Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Any suggestions for the next reading group?


  1. NICE photo!

    Here's what's on my stack:

    -- Why Nations Fail
    -- Island of Vice
    -- The Cause
    -- Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul
    -- America's Great Debate
    -- Rez Life
    -- Lost Kingdom

    I have others around here, but those are at hand.

    I'm currently reading the Brautigan bio, which I"m loving -- but at 800 pages I think it may take a certain type. He had visions of grandeur at 20 -- assumed he was a genius and was a great writer -- so they locked him up and gave him shock treatments. Sometimes you can't make these things up.

  2. You have amazing patience if you can get through the Brautigan bio. To think that someone would spend so much time writing about such a negligible writer is . . . Brautiganesque.

  3. I recall Whiskey and Rick making fun of Brautigan in the NYTimes forums.Despite their bon mots he was a writer of some importance but I have problems with bios reaching past 600 pages no matter what.Huey Long,Fidel Castro,and Somerset Maughn are three bios that come to mind.A little trimming would have helped.

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  5. It depends on who you are appealing to. Obviously, Hjortsberg was appealing to Brautigan fans.

    As for Caro, he has now written four books on Johnson, totaling over 2500 pages, and his books remain best sellers. There will be at least one more in this series.

  6. I would be interested in the Roger Williams book, av,

  7. Funny, I was never a Brautigan fan. Saw him read once when I was in college and didn't "get it."

    Many years ago I wrote book reviews and they asked me to review Brautigan's _So the Wind Won't Blow it All Away_. I turned them down because I didn't like his work, but they asked me to review it anyway. I loved it. After all these years, I can still picture some of the incidents in the novel, and it's still one of my favorites.

    Apparently this bio was meant to be two volumes, which would have meant sense given its size. It's as detailed as Caro's books, but I think Hjortsberg is a better writer or story teller. He's had great reviews for the book.

    I find the stories fascinating but Brautigan was part of the group of writers I know, so that's always interesting to me. I lived in SF for awhile and he and a couple other friends showed up when the bars closed. Drank brandy and sang sea shanties at the kitchen table.

    I see the heft of the book as an ironic counterpoint to the brevity of Brautigan's work, which apparently no one knows now.

  8. The Roger Williams looks good, Gintaras. I got it because of your suggestion earlier. I can move it to the top of the stack.

    I also have Steve Coll's book on Exxon waiting in the wings. That might be a page turner.

  9. I just sent in a request for Williams & audio book as well. Does sound very interesting. The local library only has 1 copy so I will have to wait about a month for it. The county library doesn't have it at all. Dunno why.

    Hopefully, it will come in sooner than later ...

  10. Sounds like we have a book. That's great!

  11. We can set the reading group for Sept. 1. No hurry. Hopefully, others will join us.