A couple of days ago, Betty finished her first book of 2007, the A++ read What is the What, by Dave Eggers. As Betty told it to a friend this afternoon, What is a "totally compelling adventure story and a beautiful piece of literature and humanity" - WHOA!!! But she didn't do it justice; it's really much more (and much less imposing) than any of that. Read it! If you want to know more about the book before plunking down thirty bucks (for a beautiful piece of humanity!!), e-mail the blog. Or visit Valentino Achak Deng's great website.
In return, this friend told Betty that Dave Eggers runs a writer's workshop in Brooklyn that is hidden in the backroom of a superhero supply store where you can try on different capes and spandex unitards and strategically positioned fans blow wind on you when you check yourself out in the mirrors. Is this guy the coolest or what?? We hear he has a book coming out about people who lived through Hurricane Katrina.
And he's cute?! Can somebody please confirm or deny this?
Betty is now reading technophobe Nobelist Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red (or as Betty and Little Hun greatly enjoy calling it, Me Llamo Rojo), which is totally original and part of a five-hundred year old novelistic tradition at the same time. AWESOME! It's about art and the grunt work of artists, and also about texts and peoples' relationships with words, fiction, history, religious literature, and the physical world.
This novel is Betty's first Pamuk potboiler, but there will be more! How can she be so sure after only 53 pages? An illustrated sketch of a tree tells us at the end of Chapter 11, "I Am a Tree" , that he is content to be a rough sketch of a tree rather than a sophisticated reproduction, not because if he looked more real he'd be afraid that all the dogs in Istanbul will mistake him for a living tree and piss on him, but rather because: "I don't want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning."
What are you reading these days?