Books: What I'm Reading Now

I don't get a lot of time to read, at least not lately, because I have so many writing projects of my own. Most of my reading happens when I'm sitting around waiting (I try always to carry a book), or if I'm on a plane (which I will be at the end of the month), or if I'm in the bath.

Right now, in any case, I have a couple books I'm switching between. I received Correspondence: An Adventure in Letters as a Christmas gift; it had been on my Amazon wish list for ages. I'd added it because I'd read something about it somewhere . . . Anyway, it's an epistolary novel (duh) that has some guy named Larry in New York writing back and forth with Stephen in London. Larry has his great-great-grandfather's correspondence (letters) with famous Victorian authors and wants to auction them, and Stephen works for the Manuscripts and Letters department of Christie's. I was into it for a while, but Larry becomes increasingly irritating—and does most of the "talking"—and now I find I can only read this book in small portions. And anyway, it doesn't seem like we're ever going to get more than a hint of the grandfather's letters from Dickens and others of that sort.

So I'm cutting Correspondence with some nonfiction, namely The Wisdom of Psychopaths. Picked this one up at an airport bookstore on my way to L.A. last fall (seemed like it might be handy in L.A.). I've only read the preface, so I can't say much about the book so far except that the writing style is very personable. Better than having to read a bunch of letters from Larry anyway. Don't get me wrong, Larry's fine in small doses, but on the whole I prefer to spend my time with the psychopaths.

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