Bitching Brew

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

By my bedside this week.

My usual reading habit is to digest a single novel at a time. However, most of my latest acquisitions haven't been novels. So in addition to (as diversion from?) my academic work, I'm dipping into four books on the go.

Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty & War - Journeys and Essays
Lord Byron, Selected Poetry of Lord Byron
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Best Early Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Also, I finished Aldous Huxley's Brave New World last night. By coincidence, I discovered that one of the pieces in the Hitchens collection is a foreword he wrote... to an edition of that very book!

I like this new mode of reading. I enjoy essays immensely - as long as they have at least a mild literary bent. Economic and philosophical essays intrigue me also, but they require so much more effort; 'lucid and clear' being a dictum seldom heeded. They need to be studied, not read in bed. Admittedly, any good essay should be examined as well as read, but it's nice to enjoy a first (or subsequent) reading, isn't it?

There's some superb literature in the forementioned books. All come highly recommended! If I was to pick a favourite so far, it would be the Fitzgerald collection, but I haven't read a majority of any of the books. Byron's poetry is masterful, but it requires dedication to read through just a single canto; really, you lose by taking a canto in stages. I owe Hitchens and Russell (of all people!) the honour of a more attentive read. Some of Hitchens' short tales recall a more detached Hunter S. Thompson. Witty and inspired! (To be fair, wit is nine-tenths inspiration.)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home