Monday, November 29, 2010


Of Love and Other Demons, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Any description would fall short.

Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship, by Noam Chomsky - Very interesting big picture take on the American intellectual view of the Vietnam War, Spanish revolution, and miscellaneous other things.* Chomsky really is one of the smartest people alive. Did you know he's the only living member of the top 10 all-time most-cited people in all of the humanities?

The Bastard of Istanbul, by Elif Shafak - Bookclub book; not something I would read on my own. I didn't hate reading it, in the moment, but I have almost nothing good to say about it. The writing style was sometimes beautiful but usually much too feminine, ornamentally poetic or something, for my taste. Any one of the interesting, complex characters would have made a great protagonist, but instead none got enough facetime to delve into their characters thoroughly enough to make any sense at all. Likewise, the ending could have been great, but it relied on characters' actions and reactions that didn't make sense from what was earlier said about them. The actual main protagonist was mindnumbingly dull and seemed to exist solely as a vessel for the expression of enough identity politics to turn your brain into message-beaten mush. All of the "action" was in identity crises and resolutions. I was never emotionally invested in anyone's outcome.

*Dad, read this and then try to keep telling me that universities and the government have a monopoly on judgment for what ought to be researched and that outside money can only be a corrupting influence...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

now I know