general reading and book related things

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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by indiansummer » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:41 am

eggs wrote:why is there a "teen books" section at the bookstore? are teen books in fact for pre-teens? i thought teenagers just try to read grown up shit.
I think as a rule it's fiction for and about teenagers. Judy Blume, perhaps? I read all my sister's Blume books on holiday years ago after finishing everything i'd brought. She's ace.

Some of my favourite teen fiction includes Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (not seen the film yet).

I read Before I Die by Jenny Downham last year too. It's pretty good but i wouldn't say i 'enjoyed' it, per se. I've noticed that it's started cropping up in the 'grown-up' section as well.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:21 am

indiansummer wrote:
Some of my favourite teen fiction includes Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
I've got that! Have you read Loser too? I reckon that's better.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by indiansummer » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:40 am

No, i've bought a stack of Spinelli books for Sarah over the years though. I must borrow them - i heard that one was dead good!

He's pretty good though - sorta like a teen-focussed Coupland or Miriam Toews. IMHO.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:09 am

I've only read those two. I didn;t even realise that Loser was a kids' book at the time (but I'm not exactly in the excelerated learning program).

I just found it really very sweet and a lovely story :-)
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by indiansummer » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:31 am

There's a sequel to Stargirl now as well! I got it for Sarah's birthday the other year.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by Carys » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:20 pm

eggs wrote:why is there a "teen books" section at the bookstore? are teen books in fact for pre-teens? i thought teenagers just try to read grown up shit.
I would always get really annoyed at the teen 'literature' section because, like you say, I skipped from children's books to adult books with nothing in between except Point Horror.

I say this, though, as someone who was always, y'know, able to read. Now I work in a school, it's obvious that lots of children simply can't handle adult books for all kinds of reasons: lack of exposure, unsure what to read next, inability to relate to adult themes... I always make sure to lend the older/brighter students modern fiction that will be accessible to them (Auster, Vonnegut, Plath etc.) but most students just don't get it, which is a real pity.

Moreover, I find that lots of adults instantly recommend the classics to teenagers who want to read adult books; not one for the classics myself, I think this is a big mistake as teenagers are often put off by this.

There just isn't a culture of reading within schools, which is a real pity. Even among my A-level group, very few students read for pleasure, and those who do read 'misery memoirs' like Ugly.

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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by cupcake_love » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:50 pm

i don't know if i will ever enjoy reading adult books.

i used to read like 5 books a week when i was a (pre)-teenager, and i really enjoyed reading. but these past years i just haven't taken my time to read, and once i have, i have had a really hard time getting into it, until i realized that i was reading the wrong books.

once i realized that and went on a excursion to the children-and-teenager-section at the library, there was so many books for me just waiting to be read! i picked out like 20 books right then, i could hardly choose which ones were going home with me (too heavy to carry all).

i don't know, i guess i prefer to read adventures, or teenage problems, or about love so complicated it can only be for (pre-)teenagers. that and i probably do have a hard time relating to "grown-up problems.".
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by boney » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:56 pm

I find it impossible to read for pleasure within a couple of years of any type of education. I was a big reader when I was at high school, then didn't read much non-school stuff whilst I was at college. Started reading again in earnest when I was 21. When I went to Uni I completely lost the ability to read for fun - I was doing philosophy and picking over every word and concept in a text, it was hard to relax out of that. It's only now, about 2/3 years after graduating that I'm reading again in earnest.

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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by cupcake_love » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:05 pm

^must be terrible. i got that way when i studied film. i couldn't enjoy watching movies in a long while after, all i saw was lightning, angles, broken chronology and points-of-no-return.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by boney » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:18 pm

cupcake_love wrote:^must be terrible. i got that way when i studied film. i couldn't enjoy watching movies in a long while after, all i saw was lightning, angles, broken chronology and points-of-no-return.
I get you. I did a film style module at University and consciously decided afterwards never to do anything else like that, for wanting to keep a certain passivity to my film watching. It's good to have an understanding of the general artistic theories to be able to understand the whole but when all you can see is the nuts and bolts it's too much!

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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by cupcake_love » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:20 pm

exactly!
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by Carys » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:31 am

Saw Jonathan Safran Foer at the Guardian review club last night. Both of his novels (Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) are amongst my favourites, although the former was the focus of the discussion. For the first time since I finished my degree in 2006, I had a hankering for literary criticism.

To be honest, all doing my English Literature degree taught me was that writing about books in that way is a waste of everyone's time, but I was always very good at it...

But yes. I love his books and maybe you would too.

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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by SophieC » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:06 pm

no idea what place on the take up curve i am with this thing, but has anyone else seen this site?

http://librivox.org/

it's a collection of volunteers reading aloud public domain books and uploading them to the internet. it's frickin' awesome dood. i can now download them to my phone and have reassuring sounding old men chat to me on the bus via my headphones, rather than via grasping my knee and asking me if i'm a sailor.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by Damian » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:30 pm

That is quite, quite, wonderful.

It's got to be a real labour of love to bother to read anything out loud; I tried to record books to cassette a long time ago for my sister (her disability means she's unable to hold any but the smallest of books) but it's just such an effort.

It's really a highly impressive website and all for frees. Brilliant

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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by Carys » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:21 pm

It's a great site in many respects, but many of them are really badly read unfortunately. Hit and miss, I'd say.

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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by nanski » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:20 am

Here's a nice piece about/interview of David Mitchell (the novelist): http://www.themillions.com/2010/08/plot ... chell.html
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by Final Loan » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:53 pm

I was emailed this. Thought it might be of interest to some of you literary anorakers:
Invitation
an evening with Theodor Fontane
place: The European Bookshop, 5 Warwick Street, London W1B 5LU
date: Wednesday, 15th September 2010
time: 7:00 pm
Angel Classics and The European Bookshop have pleasure in inviting you to the launch of new translations of not one but two great novels by Germany's greatest 19th century novelist.
Irrungen, Wirrungen, (On Tangled Paths) and Unwiederbringlich (No Way Back), together with his best known novel, Effi Briest, have led one critic to call Fontane Germany's Flaubert, Turgenev and Austen rolled into one. Yet for most of the century following his death in 1898 he was little known in the English-speaking world.
Angel Classics have put that right. In 1991 they published the first and only translation of Cécile, which begins Fontane's series of Berlin novels, and in 1995, Effi Briest, since sublicensed to Penguin Books. And now they consolidate Fontane's growing reputation among English readers with these two new translations which represent Fontane at his peak.
The translators themselves will be present at the launch. Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers, who gave us such a brilliant Effi Briest, will be available to discuss No Way Back, while Peter James Bowman can answer all your questions about On Tangled Paths.
Come and share a glass of wine with us and revel in some great German literature. Or if you can't join us, order the books via the links above before the end of August, and we'll give you a 20% pre-publication discount.
RSVP The European Bookshop
To RSVP the email is events@esb.co.uk, with the subject FontaneEvening.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by Silver Girl » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:05 pm

Sorry to load you guys up with this, but I've just had a bit of a minor panic.
I reckon that I read a book a week these days, let's say 60 a year allowing for holidays and that.
Now, I'd like to hope that I've got a good 40-45 years' reading time left. But that doesn't add up to *that* many books, say in the region of 2500.
So, I'm going to have to start being more picky. Where do you start? Where do you stop? Is there anything that you 'have' to read? Is there anything that I shouldn't bother with (e.g. Dickens? 2 of them were ruined for me at school, does that mean the rest are dull too?)
Any thoughts or should I just get over myself and read what I fancy? (just starting Stewart Lee's new one...)
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by indiansummer » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:43 pm

Silver Girl wrote:Any thoughts or should I just get over myself and read what I fancy? (just starting Stewart Lee's new one...)
THIS (in the friendliest way)

a while back i tried alternating newer (so... less 'important'? more 'trashy'? it seemed that way to me, for some reason) with supposed classics, with mixed results. there's no point in feeling duty-bound to read things though - you're far better off having a go cos you fancy them rather than ploughing through things you hate, just so you can say you've read them.

i reckon.

no book's really any more important than another, is it? save for how important it is to you.
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Re: general reading and book related things

Post by islandhopper » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:53 pm

Yip. Reading (or watching or listening to) things because you think you're meant to rarely ends well. If you put pressure on yourself to read certain things before a certain time then you're just not going to enjoy it nearly as much either.
I'm reading a 1000+ page book at the moment and, as much as I'm enjoying it, I really want the pleasure of finishing it and being able to start on a new one. I also just feel guilty if I have too many books piled up beside the bedside, so I have to try and keep my purchases to a minimum which tends to result in a fairly random selection of books with not much in common.

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