Monday, January 04, 2010

On the Pile: Winter Break Edition

I went a little crazy at the library today. I went to pick up some hold requests that had come in: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby; A Changed Man by Francine Prose (mind you, I think I actually own this book but my books have long since outgrown my shelves and I've started doing double rows, which makes it impossible to find anything); and Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. While at the library, I decided to look through the "new releases" shelf and added to my pile: Burn this Book, ed. by Toni Morrison; Columbine by Dave Cullen; and Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox.

These books go into the already towering pile I've accumulated from the library:
* Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
* A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Conner (which I think I've checked out at least a half dozen times since I started trying to read it over the summer and still haven't gotten past the first story)
* In a Strange City by Laura Lippman
* Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (this book alone could take up the rest of my winter break)
* Kaddish for an Unborn Child by Imre Kertesz
* The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (which I promised Chay that I would read during the break)
* My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike
* Where the Stress Falls: Essays by Susan Sontag (another one that I have checked out, renewed, returned, and re-checked out multiple times but still haven't actually read)

And I bought myself some books at the end of the term: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami; The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson; and There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.

I did manage to finish a couple of books over the holidays: The Magicians by Lev Grossman and Once a Runner by John L. Parker.

And I'm currently reading The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk, which is off to a promising start.

I'm ignoring the large, looming pile of books I'm supposed to be reading for my preliminary exams. But I think I'm going to have to dig into it very soon. On top: Of Revelation and Revolution II by John and Jean Comaroff. But maybe I'll read some more Pamuk first . . . .


At 8:44 AM , Blogger gm said...

Cullen , who first reported on the story for the online magazine Salon, acknowledges in the book's source notes that thoughts he attributes to Klebold and Harris are conjecture gleaned from the record the pair left behind.

Jeff Kass takes a more straightforward approach in "Columbine: A True Crime Story," working backward from the events of the fateful day.
The Denver Post

Mr. Cullen insists that the killers enjoyed "far more friends than the average adolescent," with Harris in particular being a regular Casanova who "on the ultimate high school scorecard . . . outscored much of the football team." The author's footnotes do not reveal how he knows this; when I asked him about it while preparing this review, Mr. Cullen said he did not necessarily mean to imply that Harris was sexually active. But what else would such words mean?

"Eric and Dylan never had any girlfriends," the more sober Mr. Kass writes, and were "probably virgins upon death."
Wall Street Journal

At 8:25 PM , Blogger Jessica Mason said...

I'll re-read Master and Margarita with you if you get around to it. I'd invite you to do Anna Karenina with me too, but I'm reading it in Russian which means I'm only doing 10-15 pages a day. . . If I hadn't read it before, I'm pretty sure I would have forgotten what the hell was going on many times over.

Infinite Jest took me about a month last summer. Worth it, but I'm probably not going back to it anytime soon!


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