Sunday, August 31, 2008

New books.

All apologies to my stalwart readers: I have been busy at my job with the first week of college classes, with my own academic pursuits, with reading, with writing. Not so much 'rithmatic.

I have read voraciously over the summer. After finishing A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers) a couple weeks ago, I was worried that I wouldn't find anything else that could keep my attention or pique my interest.

By chance, I've come across a number of books that I have started (many just a few pages) and that look like they will be enjoyable. I'm already mostly through Gabriel Zaid's So Many Books, which is required reading for my "Intro to Editing and Publishing" class this semester.

It is a pleasantly short read, and it mostly comes off as a self-help book for writers and readers. It alternates between supporting your dreams of becoming published (most books need only a few thousand readers to make money) and squashing your hopes of making it big with a book (millions of books are printed -- much more than are read -- and yours will turn into a chunk of paper garbage in a growing heap). Along the way are delightful anecdotes and interesting statistics. The author is Mexican and it was translated, but it comes across splendidly in translation. Very fresh. I think it should be required reading for anyone who plans to write a book, or anyone who reads books.

The next couple are by David J. Levitin and deal with music in the brain and cognitive neuroscience: This Is Your Brain On Music, and The World In Six Songs. Interesting material that I may review later if I get around to reading them.

There are others, of course. So many others...

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