The current Booking Through Thursday question is this:
What are you reading right now? What made you choose it? Are you enjoying it? Would you recommend it? (And, by all means, discuss everything, if you’re reading more than one thing!)
The quick way to answer is to direct you to my list of everything I’m reading in the sidebar, but I don’t want to answer the quick way. So here is the long version. Two nights ago I picked up Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Because of busyness over the last couple days, I’m still only 20 pages in, and I’m wondering what I got myself into. There are a lot of pages in that book, with a lot of words on each page, and they are not all quite clear! But I need to give the book more time, of course, and the words aren’t that hard to follow, either. This will most likely be a book I will be reading for quite a while to come, which is fine. I’ll keep an easier novel on the go at the same time.
I’m nearing the end of Lawrence Weschler’s Vermeer in Bosnia, and just read a wonderful essay on the photocollages of David Hockney. There were also some good essays on California and one on Art Spiegelman I really liked. The subjects are varied, but the writing is uniformly good.
And then there are Bacon’s Essays. These are not terribly exciting, I have to say. But I can see that they are important, filled as they are with an attempt to use language carefully and precisely and to break the subject down into clear categories to capture it accurately.
I’m nearing the end of my collection of Ted Hughes’s poetry, which I have enjoyed all the way through. There have only been a few poems I have read quickly and dismissed; most of them I want to linger over to figure out how he’s using language. I first wrote about the poems here; they continue to focus on animals and landscapes, for the most part, and they still have the direct, forceful, unsentimental, colorful style I wrote about earlier.
And finally there is Sharon Salzberg’s book Lovingkindness, which is about lovingkindness meditation and Buddhism. I don’t meditate (I’d like to but haven’t found a way to keep a regular practice), but I’ve learned a lot from this book anyway. It’s full of wisdom about cultivating joy, compassion, and love, and breaking away from harmful habits of mind. I recommend it for anyone interested in spiritual reading.
And that’s it. I will pick up another novel soon, but haven’t decided what it will be.