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Rapid Eye Movements

Mom took us to the Sun Valley branch of the Los Angeles Public Library every two weeks. I always checked out the maximum number of books and inhaled them all.

Currently reading

Traveling Sprinkler
Nicholson Baker
Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife
David Burnie, Don E. Wilson
What It Is
Lynda Barry
Riders of the Purple Sage - William R. Handley, Zane Grey There's a decent story in there if you can get past all the "pretty" writing.

Legends of the Fall - Jim Harrison Of the three novellas in the book, "Legends of the Fall" is the weakest and took my rating down a star. "Revenge" and "The Man Who Gave Up His Name" were both terrific.
Songs in Ordinary Time - Mary McGarry Morris Big baggy train wreck. Like any good train wreck, bits of the gore and debris are compelling.

Itching, Itching

Itching, Itching - Teresa Gilman Wonderful stuff.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer Sweet pop fiction.
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle You know, I didn't like this book when I read it as a kid. But I know lots of people who describe it as a favorite childhood book if not THE favorite childhood book. I considered the possibility that I was too young when I read it or too silly or too distracted.

I read it again.

I still don't like it.
Our Tragic Universe - Scarlett Thomas I got my copy of this book for free from First Reads. But not to worry, Scarlett Thomas, I'm going to be spending money on the rest of your books.

This book is about Everything. Life, love, success. Food, hobbies, writing. Sex, death, age.

It's about fiction. It's about meta-fiction. Which means it's meta-meta-fiction, I guess. It's about the movie The Matrix. It's about the Universe and whether it exists as we think we know it and in what form it exists. It's about being in love and breaking up and having affairs and staying together and moving on. It's about knitting. It's about how ridiculously hard it is to write "seriously." It's about home decorating and building IKEA-style furniture. It's about teaching writing. It's about self-help books. And Aristotle. And urban myths. And friendship. And insurance fraud. And dogs. And beer. And jokes.

It's so compelling and beautifully written and downright fun that I gobbled it in a few long sessions. Read it!
The Oregon Trail - Francis Parkman If you are fond of descriptions of the multiple ways in which buffalo could be chased and shot, this book is for you.

Plenty of historical interest. But way too heavy on the buffalo hunting.
Citrus County - John Brandon I'd like to give this a 2.5. It was better than "OK," but I can't say that I "liked" it. In fact, the more I think about it, the less I like it.

There's no way to talk about what's really wrong with this book without spoilers. The best I can do is to say that Brandon's efforts to make us accept and support the protagonist (he's quirky! he's amusing! he's an orphan!) just can't overcome the morally reprehensible things the character does.