The OF Blog: A few odds and ends

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A few odds and ends

This upcoming week I'm going to be extremely busy, as I will be (counting 3 commutes of 50-60 minutes each) doing things for my two jobs for nearly 18 hours each day from Tuesday-Friday.  Looks like it won't be until early-to-mid May before I'll have time to write reviews again, so in the meantime I'm going to repost here on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays nine reviews of Flannery O'Connor's works that I have been writing for Gogol's Overcoat (I hope to resume the series, with backdated entries, in 2-3 weeks).  For those of you who haven't read them, perhaps these reviews of individual stories/books will be of some interest, especially considering she is one of my all-time favorite writers.

Although it won't be ready for quite some time, I also am going to be working on an essay that might be one of my more personal writings that I've published anywhere.  That, however, will not be posted here. 

When the school year ends for me in late May, I'm considering starting a themed review series, likely on an author or a group of related writers.  However, I will also begin work on adding a special education endorsement to my teaching license this summer, so this might go by the wayside for either June or July (depending on the session in which I take the class/classes).

In reading news, I am currently reading (slowly) two e-book omnibuses that are a combined 22,500 pages on my iPad iBooks e-reader:  The complete collection of Voltaire's works (in French) and St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae (unfortunately in English translation, as I couldn't find it collated in Latin).  It is strange to have read almost 1000 e-pages of the Voltaire and not even be all that close to having 10% read.  Goal is to finish reading both by my 39th birthday in July.

If you're looking for recommendations of books to explore, here are a few recent reads for which I would have written a positive formal review if I had the time:

Jean-marie Blas de Robles, Where Tigers are at Home (recently ordered the French edition, which I hope will arrive in the near future)

William Gass, Middle C (masterful work)

Kate Atkinson, Life After Life (those who've read Replay may see some similarities in motif, but Atkinson's work is superior at the thematic, prose, and characterization levels)

Ron Currie Jr., Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles (structure reminds me of Steve Erickson's These Dreams of You and while it falls slightly below that particular novel in quality, it is still a very good read)

Marguerite Duras, Destroy, She Said (read this in French on Saturday and found it to be outstanding in how it shows personal/societal alienation through a clever use of dialogue and sparse description)

And that's about it.  If you want more, just meditate on the squirrels to the right and maybe you'll find deeper meanings there...or something related to nuts.

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