I had many wonderful conversations in Portland yesterday that I talk about in yesterday’s post. Some of the best conversations were about reading, writing and books.
One of the best things about my childhood is my parents were and still are huge readers. My dad literally read the entire encyclopedia in his house when he was in high school. His mom, Mary Davis taught reading for decades and generations in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, CA area) how to read.
I was a reader starting at 3 with Star Wars read and listen LPs. Yep I was born in 1974, Star Wars came out in 1977 and it started me reading. I think that’s awesome. I guess it’s part of the reason I am a Universalist Theist, which comes partially from the mystic concept of the force that binds us, before there was blood tests for metachlorians.
But, talking about books we love and are passionate about is why things like Goodreads are so amazing. Or even things like my Amazon review of Colleen Hoover’s “Slammed” which lead to a friendship and to having my poem “Write Poorly” in her follow up to “Slammed”, “Point of Retreat.”
One of my Facebook posts on Wednesday was: I’m on page 25 of 277 of The Catcher in the Rye: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote i was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much though.” Thought of the fact you can interact with authors now though Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc. like I have with several authors here like Colleen Hoover and Hugh Howey. Sharing books is an amazing thing.
So was talking with Angie Muhs who I talk to on Twitter and Facebook and maybe went once or twice before yesterday’s tweetup and that she can look at my Goodreads and see what I have been doing, and also you can find out how others liked or didn’t like the book you just finished it’s amazing. And of course, a post on ed2dq.com “Goodreads.”
I find sharing my love of learning amazing. I can’t imagine how great this country would be if we were a more literate nation.
This weeks books:
Only finished one book, the incredibly dated “Shoe” comic strip collection a “Shoe for All Seasons” by Jeff MacNelly. Some fun, very, very dated, yet in a lot of ways journalism hasn’t changed from 1982-1983. **1/2 (2 Goodreads-Ok) (Walker Library)
I checked out 5 books:
A Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: One of those books you can argue was too successful. I would love if Salinger wrote more books before his great success. As good as I remember for 20 years ago as a junior, seems to be the consensus. Great narrator, very identifiable for a geeky kid who felt an outsider. Talking to someone at work today and she said it might be a better book for men. I kind of agree, the struggles are very much the struggles of the young man who doesn’t know what’s next but the world looks phony. ***** (5 GR) (Walker Library/Westbrook) 108 of 277
Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein: A new Shel Silverstein book of the poems that didn’t make his other collections from 1991. Not as good as “Where the Sidewalk Ends” but to me as good as “A Light in the Attic”, I love his wit and humor. And of course the nutty pictures. ***1/2 (4 GR) pg 104 of 195
Bob Dylan: Chronicles (Volume 1): Huge Bob Dylan fan, think I may own this, not sure where if I do. Barely started on pg. 4 (Walker)
Is There a Place on Earth For Me? by Susan Sheehan: A book about schizophrenia. I found Mark Vonnegut’s “The Eden Express” very hard to read, and I expect this will be too. Was recommended on Goodreads so I got it through Minerva. (Patten Free Library, Bath, Maine) This book is well loved, have not started it yet.
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins: I have been interested in Mr. Dawkins for a while, couldn’t get going on “The God Particle”. Not started yet. (Walker)
Bookcrossing pickup/World Book Day:
Was given “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss at work from a bookcrosser, here is my entry for it: Was handed this book directly at work. Just read the first page so far. I do love the opening: “When they write my obituary. Tomorrow. Or the next day. It will say, LEO GURSKY IS SURVIVED BY ANY APARTMENT FULL OF SHIT.
Jimmy Corrigan or The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware: I have a full post on Chris Ware and this is considered his seminal book. About a third of the way through, I know there are much, much smarter kids, I am not sure there are many sadder kids. ***1/2 (4 GR) (Rice PL)
Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines: Crazy that this whole monster of a graphic novel is available complete online. There is no way I could read it that way. But it’s definitely wicked cool. The #1 book on GoodOkBad.com , I think that Seth Hahne likes this book more than I do so far, but it makes you think a lot about the relationship between animals and man. Right now ***1/2 (4 GR) but could easily go up. I think I may end up having a post on this one. pg. 266 of 390 (Lithgow Library, Augusta, ME)
The Essential Rumi: pg 54 of 310. Amazing that poetry written by the 13th Century mystic Jelalludin Rumi feels so modern, I give a lot of credit to the translator Coleman Barks. Something I am looking forward to reading more of in the next few weeks, a few poems at a time. *** (4 GR)
Read lots of bits and pieces of books on Kindle this week:
The City Game: Basketball from the Garden to the Playgrounds by Pete Axthelm: Very high average on Amazon.com and definitely worth 2 bucks for any basketball fans about NYC, streetball and the Knicks especially the 1969-1970 championship team. Good stuff. *** (4 GR)
The Greenhouse by Audur Ava Olafsdottir: I will admit the name makes me think of one of my favorite movies “The Player”. Excellent story about a young man who is a gardener going from Iceland to a famous garden at a monestary with some rare roses. Amazing that got for only .99 when Kindle was running a sale on their translation line on Sunday, April 15th. ***1/2 (4 GR)
The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux: Only a little bit in so far, beautiful language. When I think of “The Mosquito Coast” I think of one of Harrison Ford’s great performances. It was great, but incredibly mean and a tough film to watch. The movie gets **1/2, the book seems like potentially **** but too early to tell.
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis: A free classic on Kindle only like 2% in but seems like much better than “The Jungle” which I read and liked in high school. I know my classmate Conrad Saam worked with Sinclair Lewis in I think AP English (or maybe junior year) and I think Babbitt was his favorite may have to ask him. Funny that I confuse Upton Sinclair “The Jungle”, with Sinclair Lewis, they are entirely different.
Wool Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey: Get a feeling I will end up finishing this at Rites of Spring for some reason. Hugh Howey is one of my favorite authors of 2012. **** (5 GR) in Wool 4 right now, and about halfway through the omnibus.
Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine… Had the free edition for a while and read through the reviews and such and decided to subcribe on Kindle.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall: Really good stuff, too bad the Terahuna got with the wrong guy. Love the idea about how man was built to run, and needs to learn to run again with joy. I started this several months ago and think will be finished this Spring, I read non-fiction much, much slower. ***1/2 (4 GR) 37%
A Moveable Feast: Several authors write stories about an adventure in food. Good stuff so far. *** (3 GR) 15%
Beethoven’s Shadow: Fascinating novella about the process in performing all of Beethoven’s sonatas. Very rich, even though it’s a novella it’s taking a long, long time to read. 57%
The Secret Piano: From Mao’s Labor Camps to Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Zhu Xiao-Mei: Fascinating tale of a pianist that came of age during the worst of Mao Zedung’s terror. Makes me realize that Mao is one of the top ten despots of the 20th Century. Extremism of any kind is a great, great vice and terrible, terrible things are done for “the cause.” Book is about to leave the time of anti-intellectualism to the time of labor camps. Beautiful book. **** (5 GR) 33%
That’s it for now and at a very, very short 1400 words plus, wow. This is easily my favorite blog post of the week, gives me a lot of perspective with my reading.