Currently Reading

It’s been a busy week between family and work, so I haven’t had the extra time to get much writing done, but I have been reading, so I wanted to at least share a couple of titles I think will be worth your time.

I would not want to say that any of the persons on our train were impossible, because that sounds snobbish; but I will say this – some of them were highly improbable.

– Irvin S. Cobb, Roughing it De Luxe

I’ve been on the slow track to watching Ken Burns’ National Parks documentary over the last month, and, natrually, it is full of writings from long ago. They quoted a few lines about the Grand Canyon written by Irvin S. Cobb, a humorist from the early 1900s. Roughing it De Luxe, the book where these lines appear, is so far a very funny account of Cobb and a bunch of pampered, compulsive passengers from all over the country taking a luxury train ride West to see the Grand Canyon and obsessing about whether they have brought appropriate clothing. The ebook for this title, and many of Cobb’s other works, is available for free on Amazon.

Later, at home, it is discovered that while she was eating cashews from a bowl, she also ate her hearing aid.

– Lydia Davis, Can’t and Won’t

As I said previously, I recently discovered Lydia Davis’ work. I’m making my way through her latest collection of short stories, Can’t and Won’t, and I’m really enjoying it so far. The stories are a mix of her own dreams (such as the one quoted above), translations of short stories by French author Gustave Flaubert, and other longer pieces that seem autobiographical. There is a lot of humor in her work, but it’s not slapstick, and she will have a lump in your throat before you realize it.