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Reading, read….

2011/11/05

Zelda by Nancy Mitford  It was excellent.  Many of her letters, especially to her husband, Scott, survived, and she was an excellent writer.  Even her letters as a very young woman are sophisticated.  I wonder what the true nature of her mental illness was.  Living with a drunk who steals your writing (it appears) couldn’t have helped.

Blue Nights by Joan Didion Incidentally, I love the way when you pre-order a book from Amazon you receive it on the release date.  I read a review which describes Didion’s treatment of her daughter’s premature death in this book as without emotion.  I disagree.  I found a great deal of emotion in the book.  Sure, I’d love to have known more about Quintana, the adult.  The book, however, is Didion’s memoir of her experience.  She often repeats phrases to underscore their importance, and I loved this one:  “When we talk about mortality we are talking about our children.”  How true is that?!  I loved it, and it certainly evoked emotion in me.  How she survives after such loss is anathema to anyone who hasn’t experienced it.  She’s able to express that here.  I also read The Year of Magical Thinking, the book Didion wrote after the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne.

Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman I found it very interesting.  There’s an extensive review of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, and also how the religion changed over the years.  I’ve always been very curious about the current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, and she doesn’t disappoint here.  I learned a lot about him, and how he came to this place.  Another thing I learned was that there is now a full movement of people who have left the church under Miscavige, but still believe in Scientology, and practice it on their own or something.  I knew of this ugly habit of the church, but was again disturbed by how they use the legal system to wear people down, including the IRS!  Very thorough treatment of a controversial religion.

Mommy’s Little Girl by Diane Fanning  I almost felt like I’d read it before.  It’s about the disappearance and murder of Caylee Anthony and her mother, Casey, who was acquitted of her murder.  The book ends before the trial began, but it lays out all the evidence and tells the story of Caylee, Casey and her family.  It’s very sad.

Redbone by Ron Stodghill  I haven’t finished this book.  It’s about the murder of a successful entrepreneur in Atlanta in the 1990’s.  I’ve read about half of it.  It’s okay, not particularly striking, though.

Arguably Essays by Christopher Hitchens  It is excellent!  I’m reading it now and it’s colossal.  He is the wittiest, smartest man.  His writing is magical-fluid, smart, satirical, humorous, sensible, lucid.  I’m loving it.

I bought a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.  I don’t know why!  The subject, the psychology of decision-making, is interesting to me.   After I received it, however, it appears to have more details than I care to receive.  This I infer just from reading the book jacket.   I don’t remember the events–i.e., hearing about the book, finding it, etc. that led to my purchasing the book.  Perhaps my detail oriented hubby, Tim, will read it and tell me about it.  I heard an interview with the author, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics, on NPR this week and it really does sound interesting…..

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