some books i've read that i felt like commenting on at some point
i've read nearly everything of his that has been published in the u.s.
he is poignant and surreal and introspective and absurd... he writes
about alienation and the mystery of human emotions and searching
for meaning and sheep in life. (among other things.) just the sort
of stuff i would like.
possession, a. s. byatt.
this is one of those works of fiction that
will remind you how much more than mere diversion fiction can be.
there will be more byatt in my future.
the alphabet versus the goddess: the conflict between word and image,
i haven't read anything else from shlain, but he seems to be generally
regarded in educated circles as just a dilettante hack. this book talks
about his theory that the rise of alphabetic literacy (and the way this
leftbrain activity affects human cognition) was responsible for a decline
in "feminine" values (by which he means holistic rightbrain image-driven
modes of thinking). i found the book interesting and entertaining to
read. interesting because some of his ideas are in fact fascinating to
think about, and because i learned quite a bit of history and mythology.
entertaining because shlain does come across as a bit of a hack, and you
can't really take him seriously. some of his arguments are just plain
hilarious. i would definitely recommend this book as a good read on
condition that it must be taken with a liberal dose of salt.
tales of the city series, armistead maupin.
this series of books first appeared as a serial in the san francisco
chronicle. it's an insightful and wellwritten look at life in
san francisco from the late 70s through the 80s. it also is said to
be the first fiction anywhere to deal with the AIDS crisis. the series
consists of two trilogies, the first of which is just good plain fun
and reflects the general tenor of the 70s, and the second of which is
post-AIDS and is therefore rather more serious in tone. i think anyone
who lives in the bay area should have read these books, and anyone who
likes to read about the human experience in vignette form with really
memoirs of a geisha, arthur golden.
this is an historical novel set as a memoir of a kyota geisha who
worked in gion from the 30s. a captivating tale with great attention
to historical detail.
the fountainhead, ayn rand.
some people actually told me i shouldn't read ayn rand because they knew
people who'd been seriously fucked up by reading it and taking her philosophy
to heart. i thought i was probably mature enough to handle it...
i find her interesting to read because of my own internal struggle
between the bleeding heart liberal side of me and the cynical elitist side.
margaret atwood, cat's eye, the handmaid's tale.
i also have some newer stuff of hers waiting to be read. her prose is
really beautiful and moving...
Last modified on $Date: 2005-05-15 01:39:26-07 $.