I read Atlas Shrugged years ago - I think when I was around 18. I remember loving it, but skimming/skipping the big political rant at the end of the book. I guess my political views were already set.
It took me longer than I'd anticipated, but I finished Leila Meacham's Somerset a few days ago. It's a family saga set mostly in Texas beginning before statehood and continuing into the early-20th century. This is a prequel to Meacham's book Roses, which I read a few years ago. Nothing deep and meaningful, but not total fluff either. Sort of makes me wish I hadn't read Roses yet because I don't remember much of it book now. I guess I could read it again, but there are just too many books to read for the first
Now I'm reading two different books - one on the Kindle and one in PB. First is Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield. Kind of an odd book, but a quick read:I'm also reading In Paradise, Peter Matthiessen's final book.Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget . . .
Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.
And Bellman & Black is born.
I've always loved Matthiessen's writing. This one is particularly poignant, not just because of the subject matter, but because he passed away just days before it was released.In the winter of 1996, more than a hundred women and men of diverse nationality, background, and belief gather at the site of a former concentration camp for an unprecedented purpose: a weeklong retreat during which they will offer prayer and witness at the crematoria and meditate in all weathers on the selection platform, while eating and sleeping in the quarters of the Nazi officers who, half a century before, sent more than a million Jews to their deaths. Clements Olin, an American academic of Polish descent, has come along, ostensibly to complete research on the death of a survivor, even as he questions what a non-Jew can contribute to the understanding of so monstrous a catastrophe. As the days pass, tensions, both political and personal, surface among the participants, stripping away any easy pretense to healing or closure. Finding himself in the grip of emotions and impulses of bewildering intensity, Olin is forced to abandon his observer’s role and to embrace a history his family has long suppressed—and with it the yearnings and contradictions of being fully alive.
As if that wasn't enough, I'm also making my way through Reading Joss Whedon, a scholarly look at Whedon's work. Apparently, Buffy is one of the most widely written about series in academia. As a super fan of the Whedonverse, I'm enjoying it. It makes me see his series and work in a totally different way.