Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 10:45am
I'm almost two hours into Dark Victory and am bored silly. Just an endless parade of 1930s music biz figures and mobsters having conversations and making deals. It may be true, but it's a dull story.
And how does MCA figure?
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 4:42pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 10:45am
I'm almost two hours into Dark Victory and am bored silly. Just an endless parade of 1930s music biz figures and mobsters having conversations and making deals. It may be true, but it's a dull story.
And how does MCA figure?
It achieves predominance in artist representation and distribution by working with organized crime goons.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 4:52pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 4:42pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 10:45am
I'm almost two hours into Dark Victory and am bored silly. Just an endless parade of 1930s music biz figures and mobsters having conversations and making deals. It may be true, but it's a dull story.
And how does MCA figure?
It achieves predominance in artist representation and distribution by working with organized crime goons.
Typical.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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35) Be Funny Or Die: How Comedy Works and Why It Matters - Joel Morris. Audiobook. 2024. This is apparently how all books are titled nowadays. Morris is a comedy writer who worked with Charlie Brooker and on Paddington 2, as well as on other stuff which was less successful for me. This book manages to be funny and also serious about comedy, which is one way to see that he knows what he's talking about with lots of references that would be common for millennials. I recommend this one.

36) A Likely Lad - Peter Doherty. Paperback. 2022. Library borrow. A strong music memoir from a poseur, a show-off, a selfish artist, and a songwriter with potential that I'm not sure he ever reached. I found the whole thing pretty compelling and the first Libertines album and the second Babyshambles album are very, very solid. This book was ghost written but I very much felt like I was sitting with Doherty as he charmed and justified a life that was monstered by the press.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
12 Apr 2024, 3:47am
35) Be Funny Or Die: How Comedy Works and Why It Matters - Joel Morris. Audiobook. 2024. This is apparently how all books are titled nowadays. Morris is a comedy writer who worked with Charlie Brooker and on Paddington 2, as well as on other stuff which was less successful for me. This book manages to be funny and also serious about comedy, which is one way to see that he knows what he's talking about with lots of references that would be common for millennials. I recommend this one.
Let's wait for the Ricky Gervais response about how you can't be funny anymore because of the woke mob that won't even let him publish the book that's just been published.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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37) Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare. 1599. Kindle. The most I've yet liked one of his romances, some of this felt almost like the writer consciously undoing some of the toxicity of Taming of the Shrew. That's an opinion which has to be ahistorical bullshit, but it's how I've read it. Next Shakespeare: As You Like It.

38) How Much Land Does a Man Need - Leo Tolstoy. 1886. Paperback. A tiny pocket sized book I grabbed when dropping off some things to the local charity shop to read over a beer. It has the title story and another called What Men Live By, two parables beautifully translated, simple pieces of heartfelt story telling.

39) Anarchy In Action - Colin Ward. 1973. Paperback. eumaas sent me a PDF for this in the early part of the 21st century and it knocked me off a trajectory that could well have seen me in Keir Starmer's shadow cabinet before some corruption scandal took me down and I got on the board of some water company. Readable, relevent, reasonable, and recommended.

40) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier - Alan Moore, Kevin O'Neil. Paperback. 2007. DF. Moore is almost more concerned with enjoying literary references and 1950s fictional characters than with the story here, but the last section, set in a heavenly dimension from a seventeenth century utopian woman writer's work, is truly beautiful.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Much Ado is pretty close to the toppest of top tier Billy Shakes, imho
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Finished (re)reading Moldea's RFK assassination book. He offers plausible explanations to the main points that fuel conspiracy theories—(1) that forensics indicate the fatal shot was closer than any of the eyewitnesses say Sirhan was; and (2) more bullet holes than Sirhan's gun could have made—to conclude that, no, it was Sirhan and Sirhan alone. I reject the conspiracy theories because arguing that Sirhan was hypnotized is goofy as fuck and his supposed accomplice lived a complete bumblefuck life before and after, with absolutely no evidence ever uncovered to suggest any connection between them. That is, no evidence has emerged to indicate they were part of a very elaborate conspiracy. A couple other reasons why I don't buy it. One is that there were much easier ways to kill RFK in those days. He had a habit of wandering into crowds or be pulled off by fans. Just a sea of people. Take him out there if it's so important, with one of your hypnotized patsy assassins, without need for a second gunman. But, more importantly, there was no reason to kill him. Regardless of winning all those primaries, LBJ and the party bosses still controlled the convention and could have denied him the nomination if they wanted. The idea that he was a sure thing to be the nominee, even president, was far from certain. So an elaborate plot involving hypnotism and two gunmen is a desperate narrative when an angry weirdo works much more easily.

Tub book:
Image
John Ralston Saul, On Equilibrium. I've read this once or twice before but I have no memory. But my understanding or vague recollection is that it's a partial pushback against western rationality and ideology. Given that I'm sitting in that place myself these days, I'm interested to revisit.

(I'm around 2/3 of the way thru Dark Victory. Jesus Christ, it's dull.)

edit: Oh, I'm going to try reading Morrissey's Autobiography starting tonight. We'll see how committed I am to that.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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41) The Outfit: The Absolutely True Story of the Time Joseph Stalin Robbed a Bank - David Tallerman. Paperback. 2022. KP. The title makes this sound like a bit of non fiction, but this a fact based novel. Stringently well researched and written in a style that I found irresistible. I was left wishing the author had written more about this dangerous young revolutionary nicknamed Koba and the twists and turns his life may have taken.

42) Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life - Roald Dahl. Paperback. Collected 1989. Several short stories with the same characters written on a rural, farming theme. These all came fron the 1940s and 1950s and I remember reading a few of them in other collections as a kid and being delighted by how upfront and disgusting they were. Others were adapted for the TV series Tales of the Unexpected. I loved Dahl as a preteen and his writing overflows with a knowing joie de vivre that I still admire. I don't have much trouble seperating this artist from his art. A harsh and complicated man who put the best of himself into work which was not designed to be a national institution or part of postcard heritage Britain.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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53) Selected Poems - William Blake. Audiobook. Written prior to 1827. Stunning, simple and complicated. The work of a man with one eye on the infinite and the other on the labours of the forgotten classes. First time I've seen the depth of his poetic project.

54) Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House - Robert Dallek. Audiobook. 2013. I treated this as a follow up to Logevall's JFK volume 1, which brought him up to deciding to run for the Presidency. Having read more than one tract on Jack, I was impressed by the clear eyed run over his actions here, finding him lacking where others have been blinded by that old Kennedy glamour. It's almost wholly focused on foreign affairs, reflecting JFK's attentions at the time and is politely blistering on his choices in Vietnam in a scholarly way.

55) Misery - Stephen King. Paperback. 1987. I can forget how strong the guy can be, right there where it counts between the pages, he is fucking great. Particularly here with the tiniest of settings and a two hander which is tense all the way through. Even in the cocaine blur that Annie Wilkes is a metaphor for, there is a bagginess in including extracts from the work Paul Sheldon is writing under duress and I'm not sure if I needed those. King would improve on this format with Billy Summers. But what a taut and brilliant novel about the redemptive power of creativity and the purity of its escape.

56) Poems by - Emily Dickinson. Audiobook. Completed prior to 1886. Extraordinary, melancholy, and beautiful poems. They crackle with power and the deliciousness of the rhymes.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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I have a history of the Mexican revolution I need to read for Very Important Reasons, but these just came in the mail today and they'll definitely be what I'm cracking into next (considering the rate I read books, look for reviews in 2035 or so)
PXL_20240604_182114086.jpg
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a bowl of soup
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a rolling hoop
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a ton of lead
Wiggle - you can raise the dead

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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Flex wrote:
04 Jun 2024, 4:37pm
I have a history of the Mexican revolution I need to read for Very Important Reasons, but these just came in the mail today and they'll definitely be what I'm cracking into next (considering the rate I read books, look for reviews in 2035 or so)PXL_20240604_182114086.jpg
Emma Goldman was an incredibly bold, brave woman. Influenced by Bakunin.
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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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57) The Time Machine Did It - John Swartzwelder. Paperback. 2002. Reread. I barely remembered any of this, as Swartzwelder'a books can only be absorbed in a hurry and I read it years ago in one day, so much of it was new to me. Hooray, it's like a new book. Funny and violent and absurd, we aren't asked to care about anyone or anything here. It's a joke delivery system and one of the most powerful ones I've ever encountered.

58) Bonkers: A Life In Laughs - Jennifer Saunders. Audiobook. 2013. One of the laziest celebrity memoirs I've ever read and I've read loads. She cheefully confesses her lack of ambition, her incredible procrastination, and good fortune. Parts of the book are just her reproducing faxes she sent in the 1990s, including her spending ages just not writing a film for Goldie Hawn told through the medium of faxes from Goldie asking for the words she's owed, in what must be a desperate attempt to make word count. I read it because I've always fancied Jennifer Saunders a bit - a handsome woman - and to get some view of the other side of Ade Edmonson after his near laughter free autobiography. Guess I'll read Dawn French's next and maybe one of them will have written a book I see value in. Why does this snake keep biting me everytime I put my hand in his cage?

59) Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare. Audiobook and text read simultaneously. 1599. A superb play, politics at the edge of a knife, as contemporary today as when it was written. I like how Caesar barely appears, leaving his assassins motive and claims not fully substantiated and the arguments and plot turns are thrilling. Next Shakespeare: a reread of Hamlet, the first since I was eighteen.

60) Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons - Mike Reiss. Audiobook. 2018. Reiss is just the man you'd think he'd be as a thirty year veteran of the Simpsons writing room. He's funny, of course, he's super privileged, he's unafraid of deeply unfashionable racial humour, and unused to being challenged. He shared a lot that was new to me, a guy who's paid to much attention to this show and I laughed out loud quite a few times, so I recommend the book
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Kory
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 5:46am
60) Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons - Mike Reiss. Audiobook. 2018. Reiss is just the man you'd think he'd be as a thirty year veteran of the Simpsons writing room. He's funny, of course, he's super privileged, he's unafraid of deeply unfashionable racial humour, and unused to being challenged. He shared a lot that was new to me, a guy who's paid to much attention to this show and I laughed out loud quite a few times, so I recommend the book
I read this somewhat recently myself. Generally full of good information, but I thought he got pretty mean spirited about Kim Kardashian toward the end (not that I'm any fan of hers).
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Audio:
Image
Frank Bruni, The Age of Grievance. Not especially analytical, not in any deep sense, but reportage of the prevalence of grievance in American culture. His focus is mostly on the right, but I appreciate his attention to the left, as well. A race to claim the title of most victimized.

Tub:
Image
Denis Johnson, Nobody Move. I've read this a few times before. A fantastic dialogue-heavy darkly humour noir of crooks and stolen money and revenge and all that stuff. Johnson's prose is so effortless and lively, it's both immensely fun to read and humbling.

Bedtime:
Image
Daniel Chandler, Free and Equal. Applying John Rawls' A Theory of Justice to create a post-neoliberal world.
Everything ends, and Everything matters. - Ron Currie, Jr.

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