What I’m Reading/In the Book Review


Not much change since last week, naturally, given the holiday. When I was young, the holidays were a great time for reading, but in those days I was strictly on the receiving end of all the goodies. Now I’ve got to cook them myself &c.

Aside from The Sportswriter, which I seem to read in odd hours while Kathleen naps, I’ve begun a few other titles, including The Father of All Things, by Tom Bissell. What was the first book that I read about Viet Nam, I wonder. It must have been Frances Fitzgerald’s Fire in the Lake. I was very absorbed by the I Ching at the time, and knew all the trigrams by sight. I used to “throw” the hexagrams with Tinkertoy rods, yarrow being not only unavailable but unknown to me. (I would grow it in my garden years later, as achillea.)

What I’m really working on, though, is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, the Hercule Poirot mystery that made Agatha Christie famous in 1926. Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, this is homework: I’m preparing to read Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?, by Pierre Bayard. I’m hoping that the latter will prove to be as cheeky as How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

As for this week’s Book Review,

A Beast in the Jungle.

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