Talking about books

I had dinner with the Playwright last night. We sat on a patio, drank dark beer, and discussed many things. One of the things we usually talk about is books. We went to a bookshop when we finished dinner, and that was when we started talking about books. This is slightly unusual — usually books come up sooner in our discussions. Oh wait, a Henri Nouwen book came up at dinner as a side bar to the conversation. Usually our book talks begin with “What are you reading?” and it doesn’t matter who asks the question. The other person answers and some discussion of that book follows. This leads to other books previously read, or a discussion of books both of us have read. It is all very pleasant. The Playwright has an MA in English Lit, and I do not, so she has a different reading view than I do. I *think* I tend to be more forgiving in initial assessments of books and writing styles, but it could also be that we look for different things in our reading. Tonight our longer discussion was about The Hunger Games trilogy, where I’ve only read book 1 and the Playwright has read them all.

What am I reading? Currently I’m reading Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. There’s a huge waiting list for IQ84 at the library, so I decided to try Murakami’s backlist first. I like the book so far. There are some stylistic things that bug me. The translator uses sentence fragments a little too frequently for me. I am not a fan. These are the kind of sentence fragments that I find when marking papers, the kind that students don’t realize are incomplete sentences. I think the translator knew what he/she was doing, but I’m still a tiny bit irritated. Of course, the fragmentation could faithfully reflect something that is there in the original. I don’t read Japanese, thus cannot tell.

I’ve just finished a couple of mystery books by Deborah Crombie in the Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid series. The two I read are from much earlier in the series. I quite like the books. The first one I read had no body in evidence for a really long time. I began to think no one would be murdered in this murder mystery! I rather liked that. I’m now in search of all the books that came before the two I read, which were A Finer End and Kissed A Sad Goodbye.

What are you reading?

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2 Comments

Filed under fiction

2 responses to “Talking about books

  1. Well, since you asked…
    Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” – bought at Crux of course; George Orwell’s “Road to Wigan Pier” – an eye-opener about miners in northern England; Christopher Hitchens’ “Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Kissinger should be tried for war crimes; Hugh Ross’ “Why the Universe Is the Way It Is” – I’ve never read a book like this before and I’m find it quite intriguing; Jonah Goldberg’s “Tyranny of Cliches” – a bit too right-wing-ish, but I’m a sucker for a book on cliches that starts with a quote by Orwell.
    Looking at this makes me realize I’m reading too much at once.

  2. Alice

    Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackery (ca. 1840, I guess). I’d read it when I was about 14 or 15, but forgotten how wonderfully amusing it is. (Perhaps I didn’t realize it then?)

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