This is what you do when you aspire to read a lot but in reality you are a slow reader–make an ambitious plan to make yourself feel good and then turn a blind eye to your inability to finish your plan. This is me. It’s like continuously imagining yourself being beautiful and then trying hard to ignore the plain figure who stares back at you from the mirror. That’s me. I’ve had my ways to keep myself happy. A little delusion is good for life, isn’t it?
An Introduction To Existentialism” by Robert G. Olson. Completed 80 pages long ago and tried to force myself to finish this book.
“Let Love Have the Last Word” by Common. I am tone deaf and don’t listen to music very often, not even when driving. Some of my friends would tell me that they have to listen to music when driving, but I don’t. I prefer the noise of my own mind. However I like Common’s lyrics. I listened to his “Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life” because it is offered in discount from audible–the lyrics are wonderful and I’m hooked. Next thing I know, I have to go out to get his book. The problem with audible is that with “Bluebird Memories”, there should be an accompanying PDF file for lyrics, but there’s no such thing available.
“Child Harold’s Pilgrimage” by Lord Byron. I read “Don Juan” before and really like it, but “Child” is a very different book. It’s just not as witty and the character’s trip not as eventful. In comparison, “Don Juan” is so much better and I probably want to reread it. It’s said “Child” is the epic poem that established Byron’s reputation and people, especially women, vied for his attention ever since this book. I don’t understand this book’s attraction. Actually I read about fifty pages of Byron’s poems from when he was fourteen years old, and those random poems are as good as “Child”. Only in the last section, when the traveler came to Italy, the poem displayed Byron’s characteristic sarcasm. Too little, too late. The book soon ends and I’m left a little unsatisfied.
“The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War” by David Halberstam. The first chapter drags on and on about the overconfidence of the army, which was unexpectedly attacked. It becomes much better in the second chapter when the story is reorganized and told from the beginning–the first few weeks after Kim Il-sung crossed the 38th parallel to attack the south. I am still within the first 100 pages. Although I like the book and the writing style, I have to say the author puts a lot of blame on MacArthur and almost no blame on President Truman and his two predecessor President Theodore Roosevelt, and his fifth cousin Franklin D Roosevelt. TR encouraged Japan to take Korea and Manchuria; FDR gave Manchuria to Stalin as Stalin’s jurisdiction practically for a year or two; Truman’s non-intervention attitude immediately after WWII–these three events precipitated the Korean crisis in 1950. It’s not that MacArthur didn’t want to assign his men to Korea, but rather MacArthur’s men didn’t want to go to Korea. They wanted to stay in Tokyo and have some fun after a brutal Pacific struggle. Who can blame them? He had to promote them to much higher positions in order for them to go, and even then many experienced officers chose retirement over deployment.
“Ravelstein” by Saul Bellow. Started a little and it’s such a good book, except that he’s a little conservative and a little old schooled. His novels are much better than his short stories, which I couldn’t finish.
“Nine Horses” by Billy Collins. I read half of it long ago and have never been able to finish the other half. My disorganized reading is very much like my disorganized life. Life is littered with unfinished friendship, unrequited love, imperfect projects, unrealistic dreams while reading is filled with unfinished and disappointed reading process.
“One Hundred Best-Loved Poems” By Various Poets. Just started, reading several old lyrics.
“Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir” By Kwame Onwuachi. I listened to the first half hour and I enjoy the content.
“Collected Lyrics” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. My favorite poet and I want to finish this book in March, but probably not quite likely.