Monday, May 3, 2010

The Book Stack Grows Ever Taller

Because of the torrential rainfall and extensive flooding in the metro Nashville area, I have spent much of my weekend (and today) reading various and sundry things rather than spending time in the library where I should have been to focus on schoolwork. I also need to return a stack of books that seems to be growing exponentially.

But over this (long) weekend, I've read quite a bit, not least of which the aforementioned Being Abbas el Abd. I also re-read Joanna Russ' The Female Man with my post-it note flags by my side, marking relevant passages so I could find them easily later. I did the same thing with Stephen Toulmin's The Return to Cosmology: Postmodern Science and Natural Theology, which was a very interesting book about how the specialization/fragmentation of science during the Enlightenment separated science from theological concerns. Adding that to Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, which outlines the quest of string theory to combine Einsteinian physics and quantum mechanics, and I'm starting to put together an interesting view of postmodern cosmology--something that has been fragmented into many, many pieces, but over which humanity still tries to force an overarching theory of everything.

Somewhere in that paragraph lies the thesis for my postmodernism paper. Somewhere.

In the meantime, I did find time to read Laurie King's newest Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes novel, The God of the Hive. It follows almost immediately The Language of Bees, but doesn't have quite the ratiocination (to use Poe's term) that the previous novels have used--it's more in the style of an adventure novel than previous installments and moves much further away from Conan Doyle's Sherlock.

I also read Nora Roberts' newest, Savor the Moment. Yes, it's brain candy (tasty, tasty brain candy), but everyone needs fluff now and then, especially fluff that doesn't require you to parse complex literary machinations. I might have paid a little too much attention to the cake decorating descriptions, having watched my mother decorate cakes for years, but overall, it was satisfying enough. It did make me long for my wedding to get here a little faster.

I've also been trying to put together a list of things I want to read during my copious amounts of spare time over the summer. I know I've got to read Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth and The Hero with a Thousand Faces again, as I'm writing a paper on Campbellian heroes in Firefly
for Slayage in June. Also on the list is Charlotte Bronte's Villette, as my friend Shiloh gave me a copy of it--it's on my preliminary exam reading list. I'd also like to have time to read Catherine Coulter's Knock Out, which I've had for months and haven't opened; the same goes for Elizabeth Peters' newest, The River in the Sky, which I just bought a few weeks ago. A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book is sitting on my bookshelf looking lonely as well.

I've also had an urge to open up some of my old Nancy Drew mysteries. Most of them actually belonged to my mother, the gray volumes with two books bound into one. They've started to get that wonderful smell that old books get, a musty smell of comfort. I guess the older that I get, the more I want to sit back and remember my childhood and so many, many hours sitting back and engrossing myself in the adventures of Nancy, Bess and George. I always, always had my nose in a book.

Still do.

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