Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Books Read in March

It feels like I read a ton this month but looking back, I'm not so sure if that's true.  Let me write down what I can remember and see if that jogs any further memory.

  • The Drawing of the Dark, by Tim Powers - This is a reread for me.  Historical fantasy/fiction that takes place during the siege of Vienna.  A wonderful book that connects a number of dispersed European mythic figures.  The 'dark' in the title refers to some very special beer.
  • The Cave and the Light, by Arthur Herman - Not the first time I mentioned it and probably not the last time I'll refer to it.  This was simply a great book for organizing various philosophical schools of thought.  The idea behind it is that western philosophy can be seen as a very long argument between Plato and Aristotle.  Highly recommended.
  • The Plague by Albert Camus - A plague hits the town of Oran and the entire town is quarantined.  Camus uses the closed of town as a metaphor for life.  Every one is trapped there with the constant threat of life.  How do they handle it?  Who do they blame for it?  Very good book.
  • The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford - This is a long first person account and it gave me trouble.  There wasn't quite enough plot or dialogue to hold on to me.  This is supposed to be a very good novel but I came away disappointed.  (This could be the era.  It reminded me of Henry James' 'Portrait of a Lady', which I also didn't like.)
And the short stories.  I made up some ground from last month.  I think I'm ahead by some amount.

Black is My Favorite Color by Malamud - very sad
Ancestor Money by McHugh - good
The Mad Talmudist by Peretz - interesting
The Fluted Girl by Backgalupi - very good
The Wife by Singh - good
Why I Became a Plumber by Maitland - lovely
Signs and Symbols by Nabakov - interesting

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