I've been meandering through William James' The Varieties of the Religious Experience over the past few months, but right now, I'm mostly rereading the textbook that I'm using in an English composition course I'm teaching this summer, plus the essays that my students will be writing over the next five weeks. I wish I had the time to read a novel, but ever since I started reading for a living, it seems I read less and less of the things that led me down this path in the first place.
Donna Leon's Drawing Conclusions, which I loved. Not that Donna Leon has ever written a bad one, of course, but this one's really nice, and the Commissario and Signorina Elettra are in fine form.
I loved the bits about baseball.
I'm not old enough to remember the teams the old man knows, but I'm old enough to remember their immediate successors and that whole culture.
Galileo's Dream -- just finished, historical novel mashed up with time-and-space travel. Main character, Galileo Galilei, the maestro himself.
2312 -- currently reading. What started as a space thriller with a major whodunit? driving the plot has, at this point in my reading, veered into an attempt to "terraform" an eco-devasted Earth. There's still time to solve the crime, but the re-seeding of Earth with then-extinct fauna was an unexpected and seemingly unrelated subplot. We'll see how things tie together, I expect.
I tend to jump back-and-forth between science fiction and general fiction (Jonathan Franzen's Freedom is in my on-deck circle), am in a definite sci-fi frame of mind right now.
I did have to read Old Man and the Sea in school. For Whom the Bell Tolls as well. Hemingway never really did it for me, but it's been decades since I even took a look.
Liver: A Fictional Organ with a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes by Will Self.
a collection of short stories by Will Self. described by the author as "...a collection of two novellas and two longer short stories, all on a liverish theme. Each story features different people suffering from different forms of liver damage."
more vicious satire from the psychogeographer.
by the way, Hemmingway takes time....
I just enjoyed reading Talk Show by Dick Cavett (2010) and Somebody to Love? by Grace Slick (1998).
by Patti Smith. It's just good. Enjoy!
in the course of the aforementioned duties, I was obliged, some months back, to read The Old Man and the Sea, which I'd managed to avoid assiduously all my life despite grad school in comparative literature... I read other Hemingway, but let's just say this particular opus was a byword in my family from the kids who had to read it in school.
SEVERELY mixed feelings. It's partly great, and partly seriously self-parodistic on the macho thing.
Yeah, wellll -- Hemingway! Not like I read a lot of his books but I went to Key West this year and was interested to hear his famous take on the "conchs" (term for those who were born or live on Key West for very long).
Good book but I don't know why he didn't get ragged on for being pretentious and inserting his own brand of macho.
in the line of duty for my gig as a book reviewer for Common Sense Media (a parental advisory site) I am having occasion to read a lot of kids' and teen books. Which is actually fine with me because one thing about books written at that level is that they tend to have less gratuitous BS in them...
Many of them are presentable enough but nothing to write home about, often marred by the author's tendency to interject a lot of his/her own clever handwaving to divert the reader from the fact that there's not really much going on, or a tendency to grind his/her particular axe (a great hazard when adult-level writers go Hey! Let's Do A Book For Kids!).
Two books that escape this curse admirably that have come along in the last year, both aimed chiefly at teen girls but which certainly would not insult the adult reader's intelligence: The Apothecary, by Maile Meloy, concerning a 14-year-old girl who has to flee to London from Hollywood in the dead of night in the '50s because her parents are blacklisted writers, and is soon caught up in magic, international intrigue, and lots more. The other, which just came out last week, is Tokyo Heist, by Diana Renn, concerning a manga-loving Seattle teen who's suddenly spending the summer in Tokyo with her artist dad, whose clients have just been ripped off by art thieves who are now blackmailing them. Yakuza! Art! Fun stuff!