Book Survey

I have been delaying this post for a few days now as I tried to finish Clockers. The delay was so long, in fact, that I can no longer remember who tagged me. If I tag the person that tagged me, then don’t whine and answer it again – as I am sure some answers have changed.

Last Book BoughtThe Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld. I am not sure what I read to make me buy this, but I know I read something. It will either be too campy or there will be some brilliant insights. The author is a Constitutional law professor at Yale Law, so I suspect the latter. It is about a trip Freud and Jung make together to America (sounds campy) and then get involved in solving a murder (sounds doubly campy).

Book read more than onceOn Deconstruction by Jonathan Culler. And not just for graduate school. Despite being written in 1982 the book is still timely and accurate in its descriptions of movments in theory. The year I was working at Cornell I audited a class by him and I feel as many must feel towards Obama, a sense of being star-struck.

Book that changed the way I see the worldGeneology of Morals by Nietzche or East of Eden by Steinbeck. I like to think Steinbeck made me cynical and Nietzche gave me the intellectual ability to understand and expand my cynicism. I remember my first summer after college going on and on to some high school friends about Nietzche, also learning about how being smart can be an aphrodiasic for some women.

Fiction or nonfiction – Fiction, if only because good fiction has glimpses of theory and human nature within it, but good nonfiction need not have the same quality.

Beautiful writing or a gripping plot – Writing. A good writer will keep me entertained. Yet a bad writer will lose a compelling script. Sadly I think of myself as a capable plot developer and not an engaging writer.

Most memorable character – Mr Norrell from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Clarke did an outstanding job making this man capable in his trade and yet at the same time so overcome with insecurities that he was capable of self-destruction. It was a real treat making my way through this large tome.

Book on the nightstand – The above mentioned Rubenfeld book

Last book readClockers by Richard Price. I picked it up because so many other writers talk about it as a quality read and they were so right. I am not a fan of the police novels and while I cringe placing this book within that genre it was a treat to read.

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