Thursday, September 14, 2006

From My Bookshelf: Recent (and Current) Reads

Sometimes it seems I spend so much of my reading time "working"--reading books in order to review them--that I'm not reading much for "fun" (which isn't to say that writing reviews isn't fun!). Luckily, I've had the pleasure of reading two excellent "non-assigned" novels within the past couple of weeks: Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children (I wanted to read it before going to hear Messud read last night at the Harvard Book Store--a terrific event), and Ken Kalfus's A Disorder Peculiar To This Country.

Right now I'm in the middle of two other books: Mavis Gallant's Paris Stories, which I should have read a long time ago (I'm quite serious about that--in my family we often inscribe the books we give one another and judging from what's written inside this one it seems that my sister and brother-in-law gave it to me way back in December 2002), and Adam Harmon's Lonely Soldier, a memoir of an American-born man's experience serving in the Israeli army. (The title alludes to the Hebrew term, chayal boded ["lone soldier"], referring to someone without family in Israel. I just learned that reading two nights ago.)

What are other practicing writers reading these days?


emilydixieson said...

RUNNUNG WITH SCISSORS: It's hard to shock me, but I've read with one hand over my open mouth while waiting on 1. the dr. 2. my next student; even in my own home -- funny, completely offbeat, well-written. I can see Ms Benning getting an Oscar in the upcoming movie!

grackyfrogg said...

i am a little behind in my reading too, i think. at least, the books i've read most recently have been out for quite awhile: lying awake by mark salzman, and kissing in manhattan by david schickler. i loved salzman's exploration of faith that comes up hard against unsympathetic reality. and schickler's stories remind me a little of shirley jackson's wickedly black humor, only even blacker and wickeder at times.

now i am reading the house of sand and fog. (gah, talk about behind!!!)

i am also making my way through migration by w.s. merwin. wow... i've never before been much for reading poetry, but i am loving his work.