What are you reading?

I confess to being a lazy reader. When I’m reading for fun I don’t like to work hard. I like a nice linear plot and a good story. Aside from professional literature I read a lot of mysteries. I have bouts with science fiction too.

I just finished Jasper Fforde’s latest literary-fantasy-mystery romp, First Among Sequels. I love Fforde’s books because they’re lighthearted, witty, and full of his love of books and reading. This one’s fifth in the adventures of Thursday Next, the Special Operations Network, Literary Detective. It’s especially fun because it also makes use of my favorite science fiction sendup, the time travel paradox. (If you like this sort of thing don’t miss the classic Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem. Hilarious.)

Now I’m reading Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. This book is haunting, lyrical, funny and fantastic — sometimes all at once. It’s much better than the movie, which left out more than half the book and added elements from another of his novels (go figure.) I highly recommend it.

What are you reading?

11 thoughts on “What are you reading?”

  1. At the moment, I’m reading lots of research related to Program Evaluation and Cog. Psych. Over the last break I read Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell & Jeffrey Kluger – yep, the one Ron Howard made into a little movie 🙂

  2. I’m reading Maureen Adams’ The Dogs Who Inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton and Emily Brontë. Dr. Adams is a professor at USF! I’m writing my thesis on some of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and have read about her beloved dog, Carlo! I spotted Dr. Adams’ book while processing holds and then ordered it from Link+. Eventually, the student who had put the book on hold came to pick it up and informed me that Dr. Adams was coming to the library for a class that night. Sure enough, seconds later, who was to come through the gates…but the author of the book I am reading!! It was a fantastic night at the Access Services Desk!

  3. Oh my…part of the title was cut off in my comment — the complete title of the book is Shaggy Muses: The Dogs Who Inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton and Emily Brontë.

  4. Thanks for starting this discussion, Debbie! I like to read a couple of books at a time. I just read a great graphic novel called Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine. I read a lot of comics as a kid, but this was my first graphic novel. I was happy to see there were two holds on it before I finally got it. In case you’re interested too, I heard an interview with Adrian on Fresh Air a little while ago. I’m also reading Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father and Made for Each Other: Fashion and the Academy Awards. I’m going to start the graphic novel Persepolis next.

  5. I recently read one of the new books at Gleeson Library called “Conquering Gotham” by Jill Jonnes. We are surrounded by things like the Golden Gate Bridge and the BART Transbay Tube that we just take for granted but they are actually amazing engineering achievements that took a huge amount of effort to build (and often people died in the process). “Conquering Gotham” is a great read about building the tunnels under New York’s East River and Hudson River and then building Penn Station to connect them. I really enjoy well written local history like that (spoken as an ex-New Yorker).

  6. Great thread! I just finished a book called “Ludie’s Life,” by Cynthia Rylant. It is a short book-length collection of poems that read like prose, about the birth, life, and death of Ludie, a woman who lives in West Virginia coal country. I was interested in this book for several reasons; first, when I was an elementary school librarian I loved Rylant’s children’s books, and second, because in college I spent a semester in Kentucky’s coal mining region. I really loved this book. I love books that eloquently describe little moments in a day, that add up to a life. Books that illuminate the little things that are at once small and also profound. I was very moved by Ludie. This is a quick read, and we have the book in Gleeson Library. Next up is “A Suitable Boy,” by Vikram Seth. A friend recommended it to me! 🙂

  7. Thanks, Debbie. Interesting thread! I am reading “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” which I was able to order from Link +. This work is the 1985 play by Christopher Hampton, which was adapted from the 1782 novel of the same name. Most of you, though, probably know this play as the source for the film adaptation of “Dangerous Liaisons,” released in 1988. The dialogue is magnificent, and if you’ve seen the movie, you can’t help but hear the arrogant affectations of the equally brilliant Glenn Close and John Malkovich, swirling about each other through the entire play like a couple of feral cats with powdered wigs!

    If you enjoy reading plays which were adapted into film, a lighter choice might be “The Philadelphia Story,” by Philip Barry, which I read not too long ago, and which we have in our collection. That’s another play where you can’t help but hear the distinctive voice of its lead actress — in this case, the legendary Katherine Hepburn.

  8. I am reading a lot of texts that give the background leading up to the birth of Surrealism in poetry. Most recently it was Tristan Tzara’s Dadaist Manifestos. This is all in my course reader for Poetry International, a class I’m taking this semester.

    I also just read _Sappho’s Gymnasium_ by Olga Broumas & T Begley.

    This weekend I’ll be reading Catallus and Zukofsky’s homophonic translations of Catallus, in addition to surrealist works like Breton’s _Nadja_ and some selections of _Surrealist Love Poems_ (yep, school is hard!)

  9. I just finished Seventh Heaven by James Patterson. It is the latest in his Murder Club series and all the action takes place in San Francisco.

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