lazer-guided commentaries

What I'm reading

I've not been reading an awful lot recently; perhaps keeping some kind of record will help get me started again. Pauline's short-story reading at Decongested was great fun — perhaps I'll get into going to more of that kind of thing.

Over the last few months, though, I've managed:

  • Lattimore's translation of the Odyssey. The copy I received from a second-hand seller on Amazon was a kind of parallel text, so heavy were the marginal annotations. Still, they were helpful in a way, pointing out internal connections and cultural background I wouldn't have picked up otherwise. I also picked up Lattimore's translation of the Iliad, but having read that a few years back, I'm not ready to read it again yet, even though it's in a different translation.
  • Matter, Iain M. Banks. I enjoyed this — I've not enjoyed all of his recent SF work, but this one felt to me like a return to form.
  • The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks. I'd read this before, many many years ago, and it was good to read it again. I read it this time in preparation for the Guardian Book Club evening where he was interviewed about it. He's a charismatic speaker, very entertaining. The Guardian published a report of the evening, and you can listen to a podcast of the discussion.
  • I've started re-reading The Silmarillion. I read this when I was about thirteen, I think, and I'm enjoying refreshing my memory. So far, no surprises; it's like everyone says, a fairly dry piece of work. One for the nerds.

Next in the queue: The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus; Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche; This Is Your Brain On Music, Daniel Levitin; The Universe Next Door, Marcus Chown; Star Maker, Olaf Stapledon. Most probably interleaved with some lighter fare, too.