Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19th Report on the War against my bookshelf

So, weeks ago I was originally reading “The Power and The Glory” by Graham Greene and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” by John Le Carre. Or, I should say I was attempting Le Carre for the 2nd time. I started reading it years ago and had no idea what the heck was going on plot wise. I re-tried it recently, due to the announcement that Swedish film director Tomas Alfredson is adapting it as a film for the big screen with Gary Oldman and Ralph Fiennes, and I was able to follow the plot a lot better this time around, but it and Greene were ultimately re-shelved for future returns.

Unrealistically, I retain the goal of tackling everything on my shelf at some point in life. I try sticking to one novel at a time, but the grass is always greener on the other side and the decorated spines of other seemingly faster-paced or deeper novels stare back at me from the bookshelf. So, I try reading multiple books at once, as John Ritter used to do, but inevitably the one that’s more interesting consumes most of my attention, and even though I know I have to catch the other novels up, I can never give myself the desire to.

So obviously, all the books have to be equally intriguing (or perhaps equally boring).

The aforementioned two were shelved because, as written in the last blog post, I headed out to that magnificent New York City pillar of literary economy, The Strand, and picked up “Ilustrado” by Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco, the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize winner that has been getting all the raves amongst literary outlets. The narrative is written much livelier and in faster pace than the other two, so I just swore I’d come back to them later.

I then picked up “The Nearest Exit” by Olen Steinhauer and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. All three of these books equally share my interest and will be written about on here soon enough.

I take it to be a literary moral obligation to cover the classics, and I have a range of Barnes and Noble editions of them, especially in light of the recent controversy over 1885 classic “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” being reprinted by “Twain Scholar” Alan Gribben without the words “nigger” or “Injun”. But contemporary stuff is where I’m at now.

I’m hoping that being exposed to so much of it will make them all appear the same. Then, for me, the old novels will become the new ones.