Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Helter Skelter - the stepping stones of my mind (tales of a scattershot reader)

Today's post will be scattershot, if not quite desultory,reflecting my mind and getting in those GRE vocab words. A sultry day yesterday, with a couple of tremendous downpours. It made everything damp - my shoes, my shirt - so I was slightly chilled every time I went inside somewhere airconditioned - my brain, my personality... damp, damp, damp. After two mind-numbing hours yesterday on the difference between developmental scores and standard scores on psychological tests, two reading a couple of studies on how we recognize objects when we can't see them completely, and another two analyzing data on a study about factors influencing learning and performance, I was hoping some leisurely reading time was in the cards. No such luck. First I flitted about on line - visited Matt and Siew, both back from their vacations, dropped in on Lotus reads who had a great post on a new book about alexia which is all over the sphere, and finally I headed over to my friend Sheila who was raving about the likelihood of coming down with Capgras syndrome spontaneously by thinking about it too much - I totally understand! Because, although you resemble my usual reader you are clearly a cleverly constructed copy sent here by the French government. We then shared a rave on a wonderfully fun book called The Man Who Turned into Himself by David Ambrose. All I can say is read it - it is sci fi, quantum physics, and a love story - that makes it sound complex which it's not - it's an easy read, not brilliant. But without giving too much away, it's about a man who needs denial really badly, so he enters an alternate reality. It's the kind of book that twists my brain into a little pretzel. Then I wanted to hunker down with some happy analogue reading - you know the kind with pages, the kind for which you have to knock down a few trees. I jumped from Didion to Laurie King (see current reading on the side bar) - and they weren't doing it for me. So I picked up The Welsh Girl which I read about over at Dovegreyreader Scribbles. I believe it was nominated for the Booker Prize, I don't know if it got any further, I just can get myself to care about awards. Anyway, I don't like reading multiple books at a time - some of you impress me no end with your ability to frolic from flower-to-flower, keeping track of multiple plots, characters and impressions. But each book is its own world to me, and I want to be in that world until I'm out. I'm a one-book kind of guy. Not so this week. I've become an adulterous reader. I've only just started but already I'm hooked. The time: 1944; the place: Wales; the situation: a young British officer is brought to interrogate Rudolph Hess. That's all I got before falling asleep as the humidity finally broke.


Anonymous said...

Heh, I grew up reading 3-5 books at a time easily, but now I really prefer to concentrate on one book at a time. It's just more fun now getting deep into one world. However, occasionally I'll read both fiction and non-fiction at the same time.

Here's hoping you get more time to read soon!

Lotus Reads said...

Hey Ted, thanks for the mention! You've got me curious about "The Man Who Turned into Himself", I'm going to have to check it out. Regarding "The Welsh Girl", I received it as a gift and returned it for Nikita Lalwani's "Gifted", which was OK but after reading what you and others have had to say about "The Welsh Girl" I am beginning to regret my decision, oh well.

Ted said...

Lotus - I'll keep you posted on the Welsh Girl. So far so good.