2018: a new year, a new bunch of books

I’m still reading, people.  I’m not shooting for 52 this year, but I am hoping to get at least all 2017 Xmas books read.  So, every month, I’ll continue to give an accounting of books I’ve read the prior month–albeit, in a much more laid back manner than before.  And so we begin!

Books for January 2018:

  • Roberto Bolaño’s 2666.  Started Dec 17, 2017.  Ongoing.
  • Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf.  Started Jan 1st.  Finished Jan 4th.
    • I’ve read this a couple times already, and I love it.  While finishing the climax to Birdland, I thought I’d take some inspiration from Heaney in regards to how he described Grendel, so I gave it another read.
  • John McPhee’s Draft No. 4.  Started Jan 6th.  Finished Jan 16th.
    • This was assigned for the Thesis & Publication class I’m taking this semester.  Just like every other book on writing, I only ever learn one or two new things after slogging through 300-something pages.
  • Bob Odenkirk’s A Load of Hooey.  Started Jan 18th.  Finished Jan 21st.
    • An Xmas book!  A good one, too.  I’ve been an Odenkirk fan since the days of Mr. Show with Bob and David, and I was excited to read this one.  And it definitely delivered on a series of sensible chuckles in the middle of the coldest part of January.  I have to say, though, this probably makes a killer audio book.
  • Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  Started Jan 21st.  Finished Jan 24th.
    • I’ve read this one before, but I couldn’t remember how it differed from the movie Blade Runner.  So I read it again, and I’m still a little baffled but slowly coming to understand the ending.  I do wish, however, that PKD had stayed with the whole is-he/isn’t-he confusion when Deckard is taken to the Mission Street police station–because, for about 20 pages, my mind was blown.
  • Tim Wendel’s Summer of ’68.  Started Jan 25th.  Abandoned.
    • Another book assigned for the Thesis & Publication class.  I rushed into it too late after I realized that the author was going to visit our class (last Tuesday!), but I only got about 60-something pages in.  I’ll come back to this one in the summer once baseball season gets into full swing.
  • Philip K. Dick’s Martian Time-Slip.  Started Jan 28.  Ongoing.
    • Another Xmas book.  I’m currently about 20-25% of the way through, and I’m kind of digging the retro-Mars thing and the large number of characters.  It’ll be interesting to see how Dick brings them all together and the way how he gives it his patented twist.

So that makes the tally so far four finished books, two ongoing, and one abandoned (for now).  Also, three of the Xmas books have been read now.  (The third one, Dan Wilbur’s Never Flirt with Puppy Killers: And Other Better Book Titles, was knocked out pretty quickly after Xmas.)

1 Comment

  1. Ed Burnham

    Rather impressive list….I’ve got one you can add and are sure to enjoy if you have time: WHERE NOBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME by John Feinstein. I know both you and Amanda will like it. I’ll send you my copy as soon as I finish it. 52 books in a year is still amazing!
    Ed B


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