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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Emma, I think it depends what your interest is. Many people recommend Going Clear, but I haven't read that yet so I can't compare. I read many reviews on Amazon for that and the Reitman book (Inside Scientology) and ended up going with the Reitman since it seemed perhaps a more general history/overview of the church. I'm still sucked into reading this stuff, so I'm moving on to Going Clear.

Inside Scientology was very well written and organized. It is not at all dry and she is scrupulous about her corroborations and sources (I'm sure the same is true of Wright). Her book started life as a Rolling Stone expose. She covers LRH's fake biography and the early origins of Dianetics, and pretty much goes from there up through 2007 or so (the book was delayed for publishing complications). She mentions Tom Cruise and other celebrities, but that is a very small part of the book. I believe Wright discusses the celebrity ties more thoroughly.

On the other hand, if you want a more personal account, Beyond Belief, Jenna Miscavige Hill's book is great. She is the niece of the current leader and grew up in the church. She was spent off to basically a Scientology labor/indoctrination camp for kids when she was 5 or 6. I'm not sure if some of the terminology and detail would have been confusing without already being familiar with the subject from Reitman.

Either way, my reaction to both books is sort of staring at the page with my mouth hanging open, thinking "holy crepe. What is this?!"

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:34 pm 
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ndpittman wrote:
Has anyone read Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore? It keeps coming up on recommendations for me. I don't know what's stopping me from picking it up.


I've not read it yet but the kindle version is on offer on Amazon at the moment (£0.99 in the UK, $1.62 in the States)

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:46 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Emma, I think it depends what your interest is. Many people recommend Going Clear, but I haven't read that yet so I can't compare. I read many reviews on Amazon for that and the Reitman book (Inside Scientology) and ended up going with the Reitman since it seemed perhaps a more general history/overview of the church. I'm still sucked into reading this stuff, so I'm moving on to Going Clear.

Inside Scientology was very well written and organized. It is not at all dry and she is scrupulous about her corroborations and sources (I'm sure the same is true of Wright). Her book started life as a Rolling Stone expose. She covers LRH's fake biography and the early origins of Dianetics, and pretty much goes from there up through 2007 or so (the book was delayed for publishing complications). She mentions Tom Cruise and other celebrities, but that is a very small part of the book. I believe Wright discusses the celebrity ties more thoroughly.

On the other hand, if you want a more personal account, Beyond Belief, Jenna Miscavige Hill's book is great. She is the niece of the current leader and grew up in the church. She was spent off to basically a Scientology labor/indoctrination camp for kids when she was 5 or 6. I'm not sure if some of the terminology and detail would have been confusing without already being familiar with the subject from Reitman.

Either way, my reaction to both books is sort of staring at the page with my mouth hanging open, thinking "holy crepe. What is this?!"


I can't decide! I downloaded samples for all 3. Thanks for the suggestions


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:48 pm 
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I just finished Climbers by M. John Harrison.
Not too sure how to categorize this (other than "ummm... fiction") - but god, the beauty of the prose is killing me. And as usual he creates this perfect dream-like atmosphere. Recommendations all around.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:34 pm 
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I just finished The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. It was awesome! A really fun read.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:19 pm 
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I finished Beyond Belief. It really is! I found myself so, so angry at her parents. Jenna Miscavige seems quite remarkable (and feisty as hell). I can't imagine the strength of character it must have taken her to leave since she grew up in the cult, seeing her parents only a few times a year, at maximum. It was all she knew from the age of 4-5 on. It was not perhaps the best or most elegantly written book, but that hardly matters. Actually, her writing is very plain and matter of fact. Despite her subject matter, she is not at all given to hyperbole or dramatics. In many spots, she describes her routines in almost tedious detail and repetition. Some reviewers on Amazon complained about this, but I found it pulled me into her story more because that was exactly the life she was describing. Overall, I think it is a great companion to the Reitman book because it provides a more personal perspective on many of the same events.

Since I seem to be in the midst of a weird cult obsession, I'm starting Underground by Murakami (about the Tokyo subway attack and the Aum cult). I've been meaning to read him, so this seems a happy merging of items on my to read lost.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:45 am 
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I am in the middle of The Luminaries and it's really, really good. The way she manages to describe what happens and what people think and why they feel/act/react that way is amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:30 pm 
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The Fault In Our Stars. My friend told me to read it for like a year and I finally have. I just. I can't even. I didn't know it was YA. It's amazing. Best book ever. I cried on the train.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:51 am 
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RandiJM wrote:
The Fault In Our Stars. My friend told me to read it for like a year and I finally have. I just. I can't even. I didn't know it was YA. It's amazing. Best book ever. I cried on the train.


I read this book in almost one sitting and I was absolutely bawling at the end. Like unattractive, snotty, red-faced bawling. I thought it was really good too.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Invictus wrote:
I just finished The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. It was awesome! A really fun read.

I finally finished this (took me longer than usual to read because work got in the way). I loved everything about it: the idea, the characters, the writing style. Absolutely fab.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:19 pm 
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I'm not sure why I disliked "The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" so much, I felt like such an outsider because my whole family loved it.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:21 am 
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I just finished a Sidney Sheldon book from 1985 that I remember looking at in the library when I was a kid. The English title is If Tomorrow Comes. Important things I learned from this book: lesbians are evil, and if they're not evil, they're probably straight. Computers are new and cool and must be explained. Beautiful people are good and ugly people are bad (well, I already knew that one from Dickens). A fun read!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:04 am 
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I read A Princess of Mars. Apart from some of the stuff about slaves and Indians and some of the attitudes towards women, I thought this really stood the test of time.

I also read Herland. It ended really abruptly - I thought there would be more explanation, but no, it just stopped. And as much as the premise was appealing (a perfect society run by women), the focus on motherhood was a bit much for me. I mean, it was understandable given that it was written in, I think, 1915, but it didn't really hold me.

Now I'm reading The Martian Chronicles.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Star wrote:
ndpittman wrote:
Has anyone read Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore? It keeps coming up on recommendations for me. I don't know what's stopping me from picking it up.


I've not read it yet but the kindle version is on offer on Amazon at the moment (£0.99 in the UK, $1.62 in the States)



My boyfriend just read it and liked it. I don't know any details, but he passed his copy on to me.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:46 pm 
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amonik wrote:
I just finished a Sidney Sheldon book from 1985 that I remember looking at in the library when I was a kid. The English title is If Tomorrow Comes. Important things I learned from this book: lesbians are evil, and if they're not evil, they're probably straight. Computers are new and cool and must be explained. Beautiful people are good and ugly people are bad (well, I already knew that one from Dickens). A fun read!

OMG, I loved Sidney Sheldon books as a young'un. I still remember my first--The Other Side of Midnight, I think it was called and I read it at camp when I was fourteen. It was about a brainy woman and a beautiful woman lovin' the same man. I think things turned murderous? Can't recall, exactly. I could hardly tear myself away from it to participate in camping activities. Camp? Kumbaya circle? Whuh? Noooooo....just let me finish this chapter! The one thing I learned from that book was that there was a past tense of shiitake. Shat. I never knowed that before then!

I also recommend: One with a guy named Rhys in it (forgot the name--Bloodline maybe?) Stranger in the Mirror (probably my personal favorite of his--about a woman trying to be an actress and succumbing to the casting couch in the process until an iconic comic genius superstar falls madly in love with her (his own rise to fame is the parallel story), marries her and the once struggling actress now powerful showbiz wife then wields her power against all the exploitative directors she once blew and everyone who shunned her when and then the comic has a crippling stroke and I won't spoil the rest of it but it powers forward to a predictable but fun climax...) and Rage of Angels. Silly, page-turning, thrilling beach-ready fun! I'm pretty sure I read If Tomorrow Comes back in the day...but I was moving on to Jackie Collins by then so wasn't as captivated by SS and that was the last book I read of his.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:15 pm 
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Hogfather by Terry Prachett. Figured I'd go with a holiday read.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:20 pm 
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I'm reading "the kindly ones" by Jonathan Littell. I'm on page 300 or so and it's 1400 pages long (in German) and I hate it.

"The book is a fictional autobiography, describing the life of Maximilien Aue, a former officer in the SS who, decades later, tells the story of a crucial part of his life when he was an active member of the security forces of the Third Reich. Aue begins his narrative as a member of an Einsatzgruppe in 1941, before being sent to the doomed German forces locked in the Battle of Stalingrad, but survives. After a convalescence period in Berlin and a visit to France, he is designated for an advisory role for the concentration camps and visits the extermination camps. He is ultimately present during the 1945 Battle of Berlin, Nazi regime's last stand. By the end of the story, he flees Germany under a false French indentity to start a new life in northern France. Throughout the book Aue meets several famous Nazis, including Adolf Eichmann, Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler. In the book, Aue accepts responsibility for his actions, but most of the time he feels more like an observer than a direct participant."

1) It's really badly written, I don't get how that was a "literature hit" ??
2) it's boring
3) it's like a weird fetish thing... the way he describes sex, rape, murder, etc feels so icky. And then all those pages on shitting! I had to read one page out loud where he describes how the shiitake is balls, ew.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Yeah, I read The Kindly Ones and didn't care for it at all. Also: prettttty sure that was the book with a scene involving a sausage and a crasshole.

I'm reading The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood and the second game of thrones book. I needed a GoT break so started reading the Marwood, and it seems like it'll be good. I like a mystery.

I read Crazy Rich Asians during my last GoT break, and it was both hilarious and kind of poorly written. Probably worth a read if you want something ridiculous and entertaining that will provide absolutely no academic enrichment.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:10 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
Hogfather by Terry Prachett. Figured I'd go with a holiday read.


Thankyou for posting this! I have a copy that I have not read yet and completely forgot about so I might read this next.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:38 am 
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seitanicverses wrote:
OMG, I loved Sidney Sheldon books as a young'un.


I was a bit pretentious as a kid and didn't read that kind of book. :) I don't miss that.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Can you keep a secret.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:26 pm 
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The Emperor of All Maladies. I know I'm behind the times. I don't know why I thought I could handle reading about the Halsted radical surgeries. Holy f-ing hell.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:00 pm 
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DebbiePelton wrote:
Can you keep a secret.


Sophie Kinsella? I always enjoy her, but that was one of my favorites.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:57 pm 
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The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. I'm enjoying it.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:07 pm 
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I just finished The End of Everything. Second thing I've read by Megan Abbott, and I loved it as much as the first! I will say, she chooses similar casts of characters, but her writing is beautiful and I'm not bored with it yet. Any other Abbott fans?


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