Sunday, November 15, 2009

Between Books

I’ve been on kind of a lucky streak with books since last spring, when I finally read Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang. I found it not only wry, amusing, and wildly entertaining, but also quite poignant from the standpoint of its perspective on environmental destruction and natural spirituality.

Soon after that, I enjoyed T.C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth, which has to be most delightful post-apocalyptic tale I’ve ever come across.

During the summer, I took on at least one important novel, Steinbeck’s East of Eden, as well as Faulkner’s short masterpiece, The Bear.

About a month ago, I was floored by Dave Egger’s novelistic non-fiction tome, Zeitoun, which had me weeping quietly on the bus as I read its last few pages.

Then, because I’d been reminded of it by reading The Book Thief, I re-read, over the last few weeks, nobel-prize winning Gunter Grass’ The Tin Drum, which—although it got a little long around page 500 or so—blew me away with its narrative voice and metaphorical import.

On Friday, I sat on my ass for a couple hours devoring Nick Hornby’s About a Boy, which was much more charming, complex, and nuanced than I expected it would be.

So yesterday, after having done all my Saturday chores, and made a few preparations for the upcoming school week, I looked on my bookshelf for some recreational reading, but nothing really caught my eye. I spend a little bit of time with Wittgenstein’s Poker, the historical account of the time Ludwig Wittgenstein allegedly threatened fellow Cambridge philosopher Karl Popper with a fireplace iron, but it didn’t really do it for me. I also read Logicomix, the graphic novel about the foundations of mathematics, but that only took about an hour to finish.

So now, I’m sort of stuck between books, although I did pick up at the library Hesse’s Siddhartha, which I haven’t read since I was seventeen; otherwise it’s the Times magazine.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of classics which are stunningly beautiful, may I recommend Don Quixote? I finally read this a couple of years ago and intentioanlly limited myself to half a page a night for the last five pages of the book because I couldn't bear it ending. So very much brilliance in the world.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Sylvie said...

I do love Ed Abbey. I first read "Monkey Wrench Gang" in college, and that started me thinking that that putting sugar into the gas tanks of a few bulldozers might not be such a bad thing... Then I re-read "Siddhartha" shortly after my mum died, and though it turned me into a puddle of emotions, I'm so glad I had it to comfort me in such a trying time.

I recently re-read "Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver, loved it more the second time around. Isabelle Allende's "House of the Spirits" was an amazing tale, too.

9:43 PM  

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