Friday, March 02, 2007

Books I'm Reading (for quite sometime now)

I don't read or write enough. I have been reading the Globe and Mail six days a week in addition to the Sunday NY Times. Since I am not bound to any schedule but am mainly steered by the swerves of my random desires I found myself reading the papers for about two hours each day before anything else was tackled. Hours more are spent on the internets linking from blogs to links to wikipedia entries to videos to still more news sites. I don't watch much TV, about an hour per day while I'm eating at which time I may watch the Daily Show or yet more news, a documentary or the rare basketball game or boxing.

For someone who claims to want to be a writer I have read very little of other authors. When I was younger I had the stupid and naive notion that reading too many novels would unduly influence me and I would be unable to develop my own unique voice. That was a mistake. I now realize the importance of immersion. I hope it's not too late.

I have started several books but I haven't finished many lately. I resolve to read more good writers. I really have no excuse since I canceled my newspaper subscriptions this week and there are two small independent bookstores immediately beside my house. Here is a list of readings in progress:

Milan Kundera - The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts
A book about writing novels by a great writer of novels.

Milan Kundera - The Unbearable Lightness of Being
I saw the film nearly twenty years ago but had never read the book.

Orhan Pamuk - Istanbul: Memories and the City
He is the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature and here he writes about the history of streets and neighbourhoods of which I am distantly familiar having lived there for 5 years.

Lawrence Lessig - Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity
An engaging book by a lawyer about intellectual property and the internets.

Lee Smolin - The Trouble With Physics
Director of the nearby Perimeter Institute in Waterloo writing about his misgivings about String Theory.

Jurgen Habermas - The Philosphical Discourse of Modernity
I read this stuff during my PhD research but am now reading it more charitably having found new respect for such left of center thinking.

Richard Healey - The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
Another re-reading now that I have more patience.

Elliot et al - Relations, Transformations, and Statistics
A grade 13 textbook it is hoped will help me with the book above.

Primo Levi - The Monkey's Wrench
When I described by own novel writing (in progress) to someone they suggested I read Primo Levi. I just bought the book today from my neighbour the bookseller and do not yet see the connection.

Chris Mathers - Crime School: Money Laundering
A friend wrote this. He spent twenty years undercover working with drug lords and organized crime. He is also the father of two members of Hostage Life (see below).

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