The bookstores up here have been having some crazy sales lately. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been forced to buy more books. Here’s what I’ll be adding to my reading queue:
- No Logo – Naomi Klein ($12)
- The Code Book – Simon Singh ($12)
- Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson ($4!!)
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon ($19)
Received today from Chapters.ca (a cheaper alternative to Amazon.com for Canadians):
- Traveling Mercies – Anne Lamott (heard lots of good things about this book)
- Swing Low – Miriam Toews (discovered this Canadian writer through Open Letters, where she wrote for a while as “X”)
I have a lot of reading to do. In addition to these books, I’m reading:
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – Dee Brown
which has been incredible so far (incredibly sad, too). Next up, even before my newest purchases, is:
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers (Brooke bought it as an anniversary gift for me)
Plus, I want to re-read The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. It’s hard reading books when I read so many magazines (5-6 a month), plus all the reading I do on-line. I worry that my attention span (as well as everyone else’s) has atrophied beyond rescue due to the web and television. We get our information so many more ways now. But I miss having the time to curl up with a good book. And there are still so many of them!
El Lissitzky (1890-1941) created fascinating book designs during his lifetime, and worked with Chagall and Malevich. The Getty Museum has a fine online exhibit with lots of images of his work, including my favourite, his design for the book “For the Voice,” poems by Vladimir Mayakovsky, who was another fascinating individual. Try to track down his poem, “A Cloud in Trousers.”
I’ve been reading Open Letters for the past few weeks and I’m really enjoying the writing. Short personal pieces, all fascinating. People are just so interesting. And the site has a novel approach to content. You can read each daily update online, and/or they’ll put them all together in a PDF and email it to you every Sunday. Then you can print the stories out and read them like a real magazine. It’s so obvious, but very cool. I wish Salon would do something like that, although they’re already too big.
I guess I’ll go ahead and link to the Dave Eggers’ interview with The Harvard Advocate just like everyone else has. I’m still waiting to read his book, but I’m really looking forward to it. I just finished Chuck Palahniuk’s Survivor and it was really fascinating, a great satirical novel about consumerism, fame, and packaged “religion.” It did remind me a bit of Paul Theroux’s Millroy the Magician, though. Next, I’m on to Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Small trivia item here. My girlfriend Brooke talked to Malcolm on the phone at The New Yorker for a story she was doing for the Ryerson Review of Journalism last year. He’s from Canada, you know…