Day 45 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.
People keep telling me what they are reading in various places, and I keep trying to gather the slips of paper (literal and floating-in-my-brain slips) in one place, here, on this hybrid, ever-growing vine of a book blog.
On the street outside Babbitt's on Tuesday, a fellow told me he was reading The Devils by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (aka The Possessed) and the stack he'd just bought included Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain, which a fellow had come in looking for (and found--we had 2 copies, shelved in different places, like the slips in my brain and in my giant purse....) the previous week. Why are people reading Letters from the Earth this March?! (It's a miscellany, like this blog entry and the hybrid vine in the picture!)
Street guy is the one who looked for but couldn't find Habit of Being, the letters of Flannery O'Connor, whose phrase "a habit of being" helped me understand myself and why I write, and whose birthday was yesterday!
In my inbox at Facebook, Tim told me he is reading Black Sabbatical, by Brett Eugene Ralph, a book of poems, in preparation for writing a review of it. Tim himself is the author of Fault Lines, a book of poems from Backwaters Press, which also published Even Now, by Susanna Lang, who is up next, with Virginia Bell, in the RHINO Reads poetry series at Brothers K coffeeshop in Evanston, Illinois. And Tim has written a book about Jack Kerouac, whose book On the Road we cannot keep in Babbitt's for more than half a day, as it walks right on out the door again.
Joy, who reported this at an online writing workshop, is reading Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich and The Humbling by Philip Roth (whom some of you will remember from the "dick lit" entries.) Joe is reading Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke, and Rebecca is reading Blackout by Connie Willis, both readers alerting me of this in Facebook comments. Likewise, Carolyn commented that she is reading The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood.
Bringing all these titles together on a hybrid vine, like an anthologist of unlikely blooms, I mention that Toni is reading The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker, and that Lorel created the vine, which you can view in more detail at flickr.
Baker's novel is about a poet who cannot write a promised introduction to an anthology of poems, and this, too, will now have to go into my Wish List at Amazon, along with several actual books of poetry, thanks to its plot and main character, a struggling free verse poet, and its discussion, within a fiction, of many other poets. Sigh.... (Or maybe I can find it at Babbitt's!)