Monday, October 26, 2009

Best And Then I Read These

I finished Ulysses back at the beginning of September and dove right into the rest of the literary world.

The first book I read was "Letter to His Children" by Teddy Roosevelt. The title of this one pretty much says it all. I don't know that I've ever encountered a more delightful book in all my days and if you only ever read one book by or about this president, I suggest you pick this one. The entire text is available online, that's pretty cool. See?

If anyone should have ever had a twitter, it was that Theodore.

I received the book on loan from the J. Butler Collection. Here some of the text and illustrated are demonstrated to me at the time of lending.

Then I read the new Pirates! adventure, "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Napoleon."

I guess it had been about three years since my last Pirates! book. I don't know, were they all this funny? The Pirate Captain retires from pirating after losing the Pirate of the Year competition to raise bees on St. Helena. Everything is going pretty well there until Napoleon shows up. Jealousy, rivalry, and hilarity ensue.

Finally, I got a little serious and read Thomas Pynchon's new new book, "Inherent Vice."

I was very startled to see a new Pynchon book out so soon after Against the Day, a book that I've really found myself reflecting upon fondly since I read it last year and mildly longing to revisit. Inherent Vice is pretty much as straight-forward a book as Pynchon could stand to write, a detective story set in the Los Angeles beach culture early early 70s (essentially the end of the 60s). While Against the Day was like a 5000 page book crammed into 1100 pages, Inherent Vice is a 180 page book stretched out to close to 400. Really, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, it's only all right and I don't strongly recommend it to anyone except Pynchon fans who were planning on reading it anyway.

To understand how much more Inherent Vice could have thrilled me, please take another look at my reaction to Against the Day.

At this moment I'm reading Brideshead Revisited and enjoying it plenty. After that I have a couple notions as to what direction I may take my reading, but no firm decisions have been made. It'll either be a biography or some dense and troublesome work of fiction.

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