Thursday, December 14, 2006

What I Have Been Reading and Books on My Christmas List

I am enjoying the concise but usually very interesting (by interesting people such as Cindy Sheehan) short political essays published daily at Common Dreams. I also enjoyed Matt Groenig's introduction to this year's The Best American Non-Required Reading, which also includes The [New] Iraqi Constitution, a great essay on creative writing by Kurt Vonnegut (in which he humorously abhors the semi-colon, one of my own pet peeves), and David Foster Wallace's recent commencement speech at Kenyon College. I am re-reading Kundera's Slowness and working my way through a collection of short stories from Southeast Asia, Virtual Lotus, which I plan to teach soon.

The shortlist that made my Christmas list: Breaking the Alabaster Jar, The Bookseller of Kabul, Jon Lee Anderson's Che, and Saving Fish from Drowning.

On poetry, I am still reading and enjoying Drive, Solstice, Pity the Drowned Horses, Circle, Half-Lit Houses, and wanting to begin Machine Art and Other Writings.

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And yes, for those wondering---James Kim's story broke my heart.



2 comments:

Michael Parker said...

Great reading list, Lee. Did you know the Kim's? If so, my condolences. I was touched that so many of his co-workers closed down shop and went to Oregon to help in search efforts. It says a lot about the man. So wish the outcome was different.

Lee Herrick said...

I did not know them, but I felt close to them---being Korean and all, in an interracial marriage (of sorts; my wife is hapa), a father. He was also very close to my age. My wife and I also frequent the snow, so all of these factors made the story extra close to home.