The Power Of Myth- Joesph Campbell
The Writer’s Journey- Christopher Vogler
The Bassic Kafka
A piece of Documentary-Fiction (though described as Non-Fiction by the author), that follows a Muslim-American man (Zeitoun), and his family in the days preceding and proceeding the disastrous events of Hurricane Katrina.
Because of it’s simplicity, straightforwardness, and single-minded focus, Zeitoun is not a piece of great literature. It’s battle lines are clearly drawn and the situations and plot events are taylor made to elicit sympathy or condemnation; happiness or sadness; justice or revenge. It is a story taylor made for your liberal minded sense of justice and your righteous indignation against racism, greed, bureaucracy, intolerance, and all things associated with the military and G.W. It’s an easy novel that doesn’t force you to think too hard about things (unless you thought all Muslims were terrorists and were a hopelessly naive militaristic patriot).
But it is a great read and a very good book. Eggers has taken advantage of an event of magnificent proportions (that a surprisingly few authors have taken advantage of), and has given it a face and a humanity. By some reviews you might think that this book is a condemnation of the Bush administration (and in some ways it is, as noted above), but most of the political posturing takes a back seat to a great story about a great man that is defeated by a corrupts system. 325 pages, goes by quickly after the 100th page or so.
The Tin Drum- Gunter Grass. Almost finished with the first book.
Thanks, J&K. I’ve had Zeitoun on my Amazon wish list for a long time now.
Though not quite finished with Taibbi’s “Griftopia”, I gave it away to a dear friend who just tonight left Seattle for a new life in Washington, DC. I’ll buy myself another copy. Its clarity of difficult-to-comprehend economic machinations in our “new America” doesn’t just peel away the obfuscation of ignorance, it sears a level of understanding into my mind. What’s happening now (again) with the price at the pump isn’t merely a result of supply & demand, it’s the newly-unregulated speculators loose on the run, no matter the undue hardship their greed causes the rest of us. I can use a breather while waiting for another copy of the book. It’s made me angry and very few books before have done that.
Moral Dilemmas of Modern War: Torture, Assassination, and Blackmail in an Age of Asymmetric Conflict — by Michael L. Gross
I’m reading Conversations with Paul Bowles…I know that sounds pretentious, but I was reading his stuff BEFORE his last 80s/early 90s revival.
The book is part of the series put out by the University Press of Mississippi. I read the Pauline Kael (of course) volume first, then the Kurt Vonnegut.
“I’m reading Conversations with Paul Bowles…I know that sounds pretentious, but I was reading his stuff BEFORE his last 80s/early 90s revival.”
actually, what sounds pretentious is saying that you were reading him before he was popular.
well played RUS…mea culpa…it did.
Currently reading Umberto Eco’s ‘How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays’. Wonderful collection of satires and parodies of modern day life.
Das glasperlenspiel by Hermann Hesse
The Surgeon’s Mate by Patrick O’Brian
Right now I’ve finished the fourth book in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. I have been reading the series for half a year now and no ending in sight. What a monster!
L’ordre du discours by Michel FoucaultRoadside Dog by Czesław MiłoszOrientalism by Edward SaidGargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
@Somnambulist: Foucault and Said, nice choices.
I’m planning on reading some more of the Sherlock Holmes collection or some more Agatha Christie (I’ve only read And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express). But right now I’ve been reading mostly non-fiction collections of essays like The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film edited by Barry Keith Grant.
Our Lady of the Flowers (Jean Genet)
To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf)
Cat’s Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)
Francois Truffaut: the Complete Films
The Cinnamon Shops (Bruno Shulz)
Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass (Bruno Shulz)
and just finished an amazing book Silva Rerum II (Kristina Sabaliauskaitė)
reading is a very slow process for me now, i really need holidays.
Almost finished with The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.
Next up is The Third Man by Graham Greene and The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde.
We of the Never Never
Phoenix in the Desert
Kings in Grass Castles
Cricket for Dummies
Marxism for Dummies
all research for my novel :)
@Megg: Good luck on your novel. What is it about?
Pulitzer Prize for Literature 2010
Tinkers tells the story of an old man as his life unfolds to him on his deathbed. His fractured memory is interspersed with the life of his father.
Tinkers is a short novel (less than 200 pages) with a wide breadth of vision that makes it seem longer than it is: every word is important, it is not to be glanced at. Certainly, Harding has read his Faulkner, and he has certainly read the works of his writing instructor at the prestigious Iwoa Writers Workshop, Marilynne Robinson. Grace and love and familial relations are of prime importance to Harding, who is equally interested in form as he is in content. It certainly is deserving the Pulitzer Prize. But, for some reason, it didn’t work for me. Perhaps it was because Harding did not fully engage the characters. Or his style seemed overwrought, even pretentious (the exact opposite of the style of his mentor Robinson). Or maybe I wasn’t in the mood. I’ll need to revisit this again when I get the time (I would be interested to hear if anyone else has read it. It seemed like a pretty quiet winner of the Pulitzer).
Fun Fact: Paul Harding was the drummer for 90’s Indie Rock act Cold Water Flat
Gave up on MASTER AND MARGARITA about halfway through — just meant nothing to me. Trying Bellow’s HUMBOLDT’S GIFT, good start, we’ll see.
Judging from Amazon book reviews, that new David Sedaris book is pretty unpopular (52 five stars-84 one stars).
currently reading Choosing Death, a history of death metal and grindcore. it’s interesting but it struggles to give every single important death metaller ever their due, and in the process fails to really give any great depth about anyone except for, like, Napalm Death and Carcass. then again, considering these bands changed their line-ups more than babies change diapers, i dunno how much of a better overview COULD be constructed — the dramatis personae at the start of the book is something like six pages of single-line bios.
robinson crusoe. should have finished it already. damn you movies!!
i am reading “late victorian holocausts” by mike davis which i am enjoying even though davis is a trotskyite. it takes me a long time to finish books because i am barely literate but i want to look intelligent so i have no choice.
@Joe and Karen; David Sedaris is his best when writing memoirs. I didn’t really enjoy Barrel Fever as much as his other books (I absolutely love his other books), so I wasn’t too sure about Squirrel Seeks Chimpmunk. I’m about half way through it now and while it’s not laugh out loud funny, it still has enough dark humor that can make me smile every now and then.
Oops, double post.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Nice detail. Sort of a revisionist view of Cromwell, Ann Boleyn and Henry 8th.
Quintus Sertorius is one bad ass dude
I’m tempted to say Mein Kampf but it would be untrue – I’ve read it several times and I know the plot.
So I’m reading some Alan Bennett and the new John Le Carré. After that, I might go back to Mein Kampf again as it’s cool.