Reading List

Need to mention some books I've been reading. Mostly I tabulate them on my weekly agenda, so I have some record, memory otherwise failing; besides I tend to have many books going at once: always, almost, an Italian, a longstanding language project (right now it's an early collection of short stories by Calvino, with notably, his tale about the Count of Monte Cristo). Then there was the unputdownable The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks. And then there's Charles Boyle's Robinson, a wonderful rant cum meditation on just about everything, including RCrusoe, with tantalizing apercus of Boyle's own life. It's funny and sad and totally seamless, one of those books where you look up ten pages later and say 'how the hell did he get here from there?'  Couldn't put it down either.

(When I was a kid I read the gemütlich version of Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson. Much later in life I decided to read all of Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, but stopped reading it when I realized it was fiction.)

Then there's the sleeping pill book, at the moment Elizabeth Drew's 1974 Washington Diary, a day-by-day account of the last two years of the Nixon administration. It more or less parallels what's going on in Washington right now, and so when I've run out of the latest riveting 2017 news, I turn to it. A few pages are enough...