Thursday, February 28, 2008

Echoing to the choir

Over on SFR's YouTube channel, our intern, Madason, has posted a short little video interview with bookseller Brian from Collected Works about a few books worth reading.

He recommends some always-ripe-for-reading classics, Dostoevsky and Plato, and for the latter, he explains how The Republic* might be over-emphasized at his alma mater, St. Johns.

For contemporary fiction, he picks Richard Powers' The Echo Maker, a book that I rescued from the reader-pile a month or so back.

A few years ago, I fished Powers' previous novel, The Time of Our Singing, from the bargain bin of a campus medical bookstore. I'd never read him, but a lot of my friends swore by the richness of his prose, especially in Gold Bug Variations, again, which I never read.

Time turned out to be a symphonic epic of physics, classical singing, interracial love and the mixed-race experience. Three years later, this refrain from the novel still sits at the front of my mind: The bird and the fish can fall in love. But where they gonna build their nest?

Damn, it was a fine book. One I know I've recommended.

I've been having trouble digging into The Echo Maker. I've got a short attention span these days and not a whole lot of room in my life for leisurely reading . But I think I trust this Brian's taste. I'll keep at it.

* There are a few dozen sites online where you can download The Republic for free. Here's one version.