Thursday, April 30, 2015

Books Read in April

One of the strange things that has happened since I've gone back to working full time is that I still have time to read (at least as much) but less time to actually write.  Or maybe less time in the mental state most conducive to writing...
Anyway, April was a good month for reading:

  • The Joy of X, by Steven Strogatz - This is a collection of articles about mathematical concepts, pitched to aid the mathphobic.  I was hoping that this would be something along the quality level of 'The Disappearing Spoon' but I was disappointed.  Some of it was too simple, while other concepts were compressed to a point that I really didn't understand them.  A great idea, but not great execution.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand - A reread for me.  This is probably my very favorite play ever but it had been years since I last read it.  Cyrano is so, so beautiful!  Clever and courageous; only held back by his nose.  (I made the mistake of reading the last act while on a treadmill at the gym and I had to fight back tears.)
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus - Yes, more Camus for me. The Stranger is about a fairly normal (though possibly slow) man who murders someone almost on a whim.  The trial happens almost without his understanding.  Almost completely without his input.  A very interesting book but not as good as 'The Plague'.  Striking and well worth reading though.
  • Catcher in the Rye by Salinger - I never read this while young and perhaps I missed that window when it can be enjoyed.  I read the first half of the book and decided that I'd spent more than enough time with Caulfield.  If anyone wants to make the case that I should go back and read the second half, I'm willing to listen.
  • Delores Claiborne by Stephen King - A reread.  This story is told as a 300+ page monologue given from an older woman to the police after she is accused of a murder.  It's a fascinating story with that mixture of everyday observation and utterly horribleness that King does so well.
  • Some other this and that, including pieces of books like the last climatic 200 pages of Tom Clancy's 'Sum of All Fears'.
And then the short stories.  One of these days I'll sit down and figure out exactly where I should be as I certainly haven't stayed with any kind of strictly once a week rule.  In April I read:
The Calf by Sforim - good
Lady with a Lapdog by Chekov - very good
Texts by Leguin - haunting
The Flowers by Walker - very good

I continue to be very happy with this little side project and I mean to continue it again at least next year.

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