Monday, January 07, 2008

What I'm Reading

Felt it was about time I posted here, since I haven't since the beginning of the New Year.

I may have something on comics I'll be posting later tonight or tomorrow, depending on how much free time I get here on the Reference Desk. Mostly catching up on comics I've read the past couple of weeks, but haven't gotten around to talking about here.

I have decided to take a short break from reading the books I've been sent by the Joe Bob Briggs folks, since they have not posted a review for almost a year now. They have over a half dozen or more of my reviews 'in house' so I don't think holding off for a month is going to effect anything. John over at the site acknowledges the reviews, but all he can do is send them along to the web master. The books I have left are all copyright 2006, so there's nothing that has to get out ASAP.
The first book I'm reading is a collection of pieces by Jack Cafferty, "It's Getting Ugly Out There!" Some of you may be familiar with him from his daily "Cafferty File" segments on CNN's The Situation Room. Personally, I first encounted the man when he anchored first the Fox Channel 5 nightly news and then WB Channel 11 evening news in New York. Hard to believe the guy who uses the term the '"F" Network' used to work for those fine folks. Then again, maybe not, since he is familiar with how they operate. I'll probably have more to say on this over at PARTING SHOTS when I'm finished.
I'm also going through one of those periods where I'm listening to or reading 'classic' books, either for the first time or again to see if I feel differently about them. I started with a couple of Jack Higgins novels, featuring former IRA member, Sean Dillon who currently works 'black ops' for the British Prime Minister. Higgins is a master at this stuff, after writing over sixty novels. One of the books, BAD COMPANY, was narrated by Patrick MacNee, who always does a wonderful job on these audio adaptations.
As the cover repro above indicates, I'm currently listening to THE ILIAD. This was translated and performed by Stanley Lombardo, with chapter synopses by Susan Sarandon. It had to have been in junior high when I read one of those versions of Homer's classic edited for kids. I was probably inspired by seeing Kirk Douglas in ULYSSES on television one day. I know I read both this and THE ODYSSEY at some point in high school, since I owned both in paperback before I went into the Navy in '69. I also think it's one of the reasons I preferred the Norse gods over the Greeks, as the immortals in Asgard never seemed as petty or whiny as those on Olympus. I'm really enjoying the work and it makes the drive home go pretty quickly.
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