- After Visiting Friends. Michael Hainey. A lovely writing style. I am unsure why he wrote it, however.
- Bossypants. Tina Fey. I laughed outloud for the first thirty pages but once it got into the stuff about TV and what she has done (I’ve seen none of it) it was less fun for me.
- A terrible Sandra Brown book bought in the airport. It was even more terrible than the usual terrible. I read the entire thing from EWR to IAH, and left it in the seat back pocket.
- Crow’s Landing. Brad Smith. A Virgil Cain mystery. Good, better than the ‘thriller’ type, so when I want something fiction and not serious, I may go look up the others. apparently it is a series.
- Sex at Dawn. Ryan and Jetha. Interesting. I read this because friends were, and they were talking about it all the time.
- The Writing Life. Annie Dillard
- The Art Forger. B.A. Shapiro
- Swarm Creativity. Peter A. Gloor
- On Writing. Stephen King (people are giving me books on writing. they all seem to say the same thing. which is nice, in its way.)
- The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design. John Harwood
- In The Heart of the Sea. Nathaniel Philbrick
- The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Julian Jaynes
- The Black Count. Tom Reiss. This one was quite good.
- Mariposa Road. Robert Michael Pyle
- Live by Night. Dennis Lehane
- A Richard Patterson book, whose title and plot I’ve already forgotten
- The Design of Design. Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
- Thinking in Systems. Donella H. Meadows
- The Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing. Don George
- The Juice. Jay McInerney
- Off The Grid. Rosen. Don’t recommend. The how and why of grids and public utilities is interesting, but Rosen has too much of himself and too much opinionated snark in the book to make wading through it worth while. I will find another source on the utilities stuff, now that my curiousity is piqued, and let you know.
- The Drowning Guard. Lafferty. Recommend. Was a lovely late night story.
- Travels with Myself and Another. Gellhorn. Yes. Read it. Buford intro is excellent as well. She says all the things I wish people could still write, but can’t or don’t. Lovely and blunt. And no one admits to miseries and meltdowns as she does as well, not these days. She isn’t fragile, but she isn’t overly tough in the brittle way of women currently writing in a similar vein. As if there would be a similar vein.
and right before that, Solnit writes this, which really helps me on this dark and wintry weekend.
The sensuality of night had never been so clear to me, darkness descending like velvet to wrap around you and enclose you in its black cocoon, to take you to your other self and others. In darkness dreams awaken and dreamers merge, which might be how passion becomes love and how making love begets progeny of all natures and forms. Merging is dangerous, at least to the boundaries and definition of the self. Darkness is generative, and generation, biological and artistic both, requires this amorous engagement with the unknown, this entry into the realm where you do not quite know what you are doing and what will happen next.
I find all of this particularly interesting, having spent a summer in perpetual light. The endless light, the lack of time for required sleeping, the lack of rules for how to structure a day, created a blissful state of continued creativity and desire.
We mythologize darkness, from our creation stories, to the ways in which we work, love, create, and dream. Dreaming in the light is at least as good as dreaming in the dark. And I often wonder, why not have the origins of the world begin with pure light, and explode to include the darkness. This makes more sense to me.
The paths dictated are not the ones you must take.
[The above three paragraphs are me, but it seems to want to credit it to kthread as well, and tumblr won’t let me fix that.]
- Life Among Giants, Roorbach. Russo blurbs this as “My God, it was fun.” I read this in one evening, from about 11pm-2am, whilst madly playing 6 games of words with friends. Dark and cold and raining in wintery new england. All around perfect for the ways to go about inhaling a book, and a good one at that. It’s very hard to judge books read like this, against the experience of reading them in pieces over days. I like best, to swallow them whole, it has the same deep and involved breathlessness that (I hear) others get from going to movies. I suspect this book is best consumed, rather than snacked.
- Slapstick, Vonnegut. This came up in a conversation and I had an hour to kill in frigid temps and no book and suddenly I owned this. It had been at least 20 years since I last read it. I had forgotten the prologue, which I really enjoyed. more than the book. Vonnegut is always a good read, to me. Now I want to read more.
- Chasing Alaska, Bernard. I like to read books set in places I’ve been, and this is great for that. The book seems like it accidentally snuck up on him one day, with the discovery of a relative having migrated to Alaska a century before he did. He rambles off on the path of learning more. It’s simple and straightforward as his personal view of the place, the culture, and what his life is/was like there. You are better off going to see for yourself, I’d say.
More in line with my supposed ‘no reading til 2014’ rule.
- 1491, Mann. Best book I can remember reading in 2013. Non-fiction. There were enormous numbers of things I did not know, did not realize had changed, and now I have a great deal of other things I want to read to follow up on different questions I had.
- The English Girl, Silva. Another Gabriel Allon mystery. The library forced me to take it out and read it. I’ve read all his others. I don’t know why they amuse me so, but I tend to read them in one sitting.
- Dark Matter and Trojan Horses, Hill. This really needed better editing to be readable. That bums me out. I wanted to like this, but I could barely read this.
I do intend to start writing again, and about what I read, so these are short. Let’s hope intent becomes reality, shall we?