17 Must-Read Books*

Gertrude Stein

  said,

  ” To write is to write is to write is to write

is to write is to write is to write.”

 She spoke the truth.

 Email. Blog posts. Blog comments. Email. Manuscripts. Introductions. Blog posts.
Email. Email. Email.

 What happened to reading?

 I shall find out.

  ***

 Pennebaker. The Secret Life of Pronouns.

  Connolly, ed. Books to Die For.

Howells. Annie Kilburn. (Again)

  James. Portrait of a Lady. (Again)

 Wharton. The Custom of the Country. (Again)

  The House of Mirth. (Again)

   Zelvin. Shifting Is for the Goyim.

   Kaufman. The Writer’s Guide to Psychology.

   Duhigg. The Power of Habit.

   Ratey. Spark. (Again)

Castle. Murder by Misrule.

    Tartt. The Goldfinch.

   Saylor. A Twist at the End.

   Cain. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.

   Edgerton. Lunch at the Picadilly. (Again)

   De Becker. The Gift of Fear.

   Hallinan. The Fear Artist.

  ***

   Where to begin?* Probably not with the Agains. They sing their siren songs, but I mustn’t answer.
Wouldn’t be prudent.

  Quiet. That’s the one. In the past three weeks, I’ve had a lot of contact with humans and
too much bustling.

  I’m just wo-ahn out.

  It’s crawl-under-a-rock time. With a book.***

   ‘Night.

   ***

  *Experts (says an article on the web) say readers are attracted to lists with numbers in the titles. We’ll see.

  **I have other possibilities. These are the ones I can see without getting up and crossing the room.

  ***I started this post last night but fiddled so long with it that I didn’t have time to read.
I’m still fiddling with it.

  But tonight . . .

***

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Summer Reading

Henry James, by John Singer Sargent (died 1925...
Image via Wikipedia

For the past two days, I’ve had an intense compulsion to read something by Henry James.

My first response was to lie down and hope it went away.

It didn’t.

So I watched Wings of a Dove for the fourth time. That wasn’t enough.

Today I searched Netflix for more film adaptations of James’ work. Most are on DVD rather than streaming, so I watched The Bostonians for the second time.

My yen for James remains. What to do, what to do.

My objection to James isn’t that he, as Mrs. Henry Adams observed, “chewed more than he bit off,” but that I can’t always tell what he’s chewing.

James is subtle. I am not.

Solution: Read more James.

Sigh.

One possibility remains: Instead of wanting to read Henry James, perhaps I just want to read something containing compound-complex sentences.

Whose compound-complex sentences, I don’t know.

Not Edith Wharton’s. Not William Dean Howells’. Not E. M. Forster’s.

But I’m going to do my best to find out.

Because I have a feeling that after I finish with Henry, I’ll move on to his brother William. A Pluralistic Universe. An American lit. professor recommended it to me. After I’d read Varieties of Religious Experience. In 1972.

I’ve never gotten around to it.

What a shame if I were to open a book and accidentally engage a brain cell.

At least not until cooler weather.