Archives for September 5, 2007
• Garth Risk Hallberg in The Quarterly Conversation: “Why James Wood Is Wrong About Underworld”
• A LitKicks panel investigates “Does Literary Fiction Suffer From Dysfunctional Pricing?”
Over at Shaken & Stirred, Gwenda shares her list of books currently out from the library. Here’s my own. I suppose this sort of thing is open to the same criticisms as the posting of random iPod lists but whatevs: Viva List Fancy!
• Winter Season: A Dancer’s Journal by Toni Bentley: After a break of a kazillion years, I start ballet class again this Thursday. Stasis in darkness./ Then the substanceless blue/Pour of tor and distances., etc. Preparations have included reading this memoir (mentioned by Terry in a recent WSJ column), watching Elusive Muse, some light stretching, and resumption of a prodigious cocaine habit.
• Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death by Deborah Blum: Recommended by Bookslut; I was smitten as soon as Alfred Russel Wallace came waltzing in in Chapter 1.
• March by Geraldine Brooks
• Castle by David Macaulay and Castle by Christopher Gravett: We’re installing a moat.
• The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
• A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel: Because; see also Robert Birnbaum’s great interview with Manguel.
• A Kierkegaard Anthology by Søren Kierkegaard: Untouched, forlorn. Weirdly, it never seems the right night to go to bed with Kierkegaard.
• Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
• Paula Spencer by Roddy Doyle: The sequel to The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. We’re reading it this semester in writing class.
• The Golden Compass [sound recording] by Philip Pullman
• Appointment with Death [sound recording] by Agatha Christie
• The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov: The Mirra Ginsburg translation I own is choppy so I’m test-driving the Michael Glenny translation, recommended here (although I also wish to try the Burgin/Tiernan O’Connor translation before purchasing either). Nice discussion of the merits of the various English translations in the novel’s Wikipedia entry. All in all, an excruciating decision!
• Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
• The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander
• The Catalogue of the Universe by Margaret Mahy
• The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot: His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred by Carl-Johan Vallgren: My mum’s favorite book read this year. She compares it to Winter’s Tale and Love in the Time of Cholera, with Geek Love base notes.
“Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.”
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night