Sunday, February 7, 2010

Books, books, books

It didn't snow for very long. It was gone almost as soon as it appeared. 

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time learning. When I'm not studying for next week's exam, I'm listening to iTunes U lectures on literature and education. My favorites lately have been Duke's Bloomsbury lectures and Yale professor Amy Hungerford's The American Novel Since 1945. This particular class is interesting because I'd already read some of the books they study, and it's always great to have someone else's perspective on them. I loved her take on Franny & Zooey, and The Human Stain. I love having access to great classes like these. I've been a very big fan of iTunes U ever since its launch. I have 132 lectures and talks on iTunes, and I've listened to a fair number. 

I finished Joanna Smith Rakoff's A Fortunate Age on Friday, and highly recommend it. I agree with her that there was a serious lack of chick lit with more depth to it. Her characters are flawed, but not in an annoying-I'm-going-to-strangle-them-because-they're-so-fake-and-have-no-grasp-on-reality kind of way. Also, how often do you find a book in which the characters are book worms and still lead interesting lives? It's challenging and often, it hits close to home. 

I have an awful tendency to read a dozen books at the same time, and so it took me forever to finish this one, but I made a pledge to finish reading it before I went back to the others and started reading the couple of new books I received on Wednesday. Now that I've finished it, I've started The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. I think I tend to look for a touch of Wonder Boys in this book, and in a lot of books I read that are set on campuses. I think it's the literary event (WordFest) and creative writing class components of it that I want to find again. Wonder Boys left such a mark on me. 

Before I started reading The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, I made two stacks of books that are on my 2010 reading list. 

Nighttime is when I think of 
all the books I need to read...
and all those I need to finish reading

2 comments:

Des said...

"Renegade" and "The Audacity to Win" make sense given your political background. And I am a huge fan of the film, "Wonderboys." I've never read the novel, but the film was outstanding.

That is such an excellent idea to listen to the itunes U lectures. Thank you for sharing this. I'll have to start listenting.

Anne said...

I read the book after the I saw the movie. I'm guilty of that. Actually, I'd read the first 20 pages or so before I saw the movie, but that was it. You should read the book.
iTunes U is such a fantastic resource. I'm sure there's plenty on there that would be of interest to you. USC has some nice conferences about cinema. You might like that.