Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My 2007 Reading List (so far)

Just in case you are at all interested in what I've been reading so far in 2007.

I began the year by finishing the Dave Eggers novel You Shall Know Our Velocity! I enjoyed it enough to go on and read his Gen-X memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, his collection of short stories How We Are Hungry, and his devastating novel/biography What is the What. What is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese Lost Boy. I cried more reading What is the What than I have in any book I've ever read.

In the realm of non-fiction I devoured Christopher Hedges' War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. This will probably come up in my Memorial Day sermon. I'm looking forward to reading American Fascists by Hedges even though reviews for it have been mixed.

On recommendation from a church member I read a Buddhist book on compassion, Sharon Salzberg's The Force of Kindness.

In poetry I picked up the collection Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love & Revelation by Roger Housden. I also read T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets and The Wasteland. I will admit that somehow I had managed to get this far in life never having read them. I can tell you that my life was less for not having read Four Quartets. I can't the same thing for The Wasteland.

Speaking of books one ought to have read, I just finished Salinger's Franny & Zooey. What a cute book!

Finally, earlier this month I did polish off all of Nick Hornby's collections of critical essays: The Polysyllabic Spree, Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, and Songbook.

What next? That book by Christopher Hedges and also his Losing Moses on the Freeway. Also, some Ted Kooser poetry. Plus, I ran into a professor at the coffee-shop I frequent who was reading Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club. I abandoned that book seventy pages into it in the Summer of 2001. We'll see if I'm up for the challenge.