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.

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction (Everyman's Library) - Joan Didion, John Leonard We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live is a collection of Didion's nonfiction work, including Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Salvador, Miami, After Henry, Political Fictions, and Where I Was From, stopping in 2003 before the deaths of her husband and daughter. I got bogged down in the more historical and political essay collections and took a long break after Miami but picked it back up and finished reading. Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album are stellar, with Didion's sparse and biting prose describing the way of life and climate of the 1960's. Didion's essays on more personal topics, like keeping a journal, are insightful and interesting. Where I Was From comes back to this theme and is the later of Didion's work that I enjoyed best. The more historical and political focused ones are less interesting. I'm not sure if I got bogged down in Didion's somewhat indignant tone or maybe the actions of the United States in the latter half of the 20th century are just going to be very depressing. In Political Fictions especially, with the focus American politics of the 1990's, Didion took a heavy hand in condemning those involved. It's justly deserved criticism, but lacks the variety in topic of some of Didion's other work. I'm glad I stuck with this one, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem I would definitely read again.

Currently reading

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