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The Reading List #3

Oh yes, it’s another one of these again! Why? Because I have been getting very behind on my reading as of late. I don’t need to explain why this is at all (I’ve gone from having too many hours in the day to too few), but the fact remains that I still have a lot of books from Christmas left to read, plus some very new ones.

An update on where I left off (which was all the way back in October of last year). I made headway with Less Than Zero and read Imperial Bedrooms twice as the result of nearly two months of read trips with my dad. I’ll be reviewing these nearer the end of the month. ChokeInvisible Monsters and The Informers were also some picks of mine, with reviews to come, but the fact remains that there is still an awful lot left on my shelf to read. Considering months seem a lot shorter than they used to, though, I doubt I’ll be finishing all of these any time soon. Some of the books I’m hoping to sink my teeth into, and soon, though, are as follows:

On the Road
On The Road – Jack Kerouac

Reading about this book gives the sense that it is an important literary work. I probably won’t be able to dispute this in the slightest; and Beat literature is something I’ve been wanting to delve into for a while. There is something about Kerouac’s On The Road that captures my imagination, but other than this, I’m not entirely sure of what to expect – good things, of course, and fascinating things, and if some reviews are anything to go by, the same sense of freedom and wanderlust perpetuated by Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum DiaryI bought my copy today, so more on this to come very soon.

Cathedral

Cathedral – Raymond Carver

There are an awful lot of Carver’s books that I want to read, Cathedral is placed here because of all the great things I have heard about it. Minimalism is something that fascinates me, so the idea of exploring Carver’s stories is an exciting prospect for me and, I feel, important in understanding the technique. The prose might be a refreshing or welcome change, and I’m quite looking forward to it, and to immersing myself in it.

Glamorama

Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis

I guess I lied previously when I stated that I only had The Informers and Imperial Bedrooms left of Ellis’ work to read. I guess I was ‘young’ and didn’t know. Regardless, I’m pleased to say that I received a copy of Glamorama for Christmas, but haven’t yet gotten around to reading it. The fact that it is nearly 600 pages long wasn’t really off-putting to me, but at the same time, I do feel as though I will really need to throw myself into this book to gain anything from it. Not a bad thing at all, but there’s a kind of build-up to this book. Honestly, with the way things are going, I have a sneaking suspicion that it may just take all of September for me to finish. Get ready for one hell of a review when I do.

The Road

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

I’ll admit it. I found out about The Road by way of the Fallout Wikia. It may be a step away from the usual for me, but more than likely a pleasant one. I read the first couple of pages as soon as I bought it, but didn’t continue. This had nothing to do with how I felt about the book, just that it was at a time when I was attempting to read about three different ones and wasn’t giving any of them the attention required. There is something incredibly haunting about what little I have read of McCarthy’s prose, though, so I would quite like to see this in full force and intend to do so very soon.

Survivor

Survivor – Chuck Palahniuk

A while ago, when I first started to get into Palahniuk’s work, I was also watching a lot of 9/11 documentaries on television – the end result of watching these documentaries was a kind of paranoia that every time I left the house something horrible was going to happen. This may have had some bearing as to why I didn’t even consider reading Survivor, but the paranoia has since passed and I’m looking to get back on a bit of a Palahniuk bender, starting with the above. I’m already fairly sure that I’ll breeze through this – Chuck’s novels all seem to have the same effect on me – and I’m hopeful of the prospects.

So, this is my offering for the time being; and if anyone has any recommendations they’d like to shoot me way based on the above, feel free; I welcome new reading material at every opportunity. I suppose that this means a number of book reviews will start popping up from time to time, and of course, I have plans. Oh yes, I have plans. For the time being, though, I’ll hopefully be steadily working through these books for the duration of September until the madness of October hits, and afterwards – of course – NaNoWriMo. I’m getting ahead of myself. This list should keep me busy for quote some time yet.

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The Reading List #2

I really didn’t think I would be posting another one of these for at least a month. Lo and behold, though, here it is, in spite of the overwhelming fact that I didn’t manage to read everything on my last list … mostly due to costs.

Before I press on, though, a quick update on this; I finished The Rules of Attraction,  Snuff and Haunted in quick succession, and most likely burned myself out. I’ll probably be going through Less Than Zero on Monday – yes, my ‘Currently Reading’ widget lies! Honestly, I updated it, but sort of burned myself out … that, or I’m scared to finish my final book too soon, because that means I have to wait quite some time for more. A couple of weeks, at least.  So, Monday shall be spent reading, though seeing as the NaNoWriMo forums reset on Monday, I might get all enthusiastic about that instead, we’ll see. So, the menu for the next few weeks is:

Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey
Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey – Chuck Palahniuk

I’m on a major Palahniuk bender at present – I really wish I’d delved more completely into his writing earlier. It would be easy enough for me to simply make this entire list a list of Palahniuk’s books, but I don’t think that would be entirely fair, nonetheless, the sooner I can get my hands on the rest of his novels, the better. Why Rant? Let’s just say I’ve heard some very, very good things about it from some of Palahniuk’s more disparaging critics, so that’s got to mean something, right? That aside, the concept itself seems strangely similar to something I cooked up quite a few years back (though undoubtedly, Rant is far more polished, and much more well-executed) , and as a result, I find myself with something of a soft spot for it. It strikes a chord with me.

Imperial Bedrooms

Imperial Bedrooms – Bret Easton Ellis

Have you guessed who two of my favourite authors are yet? Naturally, I’m going to wait until I’ve finished Less Than Zero before reading this, namely because both books follow the same character, at different times. In the case of Imperial Bedrooms, the central character, Clay, is middle-aged as opposed to being a teenager, hence the reading order. Every time I find myself in my local WHSmith branch, I pick up Imperial Bedrooms without having enough cash on me to afford it; it’s the only Easton Ellis book they seem to stock, which is a complete shock in itself. This may be part of the reason why I’m so ostensibly drawn to it. Imperial Bedrooms isn’t rated too highly, but this seems to be a common trend, and yet still, I’m compelled to read on. This and The Informers are my only Easton Ellis books left, and I’m determined to read them before the year is out.

Bright Lights, Big City
Bright Lights, Big City – Jay McInerney

It has c0me to my attention that I am in dire need of some Jay McInerney on my bookshelf. Where better to start than where McInerney himself started? I’m not going to pull what I pulled with American Psycho here, I don’t think – instead, I fully intend to start at the beginning and go from there. Apart from Bret Easton Ellis’ comments about McInerney in Lunar Park (and considering he was writing a pseudo-Ellis, I’m not so sure these comments were entirely reliable), I don’t know an awful lot about Bright Lights, Big City – from what I’m aware of, though, this book seems to be right up my alley. It’s been slated as ‘beloved, imitated, and iconic,’ so I have high hopes, but perhaps not so high that I’ll spoil the reading experience for myself. And, oh yeah, second person narrative. Should be fun.

Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 – Hunter S. Thompson

Oh no, she’s here to gush about Hunter S. Thompson again! Damn right I am. Fear and Loathing in Last Vegas is undoubtedly one of my favourite books of all time, and yet, I haven’t gotten around to reading this because, until recently, I was unaware of the concept. That said, from the collective works and essays of The Great Shark Hunt, I do have some idea of what to expect here, and of course, I expect quite a lot indeed. I honestly should have snapped this up much sooner. Silly me. That said, had I done that, I wouldn’t have had the chance to read The Rum Diary when I did … it’s all a little bitter sweet, really. Oh, unfortunately, I couldn’t actually afford The Curse of Lono … should make for an excellent Christmas present, though!

Slaves of New York

Slaves of New York – Tama Janowitz

I remarked to my mom recently that I’d probably fit right in in New York. I have no idea what the basis for this comment was, but anyway; Janowitz, like McInerney is an author I heard about through reading Lunar Park, and as such, the link makes me think that I’ll very much enjoy Slaves of New York. Judging simply on the Goodreads synopsis, this is another book that is very much my kind of reading material, and I’m also absolutely thrilled that it is by a female author for once! I was starting to feel very much alone in my endeavours; Slaves is now a must-read for me.

Lullaby – Chuck Palahniuk and Diary – Chuck Palahniuk

Lullaby sounds positively chilling, or the concept does. This is only one of a number of Palahniuk’s books I intend to read, as I’ve already stated many times (you can almost see the hipster stereotype starting to emerge now, can’t you?), but what draws me to Lullaby is not only its narrative, but also the fact that it is part of the ‘horror’ trilogy Palahniuk intended to write – the other two books in the trilogy being Haunted and the above, Diary. After enjoying Haunted as I did (the review was posted a couple of days ago) I’m actually rather to finish this trilogy as soon as I possibly can. There seems to be significantly more bad press for Diary than there does for Lullaby, but as I’m sure you all know by now, since when has that stopped me? I admit, I’m not so sure about the concept on this one … which I’m hoping just means that I’m likely to be pleasantly surprised by Diary.

So, that’s another list done and dusted, upon which I’ve had to severely limit myself considering there are still maybe a dozen more books I’m lusting to read right about now. It’s so painfully easy to tell that I don’t have much else to do, isn’t it?

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The Reading List #1

Or maybe that should be the first reading list. Or the October reading list. Or the ‘I don’t know how I’m possibly going to afford copies of these books but I’ll do it somehow’ reading list. I should probably add that I’ve been intending to read these books for anything from two to six months, if not more, and yet for some strange reason, I haven’t yet gotten around to it. So without further ado:

Less Than Zero
Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis

So, July was American Psycho month and August was Lunar Park, but I haven’t been able to shake the fact that I started reading B.E.E’s work in the wrong order. This is mostly due to the fact that the aforementioned novels were the only ones on sale within my price range, and I haven’t placed an order on Amazon since … last July, I believe. Goodreads lists this under ‘Books I never should have read’ and ‘the movie was BETTER than the book’ … but since when has that ever deterred me? If I believed at all in these lists, I wouldn’t even know about Bret Easton Ellis, I’m thinking.  On the other hand, it also appears in such lists as ‘Best existential fiction’ and ‘books you can’t live without’; a confidence boost , I suppose, but I was always going to read it anyway. I’m pretty determined not to ruin this for myself by reading too many reviews about it, or reading too much into it, so I can’t really say much other than I plan to read all of B.E.E’s works before the year is out. Whether or not I sleep after doing so is questionable, but will be well worth it.

Haunted

Haunted – Chuck Palahniuk

I first heard about Haunted from the same friend who, essentially, introduced me to Fight Club. (I can’t thank him enough for doing that) The infamy of one of its short stories, Guts, speaks for itself, and appears to be something of a precursor for the events to follow, but I’m a little … obsessed with reading more of Haunted, I have to admit. Goodreads will tell you that it is ‘one of the most disturbing books ever written’ and is one of the ‘books that should be made into movies’, but my interest stems from more than just testing my own personal boundaries. In spite of being penned by the same author, I have a distinct feeling that Haunted may be a rather different reading experience than Fight Club was. Oh, and I promise I won’t faint.

The Curse of Lono

The Curse of Lono – Hunter S. Thompson

The first thing I’m going to say? I would gladly shell out £594.99 for a signed copy of The Curse of Lono. I’d spend my entire book allowance on it. I’ve never read it before, so I’m as unprepared as they come, and yet I have the distinct feeling that it’s almost impossible for me to dislike HST’s work. The redundancy, then, of striving to own a copy of this book may seem apparent, but I don’t feel as though I can go without. Unfortunately, I don’t own a comprehensive collection of HST’s writings, but I’m working on it – believe me when I say I’m working on it – and one day I’ll make it happen. As such, there are plenty of other books that might have taken this spot on the list, but I’m more enthusiastic about reading this than, perhaps, any other book here, and the only reason it features in this spot rather than at the very top is because I have my doubts about getting it before October; should I manage it, you can expect to hear me raving about it in due course, I’m sure.

Meat
Meat – Joseph D’Lacey

The most annoying part of me entering this book into my list is that I saw it in store. I saw it, and wanted it; the unfortunate truth is that I only briefly glanced at the shelf before moving on, and I was curious about Meat, but nothing came of it. I wish it had. Again, I’m determined not to spoil the reading experience by indulging too much in Goodreads’ reviews, and already have a minor grasp on what the narrative entails, but thankfully not enough to put me off reading. This slight idea is what I’m basing my desire to read off – unlike with Easton Ellis and Palahniuk, I’ve never read anything by D’Lacey before, but I have the feeling that Meat may be a good place to start.

Snuff
Snuff – Chuck Palahniuk

The second Palahniuk novel on here, in part because I fear I might never read it if I don’t ‘bite the bullet’ now, as it were, and read. And that just wouldn’t do. My curiosity won’t let it lie, not at all, and so, here we have Snuff. I read a fairly comprehensive review of this that made my head spin, and the prospect of experiencing a similar sensation while reading this is almost too much to bear – I can’t pass up that chance, not right now. That said, I have the distinct feeling that I may eventually walk away and forget about this book, or be a little too perturbed by its contents to want to visit or revisit it. So, I’m seizing the day and scheduling this for an October read, before it’s too late.

The Rules of Attraction
The Rules of Attraction – Bret Easton Ellis 

Sean Bateman appears in American Psycho, the brother of its central character, Patrick Bateman. I’m not going to lie, this was what got me interested in reading The Rules of Attraction, and I’ve searched for a copy to no avail. I read the first page on Amazon, and this was enough to convince me – as with Less Than Zero, I feel that I should have taken the time to read this before both American Psycho and Lunar Park, but the fact remains that I didn’t, and there is no way in which to change it. Does that mean I’m going to abandon reading this altogether? Absolutely not. Three of the four authors of the books on this list are authors I need to read everything by, and B.E.E is one of them.

So there we have it – there are many, many more, but I feel that I probably couldn’t read much more than this over the space of one or two months. What started out as a reading list designated for October has … escalated, to say the least. I’ll take the time here to register the fact that some of these choices may seem either shocking or depraved, that there may be the question of ‘what is wrong’ with me raised; what would possess me to want to read some of these books? All I’m saying is that I’ve had a little head start. I don’t think any of these choices could disturb me more than anything else I’ve read.

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