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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-21-05, 03:02 PM   #1
HelluvaStella
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Reading recommendations from FG/SS peeps?

Fixed related or not. I'm heading to the library, jonesing for a good book to read on the train. From the ideas and posts of y'all, I think there would be some great books that you could recommend. Bike related, antiestablishment/anticorporate, counterculture, music, choose-your-own-adventure (ha), anything. What are you reading right now? Can you read?
Thanks all
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Old 11-21-05, 03:05 PM   #2
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goethe and proust. hume and kant. kundera and joyce.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:08 PM   #3
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wanna read about someone weird and brilliant? Enjoy Physics? pick up a biography of Nikola Tesla...
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Old 11-21-05, 03:13 PM   #4
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"My Friend Leonard" & "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey. I like "My Friend Leonard" more, but both are good to read. "My Friend Leonard" is sorta a continuation of "A Million Little Pieces"
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Old 11-21-05, 03:17 PM   #5
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i try to read robert pirsig's 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' once a year.

currently i'm reading haruki murakami's 'wind up bird chronicles', the 6th harry potter, and am getting ready start carl jung's 'man and his symbols'.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:19 PM   #6
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I've been on a major Patricia Highsmith binge lately.

I've also never gone wrong with Jonathan Lethem or James Morrow.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:20 PM   #7
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Currently, Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink". The Tipping Point, also by him is a good read.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:21 PM   #8
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I am currently reading "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay" by Michael Chabon. It's really good.

Also just got "The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil" by George Saunders. It's kind of a children's story for adults about, well, "our times". Highly recommended. And it's super short. Definitely get it if your lib has it (it's kind of new and maybe hard to get... i had to put it on hold for myself through the BPL).
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Old 11-21-05, 03:23 PM   #9
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I'm on tour in Australia and with no bike (because of all the flights) and a lot of time on my hands.... Just read Elmore Leonard's "Mr Paradise" and also the latest Cormac McCarthy book "No Country for Old Men".

Both really good. Cormac's book is set in present time (which is a little different for him) but its brutal as hell
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Old 11-21-05, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs
wanna read about someone weird and brilliant? Enjoy Physics? pick up a biography of Nikola Tesla...
Spot on! I went to school for Electrical Engineering. I've read loads of books on him. Mr. Super Duper Smart.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:35 PM   #11
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"The Things They Carried" - Tim O'Brien
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Old 11-21-05, 03:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
"The Things They Carried" - Tim O'Brien
good one
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Old 11-21-05, 03:42 PM   #13
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Moby Dick - "Bildad, I say, might now be seen actively engaged in looking over the bows for the approaching anchor, and at intervals singing what seemed a dismal stave of psalmody, to cheer the hands at the windlass, who roared forth some sort of a chorus about the girls in Booble Alley, with hearty good will."
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Old 11-21-05, 04:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelluvaStella
Spot on! I went to school for Electrical Engineering. I've read loads of books on him. Mr. Super Duper Smart.

The navy still has people trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about in the manuscripts that exist... and he's been dead for 100 years!

My engineering education background is primarily mechanical/civil, but I find him to be interesting none the less. I'm slowly thinking maybe electrical would be more interesting... primarily solid state devices, which I've been enjoying lately.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:06 PM   #15
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One of my all time favorites:

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Old 11-21-05, 04:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
"The Things They Carried" - Tim O'Brien
yes this is great and someone already mentioned but, murakami murakami and more murakami. also check out frederick tutan's tin tin in the new world, its a fun and beautiful interpretation of the herge comic.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
"The Things They Carried" - Tim O'Brien
O'Brien is a professor at my school.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:41 PM   #18
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Book of the Five Rings by Miyamoto Mushashi

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

The Art of War by Machiavelli and Sun Tzu (not that they put together a compilation)

I love military history and would recommend Clausewitz, but I haven't read him, yet.
Oh, and some "Conan" by Robert Howard.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:51 PM   #19
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i gently read that new kurt vonnegut before i gave it to a friend as a bday present. right now i'm actually reading something bicycle related. full tilt: cycling from ireland to india by dervla murphy. from the early 60s, when a woman could (albeit barely) ride through iraq & afghanistan. solo. pretty tough.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:54 PM   #20
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mark helprin. chuck palahniuk. jonathan franzen. another vote for murakami. anthony bourdain.
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Old 11-21-05, 05:00 PM   #21
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just finished Robert Sopolsky's latest collection of essays, Monkeyluv. Incredible, hilarious, insightful, and very accessible works on genetics, behavior, cognitive theory, etc. Great stuff.
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Old 11-21-05, 05:19 PM   #22
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i second, chuck palahniuk. just flew through jarhead after seeing the movie. Good read, ok movie. sticking with the war theme, i think i''ll check "the things they carried" next.
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Old 11-21-05, 05:22 PM   #23
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Neal Stephenson's massive baroque trilogy has some slow parts but is really good and will keep you busy for a few months. His "Cryptonomicon" is, perhaps, a better introduction.

Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" is, like Harry Potter, "for kids" but a really engaging series for adults as well. Right now I am completely stalled in the end ofthe third book, but the first two were un-put-down-able.

Short stories: My favorite short story writer is Alice Munro--start with "Open Secrets" and go from there. Followed closely by Annie Proulx, whose stories are a lot better than her novels. Read Proulx' two volumes of Wyoming Stories: "Close Range" and "Bad Dirt."

For agriculture and economics (high on every fixed gear enthusiast's list), try Wendell Berry's "The Unsettling of America." For some good nature writing, Barry Lopez. To feel like you did when you were a kid at the planetarium, read John McPhee's "Control of Nature."

Not literature in the traditional sense, but Marjane Satrapi's three graphic novels are utterly riveting.

Yay for libraries!

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Old 11-21-05, 05:33 PM   #24
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Douglas Adams, Douglas Adams, Douglas Adams!!!

also anything by john ralston saul, he is quite a smart fellow and particularly applicable to the canadians in the crowd. +3 on palahniuk
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Old 11-21-05, 05:40 PM   #25
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Just finished "Tete a Tete" about Simon De Beauvoir and Sartre. Sort of a dual biography of them both and their relationships with one another and their various lovers, friends and aquaintances. Increadible and inspiring.

Benjamin Kundels' Indecision is very funny and philosopical. For anyone who's ever bused it around South America:

"Here we have the great question of travel in Ecuador," my new friend Brigid was saying. "Does one prefer intense thirst or the persistence over many hours of the need to urinate."

Also the latest issue of N+1, a literary journal he is part of. Funny, smart stuff.

Kerouac's Dharma Bums. Second the James Frey, Proust, Murakami and Neil Stephenson although I'd recommend "Snow Crash" over Crytonomicon much easier to carry.

Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, but if you can resist, only read the first part, it fell apart after that. Jonathan Frazen's The Correction is increadibly well written.

If you want a door stop of a book to chew on for awhile, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is worth the many hours spent.
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