Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Question Time: What I'm Watching/Reading/Etc.

HC inquires:
What are you reading? Or watching? Further thoughts on Rome, or Veronica Mars, and the like.
Re: TV: I am catching up on The Wire and TiVoed the Veronica Mars season premiere so Steve and I can watch it together tonight, so no thoughts on those yet (except: Prez! yay!).
UPDATE: I have seen the Veronica Mars season premiere; discussion in the comments.

I spent altogether too much time reading the Television Without Pity Rome forums and dug up some more historical fiction and nonfiction book recs from that. Thus, my pile of library books at present looks like this:

I also have an audiobook version of Arthur & George for listening while exercising and a Mark Bittman cookbook which I am using tonight to make shrimp curry.

My recent reads include Wild Cards 1 & 2 (meh), 75 pages of the first book in this series (soporific), and Longitude (should have been a New Yorker article, not a book). While I was in Japan, I read Middlemarch, The Master and Margarita, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and all but the last 50 pages of The Portrait of a Lady. The trouble with reading classics is all too often the introductions give the whole plot away. In the case of this last book, I already know the ending, so I haven't been passionate about finishing.

Reading TMaM and WUBC back-to-back was a bit more magical realism than I could bear. I typically dislike magical realism and was shocked that I enjoyed either book, but even my pleasure in them individually could not overcome my strong bias against the genre in general. Ultimately, I prefer more traditional fantasy, or at least fantasy with more rigorous logical principles. Additionally, in situations in which the setting is not a key element, urban fantasy and magical realism tend to become dated rather quickly. Neither of these books fell victim to this weakness, but I probably won't assume that my liking for them should be extrapolated to other magical realist novels.
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