23 September 2008

Productivity redux

I am still being productive, at least with reading books. Look at what I've finished:
The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
The Dead Father by Donald Barthelme
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
How to Read Novels Like a Professor by Thomas Foster
The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
How Beautiful it is and How Easily it Can by Broken by Daniel Mendelsohn

That's about half the list. TGK is for Literature by Women so for any major thoughts you'll need to hit the BNBC board; suffice to say, this was probably the wrong Murdoch to start with and I should have switched the title to The Sea, The Sea which was Murdoch's Booker Prize winner. However, since I'd never read any Murdoch before, now I know. There's a good deal of unreality (people don't speak or act quite the way you would expect them to in the late 1980s because they sound vaguely Edwardian) but overall it's a good novel. Breaking Dawn could have used a decent editor; not as catchy a story as Twilight and Meyer went seriously outer-limits with the number of plot threads she needed to tie up (not to mention the overly ridiculous footnote that appears directing the reader to a chart of the vampire covens at about the time a main character grumbles that a chart is needed to keep everyone straight). The Dead Father was recommended to me by a fellow bookseller and I may steer clear of anything else he recommends in the future; that might have been the strangest book I've ever read and I'm pretty sure I didn't understand a darn thing (but it's DONE).

I'm almost finished with:
Feather Man by Rhyll McMaster
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
The Millenium Problems by Keith Devlin
Villette by Charlotte Bronte (still only about half-way done, but that's better than it was)

That leaves:
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (can I just say how relieved I am that I both purchased and started reading this before Oprah even breathed a hint that it was her new pick?)
Why We Read Fiction by Lisa Zunshine
The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Swann's Way by Marcel Proust (now, that one I haven't started recently but it seems that everytime I try to read it I have to re-start)

Except Grendel by John Gardner - I had to take it back to the library because I just couldn't get into it after about 30 pages. I just really didn't care that much about Grendel being scared or anything. I'll come back to it later.

I can now start some new books (see how this start-itis thing can be a problem?). In honor of Banned Books Week I'm reading Salman Rushdie, starting with Midnight's Children and then probably The Satanic Verses. I recently started The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which is the new Barnes and Noble Recommends title and looks to be a very good mystery.

Current book-in-progress: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Current knitted item: Steel grey tea cozy and red variegated scarf (and the surprise items, since I decided that they screamed "fashion victim" and ripped them back out)
Current movie obsession: Velvet Goldmine (still - hey, there's college football on AND all the TV shows are premiering this week)
Current iTunes loop: Paradise City (yes, that G'n'R song)


  1. Wow you are reading a lot. I can only do one at a time any more. Happy Reading.

  2. So, whose no longer allowed to recommend, eh?