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.