What Book Are You Reading? — Part IV

I’m still reading The Brothers Karamazov, but only barely… school doesn’t leave much time to really concentrate on it. Speaking of school - we’re reading Macbeth (we will finish it tomorrow) and, for a separate project, I am reading Michaelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, by Ross King.

Same here. That makes me sad, because it was starting to get real interesting…

Dexters dunkla drömmar(original title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter)

I watched the show Dexter so I started to read the book it was based on too.

In short: Dexter is the main person, he is a serial killer who only kills bad people.

He’s a fake, a poser. And writes terribly not well. And it’s not only me, no one here in Brazil likes him. He’s like a shame to our literature.

I was reading Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (and it was really boring) when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in french. Now I just finished Harry Potter (it was great :happy: ) and I’ll continue to read the last pages of this Gogol’s most uninteresting book. :sad:

Same thoughts about Coelho here. :tongue: The story of the Alchemist is taken from another book (it was just a short tale and Coelho developped it) but I don’t remember where I read it first.

Ahhhh, I’ll take your word for it. Sometimes my literary ignorance astounds me.

Can you recommend me something (obviously non-posuerISH) that’s related to the theme of the Alchemist? Regardless of the author’s insecurities, I still enjoyed the book.

I’m reading “Exploring the world of lucid dreaming” :content:

Hm. He’s not really my type of literature really, not the theme I’m the craziest about. But good stuff I read with similar theme (and, of course, easily available in English, as I would otherwise be recommending Raul Seixas and Julio Cortázar) comes from William Blake and Aldous Huxley (not Brave New World, but Doors of Perception, or Heaven and Hell, both of which seem to have an influence in Paulo’s fiction).

That guy who wrote Clockwork Orange, what’s his name come again? Anthony Burgess! His later books are real nice, in my opinion, and somewhat similar too. The Yank Beats, like Kerouac and Ginsberg and Burroughs, are also very similar and (ironically) more contemporary than Paulo.

Who else? Well. If you want “crossing the path” “metaphor of life” books, the greatest (although seriously difficult to read) would be [i]The Odyssey /i, In Search of Lost Time (Proust), [i]Ulysses /i, Grande Sertão: Veredas (Guimarães Rosa, in English published as “The Devil to Pay in the Backlands”), Berlin Alexanderplatz (Döblin). Still in the list, I could recommend you Dostoevski’s Brothers Karamazov, as well as Crime & Punishment.

If what you’re asking for is Romance Literature, Ítalo Calvino’s work (remarkably Invisible Cities and If on a winter’s night a traveler), as well as Cortázar’s (Bestiario, Historias de cronopios y de famas, Hopscotch) and Guimarães Rosa’s (Sagarana, First Stories, Tutaméia), not to mention Umberto Eco’s stuff (Name of the Rose, Baudolino…) are a must–read.

I’ve been reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. It seems a little far-fetched at points, is rather one-sided, and seems a little bit too detailed at points, but I can honestly say it’s one of the best books I’ve read. It’s theories on capitalism and socialism are quite thought intriguing. It is a bit lengthy - 1100 pages with small type, but is a very worthwhile read.

Ain’t that the Russian lady who ran away to the States at some point? I think I’ve heard those names (the lady’s and the book’s) before.

It’s not exactly about alchemy, but have you read The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov? It’s about the theme of Faust and it’s one of the best books of the XX century (and by the way one of my favourite books). :happy: Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster is a rather good book too. It’s about magic and I think you could enjoy it if you’ve liked The Alchemist. Another interesting and curious books are Princess Brambilla and The golden pot by E.T.A. Hoffmann (more romantic cause it’s german XIX century litterature) and why not? The Swedish Cavalier by Leo Perutz.

All these books are really curious and it sounds like there is a second and spiritual meaning behind them (especially the Hoffman’s ones).

In the same style, I think you could enjoy some Hermann Hesse’s books, for instance Steppenwolf, Narcissus and Goldmund and The Glass Bead Game which are certainly the books whose “esoteric” content is the nearest from The Alchemist.

Yeah, she was originally Russian, where she got a visa to visit relatives in New York, where she decided to never return to Soviet Russia. She was really affected by the Bolshevik revolution, because her dad’s pharmacy was taken by them, so she’s really pro-capitalist, which is somewhat refreshing, because I’ve never really read a book that was so pro-capitalist before. She was apparently big on philosophy, and was somewhat influenced by Nietzsche. Hehehe, what a small world.

Atlas Shrugged…the first 600 pages of it is by far the best book I’ve ever read. It lulls a little bit after that, but now it’s picking back up again.

To be honest though, I’m kind of surprised you haven’t read it. You read a lot more than I do on all sorts of topics. I mean, you even read a book about naskh. That’s pretty (an f bomb would be useful here, hehehe) obscure.

We were required to read the Alchemist as a class in Literature last year. Bruno, very few people enjoyed reading it (and not only because we were reading it in school). The writing is so simple, like a children’s book, but it’s like he’s trying to pull it off as clever with the themes mixed with the simple language. It’s interesting to hear that a lot of Brazil doesn’t think too highly of him… It confirms many of the desperate "Why are we reading this book?"s that were asked last year. :eh:

Atlas Shrugged - one of, if not the favorite books of my father. He read it during our two week backpacking trip in New Mexico. I agree with Amused, Bruno - you should totally read that book. It’s right up your alley. :content:

Well Jon, they don’t call me head librarian for nothing :tongue: [list]


Kidding. :lol: I don’t wanna ever sound that arrogant. Seriously, though: no, I haven’t read that many books. Especially, I haven’t read a whole book about naskh! :bored: :tongue: It was just mentioned and explained in a couple of “History of the Arabic Peoples” ish books I have home. Even the books I just recommended, haven’t read all of them. (Hell, I don’t feel I’ll be reading Proust anytime in the next 50 years!)

From that list, I read Blake and Huxley, some of the Beats, Burgess, Homer, Dostoevsky, Calvino, Cortázar, Rosa and Eco. That’s not really groundbreaking, is it?, I don’t think so. Homer aside (I had to read him for my “Introduction to the Study of Classics” classes), I know at least two people who have read all these authors—in the School of Economics! And the whole class is only 50 people. (In Fine Letters, I probably know some five or six others, but students of Letters don’t count. :tongue:)

As for Ulysses, Grande Sertão and Berlin Alexanderplatz, there’s a one–year reading circle project in the School of Fine Letters in which, in the first semester, one reads the Odyssey and Ulysses, and in the second, they read Grande Sertão: Veredas and Berlin Alexanderplatz. I’m joining that group, if not next year, in the following one.

I’ll have a look at Atlas Shrugged, when I have some free time. :smile: Thanks for the recommendation.

as far as Atlas Shrugged goes, WOW i didn’t realize how long it was!

I’m not a very fast reader. I’ve been reading If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler at Bruno’s request, and if i don’t have full concentration i have to re-read paragraphs to comprehend what was said (as i get distracted easily)

but i wonder if anyone has read Anthem, by the same author as Atlas Shrugged. It’s really awesome, and VERY short, i read it in a day (in fact, half a day).

Also, fun fact, the videogame Bioshock (which is awesome) is based on Atlas Shrugged :wink:, however loosely

My friend recommended a book called Illusions by… oh i can’t remember his name, but i plan on getting that at the library

Also The Vine of Desire by Divakaruni, since another friend of mine said it was good (not nearly as bad as my english teacher made it out to be!)

oh, and Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut.

Oh my God, a book about Naskh! God how did you read it? So boring! (well maybe you found it fascinating because you can’t speak or write in arabic properly)

I finished Plea of Insanity by Jillian Hoffman about a month ago. Brilliant book, I loved it.

I was reading ‘The Catcher in the rye’ but i finished it. Now i am reading Angles and demons by Dan brown.

Goodness! A forum where people actually respond to posts quickly! I’m not used to this. :smile: Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions!

I’ll get back to you all on what I decide to read first from all of those suggestions. I’ve heard and read some of the stuff you both mentioned (I’m a huge Huxley and Burgess fanatic), but a lot is new to me. Thanks!

The ones with a Mohegan beside the title are recommended reads!

Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore :moh: (by Italo Calvino), up to “senza temere il vento e la vertigine.” (Something in the lines of “without fear of wind or vertigo” in If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler) A romance about you, the Reader, who just bought Italo Calvino’s new novel, Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore.

Asylums (by Erving Goffman), up to half the first essay. It’s a sociological treatise on “total institutions” such as hospices, prisons and convents (more examples: boarding schools, marine ships, monasteries etc.). Very interesting book, fascinating study cases. Worth reading, in spite of its technical language.

Historias de cronopios y de famas :moh: (by Julio Cortázar), up to the last section, “Historias de cronopios y de famas.” (Stories of cronopies and fames.) A short–story book by famous Argentinian author. It is one blunt storybook, with bold plots and daring ideas thrown together into ten grams of great, anarchically–organized fiction.

I’m reading (over and over)

Associated Student Bodies. The Yearbook
It’s not really a book… It’s a comic that was released in a collection of all 8 issues and all the covers in a A4 Hardcover version… It’s a really nice story though, not anything like Calvin and Hobbes… The story is really deep and touching in some way actually.

And I’ve been trying to get to reading the rest of

The last Templar
I don’t remember who wrote it, but it’s good, I just don’t know where I put it :razz:
It’s about templars and a treasure, you could guess ;3