June Read-a-thon Update: Day 13

Classes are great so far, but there’s so much reading associated with them! I’m gonna start including that here.

What I’ve read:

  • 24 pages of Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz. Notes: I thought this was creative non-fiction, but it’s actually fiction. And the pieces after the first two don’t feel as pretentious to me, so I’ve been back to reading this one again. There have been a few chunks of what I think is excellent writing, or what my poetry teacher called “moments of pleasure”, and I’ve been quoting them on my tumblr, as well as on Twitter (length permitting, of course).
  • 90 pages of Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke [trans. M.D. Herter Norton]. Notes: finished.
  • 108 pages of The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur. Notes: finished.
  • 173 pages of Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derrick Bell. Notes: finished.
  • 8 pages of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Notes: no update.
  • 9 pages of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Notes: I have actually been reading this one for about 8 years. I’ll periodically pick it up, read a few chapters, and then put it back down for months. It’s definitely the book that’s been on my currently reading list the longest. While some of the language is lovely, the plot drags, and there are whole chapters that are asides: 3 pages on whale skeletons, followed by 4 on whale fossils, 13 pages about “cetology” (the study of whales and dolphins), 9 pages examining various cultures use of white to show sanctity, 10 pages—comprising 3 consecutive chapters—comparing the head shapes and sizes of two kinds of whales, and so on. It’s a bit tough to get through, honestly.
  • 44 pages of Requiem for a Paper Bag by Davy Rothbart [Ed.]. Notes: I had the same problem with this as with Lutz’s book—the first couple of pieces seemed too pretentious for me, and a whole bunch of GoodReads readers and the reviewers from my local public library all agree. This one gets a shockingly low overall rating from tons of folks. This one actually is creative non-fiction: a collection of short pieces, it includes writing by “celebrities and civilians” telling the story of various found objects, brought together by the editor of Found Magazine. It’s been pretty hit or miss so far, but I have to read it for school, so I am.
  • 43 pages of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe. Notes: this one is also for school, but I enjoyed it considerably more.
  • 19 pages of The Memoirs of Vidocq, Principal Agent of the French Police Until 1827 by Eugène François Vidocq [Trans. by H. T. Riley]. Notes: also for school. It seems rather more fanciful than an account of actual events, but is very entertaining, if meandering and long-winded.

Running page count: 518

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