Archive for September, 2010

in which I confess to hate magical realism.

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

September seems to have passed me by.  I haven’t had much to say about bookthings lately, because none of the things I’ve been reading are particularly new or exciting to most people.  The only thing anyone wants to talk about is Freedom and Jonathan Franzen, and yes I like Jonathan Franzen, but no I haven’t read Freedom yet, and no, I don’t know why, and no, I don’t know if or when I will.  I am overwhelmed by new fiction & new things that I desperately do want to read (my future reading queue has bypassed my 2010 reading completed by about 15 titles–how I think this is even remotely feasible to do by the end of the year I’m not sure).

So what do I want to talk about lately?  I want to talk about Mexico, and I want to talk about women (much, much less about men), and sometimes I want to talk about science fiction, and occasionally I might want to talk about labor relations, but mostly, yea, I just want to talk about Latin America.  I want to talk about why I am so lukewarm on magical realism, and why I won’t ever be able to finish something like Love in the Time of Cholera (and why I am not sure that I even feel disappointed by this).  I want to talk about food rations in Cuba and I want to talk about babies dying in Brazil and I probably want to talk a little about Julieta Venegas.  I finished Alma Guillermoprieta’s Heart that bleeds and thought, “well this is it.”  And then I started 2666 / Roberto Bolaño and it is taking me a lifetime to read this but I can’t stop thinking about it.  This is good.  I probably need something consuming and wacky to think about.

It is almost October.  That means it is almost time for the new Ian Frazier, which I am immeasurably excited about.  Jonathan who?  October will be the time for Siberia, I think.  I think I can push my brains away from hours thinking about las fronteras y los narcotraficantes y los coyotes and so much heartbreak for a little time with Frazier in the gulag.  Yea, this I can do.

in between sneezes

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Laboring away on Labor Day at the reference desk (#1 question: “What time do you close?”) is as good a time as any to make this note to self:

  • read Daniel Alarcón’s Lost City Radio this week.  Wow. Excited to read more by him–I expect to read his book of short stories sometime this month.  Although I am breaking my Pulitzer promise to myself.

Other activities this week:

  • baked molasses cookies
  • made world’s best fritatta (out of How to Eat Supper, I’m beyond obsessed with Lynne Rossetto Kasper)
  • Alison Bechdel’s Essential Dykes to Watch Out For (this is super great!  I loved watching Bechdel grow as an artist & writer.  Fun x 1000.)
  • started Mockingjay, can’t stop reading Mockingjay, etc
  • wanted to destroy all plants because of allergies
  • was overwhelmed by Spanish class, and then excited, and then overwhelmed again, and then excited again
  • etc