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When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

I haven't read this one yet, but I love love LOVE Sedaris. Love him. LOVE.

Miles From Nowhere by Nami Mun

You probably know this already, because I think I mentioned it on MAP, but Nami was my teacher this past semester. I love Nami. I love her personality, her teaching style (she's tough as nails), and her writing. I waited until the end of the semester to read her book, and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to have someone else to talk about this book with. Also, I got the sweetest little note from her when she signed my copy of the book.

Seriously, read some Faulkner. The man is THE MASTER. The master of prose, of sentences that go on for three pages, of lots of things.

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Is Pressure mainstream literary fiction, or is it high-concept commercial fiction?

It would probably lean more towards commercial, but it definitely has some thought behind it.

Well, the two are not always mutually exclusive, but sometimes high-concept commercial fiction can be a bit...thin. Heavy on plot, archetypal characters instead of well-developed, unique characters, not much effort in the prose. The concept sounds neat, though.

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Miles From Nowhere by Nami Mun

You probably know this already, because I think I mentioned it on MAP, but Nami was my teacher this past semester. I love Nami. I love her personality, her teaching style (she's tough as nails), and her writing. I waited until the end of the semester to read her book, and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to have someone else to talk about this book with. Also, I got the sweetest little note from her when she signed my copy of the book.

She did a signing at Wright State last spring and I bought a copy after work since we had left over copies. I liked the one story we read from it for class that quarter (The Christmas One.).

Seriously, read some Faulkner. The man is THE MASTER. The master of prose, of sentences that go on for three pages, of lots of things.

Keep on meaning to, it's just one of those things that I just never get around to.

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Is Pressure mainstream literary fiction, or is it high-concept commercial fiction?

It would probably lean more towards commercial, but it definitely has some thought behind it.

Well, the two are not always mutually exclusive, but sometimes high-concept commercial fiction can be a bit...thin. Heavy on plot, archetypal characters instead of well-developed, unique characters, not much effort in the prose. The concept sounds neat, though.

It's commercial, but it's not Michael Bay commercial.

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Is Pressure mainstream literary fiction, or is it high-concept commercial fiction?

It would probably lean more towards commercial, but it definitely has some thought behind it.

Well, the two are not always mutually exclusive, but sometimes high-concept commercial fiction can be a bit...thin. Heavy on plot, archetypal characters instead of well-developed, unique characters, not much effort in the prose. The concept sounds neat, though.

It's commercial, but it's not Michael Bay commercial.

You're mixing your metaphors, or, err, mediums. But I see what you're saying.

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I started of 2010 with The Protector's War by S.M. Stirling, the second book in his Change (or Emberverse) series. Although listed as science-fiction (and imaginary Alien Space Bats are blamed for the Change that renders ALL energy based technology non-operational) I think it is more of a fantasy series. I'm a little over one hundred pages into it and, so far, I'm every bit as hooked as I was for the first book in the series, Dies the Fire.

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Is Pressure mainstream literary fiction, or is it high-concept commercial fiction?

It would probably lean more towards commercial, but it definitely has some thought behind it.

Well, the two are not always mutually exclusive, but sometimes high-concept commercial fiction can be a bit...thin. Heavy on plot, archetypal characters instead of well-developed, unique characters, not much effort in the prose. The concept sounds neat, though.

It's commercial, but it's not Michael Bay commercial.

You're mixing your metaphors, or, err, mediums. But I see what you're saying.

Pressure is the best novel I've read in recent memory.

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I know some people who decide what books to get based on first lines.

So, I thought I'd put some first lines up. I'll tell you what they are if you give a care.

"All of this happened while I was walking around starving in Christiania--that strange city no one escapes from until it has left its mark on him."

"You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning."

"Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear."

"Once, when Moses Green took his one-horse rig into town on auction day, he returned to his farm with a bondsman named Mingo."

"The writer, an old man with a white mustache, had some difficulty getting into bed."

"Without fail they arrive every year."

"The highway was dark as hell and led up to the sky."

"I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods."

"I am living at the Villa Borghese."

"What's it going to be then, eh?"

"In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together."

"Strike spotted her: Baby fat, baby face, Shanelle or Shanette, fourteen years old maybe, standing there with that queasy smile, trying to work up the nerve."

"A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories."

"The station wagons arrived at noon, a long shining line that coursed through the west campus."

"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since."

"It was a bad time."

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recently been reading old favorites like Barker's Books of Blood

I approve of this.

Also: as of tonight, I'll be reading the latest two Jeff Strand novels you normies out there won't be able to read for months...MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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I just finished "Dark Fire" the most recent book in Chris D'Lacey's Last Dragon Chronicles. The first too are aimed at younger readers, but starting with the 3rd they take a dark, intense, gothic turn. This one was really depressing.The first two are aimed at kids grade 4-7, I truly reccomend you read books 3-5, as they are the only ones you really need to advance the story, the first two are more like companion books. I highly recommend "Fire Star", "The Fire Eternal" and "Dark Fire" to geeky high-schoolers (like me) or even adults.

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Here's my reading list for this semester:

Fiction Seminar:

- Collected Fictions, Borges

- Stories of Anton Chekhov, Chekhov

- The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, Lydia Davis

- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz

- Lost in the City, Edward P. Jones

- Dubliners, James Joyce

- A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, Yiyun Li

- The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, Nabokov

Young Adult Fiction:

- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

- Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

- Push, Sapphire

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