Megan’s literary week in review

Books Found:

After last week’s ramble about The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery I went out and bought it when I was at Bookshop Santa Cruz over the weekend. Also, since I’m on my fun paycheck right now, while I was in there I also picked up A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz.

I must say, I’m a fan of back cover descriptions but A Fraction of the Whole is pretty over the top. Just look at the use of adjectives and adverbs…

As he recollects the extraordinary events that led to his father Martin’s spectacular demise, Jasper Dean recounts his own boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking discoveries–about his infamous criminal uncle Terry, his mysteriously absent mother, and Martin’s constant losing battle to make his mark on the world.

Doesn’t it all seem so exciting?!

I make fun but the description obviously worked since I bought the damn thing. And really, I am wondrously excited to see what kind of stunning adventures these amazingly astonishing plot lines throw these stupendous and thrilling characters into. I’m sure the book will be…

  • a “tour de force” of something
  • a “brilliant new” something
  • a “work of” something
  • “reminiscent of” someone
  • the “first of its kind to” something

And hmmmm, it’ll probably be the (insert famous book title here) of the 21st century too.

Okay, enough of making fun of what I love most in the world. Here are the other books I hope to someday read:

  • A History of Reading Alberto Manguel
  • The Centaur, John Updike
  • Herzog, Saul Bellows
    I’ve already read this and loved it but the National Book Awards blog post made me think I’d like to read it again.
  • This is for You, Rob Ryan
    I love Rob Ryan and I found this book at MOMA a long time ago but didn’t buy it until I found it again at Chronicle Books the other day.  If you don’t know Rob Ryan he’s a “screen printer and artist” who makes many beautiful things. I keep checking his blog to see if I can afford any of his prints, but ya, I can’t so I went for the book as a happy compromise between my artistic soul and my ever-emptying wallet.

Artists Found:
After reading a fun article in the Guardian that, among other things, makes fun of Kindle, I learned about André Kertész the photographer and his exhibit On Reading. Pretty fun stuff.

Phrases Found:

  • “The idea that memory is linear is nonsense.”
  • “prodigious learning” (I forgot what a great word prodigious is.)
  • “He was getting to a certain age, he thought. An age when his never-to-be-written masterpieces had begun to outweigh the masterpieces he was still going to write.”

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