Saturday, July 19, 2008

Further adventures in procrastination

Yes, OCI bids are due soon. Why do you ask?

Let's catch up on all the reading that I've been able to indulge in this summer.

Reading Lolita in Tehran was surprisingly poignant toward the end. I'd gotten a little tired of Nafisi's comparative literature essay style of writing earlier in the book, but once she got more into her own struggles with the Revolution and her students' lives, I liked the book a lot more. Also, she revived my interest in classic American literature. At this moment, there's a copy of The Great Gatsby on my nightstand.

I picked up this copy of Amsterdam on a book buying spree, and I read it in a day. Despite the fact that you can see the ending coming from a mile away, it was an enjoyable read. Though I think I expected something with more gravitas; instead, it was a little bit... pulpy.

I also finished reading The United States of Arugula, which was really fun and informational. Though I've already been guilty of bringing it up at parties three times. I'm going to stop that now. Still, read it for everything you wanted to but didn't know about how gourmet cuisine began in America and who the hell James Beard is.

And finally, there is Phyllida and the Brotherhood of the Philander. It's a bisexual Regency romance, and really, do I need to say more than that? There were more explicit sex scenes than I expected, but when is that ever a bad thing?

I'm now almost done with Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans, which is beautiful so far. The protagonist shares a quality with other Ishiguro narrators in that he tends to re-write his own history, to overlook (or willfully disregard) what's right in front of him, and to fail in love. But I haven't gotten to the end yet, so maybe it won't be as heartbreaking as his other books. I'll let you know.

In addition to reading, I've also been catching up on Almodovar's back catalog. Between that and a recent trip to the El Greco to Velazquez exhibit at the MFA, I really really want to go to Spain this winter. Oh, those lovely lispy esses.


nicole busse said...

i just finished "when we were orphans," too! i liked it very much, although i do find ishiguro's writing a bit slow in the beginning and it took me a strong attention span to stick with it. wait until you get to the ending.

as for explicit sex scenes, you should try reading "a sport and a pastime" by james salter. not only does it have those, but the writing is absolutely beautiful in its sparseness, and its set around rural france in the 60s and all about fleeting youth and the passage of time...very bittersweet.

nicole busse said...

*it's set...ooops