Archive for Books

Gone to Soldiers

Marge Piercy’s 800-page non-sf WWII novel Gone to Soldiers (published in 1987) has been sitting unread on my bookcase for some time. I don’t recall when I bought it, but I’m pretty sure the only reason I did is that I very much liked Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time. But anything over about […]

On skimming

Jen L just posted a comment (on one of my recent Facebook posts) about the difficulty of giving up on a book that one is reading, and I’ve brought up skimming in various conversations with Mary Anne recently, so it occurred to me to write about my approach to skimming in a bit more detail. […]

Foucault’s Pendulum

My which-book-next randomizer led me to Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, which has been sitting unread on my shelf for years. The back-cover description is intriguing—it says the book is about three editors who have read too many conspiracy theories and who develop one of their own for fun, using “an incredible computer capable of inventing […]

Big books

The completist in me loves single-volume “complete works of [author]” books. The bargain hunter in me loves anthologies that include dozens of stories and hundreds of pages. The reader in me gets exhausted even looking at books that thick, and goes off to read something else, or play video games. This dynamic has been true […]

Reading

For the past couple years, I’ve been engaged in a project to get through my shelves of unread books. Some of them I’m reading, some I’m skimming, some I’m glancing at and immediately putting on the giveaway list. At this point, I’m down to fewer than 150 unread mass-market paperbacks. My progress has slowed considerably […]

Burgess on the Clockwork Orange movie ending

Anthony Burgess on the fact that Kubrick left out the denouement of the British version of A Clockwork Orange from the movie: People wrote to me about this—indeed much of my later life has been expended on Xeroxing statements of intention and the frustration of intention—while both Kubrick and my New York publisher coolly bask […]

Highlighting

There are lots of things I love about ebooks, including their portability and their searchability. But one of the things I love most about them is their highlightability. I’ve never had any desire to mark up paper books. I’m one of those people with a deeply rooted sense that books should be kept inviolate; I […]