Friday, March 15, 2013

Metro-reading round-up (a lazy post)

Here's a super-duper-quick round-up of *Christie's Metro reading* these past couple of months (a lazy post because it's the end of a hectic week and I'm sleepy; exponentially more substantial post coming tomorrow):

-Katie Roiphe, "In Praise of Messy Lives: Essays" -- Awesome, eye-opening, perspective-shifting, paradigm-smashing, etc.; made me look forward to commuting both ways just so I could read it. Some people's words and thoughts you just want to savor. This book was like that. 

-Chuck Palahniuk, "Stranger Than Fiction: Essays" (reading tons of Joan Didion got me browsing the essay section more heavily than I used to) -- Not terrible, but while "Fight Club" is a hell of a story now firmly ensconced in our contemporary mythos, Palahniuk -- a likeable-enough guy -- isn't my favorite writer in terms of style, word choice etc. Frequently amusing.

-Bret Easton Ellis, "Less Than Zero" -- Boring, lame, didn't make it past the first 10 pages before I wanted to holler "Who cares?!" at the book. Less than zero momentum, more like! Zing!

-Junot Diaz, "This Is How You Lose Her" (linked stories) -- Incredibly strong voice, warm, distinctive. Not my all-time favorite writer in terms of style, but you can't read his words on the page without hearing this tremendously self-assured and idiosyncratic voice in your head. There's a reason dude's got a Pulitzer.

-David Foster Wallace, "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" (stories) -- Brilliant. No, fucking brilliant. Mind-warpingly original. At first I thought he came off snooty and threw around too many "SAT words" (all of which I dutifully jotted down on scraps of paper in my purse, to look up later). And OK, maybe he does. But in terms of writing style, experimentalism, rule-breaking to astounding effect -- I am in awe of this guy. He's my current short-story muse, no contest.

-Haruki Murakami, "The Elephant Vanishes" (stories; library book) -- I'm supposed to like him. I did not. Could not get through the first story in the book without my mind constantly straying to more interesting-to-me things.

-Alice Munro, "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" (short story that Sarah Polley made into a movie called "Away From Her" that I've never seen; library book) -- So lame. Oh my god. Like literary fiction for boring old Canadian ladies. Ugh. Didn't finish. "Best living short-fiction writer in America" my ass!

-Mary Gaitskill, "Bad Behavior" (stories; currently reading) -- Wasn't surprised this was up my alley. Nihilistic misfits failing to find a lasting emotional connection? Well, sign me right on up! 

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, thank you for the reading suggestions! I like your honesty. BTW I LOVE Haruki Murakami's novels. I cannot stand his short stories.