What I’m Reading

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I’m afraid I’m on a diverse reading schedule these days. It’s never: Read One Book Then Start Another. At last count, I think I was getting through about 10 short story collections/novels. I just have one story left in both Mary Gaitskill‘s new book “Don’t Cry” and in Daniyal MueenuddinIn Other Rooms, Other Wonders.” I blame this on the desire to keep one story left, so I can go back and savor something new.

I just finished Per Petterson’s “Out Stealing Horses,” which I found a quiet, rich novel, but not one that I will rank as one of my favorites. I’ve just started “In the Devil’s Territory” by Kyle Minor, and also just started Marisha Pessl’s “Special Topics In Calamity Physics.”

Some of these novels are older, as you’ve noticed, but I’ve been playing catchup the last couple of months. By trying to stay up on all the latest short story collections, I fall behind on novels.

As far as literary journals, I’m reading the latest issues (Fall 2008) of “Epoch,” from Cornell University, (only $5 at B&N, if you’re interested). Also, I’m reading the fiction in “The Los Angeles Review” and “Connecticut Review,” both of which contain a story of my own. “Tampa Review” supposedly published a story of mine recently, but I haven’t received a copy, so I can’t say for sure.

I’m two hundred pages into Vikram Chandra’s “Sacred Games.” It’s good so far, but not riveting. I’ll read a thousand pages for Bolano and Pynchon, but not sure I’ll finish all of this one.

For a book club I belong to, I just read “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” It took less than an hour. Although I respect Bauby’s tenacity to write a whole book through blinking, I didn’t find it well written. Each sentence seems disjointed, the working of a mind a day or two separate from the last sentence. It’s inspiring, just not literature. The concept is better than the execution. And the movie is better than the book.

So. I think this scattered reading might be a sign that my internet reading habits have spilled over to print. Or that I’m just losing the ability to finish things. Either way, I have variety down, even if I don’t have a good handle on completion.

Photo Credit: CMYK Magazine

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