Friday, April 16, 2010

What I'm reading (still), and what's On Deck

Small confession: this post is more for my benefit than for anyone else, and I apologize. I have a pile of books that I really need to get to soon, and I'm putting the list down here as an extended "note to self," so that I won't get sidetracked by something that looks good but can wait a little longer.

My currently reading titles are the same as they were last Saturday for the Read-a-Thon: King Dork by Frank Portman, which I am LOVING and hope to finish this weekend (depending on how many games Ryan plays in the pre-season baseball tournament tomorrow and Sunday, eek); The Art of Losing, the poetry collection I got from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program, that's more than half read; and Zadie's Smith's On Beauty on audio. Three completely different books, and they're all great.

Then, I have four more books, none on audio at this point. Top two priorities are next month's selection for my book group, and another LT Early Reviewers book. The book group choice was made when I wasn't there, since Kyle had a music program at school, but it's perfect timing for me: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D Salinger. Why is it perfect? Because the narrator in King Dork talks about Salinger's book A LOT -- though not in a good way -- and one of the first big events that gets the action rolling is when he finds his late father's copy of the book. I read Catcher in my teens, but have never reread it, and I'm excited to reacquaint myself with it after enjoying Portman's book.

The other Early Reviewers book is called The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with W. G. Sebald, edited by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. It sounded like the kind of thing that appeals to me -- a writer talking about writing and memory, traversing the ground between memoir and literary criticism, exploring the writing process, and the effect of memory upon it. (At least this is what I'm expecting I'll find in there.) So, that kind of stuff interests me, and I requested it. I was surprised to find out I'd actually won it, though, after winning the poetry book the previous month -- and I thought, Oh God, I've never even read anything by Sebald! I recognized his name, I'm pretty sure at least one of his books (maybe more) is included in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and clearly I was interested enough to request it, but man, I was wishing I'd had some exposure to the guy's work.

The last two were impulse check-outs from the library, so not critical, but there IS a time factor involved if I want to read at least SOME of each book. When the Pulitzers were announced earlier this week, I saw that the winner for poetry was Versed by Rae Armantrout. I KNEW I'd seen it somewhere, recently, and immediately I thought, "I wonder if they have it at the library." They did, and it was checked in, and I decided I'd head over right after work and get it if it was still checked in -- and it was, so I did. I still don't recall where I saw it, and that bugs me a little, but that's okay. My other check-out is also poetry, A Worldly Country by John Ashbery, one of his books I hadn't heard of before, and not far from the other one on the shelf, so I grabbed it. Since they're both poetry, I should be able to at least dip into both of them in the next two weeks, get a feel for them, before I need to return them.

Whew, I think that's everything! Time to close, get ready for bed, and probably read some more King Dork before I fall asleep. I don't write too many reviews, but I think I'll review this one; it's too entertaining not to share. :-)

1 comment:

aardvarkuzz said...

Like I said, if you want to borrow one of my Sebald books let me know.
I'll be reading Versed soon as well and will be interested in what you have to say about it. I have read some of her Collected Prose and enjoyed individual poems but never really addressed her work in a serious/unscattered way. // Bob