dem books

four weeks, four books: (1) Baudolino by Umberto Eco is easily his best since In the Name of the Rose and much more lighthearted than anything he's done before. I definitely recommend it. (2) Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams deals with probability, being and time, other humorous topics. I love everything Adams ever wrote. (3) In Our Time by Ernest Hemmingway. I have to admit I really don't enjoy most Hemmingway. Even before I knew anything about his life, I could tell he was a drunk in the repetitiveness of his writing and his morose candor about every conceivable topic. In Our Time is a collection of short and short-short fiction that rivals anything out there today in its serenely hopeless outlook and erudite writing. I did enjoy it, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it. (4) Teaching as a Conserving Activity by Neil Postman. Before Postman was a household name in cultural criticism, he was a household name in educational theory. Teaching as a Conserving Activity was a follow-up and rejoinder to Teaching as a Subversive Activity--primarily because Postman felt that post-Vietnam War era education misinterpreted "subversive" to mean "contentless" or "entertainment-driven." still on the slate: Life of Pi Dream of Scipio by I. Pears Fast Food nation (thanks jnf) The Once and Future King by T.H. White (I never finished it in college) Ender's Game


Blogger brad said...

Wow, man! That's quite a reading list. I haven't even heard of most of those books! Time to "Amazon" them and find out what you're reading.

I read In Our Time a few years ago, (I mean slugged through it), and then I read a review in a library that said that Hemingway had inserted himself as a character in virtually every one of the stories on some level and that the book was essentially an autobiography of his growth into authorship. Then it became like a confusing game to read back through, though most of the details escape me right now. Did you come across any of that in your reading it? How would you describe what the book is about?

6/01/2004 4:18 PM  
Blogger brad said...

Dude, that is a fun set of readings! I'm excited that you're reading so much fiction; you're going to be overloaded on nonfiction for a while to come. :) Are you writing at all in the midst of all the new views of life your being given, Papa? Are you considering doing some "Cliff Note", book reviews for us informally on the Blogger? Ah, Billy!

My "fiction"-ish repretoire is much less diverse than yours: I'm slowly working through "Moses" by Sholem Asch. I've been leaping through "A Modern Poetry Anthology". Tomorrow, I'll likely finish "Letters To A Young Poet" which compiles (some extremely existential) letters about poetry written by Rainer Maria Rilke. And I've got on tap a short story anthology that I think is just called "Modern Science Fiction". It's mostly a compilation of stuff that feeds into my wanting to write more. I don't know how true it is to say, "You are what you read," but it's definitly a fun little window.

6/01/2004 5:22 PM  

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