Last half of “Bleeding Edge” by Thomas Pynchon 01/06/2023 – Done – enjoyable.
Checked out “Rising : dispatches from the new American shore” by Elizabeth Rush from the library – good account the present impact of rising seas on a few areas in the world and a cautionary tale about the future. She’s an excellent writer, enjoyed it very much.
Started “White Noise” by Don DeLillo 01/06/2023 – WIP – no affinity with characters so far. Later – I powered on and he pulled it all together. I can’t believe this is my first DeLillo.
Checked out “American Midnight” by Adam Hochschild from the library, 01/02/2023 – not sure I’ll finish it, too depressing. About the years 1917-1920 and the American right-wing vigilantes. I’m currently correcting Press Democrat newspapers on CNDC from 1919 and reading the accounts in the press which are very sanitized but with a huge anti-RED bias against I.W.W. and union radicals. It is easy enough to read between the lines, the American Legion seems to be one of the more hostile groups.
Started “Slow Learner” by Thomas Pynchon. Found a Reade Moore book marker in it along with a dedication from 1984. Reading the introduction, interesting to see what he considers influences in 1982, mentions Herbert Gold.
03/14/2023 – I’m adding some titles I’ve read since the above comments, with some notes:
Jan 11, 2023 -Anytime I need a break from reality, there is T. Prachett lurking on Hoopla beckoning me, “escape, escape …”
Right now, The Reaper Man, as a neighbor lady passed away two nights ago, fitting, no?
Feb 3, 2023 – Just finished Philip Hoare’s “Albert and the Whale” , a non-fiction about Albrecht Dürer and his impact on art and literature. I like this kind of non-fiction, a blend of personal reminiscences tied to stories from a life like Dürer’s, much of which Hoare builds from the scant record left behind. He also weaves in Dürer’s impact on various artists and authors over time with a focus on Thomas Mann and his circle of deviants, of which I was unaware. A very naughty group which makes the reading even more fun.
A nice break from the dreary, recommended for the art alone.
Feb 14, 2023 – Checked out “Coal wars : the future of energy and the fate of the planet” by Richard Martin to try to fill in some gaps in my knowledge about how coal declined. I suspect we’re going to see something similar to this in the coming years as the other fossil fuel (oil and NG) decline. If so, we have a large bill coming due as we haven’t even started to pay for the damage coal has done in the last century, and we have some enormous liabilities in the petrol infrastructure.
It was a good read, he has a good style I found engaging and the stories he dug up were interesting from a societal perspective. Not saying that there aren’t some difficult passages, but worth the pain to know what’s coming.
I tried reading William T. Vollmann’s “No Immediate Danger” but returned it to the library unfinished. I couldn’t get his POV, he seemed to be weaving his narrative between some guy who died in the future with his investigations into the state of the climate crisis today. Some good bits, but too much about other bits. Others may find it compelling, who knows?
Feb 20, 2023 – I’m reading “Something deeply hidden : quantum worlds and the emergence of spacetime” by Sean Carroll and am at the end of chapter 2 where he is finishing up on “austere” QM and states that the rest of the book is about the Everett/Many-worlds theory. I made it through the first two sections and dropped out after that. Many-worlds doesn’t make sense to me.
Feb 26, 2023 – I re-read “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller Jr. a while back. I had fond memories of this book from my youth. It held up well and Miller’s writing was as good as I recalled. Lots of details I forgot and I’d recommend it for any post-apocalypse reader, a 1961 Hugo Award winner.
03/12/2023 – Non-fiction selection – I picked up “How Markets Fail” by John Cassidy (2021) last week at the library. I was searching the stacks for some dope on Keynes and came across it. Very good narrative and, AFAIK, a good primer on the evolution of economic theory. A bit strange to be reading towards the end about the Great Recession 2007-2009 and also seeing the dominoes fall with the SVB failure. Cassidy is staunchly Keynesian, but he tells the Chicago school/Greenspan/Freidman libertarian side of the argument with rigor all the way to the end. He titled one chapter “Greenspan Shrugs” which I thought was clever. This edition contained a new introduction and an updated conclusion.
Side note: I’m NOT panicking or anything, but I’ve not been able to get through to anyone at my bank this morning o_O (just kidding.)
Going to shift gears back to Pynchon, and start in on “Against the day” and see where I get. (Finished it. – Good romp!)
In another forum I mentioned that some of the tidying up/self help books state that you will never re-read those books on your shelves. It is time to try to decide what to do with these old friends. I think Roberto Colasso will be going to the used book store soon, I’ve reread a few of those, “KA” and “the Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony” at least.
There are other reviews under the What I Read category.