Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Addition to My TBR Piles

Just a short note today on new additions to the mountains of TBR books.

I've finally picked up my copy of The Paris Review Interviews, Volume 2. It collects interviews with Philip Larkin, James Baldwin, Harold Bloom, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Graham Greene and even Stephen King.

With anthologies, collections of short stories and interviews like these, there are different approaches to reading them. Sort of like how different people eat Oreo cookies -- some twist the biscuit off and lick the creamy goodness first, some bite into the whole cookie, and some dunk it into milk before the bite.

I digress, as always -- though it's a fun question to ask: how do you eat your Oreo cookies? I stuff the whole cookie into my mouth. So if any kid is going to fight me for the cookie, it has my spit all over it. Ha!

Yes, I am one kid that don't play well with others.:p

Back to topic at hand: I bought one book, but ended with two free Uncorrected Proof Copy to bring home.

Some of you may have read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Pollan has a new book out this coming January, In Defence of Food. As he described the thesis of the book so tersely, "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

It's about how our concept of what is food have evolved through generations -- how complicated and warped the idea of "real food" has become because of the distortion of marketeers from the food industry. Who knows if this would be a good read? Knowing the truth about the food industry -- will we still be able to eat in peace anymore? I guess we owe it to ourselves to find out as much as we can, and then make informed decisions.

Next freebie is the English translation of Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong, which won this year's Man Asia Literary Prize. But you know what's the irony? I have a copy of the original Chinese edition still unread. Oops.

Wolf Totem was inspired by Jiang Rong's (a pseudonym) journey to Inner Mongolia where he lived for 11 years during the Cultural Revolution. In the story, a young intellectual, Chen Zhen, witnesses the complex relationship between nomads, living simply and maintaining their livestock herds, and the wild wolves of the plains. There is a rich spiritual relationship between native and wolves, until the arrival of fellow Han Chinese from the cities. The city dwellers with their imported ideas of modernity and progress destroyed the fragile balance between wolves and humans.

Did you guys realise I just talked about books I have not read? Heh.

I'm keeping my hands off them at the moment though. I'm trying to keep the Books In Progress down.


Meanwhile, picture of the books in a stack. Click to enlarge.

5 comments:

Stefanie said...

Nice new boooks! I didn't know Pollan had a new book coming out. Cool. I went to a reading he did in town here when Omnivore's Dilemma came out. He's a personable guy.

I eat my vegan sandwich cookies dipped in coffee. Yum :)

Dark Orpheus said...

Oh yes, the new Pollan book is coming out this January. I knew you would be interested.

I was reading the introduction to the book (resisting the urge to go any further) and it seems to me someone so concerned about the sustainability of the world can't be a bad person. So in a way it's nice to know that he's personable.

I prefer pastry or doughnuts in coffee - they soak up the liquid better. :)

Doc Martian said...

i trade the oreo cookies for crunchy mexican corn curls (churritos) saturated with hot sauce and lemon juice.

Dark Orpheus said...

Doc Martian I approve of your choice. It has to be ice cold lemon juice though.

jpderosnay said...

i must say i really enjoyed you talking about books you haven't read and about your methods of approach. i often think about how to approach books and the best method and how other people approach theirs...