I’ve been ambivalent about writing about what I read here because a part of me feels like there isn’t a huge audience who wants to read about what I read, while another part of me feels like there isn’t a huge audience who wants to hear about what I read IRL (so why not just write about it and find some other people to talk about it with IRL?). But, after reading this piece by Adam Gopnik, “Why Teach English?”, about why we have and need to have English majors, I realized I’m writing about (and should write about) what I read because I like it and want to share it. SO, here’s a little more of me sharing what I’ve been reading…
200 pages into The Secret History and I am now a convert to “The Cult of Donna Tartt”. I started it on Sunday and since then, I’ve wondered how I’ve never read this book before probably 100 times. Obviously, it has all of the things I would ever want in a novel, including a college campus setting, a murder mystery, and lots of Classical Studies discussions. I’m not nearly finished yet, so we’ll see if this lives up to my expectations. I’ve been enjoying this reading experience a lot more than my experience reading Seraphina, which I finished over the weekend. For a young adult fantasy novel that heavily features dragons, I was not as engaged as I thought I would be. However, by the end I was a little attached to the main character so I wouldn’t rule out reading the sequel when it’s published.
In terms of nonfiction, I read a lot of profiles this week. Here they are, in the order I read them, I guess:
– There was the New York Times profile of Mandy Patinkin from last week’s magazine. Thankfully, it included my favorite Mandy Patinkin story. (“During a Broadway concert, to highlight the troubles in the Middle East, he ended the show by propping Israeli and Palestinian flags on a table and singing the Israeli national anthem in Hebrew, followed by an angry version of “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” from “South Pacific.” Then the flags were knocked on their sides while the pianist slammed the keys to sound like an explosion. Patinkin followed that with “Children Will Listen” from “Into the Woods.”)
– Then I reread the New Yorker profile of Dr. Oz after that horrific accident on 6th Avenue. (In case you didn’t hear about it, he helped the victim of the accident.) I had forgotten how much he and his wife discuss reiki in this piece.
– I also read the New York Times profile of Li Na from the magazine this weekend because I was way excited about the start of the US Open and I was halfheartedly doing work at a coffee shop and needed a big distraction.
– And this wasn’t really a profile, but it kind of was, but there was an interesting piece called “Cooking with Daniel” in the New Yorker a few weeks ago that I just got around to reading. Bill Buford cooked three “classic” French dishes with Daniel Boulud. Boulud’s personal history, the history behind the dishes and the writing are all fantastic.
I also have been working my way through Stereogum’s ranking of every single Neil Young album. There are a lot of them and, yeah, some of them are shit. But I definitely identify with the author when he says, “I am, and shall always be, a Neil Young apologist.”