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marteaux

Literature Thread

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Just finished the first book (Exile) of Jakob Ejersbo's Africa Trilogy. It's been translated from Danish so it results in short sharp sentences that get a wee bit tedious and it's also broken up into event based diary style 'chapters' that might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I found it fine. 

 

Solid read that got me through multiple train trips this week and have just ordered the final two off amazon.

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Need a couple of books now for my travels, preferably stuff that will help explain the world to me. Recommendations?

If you really want to know how the world works, tick these off your list across the next few years. You will take whatever you will from any and all of them along the way. All of these books/works have influenced my studies and my life in some way. A few of them have actually changed the way I think and by extension my life. This list is by no means complete but it does include some of the seminal political/social works of the last half a millennium.

 

The ones in blue are novels but there is much more to them than just Narrative(story). I highly recommend anybody who is curious about how the world works to engage with a few of these texts. 

 

Start with the Grapes of Wrath or Crime and Punishment. :up:

 

Thomas Hobbes- Leviathan

Nico Machiavelli- The Prince

Arthur Koestler- Darkness at Noon

Fyodor Dostoevksy- Crime and Punishment

John Locke- Two Treatises of Government

John Steinbeck- The Grapes of Wrath

Adam Smith- The Wealth of Nations

Jean-Jacques Rousseau- On the Social Contract

Karl Marx- Capital

Ayn Rand- Atlas Shrugged

George Orwell- Animal Farm

Francis Fukuyama- The End of History

Eric Hobsbawm- The Age of Extremes

Friedrich Von Hayek- The Road to Serfdom

Vaclav Havel- The Power of the Powerless

Primo Levi- If this is a Man

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BH, which ones do you think are most relevant and understandable to someone of my low intelligence?

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I reckon you would really like Evan Wright’s stuff – Gonzo like stuff.

 

 

On Gonzo Authors  anyone else a Tom Wolf fan as I am still so disappointed with his last novel

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BH, which ones do you think are most relevant and understandable to someone of my low intelligence?

Ayn Rand- Atlas Shrugged

Your IQ will increase ten fold after reading :up:

Edited by Tesla
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AyeCee if you enjoyed the Hitchhiker stuff, have a look at the stuff by China Miéville. It's not for everyone, but I've found his stuff to be a nice mild distraction.

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BH, which ones do you think are most relevant and understandable to someone of my low intelligence?

Where is Wally

Will not play havoc with your cerebral cortex

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BH, which ones do you think are most relevant and understandable to someone of my low intelligence?

Ayn Rand- Atlas Shrugged

Your IQ will increase ten fold after reading :up:

I am a few chapters into The Fountainhead but put it down in favour of the Kafka book, will resume though.

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I reckon you would really like Evan Wright’s stuff – Gonzo like stuff.

On Gonzo Authors anyone else a Tom Wolf fan as I am still so disappointed with his last novel

1. What does Gonzo mean? Is a type of genre, or writing style?

2. I have seen Generation Kill nearly every day sitting untouched next to where I do my homework in the library so will borrow over summer holidays. Thx.

Edited by marteaux

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@BH would u recommend End of History? We read an excerpt from it in year 10 history and I had NFI wat fukurmama was banging on about, worth a shot now though?

My politics teacher bangs on about Eric Hobsbawm

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@BH would u recommend End of History? We read an excerpt from it in year 10 history and I had NFI wat fukurmama was banging on about, worth a shot now though?

My politics teacher bangs on about Eric Hobsbawm

I can sum up Fukuyama for you:

"He was wrong".

Edited by cadete

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i'll leave much of it to the experts but afaik it was more a genre of writing.

 

on a side topic, as good as everyone thinks HST's fear and loathing in las vegas is, there's a lot of his other stuff well worth reading (the great shark hunt, kingdom of fear etc). a lot of people praise the rum diary but i didn't enjoy it as much.

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All of Hunter S Thompson is good but overrated...

I liked Hells Angels best.

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@BH would u recommend End of History? We read an excerpt from it in year 10 history and I had NFI wat fukurmama was banging on about, worth a shot now though?

My politics teacher bangs on about Eric Hobsbawm

I can sum up Fukuyama for you:

"He was wrong".

 

Interesting POV. Many of the writers I listed were ''wrong'' but reading them is the point... not agreeing with them. That is how one gains scope and formulates an opinion(srs). ie I think Atlas Shrugged is 'wrong' in message, delivery and based on outdated social Darwinism BUT it is an extremely well written, complex and amazingly thought provoking work. Crucial reading for anybody who wants to know how the world works... or doesn't ;)

 

 

@BH would u recommend End of History? We read an excerpt from it in year 10 history and I had NFI wat fukurmama was banging on about, worth a shot now though?

My politics teacher bangs on about Eric Hobsbawm

Wait until Uni for EOH. Its a lot more complex theory than people give it credit for. You will do it in 2nd/3rd year pol/history. Will get a lot more out of it if you have a direction and somebody to tease the thought process.

 

Read Dostoevsky :up:

Edited by Braveheart

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Acquired skag boys for some entertainment, and Crime and Punishment to replenish some lost brain cells.

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just finished Merchant of death, its about the guy the movie lord of war was based on. About to start Underboss which is Sammy the bulls book.

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Finished reading metro 2033, bout to start on the second installment of the series. Anyone who's interested picture fallout in the Russian metro system.

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Acquired skag boys for some entertainment, and Crime and Punishment to replenish some lost brain cells.

Was skag boys any good? Heard mixed reviews.

Trying to push my way through Great Expectations atm, though I've got Stephen Fry's autobiography sitting on the coffee table tempting me.

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i'll leave much of it to the experts but afaik it was more a genre of writing.

 

on a side topic, as good as everyone thinks HST's fear and loathing in las vegas is, there's a lot of his other stuff well worth reading (the great shark hunt, kingdom of fear etc). a lot of people praise the rum diary but i didn't enjoy it as much.

 

Probably because the other books didn't have movies with Johnny Depp in them. The Rum Diaries was by far the most boring of HST's works imo. The best thing to come from it is the bar on brunswick street that we were cut off at two nights in a row on my last Melbourne trip.

 

I'm currently reading a few of Charles Bukowski's short story compilations. Not really sure what his appeal is to be honest.

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Acquired skag boys for some entertainment, and Crime and Punishment to replenish some lost brain cells.

Was skag boys any good? Heard mixed reviews.

Trying to push my way through Great Expectations atm, though I've got Stephen Fry's autobiography sitting on the coffee table tempting me.

Skag boys is fucking fantastic, that is all...

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While on the irvine welsh ting, picked up porno the other day... Mixed feelings so far

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I am currently reading 1984. I am finding it pretty boring tbh. Obviously for its time it was groundbreaking but hasn't held up Imo.

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I am currently reading 1984. I am finding it pretty boring tbh. Obviously for its time it was groundbreaking but hasn't held up Imo.

I can see your pov but I think the reason it may be boring or seem outdated/done is that this was the starting point for the "state is always watching" narratives that are incredibly common now.

 

The whole idea of an science based, draconian, post-cultural apocalypse state interfering in the life of the individual started here. Its been so widely take up and pumped up in movies and books since this novel was written that the storyline of 1984 may seem tame in comparison.

 

I think the book is still one of the seminal novels of the 20th century. Just my opinion though. 

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I am currently reading 1984. I am finding it pretty boring tbh. Obviously for its time it was groundbreaking but hasn't held up Imo.

I can see your pov but I think the reason it may be boring or seem outdated/done is that this was the starting point for the "state is always watching" narratives that are incredibly common now.

 

The whole idea of an science based, draconian, post-cultural apocalypse state interfering in the life of the individual started here. Its been so widely take up and pumped up in movies and books since this novel was written that the storyline of 1984 may seem tame in comparison.

 

I think the book is still one of the seminal novels of the 20th century. Just my opinion though.

Absolutely. I completely appreciate that it was the first of its kind, but as you say, being that the concept has become cliche it's difficult to read. I don't think it's particularly well written either which doesn't help. But yeah definitely demands respect purely for the influence it's had.

I also recently finished I Am Legend which I really enjoyed.

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I am currently reading 1984. I am finding it pretty boring tbh. Obviously for its time it was groundbreaking but hasn't held up Imo.

I can see your pov but I think the reason it may be boring or seem outdated/done is that this was the starting point for the "state is always watching" narratives that are incredibly common now.

 

The whole idea of an science based, draconian, post-cultural apocalypse state interfering in the life of the individual started here. Its been so widely take up and pumped up in movies and books since this novel was written that the storyline of 1984 may seem tame in comparison.

 

I think the book is still one of the seminal novels of the 20th century. Just my opinion though.

Absolutely. I completely appreciate that it was the first of its kind, but as you say, being that the concept has become cliche it's difficult to read. I don't think it's particularly well written either which doesn't help. But yeah definitely demands respect purely for the influence it's had.

I also recently finished I Am Legend which I really enjoyed.

 

Homage to Catalonia is his best book...

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BH - can you recommend anything based in Russia during/end of WW2 that offer perspective of daily life and/or the effects of Soviet govt policy...or anything remotely similar.

 

Been told to read Long Telegram and Novikov's telegram and whilst i'm aware what life would have been like in the US, i know next to fuck all about russian grind back in the day.

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BH - can you recommend anything based in Russia during/end of WW2 that offer perspective of daily life and/or the effects of Soviet govt policy...or anything remotely similar.

 

Been told to read Long Telegram and Novikov's telegram and whilst i'm aware what life would have been like in the US, i know next to fuck all about russian grind back in the day.

I'm not BH but you should totally read The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons.  Okay, it's complete fiction and unashamedly a love story (lots of sex scenes), but it gives a great account of conditions in Russia during WWII, including the stark reality for ordinary people of the siege of Stalingrad when people were literally freezing/starving to death on the streets.  It's a trilogy and the second book in particular also details some of the military experience of the Russian soldiers marching through Poland.

Interestingly, the author recently released a prequel which I am reading at the moment, which is set in America in the early 20th century.  It centres around American communists and anarchists, the policitcal strikes, marches, lectures etc that these people participated in, and describes how some of the strongest advocates actually followed their politics to Russia from 1917 onwards.  It's a minority perspective that isn't often emphasised, so I'm enjoying this one too. [Disclaimer:  the prequel is also a love story.]

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BH - can you recommend anything based in Russia during/end of WW2 that offer perspective of daily life and/or the effects of Soviet govt policy...or anything remotely similar.

 

Been told to read Long Telegram and Novikov's telegram and whilst i'm aware what life would have been like in the US, i know next to fuck all about russian grind back in the day.

The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Life and Fate- Vasily Grossman

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Bump.

 

I know it's a broad question, but can any of you intelligent people on here recommend any economics based books for me?

 

Please keep in mind that my current level of knowledge is very basic.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Bump.

 

I know it's a broad question, but can any of you intelligent people on here recommend any economics based books for me?

 

Please keep in mind that my current level of knowledge is very basic.

 

Thanks in advance.

Reinventing the Bazaar by John McMillan. Also a few other similar books like Undercover economist, Freakonomics, etc.

Good light reading.

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Bump.

 

I know it's a broad question, but can any of you intelligent people on here recommend any economics based books for me?

 

Please keep in mind that my current level of knowledge is very basic.

 

Thanks in advance.

Reinventing the Bazaar by John McMillan. Also a few other similar books like Undercover economist, Freakonomics, etc.

Good light reading.

 

 

Have Freakonomics on the way already, but I'll definitely grab the other two. Cheers.

 

Economics for dummies?

 

Thanks mate.

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Just read "Lasseter's Gold" by warren brown. Great retelling of the Lasseter story.

Incidentally a friend of mine (another geo) researched the Lasseter story as part of his day job and was going to write a book but never seems to have. He sent me a draft chapter years ago which was great.

anyway in case you mob out there have been "living under a rock" I won't discuss "spoilers". Well at least not straight away 

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I'm trying to develop a thorough knowledge of the history of Australian politics and was wondering if anyone can recommend any good books for me to check out?

I'm mainly interested in stuff from before my time, so from the Howard government back, and I knew Malcolm Fraser personally and don't really want to read anything on him but anything else would be great. Don't care if they're textbooks/autobiographies/insider pieces or whatever. 

Maybe @cadete or @thisphantomfortress specifically could point me in the right direction. :) 

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