Music: Lester Young:
Bird, Monk, Ellington (the two-bass and Blanton/Webster bands, not
the kitschy 'suites' from the 50s) Zoot Sims, Pee Wee Russell.
Songs by Schubert, Brahms, Alec Wilder, Strayhorn. And so on.
Opera: Fidelio, Mozart/DaPonte, late Verdi, Rosenkavalier. And so
Films: Notorious/Bound (I'm linking them because both hinge on
surrender to trust, love and desire), The Third Man (I used to
identify with Holly Martins, now I recognize him as a schmuck)
Hannah and Her Sisters, 'M,' Fargo, Miller's Crossing, A Serious
Man (not Barton Fink, No Country for Old Men). Anything by John
Sayles, anything with Natasha Richardson, Jean Arthur or Helen
Mirren. And so on. Finally saw 'Wings of Desire,' certainly worth
Currently: Sean B. Carroll, 'Brave genius : a scientist, a
philosopher, and their daring adventures from the French resistance
to the Nobel prize.' The overlapping lives of Albert Camus and the
biologist Jacques Monod.
Recently: Mary McCarthy: 'Memories of a Catholic Girlhood'
(wonderful). Neal Stephenson: 'Cryptonomican.' Jane Gardam: 'Old
Filth,' 'The Man in the Wooden Hat,' 'Last Friends,' 'The People on
Privilege Hill,' (short stories).
T.C. Boyle: 'The Women,' (biographical novel around Frank Lloyd
Wright's marriages etc.)
'Fraud,' David Rakoff. 'The First Salute,' Barbara Tuchman. 'The
Great Oom,' Robert Love. 'All We Know; three lives' Lisa Cohen. 'A
Visit to Don Otavio' Sybille Bedford. 'Persepolis' Marjane Satrapi.
'Primitive Rebels' Eric Hobsbawm. 'The Baroque Trilogy' Neil
Stephenson. All three of Gillian Flynn's novels.
Old favorites: Orwell (esp. the collected letters and essays)
Pratchett, Chandler etc. Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall...' v. V, I've
got to Mohammed at last!
[V. 6, the first crusade]
Finished 'Sex at Dawn.' While not entirely convincing about the
authors' notions of human behavior, it IS convincing in showing how
unreliable our assumptions about 'natural' behavior really are. The
book is much too long and sloppy for its message.
Web: 'Arts and Letters Daily,' 'Butterflies and Wheels.' 'Greta
Christina,' Dawkins, Slate etc.
Food: love multiple varieties, used to cook for spouse and kids.
Nowadays I have to eat pretty stringently low-carbohydrate, which
makes dining a poor bonding activity.