Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Forgotten One

Just one more.

  • Vio Ettiore, The Basilica of St. Mark in Venice (Scala/Riverside, 1999). Beautiful. I'd love to visit Italy.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This Week: Newest Treats

So, though I have barely enough time to sleep at this point, I can't resist temptation. I couldn't find my keys to get into my office-please note that it is SATURDAY!--though I did later find them in the pocket to the suit I wore yesterday. Since I couldn't go to work, I decided to go shopping for books. I only went to two bookstores and I did some pretty good damage anyway. One of the bookstores was offering buy one, get one for free--I was like "Is it my birthday?!" Anyhow, here are my newest acquisitions:

  • Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart (Anchor, 2000). "Human character" is mentioned like ten times on the back of the book. Yummy.

  • Peters Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang: A Novel (Vintage, 2001). I do enjoy Irish humor.

  • Valerie Martin, Mary Reilly (Pocket, 1991). I don't recall being a huge fan of the movie, but I generally think movie adaptions of books suck.

  • John Lescroart, Sons of Holmes (NAL Trade, 2003). So the title Rasputin's Revenge caught my eye, but it was not the first in the series, so I picked up this one instead. We'll see.

  • Anonymous, Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics (Warner Bros. 1996). I believe that this one speaks for itself.

  • John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism; On Liberty; On Considerations on Representative Government; Remarks on Bentham's Philosophy. I know. I know. I'm a glutton for punishment. The thing is that, when I read excerpts from On Liberty, I really enjoyed them.

  • Camille Paglia, Sex, Art, and American Culture (Vintage, 1992). She's hilarious (not in a bad way).

  • Sylvia Nasar, Beautiful Mind (Simon & Schuster, 2001). Maybe I'll see the movie after I read the book.

  • Somerset Maugham, Collected Short Stories, V.4 (Penguin, 1978). I read The Appointment in Samarra when I was in high school. Maugham retold the story:

    There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to
    buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white
    and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace
    I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was
    Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture,
    now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid
    my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The
    merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his
    spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then
    the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

    What an interesting vignette. On its surface it's clearly about death, but isn't it also about how events are set in motion. Anyhow, I'm sure I'll like the collected stories.

  • Gaston Leroux, The Phantom Opera (Puffin Classics, 1994). Speaks for itself.

And now, I am off to bed. Good night and good reading.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

To My Friends

Congratulations to you-know-who for you-know-what!

(The truth is that all of my friends have interesting or wonderful things going on right now, and so the safest way to address everyone is the above maxim/salutation.)