What I Happen to Be Reading At the Moment

"A thirteen-year-old is a kaleidoscope of different personalities, if not in most ways a mere figment of her own imagination. At that age, what and who you are depends largely on what book you happen to be reading at the moment.”

 

While not 13 anymore, the desire to read almost anything and everything in order to read for fun and for experience is still around. I'm currently working on my PhD in a physical science, but I love to read and books are one of my non-science hobbies.

Bobcat and Other Stories

Bobcat and Other Stories - Rebecca Lee Bobcat and Other Stories had been on my to read list for a while, since it was part of an Indiespensable shipment. When I finally got around to it, I finished it in an afternoon. The series of well construted and deeply atmospheric short stories is just incredible and I couldn't put the book down until I'd read them all. In terms of some summary and a quick story by story review:"Bobcat"--A woman anxiously prepares dinner for her party, and contemplates the various interactions between her friends. There are pleanty of issues, including whether or not the author of a best-seller about having her arm eaten off by a bobcat is exaggerating her story. "Banks of Vistula"--A young undergraduate participates in some level of plagiarism in a paper for a tough Soviet professor while at the same time adjusting to college and her first winter at that midwestern university. How much the professor knows about her plagirism becomes an issue as the protagonist may or may not have her academic star rising. The feeling of long, dark winter days and academia was incredibly spot on, and I particularly enjoyed this short story. "Slatland"--How much can someone alter a young mind in an incredibly creepy way? This short story starts to answer that question. While I was not particularly pleased with this short story, the writing and style were both incredible. "Min"--What do you do when your Asian best friend's father asks you to find him a wife? It sounds like a terrible cliche but the execution of the story brings in elements of family, tradition, and responsibility to the past. "World Party"--Once again in the realm of academia, a professor contemplates the World Party at his son's Quaker school as well as the disciplinary action against one of the more radicalized professors. Once again within the realm of academia, the story works within the somewhat limited realm of an academic department but once again is incredibly layered and fascinating. "Fialta"--Interns at a famous architect's compound are given the professional opportunity of a lifetime and are told canoodling with each other will get them kicked out. Interpersonal issues, sneaking around, and creative development begin! Also, there are some symbolic cows and barns. "Settlers"--Back to the dinner party theme. The plot is confined to a few series of interactions but it is all packed into a very small space. Overall, the short stories are incredibly well constructed. Despite the somewhat limited realm of experience, like academia and dinner parties, that the characters are given, there is so much packed into each story and makes this collection incredible.

Currently reading

Native Son
Richard Wright
The Great Glass Sea
Josh Weil
The Elder Edda
Anonymous, Andrew Orchard