Reading Mastery.

Occasionally you meet people who have read every book you’ve ever read as well as a million more. My sister Alicia is one of those people. So too is my friend Bekah Hayes. Most recently though, I interacted with Treesa’s old office mate Tony E. Tony E. also has a wide breadth of books under his belt. Before I started in on One Hundred Years of Solitude, he gave me a firm warning of its potential to become mind-bendingly irritating.

He read my most recent post about the book and we had the following conversation:

Tony E: hate to say it…. but i told you so
Mike D: it’s absolutely true. It became torturous
Tony E: yeah, Edgar Sawtelle is an awesome book though
Mike D: You’ve read that too? Geeze, it’s like you’ve read every book. TIME FOR A TEST.

1. Did you read: Curious incident of the dog in the nighttime?
2. Did you read: East of Eden?
3. Did you read: Atlas Shrugged?

Tony E: 1. yes 2. yes. 3. yes, even the speech.
Mike D: even the speech? Gah! you win man.
Tony E: though I must admit I haven’t finish Sawtelle yet
Mike D: you still win.
Tony E: No no, when you read books everyone wins


Awhile ago, I asked Tony for a book list. He sent me the following recommendations:

1. the savage detectives, Roberto Bolano
2. heartbreaking work of staggering genius, dave eggers (this one is probably the sweetest to read)
3. Zen and the art of motorcyle maintenence, Robert Pirsig – that book is freaking cool

Sadly, #’s 1 and 2 aren’t available on Kindle. Though I’ve heard very good things about the Zen book. Has anyone else tried either of those first two?

9 thoughts on “Reading Mastery.

  • 8/25/2009 at 10:00 am

    I did NOT like the second, but I hear it’s one of Ben’s favorite books.

  • 8/25/2009 at 10:03 am

    I’ve read 2 of those suggestions… Heartbreaking Work is one of my faves, so is Zen (i just reread for the 4th time). I’ve been meaning to read Savage Detectives all summer but I haven’t managed to yet.

    I’d add two books I’ve really enjoyed this summer:

    Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
    Empire Falls by Richard Russo

  • 8/25/2009 at 10:09 am

    I wouldn’t claim it was for everyone, but I think it’s a wonderful book. Maybe it was just perfect for me in the time and place that I read it, but maybe Mike will love it too :-)

  • 8/25/2009 at 10:23 am

    I’ve read all of those books except for the Savage Detectives. A heartbreaking work is definitely not for everybody, but I think you would enjoy Zen.

    Mike D., you might also like Special Topics in Calamity Physics and We Seven (written by the first true Astronauts).

  • 8/25/2009 at 11:18 am

    I’ve never read Crossing to Safety, I’ve never even heard of it… this humble pie is delicious and filling

    Other awesomeness by Richard Russo: Straight Man, this is the best book if you are a grad student or want to be a professor

  • 8/25/2009 at 11:23 am

    I wasn’t a huge fan either, but I did like his next book (You Shall Know Our Velocity). Another favorite of mine is Life of Pi.

  • 8/25/2009 at 12:49 pm

    I liked HWOSG a lot… haven’t really been disappointed with any of Eggers’s books.

  • 8/25/2009 at 2:44 pm

    Straight Man was my first Russo book… it was brilliant, really funny.

    And read Crossing to Safety… it seems we like the same books, so you’ll probably dig it.

  • 8/26/2009 at 7:28 pm

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of #2 either. BUT. I really enjoyed “What is the What”


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