Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Current Reading List

I'm the kind of person that reads several books at the same time. It hovers around 5, but typically sticks around 3 when I'm busy. Right now, this is a list of the things I currently find myself in the middle of finishing and some initial impressions.

This has been a fairly interesting read. Rather than approach rap purely from its historical origins, Bradley and DuBois break down the lyricism into its poetic parts. This reads more like a treatise on how rap is poetry (it is) rather than a simple listing of classic song lyrics laid out on the page. I haven't gotten terribly far into it, but the introduction and foreword are terribly interesting reads.

I bought up a ton of Barthelme's writing two years ago and found myself too busy at the time to really get into it. Reading his works is no easy task. He is complicated, confusing, and often frustrating. The man wrote according to his own brand of storytelling and to be honest with you, I find myself scratching my head at most of his passages, especially in "The Dead Father."

A classic of classics. A bumbling old man who fancies himself a knight of the Spanish countryside with his sidekick Pancho, a punching bag of a realist who seems to be along for the ride just to make sure the old man doesn't hurt himself. If you ever wondered where the phrase "tilting at windmills" comes from, read this book and you'll understand.

This was one of those drunken City Lights purchases so many moons ago with Surya. I've just recently cracked it open (it's some 600+ pages) and while the prose is good, Adrian seems to want to overpower the reader with long passages of background on every character. While interesting, most of them are unnecessary and have forced me to put the book down more often than I'd like. Partly told from the perspective of an angel and part from the perspective of a nurse in the hospital, this is a Noah's Ark-esque story set in modern times.

The 8th book in a set of 13, these kids books are pretty entertaining. Snicket (aka, Daniel Handler) uses everyday adult aphorisms and then explains them in ridiculous terms so that kids can understand their meaning. While each book is somewhat formulaic, the series has been pretty entertaining and definitely shows a great imagination on the part of Handler, most notably in his final messages to his editors at the end of each book. These preface the next story in the series in strange and often hilarious ways.

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