Monday, December 28, 2009

What's up?

Hey! How've you been? Excited for the New Year?
Me too! Oh, and what're your resolutions? To read more?

Me Toooooooo!!!

Anyways... since we're being so close and personal, I guess I could tell you about a few of the books on my bedside...

On History by Eric Hobsbawm (New Press, 21.95, paperback) -- A collection of talks, notable essays, and some new essays covering the last 30 years of Hobsbawm's career. Wasn't sure I'd like it, as so much historical writing is straight jibberjaw these days, and written only for specialists, exegetes, or the linguistically liberated. Luckily, Hobsbawm's writing is different. Marked by clear, always interesting prose, and this great historian's ability to make principled generalizations out of lifetimes of facts, On History will definitely make you smarter if not a historian too!

Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow (Penguin Classics, 15.00, paperback) -- A 'big' book, full of enough bravado and sass and spirit to kill an E! News personality while giggling through a Richard Simmons fit of ab-crunches. And there's nothing to say that's more laudatory than that. But, because you may wonder, it's the story of an American millionaire who's got a voice in his head -- 'I want, I want' it says -- who 'finds himself' on a trip to Africa. Funny, glorious, and ultimately gratifying, this is Bellow at his funniest, (briefest), and best. Love it.

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