Three additions to My Reading Table

May 10, 2009

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? From the Projects to Prep School: A Memoir by Charlise Lyles
Described on the book’s end cover as “the story of a girl who grew up and out of the Cleveland projects in the 1960s and ’70s,” this memoir landed on my reading table after hearing Charlise read at the Ohioana Book Festival yesterday – more so because a friend who heard more of the reading than I did hurried to buy the book.  Word of mouth/suggestion is a powerful sales tool, and so,too, is a brief chat with the author about her memoir.

Loneliness as a Way of Life by Thomas Dumm
Dunn diverges from his political writing to focus on how loneliness permeates and impacts our modern, daily life. This is written with a mix of academic and reader-friendly prose – I’m intrigued with Dumm’s thoughts and premises, as of page 36, when I put the book down to come back to it another time.  Consider this that he writes: “In the solitude of our selves we learn something that is otherwise unavailable to us – how to become who we are.”

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
This has been recommended to me by a poetry professor who says the writing is exquisite and an example of “best writing” available.  A “must read,” he said with such conviction I can’t ignore it.  Originally published in 1961, Yates novel experienced a recent revival due to the movie based on the book starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. On the back cover, speaking of the characters Frank and April Wheeler, “…they have always lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. But now that certainty is about to crumble.”  (Reminds me of Henry James novella “The Beast in the Jungle,” about John Marcher who believes his life is to be defined by a phenomenal event. He waits for it to happen, while life passes him by.)

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