What I’m Reading

books, reading

I always have four or five books going. I have been trying to spend more evenings reading instead of tuning out with some Netflix (life is too short). So, after the kitchen is cleaned, I pour myself some tea — actually, real talk, after Bruno cleans the kitchen and pours me a cup of tea — I have been sitting on the couch and reading until bed.

Not included: books on Rousseau, books I’m reading for my upcoming Constitution 101 class. That I’m always reading Rousseau should be a given.

Homer’s The Odyssey. I had full intentions for 2018 to be an epic year. I read the Iliad the other month. I plan on going through them both twice, because I am more than sure I missed plenty. Afterwards onto the Aeneid and then Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, by Eva Brann. Eva Brann is my Virgil into the world of Homer. And she is right, she does offer up learning Greek as a great temptation (I passed my Ancient Greek reading comps, but even I know that means I only graduated from not reading Greek to barely reading Greek).

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker. I do not love this book. I do not even know if I like it, but I also do not think it is as terrible as some of my compatriots are saying. Do I think he gives too much credit to what he is advancing? Yes. Do I think he is right that living now is better than living several hundred years ago? A hundred years ago? Fifty years ago? Yes. Pet peeve: When Pinker quotes Enlightenment thinkers, he rarely quotes from the actual works themselves, but from other people quoting the works. Conclusion: Pinker does not really know much about the Enlightenment.

Your First Triathlon: Race Ready in 5 Hours a Week, by Joe Friel. Possible goals to come? We’ll see how this half-marathon goes.

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, by Leslie Jamison. I am only two chapters in and loving it. I can already tell it is not the typical memoir. She wrote her dissertation on alcohol, recovery, and writing — looking at authors notorious for their drinking and what happened to their art post-recovery. I love the use of memoir and stories of writers throughout.

Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace. In full disclosure, I’m not so sure what to make of this one yet. I am only about a hundred pages in, so I have barely started. But views are to be determined.

What are you reading?

xo, Ali



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