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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

What I'm reading in April 2011

Let's take a break from running. Am still sore.



Fiction.

Nelson Demille. Three books here. Plum Island, The Lion’s Game and The Lion.
A hero in the mold of Bruce Willis or Rambo conquers the bad guys in the first book, play’s with a big cat in the second, and then in the third finally confronts the lion from Libya. The lion must have won. Gaddafi is still in the news.

Joyce Carol Oates. Little bird of heaven.

Gao Xingjian. Soul Mountain.
This book is now overdue and I still have not finished it.

Non-fiction.

Sam Harris. The Moral Landscape.
This is my pick of the month.
Harris argues
“...that morality and values depend on conscious minds experiencing various forms of well-being and suffering, constrained by the laws of Nature, and that hence there must be right and wrong answers to questions of morality and values that potentially fall within the purview of science.”
The book has caused some debate, the kind of debate we should be having.

Maya Angelou. I know why the caged bird sings.
The first of Angelou's autobiographies.

Maya Angelou. Letter to my daughter.

Modern Critical Interpretations on I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom.


How to read and why. Harold Bloom writes in the introduction:
Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you, because it is... the most healing of pleasures.
Bloom then quotes Virginia Woolf who warned:
The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice.
Harold Bloom. The best poems of the English language.
This is Bloom’s choice of the best poems from poets born from 1343 through to 1899.

A New Literary History of America.



Australiana.

Richard Glover. Why men are necessary.
An Aussie author stands up for the blokes.

Noel PearsonQuarterly Essay.
In Radical Hope, one of Australia’s most provocative thinkers turns his attention to the question of education. He strays a bit. The essay did not impress crikey.com either.

Bob Ellis. Suddenly Last Winter. 
An account of how the Australian Labor Party (ALP) replaced Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. Gillard and Labor just managed to hang on to power with a litle help from Independents. Ahhh politics. But that was last winter. The fall before next winter sees more intrigue after Rudd's appearance on abc tv's q&a Rudd on candid QandA camera.