Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On the Nightstand

Christmas left me awash in a sea of books I'm only just starting to crack the surface of; on top of that a recent visit to the library yielded some spontaneous borrowings that took some precedence. So, the pile currently on the nightstand now includes:

Coronado, Dennis Lehane - Just finished this book of short stories and one play. I had already read the collection's centerpiece, the brutally brilliant short story "Until Gwen," in the Atlantic, and the simple fact is that none of the other stuff - including a theatrical adaptation of "Until Gwen" really comes close to reaching the same heights. Most of the stories seemed to end just as they were getting started - the story of some teens vandalizing the homes of some wealthy townspeople most particularly. "Until Gwen" notwithstanding, I wonder if Lehane's true medium is really the novel.

U2 By U2 - A massive coffee table book stuffed to the gill with pictures that also functions as a wonderfully detailed year-by-year oral history of the band as told by all four members and manager Paul McGuiness. A great book that took me completely by surprise - I had thought it was just a bunch of photos, but the narrative is supremely done, with each of the band members weighing in in their own distinct voices. Almost done with this one.

The Best American Magazine Writing 2006 - My lovely wife gets me this every year and every year I eat it up. This year's edition (which I am only 2/3 of the way through) has some great pieces, including a poetic look at the Genome Project, a detailed look at the selling of the Iraq War, a superb profile of a conservative radio personality, a writer's up-close-and-personal look at her last months of a cancer-shortened life, a scathing accounting of what the coal industry is doing to mountains in Kentucky, and a profile of a snake-collecting novelist/crooner. Always a wonderful collection.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Non-Required Reading, 2006 - Borders had a two-for-one sale. Couldn't be helped.

Lisey's Story, Stephen King - I actually got this a few months back - this might be the longest I've ever waited to tear into a new King book. Should be soon.

Until I Find You, John Irving - A birthday gift that I still haven't started. Will definitely have to wait until after the King.

Until Whenever

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