June 30, 2005

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, June 2005

Norman Douglas, Old Calabria [Project Gutenberg e-text]
Travels in darkest southern Italy by the author of South Wind. Some lovely travel writing, amusing historical and theological reflections, observations of the country and its inhabitants, etc., interspersed with what are now very jarring reminders that the English-speaking world in 1915 was indeed another country, and in some ways a very unpleasant one. (E.g., the completely unself-conscious way Douglas talks about "we white men", in contrast to the Calabrians.) — The first chapter would be completely confusing without at least some acquaintance with the history of medieval southern Italy, especially that of Frederick II and his heirs.
Stephen King, Song of Susannah
Volume 6 of the Dark Tower series. (See earlier remarks on vol. 5.) One more to go...
James Tucker, Abra Cadaver, Hocus Corpus and Tragic Wand
Series of mystery novels about a Pittsburgh surgeon and amateur magician. I read them to try to get some feel for the city — we'll see how well that works — but they're amusing enough, in a brain-candy way. (I can barely follow the explanations of the magic tricks, though.)
Joseph Conrad, Nostromo
Conrad is, as always, a minor god of prose and story. However, the later author's foreword at the beginning of the edition I read (Doubleday, 1924) is one damn spoiler after another...
Andrea Camilleri, Excursion to Tindari
Excellent Sicilian police procedural. The middle of a series; I will be reading the rest.

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur

Posted at June 30, 2005 23:59 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth