msarki_3

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James Allen Collection

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Been many years since I read this book but for the longest time I used it as a meditative tool to help me understand my life. In retrospect I think I was trying to find a way to live my life back then without the use of drugs, which I was finding impossible to do, at least by my own failed measures. The book never "cured" me, but it made me think. Today I am drug-free, basically happy, or not, wiser and older of age, but as a serious writer attempting to make history wishing always for the disease and not the cure.
Blue Guide to Indiana

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Based on my present reading lately of the first three essays in Martone's "The Flatness And Other Landscapes", slipping this "Blue Guide" into my "currently reading" list was a mistake. This book should have been deep-six'd and allowed to never ever see the light of day. Come on here, Martone is no Bob Dylan who can play with his audience anyway he sees fit and still come out on top as big-time Creator. At best a juvenile retreat into indifference and unimportance, "Blue Guide" sucks dirt in every way possible. I found nothing even remotely interesting for me, and most everything I looked at was a complete waste of my time, of which, really, I have none left to spare. It is hard enough for me to even have an open mind when it comes to a thing called a "Hoosier", but I came to the reading of this book as Jesus would, my tolerance at the forefront of my label, and still I could find nothing to make parable or exact my talents on to make this putrid water into a drinkable wine. But in the meantime, after getting this nasty taste out of my mouth, I will happily continue on with Martone and my intensely serious reading of his "The Flatness And Other Landscapes" and be glad, I am certain of it, that I did, and do not hold as a grudge this awful joke of a book against him.
El cuaderno rojo

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I liked it, three stars, nothing great. Interesting, but nothing earth shattering.
A German Picturesque: Selected and Introduced by Ben Marcus

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I need to write a review of this book someday, but anybody who has not read A German Picturesque should do so soon. That is, anybody who demands the highest quality from their literature. Jason Schwartz continues to write short stories and publish them in a select few print periodicals. He is taxing and is the only contemporary writer who never disappoints me in any way. I would recommend this book to demanding readers who enjoy the intellect of Thomas Bernhard and Robert Walser but could do with a little less negativism than these two offer up profusely (which I confess to not ever getting enough of). But the language Schwartz uses is exquisite. The images he produces will flat-out knock your socks off. Jason Schwartz is a master storyteller of the small things in life so vastly important to our life-long pursuit for perfection.
Woolgathering

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Patti Smith is a talent beyond measure. Woolgathering is obviously an early work but it is evident that she could write, that she certainly possessed rhythm, and she was seriously engaged in life and all it had to offer her. There are some chapters miles above others in their quality, but the book as a whole did read as a prose poem and I found it more personal than artistic. Deserving of only three stars in respect to literary technique, I instead gave this book the instructive four because "I really liked it" and that meets the standard allowed for in the goodreads value system. All praise to Patti Smith and New Directions for publishing a very nice cloth-board edition of this earlier work.
My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays

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I hated this book. I cannot believe it is so highly praised. It is so bad and juvenile that I can't bear to read another page. I am almost embarrassed to say I read around sixty pages of it before I threw in the towel. It just proves there is something for everyone out there in reader land. But this poor thing is just not for me.

Update 12-12-12: HA! I sold this bastardo. So glad to have it gone from my sight.
Blue Highways: A Journey into America

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This was my first foray into Heat-Moon and such an enjoyable trip I decided to go for another with him.
Art

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Not the best play I have ever read, but certainly better than most. I am a big fan of Yasmina Reza's fiction and her memoir, but not so much this first play I have read by her. I will continue on and read more. I do like her dialogue but "Art" seemed a little forced to me at times.
As a Man Thinketh

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Been many years since I read this book but for the longest time I used it as a meditative tool to help me understand my life. In retrospect I think I was trying to find a way to live my life back then without the use of drugs, which I was finding impossible to do, at least by my own failed measures. The book never "cured" me, but it made me think. Today I am drug-free, basically happy, or not, wiser and older of age, but as a serious writer attempting to make history wishing always for the disease and not the cure.
Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968-2010

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Pretty poor writing by a guy who makes more money than I do by doing what he obviously loves. His writing just isn't interesting, no matter the topic, or maybe it is that Greil Marcus just isn't. I read what I could and had to let it go. Bob Dylan is worth better than this clown gives us, no matter that Pitchfork says otherwise.
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