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Here it is... the book thread!

Started by scatcat, November 30, 2007, 03:55:17

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SueC

If anyone here is interested in a good "whodunnit" - say if you've been reading / watching Wire In The Blood and that's your thing - and / or you're interested in the psychology of what makes people tick, then I highly recommend JP Delaney's The Girl Before.  It looks at psychological dysfunction in individuals, but also on an organisational level and a cultural level - constantly getting you to consider what you think is healthy and not, and how far is too far, and what is really going on in a relationship.  The main story is about a woman called Jane who moves into a unique architect-designed home that is affordable to rent, but also requires you to stick to pages and pages of special rules about how to live in this house, and to be a guinea pig under the microscope.  Jane falls for the architect, and finds out the woman who lived in the house before also had a relationship with the architect, and looked eerily similar both to herself and the architect's deceased wife.  The previous tenant died in the house after falling off the staircase, and the coroner recorded an open verdict.  Murder? Accident? Suicide?  Jane is determined to find out.

Really good books ask more questions of the reader than they answer, and this is definitely one of them.

Reviews here:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-before-j-p-delaney/1123670928#/
SueC is time travelling

SueC

Just finished Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and I'd have to say it's my favourite out of all the novels I read so far this year - so superbly written in every respect, plus showing so well how adverse childhood experiences affect people, while making you laugh at every turn, and cry a good few times as well.  Fabulous left-field heroine who holds up a magnifying glass to the absurdity of much of what we perceive as "normal" as well!  Highly recommended.
SueC is time travelling

MeltingMan

The book about Péladan was actually the start for a new collection. I found this
interesting video about the publisher. It's in French language and from 2006, but I
think it doesn't matter. A nice weekend...😉

Au lieu de chercher Dieu dans les œuvres, nous
nous cherchons nous-mêmes. Notre paresse est
telle que nous préférons de basses impressions
aisées, qui nous diminuent, aux grandioses qui
exigent de l'effort.

Comment on devient artiste, esthétique. p. 235

Ulrich

Oh my, I've been trying to re-read "Der Steppenwolf" by Hermann Hesse, which I was forced to read back in school (1987 I believe) - didn't like it much back then (one of the reasons was the teacher, who was "difficult" at best).
I'm getting on slowly, I can see what fascinates people about it, but I still can't sympathise with the main person very much, which makes it difficult. (Also, the use of alcohol, tobacco and such plus "free love" makes one wonder why they put this on school tables...?)
Still, at times you'd think he describes our "modern" world, which is no small feat for a book written in the 1920's!

In parallel, I'm re-reading Hugo Race's "Road Series", which is a good one.
Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on September 30, 2019, 11:35:42Oh my, I've been trying to re-read "Der Steppenwolf" by Hermann Hesse, which I was forced to read back in school (1987 I believe) - didn't like it much back then (one of the reasons was the teacher, who was "difficult" at best).
I'm getting on slowly, I can see what fascinates people about it, but I still can't sympathise with the main person very much, which makes it difficult. (Also, the use of alcohol, tobacco and such plus "free love" makes one wonder why they put this on school tables...?)

I'm not sure what the policy is in German education, but here in Australia there's all sorts of stuff like that in books on the high school literature lists of both secular and Catholic schools, especially for the senior years - social realism, etc.  The most disturbing thing we had to read when I was at school was John Fowles' The Collector - about a psychopath who kidnaps a girl off the street and keeps her in a dungeon, where she eventually dies.  The idea of reading stuff like that in a senior class is so that social issues like that will get confronted and discussed head-on, but in a supported and safe environment.

Macbeth is about plotting fell deeds, murder, mayhem etc - quite horrific when you think about it, but because it's Shakespeare, it often gets away with more violence than less famous and celebrated authors do.  On the other hand, it's not gratuitous violence with this playwright, because he's always trying to examine people's reasons for doing things, and where they might have started going wrong - which is instructive - and if you don't confront the dark aspects of your own personality and realise that it's not just monsters who do horrible things, you're more likely to do horrible things yourself.

I've never tried Der Steppenwolf - I wonder should I give it a shot?  I'm not that au fait with German authors but found Goethe quite tedious in comparison to Shakespeare, with the minor start on that author I got in Germany - I was really young - do you like Goethe?  I'm sure you had your head bashed with that quite a bit in your senior school education?

Ever tried reading Ulysses;)

SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on September 30, 2019, 15:48:22The idea of reading stuff like that in a senior class is so that social issues like that will get confronted and discussed head-on, but in a supported and safe environment.

Ok, that does make sense. However, I remember nothing about how/what we discussed back then... (maybe better, because that teacher was a bit of a madman, in fact we thought he was a bit of a "Steppenwolf" himself...)!

Quote from: SueC on September 30, 2019, 15:48:22I've never tried Der Steppenwolf - I wonder should I give it a shot?  I'm not that au fait with German authors but found Goethe quite tedious in comparison to Shakespeare, with the minor start on that author I got in Germany - I was really young - do you like Goethe?  I'm sure you had your head bashed with that quite a bit in your senior school education?

To be honest, I don't remember much about Goethe (or what we did in school about him)... I know a bit more about Schiller, maybe because there are towns here in the south which claim to be a "Schillerstadt".

Funnily enough, Goethe is mentioned in the "Steppenwolf", here is a quote from a summary in English (click the link if you wanna read the whole thing):
QuoteAt a professor's house, Harry gravely insults his former colleague about the way Goethe, the famous German poet, is represented in a portrait that hangs in his home...
https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/steppenwolf/summary/
Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...