I am basically feeling well, but still congested, and perhaps then a little unfocused. Perhaps my reading was a little unfocused as well. Anyway, all I'm up for is a simple accounting. If I blogged about a book there will be a link, and I probably will have little to say. My goal continues to write about books as they affect my thoughts, if they affect my thoughts, and just give a monthly accounting. Obviously I have a long way to go before I perfect that idea.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Interesting and entertainingly written. I'm sure I learned something; I also thought about the book occasionally while reading other books this month although they had nothing, directly, to do with astrophysics. But that's the thing about learning, ideas crop up in interesting places, new insights arrive.
The Cinderella Murder, Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke. Another in a series I started last month and now have finished. Entertaining fluff.
The Leavers, Lisa Ko. This was an interesting and somewhat difficult novel. For me the difficulty was in the way the story felt disconnected and choppy here and there, like I never quite fully connected with the protagonist or any of the main characters, It was really only as I came close to the end of the book that I fully understand that that the author was intentionally playing with a sense of disjointedness, trying to help the reader actually experience the way the various experiences in this young man's life contributed to this sense he had of not belonging. The author does pull this together in the end. I still feel a bit unsettled about the book, perhaps that too is the point.
The Swerve, Stephen Greenblatt. Interesting as a literary detective story, which is, in fact, the majority of the book.. Not quite so interesting in its interpretation of Medieval thought. Greenblatt's argument about the role Lucretius played in the changes in ways of thought that lead to the renaissance and modernity are actually pretty nuanced, and his writing is smoothly entertaining and at times gripping. And this is the problem in that Greenblatt glosses over many aspects of Medieval philosophy and culture if it does not suit his story, leading to a rather one-sided and not particularly accurate view of the medieval period, that appears misinformed or misguided. But this may be only distortion due to simplification and the consequences of an easy read. On looking back, the nuance gets lost sometimes in the story, but if the story alone brings one to consider history and philosophy in a new light, it cannot be considered a bad thing. Recommended.
The Women in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck. I really wanted to love this book. It came highly recommended by friends, and I like the premise: a group of German women coming together, dealing with the aftermath of the war. It just didn't seem to live up to its potential for me. It wasn't that I disliked the characters, although they were not necessarily likable, more that they just seemed like puppets to me, each with a designated role to play, and little real human development to help us understand the people behind the stereotypes..
The Things We Do For Love, Kristin Hannah. Sweet.
I've Got You Under My Skin, Mary Higgins Clark. Apparently I'm not generally a Mary Higgins Clark fan, although the book was enjoyable enough.
The Christian Moral Life, Timothy Sedgwick. (not in above photo, oops). EFM book. This was my second reading and I still find it profoundly thought provoking. Worth reading.
The Triumph of Christianity, Bart Ehrman. Not theology but a historians attempt to show how a movement got started. Ties together a lot of research in an easy-to-read way, and corrects some popular misconceptions.
Nutshell, Ian McEwan. My favorite book of the month.