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The Hipster Book Club

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highly recommended [26 Sep 2012|12:13pm]

everything lonely christopher writes


more info, books, chapbooks, etc can be found here:

and if you live in the new york area, he often does readings around town.
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Donations for a Struggling Indie Bookstore? [25 Sep 2012|09:35am]

My high school crush, David, and his wife Dorothy own a cool indie bookstore (Written Words) in Shelton Connecticut. They've been in business since 2007 and in those five years it's become a really nice community gathering spot offering local author signings and even knitting classes.

Now, with the economic downturn and the advent of e-readers, they're having a difficult time. I don't know if this is legal here or not, but if they've set up an indiegogo account (kinda like kickstarter) and if anyone is willing to put up even $5.00, it would be enormously appreciated. There are only four days left!

Link below:


On behalf of David and Dorothy, I thank you.
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swamplandia, karen russell [08 Jul 2012|01:20am]

just finished swamplandia and i'm at a little bit of a loss as to what i was actually reading. new magical realism? absurdist fiction in the vein of george saunders' civilwarland in bad decline? i'm inclined to think a little of both, especially the latter, given the similar plot conceit of weird theme-parkery. if anybody has read the book or any reviews or criticism of it that might shed some light, i'd love to hear it! i just hate reading or watching something and feeling a little lost afterward, like i didn't get some critical aspect of it. this happened when i first saw v for vendetta and it took me ages to realize the importance of the context of the time in which alan moore wrote the book. so hey, let's avoid another v for vendetta for me, and crack this swamplandia thing right now! thanks!
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Radical Reinvention by Kaya Oakes [05 Jul 2012|05:17pm]

Kaya Oakes resides in my pantheon of literary alterna-goddesses. She is an award-winning poet (Telegraph), author of Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture and teaches writing at the University of California, Berkeley. She was the co-founder and senior editor of Kitchen Sink magazine ---a wickedly hip publication that ran from 2002 – 2007 which featured saucy essays, interviews, reviews and noodlings on media, art and culture. 

Radical-Reinvention-CAT1In her latest book, Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church, Oakes chronicles how a punk rock-loving, third wave feminist finds a spiritual home in a monolithic institution whose politics she opposes.

Oakes grew up in Oakland, California, where she bounced back and forth between Catholic and public schools in the 1970’s and 80’s. Her adolescent perception of the Catholic Church --- formed while doing a lot of eye-rolling --- was shaped by humorless nuns, the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Church services her family attended which featured Vatican II reforms such as, “folk Mass,” liturgical dance, and occasional "reflections" by female parishioners.

As a preteen she viewed the Church as “clunky and dorky,” but secretly enjoyed the late night Masses served in candlelight. When she was a senior in high school, Oakes took a trip to Spain with her classmates. In Ávila, surrounded by medieval churches and baroque cathedrals, the only thing Oakes felt about her Catholic heritage was shame.

After high school, Oakes pursued creative writing and steeped herself in indie culture and leftist politics. Suffering from a “generational propensity for snark and cynicism” Oakes assumed that she was an atheist. But when she busted herself praying and making the sign of the cross whenever she saw a dead animal on the side of the road, she began to question her unbelief and realized she’d been faking atheism.

Oakes starting sneaking into Catholic Mass services where she found a measure of peace she couldn’t find anywhere else. When she finally confessed to her shrink that she believes in “The Catholic God” she felt like she had just blurted out that she believes in leprechauns.

Tired of pretending she doesn’t believe in God, Oakes decides to fully confront the Church she left behind. She begins attending weekly catechism meetings at a liberal-leaning parish, gets confirmed, grits her teeth at the Vatican, hashes out her issues with Jesus, re-discovers some kick-ass women saints to pray to, helps her church feed the homeless, meets a group of progressive lesbians and ex-nuns who are fighting the Church from within, joins their “pray and bitch” group, researches original Hebrew texts, cracks open the essence of the gospel, is asked to give gospel reflections in the Church, becomes a budding theologian, and fights like hell for LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom and radical inclusion.

This book made my heart leap, YESYESOHGODYES! 
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Where to start [10 Jun 2012|03:41pm]

So, I just got back from the (used) book store with the following:

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Jennifer Egan, The Keep
Sam Lipsyte, The Ask
Marina Lewycka, Two Caravans

Any thoughts on which should go first?
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travelling detectives [07 May 2012|12:37pm]

Hi, hipsters %)

Can anyone please recommend a book with the following storyline:

Some sort of detective travelling to a backwater place (becoming a big deal to locals subsequently) to investigate the mysterious things there. Something along the lines of The Sleepy Hollow (as it was in the movie) or maybe the Name of the Rose. The genre really doesn't matter: anything from cyberpunk mysteries to pseudo-medieval detective stories counts.

The books I know of so far:
-The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Irving Washington (probably)
-The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
-The first two books about Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
-Sherlock Holmes constantly travels somewhere, as far as I remember. At least in The Hound of the Baskervilles
-Many books of Agatha Christie, probably

Is there something else?
Thanks for any suggestions!

///Many thanks for all the replies! Extremely useful ^__^
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help wanted [22 Jan 2012|09:41pm]

[ mood | ineluctable ]

can anyone help me think of books that deal with the death of a father, in any way? it's for a story i'm writing. my mind's gone blank. anything with a dead/dying father as the main element of the plot would be great, as would anything like l'etranger which starts with a line about a dying parent.
thank you!!

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[06 Jan 2012|07:09pm]

I'm reading The Diary of Anaïs Nin Volume II: 1934-1939 right now and it's blowing my mind. I think Nin is my new hero. I'm reading this book so quickly that it's like she's narrating my thoughts. 

This was in the Erotic Fiction section of the bookstore. Funny, there's nothing erotic in the book whatsoever.
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"'God only knows who's givin' information to the Government now'": a review of The Informer. [12 Dec 2011|03:29am]

From Saturday, 12 November to Monday, 14 November, I read Liam O'Flaherty's 1925 novel The Informer (Dublin: Wolfhound Press [an imprint of Merlin Publishing], 2006; ISBN: 0-86327-938-4; 217 pps.).

..the eternal melancholy of the entrammelled Irish soul?!?Collapse )
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Snow Flower & the Secret Fan [28 Oct 2011|10:41am]

Snow Flower and the Secret FanSnow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This is such a powerful book! I really enjoyed reading about a different culture in past times. I found it harsh, but sometimes the past is harsh and we, as the world need to learn from the mistakes made and move on. I found Lily to be a girl (and then woman) of self-discovery and change. I was so sad to learn that she became a bit harsh towards Snow Flower, but was glad to see that she tried to make amends to Snow Flower's family once she passed away. There were a few parts in the beginning of the book that were slow, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

**If anyone wants to recommend any books about past Asian cultures (China, Japan, India, etc.), that would be WONDERFUL!

View all my reviews
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HBC update/Donate to Doctors Without Borders & WIN [01 Sep 2011|11:19am]

Hey all,

Today's HBC update features reviews of the latest books by Nicholson Baker, Alex Shakar, Yannick Murphy, Jim Knipfel, Elissa Shappell, and others.

More importantly, though, we're running a charity drive for Doctors Without Borders. Donate and you can win FORTHCOMING (yes, as in not yet released) books by Jeffrey Eugenides, Neal Stephenson, Ben Marcus Colson Whitehead, Cecil Castellucci, and Sara Zarr. You can also win the chance to be tuckerized (that is, become the namesake of characters) in the future books of Amanda Eyre Ward, Paul Tremblay, and Jean Kwok. There are also tons of prizes from Aimee Bender, Steve Almond, Katie Arnoldi, Matt Bell, Elizabeth Crane, Charles Bock, and plenty others.

For updates on the charity drive, check us out on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks, all!
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The book of Harold, the illegitimate son of God/ Devil Red [07 Aug 2011|09:43pm]

Does anyone have have Devil Red by Joe R. Lansdale and/or The book of Harold , The illegitimate son of god? I have book looking all over the forums for for my nook to no avail, any help would be appreciated.
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writers readers pumpkin eaters [28 Jul 2011|11:35am]
What are some books, or authors, that make you want to write? That make you grope for the nearest pen and notepad? That fire you up with the possibilities of language? Assuming a semipermeable membrane between the readers that frequent this comm and those with writerly aspirations....

For me, David Mitchell's Number9dream has been the leading contestant in this department for the last month.
Parts of Little, Big.
Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
Some Angela Carter, Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith, Marisha Pessl, Bradbury, Guy Gavriel Kay and Elizabeth Hand.

Things these books have in common: a cinematic eye for detail, lyricism, a keen interest in playing with language.

Though I'm sure someone will, I'm hesitant to namecheck Lolita, and Nabokov's body of work at large, because while he is an incredible prose stylist, the effect is as often dampening (Nabokov makes me look like a dundering clodhead! why am I even trying!) as it is inspirational.

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Looking for new books to read... [10 Jul 2011|12:00pm]

I'm looking for some recommendations, I keep coming up blank myself. I absolutely am in love with Sylvia Plath, and Vladimir Nabokov. Nabokov's prose is just so beautiful. I just finished Laughter in the Dark, really great read. I'm a sucker for good prose.

So yes, I'm open to any suggestions... your favorite books/authors, or what you might think I'd enjoy!
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Need A New Book [09 Jun 2011|02:00am]

Hello, the last two books I’ve read, Touching From A Distance and Down And Out In Paris And London, have been an extremely enjoyable experience for me. I’m now currently struggling through Michael Chabon’s Manhood For Armatures. It has come to my attention that this is because it’s perhaps too modern American and happy for my liking. I would love some recommendations for come similar character based books that are also not too thick, so that I can fit it easily in my jacket pocket.

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need a summer book club recommendation! [17 May 2011|02:29pm]



Hey all,

It's my turn to pick a book for my book club and I'm looking for something funny, upbeat and good to kickstart the summer in the 300-400 page range.  Presently we are reading "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro and although great it is incredibly sad.  So any fun book picks with maybe a road trip element would be enticing...
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House of Leaves [05 May 2011|03:40am]

Danielewski's House of Leave has been on my reading list for a very long time (because of references in this community, actually). I finally starting reading it this week. I'm only fifty pages in, and it's already jacking with my head quite a bit. I seem to be able to handle it only in small doses. It's the first book since junior high to truly frighten me. I also find it to be insanely creative and brilliant.

20 comments|post comment

book recommendations [28 Apr 2011|08:51pm]


Any recommendations for books about (very loosely) the British Empire, from the perspective of a Briton in Britain? Fiction or Non-Fiction is fine. I'm thinking c. late 19th c but time period isn't super important. Doesn't have to be contemporary either.

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Clockwork Orange, Film vs Book [21 Apr 2011|10:51am]

As a very young child I was traumatized by the film version of A Clockwork Orange.
I am really into how people describe the plot but no one seems to know anything about the book.
So, as usual I turn to this community to find out, is the film like the book or some inane interpretation of the general flow?

It would suck to get the book and realize halfway through that it sucks and is nothing like the story I imagined from what other's say about it.

Also, is it worth the read anyway?
9 comments|post comment

Question for you all [25 Mar 2011|03:12pm]

Hey all,

I'm doing a poll of sorts for the HBC: Which celebrities are also great authors & which ones should stick to their day jobs?

Can't wait to read your answers!
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