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Thread: Pit Book/Discussion Thread

  1. #61
    Finished Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign 1864 about a week ago, and it was excellent. Just started Bleak House.

    I say just started, because I'm 110 pages into it, and that's barely an eighth of the way through the book.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by avalon View Post
    I'm early in Confederacy of Dunces now but I'm having trouble getting into it.
    Really? Is it the style or the plot that you don't love?

  3. #63
    Ha! I also had trouble getting into CoD. The defections from Team Wakephan begin already.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by wakephan09 View Post
    Really? Is it the style or the plot that you don't love?
    I don't know, I think it's the ridiculousness of the characters, plus I haven't really gotten into the plot. But I'm still pretty early in the book. And I'm not an especially strong reader (that sounds weird but I don't know how else to phrase it) so it sometimes takes me a while to get into some books.

    But often I end up really loving them. It took me forever to get into Jane Eyre, and now it's one of my favorites. (YA HEAR THAT OGB???)

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    Ha! I also had trouble getting into CoD. The defections from Team Wakephan begin already.
    i find this really hard to believe. CoD is awesome and I found extremely easy to read, probably finished it faster than just about any book i've read.

    I just finished The Imperfectionists which was really good, Adam Corrolla's book which was just meh, and Play Their Hearts Out, which was really good but terrible that coach was such an a-hole.

  6. #66
    Hurricane Goddess wakegrrl's Avatar
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    I'm about halfway through Elizabeth I by Margaret George (got it for Mother's Day). For historical fiction it's not too shabby.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    Ha! I also had trouble getting into CoD. The defections from Team Wakephan begin already.
    I don't think I really had trouble getting into it, but I definitely was wondering "what is the point" for a good portion of the book.

    Fun book and Ignatius J Reilly is an awesome character, but I can definitely see how people wouldn't be all that into it.

  8. #68
    The Pumpfaker seventwofour's Avatar
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    Halfway through Crime and Punishment. I like it.

  9. #69
    Finished Gatsby again today, first time I've read it in 8.5 years. Couple of points to discuss if anyone's interested. (Don't read this if you haven't read the book).









    At first, it struck me as odd that Fitz began the book with the following line:

    In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

    It's even stranger when you consider that of all the major characters, Gatsby is the only one who didn't grow up with those advantages, and he more than makes up for it by the time the novel begins. So I think that's a wink and a nod in Gatsby's favor, but after plunging further into the passage, I think the more important part is that this line sets up Nick's statement that he, as a result of this advice, tries not to judge people, and that "Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope."

    And that, in a nutshell, sums up the secondary tragedy of the book. By the end, he is unreservedly judging Tom and Daisy as people who break up people's lives. That infinite hope has been lost to him, perhaps forever, which may be why he's still turning the advice over in his head two years after the incident, in a vain attempt to reclaim it.



    The second thing that struck me was Jordan's quote in their last meeting. After breaking off the relationship with Nick, she tells him, "You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to take such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride."

    Obviously, the other bad driver was Nick, and she's accusing him of hurting her by being dishonest. Since I can't think of a single instance of him lying to her in the text (and please correct me if I'm wrong), I assume she means that he was faking his feelings towards her, that he was using her without ever loving or being in love with her.

    I'll speak in defense of Nick. Throughout the book, his affection for her seems real and genuine; even at their last meeting he says he's half in love with her. Yet at the same time, most of his descriptions of her are negative; she's scornful, dishonest, always has her chin in the air, etc. But I think when he had his infinite hope, he could look past it all, refrain from judging, romanticize their present and future. Only when that's gone do his feelings for her fade. It's the night Myrtle is killed that he for the first time thinks "I'd had enough of them all for one day, and suddenly that included Jordan too." The only deception, if there was one, was him fooling himself into believing that their relationship could ever work.


    I suspect no one will read this (maybe SCD), but you're cheating yourself if you don't read the book itself.
    Last edited by OldGoldBeard; 08-16-2011 at 08:51 PM.

  10. #70
    Scott "Rufio" Feather DeacLaw05's Avatar
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    I re-read Oliver Twist a couple of months ago. One of my favorites.

    More recently read Manhunt (about the search for John Wilkes Booth. Quick, easy, enjoyable book.

  11. #71
    Carnal Decadence
    HeavyPetter's Avatar
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    I finished Confederacy of Dunces last week and wasn't blown away by it.

    Currently reading the new Sarah Vowell book about Hawaii, "Unfamiliar Fishes."

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    Finished Gatsby again today, first time I've read it in 8.5 years. Couple of points to discuss if anyone's interested. (Don't read this if you haven't read the book).









    At first, it struck me as odd that Fitz began the book with the following line:

    In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

    It's even stranger when you consider that of all the major characters, Gatsby is the only one who didn't grow up with those advantages, and he more than makes up for it by the time the novel begins. So I think that's a wink and a nod in Gatsby's favor, but after plunging further into the passage, I think the more important part is that this line sets up Nick's statement that he, as a result of this advice, tries not to judge people, and that "Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope."

    And that, in a nutshell, sums up the secondary tragedy of the book. By the end, he is unreservedly judging Tom and Daisy as people who break up people's lives. That infinite hope has been lost to him, perhaps forever, which may be why he's still turning the advice over in his head two years after the incident, in a vain attempt to reclaim it.



    The second thing that struck me was Jordan's quote in their last meeting. After breaking off the relationship with Nick, she tells him, "You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to take such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride."

    Obviously, the other bad driver was Nick, and she's accusing him of hurting her by being dishonest. Since I can't think of a single instance of him lying to her in the text (and please correct me if I'm wrong), I assume she means that he was faking his feelings towards her, that he was using her without ever loving or being in love with her.

    I'll speak in defense of Nick. Throughout the book, his affection for her seems real and genuine; even at their last meeting he says he's half in love with her. Yet at the same time, most of his descriptions of her are negative; she's scornful, dishonest, always has her chin in the air, etc. But I think when he had his infinite hope, he could look past it all, refrain from judging, romanticize their present and future. Only when that's gone do his feelings for her fade. It's the night Myrtle is killed that he for the first time thinks "I'd had enough of them all for one day, and suddenly that included Jordan too." The only deception, if there was one, was him fooling himself into believing that their relationship could ever work.


    I suspect no one will read this (maybe SCD), but you're cheating yourself if you don't read the book itself.
    Only trying to get the little man on this as I'm about to head out. This is hands down my favorite book and have read it over a dozen times. I'll address my opinions on this matter tomorrow.

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    At first, it struck me as odd that Fitz began the book with the following line:

    In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

    It's even stranger when you consider that of all the major characters, Gatsby is the only one who didn't grow up with those advantages, and he more than makes up for it by the time the novel begins. So I think that's a wink and a nod in Gatsby's favor, but after plunging further into the passage, I think the more important part is that this line sets up Nick's statement that he, as a result of this advice, tries not to judge people, and that "Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope."
    Shoot, I really need to read Gatsby again, it's been a while. I have nothing really intelligent to add, but I think the quote you pointed out is interesting given that the characters most worthy of criticism are the ones who did grow up with those advantages.

  14. #74
    Just finished All the King Men. Great book, but a touch tense for my beach trip.

  15. #75
    Beer me DeaconPeach's Avatar
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    Picked up a couple of old James Michener novels at the Wake County Library Book Sale several months ago. I'm reading "Hawaii" now & am thoroughly enjoying it. Michener is the king of incorporating his amazingly deep background research into his characters & settings. Love it!

  16. #76
    The Pumpfaker AttilatheHoo's Avatar
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    finished the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams last week - very nice series

    going to start reading Book 5 of the Codex Alera today and then tackle Book 6

    will prolly check out The Gathering Storm by Jordan after reading the Codex books.
    will re-read the entire series at some point.
    Craig is seen as the trouble maker.

  17. #77

  18. #78
    Finished "More Money Than God" this past weekend. If you're a Wall Street type or interested in finance this was a really interesting read about the rise and fall of power players in the hedge fund world.

  19. #79
    Pit book readers,

    I just finished the Game of Thrones books, and I am fantasied out. I would like a good mystery/thriller recommendation for my pleasure reading. I read all day at work, so I like good page turners at home. Recommednations? Thanks.

    Note: James Patterson is not what I am looking for. I would like a little more substance.

  20. #80
    Ricky Peral
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    Three-fourths way through Unbroken now. Hadn't read much about the war in the Pacific until now. Very sobering. Not for the faint of heart, but never have been faint of heart myself. Recommend.

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