Just a few books/authors to suggest...

Discuss your favorite books, stories and other literary matters here. Recommend reading material to other forum users. What's on your bookshelf?
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Just a few books/authors to suggest...

Post by Jody Barsch* » Nov 19th 2003, 2:04 am

Everything by David Sedaris! He has four books: Naked, Me Talk pretty One Day, Holidays On Ice, and Barrel Fever (my least favorite). He also reads his stories on NPR, and publishes works in New Yorker, and a men's magazine (maybe GQ?). He and his sister Amy (from Strangers with Candy and Sex and the City) also write plays. He also recorded all of his books on CD. If you ever get a chance to hear him read, GO!!! It is hysterical, and he is really nice!!! Also, Amy recently wrote a book with two other writers (i loaned it to a friend and can't remember it right now) but it is CRAZY, and SO Funny!

Steve Martin's collection of short stories Pure Drivel, also very funny, and his novella Shop Girl. He has a new one coming out, but I have not read it.

I have suggested it on another post, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A truly beautiful book about adolescence, (don't be scared off just because its co/published by MTV) It is my mission to get people to read this book.

Lolita, probably the most amazing book ever. The prose are incredible, especially the alliteration in the first lines: "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta."

Ordinary Pleasures by Kay Young, a professor of mine at UCSB. Summary from the back: "Ordinary Pleasures offers a new theory of narrative in its uncovering of how conversations and omic exchanges between lovers in stories create an intimacy and happiness of the everyday. Drawing on a diverse body of theory (from sociolinguistics to philosophy to literary criticism) and reading an unexpectedly eclectic groups of texts (works by Shakespeare and Tolstoy appear beside Casablanca and I love Lucy), Kay Young explores how narrative couples play together, strugglr together, and return to one anoher to experience what it means to be in a relationship oer time." (This book may be hard to find, check Amazon.)

Speak by Anderson. This is a young adult book, but it is really well-written, and since much of this website centers aound adolescence, I felt it deserved a place on this list. It is about a young girl's freshman year in high school-- none of her friends will speak to her because of something that happened during the summer. It is a little bit of a mystery, and the story of finding your voice.

The Mixchquila Letters by Ana Castillo (I don't have it in front of me, and I am sure that I misspelled the title) This text is a mix of poetry and prose and is a series of letters between to women, most recounting their trips to Mexico. I would argue that this is the feminist counterpart to Keroauc's On the Road. The really cool thing about this book is that you can read the letters in various sequences to change your reading (Ex: the Quixotian reading leaves of the letter about an abortion)

Revolt of the Cockroach People

Locas - it is amazing!!

Well those are just a few.
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Re: Just a few books/authors to suggest...

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 19th 2003, 2:56 am

Jody Barsch (ALB) wrote:Steve Martin's collection of short stories Pure Drivel, also very funny, and his novella Shop Girl. He has a new one coming out, but I have not read it.
FYI - Steve Martin's second novel, The Pleasure of My Company, was released last month. I liked it even more than I liked Shopgirl - very funny! I know they were selling it at Cost Co for a pretty good price last month, so get it if you can!
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Re: Just a few books/authors to suggest...

Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 6th 2004, 1:20 am

candygirl wrote:Steve Martin's collection of short stories Pure DSteve Martin's second novel, The Pleasure of My Company, was released last month. I liked it even more than I liked Shopgirl - very funny! I know they were selling it at Cost Co for a pretty good price last month, so get it if you can!
It's been sitting on my shelf for MONTHS, oh well, I guess that's what summer vacation is for.


I just finished the greatest book, Hamlet's Dresser by Bob Smith. It's a memoir (and currently on sale in hard back for super cheap at Barnes and Noble). I loved it -- so wonderful.
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Re: Just a few books/authors to suggest...

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jun 27th 2004, 6:32 pm

Jody Barsch* wrote:Everything by David Sedaris! He has four books: Naked, Me Talk pretty One Day, Holidays On Ice, and Barrel Fever (my least favorite). He also reads his stories on NPR, and publishes works in New Yorker, and a men's magazine (maybe GQ?). He and his sister Amy (from Strangers with Candy and Sex and the City) also write plays. He also recorded all of his books on CD. If you ever get a chance to hear him read, GO!!! It is hysterical, and he is really nice!!! Also, Amy recently wrote a book with two other writers (i loaned it to a friend and can't remember it right now) but it is CRAZY, and SO Funny!
I meant to post this sooner, but when you mentioned Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim elsewhere, it jogged my memory :wink: I went to see David Sedaris at a book signing recently - he read a story from his new book, read some journal entries from his diary, and answered questions from the audience. It was about an hour total. Then I stood in line for an hour and a half to have my books signed. He was very funny (no surprise), but he seemed a little more at ease with the crowd than he was one on one. I guess it's kind of awkward to talk to strangers for thirty seconds while signing stuff for them - not really a time for meaningful conversation.

The book Amy wrote (with Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert) is called Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not. All three authors are members of the Second City comedy troupe (other alumni include Mike Myers, Tim Meadows, Chris Farley, Dan Castellaneta, Harold Ramis, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, John Belushi, Bill Murray, John Candy, Stephanie Weir, Dan Akroyd, Eugene Levy, George Wendt, and Shelley Long) and creators of the Comedy Central shows Exit 57 and Strangers with Candy - a very funny group of people. Todd Oldham did the photography. I haven't read the whole book, but I read the first few pages and thought it was hilarious. Just seeing Russell's resume was enough to convince me that I must read this book at some point.

I haven't read The Book of Liz (the play that David and Amy wrote together), but based on both of their previous work it's on my amazon wish list. I still haven't cracked open Dress Your Family yet because I literally have a pile of books all waiting to be read.

Just a tip for anyone who plans to see David speak - he gives front of the line privileges to smokers, but you must have a pack of cigarettes to prove it (he says casual smokers who bum cigarettes off of other people are social smokers who aren't committed enough). Even if you aren't a smoker, buying a pack of smokes is a worthwhile investment if you are going to see him - it would have saved me an hour and a half of standing in line.
Steve Martin's collection of short stories Pure Drivel, also very funny, and his novella Shop Girl. He has a new one coming out, but I have not read it.
Have you read The Pleasure of My Company yet? It's summer missie so I'll be expecting a book report! :wink:
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 27th 2004, 8:42 pm

Candygirl, when did you go? I saw him Thursday at UCLA. I too am a non smoker so my friends and I were at the end of the line, but when we made it up to the front he needed a cigarette break so he invited the three of us out on the balcony with him. This is the third time I have heard him read, and over this span of time I have discovered one fail proof topic of conversation for speaking with Mr Sedaris -- In 'n Out Burger! He loves it!
Have you read The Pleasure of My Company yet? It's summer missie so I'll be expecting a book report! :wink:
I just finished Dress Your Family and am reading Catcher in the Rye for the umpteenth time (ah the joys of the high school teacher's cannon); I also just picked up Still Life with Woodpecker for its second go-around and thought that I'd give Ash Wednesday a try as a seem to remember liking Hottest State -- But, with this reminder, I'll go pull Pleasure off my bookshelf and start it tonight! I'll get back to you on it in a week or so. :D
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jun 27th 2004, 11:59 pm

I saw him last weekend or the weekend before (they're all blurring together now :wink: ). On the plus side, I did get to browse through a lot of interesting books as the line wound through the bookstore. First we hit fiction/literature, travel/language, then the kids' books. I read Naked when someone gave it to me for my birthday last year, and a friend of mine sent Me Talk Pretty One Day, but it's still buried somewhere on Mt. To Be Read. I bought Holidays on Ice and Barrel Fever at the booksigning, but they will have to get in line to be read :mrgreen:

In-N-Out is an interesting phenomenon. Almost everyone I know who is NOT from California loves it insanely - of all the people I knew in college who were from out of state, I can't think of one person who didn't love it. People who grew up with it readily available are slightly less fanatical about it, but most of them still like it. I remember the old In-N-Out bumper stickers that looked like this:
IN-N-OUT
BURGER
In high school, people used to cut off the B and the R so that the stickers said IN-N-OUT URGE. Apparently In-N-Out heard about this (eventually and changed the layout.

:lol:
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 28th 2004, 12:21 pm

David likes how they are so self-sufficiently run, every time without fail, he mentions the teenagers efficiently running the place with no adults.

Me Talk Pretty One Day is totally good! I go back and forth between which is my favorite, Naked or Me Talk Pretty. "Jesus Shaves" and "The Learning Curve" are two of my enduring favorites from MTP. Holidays on Ice is a little different from those two because some stories are not written in his voice. It includes "Dinah the Christmas Whore" (always a good one), which also appears in Naked .
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jun 28th 2004, 3:59 pm

What struck me as interesting is that when I saw something on the Food Network about McDonald's, they showed the way the original kitchens were run and they look very similar to the current In-N-Out kitchens.

I have a few more books that I must read in the next couple of weeks, but then I'm moving the David Sedaris books to the top of the pile. Dave Eggers is right behind him.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 29th 2004, 12:57 am

Not familiar with Dave Eggers ... should I be?
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Post by starbug » Jun 29th 2004, 4:21 am

I've read Dave Eggers' book 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' and I thoroughly enjoyed it... it's about his mother dying and him looking after his younger brother while they both grow up; and a set of trials and tribulations that occur. In amongst all this he begins to work/volunteer for a small magazine, and so it kind of winds around that too. It's a good book, well-written. I usually find it interesting to read books written in the male first person though...

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 29th 2004, 2:02 pm

I was waiting for you to join in on this thread Starbug :wink:
Thanks for the summary, I'll put it on the list ... :D
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jun 29th 2004, 3:14 pm

Also check out You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers. In this book, he and a friend cope with the death of a third friend by traveling around the country distributing $80,000.

He has a new book coming out in August so I am trying to finish his previous books before then. Little goals, you know.

:mrgreen:
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jun 29th 2004, 3:19 pm

starbug wrote:I usually find it interesting to read books written in the male first person though...
My favorite in that genre: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I love About a Boy too, but High Fidelity is the penultimate. I found How to Be Good a little weird and I didn't really enjoy Fever Pitch, mostly because I am not a huge soccer (football) fan. I did like the parallels he drew between his favorite team and his life/career. I liked Songbook (31 Songs in the UK) but was shocked by how much people were selling it for on ebay. Crazy.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 30th 2004, 5:30 am

I love High Fidelity, I've read it three times. (Just a little English teacher/Librarian Trivia: High Fidelity os the book Tony Hawk is holding in his READ poster) I have started Songbook but never finished it, I was waiting to see if I could get the music together. By the way, did you see that the MTV Publishers came out with a book with kind of the same idea - I read one of the stories and was none too impressed and decided not to buy it.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jun 30th 2004, 3:36 pm

Jody Barsch* wrote:I have started Songbook but never finished it, I was waiting to see if I could get the music together.
Did you buy the paperback version? The hardback version came with a CD that had about half the songs on it. I admit that I did not play each song before reading the corresponding essay.

:oops:

I actually have no idea how many times I have read High Fidelity - I know I have read it straight through at least ten times, but then I retired it to the sofa as The Book I Read When I'm Waiting for the Commercials to Be Over and then moved it over to the table as The Book I Read After I Have Read Today's Newspaper, so I read it a few more times that way. I also used it as my plane book for a few trips. I really love that book - can you tell? I have also give it as a gift to at least three people in the last year. I must share with others the wit and wisdom that is High Fidelity. Let's not bring up the OCD.

:mrgreen:
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