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What are you reading now?

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What the fuck kind of books are you guys reading that require study guides and devoting years of your lives to? I am reading Russka by Edward Rutherford and I have not had to hire a support staff

Seems like a good day to start a biography of Pliny the Elder and  Younger that Claire got for me at Christmas.  

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and maybe a little bit of


You might really like the castle and the trial, very similar stories. They are both so goddamned exceptional and not only two of my favorite kafka stories but two of my favorite stories period. They are both, like all of kafkas writing very challenging to read and may be a little daunting but so fucking worth it.

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oh my, The Castle and The Trial are must read pieces. i never found Kafka to be that particularly challenging, but i read enough German to make my way through them (if slowly), so i usually have English translations and the German right next to each other when i read his work (i usually go to the German when a passage seems to be convoluted in English), which really helps. i do the same thing when i read Mann (i love Mann's work).

I have never found Kafka hard to read from a stylistic/linguistic perspective, since he doesn't really write in a convoluted style or use unusual syntax. But I find him difficult to read because after reading Kafka, I feel like suffocated, spiritually, and that's most likely the effect he intended anyways.

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But I find him difficult to read because after reading Kafka, I feel like suffocated, spiritually, and that's most likely the effect he intended anyways.

wow. reminds me of how I felt after reading Burroughs, except dirtier.

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I love Mann just for the beatiful language, and luckily I have a few more books of him to pick up.

As for Kafka I like the Castle better then the Trial. To me there is a lot of humor in Kafka, but it isn't written in big letters, more of a very subtle British understatement thing.

A German language author that might have some relavancy here is the Austrian Thomas Bernard, and in particular with The Looser (Der Untergeher), which tells the story of two would-be piano virtuosos whose dreams of glory are dashed by their meeting Glenn Gould as students in Salzburg. http://www.thomasbernhard.org/cousineautbintro.shtml.

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I'm re-reading Patrick French's "Tibet, Tibet", a very balanced and personal account on the Tibet issue. I brought it to China in case I would get bugged from all sides about the current events, which is exactly what happened. ::)

It's funny how you get shown quite different footages on CNN and Chinese TV, which says something about both.

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How is The Ninety Days? WWII is fascinating to me.

I just started this, speaking of world wars:


I just started reading it and I do like it. It helps reinforce what I read recently which I enjoyed as well:


I still have to read the Churchill books eventually.

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From this list:

All Frank Miller Batman stuff (I've only read Year One and DKR, but both are excellent -- but then again, I'm of the mind that Frank Miller can do no wrong, including Ronin and Robocop).

Grant Morrison & Dave McKean, Arkham Asylum is especially fun because it comes with the script, so you can see just how much Dave McKean contributed to it.

Neil Gaiman, Sandman the entire series is probably my favorite comic ever, I've been getting the Absolute editions.

I've enjoyed what I've read of Ex Machina (which is up to vol. 5 or 6 of the trades), it's a really good anti-super-hero comic.

I just bought Watchmen.

Y: The Last Man is amazing, and not just because of all the lesbians.

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