I have two books on my shelves that I don’t need and would like to give away to anyone who is interested:
- Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer. It turns out I have two copies of this book and only need one.
- Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America. A copy of this book randomly showed up at my house last summer, and I’ve been thinking about whether I want to read it since then, and it turns out I don’t. But someone else might.
If you are interested in either of these books, just leave a comment telling me which one. If there is more than one person interested, I’ll do a drawing. Deadline is Tuesday of next week, midnight. I’m happy to send the books anywhere, so overseas people are welcome to participate.
As for what I’m currently reading, How to Live is one of the books. I’ve read a chapter so far, and it’s good — a little on Montaigne’s life and the purpose of the essays, and a vignette about how Montaigne almost died as a young man and how this changed his thinking about life and death. It’s a biography, but, it seems, not the sort that tells the subject’s story from beginning to end, and I like that.
Also, Joyce Carol Oates’s A Widow’s Story. I read an excerpt of this in The New Yorker and thought it was very good, so now I’m reading the whole thing. It continues to be good, but harrowing, as you might expect.
I’m also slowly reading “Religio Medici” by Sir Thomas Browne as part of my long-term essay project. Browne isn’t an essayist, exactly, but he appears on John D’Agata’s The Lost Origins of the Essay, and writes in a very interesting personal voice, so it’s appropriate. I’m not particularly interested in learning about the religious conflicts Browne writes about, but his overall attitude and tone are enjoyable. “Hydriotaphia” will be next.
Also Marge Piercy’s poems from The Moon is Always Female, which is good so far, and I hope to start Tove Jannson’s The Summer Book for the Slaves of Golconda soon.
I hope you have an enjoyable bookish weekend!