Submitted by stunet on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:08
Here's a list that gladdens. What Youth and "7 books you will psyche on and should totally read."
I often bemoan the fact that good writing is a dying art. It ain't necessarily true but it sometimes feels that way. The yoof, it always seemed to me, could buy a Canikon for a couple hunge, flood the 'net with images, and call 'emselves artists - easy! But unlike photography there's no shortcut to good writing: no autofocus, no colour correcting software - it's hard fucken work. And the first step toward it is to read lots and lots of great writers. So yeah, glad to see the yoof - What Yoof! - spruiking seven good books. Bit limited in scope and style but a good list nonetheless.
Let it go Lil’ Cryp.
Start the year off fresh.
Thanks for the heads up on 'Scrublands', GF.
Up until recently I was never without a book. I'm sad to say the internet has really curbed my reading.
This year I resolve to read more.
Has anybody read 'Perfume' by Patrick Suskind? I heard it's pretty good.
Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.
Excellent book that one, Zen.
Good NY resolution too.
Same here , Zen.
I would only read 10percent of offline content compared to what I used to . Sad. A few months without regular internet last year was a dream .
Perfume is a great book.
But the movie is a stinker...
A long and excellent and essential piece by Bruce Pascoe. Great voice, great writer.
I’ve not read Dark Emu , but I’ve heard mention of the accounts of indigenous houses within it. Anyone ever encountered a traditional aboriginal house or evidence or remnants of , in their travels ?
Have read Biggest Estate by Gammage. This is next on my list.
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes .US marine served in Vietnam ,reckon he knows what went on.Intense read ,just finished it for the 3rd time.Fucken insane ,make of it what you will ,cheers.
An Orchestra of Minorities - Chicozie Ibioma
In the tradition of Ben Okri and Chinua Achebe
Tell me , BB .
Not chasing a spoiler , but at the end of the book does the Nigerian protagonist finally elevate himself to a suitable level in society and attain enough wealth to satisfy her family , only to be unable to invest his fortune ?
Does he then require the banking details and private information of a foreign citizen in order to secure his wealth and attempts to locate this suitable candidate through unsolicited emails ?
Of course he would probably need a small advance payment initially in order to pay money transfer fees .
Might have to grab a copy.
"Rather, Gammage argues, the first Australians worked a complex system of land management, with fire their biggest ally, and drew on the life cycles of plants and the natural flow of water to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. They managed, he says, the biggest estate on Earth."
Given that Don Winslow predicated his cartel trilogy on the massive problem north America has with its insatiable appetite for cocaine, marijuana and meth, and given the long established import routes of these drugs from Guatemala, San Salvador and Columbia ... through Mexico and into the US by road transport .. is it any wonder Trump wants to dent the trade by raising a border wall?
Before the internet took hold...
"Someone in this thread recommended 'The Dry' by Jane Harper and I finally got around to reading that over the break. Had the potential to be Aussie pulp,"
May have been me, Stu. Yep, a great book by a new author, who has also done 'Force of Nature" and "The Lost Man".
I loved them, they're not as poetic as a Winton novel, but have all the atmosphere and sense of our land in them. You read them and know that someone who has not spent a lot of time in Australia would have no chance of writing them, a hidden menace behind everything, the knowledge that our land is dangerous, kills you easy as soon as you drop your guard and in so many ways.
And the people it produces.
Don't know how long since I've been on here so may have already recommended it, but "Boy Swallows Universe" is a cracking read. Could not believe that it was written by a guy who is a journalist at the Australian, not having been aware that anyone who works for Murdoch could write, and certainly unaware that thought was capable in that perverse domain.
But fuck me it's a good read. Read it in the Cook Islands last November in about 3 days. As we left, sitting at the airport was a young woman who was reading it, about half way through, and struck up a short but sweet conversation with her.
Has anyone else nominated that? Did I already? Apologies if going over old ground.
Also read 'Sapiens', finished recently, received as a Xmas present from the kids, they do know their old man well.
Great book, not startling in its content but just well laid out and points out quite sincerely how we look at our development as a species from Neanderthal onwards, and admits that we have no idea why Sapiens succeeded while neanderthal did not, suggesting in my mind at least that what they might have lacked was sheer bastardry and adept killing cunning. Not sure, but that was a take out from it.
Should concern anyone who does read it, giving hints that what has led to our great success as a species is probably what will see ourselves wipe ourselves out (my take-out again, not explicitly stated in the book, that I can remember)
Makes great points about how our 'advancement' through technology, right back to farming and staying put in places is also the point at which mankind went from living a relatively easy life, not a great deal of work, to suddenly working back-breaking long days to survive. You can take that line of thinking all the way up to today, where we're working harder than ever creating crap so we can buy more crap. Wonderful!
Took away on a trip to Bali an old book I first read about 20 years ago called 'The Holographic Universe', a trip down quantum physics into theories about how this could explain psychic phenomena, telekinesis, time warp/travel, seeing future and past, mysticism and plenty more. Not actually a good book to read in Bali, where animist spirits might still hold some sway, outside the Kuta/Legian region anyway.
Went back and checked some posts from a few years ago, will keep my eye out for anything by Fisk on the middle east (BB and others). I followed a lot of Fisk's work through the late 80s and 90's in particular and knew not where he went in the last decade. Perhaps he was writing the book you mentioned.
I won't believe anything I read about the middle east unless it has been written by Fisk or endorsed by him. Everything else is cant, in my honest opinion.
Having said that, I still have a book called 'A Brutal Friendship', by Said K. Aburish. I first started reading it about 10 or more years ago, can't remember how or who gave it to me, but got half way through it and have yet to finish it (put it down and have read a hundred other books since) but always meant to come back to it. It goes quite a ways back and informed me like no other in terms of how the middle east was created out of the dregs of the first world war and even earlier by western governments and the Arab elite. It wasn't easy going, but I could go back to it now with so much more behind me, and will start it again and finish before I'm gone. It's remarkable how little our education systems and journalism teaches us about our past, and the past of those governments we call allies.
Ignorance isn't bliss, but you don't know that if you're ignorant, it's one of those unknown unknowns.
This aging hooker I sat next to on the train up the coast was reading “ The hard yard “ by Hugh Jardon .
A bit much to swallow apparently.
Oh my lord, that's so fucked...
Lots happening in human evolution at the moment batfink. Well worth keeping up. I taught human evolution for many years and when students asked about how sapiens interacted with neanderthalensis, I would say that my best guess was "in every way possible". We know they produced offspring from DNA, we would be naive to think that there was no violence and there is no reason to think that peaceful co-existence was not possible!
I am currently reading The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro. It's a biography of one of the all time great bastards Robert Moses, who was the most powerful man in New York from the 1930s to the 1960s without ever holding elected office. Machiavelli was a beginner by comparison.
What about de-evolution, BB? Is it a thing?
Some of the thread comments elsewhere would suggest it is.
facto, evolution has no direction so de-evolution is just evolution. There is no reason why humans cannot evolve to be less intelligent, there are some researchers who suggest quite seriously that it has already happened.
Are we not men?
Trying my hardest to finish The House Of The Dead by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was recommended to me by a mate and I started off ok but half way through I can only get about 10 minutes in at a time them have to put it down. I want to stick it out to see what happens further along but I don’t like my chances...
Currently reading 'Boy Swallows Universe' and like Batfink says it's a cracking read. Took me a while to get into it, not sure if that was just distraction on my part or hurried character development on the authors, but once I twigged to who was who and got used to the teenage patois I struggled to put it down.
Reminds me of the 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao', precocious kid with keen insight traversing the adult world, except it's set in 1980s Brisbane so the Australiana references abound: Kilometrico pens, Dunlop KT-26s, McDonalds cricket posters, Life Be In It with Norm, though it never pushes the barrow too far. Never leans on sentiment either, a crutch for authors trying to project some Australianness, all of the adult characters are flawed, but they're all fucken funny, at least through the boy's eyes.
Got suggested to me for a while before I picked it up. Glad I did.
Reading Hooked by G Bruce Knecht about the discovery, exploitation and high seas piracy involved in the hither unknown ( to exploitive commerce ) Patagonian toothfish.
The story is built around an epic oceanic pursuit of a pirate vessel by Australian customs and describes how and why those involved became involved the last great seafood gold rush.
Also (re) reading “ The ascent of money “ by Niall Ferguson. Intriguing account of the history of currency and its effect on our world.
Plus I’ve been nailing a pile of old surfing and fishing magazines scored for me at an op shop.
An ex-missus of mine's first real journalistic break was reporting on this Toothfish activity.
Great stuff facto. Just finished Dark Emu ............ pre-European invasion Australia as the most culturally (as opposed to technologically) advanced place on Earth? He makes a great case.