what are you reading?

i am also reading another book called Alive, Alive Oh! -And Other Things That Matter by Diana Athill.

Athill wrote this memoir while approaching her 100th year.
I was interested to read what someone who had lived this long would write about, thinking maybe i could learn something from her.
In her intro, she said one of the things that "floated" into her memories as she was waiting to fall asleep was the men she had ever went to bed with. And that made me like her already.

Just finished the first chapter where she lovingly described in detail a garden in her childhood.

There is clarity and humour in her words.
I am enjoying it so far.
Diana Athill was a real treasure. I’ve loved every book of hers that I’ve read. Your post inspires me to look for more of her stuff.
  • Like
Reactions: joo
I’m in the middle of Holly, Stephen King’s most recent book. I’m really enjoying it, reading SK is like putting on an old pair of slippers. I find his books very comforting.

Next on my dangerously teetering “to read” pile is Spook Street, the 5th(?) novel in Mick Herron’s hugely entertaining Jackson Lamb series. I’m all about comfort reading at the moment.
My husband is now reading this and I have it on hold in an online library. I liked the book where Holly was introduced as the principal character, so I’m sure I’ll like this one.
  • Like
Reactions: TBB
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth, Hero With a Thousand Faces, etc.) saw the play as plagiarising James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake." Damn! Will I finally have to read that thing, too?
I wouldn’t take Campell’s word for that. Finnegans Wake is unplagiarisible (is that a word?), and anyway you DON’T have to read it. Life is too damn short.
Finished Replay as recommended by mikelz777. An engaging read.

Am now partway through "Living The Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans" by Kenneth Womack, and also partway through "Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy" by James B. Stewart.
I finished The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West. What a strange book. It is one of those books where there doesn't seem to be a protagonist, only antagonists. Just a lot of "bad actors" hanging around 1930s Hollywood, doing some pretty low-down stuff while waiting for a bit-part to play in some movie.

The climactic scene is a cock fight in a garage. Ironically, the challenger from San Diego (or somewhere) was a no-show, so they pit two of their own birds together. It gets ugly. I think that is what this book is about: How ugly can it get? How low can you go?

It seems like there are a lot of people who must have read it. It drops the word 'lollapalooza' at one point. I was guessing Perry Farrell must have read it. One character is Homer Simpson. The character bears some resemblance to the character from The Simpsons TV show. Is there a connection? There were some other cultural references I noted while reading the book, but I can't recall them now.
I am 'celebrating' the 100th anniversary of German hyperinflation by starting to read "When Money Dies" by Adam Fergusson. The peak of the panic was November 1923, so my timing is good. And since more and more people are concerned about inflation everywhere, my timing is also good.

Years ago, my brother-in-law (from Switzerland) gave me a postage stamp from the Weimar Republic days. The simple, reddish-hued stamp had originally been printed with one valuation, and then that number was struck out by overprinting the stamp with some black bars and a new number with lots and lots of zeroes was printed in black below the original valuation. Things got really crazy.
I just finished The Last Child by John Hart and I really enjoyed it. I liked it so much that I picked up four more books by the same author. A young boy loses his twin sister and a year later she still hasn't been found and is presumed dead. His mother is devastated, his father is gone but he becomes determined to find his sister even if he has to encounter some of the worst elements in the county. The local police detective is also looking for the boy's sister and is concerned over the boy's drive to find her knowing what troubles he could run into. Despite his concern, the detective couldn't even begin to imagine what things the boy discovers and what truths he unearths. I'd recommend it to mystery/thriller/suspense fans.
The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps by Stephan Kresney. A YA book for an emerging reader. A story about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad that explores the racist prejudice against the Chinese laborers that is quite "woke" to that.

I read half of it in twenty minutes and it's NOT a graphic novel. Good for a fourth-sixth grade student.

There is a PDF download available, although I acquired my copy the old fashioned way: From the library!
The Years (1937), by Virginia Woolf, the last novel published in her lifetime. Intricate and powerful. I find her writing almost hypnotically polished and smooth, sort of sculptural. Anyway, I like it.
The Years (1937), by Virginia Woolf, the last novel published in her lifetime. Intricate and powerful. I find her writing almost hypnotically polished and smooth, sort of sculptural. Anyway, I like it.
Wow! Those few sentences are hypnotic on their own. It is like you are describing a fine automobile from 1937. Nice review, @Patty !
Trying out “The Grand Design” by Hawking and Mlodinow. It’s a clear and interesting read but like all works of this genre, it requires the reader to pay attention.
After almost 3 weeks to read the 181 pages of this book, I have learned that my brain has a habit of skipping over and trying to ignore things it doesn’t understand. As I read on it occurs to me that I’ve missed something important and have to go back and reread. (over and over again)

Next up, All The President’s Men. A lighter read I hope.
Current loans from the library:

Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur which I had a hold on for a looong time. So long that I don't remember where I heard about it or why I put a hold on it. My turn finally came, though, so I'm reading it. I don't read much fiction so I'm trying to read some fiction now.

Renegade by Adam Kinzinger. Didn't start it yet but again, my turn just came, so I will read it, (probably.)

The Undertow by Jeff Sharlet. Also just got my turn after being on hold for a long time. I don't remember where I heard about that one either. LOL.

I did finish Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy by James B. Stewart. It kept my interest.
I also read "Pineapple Street" by Jenny Jackson. Again, trying to make myself read some fiction. It was light reading, anyway.

I didn't get to finish the book on Mal Evans but that's one that I will finish at some point. For those of us who are fans of The Beatles, it's a good read and provides a different perspective.
Just finished The Years, by Virginia Woolf. Terrific. Then read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (a harrowing novel full of misery and pain). After that I felt like another Virginia Woolf, so I’m now reading Jacob’s Room. Very soothing after the ordeal of poor old Ethan Frome. What a life!
I'm bouncing around a bit right now...

Just started The Creative Act: A way of being by Rick Rubin, super famous record producer and cultural creative. Seems to be a collection of his very best brain farts so far, but I'm just getting started.

I'm about a third of the way through Gene Smiley's Rethinking the Great Depression. Lots of analysis on the global economy of the era and how the origins of today's totally interconnected banking systems originated. It's hard to imagine a day when you could walk into any bank and get gold or silver coins in exchange, but the practice ended less than 100 years ago. Bank certificates and paper money gained popularity because gold is damn heavy and hard to carry around. For a century, it was worth about $20 @ ounce. Paper money relieved folks from having to lug around a bag full of 1 OZ silver coins... but they were exchangeable and solidly linked and redeemable on the spot in either direction. As always, currency that is easy to move has a popular appeal for all so many reasons... Just $1000 worth of gold coins weighs over three pounds... in silver it's more than 60 pounds. Make it hard to move money long distances ... today money moves at the speed of light!

I just swiped a copy of Could Atlas off the counter of the school library, which is being remodeled. I'll bring it back when I'm done with it... promise!

I'll mix that in with the depression book... we read together as a class for 25 minutes a day and I've read untold numbers of books this way...

It's amazing how many books can be read by devoting just 100 minutes a week to the task.

(We skip Thursdays if the math is bothering you...)
I wasn’t aware of the Rick Rubin book. Just put a hold on that. I was watching McCartney 3 2 1 tonight, (with Rick Rubin), so mentioning the book was good timing.
I just ran across a book that was published in October that @TimWilson might like. It followed me home.

John Blaney apparently has a whole series but the newest one is The Songs He Was Singing Vol. 5 2010-2019

”Paul McCartney: The Songs He Was Singing vol. 5 traces the ups-and-downs of a remarkable career. Using facts, figures and anecdotes, it reveals the influences and stories behind every song written by Paul McCartney from 2010 to 2019, who played on them, where and when. Taking an in-depth look at McCartney's recording sessions, Paul McCartney: The Songs He Was Singing unravels the stimuli of contemporary events, the musical influences that have shaped his life and the studio experimentation that helped fashion his music. Paul McCartney: The Songs He Was Singing is a fascinating guide to Paul McCartney and his music that maps his journey from ex-Beatle to twenty-first century renaissance man. Fully illustrated with hundreds of examples of rare album artwork and record labels, this is the ultimate exploration of the ex-Beatle's solo recording career.”

I sat down to take a quick look at it and got lost in it until family called.
Last night I finished John Dillinger Slept Here: A Crooks Tour Of Crime And Corruption In St. Paul, 1920-1936 by Paul Maccabee. The prohibition era of gangs and gangsters is often glamorized and I didn't realize to what extent St. Paul, MN played a part in that with the likes of John Dillinger, Babyface Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, Alvin "Creepy" Karpis and Ma Barker among others making it a hide-out or base of operations in those years. I also didn't realize that the Volstead Act which brought about prohibition was sponsored by and named after Alfred Volstead, Minnesota U.S. Representative and chair of the Judiciary Committee. During that time, St. Paul police were so rife with corruption that Police Chief John O'Connor established what came to be known as the O'Connor system. As long as gangsters checked in, paid a bribe and promised not to commit any crimes within St. Paul city limits, they would receive police protection. I don't recall the exact year but one year in the early '30s, 21% of the bank robberies in the entire United States were committed in Minnesota! It was an interesting read especially because I knew many of the streets, locations and cities where all the action happened.
Now starting "Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears" by Michael Schulyman and also "The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty" by Michael Wolff.
Top Bottom