If I May...

May was a good month for reading. I handed in my thesis, earned my Masters and finally had an open reading schedule, as in: I can now read whatever I damn well please, thank you very much. And so I did. I read and read and read. I plan on doing the same all summer and for the rest of my life...

books read: May

Trans-American Sketches by Ben Pease -- A short poetry chapbook that cohered and was beautifully crafted and well-written. Much enjoyed. Ben, when are you going to submit something to Gigantic Sequins already?

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon – I read this at work and did enjoy it. Certain chapters read like appendices, yet the point of view called for such eccentricities. Had heard a lot about this book and was glad to read it. Its surface simplicity paved way for something deeper that made this more than just a book about a kid with Asperger’s trying to solve the mystery of a dead dog.

New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer – Okay, yes, whatever. I finished the Twilight series, I enjoyed reading these books, and maybe someday I will read them again. Maybe I’ll even Netflix the movie and hate it. I am definitely writing a post-colonial interpretation of these. I even picked up my copy of Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism to get some background… These books were highly entertaining and the characters are memorable. I am glad I read them, and I don't care what you think.

Something to Tell You by Hanif Kureishi – Not my favorite book. I started to read it alongside Zadie Smith for my thesis because Kureishi is a very popular ethnic (ugh, for lack of a better and more appropriate word) modern British writer. Unfortunately, his newest book is not his greatest. I should have picked up what I read is his masterpiece, The Buddha of Suburbia.

Egyptian Legends & Stories by M.V. Seton-Williams – I am reading up on my Egyptian mythology because I am going to Egypt this month. The gods and goddesses of Egypt are scattered throughout their mythology. I remember them being much more concrete learning about them as a child. Good to have background stories though for my vacation. This was a good book to start with in my relearning, because it translates the myths from papyrus or sletes that they were found on and does not elaborate on them.

Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco – This was my big read of the month. I had more to say about it during my reading process than I do after finishing it. There were too many proper nouns in this book. I liked the beginning and the end more than I liked the middle. This book is The Da Vinci Code for intellectuals. If you like books about secret societies / the Templars / The Holy Grail, and are into 700 page novels, you should read this eventually.

Egyptian Myth: A Very Short Introduction by Geraldine Pinch – I enjoyed this book’s analysis of the history and role of mythology in Egypt, especially after reading the translations of the myths in the other book I’ve already discussed. Though this book is provided as an introduction to the topic, I appreciated that I already knew a little on the subject before diving into this one. Perhaps had I read the two books on Egypt in another order, I would feel the opposite. Perhaps the more you know on a subject, the better you feel in continuing to read up on it. Perhaps.

NOTES FOR JUNE: I have plans to read The Savage Detectives (which I've started and am rather excited about) and a few more books on Egypt (including some fiction by Egyptian writers and hopefully some Egyptian poetry) before I leave. I haven't yet decided what to read while I'm in Egypt though! Nothing too heavy (as in weight and subject-matter) ... I will be on a plane for a long time and then in another country (for the first time!) both being a tourist and relaxing, and then on a plane for a long time again. Any suggestions? I will probably bring a book of poetry and two works of fiction. Though, as I have already said, I haven't yet decided...


  1. you should bring the savage detectives. i couldn't think of a better book for cross-continental travel or, for that matter, anything really.


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