Friday, March 30, 2007

I didn't mean to lie, it just sort of happened. I have every intention of blogging, but I never seem to get around to it like I want. I have a list of excuses: I'm in the process of moving, work is getting busy, I was in between books, I'm lazy. All true, but not very good excuses. I'm moving this weekend and probably won't be able to read and or write, but I will once again take fingers to keys and post next week about the few books I've read recently.

I'm now on to Isabelle Allende's Zorro and Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Club Dumas. The Perez-Reverte novel is reminiscent of Shadow of the Wind but it's still an entertaining read. And am I the only person who didn't know the movie The Ninth Gate was based on this novel?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Stealing from Bookgirl, here's my 10 Books You (I) Can't Live Without:

Moby Dick Herman Meliville I think it's the greatest American novel.

On the Road Jack Kerouac The most influential book and author of my life.

The Idiot Dostoevsky Prince Myshkin is one of my favorite literary characters.

Look Homeward, Angel Thomas Wolfe It was difficult to choose between Look Homeward and You Can't Go Home Again, so I chose the one I read first.

The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald It seems cliche or passe, but it's still one of the most complex novels I've read.

A Death in the Family James Agee Simply one of the most starkly lyrical novels. Masterpiece.

Swann's Way Marcel Proust Grand.

As I Lay Dying William Faulkner My Faulkner list alone, could have gone on for ever. This is my favorite Faulkner, probably because it still haunts me.

The Long-Winded Lady: Notes from The New Yorker Maeve Brennan From one of the 20th Century's most neglected writers. At least in my opinion.

Good Morning, Midnight Jean Rhys This book opened my eyes to the wide world of literature (outside the Beat writers.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No, I haven't been off losing myself in March Madness like in years past, I've been reading. Luckily I came across a few great books in a row.

During the past week or so, I read The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, The Haunted Bookshop (albeit a better copy than the one pictured on Powell's. Mine is a little hardcover with dust jacket from the 1950s.) and in less than 24 hours, I finished Written on the Body.

I'm going for a few drinks afterwork, but I'm looking forward to writing up some thoughts on these books. All perfect in their own way. I know I've written it before, but I'll write it and say it again, go out today and pick up a Jeanette Winterson book. You won't be disappointed.

Hopefully waiting for me when I get home tonight:
Club Dumas, Angle of Repose and The Way of all Flesh.

I never thought I'd say such a thing, but Thank You It sounds like such blasphemy even as I write it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It only took a couple days to finish Dope. Amid the multifarious weather of New England's final days of winter, Dope was with me for a little while and I probably won't remember much of it a couple weeks from now. Nothing impressive. I kept waiting...for something...but it never came. It's short. At least it has that going for it.

Now reading:

Dominic Smith The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Sheila Heti Ticknor

On deck:
Arturo Perez-Reverte Club Dumas
Wallace Stegner Angel of Repose

Monday, March 12, 2007

Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac (aka Jack Kerouac) would have been 85 today.
Whenever I read Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, I tend to feel that I could write like them. I just began Sara Gran's Dope and her writing is so sparse and simple, that it seems like anyone could write like her. Not the case. It's a perfectly rendered noir novel. 19 pages in, 224 pages left. I'm ready to go.

The bright sun outside was a shock after Maude's. It was one o'clock in the afternoon on May 14, 1950, in New York City. On Broadway I hailed a taxi to take me down to Fulton Street, and then I walked a few blocks until I found number 28. It was a quiet place, a tall narrow building that looked like someone had poured it in between two buildings on either side. The whole front of it was white stone carved up with clouds and faces and stars, and it came to a point at the top like a church. A doorman in a sharp blue uniform with gold braid opened the door for me with a big smile. Inside there were marble floors with clean red rugs and streams of people coming in and out, busy people in suits with briefcases and very important places to go. In the middle of the lobby was a big marble counter where a good-looking fellow in the same uniform sat guiding everyone on their busy way. But I already knew where I was going.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Since September of last year, I've been lazy. A lazy reader that is. I haven't read too many books over the six months. Maybe 12 or so. I finished 2006 having finished close to 65 or 70 books. The most I had read in one calendar year. This year I don't envision reading 70, but I'm hoping to pick up the pace and get back into the swing of things.

Since January, I've read only about six so far, mostly hitorical non-fiction. I've been able to get my non-fiction fix early and out of the way. I've also finished my first Louis Auchincloss, The Rector of Justin and my first Allegra Goodman, Intuition. Auchincloss was a pleasent surprise, but Goodman didn't live up to the hype. However, I think that my disinterest in science labratories could have played part in my reading.

Though there was nothing novel in Auchincloss's book about an all boy's school in New England, it was a good read. Quick. It hasn't made me want to read any more of his work, but I'm glad I spent a few days with his old school novel.

With Goodman, I had been waiting to read Intuition for awhile. It's set in my backyard of Cambridge and Boston and I'm always interested in books that take place around here. This book simply didn't live up to my expectations. A story about moral ambiguity and ethical methidcal practices, Intuition was flat. I was waiting for the language to take me into the story, but it wasn't there. I have Katerskill Falls on my shelf at work, but I think it'll have to sit there for a little while longer.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

This is my first post in nearly six months. I feel that I'm being pulled back into the Blog world. I tried staying away for long enough. "Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in."

I shall try and get back to write a little more later tonight and provide a quick catch up on what's been going on with my reading habits (which I fear have slackend since last post.)

Currently reading:
Cynthia Ozick The Puttermesser Papers

Just finished:
Allegra Goodman Intuition

On deck:
Sara Gran Dope
Dominic Smith The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Sheila Heti Ticknor