Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mischa Berlinski, Fieldwork

Mischa Berlinski, Fieldwork. The story unfolds intricately, piece by piece: you have to peer over the narrator's shoulder as he investigates an old murder of a missionary in a hill country tribal village. Anthropology, journalism, and murder in Thailand: it's a good read, and all of the pieces are interesting, but the whole story doesn't feel quite right - I guess I didn't really buy the conclusion.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs

Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs. Pretty fun set of essays. Hard not identify when you have kids. He falls into old-fogeyisms occasionally (when I was a kid, yadda yadda, kids nowdays, yadda yadda) that I think are a little much. Enjoyed his stories about drawing superheroes and playing legos with his kids, and his defense of popular culture.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel. Fantastic. Really. So engrossing - you forget that you already know some pieces of the story. The most fascinating parts are not the familiar parts. Who cares about Henry and his stupid sex life - but textiles! And reformation! And painting, and disease, and family life, and finiancial markets, and education and marriage. A beautiful novel with a great story and real flesh on the people and places. Thomas Cromwell was the most interesting main character, and I loved the way Thomas More was depicted (a contrast from "A Man for all Seasons" and lining up more with how I've been privately thinking of him for the last few years). I looked up every painting I could find by Holbein, too.