“I believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States. I’m just not sure if he’s willing to admit that to the rest of the world.” ~~ Dennis Miller
Currently/Just Finished Reading:
Less Than Zero (Brett Easton Ellis). Truly one of the most disturbingly depressing books I’ve ever read. Young adult children of movie producers and actresses with far too much money, too much time on their hands and absolutely no purpose or direction in life. They play with fast cars and even faster drugs. The entire length of the book I kept begging the lead character (or somebody) to Wake Up! Look what you’re doing to yourself! Maybe a book of this sort should be mandatory reading for high school kids.
Memories of My Melancholy Whores (Gabriel Garcia Marquez). A splendid tale of the sordid dark alleys in the hearts of men. A tale that ought to be disturbing, yet it’s told in a manner that disarms, calling for reflection more so than judgment.
The Star Fraction (Ken Macleod). Finally some science fiction worth reading. I believe I’ve found my new favorite Sci-Fi writer in Macleod. His story moves along effortlessly with a newness and freshness that is enjoyable. It seems his world is a political hodge-podge and that should be fun to sort through.
Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides). An astonishing story for its detail, scope, and subject matter. Eugenides spent I don’t know how many years writing this story of an immigrant Greek family growing up in Michigan from the 1920’s through to the modern day, but it belies an exactitude and reality as if Eugenides had truly lived through each of the events. It’s a masterful tale. Middlesex is repleat with everything from brothers and sisters getting married to the race-riots in Detroit to a hermaphodite as the central character. The book may puzzle you and disturb you, but it won’t leave you bored.
Lullabies For Little Criminals (Heather O’Neill). I happened upon this book while browsing the shelves at the library. I found a gifted young writer in O’Neill. Sitting down for a few minutes before bed to begin the novel, I found myself a couple hours later, one hundred pages in. I simply couldn’t stop reading.
Belinda (Anne Rice). A fun romp with some splendid Rice insights along the way.
Orpheus Emerged (Jack Kerouac). I’ve read now three different novels by Kerouac, and though it’s literary blasphemy, I can’t say that I’m a big fan of his writing style. Perhaps it’s the era in which he wrote, perhaps it’s my own dull wits.
Guns, Germs, and Steel (Jared Diamond). An interesting explanation at how societies emerged and evolved into our modern day politcal hierarchy, but the UCLA scholar leaves out one major point that to me is glaringly absent throughout the book. He never talks about ideology/religion/belief. Certainly, it seems to me, the history of ideas (intellectual history) and the rise and fall of religious ideas in the various regions of the world has a lot to say about the hows and whys of those societies. For example, the Western world would not be what it is today without the influence and spread of Christianity, just as the East would not be what it is today without the Islamic influence.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer.