Well-known member
ok peeps, whatcha reading at the moment?

empty mirror;198021 05-08-2009 11:29 AM said:
i am curious about what is on your nightstand at the moment.

i am just starting The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein. only 20 pages into it but it already seems more coherent than i was expecting. as far as her fiction goes, i've only ever read Ida before, which was amazing----but for a ~200 pg novella, it felt like a thousand pages. so i expect MoA, which is 1000 pages, to feel like... 10,000? from what i can tell, this one is about america through the prism of one family, from the generation that arrived from the old world on a boat to the present. the first chapter invokes that apollinaire quote about carrying one's father's corpse everywhere, only with a jocular zombie twist. high hopes.

on the non-fiction end, i have been pecking at The Rest Is Noise about... well, the birth and development of atonal classical music, beginning with Mahler and Strauss. i am only about 150 or so pages in... Bartok. Janacek. i have only lately been getting serious about classical music so this is serving as a kind of primer.

your turn.
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Bad Wisdom / The Zelator

The memoir, fiction (faction? surely not) 'Bad Wisdom' by Bill Drummond and Mark (zodiac mindwarp) Manning. So far, i've just been unsettled by 1)being reminded of Voice of the Beehive and 2) having to look at those girls in a whole different way... also just bought The Zelator , the magical memoir / alchemical splurge of Mark Hedsel - anyone know if it's any good? the reviews tend to spin from the awesome to the inane which I generally take to mean I'll like it...


swapping back and forth between

Michel Houllebecq's Platform and

Stuart Christie's My Grandma Made Me An Anarchist (his autobiography leading up to his time involved with the Angry Brigade)

and also Mick Middles' dreadfully written book about The Fall. which is just a woeful piece of crap and I don't know why i don't just call it a day..

simon silverdollar

john irving's 'prayer for oewn meany', on the recommendations of countless people. even though i thought 'world according to garp' was a bit dull + rubbish

-art spiegelman's 'maus' and william shirer's 'the rise and fall of the third reich'- i don't quite know why i'm reading two books about nazism at the moment.

none of these books is as good as saul bellow's wonderful 'ravelstein'.

oh and sometimes i read blogs too.


Beast of Burden
'Ravelstein' - the roman a clef of the neocon/Straussian crop which I haven't even read. Is it still in print, then?

I'm reading 'Empire' by Niall Fergusson, which I started reading with a strange mix of compulsion and duty. Also, Penguin covers are very tactile these days. While I was away in the countryside earlier this week, I read 'Mr Norris Changes Trains' by Isherwood and 'Women Beware Women' by Middleton - both deliciously perverse, lip-smacking, and profound.

grimly fiendish

Well-known member
dubversion said:
Mick Middles' dreadfully written book about The Fall. which is just a woeful piece of crap and I don't know why i don't just call it a day..

middles is an appalling writer. his woefully titled "from joy division to new order: the factory story" is laughably poor. but, sadly, it's about the only remotely detailed book of its kind.
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I've finally gotten around to reading The Satanic Verses . I'm pretty blown away by it.

Has anyone read Hanif Kureishi's The Black Album? Quite amazing, I thought. And I can see now just how much it ties into Rushdie's book. Just occurred to me that that the title may be a reference as well.

Anyhow, apart from that I've also been dipping into Arjun Appadurai's Modernity at Large.

ps: satanmcnugget never told us what he's reading.


Well-known member
i'm reading ulysses (slowly but surely-ive been at it for months and am only about a third of the way through)
really enjoying it though,although i only really read it when i have the opportunity to sit uniterrupted for an hour or two,preferably with joints and tea....

also reading sense and sensibility for college,i'm enjoying it much more than i thought i would,partially just out of curiosity about how fucked up all the social conventions and so on were,and partly for the really long but elegent sentences describing the various characters emotional states with remarkable precision...

also reading where you're at by patrick neate,a sort of hip hop travel book....its interesting enough,but nothing special

and scoop by evelyn waugh,which is hilarious....

and fast company by jon bradshaw,which is about professional gamblers and is really really good,some great anecdotes dealing with the runyonesque pool and poker players from the early 20th century...


Well-known member
yeah, i guess i shld kick in with what im reading at the moment

i just finished up Samuel Delany's Aye and Gomorrah and started in on Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner

on the non-fiction front, im about to finish Erotism by Georges Bataille...been on a bit of a Bataille kick since i read The Accursed Share a while him in college and hated in the midst of a reassessment, that's for sure

im waaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind on my blog-reading...too much really good stuff :D


Iain Sinclair - Lights out for the Territory
Essential Works of Foucault, vol 2: Aesthetics
Rebecca West - Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
Robert P. Morgan, ed.: Modern Times

The West is massive - I started it last year and I'm still only half way through, although plenty of other things have overtaken it in the meantime - but it's supremely good. The best travelogue/diary/history book I know, all tied together by this deep love affair with Yugoslavia. A superb book.

Lights out is the first Sinclair I've read, and I'm loving it. He needs a strong-minded editor to come in and strip away some of the excess fat, but I'm reassured that at least someone is writing what he is. The obsessive archiving and scrutiny of everything - Hackney as a real life version of Borges' Library of Babel.

The Foucault is going way over my head. It's a collection of introductions, short essays and other bits and bobs published during his lifetime, so it doesn't have any sort of coherence - and, I think, Foucault isn't at his best on questions of aesthetics anyway. The language and the imagery becomes far too vague to be meaningful or useful in any way. Still, there are bound to be some nuggets in there.

The Morgan is just because I start teaching again soon, and I like to keep my hand in with different takes on 20th-century music.


Hugues Bersini "Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming" and O'Reilly's "Learning Java." Saturday night, at a friend's party, I thankfully managed to restrain myself from saying "That's because the syntax of both Java and PHP are derived from C."

john eden

male pale and stale
Mainly the NME Classics "goth" issue. :D

Also just finished:

Micah Locilento - Shaggy: Dogamuffin Style

A bad hackwork, mainly consisting of Shaggy quotes from newspapers around the world.

Michael De Koningh & Laurence Cane-Honeysett - Young, Gifted and Black: The Story of Trojan Records.

Much better, though obviously not very critical as it is published by Sanctuary, who own Trojan!! The real story still needs to be told warts and all. Consists mainly of a massive discography and other lists.

The books still weighing me down, that I promise myself I will pick up again... soon... :eek:

Paul Mattick - Anti-Bolshevik Communism

Karl Marx - Capital vol 1


Capital (abridged, thankfully) is looming, like purgatory, in my 'to read' pile. I got it free from work on a whim, but now I have it I have to read it.


just finished lords of chaos new editon, about the black metal scene in norway and beyond, taking in everything from prechristian beliefs to the european far right, very interesting and quite academic, almost too analytical tho.

william dalrymple, the age of kali, about the indian subcontinent in the late 80s early 90s, he's very good.

reading sacred drift , peter lamborn wilson, quite interesting book on margins of islam, sufism and heretical shayks and groups

and "the key" by junichiro tanizaki, a japanese novel about sexual repression and voyeurisim really, i got it from a bloke who sells books by finsbury park tube and often has a few good ones.


mms said:
a bloke who sells books by finsbury park tube and often has a few good ones.

I know the guy. I'm usually too busy running for the W7 to stop and check him out, but I'll have a look next time.

john eden

male pale and stale
Rambler said:
Capital (abridged, thankfully) is looming, like purgatory, in my 'to read' pile. I got it free from work on a whim, but now I have it I have to read it.

I've been warned off the abridged version(s?), but doubt I'll bother with vols 2 and 3. ;)
The History of Western Philosophy by B Russell - started with Nietzsche, the tw_t, and working backwards.
Persopolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi
Cathedral and Elephant by Raymond Carver
the new editions of Terrorizer and Cencrastus.
the collected poems of Adam Zagajewksi

......and the instruction manual for EA Cricket 2004.

grimly fiendish

Well-known member
hmm. i suppose having a pop at mick middles and not sharing isn't really in keeping with the spirit of this thread.

so, on the grimly bedside table at the moment are "what's it all about: philosophy and the meaning of life" by julian baggini and "nothing" by paul morley. the former is the first step on my long-overdue mission to fill in the myriad gaps in my knowledge of philosophers and philosophies. it's got a fucking dreadful title but so far it's zipping along nicely and giving me plenty of idea where to head next, which was the basic reason i bought it.

the latter is something i've been meaning to read for years and never got round to. having been disappointed by the patchy "words and music", i thought i might as well get this potential disappointment out of the way too. so far it's everything i'd expect: overwrought, overwritten, overanalytical and utterly beautiful.