11 April 2008

Stuff I've Been Reading 5


  • The A-List - Zoey Dean
  • Hollywood Car Wash - Lori Culwell
  • The Wal-Mart Effect - Charles Fishman
  • Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
  • Best American Non-Required Reading 2002 - ed. David Eggers
Upon finding out that I hadn't read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Lilly was kind enough to immediately purchase a copy for me because she thought it was just my type of thing. She's right, of course, it's exactly the type of book I like. I mean, it's about comic books! And it has big words I have to look up in the dictionary, and it qualifies as a big important novel because it won the Pulitzer Prize, in 2001.

I'd always known the name "Michael Chabon" because he's unavoidable once you read Eggers and McSweeney's and he's prolific and ubiquitous once you're aware of him, but I hadn't ever read any of his works. Why is beyond me. Amazing Adventures is not only brilliant but also highly entertaining and poetic. I hate that it's been out for eight years and I only discovered it now. The next author I really need to explore is Dom DeLillo because he's been recommended more than once and I don't want to pass him up anymore, just like I did Chabon.
"I was afraid that the book, on its surface, would be off-putting to women readers. It's about comic books, and in my greatly enlarged recent experience it's become clear that women have a very negative attitude toward comic books. They didn't grow up reading them, for the most part.

I was surprised that my wife thought it was a good idea, then again with my agent, another woman, then my editor, another woman - in spite of the fact that all three of them reacted positively I still have this fear. It probably reaches deep down into my childhood history as a geek, being interested in comic books and getting nowhere with girls. Those two things going hand-in-hand. But the response has been very positive; women readers are finding lots to enjoy."
-Interview with M.Chabon, Powell's-
There's really no denying it, comic books and super heroes are cool again. Which means, Soon I Will Be Cool (err, Invincible). Okay, fine, maybe not, but geeks have inherited the planet and I'm ready for my time in the sun. Mainly because I'm pale as a sheet from never being awake during daylight hours. I need summer, and beach time, like right now.

While waiting around for my roast beef sandwich at a deli where long waits are par for the course, I saw that the counter girl was reading Card's Speaker for the Dead. While Ender's Game is quite a popular (relatively) sci-fi book among the normal girl set, I was very impressed that she was onto the sequel and seemed to not be able to tear her attention away -- she was almost done -- to accept my cash at the register. That's awesome.