Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reading Habits

I have given up trying to read A Drunkard's Walk for the time being. Maybe I'll tackle it at a later date. Right now I need a literary distraction, and short stories about people, whose lives are much worse off than mine, seems to be doing the trick. Who Do You Love contains characters living desperate lives, who get themselves in trouble accidentally on purpose, and at the end seem headed down the same road, but with a glimmer of hope. Then again maybe "hope" is just another four-letter word to some of them.

I had given myself the pleasurable assignment of reading six consecutive novels, before going back to reading nonfiction again. For years I almost solely read fiction, except for a periodic book about nature, or Buddhism. I read a combination of literary fiction, science fiction, and mysteries. In the past few years my interest in science and philosophy has been reignited, and I've enjoyed some great books in those fields. Eye opening works like The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Cell by Boyce Rensberger, The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond, and many more. I'm particularly interested in philosophy, and consciousness, and enjoy authors like Daniel Dennett, Colin McGinn, and Thomas Nagel. Some of these authors have differing views (even to the point of feuding), but part of the excitement is exploring those differences as a reader and attempting to find one's own position.

As much as I'd like to try and figure out my own head by reading books by other thinkers, right now I believe I'd better benefit by reading something compelling, and possibly a little escapist. Believe it or not, reading books about people going through divorce, among other stressful and sad fare, seems to help distract me from my own Summer of Transition. My own divorce will be final sometime late next month. (I haven't memorized the date yet.) I'm a little too distracted to concentrate on heavy philosophy texts, or unfamiliar science. I'd rather read about guys getting postcards from their dead mothers (Erased); or a drunken college professor almost determined to lose his first year position (Lucky Jim); or even about a middle-aged man losing his telepathic abilities in addition to his hair (Dying Inside) then to try and get my head around something more complex right now.

1 comment:

Shellie said...

You know when I'm really stressed out I cannot read at all. Which accounts for the years of inactivity on the reading front for me... you take care... seems like your doing well considering. :)