Mass for the Dead by William Gibson (not the one who wrote Necromancer but the one who wrote the Helen Keller play). By far the best book about life, death family from a secular perspective. (Possibly the best written book I have ever read). I am an avid reader of science, history and literature. While science and history books can provide facts, they tend not to concern themselves with how a non-believer can transpose meaning in his/her view of life. With a powerfully emotive use of language Gibson renders a beautiful portrait of his life and the life of his deceased parents (to whom the tile refers) . The title is a reference to a Catholic Mass and the book contains "epistles"/sermons, mostly to his children, which contain absolutely devasting critiques of dogma of all kinds. It also contains some knotty poetry, which if you take to the time to decipher, is absolutely amazing.
I'm rereading Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Nabokov's Ada, while juggling Crowley's Little, Big and Durrell's Clea. Um, yeah, I tend to get a bit ambitious with my reading. Somehow I manage not to forget where I'm going with all of it.
I'm usually a voracious reader of sci fi and fantasy, but in recent months I seem to be spending much more time on the internet instead. Currently, I'm reading "Creation in Death" by J.D. Robb. Yes, I know that's a pseudonym for Nora Roberts but she's actually pretty good at futuristic suspense novels. I've read about 6 others in the series so far.
I just started reading A Confederacy of Dunces, but after finding this site and group, and seeing that Cat's Cradle won the August book thing, even though thats a couple months ago, I might switch seeing as I'm not too far into it.
Love Confederacy of Dunces! Everything about it was just...perfect... I generally hate reading regional dialect, but it forces you to slow down to the pace of the character--the author is in total control the entire time and everything has a purpose... . I'm still trying to digest it, honestly...or, rather...savor it, bask awhile...it's just fantastic.
Right now I'm reading Saggio sopra gli errori popolari degli antichi ("Essay on the popular errors of the ancients") by Giacomo Leopardi, and Sidereus Nuncius ("Sidereal Messenger") by Galileo Galilei, both for my Italian literature II exam. A mild pain in the arse, so far.
I am reading the Bible and Asimov's Guide To the Bible (parts of each, that is) as I am working on Revelations, my set of poems that reveal the real story behind all those Bible stories. These are meant to be alternately funny, ironic, educational, etc., but I want it all to be authoritatively based on the original (at least one of them) text.