What are you reading?

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  • 29 Dec 2017 at 9:44 am #10056

    Richard L.

    One last list:

    H. L. Mencken, in his letters, would sometimes get exasperated at the business at hand and declare that he was withdrawing from the frey, would enter a Trappist monastery and devote the remainder of his life to translating old Hebrew manuscripts.

    That was in fun, of course. I would have thought that the monastic life would appeal to me after my wife died. But no, she was my world, my reason for living. I couldn’t even read anymore, and this thread shows that during the year 2014, I rarely posted here. I stayed indoors, got fat, ate badly and suffered. Doctors assured me that I was indeed killing myself, if that was my plan, but I was in for a miserable death.

    I bought a new gun, but I couldn’t pull the trigger. Doctors said that the only way back was to lose the fat in my liver, but I must lose all the other weight first, as the last place your body takes fat from is your liver. And eventually I started walking five miles a day. Then ten miles a day. My farmer neighbors eventually stopped asking me if I needed a ride.

    The vitamin D I got from sunlight made it easier and easier. Fall came, and in order to exercise during inclement weather, I took up dancing. Holding a woman in my arms again gave me hope of a new love, a new marriage, and indeed that’s just what happened.

    I started reading again, and logging it here. I’ve been telling myself that I’m alerting readers like me, kindred spirits, to books they might have missed. But of course this is merely rationalization of self-aggrandizement. The end of the year and the end of this thread seems like a good breaking point.

    Recently read, reading now, or about to read:

    SOMETHING IN THE BLOOD: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BRAM STOKER by David J. Skal. Like the books I read earlier in the year on Lovecraft, this is an interesting biography with ties to noted homosexuals which were probably censored in early biographies. Bram Stoker wrote letters to Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde, among others. I’m impressed by the research.

    Brian Evenson’s LAST DAYS. Cormackian Evenson is amazing. This is a private eye novel with the nuance of Lethem’s GUN, WITH OCCASIONAL MUSIC, but also much more because Evenson writes with Quantum Theory always in hand to throw at you in fun, like some cosmic snowball fight. Makes me wish I’d gone to that McCarthy conference where he was the keynote speaker.

    ENTROPY IN BLOOM by Jeremy Robert Johnson. Brian Evenson wrote the introduction here, and Johnson has garnered a lot of praise from other noted reviewers as some kind of new Cormac McCarthy.

    THE NIGHTLY DISEASE by Max Booth. Funny stuff, so far. I loved the different bookcovers.

    THE SARAH BOOK by Scott McClanahan. Heartbreaking stuff about addicts and the people that love them. Not sure I’ll be able to finish it.

    CANNIBALISM by Bill Schutt. A decent study, and naturally he mentions Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD and our nation’s love affair with Zombies and other horrific things.

    TURTLES All THE WAY DOWN by John Green. I like this, already my pick for YA novel of the year.

    John Le Carre’s A LEGACY OF SPIES. I went though my remaining library and picked out my replica first edition of THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD. I’m rereading it now and will carry on with its sequel in due course. A treasure.

    THE DOG by Joseph O’Neill. Speaking of Le Carre, did you see that wonderful mini-series that was made of THE NIGHT MANAGER. What I truly enjoyed was the opening segment, with the ex-pat night manager doing the best he can in the Arab Spring. Well, the protagonist in THE DOG is like that, and the first 3/4 of the book is truly splendid, with symbolism and humor. The end disappointed me, but the book is worth reading.

    24/7 LATE CAPITALISM AND THE ENDS OF SLEEP by Jonathan Crary. I’ve read a bunch of rants this year, but this is my very favorite, with research to back up his conspiracy theories. Why is that, when the baby boomers get elderly, that all institutions reduce the print on their medicine bottles so that you need a magnifying glass to read the directions?

    As McCarthy might say, It’s time to turn the page.

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