What are you reading?

Stavrogyn

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
684
558
What kind of literature and books do you like? What are your favourite authors? What are you currently reading?

My favourite period is the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, i.e. modernism, and, more specifically, estheticism, existentialism, surrealism... I also like some more contemporary experimental writers.

The authors I admire the most and keep returning to are Marcel Proust, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, Samuel Beckett, Plato, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Jean-Paul Satre, Comte de Lautréamont, Tennessee Williams, and others. A lesser-known, but brilliant contemporary French author I would also like to mention and recommend is Éric Chevillard. I wrote my master's thesis about his work.

So what are you reading right now? I'm reading My mother (Ma mère) by Georges Bataille. It's far from perfect, and I wouldn't call it great literature, but thematically and stylistically it fits with my preferences, so I'm enjoying it.
 
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Tulpa

Bureau HQ
TULPA MOD
ADMIN
Apr 11, 2022
636
1,030
I recently finished The Promise by Damon Galgut. One of the most filmic novels I've ever read.

Hanya Yanagihara's To Paradise was an engaging if slightly uneven (and unwieldy) read.

Speaking of unwieldy, I finally finished A Certain Idea of France, Julian Jackson's masterful biography of Charles De Gaulle. No idea how he managed to include such minute detail without it reading like a live reddit thread on some breaking news item; it almost reads like a novel.
 

Mb3

RR Diner
Apr 12, 2022
22
24
Right now I'm reading Stephen King's The Stand for the second time. In general I've to admit that I'm not the most avid reader but I always try to take some time to at least read a few pages a day. Sometimes I get the time for it on other days not.
 

choppingwoodpod

Sparkwood & 21
Apr 12, 2022
3
8
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

Favorite Authors (and often reread) -- Hesse, Vonnegut, Dostoevsky, Chandler, Joe Lansdale
 

secretlettermkr

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
344
506
I'm finishing a manga series: Chi no Wadachi (Blood On The Tracks) by Shūzō Oshimi

EDIT:
I read 12 volumes, and in ten days theres a new one coming... I was hoping this one was the last. We'll see where the story goes next.
 
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sneakydave

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
308
233
I don't read too much anymore. Usually a chapter in my bed at night before falling asleep.

Right now I'm reading The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin. All about an upcoming alien invasion and scientist attempts to stop it.

My favourite authors are probably Stephen King and Adam Neville. I'm into my horror fiction.
 

secretlettermkr

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
344
506
oh, my favourite authors are:
Henry Miller, Kafka, James G. Ballard; Phillip K. Dick, William Burroughs, Cortazar,

in comics : Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Katsuhiro Otomo, Simon Hansselmann.
 
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Stavrogyn

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
684
558
oh, my favourite authors are:
Henry Miller, Kafka, Jamas G Ballard; Phillip K. Dick, William Burroughs, Cortazar,

in comics : Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Katsuhiro Otomo, Simon Hansselmann.
I love Miller and Kafka too! My younger days, when I was only discovering the world of literature and life in general, wouldn't be the same without them.
 

Stavrogyn

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
684
558
In general I've to admit that I'm not the most avid reader but I always try to take some time to at least read a few pages a day.
I'm embarrased to say that I haven't managed to finish a book in more than six months. The last was Fight Club back in October.
 

Ickles

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
527
950
Typically I read a lot of vintage crime fiction: Chandler, David Goodis (probably my all-time favorite crime fiction writer), Ross MacDonald, Hammett, James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, etc. I'd say my favorite book of all time is probably Day of the Locust by Nathanael West.

Recently I've decided to expand my horizons a bit and read some more contemporary fiction, as I've set a goal for myself to finish a new novel and shop it around so I'm taking a more active interest in things published in this century. Just read "Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead" by Olga Tokarczuk and just started "Harlem Shuffle" by Colson Whitehead.
 

mosura

Sparkwood & 21
Apr 17, 2022
11
29
I suppose most relevantly is me re-reading The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, though I’ve been switching it by reading my paperback and listening to the audiobook narrated by Sheryl Lee during car rides.

Setting aside Twin Peaks media though, I recently read Legion by William Peter Blatty. I’m a big fan of The Exorcist, I've re-read it about four times now and enjoy the movie. Around two years ago I was pointed towards the sequel to The Exorcist, named Legion, via a film review Youtube channel (Red Letter Media, if anyone’s curious).
The story is more grounded as the main point of view centers around the detective from the original story, some years later. It’s a police procedural story mixed in with the struggles to cope with the evils of the world through the lens of a tired old detective and how religion factors in–a good source being his close friend Father Dyer, also from The Exorcist.

But that’s enough of me advertising the book, next on my list is Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto.
 

saturn's child

RR Diner
Apr 17, 2022
43
66
One of my favourite novels that I feel never gets talked about much, from 1892:

Knut Hamsun - Mysteries

Stavrogyn, from your opening post I feel you might like it if you haven't read it.
 

Stavrogyn

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
684
558
One of my favourite novels that I feel never gets talked about much, from 1892:

Knut Hamsun - Mysteries

Stavrogyn, from your opening post I feel you might like it if you haven't read it.
I know about the author (even though, after reading a bit about him now, I realize that I didn't know much), but I haven't read anything of his.

You're right, this book sounds like something I would probably very much enjoy. And I see that there was even a new edition with a new translation published not that long ago where I live, and the book is easily available (and many others as well). Thank you for this!
 

saturn's child

RR Diner
Apr 17, 2022
43
66
I know about the author (even though, after reading a bit about him now, I realize that I didn't know much), but I haven't read anything of his.

You're right, this book sounds like something I would probably very much enjoy. And I see that there was even a new edition with a new translation published not that long ago where I live, and the book is easily available (and many others as well). Thank you for this!
Most welcome. I don't actually know anything about Hamsun, I stumbled across Mysteries in a second hand book shop... jeez, a couple of decades ago now I guess, & bought it on a whim because I liked the title & cover image. Turned out to be more or less my favourite book.

Every time I've re-read it, it was the same book, it would be interesting (& kind of surreal) to read it in another translation now that you mention it...
 

Stavrogyn

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
684
558
I haven't been reading much this year but during my first trip to Belgrade last week, where I acquired a nice collection of books, I stumbled into a book by Marcel Proust I didn't even know existed: Le Mystrieux Correspondant et autres nouvelles indites / The Mysterious Correspondent: New Stories.

I had to buy it and start reading it immediately. I'm still at the beginning, but, as usual with Proust, so far it has been rewarding.

P.S. Accidentally, I visited Belgrade during The International Belgrade Book Fair, and I was overwhelmed: it was quite big, much bigger than what we have in my country (even though what we have isn't bad at all).

I also bought one film magazine that's mostly dedicated to Jean-Luc Godard this month and a book by Jean Cocteau (Lettre aux Américains / Letter to the Americans) with the intention of brushing up on my Serbian Cyrillic.
 

MasterMastermnd

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
411
615
Been reading a lot lately. Just finished The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick, a prophetic work of science fiction that, along with The Man in the High Castle, forms the bridge between his early traditional science fiction work and his later surrealist material.

Right after I read Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca, an interesting but underdeveloped horror novella about an online BDSM type relationship gone wrong. If you're into transgressive horror it's worth it for its best moments and its brevity, but it could have gone farther.

Now I'm reading Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. I've been getting into science fiction pretty hardcore lately, Dick and LeGuin and SIlverberg especially. I was pretty determined to get back into fantasy as well and tried quite a few but I just couldn't do it because the quality of the prose wasn't there. Can't tell you how many I started just to give up. But this is the one to finally hook me. Beautifully written, with a sharp and surreal vision as opposed to the kind of boring prose and regurgitated concepts I'd been seeing.
 

Stavrogyn

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
684
558
@Jordan Cole I'm not sure where exactly did we discuss comics, but I wanted to tell you that I finally read my first real comic book! Well, I guess you could call it that :unsure:


Of course, it's hard to compare it to the real thing, since it's stripped down to a simple plot, and everything that makes the source material so great is, therefore, gone, but I still enjoyed it very, very much.

Currently, I'm reading Opium by Jean Cocteau, but I would like to return to comics and read Le bleu est une couleur chaude by Jul Maroh soon. (Unfortunately, in local stores, I could only find the translation, which is a shame since comics tend to be a nice way to brush up on a foreign language.)
 

Jordan Cole

White Lodge
Sep 22, 2022
757
1,193
I'd recommend a comic that isn't an adaptation! Something created for the *medium* of comics. Not every writer excels at that but people like Alan Moore and Grant Morrison make comics that can ONLY be comics (which is why the adaptations always miss the point, I think.) Books that bring out what is special and unique and singular about the art of comics itself.

I think my favorite comic ever made is From Hell. But there's so many others...If you want weird funny horror stuff, Junji Ito is really reliable and prolific. If you want Lynchian indie movie weirdness, check out Daniel Clowes (David Boring, Ghost World, Patience, Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron) or Charles Burns. Peter Bagge's Hate is an incredibly funny and unfiltered book about a slacker in the 90s, one of my all-time favorite things. Grant Morrison's All Star Superman, or Animal Man. I love Warren Ellis's work, it's kind of all the same but always thrillingly entertaining and funny. Planetary is pretty incredible. I love Fell too.

Of course, my wife's book Henchgirl is a personal favorite. She also did the Making Friends series for younger readers (but it's laugh out loud funny and touching.)

So many...I can keep going forever...
 

Stavrogyn

White Lodge
Apr 12, 2022
684
558
Oh, wow, your wife's famous! @Jordan Cole

Thank you for all the recommendations, they all sound interesting.

I know about Daniel Clowes, but mainly through films, especially the adaptations of his comics made by Terry Zwigoff (a director I really admire and wish would work more often).

Harvey Pekar also sounds like someone whose work I would like... What do you think of him?
 

Jordan Cole

White Lodge
Sep 22, 2022
757
1,193
I consider Daniel Clowes's work unadaptable, even though I love the Ghost World movie. But it's not the comic. Daniel Clowes comics aren't worth reading because the plots or stories that can be turned into film scripts are so great, it's because of the artwork and the pacing and the mood and every brush of ink that Clowes puts down. I mean the "plot" of Ghost World is just "two girls hanging out not noticing that their friendship is coming to a close."

It's like adapting a David Lynch film into a summary comic book. It would obviously not really convey the film no matter how good it is. It's about what that artist brings to that work, what makes them unique and singular. Clowes is a master artist and craftsman and while I hesitate to call ANYTHING Lynchian, Clowes's work is one of the only things that comes close.

Harvey Pekar is interesting but I personally found his stuff too depressing and stressful. I own several of his books but it's not my favorite stuff.
 
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