Since I’ve written about my reading goals for 2009, I might as well share what I’m reading. If I remember, I’ll write one of these posts each month. The idea, and the form, are unabashedly swiped from Nick Hornby’s (now-defunct) books column in The Believer magazine.
Books bought this month: “Shakespeare Wrote for Money,” Nick Hornby; “Highway 61 Revisited,” Mark Polizzotti; “Exile on Main Street,” Robert Greenfield.
Books read this month: “Billy Budd and Other Stories,” Herman Melville; “The Demolished Man,” Alfred Bester; “Double Indemnity,” James M. Cain; “Bradbury Speaks,” Ray Bradbury.
I liked all four, to one degree or another. “Billy Budd…” has already been featured here. “Demolished” is a ’50s SF classic in which a man plans the perfect murder in a society where the police are mind-readers. The book holds up. “Indemnity” is lean and mean and makes me want to rent the movie version again — script by Raymond Chandler, no less. The Bradbury book is a collection of essays and, although I’m a fan, is hit and miss.
Four books in January? I might actually meet my goal of 50 books this year — or at least 48.
Incidentally, I had saved “Double Indemnity” to read someday on Metrolink, because the book is a mere 125 pages. Last Saturday I took the train to L.A. for lunch and a museum visit. I opened the book on the train and by Union Station was at p. 40. I read a few more pages on the subway. At lunch at Pete’s Cafe I lingered and read more.
After the museum I walked to Clifton’s, where I enjoyed a slice of pie and a drink and read. At the subway station I got in another four pages. At Union Station for the return home, I boarded the waiting train, turned to p. 80 and started in. When we stopped in Claremont, I had two pages left. Well, I couldn’t ask them to hold the train, so I walked to my car and finished the book in the Metrolink parking lot.
A book in a single day? Haven’t done that since I was in short pants. Credit a very short book and a very gripping story.