In lieu of a real true post about anything useful, which would require effort that I, frankly, do not really care to invest, I have decided to post a list and synopsis of all the various books that I am reading currently or have just finished reading. And there is a reason for this decision. It so happens that my method of selecting books- picking up things around the house that look interesting- has gotten me a range of books that are a) eclectic and b) make me look all smart and studious and so forth.
1) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius- Well. It actually is. Heartbreaking and Staggeringly Genius that is. And so many levels of meta and self-consciousness that it could make your head spin. It's all about being aware of yourself as a member of the intellectual youth, and it's quite interesting. At times, it gets a little annoying, but the thing is, you know that the author knows that too, and so it's nice.
2) The Truth and Pyramids (Terry Pratchett books) Of course, I'm re-reading these, since I've read all of Pratchett's books, but they are just so much fun. I adore Pratchett characters, and both of these are not part of his regular series so there's no chance of having already gotten tired of the protagonists. Pyramids, especially, I have not read for a while and I had forgotten just how wonderful it is.
3) Rachel and Leah Part of Orson Scott Card's Bible Stories. A little weird. I mean, the concept, of trying to write novels around the Biblical stories is interesting, but unfortunately Card is crippled by a) the Mormon readings that he must include and b) his inability to write romance that is not painful. And the romance in this book was the most painful of all, since he decided not only to make Rachel and Leah madly in love with Jacob, but to make the handmaidens pretty much swooning as well. Which he accomplished by making Jacob an action-figure, perfect hero character. Card had, I must admit, some interesting insights, but he ended up convoluting the whole story in an effort to make Laban a wonderful guy. Now, considering the whole switch and so forth, it's tricky, but he manages. Sort of. Not a bad read, but I think the book made me grimace and go "icky, icky" a bit too much for a proper Biblical rendition.
4) First Circle- I'm only in the middle of this one. It's the story of prisoners in the very upper levels of the Gulag, the bits reserved for the intellectuals and so forth who can produce better if not mistreated. It's a great story- the characters are all fun and the characterization of Stalin is cuttingly clever. The only real problem is that the author introduces a new character every chapter- and I'm already on page 200- and they all have Russian names and keeping switching names and patronyms and nicknames and so forth so that you can't hardly keep track of any of them. I mean, I'll be halfway through a conversation before realizing that there are only two participants, not the three or four that I had assumed.
5) Burn Rate- Somebody's story of his time as an internet entrepaneur. I got most of the way through this and then got a little bored. His life is just such a constant whirl of disasters and betrayals and deals and desperation and no real income. You pity him, but you also want to hit him over the head and ask him how he got into this mess.
There are a couple others here and there- SciFi anthologies, history books that my father pushes on me, and so forth, but these are the ones that I have finished or at least made a decent attempt at in the past week.
And just for the record, my brother was, in fact, hovering over my shoulder for a large portion of this post. Which is why I can't be expected to do anything more inspired than a book list.