Friday, August 26, 2011


Edward Abbey

Desert Solitaire,
Edward Abbey
Between Parentheses, Roberto Bolano
Any Human Heart, William Boyd
Beautiful & Pointless, A Guide to Modern Poetry, David Orr
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart

This week: 388 pages
Last week: 446 pages

Sentences of the Week:

1. "I'm in the stifling head of the trailer opening a can of beer, barefooted, about to go outside and relax after a hard day watching cloud formations." Desert Solitaire

2. "When a nonspecialist audience is responding well to a poem, its reaction is a kind of tentative pleasure, a puzzled interest that resembles the affection a traveler bears for a destination that both welcomes and confounds him." Beautiful & Pointless

3. "Larrain photographs a parked car and it seems to be going more than sixty miles an hour." Roberto Bolano, Between Parentheses.

I read mostly from Any Human heart this week--up until I realized that finishing the book would kill him--and as much as I enjoy the book, there are not a lot of stand-out sentences to my ear. So William Boyd gets shut out again this week.

Edward Abbey is not as consistent a writer, and he seems self-conscious about it almost, but there is some fun variety here. In this week's winning sentence, he's referring to his job as a caretaker at Arches National Monument, where his main duty appears to be passing the time.

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