Tuesday, July 02, 2013

What I read -- June 2013



“The Wasp Factory” by Iain Banks. Just past halfway through, I realized that this isn’t the kind of book where the bad things are coming, it’s one where the bad things happened in the past. That made it a lot easier to read. Quite gleefully disturbing, and I knew we were driving towards some shocking revelation at the end (I was guessing Eric didn’t really exist) but it caught me totally off-guard and made me rethink my whole attitude towards everything I’d read. Wow.

“The Diviners” by Libba Bray. Kind of a superhero origin story set in the 20’s. I was fascinated by the way she used and switched POV (like when I change color on a pair of socks, and there’s an intermediate area where I did a Fibonacci sequence). The name-dropping period detail product placement was a little excessive for my taste, but that’s the style, I guess. Also, chapter 1 was a prologue!

Distinction : a social critique of the judgement of taste”  by Pierre Bourdieu. I read a review of this on Salon and then waited what seemed like a year for it to turn up (I just checked on Salon and in fact it was here: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/31/changing_our_culture_of_consumption/) at the library. I might have enjoyed this book more if I knew more about 70’s pop culture, especially in France. The ideas were really interesting and thought-provoking, but I’ll be honest: this book was a slog. If I hadn’t gone on vacation, I wouldn’t have been able to finish it. As it was, I had to set myself a daily quota.

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