Tuesday, February 5, 2013

recommended reading

I've been reading so promiscuously over the past couple of years that I really haven't been tracking new work by some of my favorite authors. But I've recently bumped up against a couple of new ones I want to mention.

I just finished reading Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe, which was a very enjoyable reminder of how much I enjoy reading pretty much anything he writes. This one is set in Miami and its themes are race relations, the art world, law enforcement, money and social climbing, and so on. Wolfe always seems to swirl big topics in with available characters and a lot of wit; somewhere along the way, you realize you've been reading social commentary, and it's gone down pretty easy. I would say it has a similar tone and scope to his '80s novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities.

There is also a new John Irving book, In One Person, which is next on my list after I gobble up the Kenneth Swalanski bio of J.D. Salinger. I don't think I've read Irving's last book, Last Night in Twisted River, so that's on my list, too.

I've also had a strong recommendation of Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, so that's in the queue as well.

My Kindle croaked for good about a week ago, so I'm using the Cool Reader app on my phone until I decide what to do next. I get paid on the 15th, and Amazon has offered a discount on a couple of refurbed Kindle Touch'es, though as always I am eying better models. My phone will do a lot of things that an e-reader will, and an e-reader will do a lot of things that a tablet will, so I have to figure this all out. All suggestions and advice will be appreciated.

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