I find it odd how much I've grown to enjoy Billy Joel over the last five or so years. I mean, it started with the singability of the stuff from the "Uptown Girl" album .... but now I'm listening to "Piano Man" and finding it just pathetically touching, after having previously found it pathetic ... some kind of combination of missing American culture and the evolution of his own life, I suppose, making it all so much tragic.
Jesus, maybe there will be a day when I like Edith Piaf. God knows I enjoy the Carpenters now, too. There's no hope for me, really.
I'm flip flopping about what to be reading now. What I really want are brilliant books, books I can't put down. But authors like Charlaine Harris and Jo Clayton are so rare that I find I actually slow down when I read their books, deliberately setting them aside so I can draw out the experience.
I've picked back up the Alain de Botton book "Pleasures and Sorrows of Work" that I sat aside while I was on vacation (where I voraciously consumed Dancer's Rise by Clayton - really hope I've got book 2 in that series!) due to its weight, and I've just had a new book show up, Scarlett Thomas's "Popco" ("a grown-up adventure of family secrets, puzzles and the power of numbers") that I bought solely because her previous book was 100% amazing ("The End of Mr. Y," best book I've ever got out of a hotel's travel library). I'm still waiting for Stross' Saturn's Children to show up, but sadly the first book of the Camilleri Sicilian mysteries ("The Shape of Water") won't be coming at all as the US seller (Thriftbooks) either lost their copy or decided it didn't want to bother mailing it to the UK. I suspect the thing to do would be to read the new China Mieville book, which is supposed to be a mystery, but I didn't feel like committing to a hardback - they're so unpleasant to carry around.
On the other hand, carrying around a book that's unpleasant to read is also no fun, which is why Tristam Shandy is now languishing at home. I want to keep up with my plan of consuming the classics on the commute - perhaps Wuthering Heights should be next? I sure haven't found anything as good as Madame Bovary recently, that's for sure.
And the final element: I'm trying to actually finish all the books I've started, unless I decide (like Tristam) I don't want to read it. I've got six books that are more or less in progress right now. The David Sedaris book I'm stretchig out; everything else just got put aside in favor of something better. I'm bad.
To end: I have three books needing to be passed on: Vesuvius Club (might just read it again); #1 Ladies Detective Agency; and The Scent of the Night, a Camilleri mystery. Actually, they're all mysteries. Anyone need these, anyone I'd be likely to see in the next month?