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    I'm in the middle of reading "Ghostland - an American history in Haunted Places. This is not a ghost book/haunted house book. Instead it looks at places that are claimed to be haunted and goes in to look at what makes them haunted and why people make haunted associations. So if you're looking for a book of ghost tales, this isn't for you. But if you're looking for a book that looks at the history of why places claim to be haunted, then this one might be for you.

    I also finished reading The Conjoined. I'll save you the time. Don't read it. 'Nuff said.

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      I just cracked the new Jonathan Safran Foer and it. is. insufferable. I should have known, I guess, but it was a Christmas present. On page 50 or so of way too many, and I'm trying to summon the strength to carry on.

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        Originally posted by jonATL View Post
        I just cracked the new Jonathan Safran Foer and it. is. insufferable. I should have known, I guess, but it was a Christmas present. On page 50 or so of way too many, and I'm trying to summon the strength to carry on.
        Safran Foer and insufferable are like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together.
        Don’t call what your wearing an outfit. Don’t ever say your car is broke.
        Don’t sing with a fake British accent. Don’t act like your family’s a joke.
        --Jason Isbell

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          His other books were at least readable (I know that's up for debate), but this one is so self-aware, so smirkingly cute, that it's really hard to read. Every sentence drips with supercilious jackassery.

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            Originally posted by jonATL View Post
            His other books were at least readable (I know that's up for debate), but this one is so self-aware, so smirkingly cute, that it's really hard to read. Every sentence drips with supercilious jackassery.
            Pretty much how I've felt about every sentence the guy's ever written.
            Don’t call what your wearing an outfit. Don’t ever say your car is broke.
            Don’t sing with a fake British accent. Don’t act like your family’s a joke.
            --Jason Isbell

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              Currently about 3/4 of the way through "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. Very thought provoking read and looking forward to picking up some of her other works.

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                Originally posted by sethtvaughn View Post
                Currently about 3/4 of the way through "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. Very thought provoking read and looking forward to picking up some of her other works.
                I tried reading Atlas Shrugged about a decade ago and I'm definitely not the audience for that book. I got about half way through it before I put it down. Beside not being able to connect with any of the characters (oh poor whining rich people can't get their way, cry me a fucking river) or finding any interest in the plot (wow, you sure built the shit out of those rail road tracks now let's fuck), I thought that Rand was a pretty poor writer (repetitive, simplistic, unimaginative).

                I understand that Rand's ideas may be attractive to those of a conservative mindset, but I was surprised that enough people had actually made it through what I thought was a pretty bad book in order make her so popular. I'd be interested to hear your opinion (or others opinions) on Rand or the book because her ideas are about to get their big shining moment on the political stage.

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                  I loved Atlas Shrugged. Definitely one of my top five books that I've read all time, if not THE book. Interestingly enough, it is the only book that has generated the most comments from random strangers. No matter where I was reading that book (on a plane, on transit, at lunch) someone would stop me and want to talk with me about it. And I read a lot in public places, so that's saying something.

                  I also read The Fountainhead. Another great book but for me, Atlas Shrugged was/is Ayn's opus.

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                    Originally posted by thedrake View Post
                    [...]I understand that Rand's ideas may be attractive to those of a conservative mindset, but I was surprised that enough people had actually made it through what I thought was a pretty bad book in order make her so popular. I'd be interested to hear your opinion (or others opinions) on Rand or the book because her ideas are about to get their big shining moment on the political stage.
                    Lest this become a politics thread, but just wanted to note that I'm not sure I'd bunch Rand's views in with the impending administration--either on the executive or legislative side. I'd think of her views more as a philosophy than that of a political view; in that respect, I think you have to read her books more in terms of examples/parables (albeit long) of that philosophy. While I agree that her books aren't the easiest or more enjoyable to read, they at least have some substantive ideas behind them that, if nothing else, made many people think.

                    I'm not sure modern day Republicans (to use a broad brush stroke) have as cohesive a philosophy, individually or as a whole, and the book/author are also adopted or referenced by those claiming to follow her views but in fact don't come close to thinking in the same way. Lastly, I wouldn't assume that a ton of people who claim allegiance have actually read the entire thing...

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                      [MENTION=13399]DocDave[/MENTION], what was it about Rand's books that you liked? Was it the philosophy espoused or did you like the books on their own merit? Did you connect with the story or relate to the characters?

                      Originally posted by hornsup84 View Post
                      Lest this become a politics thread, but just wanted to note that I'm not sure I'd bunch Rand's views in with the impending administration--either on the executive or legislative side. I'd think of her views more as a philosophy than that of a political view; in that respect, I think you have to read her books more in terms of examples/parables (albeit long) of that philosophy. While I agree that her books aren't the easiest or more enjoyable to read, they at least have some substantive ideas behind them that, if nothing else, made many people think.

                      I'm not sure modern day Republicans (to use a broad brush stroke) have as cohesive a philosophy, individually or as a whole, and the book/author are also adopted or referenced by those claiming to follow her views but in fact don't come close to thinking in the same way. Lastly, I wouldn't assume that a ton of people who claim allegiance have actually read the entire thing...
                      Fair points all, I was thinking mostly of Paul Ryan who seems to cite Rand as a major influence.

                      To your point of trying not to let the thread drift to politics, I agree and I'll try and keep it on topic.

                      Just so you guys know where I'm coming from: I'm a California liberal that grew up in what used to be a fairly conservative Orange County (the county voted Clinton this election so things are changing). As such, I used to hear political points of view that differed from my own on a fairly regular basis. Now I live in the Bay Area, Alameda County which is one of the most liberal places in the country and I don't hear conservative opinions as often unless it's through Facebook and Facebook is worthless for expressing nuance or engaging in conversation instead of argument. So I figured I'd ask the question because Rand's name gets mentioned a lot by conservatives so I wanted to find out if folks liked Atlas Shrugged as a book on it's own or if it is Rand's philosophy which saturates the book that made you like it.

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                        [MENTION=6764]thedrake[/MENTION] There are/were many points that I liked about the book. But the main one is the philosophy Rand espouses. I'm not saying I agree with it, and I'm not saying I don't. But what I am saying is the concept that if the titans of industry, the guys who run Apple, Honda, Google, etc. all decided to close up shop and take to alternative pursuits, that it would cripple the economy is a fascinating. Not to mention the melding of some science fiction with modern day industry I thought was well done. The book was written with just enough 'umph' to make people pause and take notice.

                        And again, I point to the discussion the book has generated, even here on our little corner of the world. Talk about your polarizing literature. That is what I think is so great about the book. That the theory/concept/writing/whatever is enough to prompt such hatred is to my mind what makes a great book. You don't see us here debating the merits (or lack thereof) from Dan Brown's latest right? Even then, consider when the book was written and the political climate at the time. All, to my mind, fascinating.

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                          [MENTION=13399]DocDave[/MENTION], that makes sense to me.

                          p.s. I trash Dan Brown any chance I get. The popularity of his books do serve to remind me that there's no such thing as good taste. Just the opinions that we each hold. I'm not going to actively try and discourage someone from enjoying something they like. But just the same, I'm not shy about what I don't and do like.

                          Speaking of what I do like, you all read N.K. Jemisin right? Now that woman can WRITE.

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                            I think there's a time and place for whatever type of writing/books, similar to movies. You can read Dan Brown and enjoy it, so long as you don't think it's the best thing since Heart of Darkness or War and Peace (or whatever you'd say is good writing). Similarly, you can enjoy a crappy comedy or action flick with no plot, so long as you don't think it's akin to Shawshank or the Godfather (I or II really). There is something to be said for people who write (or direct) movies that are easy to read/watch and enjoy, even if they don't cause you to ponder the purpose of life.

                            I'll admit I've read Dan Brown or the Hunger Games trilogy, and enjoyed them for what they are. Easy to read, unobtrusive entertainment. And frankly, sometimes that's exactly what I'm looking for in a book.

                            As for books as of late that I've enjoyed on multiple levels, Ann Leckie did a great job on her Imperial Radch trilogy; likely something you'd enjoy if you read Jemisin. More on the level of entertainment, I enjoyed Myke Cole's Shadow Ops trilogy and am working on his second trilogy now (only 2 of 3 done so far, 3rd book in 2017).

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                              I was not aware dan Brown was looked at with such disdain. I love his stuff

                              Sent from my VS820 using Tapatalk

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                                I have read Dan Brown; in fact I think I have read all of his books. They are good brain candy a times. For example after reading a heavy book (like Atlas Shrugged for example) it is good to pick up a book and lose yourself in it. That way you don't have to think too much about the story and just roll with it.
                                [MENTION=6764]thedrake[/MENTION] I have not read any N.K. Jemisin. But perhaps I'll check it out on your recommendation.

                                My book list seems to grow much faster than I can make my way through it.

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