Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Like the title says, anything and everything else goes here. As long as it follows the forum rules.

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Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:31 pm

Apparently there are a lot of semi-literate nerds in AFH(k) who would love to read books imposed upon them by other people. I don't know that we want to set a schedule since people have school and babies and optimizing to handle, but for now, maybe a book a month, and one person picks a book for the rest to read. We can keep a color-coded list of people who've picked and have yet to pick here. I know how you people like your organized lists :P I'm arbitrarily picking ReverKiller to pick first because he can't drink. Who else is in? :D

Also, if their book sucks, we can TP them. And if their book is awesome, we can TP them. I like to be fair.

Reverkiller - Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto - Chuck Klosterman; due date: 11/20/2010
slaphappy snark - Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro; due date: 12/29/2010 (give or take a day or so in light of it being wedged between Christmas and the New Year)
Eigenbasis - A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative - Roger Van Oech; due date: 2/26/2011
LotsOfPhil - Ubik - Philip K. Dick; due date: 4/10/2011
thacon - Mother Night - Kurty Vonnegut; due date: 5/10/2011
preniqueezer - The Night Country - Loren Eiseley; due date: 6/10/2011

1. JennyUnderpants
2. :trophy: Pantsless :trophy:
3. Ceirdwyn
4. big_mara
5. Verdigris97
6. Omri
7. Eevilcat
8. NardoLoopa
9. ema_nymton
10. infern0
11. maddsurgeon

Slackers:
TheEggplantWizard
kelemvor
Serra725
LeSpectre
Manendra
Quamper
Whym
Seldon
Last edited by JennyUnderpants on Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:12 pm, edited 31 times in total.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Serra725 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:34 pm

Reverkiller
TheEggplantWizard
slaphappy snark
JennyUnderpants
Quamper
Serra725

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Manendra » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:36 pm

Yay book club, I'm in!
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by seldon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:42 pm

i'm in.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Pantsless » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:48 pm

I haven't been reading enough lately. I'm going to sign up, intend to read the books that are suggested, then fail to get around to it and stop posting in the thread out of embarrassment.
[quote="Serra725"]What did you use for the structural part of the bear?[/quote]

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Manendra » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:52 pm

Pantsless wrote:I haven't been reading enough lately. I'm going to sign up, intend to read the books that are suggested, then fail to get around to it and stop posting in the thread out of embarrassment.
:thumbs:

This is also my plan.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Ceirdwyn » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:56 pm

Hmm as my company keeps giving out book vouchers for birthdays every year and I still need some book recomendations count me in - at least for a while :)

The last book recommended to me by a KoL player was awesome so I am looking forward to this :)

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:22 pm

I'm in. What's another half-read book to add to my ever growing stack?

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by big_mara » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:36 pm

I need a distraction from fantasy football. I'm in as well.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Verdigris97 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Pantsless wrote:I haven't been reading enough lately. I'm going to sign up, intend to read the books that are suggested, then fail to get around to it and stop posting in the thread out of embarrassment.
+1

And I'd like to add: I'll probably consider suggesting a book I've already read to reduce my workload, but then not follow through out of some weird sense of fairness to others and end up suggesting a book I can't possibly finish in time.

I like this idea.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Kelemvor » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:05 pm

I'm in for the Pantsless-Manny-Verd "join up and then decide I don't have time to read anything that isn't posted in a kol forum" plan.

And since I am all excited about reading right now, I might throw out a suggestion for book #1: the graphic novel Maus. I picked it up yesterday and flipped through the first dozen pages, and I think I really want to read it. Plus, pictures!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Omri » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:23 pm

I'll also join in as a part of the "interested, but probably unlikely to actually follow through" crowd!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by reverkiller » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:27 pm

I have a book idea, but I want to make sure that it isn't too common:

Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
If too many of you have read that, I have another couple books in mind, but that is the one I'd really like us to read and discuss.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by stupac2 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:32 pm

Couldn't we just start a fight club?

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:49 pm

reverkiller wrote:I have a book idea, but I want to make sure that it isn't too common:

Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
If too many of you have read that, I have another couple books in mind, but that is the one I'd really like us to read and discuss.
I've read it, but it's been a while.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Whym » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:56 pm

Ooh, I'm in.
stupac2 wrote:Couldn't we just start a fight club?
I'm in for that, too. Fear my fists of fury.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Eevilcat » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:55 am

I'd like to join in; any excuse to read a good book.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Ringwraith » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:33 am

I haven't read anything(other than textbooks) in a very, very long time >.>
So, why not I guess :)

I want in!

I also got hold of a copy at my uni library, so whee! I'mma start tomorrows >.>
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Lespectre » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:41 am

I could do this. It's not like I'm already in a long-distance book club that I haven't read anything for yet.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Kelemvor » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:08 pm

Hmmm...going to be on a long flight tomorrow...get this book from the library, or work on finally writing up my 4-day SCO log?

Decisions, decisions.

ETA: Library is open late, and the book is on the shelf according to the online system.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by zombiepops » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:16 pm

Kelemvor wrote:And since I am all excited about reading right now, I might throw out a suggestion for book #1: the graphic novel Maus. I picked it up yesterday and flipped through the first dozen pages, and I think I really want to read it. Plus, pictures!
you NEED to read Maus, both books. It's really really really good.

as to a book club, I'd love to join, but all my spare reading time is consumed with stuff for my thesis. I've got an ever growing stack of stuff I want to read for fun that I don't have time for, but I'm eager to see what all you guys end up reading, and will probably add a bunch of them to my list...
I'm brainy for Zombiepops!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by big_mara » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:18 pm

reverkiller wrote:I have a book idea, but I want to make sure that it isn't too common:

Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
If too many of you have read that, I have another couple books in mind, but that is the one I'd really like us to read and discuss.
I had to read sections of this book in a creative nonfiction class I took a while ago. I recall it being pretty amusing. Probably not something I'd read on my own, which makes it a perfect selection.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by NardoLoopa » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:24 pm

Hmm, I guess I could slide this into my schedule. Count me in.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:14 pm

People have been asking for more specifics, so for Round 1: ReverKiller, let's set a due date for November 20th. I also don't know how well set questions would work for a format like this so I guess consider these points for nonfiction:

- the author's motivation for writing the book
- issues/themes (sociological, ecological, economical, sexual, spiritual, bovine, emotional, mental, spiritual, mathematical, logical, intergalactic planetary, planetary intergalactic, etc)
- personal connections you did/did not have with the book
- agreements/disagreements with the author's thoughts
- controversial things that pissed you off or lit a fire under your ass
- points you hadn't considered
- elaboration on points the author made that you fleshed out
- snack foods you felt like eating while reading the book
- writing style (dry, funny, witty, hot, boring, meandering, simple, straightforward, figurative, literal, indulgent, etc)

This is not hard and fast guideline, just a starting point. Try and note page numbers for concrete examples/evidence though. Also, feel free to to offer up other discussion points :)
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by reverkiller » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:31 pm

One thing about this book is that it is formated as a collection of Essays, each with a unique idea/theme. Some of the essays are better than the others, so I'll leave you to decide. Personally, I have a lot of thoughts about Billy Joel, so that essay was an interesting read for me. Some more specific questions:

-This book is about "Generation X", of which I'm only barely a part of. Did you find that you recognized the references/topics discussed in the book? Or were you more like me, an observer who only knows about most of these things second hand?
-Which Essay did you like the most? The least? Why? Was it because it was about something you knew? Was it because it was funny?

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Antipasta » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:28 pm

All right, I'm in, I should do something more directed than wandering around in the library picking out whatever.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Manendra » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:38 pm

I've got it reserved at the library, but I'm 20th in line. :(

I miss my suburban library. This county library system seems way overmatched.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:14 pm

Not that I condone piracy, but if you want to download the audio book....

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Whym » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:51 pm

thacon wrote:Not that I condone piracy, but if you want to download the audio book....
Ugh, not an audio book person, myself. Not sure I want to pay $12 for the Kindle version either. To the library!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:40 pm

reverkiller wrote:Billy Joel
Haha! I finished the Billy Joel essay today. It echoes so many thoughts I've heard from my husband that I think I'll force him to read it when I'm done (he hardly ever reads). It's kind of interesting because Klosterman is only 4-5 years older than me, so everything he's written about so far, I can relate to. I even had a thing for John-Cusack-As-Lloyd-Dobler. :oops:

Anyway. I just wanted to check in. I'm enjoying it so far, and not just because he drops the F-bomb so much. I have laughed multiple times, out loud, which is embarrassing because I'm usually reading it on the Metro.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Kelemvor » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:42 pm

I'm enjoying it very much, and I've caught myself occasionally thinking "but what does this *really* mean?" when I watch the latest viral youtube video or what have you. I blame Klosterman for that.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Verdigris97 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:38 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:
reverkiller wrote:Billy Joel
Anyway. I just wanted to check in. I'm enjoying it so far, and not just because he drops the F-bomb so much. I have laughed multiple times, out loud, which is embarrassing because I'm usually reading it on the Metro.
I'm just past Billy Joel, and I've already found 3 or 4 sentences that would be great .sigs. Very enjoyable so far...

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:34 am

From the section between 10 and 11 where he lists the 23 questions he asks in order to decide if he REALLY loves someone:

"14. For reasons that cannot be explained, cats can suddenly read at a twelfth-grade level. They can't talk and they can't write, but they can read silently and understand the text. Many cats love this new skill, because they now have something to do all day while they lay around the house; however, a few cats become depressed, because reading forces them to realize the limitations of their existence (not to mention the utter frustration of being unable to express themselves).
This being the case, do you think the average cat would enjoy Garfield, or would cats find this cartoon to be an insulting caricature?"

I have been alternately laughing at and pondering this question for a good half hour now.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by top1214 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:50 am

JennyUnderpants wrote:From the section between 10 and 11 where he lists the 23 questions he asks in order to decide if he REALLY loves someone:

"14. For reasons that cannot be explained, cats can suddenly read at a twelfth-grade level. They can't talk and they can't write, but they can read silently and understand the text. Many cats love this new skill, because they now have something to do all day while they lay around the house; however, a few cats become depressed, because reading forces them to realize the limitations of their existence (not to mention the utter frustration of being unable to express themselves).
This being the case, do you think the average cat would enjoy Garfield, or would cats find this cartoon to be an insulting caricature?"

I have been alternately laughing at and pondering this question for a good half hour now.
This makes me want to get the book just to find out the other 22

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Kelemvor » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:01 pm

I think the 23 questions chapter (chapter? essay? musing? what do we call each separate...thing? Klosterman calls them "tracks", which feels very High Fidelity, a movie I didn't really like because I suspect I didn't "get it") was one of my favorites.

I read about half the questions to my wife, and was pleased but not surprised to find that not only did we answer them all the same way, we even made similar faces when reacting to the question.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Serra725 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:36 pm

My edition has only three questions! (They are the magician / Einstein one, the Clydesdale, and Hitler's skull. Are those your first three?) This is making me wonder what else is missing. Each of my mini between-chapter essays are about a half page- are others of yours longer?

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:47 pm

Most of them are that short, but the question one is quite long! When I'm bored at work tomorrow, I'll type them out for you in a PM :)
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Serra725 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:54 pm

Haha, terrific! Thanks.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Kelemvor » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:32 pm

If she doesn't do it first, I'll post summaries in this thread. It'll lose a bit in the translation -- Klosterman has a way of wording the questions that is both funny and less-offensive -- but they'll be fun to think about anyway.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:04 pm

I forgot that I have the day off today, so I'm leisurely typing them out. I'll use the spoiler tag, lest I wear out your poor scrolly fingers with wall o' text.
1. Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks -- he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. These are his only tricks and he can't learn any more; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he's doing these five tricks with real magic. It's not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space. He's legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence.
Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?

2. Let us assume a fully grown, completely healthy Clydesdale horse has his hooves shackled to the ground while his head is held in place with a thick rope. He is conscious and standing upright, but completely immobile. And let us assume that -- for some reason -- every political prisoner on earth (as cited by Amnesty International) will be released from captivity if you can kick this horse to death in less than twenty minutes. You are allowed to wear steel-toed boots.
Would you attempt to do this?

3. Let us assume there are two boxes on a table. In one box, there is a relatively normal turtle; in the other, Adolf Hitler's skull. You have to select one of these items for your home. If you select the turtle, you can't give it away and you have to keep it alive for two years; if either of these parameters are not met, you will be fined $999 by the state. If you select Hitler's skull, you are required to display it in a semi-prominent location in your living room for the same amount of time, although you will be paid a stipend of $120 per month for doing so. Display of the skull must be apolitical.
Which option do you select?

4. Genetic engineers at Johns Hopkins University announce that they have developed a so-called "super gorilla." Though the animal cannot speak, it has a sign language lexicon of over twelve thousand words, an I.Q. of almost 85, and -- most notably -- a vague sense of self-awareness. Oddly, the creature (who weighs seven-hundred pounds) becomes fascinated by football. The gorilla aspires to play the game at its highest level and quickly develops the rudimentary skills of a defensive end. ESPN analyst Tom Jackson speculates that the gorilla would be "borderline unblockable" and would likely average six sacks a game (although Jackson concedes the beast might be suspcetible to counters and misdirection plays). Meanwhile, the gorilla has made it clear he would never intentionally injure any opponent.
You are the commissioner of the NFL: Would you allow this gorilla to sign with the Oakland Raiders?

5. You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate's collarbones with a Crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear -- for the rest of your life -- sound as if it's being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it's being played by Alice in Chains. If you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it's being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you.
Would you swallow the pill?

6. At long last, someone invents "the dream VCR." This machine allows you to tape an entire evening's worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device if you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don't agree to this, you can't use the dream VCR.
Would you still do this?

7. Defying all expectations, a group of Scottish marine biologists capture a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter in the Pcific Northwest shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity. These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the president announces he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week.
You are the front-page editor of The New York Times. What do you play as the biggest story?

8. You meet the perfect person. Romantically, this person is ideal. You find them physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, consistently funny, and deeply compassionate. However, they have one quirk: This individual is obsessed with Jim Henson's gothic puppet fantasy The Dark Crystal. Beyond watching it on DVD at least once a month, he/she peppers casual conversation with The Dark Crystal references, uses The Dark crystal analogies to explain everyday events, and occasionally likes to talk intensely about the film's "deeper philosophy."
Would this be enough to stop you from marrying this individual?

9. A novel titled Interior Mirror is released to mammoth commercial success (despite middling reviews). However, a curious social trend emerges: Though no one can prove a direct scientific link, it appears that almost 30 percent of the people who read this book immediately become homosexual. Many of these newfound homosexuals credit the book for helping them reach this conclusion about their orientation, despite the fact that Interior Mirror is ostensibly a crime novel with no homoerotic content (and was written by a straight man).
Would this phenomenon increase (or decrease) the likelihood of you reading this book?

10. This is the opening line of Jay McInernay's Bright Lights, Big City: "You are not the kind of guy who would be in a place like this at this time of the morning." Think about that line in the context of the novel (assuming you've read it). Now go to your CD collection and find Heart's Little Queen album (assuming you own it). Listen to the opening riff to "Barracuda."
Which of these two introductions is the higher form of art?

11. You are watching a movie in a crowded theater. Though the plot is mediocre, you find yourself dazzled by the special effects. But with twenty minutes left in the film, you are struck with an undeniable feeling of doom: You are suddenly certain your mother has just died. There is no logical reason for this to be true, but you are certain of it. you are overtaken with the irrational metaphysical sense that -- somewhere -- your mom has just perished. But this is only an intuitive, amorphous feeling; there is no evidence for this, and your mother has not been ill.
Would you immediately exit the theater, or would you finish watching the movie?

12. You meet a wizard in downtown Chicago. The wizard tells you he can make you more attractive if you pay him money. When you ask how this process works, the wizard points to a random person on the street. You look at this random stranger. The wizard says, "I will now make them a dollar more attractive." He waves his magic wand. Ostensibly, this person does not change at all; as far as you can tell, nothing is different. But -- somehow -- this person is suddenly a little more appealing. The tangible difference is invisible to the naked eye, but you can't deny that this person is vaguely sexier. This wizard has a weird rule, though -- you can only pay him once. You can't keep giving him money until you're satisfied. You can only pay him one lump sum up front.
How much cash do you give the wizard?

13. Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly.
What do you talk about?

14. For reasons that cannot be explained, cats can suddenly read at a twelfth-grade level. They can't talk and they can't write, but they can read silently and understand the text. Many cats love this new skill, because they now have something to do all day while they lay around the house; however, a few cats become depressed, because reading forces them to realize the limitations of their existence (not to mention the utter frustration of being unable to express themselves).
This being the case, do you think the average cat would enjoy Garfield, or would cats find this cartoon to be an insulting caricature?

15. you have a brain tumor. Though there is no discomfort at the moment, this tumor would unquestionably kill you in six months. however, your life can (and will) be saved by an operation; the only downside is that there will be a brutal incision to your frontal lobe. After the surgery, you will be significantly less intelligent. You will still be a fully functioning adult, but you will be less logical, you will have a terrible memory, and you will have little ability to understand complex concepts or difficult ideas. The surgery is in two weeks.
How do you spend the next fourteen days?

16. Someone builds an optical portal that allows you to see a vision of your own life in the future (it's essentially a crystal ball that shows a randomly selected image of what your life will be like in twenty years). You can only see into this portal for thirty seconds. When you finally peer into the crystal, you see yourself in a living room, two decades older than you are today. You are watching a Canadian football game, and you are extremely happy. You are wearing a CFL jersey. Your chair is surrounded by cooks and magazines that promote the Canadian Football League, and there are CFL pennants covering your walls. You are alone in the room, but you are gleefully muttering about historical moments in Canadian football history. It becomes clear that -- for some unknown reason -- you have become obsessed with Canadian football. And this future is static and absolute; no matter what you do, this future will happen. The optical portal is never wrong. This destiny cannot be change.
The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a preseason CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it?

17. You are sitting in an empty bar (in a town you've never before visited), drinking Bacardi with a softspoken acquaintance you barely know. After an hour, a third individual walks into the tavern and sits by himself, and you ask your acquaintance who the new man is. "Be careful of that guy," you are told. "He is a man with a past." A few minutes later, a fourth person enters the bar; he also sits alone. You ask your acquaintance who this new individual is. "Be careful of that guy, too," he says. "He is a man with no past."
Which of these two people do you trust less?

18. You have won a prize. The prize has two options, and you can choose either (but not both). The first option is a year in Europe with a monthly stipend of $2000. The second option is ten minutes on the moon.
Which option do you select?

19. Your best friend is taking a nap on the floor of your living room. Suddenly you are faced with a bizarre existential problem: This friend is going to die unless you kick them (as hard as you can) in the rib cage. If you don't kick them while they slumber, they will never wake up. However, you can never explain this to your friend; if you later inform them that you did this to save their life, they will also die from that. So you have to kick a sleeping friend in the ribs, and you can't tell them why.
Since you cannot tell your friend the truth, what excuse will you fabricate to explain this (seemingly inexplicable) attack?

20. For whatever reason, two unauthorized movies are made about your life. The first is an independently released documentary, primarily comprised of interviews with people who know you and bootleg footage from your actual life. Critics are describing the documentary as "brutally honest and relentlessly fair." Meanwhile, Columbia Tri-Star has produced a big-budget biopic of your life, casting major Hollywood stars as you and all your acquaintance; though the movie is based on actual events, screenwriters have taken some liberties with the facts. critics are split on the artistic merits of this fictionalized account, but audiences love it.
Which film would you be most interested in seeing?

21. Imagine you could go back to the age of five and relive the rest of your life, knowing everything that you know now. You will reexperience your entire adolescence with both the cognitive ability of an adult and the memories of everything you've learned from having lived your life previously.
Would you lose your virginity earlier or later than you did the first time around (and by how many years)?

22. You work in an office. Generally, you are popular with your coworkers. However, you discover that there are currently two rumors circulating in the office gossip mill, and both involve you. The first rumor is that you got drunk at the office holiday party and had sex with one of your married coworkers. This rumor is completely true, but most people don't believe it. The second rumor is that you have been stealing hundreds of dollars of office supplies (and then selling them to cover a gambling debt). This rumor is completely false, but virtually everyone assumes it's factual.
Which of these two rumors is most troubling to you?

23. Consider this possibility:
a) Think about deceased TV star John Ritter
b) Now, pretend Ritter had never become famous. Pretend he was never affected by the trappings of fame, and try to imagine what his personality would have been like.
c) Now, imagine that this person -- the unfamous John Ritter -- is a character in a situation comedy.
d) Now, you are also a character in this sitcom, and the unfamous John Ritter character is your sitcom father.
3) However, this sitcom is actually your real life. In other words, you are living inside a sitcom: Everything about your life is a construction, featuring the unfamous John Ritter playing himself (in the role of your TV father). But this is not a sitcom. This is your real life.
How would you feel about this?
And now, my fingers are very tired of typing.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Serra725 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:34 pm

Thanks again very much, Jenny! Fun stuff. :) (Fortunately none of the rest were as disturbing to me as the Clydesdale one!)

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by top1214 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:42 pm

Wow. Thanks!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:24 pm

I didn't read the book, but I looked at the questions that JennyUnderpants typed out. . . .

Some of my thoughts --

#2 -- I'm not sure of this, but it's entirely possible that Amnesty International would consider 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to be a political prisoner, which if true would make it very easy for me to spare the horse's life.

#4 -- Wait, the Raiders don't already employ gorillas with IQs of 85?

#7 -- Since I think the East Coast ignores the West Coast and fetishizes Europe, I predict the New York Times would run the Loch Ness Monster story.

#12 -- Heh heh, it's nice being happily married, since I can pay the wizard $0.

#15 -- I would read "Flowers for Algernon" over and over to prepare for the coming horror.

#18 -- Do the 10 minutes on the moon come with a functioning spacesuit? If so, I would choose that. Pfft to a year in Europe.

#19 -- "An earthquake made me trip!"

#20 -- Do I get royalties from the big budget biopic?
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Serra725 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:22 pm

My daughter and I were in the car, singing, and she made fun of me for mixing up words from two verses. Since we had extensively debated number five earlier, I was able to say, "Oh, I had to take a pill for that, to protect Daddy's shoulderblades!"

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Omri » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:31 pm

I wish I had read Bright Lights, Big City so I could answer that question, because I freaking love the intro to Barracuda.

13 is an awesome question for someone such as myself who's committed to being abstinent until marriage. Free catering service, although talking to myself might make me seem crazy :P - 21 is also an easy question.

Awesome questions all in all - very amusing and interesting, although some of the references to people are lost on me.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by reverkiller » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:13 am

Omri wrote: Awesome questions all in all - very amusing and interesting, although some of the references to people are lost on me.
That is my opinion on the entire book. I really enjoyed it, but it seems like I got a second-hand telling of everything (I probably would not have understood most of it if it weren't for a healthy dose of Cracked.com and Wikipedia backing me up). Being too young for this is a bit saddening, but I have my own pop culture quirks you old fogeys will never truly understand.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:32 am

Omri wrote:13 is an awesome question for someone such as myself who's committed to being abstinent until marriage. Free catering service, although talking to myself might make me seem crazy :P - 21 is also an easy question.
Yeah. I read that one and thought, "Well then. A banquet with my husband." I'd probably give a speech on proper laundry technique.

I, being an old shit unlike RK, can relate to every single essay. I found myself thinking, "Yeah! What the hell happened to Tori?!" for the Saved By the Bell one, but my favorite one so far is his rationalization of porn. The last 2-3 paragraphs pretty much made the entire book for me.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:36 am

JennyUnderpants wrote:Yeah. I read that one and thought, "Well then. A banquet with my husband." I'd probably give a speech on proper laundry technique.
Wouldn't you be alone with the caterers? The question speaks of being there with "former lovers". . . .
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:41 am

Well crap. That was a waste of a laundry technique speech :(
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Draco Cracona » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:56 am

JennyUnderpants wrote:Well crap. That was a waste of a laundry technique speech :(
Maybe the caterers enjoyed it? Or maybe your current lover/lovers are, in fact, the ones doing the catering?

Having not read the book, those are some interesting questions to ponder upon. With that said, some of them don't take much pondering for me (the second one, for example, I'd not be able to kill the horse; #11, I'd leave immediately; #12, I'd pay nothing, #17 I'd trust the man without a past less etc.), but most of them are interesting to think about.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by WiseFather » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:05 pm

Raccoon wrote:#4 -- Wait, the Raiders don't already employ gorillas with IQs of 85?
No, their IQs are below 85. The gorilla would be as intelligent as their QB.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Verdigris97 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:41 pm

Omri wrote:I wish I had read Bright Lights, Big City so I could answer that question, because I freaking love the intro to Barracuda.

13 is an awesome question for someone such as myself who's committed to being abstinent until marriage. Free catering service, although talking to myself might make me seem crazy :P - 21 is also an easy question.

Awesome questions all in all - very amusing and interesting, although some of the references to people are lost on me.
If I look at McInerney's work, BLBC stands out as a masterpiece. It is set firmly in the late 80s Manhattan club scene, but you don't need to have lived through it to understand everything that the protagonist goes through. The second-person narrative is a VERY effective tool in this case, (although if you skim through the book too quickly you lose the effect), and I have always thought that the opening of that book, in that context, is brilliant.

Question 13 for me could be held in a (normal sized, not the corner) booth at Denny's, and I'm sure my speech would start out with "I'm sorry...." I have no idea how it would end.

I am just a few years older than Klosterman, (and I think the lower boundary for Gen X is probably 1971 or 1972, not the late 60s as he claims), and I think I got most (but not quite all) of the references. It is a very fun read, but frustrating at times. I was only bored twice, really, but the essays were short enough, and varied enough, that it never put me off finishing.

RK: excellent suggestion, and a great kickoff to book club!

Are we going to have an official discussion "chat" on or around the 20th, or is this thread going to be the discussion? Either way is great with me.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Omri » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:46 pm

The only McInerney book I've read is Ransom, which I really enjoyed, especially the unorthodox ending. I'll have to look into Bright Lights, Big City after I finish The Divine Comedy and Faust.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by ema_nymton » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:06 pm

Ah, Sex Drugs & Cocoa Puffs. The first book by Chuck Klosterman that I read, but definitely not the last (A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas and Eating the Dinosaur are in the same vein as S,D&CP; Downtown Owl is enjoyable if less-than-great fiction that's helped by Klosterman's unmistakable voice.)

Um, anyway. I'm in on this book club thing. Maybe. I read a pretty good bit on my own, but I've never done the whole "let's discuss specific aspects of this author's style and work" thing in a formal setting.

Lessee... the questions section. I remember, after reading the book, asking random questions (I think the gorilla one was my favorite) from this sections to almost everyone I knew-- family, friends, potential dates. It made for a pretty decent conversation filler. But most of the time, while they were working on their answer to the question, I would get a look that seemed to say "Why are you asking me this?" or "These are weird questions, and you're weird for asking them." Then they'd answer the questions and change the subject, and I'd feel silly for asking them.

Maybe that speaks to a larger point. The subtitle of S,D&CP is A Low Culture Manifesto, and I find low culture (or pop culture) fascinating. Even the specifics of culture that I'm not particularly interested in, I still try to understand and see how those specifics hold the interest of others. And that's sort of what Klosterman does; he takes an element of culture and deconstructs it, analyzes it, and (in his own eyes, anyway) reassembles it as a piece in a greater construction. I mean-- the Dixie Chicks as Van Halen for teenage girls? Saved By the Bell being more real and relate-able because of its unrealistic simplicity? One doesn't necessarily have to agree with Chuck, but I can't help but admire his mental gymnastics reaching these (sometimes ridiculous) conclusions.

Of course, not everyone feels that way. Hence the uncomfortable reactions when I asked people the questions. Not everyone knows-- or cares-- enough about low culture, about mental gymnastics for their own sake. There's nothing wrong with that, I guess, but it does make it harder to enjoy the book.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:37 pm

Verdigris97 wrote:If I look at McInerney's work, BLBC stands out as a masterpiece. It is set firmly in the late 80s Manhattan club scene, but you don't need to have lived through it to understand everything that the protagonist goes through. The second-person narrative is a VERY effective tool in this case, (although if you skim through the book too quickly you lose the effect), and I have always thought that the opening of that book, in that context, is brilliant.

Question 13 for me could be held in a (normal sized, not the corner) booth at Denny's, and I'm sure my speech would start out with "I'm sorry...." I have no idea how it would end.

I am just a few years older than Klosterman, (and I think the lower boundary for Gen X is probably 1971 or 1972, not the late 60s as he claims), and I think I got most (but not quite all) of the references. It is a very fun read, but frustrating at times. I was only bored twice, really, but the essays were short enough, and varied enough, that it never put me off finishing.

RK: excellent suggestion, and a great kickoff to book club!

Are we going to have an official discussion "chat" on or around the 20th, or is this thread going to be the discussion? Either way is great with me.
"Bright Lights, Big City" is the best McInerney book, followed by "Ransom." They go downhill quickly from there. "Ransom" did a good job of setting the mood of mystery and intrigue of being an ex-pat American in Japan. "Bright Lights," however, does a masterful job of using the second-person narration to elevate the narration above the plot, characters, etc.

I'm pretty sure Gen X starts in 1964, right after the end of the Baby Boomer era. I was born in 1967, and just about every Gen X reference in pop culture speaks to me. I get fuzzy about when Gen X ends, with some saying 1980(?), though mid- to late-70s seems more natural to me.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Verdigris97 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:28 pm

Raccoon wrote:I'm pretty sure Gen X starts in 1964, right after the end of the Baby Boomer era. I was born in 1967, and just about every Gen X reference in pop culture speaks to me. I get fuzzy about when Gen X ends, with some saying 1980(?), though mid- to late-70s seems more natural to me.
Now that I've done a little research, I've heard birth years from 1960-1980; there certainly needs to be a generation boundary somewhere after the baby boomers. Maybe I'm just biased because of Coupland's book, and my complete lack of connection to any of the characters in it (or their situations). Maybe it's because I was born in the year with the lowest number of births in that generation (1970), and so I sit on the boundary between two larger (and, socially, fairly well compartmentalized) groups.

I don't resent the label Gen-X at all if applied to me, but it has never quite felt right. It has always applied to my younger (by 6 years) brother and his crowd, though.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:01 am

I just finished it on the train this morning because I will have no time the rest of this week, between this 4-dayer attempt and planning and shopping for having 30 some odd people over this Saturday, which is also the due date for finishing this book :D

Imma agree with ema - I was really impressed how he dissected things about pop culture and then pulled a more macrocosmic analysis out of it. My favorite essay is still the Porn essay though. He also has kind of a self-deprecating without false modesty type feel that I like. And, I am vowing never to discuss sports with sports writers, ever!

The only thing I didn't like was his fondness for the "It's not <x>; it's <the polar opposite of x>" construction. It started getting hackneyed after a while. Also, his fondness of the word "zeitgeist". I admit that I had to look it up :)
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Ceirdwyn » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:02 pm

Hmpf, I'm still waiting to get my hands on the book - I definitely won't make the deadline :(

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Whym » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:02 am

Ceirdwyn wrote:Hmpf, I'm still waiting to get my hands on the book - I definitely won't make the deadline :(
Same for me. The local library doesn't have it, so my other option is to get an e-book. I have to admit that I'm eager to read the book even if I miss the deadline. The discussion so far makes it sound like a great read.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:55 am

I can ship my copy to someone if you don't mind giving me your address. First brick, first serve :) Sorry I didn't read faster, mara :P
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:28 am

I finished it yesterday. I did not like it. Each essay makes me think of the author talking to someone at a party. The person he is talking to is trapped and can't find a way to get out of the conversation. So he (the victim) just has to sit there and listen to this rehearsed, unfunny screed on a very minute aspect of pop culture. If the fact that it is about "pop culture" doesn't save you nothing else can.

Like with his bit about his stories/jokes for when he goes on dates. It (either the book or the story on the date) derives its attractiveness from being extemporaneous. But it's not so it's not.

Would not read again. Would not recommend. (Still glad we read it, don't think of me as anti-club).

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:06 am

It's been a while since I've read it, (and I don't have time to read it now) but I remember feeling the same way about some of the stories, LoP. The essays that I liked, I really liked. The essays that I didn't, I really didn't.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Eevilcat » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:28 am

I'm about halfway through and really enjoying it except for the basketball essay. God that was boring, but I forced myself to finish it! I think that's more a cultural issue as we just don't do basketball here the way you have it in the States. I'm also not holding much hope of finishing it by the due date as the art tourney is sucking up most my free time.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by slaphappy snark » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:59 am

I'm probably not going to finish in time, although I will give it a shot, partly because I am not particularly enjoying most of the essays. The tone reminds me of someone trying to sound clever, rather than someone who just is saying interesting things. I don't feel as strongly as phil, but I also apparently don't have the stick-to-it attitude that he does. I will try to better pin down how I feel and why for discussion-y goodness, assuming that book wimps are allowed to discuss.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:04 am

This book reminds me of "Consider the Lobster" by David Foster Wallace. Same general form. Wallace's essays are longer and (I think) were magazine articles (and so not written as a unit). Maybe my memory is hazy and they both just have a porn essay. And footnotes.

If you liked this one, consider the lobster :)

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:38 pm

I liked Consider the Lobster. Broom of the System, on the other hand, was completely rage-inducing. I read that book many years ago and it still makes me angry. Maybe the next book club selection should be Infinite Jest.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:33 pm

thacon wrote:Broom of the System, on the other hand, was completely rage-inducing. I read that book many years ago and it still makes me angry. Maybe the next book club selection should be Infinite Jest.
Really? Wow, I really liked "The Broom of the System." On the other hand, I found "Infinite Jest" largely unreadable.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:02 pm

I'll clarify: I really enjoyed The Broom of the System until the last page. I won't go into any more detail as to not spoil it in case anyone wants to read it.

And I was joking with my suggestion of Infinite Jest. My brother gave me that book to read with the advice of "get yourself two bookmarks and a dictionary." I gave up about 1/3 of the way through.

For a real suggestion, I'd nominate basically anything by Vonnegut.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by stupac2 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:08 pm

So it goes.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Eigenbasis » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:00 pm

I've read Slaughterhouse Five, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and Sirens of Titan (all recently). Would you be more interested in a lesser-known Vonnegut or one of his more popular books?
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