“What makes us free? What makes me free is the capaciousness of Shakespeare’s soul. He is the knowledge of what we were and of what we have become.”
In “Falstaff: Give Me Life” by Harold Bloom
“Weird" is the word that comes to mind after having finished his take on Falstaff. We all know about his fixation on Falstaff. No problem with that. I’ve also a kin interest on Hamlet. So, what? My problem with Bloom lies on a different plane. “Weird Ideas”. That’s Bloom all over. His ideas can be interesting - and, at their crankiest (as in “A Map of Misreading”, Shakespeare: Invention of the Human and his Genius book) quite funny - but there's far too much of Bloom the frustrated bard-oracle in them, which is why they fail to stand up beyond the books in which they appear. Show him a half-decent poet and he'll construct around him a new view of human history centred on an ancient Gnostic text and full of juicy prophetic names for things already perfectly well named (e.g. "The Chaotic Age" for the 20th century). There's an element of trying to out-crazy the crazy totalising schemes of Blake or Yeats. Bloom trying to out-poet the poets, or at least match them in inspired, over-learned nuttiness.
If you're into Shakespeare, read on.
Chris Hadfield isn‘t just THAT astronaut guy who sung David Bowie‘s Space Oddity in zero gravity in that famous youtube video that vent viral within minutes of its release. You will also see while reading this book, his autobiography, that he‘s also quite humble and charming human being who cares deeply about his family.
In this book which is gold in my humble opinion he doesn‘t just describe his humble beginnings at Nasa in full detail, but he also describes the work he has to do, and everything he had to go through in life before he got chosen and before he was allowed to work at Nasa and before he was allowed to become an astronaut.
He talks about the tuffest medical exams you have to take, hundreds of hours and years of practice you must do, pysch evaluations, etcetera, before you are actually put into process, chosen or allowed to go up there. It‘s far from very easy to become an astronaut, but once you do, according to him, it‘s worth it, because you get to see in the end of all the suffering you had to undertake, what you‘ve been working for. Which of course is Space.
It‘s quite a touching story or an autobiography of a very humble man who dreamt about becoming an astronaut ever since he was a little kid, and about how that little kid who dreamt about becoming an astronaut grew up into a man of integrity and made his dreams come true, by working hard, by taking big risks, and by taking sacrifice in life. Which is something we should all be doing and be striving for, don‘t you agree? This book truly is An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.
Last week has been my first week at work again after having had a three week vacation. And as every year this week has been an exhausting one. And as every year, I´m hitting a reading slump after my vacation (and for that matter an internet slump as well). I haven´t picked up a physical book in over a week and the only thing I could manage was listening to audiobooks.
I´ve finished Stil Life last week and started the second book in the chief inspector Garmache series right away. These are the perfect books in my present state of mind. A mystery set in a quaint Canadian small town, with a likeable main character and with a cozy feel to it.
And to ease myself back into reading physical books, I picked up another one of my Agatha Christie books. I hope this one will be the perfect palate cleanser:
Keeping my fingers crossed that I can break through my slump.
Which 3 audiobooks would you recommend for a road trip, and why?
Any book from the Peter Grant Series--book 1 is Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch.
Any book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series--book 1 is Still Life - Louise Penny
The reasons are the same for each: Great story read by a superb narrator!
I spent most of the first 12 hours sleeping and doing chores. However I did get in 3 hours of reading Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch. I'm loving the book!
Here's to hoping I get more reading done during this next stretch!