When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the titles in my parents' book shelves. The Gulag Archipelago. Anna Karenina. Ship of Fools. Canadian Realist Paintings. Atlas Shrugged. For some reason, the last one seemed especially interesting. Maybe it had something to do with the cover. While I've gone on to read many of those titles in the intervening years, I never got around to Ayn Rand. Until I started watching Mad Men and my interest was re-ignited. Somehow between Cooper's recommendation and a brief internet search I got it in my head that the premise of the book is that all the artists and innovators, inventors etc agree to go on strike to prove to the world how useless everything would be without them. Well, 100 pages or so in and I'm beginning to realize, that's not quite what it's all about. Oh well, I'm committed now. Never let it be said that this left leaning socialist lover isn't open to alternate ideas.... wish me luck.
Maybe it has something to do with all the changes in the air in my own life, but my night table is definitely beginning to resemble something of a schizophrenic's book club these days.
In addition to Ayn Rand, I've been reading pretty much any Richard Yates story I can get my hands on. It all started with watching the film Revolutionary Road. His utterly unredeeming tales of suburban angst and resigned hopelessness have a kind of Mad Men feel to them.
Add to that Corinne Maier's witty and urbane call to arms No Kids: 40 Reasons Not to Have Children - a must read for all thinking people - parents or not - and Apexart's Cautionary Tales: Critical Curating and you have yourself a pretty good glimpse into my frenetic state of mind these days.
Oh, I almost forgot - just arrived in the mail is the latest work from my man Tom