It’s That Time Again…

Yes, that’s right, it’s time once again to tell us what you’re reading, be it good, bad, ugly, fascinating, brilliant, or just plain dumb. (And if what you’re reading fits one of the aforementioned adjectives, be sure to explain why — especially if it’s good, because I’ll soon be looking for something to read.)

Yes, tell us — what are you reading?

15 Responses

  1. McCluhan/Mexico/VofC”Laws of

    “Laws of Media: The New Science” by Marshall McLuhan and Eric McLuhan…this book can sometimes hurt my head in such a wonderful way, sort of like Joyce. This is an extension of the ideas presented in “Gutenberg Galaxy” and “Understanding Media.” I’m only about 50 pages in but thus far it’s brilliant. Not the place to start if you’ve never read McLuhan before. And I’ve been meaning to ask you: why haven’t you read McLuhan? You really should.

    “History Of Mexico,” which I don’t have in front of me and can’t remember the authors. I’m about halfway through this massive tome and I can tell you this much: Cortes was a bastard.

    Also, just starting my annual re-read of “Visions of Cody.” Also somewhat like Joyce, a sea of language.

  2. I haven’t read McLuhan
    I haven’t read McLuhan because, um… because I like my head better when it doesn’t hurt, although I will admit that some headaches are worthwhile, especially those coming from reading good things. So I will try to remember the name McLuhan when I’m thinking of things I should read, though if the one you’re reading now isn’t the one I should start with, then which one is?

  3. Li-Young Lee-a-paloozaWell,
    Li-Young Lee-a-palooza

    Well, I’m reading a collection of poetry by Li-Young Lee: The City in Which I Love You and I have to say it’s pretty damn good. I’m familiar with many of the poems included in the book, but having them all together in this short volume is another experience. Lee’s writing is as authentic and gritty as it is lyrically beautiful. It’s the kind of thing that makes you say “damn … ” The kind of writing that is almost painful to read as it cuts so deftly to the bone of what it means to be human, yet I find myself rereading the same piece two to three times in a row.

    from This Hour and What Is Dead:

    God, that old furnace, keeps talking
    with his mouth of teeth,
    a beard stained at feasts, and his breath
    of gasoline, airplane, human ash.
    His love for me feels like fire,
    feels like doves, feels like river-water.

    At this hour, what is dead is helpless, kind
    and helpless. While the Lord lives.

    Someone tell the Lord to leave me alone.
    I’ve had enough of his love
    that feels like burning and flight and running away.

  4. “Understanding Media” is a
    “Understanding Media” is a great place to start. It focuses on the media effects that permeate society and culture. McLuhan defined media as technological extensions of the body. A lot of it is about how the alphabet intensified the visual sense in communications and gave it priority over hearing, which then led to a complete reshaping/redefining of physical space.

    “War and Peace in the Global Village” is good too. The subtitle is “an inventory of some of the current spastic situations that could be eliminated by more feedforward.” It’s a weird little book that juxtaposes McLuhan’s ideas/commentary against a visual chronicle of critical moments from the 20th century.

    Incidentally, McLuhan was the first to expound the idea of a “global village” that Clinton latched onto in the ’90s.

    See, my head hurts a little now…

  5. The Courage to BeBy Paul
    The Courage to Be

    By Paul Tillich. Great book. It’s about what to do when you realize there’s no way out of meaningless, emptiness and godlessness.

  6. Time fades Into NextJust
    Time fades Into Next

    Just finished it, actually. Thoroughly enjoyed.

    Next is My Country by recently deceased Canadian historian Pierre Berton. Full of Canadian vignettes told in great storytelling fashion.

  7. The Chosen by Chaim PotokI
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok

    I love this book — it has a great story. I have been going back and reading some of my favorite books from high school, and this was one of them. It is interesting to learn about a faith (especially Hasidism) that is so different from my own.

  8. This is a favorite book of
    This is a favorite book of mine too. I especially like the way it ends — a surprising yet necessary culmination of all that went before.

  9. Gertrude and ClaudiusI just
    Gertrude and Claudius

    I just started “Gertrude and Claudius”, which is John Updike’s spin on “Hamlet”, told from the parents’ point of view.

    It was $5 at the Barnes and Noble bargain bin, so I’m trying it out. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  10. bukowski/kerouachey everyone,

    hey everyone, i’m new to litkicks but i thought i would start here…

    big sur, kerouac…might just become one of my favorite by kerouac

    factotum, bukowski…my first book by bukowski (picked it up after reading a thread on litkicks about it) I’ve only read about half of it but it has made me want to quit my sorry job as a dishwasher.

    and finally the great gatsby by fitzgerald…this one is for my 11th grade english class.

  11. I know nothing about this
    I know nothing about this book, but I have picked it up a couple times and nearly bought it both times, yet didn’t… I think I must make the investment and make it the next one up on my books to read. Thanks.

  12. Searching for the Sound- Phil
    Searching for the Sound- Phil Lesh

    Mr. Philip Lesh talks about Grateful Dead lore. It’s a joy.

    I’m grabbing sentences when I can. I’ll be back with quotes.

  13. I’ve been browsing that one
    I’ve been browsing that one too! However, this is probably about the 3rd or 4th book about the Grateful Dead I’ve read, and I wish Lesh would dig deeper into his unique/personal memory bank and tell us more stories we don’t know. I am a little disappointed in the level of originality so far … Lesh is a good guy though, and I don’t want to get on his case.

  14. Achebe and IrvingJust
    Achebe and Irving

    Just finished Girls at War and Other Stories by Chinua Achebe- I previously read his most famous novel-Things Fall Apart-both were enjoyable. I have moved on to The World According to Garp by John Irving- I am about 1/4 in and it seems to have great promise. I recently read another highly original novel by Irving-A Prayer for Owen Meaney.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!