Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I'm Reading - August 2010

I don't know what happened, but fall is in the air (both figuratively and literally - at least in Boston). Even though I have a ton of things that I need to do to prepare for the new semester, I'm also in the middle of three substantial (but very intriguing) books. However, with everything looming on the horizon, I have no idea when I will be finishing and reviewing them.

The first book that I'm reading is Eden's Outcasts, the Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the lives of Bronson Alcott and his famous daughter Louisa May Alcott. I'm about 100 pages in, and I've found the book very engaging and well-written, even if it isn't a fast read. So far, the book has mostly focused on Bronson, who the authors portrays as a brilliant but incredibly flawed man.

The second book is the delightfully titled Spunk and Bite, a play on the writing guide Strunk and White. In Spunk and Bite, author Arthur Plotnik focuses on writing and (according to the website) guiding "writers into language and styles fine-tuned for today's writing environment." It has been a surprisingly fun read, and Plotnik does an excellent job writing about writing, which is much trickier than it sounds.

Finally, I just started The Glamour of Grammar, which I received as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program. Since I got it with the expectation that I would write a review of the book in a timely fashion, I'm trying to focus on reading it (between prepping for classes and working at my other job). I just started it today, so we'll see how it goes.

I hope to keep up with the blog this fall, but the posts might be few and far between. Besides teaching a class, working at my consulting job, and (with any luck) starting my research, I am also scheduled to present at a conference in November. This would be much more exciting if 1) I had something to present (I'm hoping to have some initial data for my presentation) and 2) it was being held someplace other than the happiest place on earth. I have to stay at a theme hotel. There is no way this is going to end well...