Oct 212014
 

Liquorature Selection #066the-old-man-and-the-sea
21-Nov-2014

Five years of doing this and only now getting ’round to covering Hemingway.  Seems unconscionably wrong somehow.  Hemingway was sort of a touchstone in my formative years (along with Steinbeck, Allende, Rand, Kerouac, Vonnnegut, Robbins, etc), so it feels like a bit of a homecoming, in a sense, to be picking this one up again.  Those that are familiar with Hemingway will know that this is one of his shortest novels (a novella really), but one which carries an awful lot of weight. Hemingway was a master of Spartan prose. An author who managed to convey more through what he didn’t say than what ended up on paper. A good mate of mine would immediately draw an analogy to negative space right about now.

Either way…it’s about damn time we came to Hemingway. And in a further nod to the beauty and unavoidable influence of Americana, there looks to be a few of Hemingway’s contemporaries covered in coming days as well. Should be a good few months ahead.

This selection was by one of our newest members.  His first time picking a book for the Collective. Great choice for a first go ’round. 

 

– Curt

 Posted by at 8:58 am
Oct 062014
 

Liquorature Selection #065the stars my destination
24-Oct-2014

Sticking with the sci-fi / speculative fiction type stuff, Scott’s choice follows hard on the heels of last month’s “Star Maker”.  That one had us reeling from the weightiness of both its subject matter and heavy-handed textbook-styled narrative.  This one – though I’m only 20 or so pages in – is a breeze of a read in comparison.  Ease though, is not necessarily what we’re looking for here.  Ultimately, it’s about the story and what we can get out of it.

This book hints at themes that will likely have us hearkening back to the club’s early days of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” (for those few who were around at that time anyway), another book of book ideas and enormous cultural influence.

I wasn’t the biggest SF guy before we got this Liquorature gig going, but I’ve come around a bit, and must concede there are few genres that provide as much discussion fodder. 

Looking forward to meeting for this one.

 Posted by at 8:52 am
Sep 252014
 

Liquorature Selection #064Star Maker
26-Sept-2014

After a decent number of days slogging through this book, we’re finally on the eve of discussion.

This book was a corker in terms of content but a motherfucking nightmare to make it through.  And even still I am speaking prematurely.  We’re meeting in about 30 hours and I have about 15 pages left to finish.  Only once has a book so small (page count) given me such a struggle.  You may recall that particular piece of tripe was Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward”.

Don’t get me wrong, lest you think I’m saying this is a bad book.  Far from it.  It does need to be said, though, that this 1937 opus is an absolute black hole.  It sucks all of my concentration and leaves me as empty as a vacuum by the time I set it down after a few pages.

The content is as vast as one would imagine, however, so I think there will ultimately be redemption in the discussion.  If not…well…there will be plenty of good single malt in hand.

Hopefully we can sucker a few folks into discussing this one below.  Share your thoughts.

– C

 

Mar 052014
 

Bird Chronicle

This month’s selection: “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”, by Haruki Murakami.

A couple years back we tackled another of Murakami’s books, “1Q84”, and were all somewhat blown away.  The man has a voice and vision unlike anything I’ve ever read. 

As we speak, I’m on page 101 (of 607) and wish I could simply curl up with this book and a dram of old BenRiach in front of the fire.  Alas…work keeps getting in the way.

If you haven’t read Murakami, let me offer up highest recommendations.

– Curt 

Mar 022010
 

Okay, gents…Here’s your lineup:

April

Scott’s Choice:  “Wizard’s First Rule” (Terry Goodkind)

$9.49

Our first foray into fantasy.  I’m quite excited about this.

May

Bauer’s Choice:  “Looking Backward 2000 – 1887” (Edward Bellamy)

$6.18

Dystopian novel written in 1888!!

June

Curt’s Choice:  “On The Road” (Jack Kerouac)

$12.54 Original Classic

$12.64 Scroll Version

Classic novel of the beat generation.  I have read this about 10 times.

Regarding “On The Road”:  This is considered a fiction novel, though based on real people.  Kerouac was forced to edit the early manuscript to change all names from those of real people to fictional identities.  He was also forced to clean it up and remove some of the more…objectionable content (keep in mind, this was the 40s).  A couple of years back the “Scroll Edition” was released.  It is uncut and has all names restored.

Two points of view here:

1)  Read the classic.  It is considered a classic for a reason.  Many feel that the “Scroll Edition” is mostly a novelty item for Kerouac fans.  By ordering this one, you are getting the novel as it has been reviewed and revered for 50+ years.

2)  Read the scroll version to see how Kerouac originally wrote it.  Will be a bit more racy, I imagine.  A little longer and a bit more raw.

It will be neat if we have a mix of people having read different versions.  Kinda cool to compare experiences.  I have the original and will order the “Scroll Edition”…and will have read both by June.

If you want me to order your books…let me know version one you want.

Looking forward to these!!