whatcha reading?


anyone reading any interesting books? please list none architectural type of books only

Jun 16, 05 3:14 am
Carl Douglas (agfa8x)

Paradise Lost - Milton
Urn Burial - Thomas Browne
Religio Medici - Thomas Browne
Enneads - Plotinus
Kafka's diaries.
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson (lame)

Jun 16, 05 3:35 am  · 

what do you think of Religio Medici ag?
I'm reading books like crazy these days, no text books for a few months, so any recomendations would be great!

Jun 16, 05 3:52 am  · 
Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

We - Yevgeny Zamyatin
To The Finland Station - Edmund Wilson
Red Cavalry - Isaac Babel
Mawrdew Czgowchwz - James McCourt
Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis

Jun 16, 05 4:15 am  · 

maybe i'll get some stick for this, but what the heck...

atlas shrugged... almost done, actually... after a year of on-and-off reading....

unlike most of you yanks, i never had to read it at school... and i kind of find it fascinating in a weird way.

Jun 16, 05 4:43 am  · 
Carl Douglas (agfa8x)

I really enjoyed Religio Medici. Browne is eloquent, patient, and knows what he doesn't know. It's an account of his Christian faith.

Also, Zamyatin (recommended by smokety above) is well worth reading. It's trippier than Orwell. (I loved the descriptions of the glass apartments)

Jun 16, 05 5:01 am  · 

i'm just starting orwell's 1984

Jun 16, 05 5:10 am  · 
Oana S.

there's the movie for 1984...
gabriel garcia marquez (love his work)

Jun 16, 05 6:07 am  · 
vado retro

new nick hornby

Jun 16, 05 7:11 am  · 

dont worry spiderdad. i'm reading atlas shrugged as well.

also; Mutants by Armand Leroi
and; Anything (Any series) -- Cynthia Davidson

Jun 16, 05 9:14 am  · 

De Landa - War in the Age of Intelligent Machines

Jun 16, 05 11:20 am  · 

currently reading: The Life of Elizabeth I by Weis

just got done with: Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlen

Jun 16, 05 11:35 am  · 

oh, also just got done with: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
I know I should have read that one in school, but we had one of those crummy textbooks that just had excerpts from a lot of good books, rarely ever read the whole of anything.

Jun 16, 05 11:36 am  · 

race matters - cornel west
super system: a course in power poker - doyle brunson

Jun 16, 05 11:51 am  · 
Luis Fraguada

Burn Collector - Collected Stories one through nine
Al Burian

pretty much a bunch of randon, and not so random stories about Al Burian. His writing style is kind of stream of consciousness, but can be damn funny and sad too. Quick read, pretty interesting, though mostly, there is no point to his stories.

Jun 16, 05 12:00 pm  · 
A Center for Ants?

collected short stories of nabokov
love in the time of cholera - garcia-marquez

vado- new nick hornby any good? or is he getting played out?

Jun 16, 05 12:19 pm  · 
Ms Beary

i've always meant to read atlas shrugged... why would you get stick for reading it?

i'm reading Dirty Sky ... well, you all know this if you are paying attention to my other posts. it's good too, i would recommend it. i'm not really in the book, so i'm ok with it. a character has my name, but that's about it, it's not me.

Jun 16, 05 12:23 pm  · 

Life of Pi - Yann Martel
next on my lest when my wife finishes reading it : I am Charlotte Simmons - Tom Wolfe

Jun 16, 05 12:29 pm  · 

i read life of pi last read. good read.

Jun 16, 05 12:31 pm  · 
el jeffe

sailing alone around the room - billy collins
tax saavy for small business - nolo press

Jun 16, 05 12:33 pm  · 

book dead tibet

Jun 16, 05 1:09 pm  · 

the sublime object of ideology - zizek. totally wanky theory. I love it.

Jun 16, 05 1:15 pm  · 

I know you said no architecture books, but I had to bring this up. I just talked to a non-architect friend who just got done reading the book The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and he said it was absolutely awesome. It's a non-fiction about the events surrounding the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago that parallels the work of Daniel Burnham on the Fair with a killing spree believed to have been perpetrated by H.H. Holmes.

Has anyone else heard of this or read it? Or am I the only nerd that thinks this sounds interesting?

Jun 16, 05 1:19 pm  · 
Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

Ants ... Nabokov's short stories are great ... I love "Spring In Fialta."
As for Garcia-Marquez, my favorite is "The Autumn of The Patriarch."

And if anyone has time, read "Gravity's Rainbow." That book will warp your brain ....

Jun 16, 05 1:22 pm  · 

wonder k...
i read that book in about a week...i really liked the premise
and the book doesn't's slightly non fiction
in that larson tries to take real events and tie them together
with a bit of a it's mostly nonfiction with a bit
of creativity. but a really interesting read and i'm interested
in checking out that area the next time i go to chi-town.

i'm currently reading 27th city by franzen...i like his style and
this book is similar to the corrections but a bit less dry.

Jun 16, 05 1:29 pm  · 
le bossman

chronicles vol. 1 - bob dylan

maximum city - suketu mehta

a people's history of the united states - howard zinn

Jun 16, 05 1:34 pm  · 

anything and everything by Tom Robbins.

Jun 16, 05 1:35 pm  · 

mine as well cut to the chase then and just red everything by Kurt Vonnegut.

just finished Cradle to, the full stories of Paul Bowles.

Jun 16, 05 1:47 pm  · 
liberty bell

WonderK, Devil in the White City was great. All architects should read it. The descriptions of the grimness of big city life at the turn of the century was unimaginable - some days in Chicago you couldn't see more than a block due to all the soot in the air?! Gave me a much better understanding of why fear of big cities is so entrenched in people.

Also it made me feel like a wimp - the thought of Olmstead, in his 70s and suffering from painful gout and toothache and other terrible maladies yet travelling by train to 11 cities in 15 days or something - man, people were just mentally hardier back then.

Jun 16, 05 1:53 pm  · 
liberty bell

wisof, Burn Collector is a perfect portrait of the 90s zine culture. Loved it. Especially the time at RISD.

Jun 16, 05 1:54 pm  · 

I have a bunch of friends going crazy for "Devil in the White City" too. Maybe it's because we're from chicago, but it seems to be a pretty sweet book. I think I'm going to read it once my roomate is done with his copy. It's supposed to be loaded with weird little bits of architectural trivia. so nerdy.


Jun 16, 05 1:54 pm  · 
liberty bell

Ten years late, I know, but I just finished Tortilla Curtain and it has haunted me. Anyone headed to Sci-arc should read this book, the picture of SoCal it paints is tragically true. Gripping reading, too, TC Boyle, he's a fantastic writer (this was my first exposure).

As for other SoCal lit, you can't beat Vineland - a much more fun and accessible read than Gravity's Rainbow, as mentioned above by Smokety.

Jun 16, 05 1:57 pm  · 

i'm on an architecture book jag. i know this is not what requested, but i just finished and recommend moneo's book theoretical anxiety and design strategies in the work of eight contemporary architects. it's not nearly as stand-offish as it sounds.

and now i'm reading the collection of essays edited by tschumi, the state of architecture at the beginning of the 21st century. i'm less impressed by this one. seems to be position statements from all of his buddies, but offers little real insight into what they're doing and why. i read each essay and the most i can muster is 'huh.'

Jun 16, 05 1:57 pm  · 
Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

Liberty Bell ... Vineland is hee-larious. I love all the Star Wars references in it. A bad guy named "Brock Vond" (Darth Vader + James Bond), a kid named Isaiah 2:4 (think R2-D2). Plus the book has two of my favorite characters EVER in literature: Vato and Blood, the Mexican tow truck drivers who give Brock Vond a little taste of the underworld.

Jun 16, 05 2:02 pm  · 
Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

Ward ... I actually found Moneo's book a nice read. It is very accessible. I love the chapters on James Stirling and Aldo Rossi.

Jun 16, 05 2:04 pm  · 

Pines of rome, 1984 is my most fav book, I think I've read it a million times and don't watch the movie before you finish the book.

Nabakov is a genius, Lolita is fab, there is this new best seller Reading Lolita in Tehran by Nafisi, I highly recommend it. If you like the classics you'll looooooove this book.

I just finished The Five People you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom and I'm reading Guantanamo:the war on human rights by David Rose

Jun 16, 05 2:05 pm  · 
liberty bell

Vato and Blood are great, that discussion "cuz it throws a tiny little circle of light, which to see anything, you have to keep moving the map around, is why I don't use, no stinkin' map light" - brilliant.

Isaiah 2:4's parents aren't just vegetarians but won't even eat any food that's red, the color of anger...

My favorite character is the amazing DL Chastain. I secretly want to be her. Might even buy myself a little 60's era Pontiac with a push button shifter one of these days.

And an architecture reference: when a punk band attempts to play a Mob wedding and is on the verge of getting shot by angry wedding guests, the bride rummages through her house and finds "a copy of the indispensable Italian Wedding Fake Book by Deleuze and Guattari" to give to the band ---- hilarious!

I open it randomly and just bask in it for an hour evey month or so.

Jun 16, 05 2:12 pm  · 
Guns, Germs, and Steel

It's not the most exciting book, but it's a pretty interesting read nonetheless.

And I've heard some good whispers about Gravity's Rainbow myself... I may have to pick that one up next...

And Gabriel Garcia Marquez is amazing. My favorite work of his is "The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother."

Jun 16, 05 2:32 pm  · 
Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

liberty bell ... the scene where DL and Takeshi are eating dinner is precious. "Galaxy of Ribs," "Brisket Fantasy" ... jeez, this book is too funny.

Jun 16, 05 2:38 pm  · 

just finished the new palahniuk (haunted). pretty good, but an interesting choice of material following "stranger than fiction"

jumping between "the elegant universe" and terry pratchett's "going postal" right now

Jun 16, 05 2:43 pm  · 

"nineteen eighty three" by david peace. gritty british crime fiction like irvine welsh's "filth" and then some. next up is "rings of saturn" by w. g. sebald which i've heard likened to iain sinclair or early films by peter greenaway, either of which i'm a sucker for... after i get those two read, i'm digging into some archi books.

Jun 16, 05 2:48 pm  · 

ACFAnts, you should check out nabokov's speak, memory. it is incredible.

currently reading Orientalism by said, and next up is the other de landa, non-linear history, etc. limited promos, how do you find the one you're reading?

Jun 16, 05 2:59 pm  · 
Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

I also love Philip Kerr's "Berlin Noir" trilogy. Pretty tasty crime fiction set in Nazi-era Berlin.

Jun 16, 05 3:02 pm  · 
Ms Beary

Devil in the White City is my next read, my husband's coworker gave it to us and he just finished it last night.

Jun 16, 05 3:03 pm  · 

nabakov's 'ada' is an all-time favorite of mine. one of several, of course.

and there is a book that collects his letters that's pretty great as well. makes you wish we still wrote letters these days.

Jun 16, 05 3:05 pm  · 

paris, I read the Five People you meet in heaven as well....somewhat gut-wrenching but a quick read and thought-provoking.

Am going to borrow Devil in the White City very soon, thanks all.

Also a fan of Vonnegut and most anything written regarding liberal-skewed politics, Al Franken is great for giving you a laugh whilst simultaneously crying at the state of American government.

Jun 16, 05 3:21 pm  · 

another nod to "Devil in the White City"...good read.
I just finished David Sedaris' "naked"...another good one.

currently reading a book of poetry by Philip Larkin and "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

Jun 16, 05 3:30 pm  · 

I'm reading the manuscript of A Quondam Banquet of Virtual Sachlichkeit: Part II. Here's an excerpt:

That Kahn also had a son and a second mistress is all news to me. I imagine most of my teachers at college knew of the situation, but it was never a topic I heard discussed. Anyway, 'great' architects are mostly portrayed as gods throughout architectural education, you know, the ones we should emulate. I guess it would kind of be illegal to portray polygamy as one more 'architectural' aspect to emulate.

What really bothers me though is the notion that Kahn's architecture being inspired by his youthful surroundings is now seen as some new insight. The truth of the matter is that North Philadelphia was jam packed with an incredible collection of late-19th/early 20th century industrial architecture. Sadly, a lot of it is now gone, and virtually none of it was ever appreciated. For me, it was riding the old Reading train line into town through North Philadelphia that provided one of Philadelphia's best architectural tours. (This train route is now called the R8, and it still runs regularly, but many of the old factories are gone.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that apparently there were and still are great buildings in North Philadelphia (like Exeter Library, no less), but because they are not designed by someone famous, they are not noticed. Why isn't this architectural greatness recognized all along? Is it perhaps architectural education itself that somehow makes us less observant? Or has it always been that nothing is worth it until some article or book says it is?

Jun 16, 05 3:31 pm  · 

i'm from chi and an architect but
i disagree on devil in the white city, very overrated and not a lot of substance.
granted the few passages describing the world's fair planning process b/w burham/root/others were interesting....the rest was just dull.
read something meatier i say.
moral animal by robert wright is a good one i finished recently. so is
survivor, for fight club/chuck p. fans

Jun 16, 05 3:49 pm  · 
La Vita Nuova- Dante

Translation of his love for Beatrice in the form of sonnets and canzone. He adds explanations of the poems thus giving the reader a sense of both the heart and the mind.

The Romance Of Tristan-Beroul
still reading this one. Tristan falls in love with King Mark's wife Yseut. Yseut is caught betwen the romantic Tristan and the classical King Mark. Moral values become irrelevant in the realm of love.

Jun 16, 05 3:54 pm  · 
brian buchalski

i recently finished james howard kunstler's "the long emergency" seems a bit extremist to me (as if he were only fleshing out one possibility in a scenario planning process), but nonetheless i feel that it is worth thinking about.

Jun 16, 05 4:17 pm  · 

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