more on the 9*9*9

Update on the reading project:

Despite having a time crunch to finish with my library books (for my dissertation), I have made a little progress on my reading list.

You may recall that I despised Anthony Burgess’s first memoir, “Little Wilson and Big God.” Luckily, the second volume, “You’ve Had Your Time,”is a lot better. (Conor pointed out that they were written years apart–so maybe that’s the reason.) I’m almost enjoying “You’ve Had Your Time.”

Almost.

I read, in one volume, “The Castle of Otranto,” “Vathek,” and “The Vampyre.” All completely ridiculous. It is interesting reading, though, because they are the precursors of different kinds of stories. “The Castle of Otranto” is typical Gothic romance in the vein of Udolpho. “Vathek” is an early version of the “mystical foreigner” story–some of the descendants of which are the Mr. Moto stories and H. Rider Haggard’s books. (Incredibly politically incorrect.) And “The Vampyre” (which, it turns out, is a short story more than a novella), is–obviously–an early vampire tale.

I also read “Jamaica Inn,” by Daphne du Maurier, which I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. It was okay. It is not nearly as good as my favorite du Mauriers, though, which are “Rebecca,” “My Cousin Rachel,” and “The Scapegoat.” Those are some of my absolute favorite books ever, by anyone. “Jamaica Inn”…well, it’s okay. I also just read “The House on the Strand,” by du Maurier, which is an interesting concept but doesn’t quite hold together.

I read William Cash’s book about the Graham Greene/Catherine Walston affair, “The Third Woman.” There is some good material in there, and I found it engaging enough to read, but what kind of a biography doesn’t have any citations?! Seriously, there’s not even a bibliography or anything. Useless in that regard.

I also read “Saying No,” the author of which I again cannot remember. (I’ll add it later.) I thought this was going to be more practical psychology, but it turned out to be hard-core psychoanalysis (Freudian). I enjoyed it but I can’t think of anyone I could recommend it to, unless it’s my professor from MSU who taught me feminist Freudian theory. It certainly was not as relevant to our toddler-centric life as I thought it might be.

I am currently reading Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority,” which is excellent. It’s fascinating. I will report back when I’m done (I’m about 2/3 of the way through). I’m also reading “The Politics of Heroin.” The main problem with that is that it is too complex for me to read before bed, so it’s slow going. It’s interesting so far but the author clearly has an axe to grind, so now I feel like I’ll have to read other books on the topic.

So that’s the scoop on the 9*9*9. I’ll keep you posted.

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