What I’m reading at the moment

I am reading, for the second time, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I must admit I am enjoying it more this time around and I was thinking why this might be so.

I would say the same thing about “The Catcher in the Rye” which I found immensely more enjoyable the second time I read it.

I think this is because you have preconceived notions of what to expect the first time you read a book, no matter how ill-informed those notions might be. And when those expectations are not realised a certain element of disappointment arises. Consequently, perhaps I approach the book on rereading with a more open mind and a a willingness to just open up to it with no fixed expectations.

Speaking of “Catcher in the Rye” I have just finished a Japanese book which has been compared with “Catcher in the Rye”, and I can see why. The book is “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami. It is well worth a read and is a type of ‘coming of age’ novel set in Tokyo.

I am listening to “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene on Audible. This book is described as ‘the modern Machiavellian Robert Greene Book 1’).

I have only listened to three or four chapters at the moment and am enjoying it, especially the extensive historical resources and anecdotes Greene draws upon to give us his 48 laws of power.

When I began listening first, I thought I would hate it as it seemed to place an enormous focus on the ability to be deceitful in order to acquire and keep power. But if you take that one law with a difficult swallow there is some (unwelcome) truth in it and the reference to 3,000 years of history and extracting lessons from the likes of Machiavelli, Mao-Tse Tung, Henry Kissinger, China, Russia encourages me to continue listening.

I am extremely reluctant, anyway, to abandon any book once I start it. I generally keep going on the basis that I may take at least one thing or that I have invested so much time at any given point that I continue to just give it the full chance to redeem itself.

The next book lined up on my Kindle is “Ham on Rye” by Charles Bukowski and then I hope to getting around to tackling Ulysses by James Joyce some time this year.

I am going to revisit Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, too, and have encountered a fantastic YouTube channel called “Fiction Beast” which I would strongly recommend.

Anyway, that’s what I am reading and listening to at the moment, and what is in the pipeline. So many books, so little time.

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