Thursday, September 23, 2010

Currently reading

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What are you reading right now? What made you choose it? Are you enjoying it? Would you recommend it? (And, by all means, discuss everything, if you’re reading more than one thing!)

Let's see. Of all the books in progress right now, I'm furthest along in J.C. Hallman's In Utopia. I have maybe a chapter and a half to go, and I ought to finish it (this weekend, maybe?) and write my review instead of allowing it to languish any longer. Instead, I've started Hallman's earlier book, The Devil Is a Gentleman: Exploring America's Religious Fringe, and then stopped, out of guilt, because I haven't finished In Utopia. Whenever I do finish it, I'll be recommending it.

I've read three essays, the ones dealing with reading and writing, in Jonathan Franzen's How to Be Alone since the weekend. I've read the first story, the Steve Almond one on poker players and their tells, from Best American Short Stories 2010. Fun so far for the both.

I'm reading Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge with a friend. Three chapters in, just started it yesterday, and I can already tell it's a good one.

I'm reading Amos Oz's memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, because I was so impressed with David Grossman's To the End of the Land last month and wanted to read another book set in Israel, but it's kind of on the back burner right now. As is Georges Simenon's Pedigree, although it's in my book bag and I'm looking forward to getting back to it--if I don't just start from scratch all over again (only one chapter in).

And last, but not least, I'm reading Henry James's The Ambassadors, so that I can read and properly appreciate Cynthia Ozick's soon-to-be-released Foreign Bodies. Maria Gostrey has just joined Strether in Paris and Chad has yet to make his appearance. Sometimes I know precisely what's going on, and sometimes it's all a bit fuzzy. We won't get into the percentages of how much time I'm spending in either of the those two camps.

What are you currently reading? Do you think I'd like it?

Booking Through Thursday


  1. Anonymous11:37 AM

    An amazing amount of reading in your life right now!
    I've not read any of these, (with the exception of the Ambassadors, which I was reading when my sone was born 30 years ago!) although i do enjoy the Best American Short Stories collections. Haven't picked up the 2010 version.

    Here's my BTT post:

  2. I've got several books going right now, too - but not that many! Very impressive. The Ambassadors is one of those books I should have read in college, but managed to avoid. But someday I'd really like to pick it up again - I always enjoy a Henry James book once I get started.

  3. Wow, you've got lots of good stuff going. Glad you are enjoying the In Utopia. I like Devil is a Gentleman too. I especially liked the chapter on the Unarians since they are based in my hometown. I want to read the Ambassadors as well before Ozick's book. Now if I didn't have to spend so much time at work!

  4. Holy crap, I can only read one book at a time. I hope your enjoying them. Here's my Booking Through Thursday.

  5. I am totally digging Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. I hesitate to recommend something called "a manifesto," though, just on principle. The Q&A with the author sums up his arguments pretty well.

  6. The Q&A on Amazon, that is.

  7. Great reading-I am currently reading Henry James Portrait of a Lady-about 100 pages in and I really like it a lot-I am nearly done with My Cousin Rachael by Daphne du Maurier-I love the atmosphere she creates-I am also reading Victoria Glendinning biography of Leonard Woolf which has to be a near must read for those into VW and her era

  8. I just started a William Trevor book tonight [ I love him]... but just finished one by John Fowles, called Mantissa.
    Would I recommend it? [The Fowles?]
    It was weird, in my opinion. I like books that are not obscurantist-based. Books that you do not need a Ph.D in literature-theory, to understand.
    However, his A French Lieutenant's Woman? I really liked it a lot.

  9. Oh you are juggling quite a few books there! Did you get back to the Simenon book? I've yet to try one of his. I've got a couple of books I'm into and all are pretty great now if I could just find more time :)

  10. Cipriano, Fowles' best one after The French Lieutenant's Woman is The Magus.
    I'm finally reading Paris to the Moon, after having it recommended by many people. I think you would like it, but I haven't finished, so will review it then.

  11. I'm reading the new Emily Dickinson biography, "Lives like Loaded Guns", and it's awesome. I would recommend it to everyone. : )

  12. I think it is cool that you read so many books at one time. I sometimes get three or four going at once, but that is about my limit.

    Although, when i read Henry James, I find my attention strays to any other book in the room. :)


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