The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)  (Read 510933 times)

sherryfair

  • Guest
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2006, 10:42:25 AM »
I finally saw Mary's post on the "What is your favorite scene?" thread, so I'm checking in here for the first time.

My entry into the Cullen community came through being a writer & admirer of E. Annie Proulx, who thought this was about the most emotionally truthful & respectful film adaptation I've seen.

I'm a poet & writer, & always have an enormous, teetering pile of books to be read, and I've always got one going on the bedside table, sometimes even two. Just finished Patrick Suskind's "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer." Before that, it was Eugenides' "Middlesex."

On deck is Mary Gaitskill's short story collection, "Bad Behavior." (Met her a few years ago but hadn't read her, am now remediating that.) Also another story story collection by Andrea Barrett, "Servants of the Map." And a book of poems by Beth Ann Fennelly, "Tender Hooks." (I liked her first book & am curious about this one.)

I have eclectic tastes. I read poetry in journals & books & a lot of literary fiction. But also have a strong hankering for romance novels. Sort of like a vegetarian who knows how to cook well but still gorges on Cheetos or Raspberry Zingers on occasion.

Right now, I am leading my online Romance book club through ... guess what? ... "Brokeback Mountain" ... since I am the hostess this month. The female members were extremely receptive to reading a love story that was outside of the conventional Romance genre boundaries. Many made a point of seeing the movie as well. So it's actually become a difficult discussion to lead, because we keep jumping from movie to book & back. (Incidentally, some members swear they are still going to see the movie, so I wonder if that means the audience dropoff is going to be long & slow.)

Offline aceygirl

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 361
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2006, 03:20:37 PM »
Okay, this one's a bit odd (so no surprise, eh?) but has anyone else here read 'The Master and Margarita' by Bulgakov?  Fascinating book - the devil comes to Moscow in the early part of the 20th century and (ahem) all hell breaks loose.  Alternate with a plot concerning a certain pontius pilate and add a liberal dose of magical realism.  Add a witches sabbat and a dab of Milton and you're good to go.

I'd heard about it for years and finally read it last year.  A wonderful, wonderful book - challenging, yes - but amazing as well!



Yes, yes, yes!! I definitely had some tough moments getting through it because it's SO surreal, but it was awesome!

Offline mary

  • Moderator Emerita
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1542
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2006, 09:45:21 PM »
I finally saw Mary's post on the "What is your favorite scene?" thread, so I'm checking in here for the first time.

Welcome sherryfair to one of my favorite threads here.  I'm always looking for suggestions for new authors and there are a few others who check in regularly too and we've shared a few good suggestions here.

Currently reading All the Pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy


never enough time, never enough....

Some fictional characters are less fictional than others

downloaded1

  • Guest
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2006, 07:36:14 PM »
"We Were The Mulvaneys" book

very good

Mr. Wrong

  • Guest
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2006, 07:39:41 PM »
Angela's Ashes is a great book about a poor Irish boy amd how he makes it to America.


Jason

Offline Passion

  • Cant have enough
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #50 on: February 16, 2006, 08:12:57 PM »
Angela's Ashes is a great book about a poor Irish boy amd how he makes it to America.


Jason

Did you read Teacher Man by the same author?  I saw him on the Daily Show or the Colbert Report and thought he was really interesting---a classy man.  Just wondering if Teacher Man was good.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Mr. Wrong

  • Guest
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #51 on: February 16, 2006, 08:23:00 PM »
Angela's Ashes is a great book about a poor Irish boy amd how he makes it to America.


Jason

Did you read Teacher Man by the same author?  I saw him on the Daily Show or the Colbert Report and thought he was really interesting---a classy man.  Just wondering if Teacher Man was good.


No I never read Teacher Man. I wonder if it is as good as Angels's Ashes?

Jason

Offline jpq716

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 452
  • "It's nobody's business but ours."
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #52 on: February 17, 2006, 06:42:52 PM »
I do not really read that much post-World War II literature. American culture largely became visual --- and ceased to be verbal --- during my youth, and most literature now strikes me as being little more than a rough draft for the more significant screenplay treatment sometime in the future. Larry McMurtry is one of the very few authors whom I read regularly, and the reason why I do read him is because, despite all of his forays into movies and television, he is essentially a writer, committed to arousing the reader’s imagination by intricately textured verbal means. (I also believe that one of the reasons why Brokeback Mountain possesses such massive spiritual power is because its screenplay was done by a person who is fundamentally an epic novelist and not a screenplay writer at all.) Some other authors who fill the bill for me in that respect include the late Richard Adams, the late Gary Jennings, the late Mary Renault, Steve Pressfield and of course, the incredible John Le Carre.

I have just finished reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the first time that I have read it since I was a senior in high school, forty years ago. I did not like Dostoyevsky very much when I was young, and I know now that much of the reason was because he told me things about reality that I really did not want to hear at that time of my life. I also realize now that Crime and Punishment is a very great novel, and some of the scenes in it (e.g. the scene where the student-murderer Roskolnikov confesses his crime to the prostitute Sonia) are deeply soul-stirring. Why, oh why, was I forced to read it when I was a high school senior? How could I possibly have begun to understand the psycho-spiritual issues that it raises at that time in my life? But education, even in a upper-class school like the one I attended, never really cares about the individual and his development, only his molding to whatever Procustian Bed society chooses to adopt at a particular time.

I have Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet and Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past somewhere in my garage. Are any of you familiar with either one of these works? They may be next on my reading agenda.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 06:47:19 PM by jpq716 »
Albert Camus: "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."

Offline Dave Cullen

  • Author/Journalist
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 7042
  • Founder, Editor
    • Columbine
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2006, 01:24:18 AM »
I still haven't finished The Year of Magical Thinking.

Not sure if . . .

a. it was started to get a bit repetitious, or

2. just too damn depressing.

not that too depressing is usually a problem, but i plunged into it directly after a month of brokeback blues, when my shrink ordered me to quit ruminating on it, and i plunged back into writing the murder scenes in my columbine book. empathy overdose, i think.

but the writing was magnificent.

just don't want to go back there, though. maybe i've read enough.

Offline Dave Cullen

  • Author/Journalist
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 7042
  • Founder, Editor
    • Columbine
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2006, 01:26:55 AM »
Right now, I am leading my online Romance book club through ... guess what? ... "Brokeback Mountain" ... since I am the hostess this month. The female members were extremely receptive to reading a love story that was outside of the conventional Romance genre boundaries.

What a great idea.

Offline Dave Cullen

  • Author/Journalist
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 7042
  • Founder, Editor
    • Columbine
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2006, 01:30:58 AM »

Currently reading All the Pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy

i was supposed to read his Blood Merridian in grad school, but it seemed . . . (hmmmm, i can't remember what i hated about it now -- but i despised it) so i never got too far.

but most of my peers adored it, so maybe i should give it another chance.

but i have tried Mrs. Dalloway twice since, and it's a tiny little thing and i just can't get through it. or won't. clarissa dalloway is the world's biggest ninny, and i just could not stand another moment with her.

Offline Dave Cullen

  • Author/Journalist
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 7042
  • Founder, Editor
    • Columbine
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2006, 01:44:35 AM »
I have Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet and Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past somewhere in my garage. Are any of you familiar with either one of these works? They may be next on my reading agenda.


One of my favorite posters on the old Salon Table Talk board had the signature line, "Life isn't getting any longer and Proust isn't getting any shorter."

Isn't the whole work 10,000 pages, or something obscenely daunting like that?

They say it's worth it. Better be. Quite the commitment.

(I've also read that the more accurate translation of the title is "In Search of Lost Time"--which I think I like better.)

Offline peteinportland

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 2063
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2006, 03:01:30 AM »
Mary, I love McCarthy (as a quote from ATPH is in my sigge line). He is not an easy writer to read as one has to appreciate his very unique prose and dialog; however, he is a true master of the Western genre. I think ATPH is a nice companion to BBM. There are many of the same themes and imagery.

My favorite book in the last couple of years was Three Junes by Julia Glass. It was a National Book Award winner. It has a gay protagonist, and it was a compelling read.

My favorite book in queer lit is still Paul Monette's On Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story. It is also a NBA winner. I adore this book. Sadly, it is the only book of his I adore.

Sherry, I know this sounds crazy, but my favorite romance is A Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice. I really want to see this book as a movie. It is not great literature, but it combines both gay and straight romance with music and history and is told in such lush detail that it is my favorite guilty pleasure book.

My favorite book in life is actually a trilogy by Gay Gavariel Kay called The Finovar Tapestry. It is a fantasy, but not a simple one. He is a smart and brilliant writer who IMO turns prose into poetry and combines myth and history in such a way as to be the only fantasy writer on par with Tolkien. He has also written some great single novels including Tigiana and The Lions of Al Rassan, among others. He has a beautiful fansite at www.brightweavings.com.

In 2005, I reread all of Dorthy Dunnet's House of Nicoli series (eight books in all). I think she is probably the best writer of historical fiction ever.The first book in that series is still my favorite. I also read At Swim, Two Boys (finally). A great read. American Gods by Neil Gaman probably had the biggest impact on me of the books I read in 2005. A sprawling read that I am still not sure how much I appreciate as great fiction versus guilty pleasure.

Last (I knew better than to actually post on this thread), my favorite writer of all time is still probably Robert Penn Warren. Like Proulx, he has a fondness for place, and he makes a physical location as much a character as the actual ones.

Okay, last for real, I think every BBM fan (especially females) should rush out and get An Unspoken Hunger by Terry Temptest Williams. It is a book of nature essays by a very progressive Mormon feminist (I know!) that explores many of the themes of BBM on so many different levels (although no queer themes per se). The book is BEAUTIFUL, and if you have not read it, it is my gift to you (as are all the books I mention).

Offline mary

  • Moderator Emerita
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1542
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2006, 08:12:58 AM »
Mary, I love McCarthy (as a quote from ATPH is in my sigge line). He is not an easy writer to read as one has to appreciate his very unique prose and dialog; however, he is a true master of the Western genre. I think ATPH is a nice companion to BBM. There are many of the same themes and imagery.
I agree Pete - you know I'm not sure if I'd have been able to appreciate ATPH as much before - but because I've been so immersed in the BBM themes, ATPH has really resonated with me.  It is taking me longer than usual to read though; must be all this time on the forum - it's taken up my usual reading time 
never enough time, never enough....

Some fictional characters are less fictional than others

Offline rickpouch

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 257
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2006, 12:57:59 PM »
QUEER COWBOYS by Chris Packard.

Hard to find. I bought the hard cover via Amazon which was expensive.

 It's similar (but slightly different) than what GLBT writer Jonathan Ned Katz has also written in the past w/ several of his books