Thursday, March 19, 2009

What I'm Reading / Have Read

As usual I'm knee deep in some fine comic literature. I picked up vol. 1 of J. Michael Straczynski's Thor and Amazing Spider-man Happy Birthday. Sure to be greats, by a most enjoyable author. I also started Nevermore, a graphic novel that tells Poe's stories in a new and enticing way. I could see this as being useful for getting school kids into classic English literature but so far I'm not Impressed.

Last week I finished up Honoré de Balzac's The Wild Ass's Skin. Not his greatest work, yet his story telling, description, and ability to take you through Parisian/European history, customs, classes, etc. remains undisturbed. This is more of a fantastical tale, (using the term lightly) in comparison to his other works, and the story has a certain je ne sais quoi. As always, I find his novels and short stories most rewarding.

Now, I'm rereading J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories. As I get older and with each reread his works get better. Before, some stories I found less fascinating and less worthwhile than others; now I get into each one and am able to pick apart pieces I didn't care to register before. Salinger's artistry is apparent, the amount of substance he can fit into a handful of pages makes him a quintessential writer of 1940s America.

And in case you were saying, I don't care what you're reading, what are you eating? I ate a burrito from Senor Burrito on I and 7th. That burrito cart is tops!


pml said...

Let me know how that Spider-Man turns out; I'm always down for more Spidey.

Mr. Philippe said...

@pml it's already a winner. if you go to your library catalog and just search "Straczynski" in the author field, grab anything Marvel that he's done. I haven't read his off-Marvel stuff but I imagine it's good.

Huston said...

dude have you ever read salinger's "raise high the roof-beam carpenters" or "seymour: an introduction"? very much zen-inspired latter sutff, like the last few stories in "nine stories". it's pretty bad-ass

Mr. Philippe said...

@Huston - Have I ever! It is something I've read a few times but definitely need to give a re-read. Raise High jump-started my predilection for Tom Collinses.

This page is full of short stories that you can't find outside of a library archive:

Remember you only get one chance to read these for the first time. Ensure that you are in a calm and quiet place where your attention can not be diverted. If need be, print them first then head to a quiet library floor or a nice park.