Reading List

overweight sensationI have a terrible habit of reading more than one — and often many — books at the same time.

I often don’t finish books as a result, and I’m OK with that. It doesn’t even mean that I don’t like the book. Sometimes enough is enough, or time has run out, or it was good for a while and then it petered out. More often it has nothing to do with whether or not the book is a compelling read, but I simply got distracted and wound up reading something else, or too many other books.

Sometimes I go back to a book two, three, even four times, because I think I will like it and want to finish it. Sometimes it just never happens and I don’t know why: that’s been the case with Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex and with Life of Pi. I have a feeling I’d really like those books, but I always get bogged down somehow and then I bail. Same goes with Michael Chabon’s latest, Telegraph Avenue, which on the face of it I should love – it’s about music and a record store, after all – plus I’ve really liked most or all of his previous novels, but I just found it impossible to continue beyond 75 pages or so. I’m sure I’ll try again someday, and I will probably like it.

And the same thing happened with the recent Zadie Smith novel. I love Zadie Smith. She’s one of my favorite writers – fiction and non-fiction. White Teeth was simply brilliant, and I liked The Autograph Man a lot more than most critics did (On Beauty, too). But NW: A Novel stopped me dead in my tracks.

Anyway, this is not what I set out to write about. I simply wanted to note what’s on my bedside table or on my desk or open on my Kindle as of today. Many of these books I’m reading for work – that also is why I often read more than one book at a time, and often reading for work pre-empts reading for pleasure.  Although that really isn’t a fair distinction, because fortunately the books I read for work are almost always also for pleasure, in that I write about things I’m interested in, and rarely about things I’m not.

What I am currently reading:

Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired–and Secretive–Company Really Works by Adam Lashinsky

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky

Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman by Mark Cohen

Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students by Eddie Stern and others

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories by Etgar Keret

The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s by Peter Doggett

The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach

Carp Fishing on Valium by Graham Parker

Canada by Richard Ford

 

What’s on your current reading list?

 

 

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