24 March 2011

A New Platform!

Today's post is an experiment. I'm using an iPod/iPhone/iPad app (you know I still refer to my iPod as an "iPad nano," a joke I totally stole from a former colleague) to create this blog entry. So I'm not sure how to control the HTML formatting, or even how to upload pictures. Might be pretty plain-looking.

But we're way overdue for an update. Here's what I'm reading right now:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Viking, 2011 — but I'm reading it on my Kindle). Yes, I succumbed to Amazon's "book of the month" (hey, it's set in Oxford! The protagonist is a scholar in the Bodleian!). So far it's a well-written romp, though I'm not sure it deserves the "grown-up's 'Harry Potter' " sobriquet. At least it's finally bringing me up to speed on the current glamorousness of vampires. Not having been captivated by the "Twilight" series, I was still in "Dark Shadows" territory. Now Deborah Harkness has fast-forwarded me 40 years, for which I am grateful.

Louisa May Alcott by Susan Cheever (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010; requested through inter-library loan). Cheever knows what it's like to grow up in a literary family (apropos of nothing, I just heard her father's story "The Swimmer" on the New Yorker podcast — what an amazing piece!), and she takes Alcott's work seriously but affectionately. Now I want to go back to Concord. (Ms. Bachmann, that would be the city in Massachusetts.)

Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh (Boston, New York: Little, Brown, 2002, 1942; from SPPL). Recommended by a Scottish blogger as one of the books she'd like to be reading in her deathbed. I'm finding it a bit too roman a clef for my tastes — am I supposed to recognize T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound in the oddly named cast of characters, here in 1940s London's twilight zone between peace and war? But as always with Waugh, the flashes of brilliance keep me going.

There's more, but I'll sign off here and see what all this looks like online. Maybe I'll figure out how to add images next time!

1 comment:

  1. "Parsnip and Pimpernel" are Auden and ?Spender who in real life, I believe, spent the war in NY. The only important key/clef to remember, I think, is that the book was written between Dunkirk and Pearl Harbor, when the conclusion of the war was by no means foregone. I love it for its subversive optimism.