Sunday Salon: What are You Reading This Week?

I’ve been selecting my reading by chance lately.  The Deal Me In Short Story Challenge inspired this round of  reading by chance, but I’ve done this before over the years–used dice or a coin toss to determine what to read next.

I’ve got 184 books in my TBR bookcase, so I an online random number generator to pick a number, count down from the top and read whatever book I land on.

This week it was Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose.  It’s been a while since I’ve read something that would qualify of “literature.”  I have to say that there really is a big difference. I noticed on page one that I was reading some really fine writing.  The opening section of Angle of Repose is set in Grass Valley, California– currently our number one place we hope to retire to, so that was a nice surprise–but it was really the writing.  Mr. Stegner is a great writer  who was clearly in top form with Angle of Repose.

But it’s also a 500+ page book so it’s going to take some time.  Because it’s on the long side and because I want to take my time with it, I decided to break it up into sections–it’s already divided into sections so no problem there–and read something else between each.

Which is why I’m currently under 100 pages from the end of The Last Policeman.  The Last Policeman is a more traditional summer read, something of a guilty pleasure.  It’s set in the near future just six months or so before an asteroid is set to collide with earth wiping out all life.  The main character is a policeman, one of the few still concerned with doing good police work.  So it’s a combined detective story apocalyptic future science fiction thing that is really a lot of fun. My thanks to Sandy and the many other who pointed it out to me.

I’m still working my way through Kevin Starr’s California.  Taking it one chapter at a time is by no means necessary; it’s just a strategy to help me remember more of what I read.  It’s really a very breezy text, but by taking it in sections I think I’m learning more about California’s history.  I should finish it about the same time I finish Angle of Repose.

I saw a boxed set of books about California at Bookshop Benecia this week that I really wanted to buy.  Four novels, each set in California: Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, Elmore Leanord’s Get Shorty, William Burrough’s Hollywood and John Fante’s Ask the Dust.  I couldn’t quite afford the reasonable price for the set so I got what I could from the library.  Burroughs is on reserve but I hope to read Get Shorty and Ask the Dust by the end of the week.   Both look like summer reading to me.

The library had George Bernard Shaw’s The Quintessence of Ibsenism waiting for me.  Amateur Reader recently reviewed this book, which I never knew existed.  I enjoy reading what writers have to say about other writers and I’m a fan of both Shaw and Ibsen so this little book should be interesting.

That’s a lot of reading.  I’m thinking of turning Netflix off for the summer, but I just started  season two of Orange is the New Black and season three of Wilfred was just listed on streaming…..

 

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7 Comments

  1. writerrea says:

    Oh, I love Angle of Repose. I re-read it every few years. In fact, I think I’m do for a read of it about now. Once I finish Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck and Sarah Stonich’s Vacationland. And the Moby Dick read-along I’m in. And Walden for book club. And…

  2. writerrea says:

    Er, “due”, not “do”.

  3. I like the idea of 52 short stories with a deck of cards. Laughed when you said Netflix just started Orange is the New Black.. I waited 3 months for the book to come into the library and now I am reading it but watched it already on cable here. Am anxiously awaiting season two which begins here soon. Am enjoying the book very much. Your summer reading list sounds great.

    1. I”m enjoying Orange is the New Black. It’s a good show, not a great one, but entertaining.

  4. Shaw on Ibsen, awesome, super. It’s a hoot.

    1. I’ll probably get to it sometime next week. It does look like fun.

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