July 5th, 2007

new year

Reading books

I missed the origins of the Fifty-Book Challenge dealio. Unless I'm going to actually write something about each of them, it seemed a little pointless to tally them up publicly. Well no more pointless than a lot of other things, but bragging about how much I read has never been a very successful social tactic in my experience, and it's not like I actually read as much as some people, although of course far more than most. (I do keep a list that actually goes back twenty years at this point.) Fortunately it is not a competition, but its own reward. I have been reading more lately, while I lie down, so halfway through the year I have read my fiftieth book.

It was Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, which was very good by the way and well worth your time, but no one needs me to tell them that since it has that Pulitzer sticker on the cover. I read it because I've been reading all the stuff on the latest Tiptree list, and am rather surprised to find such a tiptreeish thing in such wide general circulation.

Then today I finished my fifty-first, which was The Economy of Prestige, very interesting sociology about the ubiquity of cultural prizes since the modern Olympics and the Nobel Prizes were established, prizes for writers and movie makers and athletes and idiots and all. The apparatus of nomination and administration and publicity and so forth, and the important part played by scandal to provide publicity and buzz -- as a small part of the Tiptree juggernaut myself, I found it fascinating.

Let's see, I also have Karen Russell's short stories St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves in progress, and must read Venusia by next Tuesday or give it back to the library, although it looks a bit dense for light reading. Instead I think I am going to chomp down Pat Cadigan's Dervish is Digital tonight and tomorrow. And after the last Simon Schama teevee show, I took down The High Renaissance and Mannerism from the shelf and have got halfway through that, although not reading the chapters in the correct order. Number One Son has given me a short stack of his own recommendations that I have not yet gotten to, and I am not ordering anything else from the library until I have returned what I have now, preferably before I go traveling again later this month.