current reading

Since I really enjoy learning what other people are currently reading, I'll join in. After gulping down Gibson's Pattern Recognition, as previously noted, which I really enjoyed, then I had terrible luck with my library picks. Got only partway through various mediocre things.

But now I'm on the upswing again, after a better trip to the library. I just finished Greg Bear's Darwin's Children, which continues my recent history of picking up sequels, which really sucks. If you read #2 first, #1 is not nearly so satisfying, since you've already read the recap of its events. (C J Cherryh's Cloud's Rider was thoroughly enjoyable, but then I tried to read Rider at the Gate, the first one, and couldn't even get past chapter 2.) I liked some aspects of Darwin's Children, which describes the political and scientific ramifications of a new kind of human being born (due to viruses) -- but the quasi-spiritual elements didn't really fit very well with the anthropology, sociology, etc.

I just started Richard Powers's The Time of Our Singing. I love Powers, although I can only read him at certain times of year/certain times of day: I have to feel smart enough. He's received one of those McArthur genius awards, and certainly seems to merit one, based on the novels I've read. I've avoided this one until now because its ostensible subject matter seemed too daunting: classical/opera music, race relations in the 1960s, identity, family. But I'm giving it a try, and his always-compelling language is drawing me in. But if you haven't read any Powers, I'd recommend Operation Wandering Soul or Galatea 2.2 as a start. The latter if you like metafiction/SF, the former if you're less inclined that way.

For my fluffhead minutes of the day, I'm reading Slim Chance, a fairly weak chick-lit book. I've read a lot of what I'd call the good stuff of the genre and this isn't it. But it's readable enough. It's the book version of Pringles. Tasty, not particularly good for you, but not heroin either. (Besides, I sort of have an ulterior motive for reading chick-lit brewing in the back of my mind. In case you care.)

Stephen Cope's Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, which I've been slowly and intermittently reading for a couple months.

Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement. More on this later.

E M Forster's Howard's End which is only still on the list as a "should." I'm finding it horribly bitter and dyspeptic.

Julie Morgenstern's Organizing from the Inside Out, an old favorite which I pulled out for inspiration as I tackle my home study and school office.