book reports
March 2015


Larry McMurtry

About a year ago when I was feeling hopeless one morning, a sentence about a horse appeared in my brain, and later that day when Phil asked what I was doing for the weekend, I said "writing a western novel." Everyone was very pleased with this joke, and though I only ever wrote a few paragraphs of my own western, I have started reading some by other people.

This is one of my grampa Beikmann's favorite books. I can clearly hear him saying its title, and I think he sometimes quotes one of the main characters. While reading it, I often heard him saying Gus's lines.

I love the comfort and the challenge of reading a gigantic book. This one's 858 pages. At first I was annoyed that the only character I related to was sort of pathetic, and the treatment of all the female characters in the first half is appalling. But eventually I became fond of the asshole cowboys and the stoic cowboys and the wise and mysterious not-white cowboys, and in the second half, Clara in Nebraska.

Two of the best days of 2015 so far have been the two rain days where school was cancelled and I rolled around in bed with this book all morning, sleepy and sheepish and content. Uva uvam vivendo varia fit.


Edward Albee

Whitney and her brother like this book. She gave me a copy a few months ago, and I finally read it last weekend. On Saturday morning I woke up early feeling despondent, wanted to distract myself but didn't want to read any of the things on my kindle, so I grabbed this from my pile of physical books and got back in bed and read it in an hour and a half. It's a play that starts out boring (in a good way!) and then suddenly becomes very weird. I loved it and I read it at the right time. Thanks Whitney.



other books I read this month:
ON IDENTITY - Amin Maalouf
STORIES OF GOD - Rainer Maria Rilke