A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING
I borrowed this book from Josh (Arnett, not Goeke), but I forgot to take a picture of it so I had to go take this one at Barnes & Noble. One time at a party me and Josh had a long, enthusiastic, and probably sort of stupid conversation about how much we love another Dave Eggers book, ZEITOUN. On the Monday after the party I saw online that ZEITOUN's title character had been arrested for beating up his wife and I felt hopeless and depressed for a solid week. Anyway, this is Dave Eggers' new book. I read it fast and I liked it. It's about an American businessman who goes to Saudi Arabia for a few weeks. The last like two chapters annoyed me, and I thought it was stupid that Exotic Foreign Women kept wanting to have sex with the main guy. But there were a few scenes and conversations I really liked, and I think Eggers gets the feeling of a pre-post-American world right, and I'll probably always love him for the way he he writes about friendship and its tensions and its limits.
WHEN I WAS A CHILD I READ BOOKS
This is as much about politics and Calvinism as it is about books. It's mostly about Moses. I like Moses. I liked most of these essays. My favorite one is called "Imagination and Community". Marilynne Robinson has joined Wendell Berry (IMAGINATION IN PLACE) and Walter Brueggemann (THE PROPHETIC IMAGINATION) in an important part of my brain. Here's my favorite paragraph:
I would say, for the moment, that community, at least community larger than the immediate family, consists very largely of imaginative love for people we do not know or whom we know very slightly. This thesis may be influenced by the fact that I have spent literal years of my life lovingly absorbed in the thoughts and perceptions of - who knows it better than I? - people who do not exist. And, just as writers are engrossed in the making of them, readers are profoundly moved and also influenced by the nonexistant, that great clan whose numbers increase prodigiously with every publishing season. I think fiction may be, whatever else, an exercise in the capacity for imaginative love, or sympathy, or identification.