Monday, July 19, 2010

Kenzaburo Oe and Other Reading Plans

As I mentioned in yesterday's Sunday Salon, I've been unable to get ahold of Kenzaburo Oe's A Personal Matter. It is the July selection for the Non-Structured Book Club and the discussion is scheduled for this next Friday, the 30th. (Thanks, Frances, for the correction. Why did I think the 30th was this week?)

When I came home from vacation yesterday, several hours after I posted, I checked the mail and found that my reading plans had undergone a shakeup.

This is I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita, which I had chosen from The Front Table's list of books available for review. Thing is, I didn't know it was 640 pages long! It's actually a collection of ten related novellas and there's no deadline for the review due to the overall prodigious length (that "due at your leisure" should've tipped me off). But still, I'd like to get I Hotel finished and reviewed as soon as possible, since I'm doing this for someone else. The Front Table is an online magazine I've written for in the past (here and here) and I'm very grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to build a profile beyond my personal blogging.

So, needless to say, with a giant chunkster waiting and with the discussion less than a week away, I needed a short Oe book I could get right away from the library. With that in mind, I have selected Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age!, a fictionalized memoir of a mere 272 pages.

I'm heading over to pick it up right now. Hopefully I'll get to read A Personal Matter sometime in the near future.

Update: So I went to the library to pick up Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! and lo! guess what came in!

Oh joy! Oh glad!

I explained very carefully that this was strictly for a Horrible Dare Challenge I am participating in with several other book bloggers and that I usually do not read this type of dreck. (Of course, I was also checking out Kenzaburo Oe, which doubtlessly boosted my credibility.) "Well, it's good to read books you normally wouldn't," the librarian replied.

Holy Christ, L.A. Candy is 324 pages. What could that ghostwriter Lauren Conrad possibly have to say that takes up 324 pages??? This promises to be excruciating.


mel u said...

Rouse Up Young Men O Young Men is a really good book-I hope you enjoy it and will look forward to seeing your post on the novel

Frances said...

Now that is too funny! Did you get Richard to sign up for that challenge too? I wonder how many he could offend with that review? :)

Too bad on the Oe but I think it is two Fridays from now on the last day of the month so if the book shows up soon, you still have time.

Richard said...

E.L. Fay, I doubt L.A. Candy could be much worse than either Kristin Lavransdatter or Tender [Tough] Morsels (other than the title, that is). However, I'm glad you're doing the "research" and not me, Frances' wishful thinking notwithstanding! By the way, the "official" Oe selection this month is only 165 pages if I read my library's bib record properly. No "moon babs" either from what I understand. Later!

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise that Lauren Conrad was from The Hills until I clicked over to the Horrible Dare challenge page. I guess I'm behind when it comes to pop culture? Or maybe the Hills simply hasn't been all that succesful over here. But it suddenly made me understand what would make this book so horrible. Looking at the front cover I simply assumed it to be some awful romance book. Good luck! I'm sure it's.. interesting.

E. L. Fay said...

mel u: I don't read enough non-fiction so I'm eager to start this one.

Frances: Oh, I think I'll be offending quite a lot of people with my L.A. Candy review. I have some plans for it.

Richard: On the contrary, it is MUCH WORSE. At least those books were literary!

Iris: I quit watching MTV when I was around 15 so I'm pleased to say I've never actually seen The Hills or any of their other recent "reality" shows. I didn't even know who Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag were for the longest time. Ignorance was bliss.

E. L. Fay said...

Oh, and I had to choose this particular Oe book because I couldn't get ahold of A Personal Matter - our library system doesn't have it and I have no money right now to buy it.

Emily said...

If I'm remembering correctly, the Oe you chose is the one Claire has read, and she really liked it. Hopefully you will feel the same! Frances & Richard cracking me up as usual in the comments. :-)

claire said...

WOw Emily, great memory! I have read Rouse Up and loved it, but it is quite subdued as I understand as compared to A Personal Matter..

EL.. aw, I was hoping you could join in for A Personal Matter.. I hope you can still find a copy, even if after July.. but glad you're still jumping in with Oe!

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