Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wrapped up in books

Ignoring the fact that I had to turn the heat back on today, when warmer weather arrives, I am able to read books with more regularity. It's likely related to having fewer work demands and all the time I spend on the beach and in airports. (OK, those last two aren't true.)

I've only been able to read three books so far this year: The Areas of My Expertise, a comedy book of fake facts; Watchmen, the seminal graphic novel that you may have heard was adapted into a movie; and Geek Love, a not-for-the-faint-of-heart novel about a traveling carnival family.

The latter two aren't the sort of books I would typically read. I've never been into comic books, which means that I don't pay attention to them rather than that I possess some highfalutin objection to them. I felt like Watchmen's stature required me to read it before seeing the film. I enjoyed it, but what a dark journey it takes one on.

I picked up Geek Love because it was the inaugural pick for The A.V. Club's book club. The description didn't sound like it would be my thing--a husband and wife conduct chemical experiments on her to produce a brood of freaks for their carnival--but I wanted to participate and gave it a shot. To say that it's transgressive is to point out the tip of the iceberg. Certainly it provides a lot to think about, and I don't regret reading it. That said, I don't know that I'd say I liked it--I take some issues with how it's written--and don't foresee reading it again.

Currently I'm reading More Information Than You Require, the follow-up to The Areas of My Expertise. It's light reading that can be picked up and put down at a moment's notice, which is why the book is a good choice for me right now. I finished Part I of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle a couple months ago but haven't found the time to read the rest. (No, Oprah's endorsement is not what led me to get it.) What I've read has been good.

Nevertheless, I'm feeling the itch to start reading more. Cormac McCarthy's The Road and David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest are on my list of potential upcoming reads, although the former may continue the string of bleak rading and the latter may just be too blasted long and complicated. Suggestions?



At 10:52 AM, Anonymous doniamarie said...

I'm currently recommending Three Cups of Tea to absolutely everyone. It's pretty dense and is not a quick read, but it's one that I think everyone should read given the current situation in our crazy world.

I was wondering if you had any music suggestions - it's been a while since you wrote about that topic and I know you tend to keep up with it all!


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