Trying to take it one book at a time, but it’s tough

I finished D. Watkin’s The Beast Side last week and immediately returned to my “to read” bookcase for the next thing to knock out.  While we (Canelli and I) work ourselves up to spend the next four months reading IJ.  So what did I pick out?

Froth by Mark Denny.  This is a book by JHU Press, and it’s part of an unofficial series of “ordinary things explained by a physicist.”  This one is about the science of beer for someone getting into home brewing.  I’m not quite ready to make that jump (because it turns out to be a metric shit-ton of work), but I find the chapters on yeast population dynamics, beer thermodynamics, and beer fluid dynamics fascinating.  And the math that’s in the book isn’t that tough.  (Although it mostly is ODEs…¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)  It’s a short book, clocking in just under 160 pages, but an excellent read–even if you aren’t so hot with the math or actually planning on getting into home brewing.

Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard.  I picked this one up because, based on what I remember from Jackie Brown, I thought this guy wrote crime novels.  And I needed to get down with crime novel conventions for my own little piece.  Well, I’m about 50 pages in now, and I’m not sure what this is what I was looking for.  Also, I’m less than enchanted by the racist/mysoginistic rascal who’s the book’s main protagonist.  Maybe it’s because I’m in critical workshop critique mode these days, but I’m compelled to underline sentences and make scathing remarks in the margins about wholly inconsistent characters and unbelievable motivations.  Like, seriously, the whole exchange between Bob and Baker in his office in the first chapter is just, Christ, my eyes hurt from rolling so much.  People, I’m not going to make it through this thing.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.  What what what!  Fuller is going to read another Chabon novel?  It took me two attempts to read The Yiddish Policeman’s Union–not because I thought it was dumb or didn’t like it.  Grad school happened.  Once I did finish it, I wasn’t particularly compelled to explore Chabon’s other works.  But Amanda has, like, all of his books.  And, during my workshop, one of the other students recommended I give this book a shot because it’s just as fantastic as what I’d written.  So why the hell not, right?

So that’s what I’m reading these days while I wait for Canelli to send up the IJ signal flare.

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