02 December 2011

...will you read my book?

While I could write about my dislike of social media and my pleasure in beating that game rather than playing it, or why Feedburner is driving me bonkers (why would you purchase a service and then just leave it to rot? No support, and if the damn thing's broken, which it is, again, the only thing you can do is taunt Feedburner on Twitter. Yeah, guilty) or why I refuse to buy anything from Talbots anymore, all that is so negative.

So, let's talk books.

At the moment, I'm reading Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, which is very Murakami, meaning it's quite different. Then again, I read a lot of contemporary Japanese novels, so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm in for. So far, I'm engaged. (For what it's worth, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles is one of my favorite books in any language.)

Prior to taking on that tome (almost 1,000 pages), I read Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending, which is just wickedly written. And amazingly short. That isn't to say it's too short, because it's really quite perfect. But this is one of those cases where the writing and structure is all. Without the power of his words, Barnes' story would be just another mundane account of a mundane life.

Before that, it was Margaret Atwood's frighteningly gleeful romp through a horrifying dystopia, Oryx and Crake. Maybe it's because I follow Atwood on Twitter and see her often mischievous and funny commentary there, but the black humor of this story seemed much in evidence to me. ChickieNobs...for crying out loud. These days, it's rare for me to find a book that I don't want to put down, but this one was so addictive that I launched straight into its companion, The Year of the Flood, as soon as I finished. It's accurate to say that I enjoyed the second book as well, though it feels strange to use "enjoy" in the context of a story that features sweet-looking canines called wolvogs that lure you in with their excited waggy tails and then eat you. I hope the third book materializes.

(I was a bit surprised to realize that I've been reading Atwood for more than 20 years, starting with The Edible Woman when I was in college.)

And because I'm suddenly overwhelmingly tired, that's it for this edition of "What's on my Nightstand."

Good night.

Go listen to some music: "Paperback Writer" by The Beatles.

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