Currently reading

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
Ghostwritten
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon

Under the Volcano: A Novel (Perennial Classics)

Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry After the first 50 pages confused me to the point of almost shelving it, Under the Volcano's spiraling mix of numbing vice and intoxicating prose slowly sucked me in. It reminds me of Nabokov's Lolita. They have the same unbearable depravity; appalling for the degeneracy, appealing for the luxurious narrative. Both have endings that leave you gasping. "What for you lie?" the Chief of Rostrums repeated in a glowering voice. "You say your name is Black. No es Black." He shoved him backwards toward the door. "You say you are a wrider." He shoved him again. "You no are a wrider." He pushed the Consul more violently, but the Consul stood his ground. "You are no a de wrider, you are de espider, and we shoota de espiders in Méjico." I love the Hemingwayesque mixture of Spanish and English, the majestically tragic portrayal of Mexico and the profusion of references to Cervantes, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Faulkner and a many others, most that I haven't heard of or haven't read.My favorite books make sweeping, philosophical allusions to big themes of love and loss, war and peace, death and living. In Under the Volcano these topics aren't as blatant as in books by the great Russians, but they are in there just as powerfully. --Worth checking out: http://www.otago.ac.nz/english/lowry/index.html