Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Light Blogging, Heavy Reading

So, I haven't been blogging quite regular-like, except for the occasional announcement, and it is probably time for one of those "Why haven't I been blogging" posts that seem to prop up from time to time.

Well, I'm busy. Very busy.

Between my imminent wedding, trying to locate better housing, and my attempts to write, read, etc. I have been preoccupied with things-not-blogging.

But, I would like to take a moment to mention a few books I've read recently that I thought were the Bees' Knees.




Ralph Ellison is a hard writer to ignore, and his subject matter is the sort of stuff that takes on new resonance considering recent news from standing-ground in Florida. I particularly enjoyed the Bingo story. Standing on the cusp, like that, is something that I get, and I thought it was a well-done story of hope in an otherwise bleak, hard world.


"The Last Worders" is one of my favorite short stories, and I loved this collection. Much of it is not easy reading, in that it will involve a lot of pain and misery and human suffering ('The Pelican Bar' left me queasy, right from the get-go) but the material here is strong and powerful and Small Beer Press knows how to pick 'em.


This is an explode-y book, for people that like their serious environmental content wrapped in action and adventure. I found it hard to take the book too seriously, honestly, even when it wanted me to do it, but that's not a bad thing. It was a light, fast, fun thing that could be a fine diversion on a rainy afternoon.


My second Philip Roth novel, and an enjoyable one, though I have yet to see what the big deal about Philip Roth is, when his work, to me, with the two things I've read, is very good, but not mindblowing. In this case, the alternate history of America if Charles Lindbergh, an anti-Semite, became President just before World War II, and prevented the USA from going to war. Instead, we ally with Nazi Germany. It feels hard to believe considering the weight of literature that obsesses and mythologizes and extols upon that difficult time in the world, but it wasn't so hard to believe, really, once it got going. It wasn't such a stretch to think folks who would place Japanese-Americans in interment camps might also place Jewish-Americans into them, or strive to do so. It is an interesting thought experiment, and solid, well-researched work of alternate history. Regardless, I enjoyed it enough to recommend it, here.

Anyway, that's recent things I've been reading in between all the hectic things in my life, at the moment. (I've read a few other things, but I didn't like them enough to plug them, here.)

Anyone read anything good, lately?

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