Hi guys, haven't posted here in a while but I hope you're all doing well. I'll copy >>52516's formatting because I find him inspiring.
>Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Novel set in a fictional town in Colorado, based apparently on Yuma, Colorado. The author believed that small town life offered as much worthy of observation and literary interest as cities, and this book focuses on the lives of several people in this small town, most of whom cross paths in some way. The central focus of the book is a teenage succubus who gets pregnant and ends up moving in with two elderly farmer brothers, both bachelors, at their farm outside of town. I enjoyed his clean, plain style of writing, the witty and realistic working class dialogue, the sensitivity towards the characters. One thing Kent was praised for was writing "unsentimental" books, however I'm now halfway through the second book in the trilogy of novels set in Holt, and I would say they are quite sentimental at times, with many characters crying on pretty regular basis. It sometimes reminds me of what Americans call "Hallmark" movies, although his assertiveness and insight into the details of how various aspects of the town function (e.g., cattle sales, social services, skinning a horse, local plants) is reassuring and interesting.
>In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White
Non-fiction story of an editor in the early 1990s who gets convicted of "kiting" checks (can't recall what this exactly means), and is offered a deal whereby he spends his sentence in a lepers colony in Louisiana. He turns up pretty ego-centric and materialistic, but gradually gets acquainted with the lepers living there, hearing their tragic life stories (abandonment, ostracism etc). There is a brief history of leprosy, the nature of the condition, and a few people become especially friendly with the author. An interesting read, quite straightforward.
>Wagner and Philosophy by Bryan Magee (still reading)
Fascinating book about Wagner's relationship with philosophy throughout his life, but really it focuses on other things like his depression, political involvement, relationships etc. I knew that he had been poor prior to his success, but this book portrays him more as a kind of angry bohemian, who spends his time discussing the destruction of society with leading anarchists, gets involvePost too long. Click here to view the full text.