Tuesday, March 03, 2009

the latest

Since I perforated my eardrum and the kids and I got the flu, I've done a lot of reading. A lot. Half of it was recommended here, so I don't need to go into it, except to say that:

* I loved The Hunger Games
* I'm on the fourth Percy Jackson book
* Hattie Big Sky reminded me of a book I love called Tisha, about a woman who goes out into the Alaskan wilderness and faces the same kind of harsh weather and racism, etc. I don't know if it's still in print but it's by Robert Specht. It's good.

I read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch for book club. I was the only one who thought it was just okay. Perhaps I'm the arrogant one, but it seems to me that anyone can write an anecdotal, this-is-what's-important-before-I-die type of legacy. He has some funny stories and good advice, but maybe the fact that he was way too into his career is what turned me off. He was a really accomplished guy with a positive attitude and I've heard that if you actually watch his "last lecture" online that he comes across as much more human and likable.

Since reading all the Jane Austen novels and watching lots of Jane Austen movies, including Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway, I decided to check out some Jane Austen biographies. Jane Austen by Carol Shields, at less than 200 pages, is highly readable. She offers valuable insight as an author of fiction herself.

I'm reading another Austen biography (all with the same title; I tell you, there's no creativity here) by Claire Tomalin which is longer and more tedious but apparently the new authority, so we'll see.

When I was still searching for something to read I found a book called The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, about a brilliant mathematician whose short-term memory only lasts for 80 minutes because of an accident. He's obsessed with math, the beauty of numbers, etc. The housekeeper has a son who forms a special relationship with the professor. I found it pretty boring. Probably there's something I'm not getting.

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