Sunday, May 03, 2009

Thinking & Perceiving

Still Alice by Lisa Genova. A 50 year old cognitive psychology professor faces early onset Alzheimers. The author has a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard and tells a good story.
Douglas Coupland's The Gum Thief, which you read, right? Happy to see Coupland back up to his own standards. His remark, "I think it's better not to know the lyrics to your life" made me think that reading has been the soundtrack of my life. His recommendation for Running Wild by J.G. Ballard may well follow this blog.
Jostein Gaarder, author of Sophie's World, one of my favorites, The Ringmaster's Daughter is good but not as good as some of his others, as it feels a bit contrived: "It's a post-modern misconception that you can write first and live later...Writing is the fruit of life. Life isn't the fruit of writing." Still, good advice. "I've always had the need to unload my thoughts...a kind of mental incontinence..."
The Sacred Book of the Werewolf was nice surprise from Russian novelist Victor Pelevin. The Times Literary Supplement compares him to Murakami, but I found Pelevin more readable.
Quotes from Pelevin: "I couldn't really say what I care less about, the appearance of the things around me or the opinions of the people I meet." "Reading is human contact, and the range of our human contacts is what makes us what we are." "Transformation can appear by two routes...perception of transformation or transformation of perception." "Sex is more than just the simple conjunction of certain parts of the body. It is also a connection between the energies of two beings, a joint trip." "Love was absolutely devoid of meaning, but it gave meaning to everything else."