Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Salon--Books I read a little bit of today

The Sunday

This week I've been slowly making my way through several books, and this weekend I've dipped into all of them.

I've been reading Alejandro Junger, M.D.'s book Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself. I've always been intrigued by doing a "cleanse", and according to a holistic doctor I know, and to Gwyneth Paltrow (!), whose website I actually like, this is one of the safest cleanses out there. Junger gives reasonable reasons why, in this modern world of pollutants and stresses, our bodies need a rest from toxins every once in awhile. He also sets forth a program, with recipes, that actually seems doable. I'll let you know how it goes if I ever give it a try.

Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin is the novel my book group chose for its next discussion. I just started reading it, and I found the beginning section to be beautifully lyrical. It is a novel about New York, and it takes place in August of 1974, when high-wire walker Philippe Petit walked on a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center. Last year, I saw the documentary about Philippe Petit, the high-wire walker, and found it fascinating. And although Petit's exploits only provide background for the novel, I was intrigued by the scope of the story McCann is telling.

I also began the fruit of Francine Prose's close reading of Anne Frank's diary, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife. I love how Prose describes her first reading of Anne Frank's diary, at an age younger than Anne was when she began to write it--it mirrors my reading experience at the same age. She immediately goes on, however, to say that on rereading the novel, feels she originally misread it as the "innocent and spontaneous outpourings" of a teenager, but now sees it as a consciously crafted work of literature. Intriguing...

I'm looking forward to sneaking in as much reading as possible this week. What's on your reading agenda for the week?


Diane said...

Can't wait to hear what you and your book group think of Let The Great World Spin. I acquired that book last month! Enjoy!

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Prose's book is on my to read list. I'm looking forward to your full review.

Literary Feline said...

Definitely let us know how it goes if you try the "cleanse". I've heard bits and pieces about how helpful they can be, but I admit I haven't paid close attention.

Prose's book sounds like something I would really enjoy. I will have to look for it.

I am currently reading The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar and am reminded yet again of why I enjoy her writing so much.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Anonymous said...

Let the Great World Spin is in my radar. I would like to read more non-fiction this year and that was one of my selections. I'm hoping to wrap up Emma in time for PBS's premiere of the series next Sunday.

Gentle Reader said...

Diane--I can't wait to meet with my book group to hear what they have to say. I'll let you know!

A Bookshelf Monstrosity--I'm looking forward to finishing Prose's book--I'll let you know what I think :)

Wendy--I'll let you know if I manage to do the cleanse. And can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Umrigar!

Matt--Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on Emma, and to the PBS series :)

Florinda said...

I bought Let the Great World Spin a few weeks ago, and I really want to read Francine Prose's book on Anne Frank. The "cleanse" thing is much less appealing, though :-).

Ti said...

I have Let the Great World Spin too. I got it for Christmas but haven't started it yet. I have way too many books going right now:

The Awakening
The Hunger Games
Moby Dick
Case Histories

Too many!

Gentle Reader said...

Florinda--so far I really like the writing style of Let the Great World Spin. I'll let you know what I think of the Prose book. I doubt I'll actually cleanse any time soon!

Ti--But it looks like you've got a bunch of really good books going, which is nice :)

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