4.28.2008

what i'm reading

I've been trying to read Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta. Has anyone here read this?

It's a book of nonfiction essays about the city now called Mumbai. I saw several excellent reviews of it; I was especially intrigued to read "what Dickens did for London, what Joseph Mitchell did for New York City, Suketu Mehta has done for Mumbai". That's a little odd, because Dickens and Mitchell did completely different things for their respective cities. But I love both those writers - Dickens being one of my all-time favourites, and Mitchell being perhaps the greatest chronicler of New York City - so Maximum City seemed like a natural for me.

So far, I can't get into it. I'm trying, but when I find myself going a week or more without picking up the book I'm supposedly reading, something is wrong. I'm going to put it aside and try again some other time.

There are also two other books, both important to me, that I left unfinished and am determined to get back to sometime this summer. Both are the final books in trilogies from which I read two and a half books: Sigfried Sassoon's trilogy, Sherston's Progress, and Taylor Branch's At Canaan's Edge. I've blogged about both extensively.

Meanwhile, I'm going to read Naomi Wolf's The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, so expect excerpts from that.

8 comments:

thefinalhalo said...

I've been off and on reading Wolf's book since March. Really interesting read, and more than just a little frightening.

Part of me wants to believe she's a little sensationalist, but all she is doing is drawing parallels between this administration and fascist regimes of the past.

Eek.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I loved most of Maximum City but there were parts I had to skip over because he went into too much detail or because I got bored with the subject. But overall it was well worth reading.

L-girl said...

Part of me wants to believe she's a little sensationalis, but all she is doing is drawing parallels between this administration and fascist regimes of the past.

I have a feeling I won't find it sensationalist at all. Frightening, yes, definitely.

IIRC, Allan told me: "Shorter Wolf: we are fucked."

I loved most of Maximum City but there were parts I had to skip over because he went into too much detail or because I got bored with the subject. But overall it was well worth reading.

Thanks! Good to hear. I will definitely try it again.

Nice to have comments on books from two new (to me) wmtc readers.

redsock said...

Part of me wants to believe she's a little sensationalist, but all she is doing is drawing parallels between this administration and fascist regimes of the past.

That's it: She's laying out the facts.

It is a remarkable book. She has gathered a ton of information and presented it in a logical way that a mainstream reader can easily understand. It's not a dense, academic tome -- so she's hugely expanded her possible audience. Plus those average readers are the ones that most need to know this stuff.

thefinalhalo said...

Nice to have comments on books from two new (to me) wmtc readers.

Oh! Ha, I'm Austin from Indiana that emailed you last week. This is just my aim screen name, since I don't have a blogger account.

L-girl said...

Hey, hi Austin! Nice to see you here.

Jen said...

I started maximum city sometime last year during a high stress time. I got through the first bit where the 2 factions fight at night and resume "neighbourly" business through the day. Someone gets gasoline dumped on them and set alight. I then rolled over an Leah later had to wake me from a nightmare where I was trying to save someone who was on fire. I haven't picked it back up yet...

L-girl said...

That's why I don't read before bed anymore. Or watch the news or click on any news online too close to bedtime.

I did read that part already. It was surreal.