Thursday, January 15, 2009

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. -Mark Twain

Ah yes, I know, the writing is slipping again. I haven’t been reading as much for the past couple of weeks; I’ve been up to other things (shenanigans if you will), one of which has been getting everything together to apply to the MA program I want into. I have, however, been buying lots of books…heh, I have a serious problem.

I finished How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young and I must say that I liked it as much at the end as I did when I started. Young is wry and witty, all topped off with that British humour that I still sometimes don’t understand. He didn’t really “play the game” while working at Conde Nast, specifically Vanity Fair (no wonder he was fired!), but that’s a big part of what I like about him. He also seems to have read a lot of the same books as me (the Evelyn Waugh mentions continue throughout the memoir, yay!), which was nice because then I understood a lot of his references. In general, I just liked the way that he wrote about himself. He didn’t pretend that he was some great writer that was misunderstood (okay, he actually does say that, but it was sarcastic); he’s open about his faults, writes in detail about embarrassments, and is so ridiculously funny when he’s being self-deprecating. I recommend it!

Up until yesterday I was reading three (sort of four) books at the same time, but then I finished Magic Island: The Fictions of L.M. Montgomery by Elizabeth Waterston. Elizabeth is a Professor at the University of Guelph (which houses the Lucy Maud Montgomery Research Centre – see sidebar for link), and she knows so much about Maud that it’s crazy. In this book (it’s considered literary criticism) Elizabeth breaks down each of Maud’s books in chronological order, starting with Anne of Green Gables of course, and marks out how the plotlines were inspired by incidents in Maud’s own life, as well as societal and political issues. It’s really fascinating. Most people don’t know that the eight Anne books weren’t written in sequence (I’ve mentioned this before) and it’s really interesting to note how Maud’s life and depression affected the books that were inserted in the series (Anne of Windy Poplers and Anne of Ingleside). It was just neat to read about each of them in chronological order that way, so different from how they’re usually written about.

The other books I’m reading include Fishing the Sloe Black River which is a collection of short stories by Colum McCann, a book on applying for graduate school, and I am still reading Return to Treasure Island and the Search for Captain Kidd by Barry Clifford, except I’ve misplaced it (which is why I said that I was reading “sort of four” books). I have to pick out another one for the subway rides to and from work.

I would write more (like about the books I’ve been buying), but it’s about that time to leave work and I don’t feel like staying late.

No comments:

Post a Comment