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2008 Book List

Feb. 6th, 2009 | 06:07 pm
posted by: unicorn_ in booktrash

You can't claim I don't get around to these things eventually ;P

My list of books read in 2008Collapse )

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. . . Pants on Fire

Mar. 9th, 2008 | 12:41 pm
location: Brooklyn, New York
posted by: chidder in booktrash

Last week yet another memorist was outed (this time by her sister no less!) as nothing more than a lowly fiction writer; once again begging the question: why didn't they just publish their works as fiction in the first place?

Ego and greed, probably.

Not discounting these writers' duplicity in dealing with their publishers, what's truly troubling when these contretemps raise their ugly little heads is the press's haughty shock and awe that any half-truths (or quarter- or third-truths) should have wormed their way into the sanctity of somebody's memoir. Literary and social critics alike thump their thesauri and behave as if, pre-James Frey coming along and embarrassing Oprah with his million little lies, every memoir published was letter-perfect when it came to factual matters--that no details were added or enhanced (or omitted), that no dialog was fabricated, that nothing was tweaked to make the piece better (or at least readable).

By its selective nature, a memoir is not journalism; it is subject to the tricks our memories play on us; how and why events took place are filtered, consciously or unconsciously, by our prejudices, belief systems, etc. Plus, let's face it, folks: life, by and large, is boring. Even fascinating people have plenty of downtime where nothing of much interest happens. Knowing what to emphasize and what to ignore, where a chapter--let alone the real story--begins and ends (in reality, most people's lives have very few--and very long--chapters), is the writer's job.

And while we're talking about it, the very journalists looking down their collective nose at these memorists are prone to the same refractions they're pillorying; they shouldn't be, but they are. The truth is never more malleable than in the hands of a writer.

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2007 Book List

Jan. 13th, 2008 | 03:30 pm
posted by: unicorn_ in booktrash

Not quite as late this year ;)

My list of books read in 2007Collapse )

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(no subject)

Aug. 25th, 2007 | 05:39 pm
posted by: kare_chan in booktrash

I am currently pondering to start a new vampire/ fantasy series.
But I kinda can't make up my mind.

On the list are:
Anne Bishop - The Black Jewels Trilogy
Raven Hart - The Vampire's Secret/ The Vampire's Seduction
Rosemary Laurey - The Vampire Series
Faith Hunter - Seraph/ Bloodring

Has anyone here read anything of this?
Any recommendations?
Anything you would tell me to not even bother to pick up?

And does anyone know a good vampire series who doesn't turn into a romance novel somewhere in the middle?

(x-posted)

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(no subject)

May. 30th, 2007 | 11:36 am
posted by: sockmonkie in booktrash

the mod said i should post this here:


i have been on http://www.paperbackswap.com for 2 years now. i've seen the site grow to over a million books in its library, i've mailed out over a hundred books and received over a hundred books in return. i have at least 20 books on my bookshelf over there at any given time. i love this site.

this morning there was an email about a used book store owner wanting to burn his excess books. the though of it makes me all twitchy. PBS has asked for the books to add to their library. they have a petition for people sign to help them be chosen to receive the books. please go and sign it.

Stop the Fires -- Save the Books

scroll to the bottom of the page, put your name, city and state and click 'save a book for me'.

thanks.

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Reading Mr. Mamet

May. 29th, 2007 | 12:35 pm
location: Brooklyn, NY
posted by: chidder in booktrash

David Mamet's latest collection of essays, Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose and Practice of the Movie Business, zeroes in on the subject of moviemaking — Hollywood moviemaking, in particular — and, as is his way, manages to make the reader feel a) pretty damn smart for understanding what's being set at our feet, b) dimwitted for sometimes not knowing what the hell he's talking about, or c) both a) and b) at the same time.

Reading Mr. Mamet is not unlike drinking a dose of cherry-flavored cough syrup: you don't necessarily enjoy it at the time you're downing it, you wonder where they picked these particular cherries, but afterwards, if its desired effect is successful, you're glad you took the measures.
(I speak here of Mamet's prose writing, not his playwriting. In that respect, I have nothing bad to say about the man who wrote Glengarry Glen Ross, nor, with few reservations, about the man who wrote the screenplays for The Verdict and the Untouchables, and who wrote and directed House of Games and State and Main. This hereby ends the world's longest mea culpa.)

That being said, the sections of the book devoted to "The Screenplay" and "Technique" prove invaluable reading for any writer. "Storytelling: Some Technical Advice" begins: "Storytelling is like sex. We all do it naturally. Some of us are better at it than others." Mamet goes on to say that all successful stories utilize the same form: "Once upon a time, and then one day, and just when everything was going so well, when just at the last minute, and they all lived happily ever after. Period."

He misses the boat, however, with the book's appendix, which consists of over 30 pages listing the films referenced throughout the book. Rather than enticing us with descriptions of the movies that are salient and incisive, after providing the year the film was made, the principal actors, the director and writer, he boils the plot lines down to their bare bones (sans any marrow whatsoever) and presents capsule reviews that make Leonard Maltin sound like Shakespeare. (For example, his entry for Taxi Driver: "Isolated in New York City, a Vietnam vet takes it upon himself to violently liberate an adolescent prostitute from her pimp.")

If his goal was to demonstrate how the plots of even classic films can be reduced to a single sentence, he succeeds. But in doing so he also shows why so much of what comes out of pitch-happy Hollywood these days is devoid of mystery, poetry, character, or any trace of art.

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Everything Is an Afterthought

Apr. 23rd, 2007 | 10:20 am
posted by: chidder in booktrash

I recently sold my first book. In conjunction, I've established another LiveJournal to report on the project's progress, occasionally provide links about, and writings by, its subject, Paul Nelson (famous for his writings about Bob Dylan and his Rolling Stone cover story about Warren Zevon's battle with alcoholism), and share snippets of information or parts of interviews that may or may not be covered further in the final product.

The new journal shares the book's working title, Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson. Just follow the link.

Anybody interested in learning more about this brilliant critic, whose own life proved just as mysterious and fascinating as the artists' about whom he wrote, is welcome to join. As well, tracking the process of how a book goes from sale to publication should prove interesting. I'm rather curious about that part myself...

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(no subject)

Apr. 10th, 2007 | 07:11 pm
posted by: unicorn_ in booktrash

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
Non-Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

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(no subject)

Apr. 4th, 2007 | 12:59 pm
posted by: marciavandecamp in booktrash

Hey you,

I'm new here and I just wanna tell you that I made a Karin Slaughter Community

http://community.livejournal.com/saralinton 

Maybe some of you're interested in talking about her, her books, the characters, changing news and writing own stories....do whatever you want! I'll be waiting for you...

I try my best to make it work really good and I could need all the help I can get!!!

See you there, 

bye bye 

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Survey

Mar. 21st, 2007 | 12:19 am
posted by: unicorn_ in booktrash

I just found and posted a rather lengthy book survey that I thought some of you folks might be interested in doing. I enjoyed it so I thought I'd pass it along! That is all :)

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