Like many of you, I’m a reader, by which I mean there are too many bookshelves in my house, trips to the library are more frequent than to the grocery store, and if I have two hours to kill in an airport, I’d better have room in my carry-on for the one I buy. I also usually am in the middle of reading more than one at a time, even more if you count the audio versions that are also underway. Here’s some thoughts about my current reads:
- Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace. I found Jonathan Franzen and Mark Leyner to be a waste of time — Wallace is the third of them often hailed as the ‘great writers’ of our generation — which made me not want to read it. But being overpraised doesn’t make it bad. I will say I tried Jest on my phone and couldn’t get into it, but it isn’t meant to be read that way. Fifty pages in, there are really memorable scenes and phrases that compel me further. The footnotes and runon sentences seem a trifle underedited but neither the worst or best thing ever. I enjoyed Joyce, Dickens, James and Faulkner, I can tackle 1100 pages like an English major!
- The Ringed Castle, Dorothy Dutton. Fifth book in a phenomenal series set in Europe in the 1520-1530s. What happens in the life/death chess match at the end of the fourth book is so awful that our hero has to go to Russia, to try and become a mercenary for Ivan the Terrible. No mysterious manuscripts; no “suddenly the room was aflame…” Read a bunch on the trip, but this will probably last until end of June.
- (Audio) Seeing a Large Cat, Elizabeth Peters. I only wish I could figure out how to experience these in order, but the audio versions of this venerable mystery writer are phenomenal. British archaeologist Elizabeth Peabody and family in the 1910-1920s have mystery adventures in Egypt.
- (Audio 2) Game of Thrones, first book in Song of Ice And Fire, George RR Martin. Since season 6 is airing, I will need to rewatch seasons 4 and 5. But this is another fun way to start – listen to the book that spawned season 1. Great lines: Jamie Lannister–“the things I do for love.” AND “the common people pray for rain, healthy children and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lord play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace.”