I tend to be a voracious reader, and I read widely. This list has its origins in an old signature file which I would update periodically with the current book that I was reading. That gradually transmogrified itself into the current massive archive with brief reviews.
|What I've been reading lately|
|Number of books read and reviewed each year|
|* Partial year|
[Finished 18 September 2013] A disturbing account of a consensual incestuous affair between a father and daughter. Harrison employs dissociative language in an attempt to diminish her own complicity with the affair, but the fact of the complicity is still hard to avoid.
[Finished 17 September 2013] Of all the criticism that Ive read this year, this has had the most lasting impact on my thinking. Sternbergs book is deservedly an important work in narrative theory and goes well beyond the topics suggested by the title. The chapter on omniscience was one of the best critical looks at the subject Ive seen.
[Finished 9 September 2013] Danticatt give a glimpse into life in rural Haiti in whats billed as a novel but is really a collection of linked short stories. The format works well for Danticatt with the opportunity to get insight into events of the preceding stories from the stories which follow.
[Finished 7 September 2013] Sadly superficial. I was hopig for a deeper sense of what was happening in the lives of the men profiled in this book, but we rarely get much beyond Heinleins surface perceptions.
[Finished 4 September 2013] The key word in the title here is ethics, a concept that Phelan at times abuses in his effort to create a coherent theme through his criticism here. There are some interesting thoughts on unreliability in the novel but not much to make it worthwhile.
[Finished 29 August 2013] I was looking forward to this after the lest Genette that I read, and this should have been a more satisfying read, yet I found it to be less interesting to me than FIgures of Literary Discourse. It did make me more eager to revisit Proust, though, and thats a worthwhile thing in itself.
[Finished 29 August 2013] An amazing technical feat. The whole book is a single conversation on a phone sex line. I can see this as a useful resource for some of my own writing which explores similar structural ideas (although very different topics).
[Finished 27 August 2013] A strange and bizarre book. The titular brothers gather in a library in a state of dilapidation and while at first it seems as if this will be some special gathering, its gradually revealed that they apparently all live together in a house gradually collapsing (the library is part of the house whose extent is unclear although its apparently large enough to house and feed the hundred brothers). Things devolve quickly into a state of chaos and remain there. I was not especially impressed.
[Finished 26 August 2013] At one of my MFA seminars, the lecturer presented a number of quotes from this book that made it seem like it might be interesting, so not knowing anything more than title and author and a vague recollection of some sentences, I requested it from the library. It ended up being a bit of a mixed bag. There were a few essays that I found beautifully written, a few where Gasss prejudices hindered my enjoyment of the work (and while it might be my own opposing prejudices at work, I believe his interjections did little to improve his argument).
[Finished 20 August 2013] The opening chapter and a half of the novel are brilliant, leaving the reader unmoored at each step of the way. I was almost hoping for a Calvino-esque story where each chapter left me starting over from the beginning with a new set of characters and situations. Instead, things devolve into a fairly straightforward narrative, very plot driven with not a whole lot to make it artistically interesting. I found the pushing of the themes of forgiveness and redemption in the story to be a bit heavy-handed in its execution.