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Almost No Memory
Lydia Davis
Selected Poems
Philippe Jaccottet
The Tiger's Wife
Téa Obreht
Charles Dickens (Penguin Lives)
Jane Smiley
The Mansion of Happiness
Robin Ekiss
Erik Satie
Wolf Totem - Jiang Rong It’s a shame because my mother spent $15 on this book thinking it would appeal to me, and I hoped it would, too. I hate to think of that $15 when considering whether or not to give up on this book. Why should I rake myself over the coals about abandoning this book when I gave up on, for example, Ulysses? Does $15 make it more worth the effort than all the other, likely more enriching books I’ve given up on? Um... no.

The reason I’m giving up on this book is it’s very hard on the postmodern reader’s stomach. It lacks any trace of irony. There’s too much “little grasshopper” wisdom-of-the-ages coming down hoping to be swallowed whole. It works in some books/films where it’s dished out more subtly to less naïve recipients, but in this book it’s met with fawning and awe, which sets my eyes rolling. When the horse slaughter went down, I thought a little blood and gore might save me, but cripes how they mixed it up with watery mysticism!

I am going to try to find a more receptive reader for this book to assuage my guilt about my mother’s $15.