Fugue's picture
Fugue from City of Wind is reading Invitation to a Beheading by Nabokov. November 22, 2013 - 8:15pm

What are some books that are unlike the others? They stand on their own, or are hard to explain to people what exactly they are saying? Fiction or non.

My #1 is The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton. If you finish this one you should get the book free, like one of those steak eating contests in Texas. I'll most likely die before I finish it, and I'm okay with that.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books November 22, 2013 - 8:52pm

Well, it's not hard to explain because I keep it in a cabinet specifically so I don't have to, but I have a copy of Mein Kampf. I haven't finished it, it reads pretty much exactly as you'd expect rantings of a crazy prisoner dictated to text would read. Interestingly, when I bought it, I was approached by a HUGE dude who wanted to discuss the finer details of the text and point me to more white supremecist literature... uh... no thanks.

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Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 23, 2013 - 11:00am

Funny, mine would be The Anatomy of the Image by Hans Bellmer, and I'm going to read it right now cause I don't remember why I stopped doing it years ago but now it seems like the perfect moment for it again.

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Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong November 23, 2013 - 12:23pm

@Renee, did you, like, pay for it at the counter somewhere and then the big guy greeted you? I imagine you cautiously approaching a book store counter and unwittingly finding out it's a front for a white supremacy group recruiting.

I have an antholgoy of lesbian vampire stories that an old professor and friend gave me. I think it's called "Daughters of Darkness." Not that there's anything wrong with erotica, but I think it's the only piece of erotica I own. And it's probably an extreme example of the genre.

Oh, and I have a copy of the Kama Sutra. I forget where I got that.

Fugue's picture
Fugue from City of Wind is reading Invitation to a Beheading by Nabokov. November 23, 2013 - 1:26pm

@Renee-- You should of excited the big nazi by saying your middle name was indeed Eva.

Two more in my collection are The Microscripts by Robert Walser and A Humument by Tom Phillips.

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Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones November 23, 2013 - 1:37pm

Uncle Fester is good for research, not much else though.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books November 23, 2013 - 2:25pm

Haha, no he approached me in the history section after I pulled it off the shelf. And then he introduced me to his father. It was incredibly surreal.

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Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 1, 2013 - 8:31pm

@ Renee

That is hilarious.  What'd they look like?  You should make a short story about it, seriously.

I have a copy of that I have yet to crack, I've gone through the communist manifesto, and there's a koran floating around I've barely opened as well...  But nobody approached me about them when I got them.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 1, 2013 - 10:35pm

This was so many years ago, all I remember is that I described the firrst guy as "Seth from American History X", I don't remember his dad being particularly striking in any way, just a run of the mill older guy. They also wanted to get me onto a bunch of Civil War revisionist stuff (this is what you get when you live in the Confederate capitol for awhile).

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Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore December 2, 2013 - 7:59am

I've got a musky old phrenology textbook from I think around 1900.

Also, an embarrassing number of old Dave Barry books. It's amazing how unfunny I find him today.

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Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer December 3, 2013 - 5:47am

I've got a copy of As I Lay Dying that someone decided to use the margins and the blank pages to write a critical analysis of imagery.

Someone also got bored during the 1818 text of Frankenstein and drew flowers all over several of the pages. That little gem also has a cartoonish picture of Frankenstein and a line graph comparing some person to Voldemort.

I tend to seek out stuff like that in used bookstores. Books enscribed, "This is a symbol of my undying love for you." and stuff like that. I like the idea of a book having previous lives. 

I've also got a copy of If Rednecks Were the Chosen People, in which the bible is retold in redneck. It's not really odd, but doesn't fit with anything else I own. My mom got it for me during the early Foxworthy redneck craze.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 3, 2013 - 4:54pm

That's cool, Jack! I have a couple used books that are inscribed but nothing particularly interesting or dramatic.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 3, 2013 - 10:51pm

I hate books with writing in them.

Fugue's picture
Fugue from City of Wind is reading Invitation to a Beheading by Nabokov. December 8, 2013 - 11:49am

@JYH--You will absolutely loove the book "S." I couldn't recommend it enough to you (insert sarcastic looking emoticon here.).

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 8, 2013 - 6:30pm

Ha! Yeah, I think stuff like that is "neat" design-wise, but I would likely never read it.

A long time ago, I found a slightly damaged and extremely discounted deluxe edition of 1776 with all sorts of emphemeral extras: reproduced handwritten letters between founding fathers and the like. I gave it away to someone who would appreciate it. Probably the best reaction I ever got out of a $2 gift.

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Fugue from City of Wind is reading Invitation to a Beheading by Nabokov. December 8, 2013 - 7:45pm

Regarding S.: I would actually highly recommend this book to those interested in "interacting", for lack of a better word, with a novel. Fans of Pale Fire, House Of Leaves, If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, Raw Shark Texts, experimental etc., will be engaged with S. I'm about 3/4 through and have the same type of engaged feelings I had with my first reads of the other books I listed.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 8, 2013 - 8:49pm

Pale Fire I could probably enjoy. Footnotes are fine. But scrawled handwriting, decoder rings, fragments of maps—I'd frankly rather just go ahead and play a video game if I wanted to mess with all that stuff.

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries December 9, 2013 - 6:32am

@Renee - I had Mein Kampf as an audiobook, think I gave up around the time he came to Vienna and art became the subject of his rants. I usually recommend it to people though, not because his thoughts are very interesting, but because the way he thinks/reasons is so revealing. It'd be ludicrous if he hadn't gone on to do what he did. As it is, I suspect reading the first few chapters is quite enough.

I've got a novel written under the pseudonym Nikanor Teratologen, the English title is Assisted Living. It's originally written in dialect and, even though the author lives only 10 minutes from where I grew up, I understand about half of it. Maybe I should try it translated to English. Anyway, it's basically a series of notoriously perverse and violent anecdotes about a boy and his (very special) grandfather. 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts December 9, 2013 - 7:11am

I've got a copy of As I Lay Dying that someone decided to use the margins and the blank pages to write a critical analysis of imagery.

I have the same thing with my copy. The problem is though I swear I've never seen the notes before until a few months ago when I flipped through it. I don't recognize the script.

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Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer December 10, 2013 - 9:05am

Wow, I wish my ghosts were literary snobs.

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Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 12, 2013 - 1:47am

I have a copy of The Charnel Prince and Radiant that I threw accidentally threw a piece of card board between when they were sitting tightly together on the shelf.  I figured that was a one in a million shot so I taped them together with the card board between them.