Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

17 April, 2008

Me? I've been reading

Just to fill you in on what I've been doing... well, a lot of reading (thanks to the hefty gift cards to Powells). I've lately gone through Tom Robbins' Villa Incognito. Honestly, it feels like Robbins writes from a template: Seattle and other more exotic locales, mysticism, prodigious acts of sexual congress with a bent towards kink, drugs, and a caper. Which isn't to say that it's not an enjoyable read - it most certainly is, but it didn't ring my bell like Still Life with Woodpecker or even Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates did. I wouldn't call it a must-read, but it's a nice find at a used bookstore.

Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down, on the other hand, rocked my proverbial socks. The story, driven by the conceit of suicide, is pretty implausible, true, but this was so fun to read (yes, it's about depressed, suicidal people), I was willing to take the leap. The novel moves from one absurd situation to the next, but the characters are each so sweetly compelling in a really miserable kind of way that you genuinely care how the situation is resolved, even if the resolution isn't necessarily pleasant. This is a funny novel for and about sad people.

As for right now, I'm busying myself in a very nerdy kind of way with Hugh Thomas' massive history, The Spanish Civil War. It's been a long time since I picked up a political/military history book, and this one is especially satisfying, given Thomas' strong narrative gifts.

Next up? The Cold Six Thousand and a ginormous political biography by Isaac Deutscher.

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