I read multiple books at the same time, for maximum effect - although I'm not quite sure what that effect is. I like the combination and contrast of ideas and images. A barrage of poetic phrasings, unfriendly gunfire, and prose about canoes. Currently reading:
Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" got me interested in reading history again, and I found this book recently. I'm almost finished with it, and will give it to Helen when I'm done. It's a comic book style history of the United States. Brilliant. Eye-opening.
Rilke's "On Love and Other Difficulties" was a gift from a friend. I'm reading and writing comments in the margins. Lots of gems in here, but there's an offhand parenthetical about happiness not being all that important that has left me hanging. I wonder if he clarifies somewhere later in the book? I hope so.
NPR's National Story Project is now anthologized in Paul Auster's "I Thought My Father Was God," a collection of essays submitted to and aired on NPR. It's edited and organized well - the flow from one essay into another is never jumpy. Some essays are haunting, others are expected tearful goodbyes at the train. It's a book that emphasizes the important role of storytelling and memoir. One of the last essays is a nod to Paul and his good work with the project, which is good work indeed, but I thought it was a little self-serving. That's just an editorial peeve of mine.
One of my favorite poets, Margaret Atwood is best known for her novels. I always love her writing. The version of "The Door" that I purchased comes with a CD of the poet reading a few of the poems. I haven't listened to it yet. I have read the entire book through twice though. There are words in the poems that I didn't know (sedged) and phrases that last and become the first thing you think upon waking:
anything can be a saint/if you pray to it enough
Sharp-edged, cynical, reflective, confessional and humorous (some wonderful poems about being a poet and the responsibilities of being one), it's a collection worth reading many times, and then sharing.