Monday, July 16, 2012

My Life in Books Right Now

Oh hey, this is the part of the blog where I list the books I'm reading and try to tread the fine line between pretentiousness and asininery (and hey, sometimes you fail in the first sentence -- lawl, as the kids say these days) without boring both of you to death. Let's see how it goes, shall we?

Anyways. Books. Here's what I'm reading:

-The Seven Storey Mountain -- I'm supposed to be reading this with friends from school and I so totally am, but I don't know where my copy is right this second, so that's all I have to say about that.

-The Power and the Glory -- I can't even explain how good this book is. I don't want to write about it because I'm worried I'll jinx it, but it's too good not to talk about. I read it as a senior in high school and was absolutely stunned, and I'm happy (but not surprised) to say it stands up to re-reading (unlike some other books I read in high school.) Greene writes beautiful sentences, his story gets under your skin, his characters -- from the half-caste to the pious woman in the prison to the atheist 13-year-old to the whisky priest himself -- throb right off the page, and he's heavy-handed enough that you can't escape what he's saying (like that hate is a failure of imagination, or that tiny sins can be deadlier than huge ones, or that you can't outrun the devastating speed of the mercy of God) but so artful you can't get it out of your head.

-1Q84 -- I'm kind of on the fence about this one, but I can't stop reading it because it's insanely immersive; I can't remember the last time I got this wrapped up in a story, so Murakami must be doing something right. It's in translation, so some of the sentences are kind of clunky (I might start a feature called Ugly Sentences in Murakami, time will tell), but I've almost missed my stop on the subway multiple times because I've been so lost in it. Reading it is, honestly, therapeutic -- it makes me completely forget I'm in New York, which is impressive. And it's probably even worth the shoulder problems I'm getting from carrying it everywhere.

-The Sportswriter -- I started reading this because I left 1Q84 at the office over the weekend and needed something to read and couldn't find Power and the Glory. I'd almost forgotten how good Richard Ford is, which is a scary thought. He takes the boring life of a middle-aged divorcee living in a made-up town in New Jersey and makes it the most absorbing thing you can think of. He's crazy. Plus anyone with a head as big as his has to pump out good stuff.

And I'm always kind of perusing St. Bernard of Clairveaux's sermons on the Song of Songs because they are beautiful and I love them.

You know, this is kind of frustrating. I feel like I'm great at explaining why I hate books, but as soon as I find one I like, I turn into some sort of cotton-mouthed fangirl. Whatever, make of it what you will. I'll be reading Greene until I die, and you should too.


  1. I love Richard Ford so much. I think I've read The Sportswriter three times.

  2. I second Maria. Richard Ford is one of my favorite authors, and the Sportswriter is brilliant.

  3. Murakami also has some of the ugliest and most awkward sex scenes....