A Welcome and a Definition

Culture Vulture: "A person with a strong, sometimes obsessive, interest in the arts." Culture Vultures spend a lot of time observing the world. This is where those observations come out.

Monday, September 6, 2010

End of the Summer

Today is Labor Day, traditionally the end of summer season. I tried to create a little end-of-summer reading list for myself about a month ago. While I am always reading something, I thought I would try to do something a little more formal this time around. My life has been in major upheaval lately (I had to move unexpectedly and still don't have a permanent place to live), so I fell a little short of my reading goals. Here's a little breakdown of what I read and did not read:

Sellevision (Augusten Burroughs): I've mentioned in a recent post about my love of Burroughs, yet I had never read his only published novel. I had very mixed reviews of the book and was not sure what to expect. However, I was so drawn in I read the book in 2 sittings. The novel is about various characters who are hosts on a TV shopping channel called Sellevision. I think some of my love for the novel stemmed from a brief fascination I had with HSN and QVC as a young teenager (That was painful to admit, by the way!). There's a lot of sarcastic and dark humor that pervades the novel, making it a clever take on consumerist culture.

Magical Thinking (Burroughs): This was actually a reread. I think this is one of Burrough's most underrated books. It's a collection of essays which draws from more from Burroughs as an adult than as a child, unlike many of his previous books. My favorite essay is "Mark the Shrink," about his relationship with a therapist.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon): I have a small confession to make: I am actually still reading this book. I had heard about this book and several people had recommended it to me, but I did not know that much about it. However, now that I am reading it, I understand why people like it. This novel tells the story of Christopher, a severely autistic teenager who is accused of killing his neighbor's dog. The book is told exclusively from Christopher's perspective, and gives some interesting insights about autism. I love when I can learn about a topic I know very little about through a novel or a movie and this one fits that criteria.

Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand): I thought I would have more time than I did when I borrowed my mother's copy of Atlas, hoping to fill a knowledge gap of never having read a word of Rand. Unfortunately, a whole host of events in my life and the intimidating size of tome caused me to never open the book. I am taking classes this fall, as well as teaching a new class, so I am not sure I will get to it any time soon.

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