1. “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler. Hard to believe I haven’t read this before, I know.
2. “Ulysses” by James Joyce. Same as #1. I hate this book. So much of it is like a half-funny joke that keeps on going for an entire chapter. Which is funny, I guess, but only for the person telling it. But part of me feels like a fake for not having read it all these years. Virginia Woolf hated this book, too. From Katie Riophe’s wonderful “Why Criticism Matters” article in The New York Times:
“Mr. Joyce’s indecency in ‘Ulysses’ seems to me the conscious and calculated indecency of a desperate man who feels that in order to breathe he must break the windows. At moments, when the window is broken, he is magnificent. But what a waste of energy!”
3. “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen. Ironically, due to the title, this is yet another book I feel obligated to read. Also, I hear there’s a Bright Eyes concert and I can’t wait to read Franzen’s description of Conor Oberst’s hypothermic folk-rock caterwauling.
Although I do like Bright Eyes. I own his techno album. Also, “Fevers & Mirrors.” And “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning.” Terrance Stamp was in the video for “At The Bottom of Everything.”
Drink: Vodka Tonic
Classic Album: Pink Floyd, “A Momentary Lapse of Reason”
Current Album: Mumford & Sons, “Sigh No More”
Recent purchase: Six bags of POM Wonderful pistachio nuts
Weapon of Choice: Snowball
Related: “With Clarity and Beauty, the Weight of Authority” by Katie Roiphe. From The New York Times, 12/31/10.