like their post and then shout about how great she is



could you possibly supply links/names to these? I’d like to have a stab at GR one of these days and it’d be good to know where to go for something reliable/useful?



I didn’t love V at all.



Finished A Long Way From Home.

It’s interesting but I’m not sure I’d read more of his novels.

I’m reading The Crucible so I can start teaching it on Monday.



The Crucible was the one set text at school that I really enjoyed.



Same here - I’m starting to realise my response to it as a 16yr old in 1997 is going to be very different now.



I imagine mine would be the same if I re-read it again 20-plus years later as well.

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at the end of last year I finished (after several months, alternating with other stuff because it is long, long, long) The Recognitions by William Gaddis

This post is partly to boast about it (and to see if anyone else has to talk about it), and to alert Pynchon fans that it is i) well worth reading anyway, and ii) people thought that Gaddis and Pynchon might have been the same person at one stage.



Ooooo enjoy! Gcse or a level?