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    Recommendations Based on Examples

    I tried using Goodreads' recommendation engine with a shelf of the below books, but the results weren't satisfactory (quite incongruous, really).

    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
    A Naked Singularity by...
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    Just finished this off last night. Here's what I...

    Just finished this off last night. Here's what I thought of it (from my Goodreads "review"):

    Contrary to western bias, Socrates was not the progenitor of the maxim "know thyself"; in fact, this...
  3. I've many, but Wyatt Gwyon from William Gaddis's...

    I've many, but Wyatt Gwyon from William Gaddis's The Recognitions stands out from the rest. For me, he is the quintessence of the Promethean individual struggling to steal the gods' fire and...
  4. Thread: America

    by chrisvia
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    I'm not sure about specifically road-trip themes...

    I'm not sure about specifically road-trip themes that convey all of this (US) Americana. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance comes to mind, but it only comprises half of the US and isn't as...
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    It's from twentieth-century American literature,...

    It's from twentieth-century American literature, but I suggest Alexander Theroux's Darconville's Cat.

    Also, these two books--The Anatomy of Melancholy and Religio Medici--are among my all-time...
  6. Based on your criterion of "critics that could...

    Based on your criterion of "critics that could get obsessed by their subject and wrote full-out, indefatigable, unafraid, in a very personal, idiosyncratic manner" I would submit Harold Bloom,...
  7. You may do well to thank Mnemosyne for purging...

    You may do well to thank Mnemosyne for purging you of this particular memory.
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    My knee-jerk reaction is, of course, Shakespeare,...

    My knee-jerk reaction is, of course, Shakespeare, but there is much more to consider than the size of their respective output. Indeed, as JCamillo hints at, were history to have handed down all the...
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    Emerson said that there is no history, only...

    Emerson said that there is no history, only biography. Literature does not make history; we do. And, in turn, we create literature. Therefore, literature is our legacy; and literature's legacy is...
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    I would investigate the trivium method, expounded...

    I would investigate the trivium method, expounded most recently in Susan Wise Bauer's book, The Well-Educated Mind. Essentially, you make 3 passes at a text: grammar, logic, rhetoric. It has served...
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    Hemingway (especially the oft-anthologized "Up in...

    Hemingway (especially the oft-anthologized "Up in Michigan") and Raymond Carver (a personal favorite of the compressed story) both come to mind. I also highly recommend Woolf, Lorrie Moore, and Lydia...
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    I, like others here, cannot recall ever being...

    I, like others here, cannot recall ever being brought to tears by a book, though I've experienced the edge of such emotion in the form of, most typically, despair or intense sadness. The pietŕ trope...
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    Resurrecting this post in honor of the new room I...

    Resurrecting this post in honor of the new room I just acquired for my library!

    9761
  14. Thread: Page turners

    by chrisvia
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    It is actually an assault on the striving for...

    It is actually an assault on the striving for originality and is far more lucid than some of his successors (Pynchon, et al.). My advice would be not to read too much about it but to read it--and...
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    Thanks, stlukes! Looking through my library, it...

    Thanks, stlukes! Looking through my library, it looks like I have a copy of Barthleme's 60 Stories. Its reading shall be expedited!
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    Thanks for the recommendation! I'm ordering it...

    Thanks for the recommendation! I'm ordering it now. Gödel, Escher, Bach is one of my all-time favourites. I'm a computer programmer with an MA in Literature and Writing, so Hofstadter's books really...
  17. My favourites are: The Breast American Pastoral...

    My favourites are:
    The Breast
    American Pastoral
    The Human Stain
    The Dying Animal
    Everyman

    Narrowed from that list to a top 3:
    American Pastoral
    The Human Stain
  18. I tend toward Francis Bacon's admonishment to...

    I tend toward Francis Bacon's admonishment to read to "weigh and consider" (from "Of Study"). Of the elements of a book I weigh and consider are chiefly those outlined by Harold Bloom in his Where...
  19. Thread: Page turners

    by chrisvia
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    Honestly, I finally set out on William Gaddis's...

    Honestly, I finally set out on William Gaddis's undervalued work, The Recognitions, and I haven't been this engrossed in a book in a long time! The whole time I'm at work during the day, I dream of...
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    :) Re-reading my undercooked definition, I...

    :) Re-reading my undercooked definition, I realize it applies to pretty much all good literature!
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    For a long time, I preferred novels over short...

    For a long time, I preferred novels over short stories. But I slowly came to appreciate the creativity borne out by the constraints of the short form. Still, I can't find myself preferring any one...
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    Thanks for the recommendations, JCamilo! The...

    Thanks for the recommendations, JCamilo!

    The link between the two, in the context of this thread, is that both produce works that reflect the authors' love of books and knowledge. Many of the...
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    In no particular order, the books I enjoyed most...

    In no particular order, the books I enjoyed most in 2015:

    Borges: The Book of Sand, Shakespeare's Memory
    Hart Crane: Complete Poems
    Douglas Hofstadter: Le ton beau de Marot
    David Mitchell:...
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    Books of a Certain Ilk

    By far, my favourite literary treasures are in the vein of Umberto Eco and Borges, be it their fiction or (perhaps more so) their nonfiction. In terms of strictly nonfiction, I look to Douglas...
  25. Thread: Cloud Atlas

    by chrisvia
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    Cloud Atlas

    I just finished Cloud Atlas, and find myself pleasantly blown away. Have you read it? What say you?

    Here's my "review" I posted on Goodreads:

    I don't read much contemporary fiction because, for...
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