green book pages turning

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Finished The Prestige -- pretty damn good. I saw a few of the plot twists coming but the book was well written enough that I didn't mind. Looking forward to the movie.

Currently reading: High School Confidential by Jeremy Iversen. It started weak (I was completely uninterested in his personal tale of privileged loserdom) but as soon as he began writing about those high school kids, the book became unputdownable.

Still trying to get through: The Long Emergency.

Just finished: Shadows Over Baker Street and all of the Y: The Last Man collected works up to volume seven. Can't get enough of that.

Next up: Reading Like A Writer: A Guide For People Who Love Books And For Those Who Want To Write Them.

I haven't written anything of substance lately. Maybe I'll re-read the Burroughs biography too. That never fails to inspire.
go go green gears

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What I Read in 2006

Nonfiction
Operating Instructions: a Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott
Don't Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The Commitment by Dan Savage
Subversive Southerner by Catherine Fosl
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
Lucifer Ascending by Bill Ellis
The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg by William Beard
Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War by Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss
Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geoffrey Canada

Fiction: Short Story Collections
In the Upper Room and Other Likely Stories by Terry Bisson
Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories by M. R. James
Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg

Fiction: Novels
Underworld by Don Delillo
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Prestige by Christopher Priest
The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley
Cell by Stephen King
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
Fire on the Mountain by Terry Bisson

Graphic Novels
Y: The Last Man by Brian Vaughan
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Conan: The Frost Giant's Daughter by Kurt Busiek

Re-reads
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Watchmen, both by Alan Moore
Again, Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison
Strangers by Dean Koontz
the whole Authority series

Meant to read, but kept getting pushed further down the pile
The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler
Best American Short Stories 2004 edited by Lorrie Moore
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
green book pages turning

Cormac McCarthy

I finished reading Blood Meridian several days ago and wrote about the experience here. I don't remember the last time that a book I read induced nightmares. It's possible that it's never happened before.

I just finished reading The Road by the same author (about an hour ago), written in a similar style. It was devastating but it offered more hope than Blood Meridian, oddly enough, despite being set in a miserable lifeless future of nuclear winter and cannibalism. I wept at the conclusion, set the book on the floor and hugged my son for several minutes.

Next: The Prestige. I want to read it before I see the movie.

Also, if you haven't read Fun Home yet, what are you waiting for?
green book pages turning

(no subject)

I just finished FIst Stick Knife Gun. A brief but excellent read that ought to be mandatory for all new teachers, along with Makes Me Wanna Holler.

Still slogging through the Crowley book, and I've started reading The Long Emergency. Also, I started a Reader2 account here.
green book pages turning

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I finished Tiger Force a few days ago. What a bitterly depressing book. Gosh, I wonder if anything similar is going on during the Iraq war.

I also finished Fun Home (probably one of the most amazing non-superhero graphic novels I've ever read) and The Artist as Monster, which was pretty good as far as scholarly analyses of films go.

Next: a biography of Aleister Crowley. I'm also re-reading a collection of PK Dick's short stories. The dude was positively prescient.
green book pages turning

(no subject)

Currently reading:

  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

  • Lucifer Ascending by Bill Ellis -- a scholarly analysis of witch tales, Satanic urban legends, and Harry Potter moral panics

  • numerous Wikipedia entries on various demons, as well as Occultopedia and Delirium's Realm

    On deck:

  • the latest Asimov's

  • The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler

  • Best American Short Stories 2004 edited by Lorrie Moore

  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

  • The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg by William Beard

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • green book pages turning

    (no subject)

    I finished David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim tonight. It was laugh-out-loud hilarious for the most part, but whenever Sedaris wrote about himself in that dry, disparaging way -- usually in regards to situations where he did not have the nerve, self-respect, or self-confidence to speak up for himself -- I just rolled my eyes and thought, Grow a fucking spine already.

    I could see Johanna Inman writing an equally hilarious book about her family and leaving out all of the awkward self-loathing bullshit.
    green book pages turning

    CURRENT READING

    I finished Terry Bisson's Fire on the Mountain -- fantastic alternate-history book. It tells two tales: one of a rebel slave who joined the rebel army of John Brown and Harriet Tubman, the other of a woman descended from that slave who is charged with bringing his papers to a museum. In this alternate America, Tubman & Brown sparked a revolution with their successful raid on Harper's Ferry. The Civil War was fought between rebel slaves/abolitionists and slaveowners/Southern sympathizers. The Southern United States became Nova Africa, and later, a second revolutionary war was fought to created the United Socialist States of America in 1948.

    Today, I finished the Persepolis graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian expatriate who loathes Western political influence upon her country but enjoys Western cultural products and hates the fundamentalist chokehold on her nation. It is a coming-of-age story but it also provides an alternative perspective on Iran, its internal conflicts, and its relationship with the West. This ought to be mandatory reading for anyone who thinks that all Iranians are Muslim fanatics dedicated to the death of America and Europe.

    I tore through Kurt Busiek's Conan: The Frost Giant's Daughter And Other Stories from Dark Horse Comics a few days ago. Wow. These are much, much better than the other Conan comics I picked up a few months ago. I can't wait to get the next book in the series.

    I'm trying to get through Don Delillo's Underworld, but the writing style is off-putting. The story itself is interesting but the characters speak in a rambling observational manner and the perspective often jumps from chapter to chapter: main character to minor character; first, second and third person. I also plan to read Delillo's Running Dog.

    Also on deck: Van Vogt's Slan and Toni Morrison's Beloved. Can't wait! Hooray for summer reading!
    go go green gears

    (no subject)

    I just finished The Brief History of the Dead, a great speculative fiction novel that asks, "What if the afterlife consists solely of dead people who are remembered by the living?" And then it asks, "What happens when fewer and fewer people are left alive?" Very good book. I'll have to pick up the author's collection of short stories.