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What Books Are You Currently Reading or Read?

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I was wondering what happened to this thread. I'm a big fan of Psycho as well so I should eventually get to the book someday (though I'm always a little wary of reading the source version of a film I like).

Last few non-movie/CS books I've read lately:

The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger

I finally read this. I can't remember if I was supposed to read this during high school or not. Most of the books that I did not read in high school, I made myself read in college. I read quite a bit during high school, just not what was assigned. I was too busy with science fiction authors like Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

I was surprised by how easy a read it was. I was expecting it to be more labored and more difficult (but worth it) like a Faulkner novel. Some of the slang used is archaic now and comes off dated (I'm sure many newer books on this type of adolescent topic would also be more explicit), but it is still written quite well.

I wonder how many independent films this has influenced?

Every Day is an Atheist Holiday (2012) by Penn Jillette

Something about Penn's last two books annoy me. I enjoy the stories, which basically what both books are about as he anecdotally covers his attitude towards atheism, but his flippant attitude and his boorish diction makes him come off as, and he freely admits it in the book, an asshole. He is more the hedonist (not with alcohol or drugs he does neither which he will tell you over and over again) than intellectual (yes you can be both though) and with his tales of excess in the past I tend to get bored. He seems like a Utopian libertarian where there is no middle ground for his views. Don't expect dialectics. I lean toward a libertarian stance, but I hope I am more pragmatic.

Currently reading and almost done with:

The Way of the Warrior: The Dark Secrets of the Samurai Code by Jotaro.

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I was wondering what happened to this thread. I'm a big fan of Psycho as well so I should eventually get to the book someday (though I'm always a little wary of reading the source version of a film I like)..

I am also wary of reading the source material because it tends to ruin the movie for me. That happened to me recently with Dracula. I used to love all the different films, but once I read the book it killed a lot of the enjoyment of these films for me, because they are nothing like the book. I don't thin this is the case with "Psycho" though. Both the movie and the book are so well done, that both can be enjoyed on their own marrets(hope I spelled that right), regardless of their differences.

On another note, I got a copy of The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole(2012, Author Stephen King) I love the other "Dark Tower" books, so I have really been looking foward to this one. Will be starting it as soon as I finish "The Shining".

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I am also wary of reading the source material because it tends to ruin the movie for me. That happened to me recently with Dracula. I used to love all the different films, but once I read the book it killed a lot of the enjoyment of these films for me, because they are nothing like the book. I don't thin this is the case with "Psycho" though. Both the movie and the book are so well done, that both can be enjoyed on their own marrets(hope I spelled that right), regardless of their differences.

...

I like the diction, story and pace of Stoker's book. It did bother me on the later movies because I knew how different they were (based on stage versions and not the book) and the fact I had seen them so many times (Universal, Hammer, etc...). The same goes for Shelley's Frankenstein as well (in which I prefer the cinematic versions, usually).

The cinematic experience is so different from the literary one that I do not get disappointed unless there is a huge philosophical difference from a source I am fond of (if you are going to call your film Bram Stoker's Dracula keep to the script :D).

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I like the diction, story and pace of Stoker's book. It did bother me on the later movies because I knew how different they were (based on stage versions and not the book) and the fact I had seen them so many times (Universal, Hammer, etc...). The same goes for Shelley's Frankenstein as well (in which I prefer the cinematic versions, usually).

The cinematic experience is so different from the literary one that I do not get disappointed unless there is a huge philosophical difference from a source I am fond of (if you are going to call your film Bram Stoker's Dracula keep to the script :D).

Dracula is such a good book, with interesting characters and a well written plot, I just don't see why they can't make a faithful adaptation of it. I mean, I like the Universal and Hammer films, but you could slap any names on the characters in those films, change the title and it wouldn't make that much difference.(And yeah, Bram Stroker's Dracula was probably one of the worst Dracula films I have seen. Where Bela Legosi and Christopher Lee saved the other films from being mediocre, this film had no such actor to do so.)

I haven't read Frankenstein yet. I got it, but haven't got around to it yet. I have heard that is a lot different from the film versions.

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Jingwu---The School that Transformed Kung Fu, by Kennedy and Guo.

?source=9781583942420&height=240

Highly recommended. A detailed historical background of the school and the state of Chinese martial arts in the first half of the 20th century---which is sometimes quite different than what's shown in our favorite movies of this period. Good review here:

http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Book-Review-Jingwu-The-School-That-Transformed-887329.php

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That sounds interesting. Might have to check it out.

Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated

Hmmm... speaking of Python, my sister got me a book called THE ROAD TO MARS- A Post Modem Novel by Eric Idle. But first I'm reading WORLD WAR Z- An Oral History Of The Zombie War. I'm kind of surprised it took me this long to get to this book, as it came out back in 2006.

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My sister loaned me her copy of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Haven't started to read it yet, but she says that it was really good. Also got a collection of Conan the Barbarian stories. Can't wait to start on those, but got to finish The Shining first. :nerd:

Yeah, I really like to read:bigsmile:

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Since I'm reading right now Arnold's autobiography I have been interested in reading the Conan stories again.

Books read in 2012. Not as many as I wanted to. I'm going to make a goal of 50 books for this (2013) year:

  1. Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism (2004) by Ann Coulter
  2. Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced the American Film Industry in the 1930s and 1940s (1998) by Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley
  3. Ameritopia (2012) by Mark R. Levin
  4. Steve McQueen (2011) by Marc Eliot
  5. Killing Lincoln (2011) by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
  6. It’s a Jungle In There (2010) by Steven Schussler with Marvin Karlins
  7. The Mad Dog Hall of Fame: The Ultimate Top-Ten Rankings of the Best in Sports (2006) by Christopher Russo and Allen St. John
  8. Head First Software Development (2008) by Dan Pilolne & Russ Miles CS
  9. I Know Where I’m Going (2010) by Charlotte Chandler
  10. No, They Can’t: Why Government Fails- But Individuals Succeed (2012) by John Stossel
  11. Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Bronte
  12. Content Strategy for the Web 2nd Edition (2012) by Kristina Halvorson, Melissa Rach CS (read twice)
  13. The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (2011) by David Mamet
  14. The Reagan I Knew (2008) By William F. Buckley
  15. Rush Limbaugh An Army of One (2010) by Zev Chafets
  16. Creative Capitalism: A Conversations with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other Economic Leaders (2008) Edited by Michael Kinsley with Conor Clarke
  17. The World is Curved (2008) by David M. Smick
  18. It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership (2012) by Colin Powell with Tony Koltz
  19. Lincoln Legends (2007) By Edward Steers Jr. Introduction by Harold Holzer
  20. Get Your Ship Together (2004) By Dr. Michael Abrashoff
  21. Red Ink (2012) By David Wessel
  22. The Big Idea (2009) By Donny Deutsch with Catherine Whitney
  23. Killing Kennedy (2012) by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
  24. Talking Pictures (1994) by Sylvia Shorris and Marion Abbott Bundy Foreword by Robert Altman
  25. Shatner Rules (2011) By William Shatner with Chris Regan
  26. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
  27. Every Day is an Atheist Holiday (2012) by Penn Jillette
  28. The Way of the Warrior: The Dark Secrets of the Samurai Code (2011) by Jotaro

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A well read man (so to speak) I am not.

Funny, since high school I have 'RARELY' read any books cover to cover.

I, as a youth, read only a few books....cover to cover....and they were dictated by school.

My main focus was towards art.

Novels, science fiction or any books ha and even comic books, I found no interest.

This may sound 'ODD' but the books I read, were of course. read by us all.....those books are....the books of life...as it unfolded unto me...

My reading was given from the subjects that came up in my life's journey. Bits and pieces of knowledge that guided my course.

This being said, I respect anyone who has the gift to be a voracious reader of books.

Knowledge comes from 'somewhere' and the words of man and knowledge are contained in books, which none-the-less must be properly digested to give the right import.

GD Y-Y

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first book of the year for myself:

Total Recall (2012) by Arnold Schwarzenegger

This was a fun book. I probably would have liked more information on his movies, but it still was an interesting read. It pretty much goes in stages: early Austrian life, bodybuilding, movies, politics, post-politics. Yes there is one chapter on the affair, way towards the back in which he completely apologizes for, but I do get the feeling he understated the length of the affair (understandable). There is a chapter on his philosophy as well. I wish he expounded more on that, but to be fair he does push many of these ideas throughout the book.

I do wonder if there was a ghost writer (remember not to confuse this with an editor). Does anyone have any legitimate information on this? I have read a lot of speculation, but nothing concrete. The tone and diction of the book is of one single writer.

It is a bigger book than I originally was suspecting with over 600 pages, yet it flows quite well with little repetition expect for a few themes like "Stay Hungry" and "everything is mileage and reps" which is pretty much his mantra and his constant challenging himself with new goals and not looking back. I watched the movie Stay Hungry a week ago and it really made me think he got many of his ideas into the film. Arnold was quite annoyed that he had to lose so much weight for the role so he would not, in Bob Rafelson’s mind, completely oversize Sally Field.

He is a driven person and it shows throughout the book. I think it is quite successful at motivation and the fact that he was able to do so many things when so many people said he could not because of his name, his accent, etc.. I was more surprised by his real estate ventures and the fact that he bought a 747 as an investment. He does go over his venture with Planet Hollywood and he discusses why he thought it went under.

Has anyone read this or is going to read this?

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Since I'm reading right now Arnold's autobiography I have been interested in reading the Conan stories again.

Books read in 2012. Not as many as I wanted to. I'm going to make a goal of 50 books for this (2013) year:

  1. Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism (2004) by Ann Coulter
  2. Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced the American Film Industry in the 1930s and 1940s (1998) by Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley
  3. Ameritopia (2012) by Mark R. Levin
  4. Steve McQueen (2011) by Marc Eliot
  5. Killing Lincoln (2011) by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
  6. It’s a Jungle In There (2010) by Steven Schussler with Marvin Karlins
  7. The Mad Dog Hall of Fame: The Ultimate Top-Ten Rankings of the Best in Sports (2006) by Christopher Russo and Allen St. John
  8. Head First Software Development (2008) by Dan Pilolne & Russ Miles CS
  9. I Know Where I’m Going (2010) by Charlotte Chandler
  10. No, They Can’t: Why Government Fails- But Individuals Succeed (2012) by John Stossel
  11. Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Bronte
  12. Content Strategy for the Web 2nd Edition (2012) by Kristina Halvorson, Melissa Rach CS (read twice)
  13. The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (2011) by David Mamet
  14. The Reagan I Knew (2008) By William F. Buckley
  15. Rush Limbaugh An Army of One (2010) by Zev Chafets
  16. Creative Capitalism: A Conversations with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other Economic Leaders (2008) Edited by Michael Kinsley with Conor Clarke
  17. The World is Curved (2008) by David M. Smick
  18. It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership (2012) by Colin Powell with Tony Koltz
  19. Lincoln Legends (2007) By Edward Steers Jr. Introduction by Harold Holzer
  20. Get Your Ship Together (2004) By Dr. Michael Abrashoff
  21. Red Ink (2012) By David Wessel
  22. The Big Idea (2009) By Donny Deutsch with Catherine Whitney
  23. Killing Kennedy (2012) by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
  24. Talking Pictures (1994) by Sylvia Shorris and Marion Abbott Bundy Foreword by Robert Altman
  25. Shatner Rules (2011) By William Shatner with Chris Regan
  26. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
  27. Every Day is an Atheist Holiday (2012) by Penn Jillette
  28. The Way of the Warrior: The Dark Secrets of the Samurai Code (2011) by Jotaro

:eek: Whens parole?? Im kidding, thats a lot of reading!!

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:eek: Whens parole?? Im kidding, thats a lot of reading!!

hee hee thanks. When I was in college I read a lot more. Now I concentrate more on movies (I should read more movie books and not just magazines this year). I think the book that took me the longest to read out of those was Wuthering Heights which I had a little trouble getting into (I loved Jane Eyre and I generally love 19th century literature).

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High Treason-Harrison Edward Livingstone/Robert J.Groden

Last Word My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK-Mark Lane

'Bird Lives' The High Life and Hard Times of Charlie 'Yardbird' Parker/I've probably read this 10 times

Best Evidence-David Lifton-not an easy read at 700+pages but well worth it

The Man Who Knew Too Much-Dick Russel

The Rise of the Fourth Reich -The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America-Jim Marrs

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For the second book of the year:

The Guy Under the Sheets: The Unauthorized Autobiography by Chris Elliott

When writing a fake history of oneself analogous to Leslie Nielson's The Naked Truth it really pays to be funny. Fake history has to be outrageous or at least sublime with more than a modicum of truth for it to work otherwise like here it takes on the appearance of a deranged silly schizophrenic who has taken only half his medication putting his meandering thoughts on paper.

Chris is certainly influenced by Andy Kaufman and certainly repeats the fact he is known as a "poor man's Andy" Ad Nauseum. I like Chris Elliott and there are certainly a few laughs in the book. For me it was more successful when he mixed in the plots of several movies (like Harold and Maude) with his own life as opposed to Gumping himself with such infamous people like John Gotti and Aileen Wuornos which fell flat more often than not.

Reading the book is like watching a whole movie about the Dom character in There's Something About Mary. Its fun for awhile but after several minutes you want to strangle the character with his own tongue.

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I've started on a few movie books with one being Dying to Belong: Gangster Movies in Hollywood and Hong Kong and the other The Film Book: A Complete Guide to World Cinema. Both have had a foreboding start with a couple of errors that I hope are not indicative of the rest of the chapters.

Books on cinema are full of canards. I have found many on Hong Kong cinema as well as silent cinema for some of the same reason: a lack of knowledge about what you are writing about. When you are covering a large area like The Film Book that is understandable to an extent because you are not expected to have watched everything you are writing about though you hope your editors and reviewers catch some of your mistakes. When you are covering an area like Hong Kong cinema it is sometimes an issue of only watching what is released outside of Hong Kong. For example there were so many myths on the Shaw Brothers films because they were not released officially until Celestial bought the rights and distributed them in early 2000s first via R3 releases and later with various region releases.

The Film Book has an unfortunate statement in the title of "A Complete Guide to World Cinema". There is no way you can be a complete guide to Taiwanese cinema much less world cinema in less than 400 pages. A few minor errors I found in the silent chapter were stating that Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's career was finished after the scandal (it was hurt tremendously but it was not over and he was even making a comeback when his heart gave out in the 1930s), the myth that L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat caused audience members to duck under their seats (the train goes by so quickly how could they even get there <ahttp://www.shaolinchamber36.com/kungfufandom/uploads/emoticons/default_biggrin.png' alt=':D'>) and one that really annoys me about John Gilbert's career being over during the sound era because of his squeaky voice. This canard has been around for quite some time but is easy to disprove if you watch the film Queen Cristina or read this blog. For the most part these are smaller errors and the book so-far is flowing well as it goes though the decades (mostly American films; it has a section on "World Films" but I'm not there yet.

Now with Dying to Belong the author starts with a premise of his own making. What I mean is that he takes a definition of gangster and adds his own peculiarities to it to make his thesis as he splits crime films into three distinctive categories: "There are fundamental distinctions to be made among the three major categories of crime films: those structured by the point of view of an immigrant gangster protagonist - the focus of this study; those that feature the escapes of outlaws; and those fairly standard melodramas in which the gangster is the villain." One might wonder in the first of the three he adds "immigrant" to the definition (I have no problem with using these scenarios for his thesis, it is just he excludes all non-immigrant protagonists from the three definitions). But this vary definition is problematic in dealing with Hong Kong studies. He seems to think of Hong Kong as an immigrant nation without one that has his own identity. This is problematic (so far) because their is a vast divide between native Hong Kongers who are triad members and immigrants from the Mainland but also takes away from the idea that Hong Kong has its own identity.

But there are already other issues. First is the problem of firsts: "the Chinese title of the first Hong Kong gangster film, John Woo's True Colors of a Hero (1986)." While he says that there were gangsters in earlier films, he paints this as the first (or at least as the first according to his criteria). I can think of two earlier ones Long Arm of the Law (1984) and Hong Kong Godfather (1985) so I'm sure there are even earlier ones than that taking into the account of making the gangster as the protagonist.

I've also found a few issues such as "...the viability of democracy as a social model, and the failure of traditional limits. As a result, the Hong Kong gangster film is accordingly more violent in its beginnings than either the silent American gangsters films or the Warner Bros. gangsters sagas." This make little sense. It is not as a result of those issues. Films worldwide had been becoming more violent for decades and Hong Kong films as well with the horror films of the 70s and the increasingly violent martial art films. The films that HK saw from abroad from US and Japan were also quite violent. And this statement: "...but about fighting against the depersonalized influences of American technology and exported consumerist social patterns." Most of the technology in Hong Kong was (and is) from Japan (and now China).

Do you guys get frustrated too by errata in film books?

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If I find stuff like that in books, I just put it away. There's no point in me reading a book where im more knowledgable about the subject than the author. Often been a problem with books on genre films for me. Not that im some kind of oracle, but I just can't be bothered if I have to correct the author in my head on every other page.

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If I find stuff like that in books, I just put it away. There's no point in me reading a book where im more knowledgable about the subject than the author. Often been a problem with books on genre films for me. Not that im some kind of oracle, but I just can't be bothered if I have to correct the author in my head on every other page.

I collect books on HK so I'll finish that one anyways (heck I finished Films of Fury and put down errata up until about 80 pages then I got tired of writing it down; sometimes though sending errata to authors helps I got into Planet Hong Kong that way :D). I think the Hollywood section in Dying to Belong will be better. But I think I'm going to have some issues with the themes the book is trying to convey aka force films into certain analogies.

The Film Book seems fine it just repeats some bad information (with silent films so far) that is in way too many film books.

But I completely agree with you when you read a book and you wonder what this persons qualifications are and how did they get to write a book.

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Last week, finished KING'S RANSOM by Ed McBain (the source material for Akira Kurosawa's HIGH AND LOW) and ALEX CROSS, RUN by James Patterson (the latest Alex Cross book)...both are great reads.

This week, I plan to read the RING series of books by Koji Suzuki (RING, SPIRAL, LOOP, BIRTHDAY)

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