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 So What Are You Reading?
smink
Posted: Feb 24 2010, 09:28 PM


Bookworm


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I've always wanted to start one of these, but should have probably waited until I'd finished this:

(Posted Image)

Which is fluff.
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Dogpoet
Posted: Feb 24 2010, 10:00 PM





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You're still reading it, at least.
A collection of post feminist essays whose title I can't remember, and whose editor I can't name. I'm about halfway through an essay by the notorious pornographer (and founder of the Birch Bottom Ponygirl Club) Penny Birch called "Squiddly Diddly".
It's about sex with an octopus...
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dothestrand
Posted: Feb 25 2010, 01:07 AM





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You should watch the Isabelle Adjani film 'Possession' - I suspect you might have seen it.
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LadyE
Posted: Feb 25 2010, 01:00 PM


and blue eyes


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QUOTE
(Posted Image)


Finished this this morning. I intend to read it again to get things perfectly clear, but omigod it's a really good book. There's a good portion on music theory dumbed right down so that anyone can read and understand the book, and then he explains what parts of the brain are used and what goes on in your noggin when you're listening to music. I can imagine that, for some people, this book has the potential to ruin the music enjoying experience, but for me it's made it even better. I'm full of awe and wonder at the shit that goes on in my head.

He pointed out that it's only some cultures and only in the last 500 or so years that music has been performed by the elite for audiences, that prior to this music was something shared, something everyone took part in, and there wasn't the division between the talented and the proles. I'm bringing back universal enjoyment. I'm going to start singing badly everywhere I go.

Now:

(Posted Image)

Xinran worked for eight years as a well-known presenter at a Chinese radio station. As a public figure, she received many letters. Most of them were from women. Moved by the stories she was hearing in the letters, she decided to go in search of more of the truths about Chinese women's lives. What she found was terrible suffering; women who had endured lengthy sexual abuse during the Cultural Revolution, women whose wretched poverty was made more miserable by the dictates of a male-centred society, women who had had their children taken from them or who had lost them in earthquakes and other natural disasters. And, amid all the suffering, she found their capacity to endure and somehow survive.

Xinran is not a diffident or modest journalist. The reader gets to hear quite a lot of people in the course of her book, telling her how honest and humane and famous she is. This is, unsurprisingly, exasperating. However, someone more modest, and with a less robust sense of her own importance and the importance of what she was doing, would not have gathered the material that she has done. She would not have gone to those places she needed to go in order to record the stories in her book. The voices of the many women to whom she listened would not have been heard.
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NoCultureIcon
Posted: Feb 25 2010, 02:24 PM


Spoons!!!


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(Posted Image)

Will be starting this tonight....
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Dogpoet
Posted: Feb 25 2010, 04:50 PM





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Let us know what you make of it: he's one of those writers I keep meaning to read but haven't got around to yet.
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NoCultureIcon
Posted: Feb 26 2010, 01:05 AM


Spoons!!!


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QUOTE (Dogpoet @ Feb 25 2010, 04:50 PM)
Let us know what you make of it: he's one of those writers I keep meaning to read but haven't got around to yet.

I loved "Perdido Street Station" - despite it's monstrous length I read it in 3 days. Totally engrossing and brilliantly realised.
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mazzyj
Posted: Feb 27 2010, 11:08 AM





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Another book of Kelly Link short stories: "Pretty Monsters" - superb fantasy stuff, very funny.

Trying to hold off reading "Scott Pilgrim vs The Universe" by Brian O'Malley, as it's the fifth and final instalment and have to wait until August for the film...
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smink
Posted: Feb 27 2010, 02:54 PM


Bookworm


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Don Quixote.
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Dogpoet
Posted: Feb 28 2010, 08:39 PM





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Still on this collection of essays: just gone through a good one by Katherine Gates about her gun fetish.
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inabubble
Posted: Feb 28 2010, 11:13 PM





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Frankie and Stankie by Barbara Trapido.
I think this must be about the fourth time I have attempted this novel but I've finally made it past the first chapter. It's about two sisters growing up in 1950's South Africa and is full of little magic childhood moments all set against a back drop of apartheid - it is massively increasing my vocabulary of racial slurs, which can only be a bonus. So far, so good.
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LadyE
Posted: Mar 1 2010, 02:50 PM


and blue eyes


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QUOTE (LadyE @ Feb 25 2010, 02:00 PM)
(Posted Image)

I find it hard to believe that no one else could get these stories, but I do believe that most other people would have written more about the people whose stories they were trying to tell rather than themselves. It was not what I was hoping it would be. A small handful of stories about women that, for the most part, could have lived anywhere. Unremarkable.

Now:

(Posted Image)
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Dogpoet
Posted: Mar 2 2010, 01:46 PM





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Have you read either of Jan Wong's memoirs? She gives a pretty interesting account of life in post revolutionary China and takes the line that there isn't a lot of feminist thought in the middle kingdom as well. Mind you, being a former revolutionary who's left the country doubtless has something to do with that.
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LadyE
Posted: Mar 2 2010, 02:19 PM


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Even though I'm reading memoirs currently, I'm not big on them normally. I just don't care about what sort of life some celeb has had.

She's not even Chinese! I have other books on the subject in my shopping basket, just waiting for the price to come down.
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Dogpoet
Posted: Mar 2 2010, 05:26 PM





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QUOTE (LadyE @ Mar 2 2010, 02:19 PM)
Even though I'm reading memoirs currently, I'm not big on them normally. I just don't care about what sort of life some celeb has had.

She's not even Chinese! I have other books on the subject in my shopping basket, just waiting for the price to come down.

Jan Wong? She is Chinese, she just moved to Canada after she was no longer welcome in China.

The memoirs (Jan Wong's China and Red China Blues) are mostly about the cultural revolution and what came afterwards. They're an interesting read on that level.
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