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The Literary Lounge–Jay Gatsby: Great, Or Giant Loser?

It’s been a few years since I read The Great Gatsby, which was recently converted to the silver screen. If memory serves, wasn’t Jay Gatsby just some guy who let a bunch of strangers party at his house while he called them “old sport,” then somebody shot him and nobody showed up to the funeral?

Discuss.

Peter Watts – Starfish

This is the story of mentally disturbed people living on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, tending to a geothermal station. Their bodies have been altered, enabling them to withstand the pressure of the briny deep. Like any good story, things get all messed up—one lady loses her marbles, some guy dies, a pedophile goes off to live among the fish, a couple people have sex, and some sort of sentient gel starts running the show.
And one lady even appears to have Google Glass already(this book was published in 1999).

At first, I wanted to give this book a “Five Star(fish)” rating, but that was lame.

In lieu of a number or object based rating system, I’ll say this—Starfish is a good book.

Here’s A List Of The Books I Read In 2012

Adams, Douglas—The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (1979)

Atwood, Margaret—The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)

Brown, Dan—The Da Vinci Code (2003)

Burroughs, William S.—Nova Express (1964)

Capra, Fritjof—The Tao Of Physics: An Exploration Of The Parallels Between Modern Physics And Eastern Mysticism (1975)

Carlin, George—Last Words (2009)

Castaneda, Carlos—The Teachings Of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge (1968)

Chandler, Raymond—The Big Sleep (1939)

Collins, Suzanne—The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010)

Dick, Philip K.—Dr. Futurity (1960), Ubik (1969), VALIS (1981)

Dickey, James—Deliverance (1970)

Eco, Umberto—Foucault’s Pendulum (1988)

Graves, Robert—I, Claudius (1934)

Hammett, Dashiell—Red Harvest (1929), The Maltese Falcon (1930), The Thin Man (1934)

Hannity, Sean—Let Freedom Ring: Winning The War Of Liberty Over Liberalism (2002)

Heinlein, Robert A.—Stranger In A Strange Land (1961)

Hoobler, Thomas and Dorothy—Confucianism (1993)

Hunt, Laird—The Impossibly (2001)

Jung, Carl—Modern Man In Search Of A Soul (1955)

Jurek, Scott—Eat And Run: My Unlikely Journey To Ultramarathon Greatness (2012)

Khan, Pir Vilayat Inayat—Awakening: A Sufi Experience (1999)

Lama, The Dalai—Stages Of Meditation (2003)

Le Guin, Ursula K.—The Left Hand Of Darkness (1969)

Lessing, Doris—The Sirian Experiments (1980)

Lovecraft, H.P.—At The Mountains Of Madness (1936)

Malesky, Kee—All Facts Considered: The Essential Library Of Inessential Knowledge (2010)

Miller, Frank—The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

Moore, Alan—Watchmen (with Dave Gibbons) (1986)

Ozaniec, Naomi—Initiation Into The Tarot (2002)

Pynchon, Thomas—The Crying Of Lot 49 (1966)

Ramsey, Dave—The Total Money Makeover (2003)

Sacks, Oliver—The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat And Other Clinical Tales (1985)

Thompson, Hunter S.—Hell’s Angels: A Strange And Terrible Saga (1966)

Toole, John Kennedy—A Confederacy Of Dunces (1980)

Tzu, Lao—Tao Te Ching (circa 600 BC)

Ventura, Jesse—Democrips And Rebloodlicans: No More Gangs In Government (2012)

Wangu, Madhu Bazaz—Buddhism (1993)

Wellstone, Paul—The Conscience Of A Liberal: Reclaiming The Compassionate Agenda (2001)

Wilson, Robert Anton—The Illuminatus! Trilogy (The Eye In The Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan) (co-written with Robert Shea) (1975), Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy (The Universe Next Door, The Trick Top Hat, The Homing Pigeons) (1979), Masks Of The Illuminati (1981), Prometheus Rising (1983)

My Thoughts Upon Reaching The Halfway Point Of The Hunger Games Trilogy

I’m halfway through Catching Fire, the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Here’s what I think.

–Ever since the first mention of the dad being “vaporized” in a mine explosion, I’ve been assuming he’s still alive. I learned from watching the wildly popular Nicolas Cage action film The Rock that if you want to people to think someone is dead but can’t provide a body, you say they were vaporized.

–He’s probably living in District 13. Or he really is dead.

–I’m not on Team Gale or Team Peeta. Quite frankly Katniss needs to stop stringing both of them along. She’s been confused about her feelings for both guys so far, and has stated that she doesn’t want to have kids. So to solve that, she should just hook up with Madge, or Greasy Sae.

–I don’t see why Haymitch’s drinking is portrayed in such a bad light. If I survived the Hunger Games and didn’t have to work anymore, I’d drink every day too. He’s actually become something of a role model for me.

That’s it. I should know how all this plays out within the week.

2012 Half-Over Book Review

We’re directly in the middle of 2012. Here’s what I’ve read so far, with a brief summary of each book.

William S. BurroughsNova Express – Don’t let people or machines or language control you.

Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale – Women are stripped of freedoms to ensure their “protection,” and are forced into a very awkward mating ritual with an old guy and his wife.

James DickeyDeliverance – It’s okay to murder a hillbilly who sodomized your friend.

Robert GravesI, Claudius – Weak simpleton becomes emperor of Rome.

Dave RamseyThe Total Money Makeover – Guy who used to be rich, then went bankrupt, then got rich again tells you that if you don’t spend money, you’ll have more money to spend.

Frank MillerThe Dark Knight Returns – Batman, now 55 years old, comes out of retirement.

Thomas PynchonThe Crying of Lot 49 – Oedipa Maas searches for the Trystero.

Robert Anton WilsonPrometheus Rising – Widen your reality tunnel.

-The Illuminatus! Trilogy (co-written with Robert Shea) – An 800 page philosophical, psychological, historical, mythical, science fictional, psychedelical trip through various conspiracy theories.

Philip K. DickDr. Futurity – A doctor is transported to a future where death is glorified and saving lives is frowned upon.

-Ubik – People search for Ubik as they uncontrollably travel backwards in time.

Robert A. HeinleinStranger In a Strange Land – Man with human parents who has been raised by Martians is brought to Earth. Mucho grokking ensues.

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching – It’s all about the art of non-action. My kind of book.

H.P. LovecraftAt The Mountains of Madness – Weird alien things found in Antarctica.

Hunter S. ThompsonHell’s Angels – The Strange And Terrible Saga Of The Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs – Thompson hangs out with the Hell’s Angels for a year.

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