recent and semi-recent reads:

ovid’s metamorphoses: phew! i can’t believe i read the whole thing. although edith halmiton’s mythology remains my favorite book on mythology, this translation is good, very conversational (at times a tad bit too much so), and pretty easy to read. the stories get a bit repetitive and the gory battle scenes get a bit long, but there were definitely a fair number that i hadn’t been familiar with (mostly b/c they featured such charming topics as incest) and enjoyed. good if you’re fan of mythology.

orson scott card’s ender’s shadow: this one was a definite page-turner; i literally spent the whole day reading this. it’s been a few years since i read ender’s game and my memory’s not the greatest, so i think i enjoyed this more than i might have. the story missteps occasionally when the parallelism b/t the two books is a bit too close, but in general card’s different perspective is worthwhile. instead of concentrating so much on the students’ lives as in ender’s game, card lets us see really get a feel for how the adults are operating and also what the situation on earth is like. bean is a great character, and from what i remember of ender i’d have to say bean comes out on top. the only problem is now i have to read the other books in the series.

anne sexton’s transformations: poetic retellings and variations and mostly familiar grimm brothers fairy tales. the material most closely tied to the source material isn’t so interesting, but the mini-poems that serve as a prelude to each story are usually good and worth reading.

william empson’s seven types of ambiguity: haha. i hope joyce appreciates that i tackled this apparently famous book on literary criticism. empson has some interesting ideas, but the first section i read was way too unfocused, tangential, and wordy. i’m not sure yet if i’m going to read the rest (prob. not right away, anyway), but i did like how empson’s examples are ones i’m not that familiar with, including a great sestina by sidney.

e.f. benson’s queen lucia: a satirical look at a small british town and its denizens with pretensions to sophistication in the arts. mostly vignette-like, but has some really memorable characters and situations.

some recent listens include the cat power song he war, which i’ve had on repeat. also been listening to this band matt pond PA which has been compared to the shins and death cab. i would agree with that, although i’d say it’s much more like the fly seville and the guy sounds like peter gabriel. not sure yet what my final verdict is on that.


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