I’m STILL getting a lot of reading done. And tomorrow I get to pick up my glazed stuff at the pottery studio. Yay. Still no word on my most recent interview.

Book

Author

Genre

Status

Notes

The Book of Ruth

Jane Hamilton

Fiction

Finished

A version of that old story: resilient young woman rises above poverty and suffering to find dignity and meaning. Blah blah. She shouldn’t have married a known psycho, if you ask me.

Snow Crash

Neal Stevenson

Science Fiction

Finished

As with most Sci-Fi, the set-up takes a really long time. But after 60 pages I got sucked in. Awesome! A computer virus that infects your brain! This guy apparently invented 3-d virtual reality and avatars in 1992

This Boy’s Life

Tobias Wolff

Memoir

Finished

“This sepulchral atmosphere owed a lot ot the presence of Mrs. Taylor herself. She was a tall, stooped woman with deep-set eyes. She sat in her living room all day long and chain-smoked cigarettes and stared out the picture window with an air of unutterable sadness, as if she knew things beyond mortal bearing. Sometimes she would call Taylor over and wrap her long arms around him, then close her eyes and hoarsely whisper, ‘Terence! Terence!’ Eyes still closed, she would turn her head and resolutely push him away.”

Going Back to Bisbee

Richard Shelton

Creative Nonfiction

70%

Now this is a good book about Arizona desert. Cacti, squirrel invasions, water, natives, miners, cowboys, ranchers, shysters, mexicans, mormons, railroads, and unfortunate attempts at “southwestern” Christmas trees. “I have never been injured by an animal in the desert and have been bitten by only one snake– it was in my own kitchen and completely my fault–but I have been attacked and injured by thousands of plants.”

Paradise Lost

John Milton

Poetry

Into Book 5 (slowly but surely!)

Satan’s unheard words to Adam and Eve: “Live while ye may,/Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return,/ Short pleasures; for long woes are to succeed.” MWA HA HA HAH (I added the evil laugh for effect)

The Oldest Map with the Name America

Lucia Perillo

Poetry

Finished

Many of her poems are better than mine, but there is something familiar about them. An idiom, a mode, a vocabulary, an approach. She goes on the shelf of “poets to learn from.”

Scar Tissue

Charles Wright

Poetry

25% complete

One of the modern kings of philosophical nature poetry.”Swallows are flying grief-circles over their featherless young.”

Not-Knowing

Donald Barthelme

Essays and Interviews

20% complete

Barthelme’s short story, “The School,” is one of my all-time favorites Here he discusses his philosphy of writing in a witty, at times disingenuous, yet still compelling manner. Take this opening: “Let us suppose that someone is writing a story. From the world of conventional signs he takes an azalea bush, plants it in a pleasant park. He takes a gold pocket watch from the world of conventional signs and places it under the azalea bush. … What happens next? Of course, I don’t know. It’s appropriate to pause and say that a writer is one who, embarking upon a task, does not know what to do.”

Wealth, Riches and Money: God’s Biblical Principles of Finance

Craig Hill and Earl Pitts

Self Help

40%– that’s as far as I could get.

Could not get through this book. The principles are likely sound, though anytime someone draws a complicated diagram and says that it expresses the REAL truth of scripture that no one else has yet hit upon, I get suspicious. I just can’t relate to self-help books. The capitalization and bold facing of important vocabulary words; the little charts with arrows; the constant repetition of self-evident observations. It’s the reading equivalent of eating stale Mike and Ikes all day long.

The New Testament and Criticism

G.E. Ladd

Theology, Criticism

25%

Not the book by him I wanted to read (the other was lost at the library), but interesting and engaging. He discusses the intersection between God’s Word and its human writers, very sensibly.

Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little

E.B. White

Children’s Fiction

Finished

It’s been awhile since I visited these classics. I didn’t cry when Charlotte died this time, but I did get a few more of the jokes in Stuart Little. Ah, E.B. White! A treasure.