Tag Archives: R Train

What’s Next?

Over the holidays, reading Byron in Love confirmed that I shouldn’t pick my own books.  It was highly recommended in a review I can’t find now.  All the ones Google pulls up confirm my assessment that it’s deeply unbalanced, providing way too little of Byron’s literary merits or even the non-sexual components of his relationships to flesh out the catalog of sexual perversity.

Santa, on the other hand, enabled me in my favorite rut, stuffing Edvard Radzinsky’s The Rasputin File in my stocking.  Odd reading on a Belizean beach, but deeply satisfying and it provides an intriguing reinterpretation of Rasputin’s murder.  The only thing I would have added would be more photos and reproductions of contemporary photos and news stories, since the contemporary publicity of Rasputin’s exploits was a significant factor in undermining the Russian people’s faith in their rulers and helped open them to the idea of Communist revolution.

Yesterday, I finished The Collector on the way to work, but everyone on the N Train was on a Blackberry or PSP, so it wasn’t until the ride home I was able to find a new book.  The first person I sat next to was a woman about my age with a huge book spread open on her knees.  I sighed a bit, since the long ones slow down my posting schedule, but a glance at the top of the page showed it to be Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth!  Saved, I turned to The New Yorker (highly recommend last week’s review of a book arguing van Gogh didn’t cut off his own ear) and forgot to look for a new book until I’d switched to the R in Brooklyn, where a scruffy guy had a bright yellow book in hand.  It turned out to be The Watchmen graphic novel, with the bleeding smiley cover obviating the need to see the title.  The Writer happens to own the original printing of the comics in book form (as well as the original comics, but I wouldn’t dream of touching those), so for once, no need to wait on the NYPL.


Latest Book

The latest book is The Collector by John Fowles.  When I first spotted it on the R Train platform Monday morning, I was concerned that all I had was “The Collector” and a butterfly on the cover.  I figured, that’s probably a pretty common title and who knew if the butterfly thing would help.  This morning, I spotted The 19th Wife and figured I had it in reserve, but Amazon is awesome with all the cover shots of all the different editions and the correct book turned up second in a search for “the collector”.  No idea what it’s about, but hope it shows up before I head off for my holiday travels.

A Good Book Day

I finally finished Can’t Buy Me Love (review coming after the holiday) and can stop lugging those 650 pages around wondering when we would get to 1969 already.  Heading out on errands after work, I spotted The Inhabited Woman by Giaconda Belli on the E Train downtown.  Those errands took me to Borders in the Financial District.  I love this time of year because I can justify buying books for other people and thus spending lots of time lurking in the stacks.  Then, on the R Train headed home, the professorial gentleman across from me was unable to stifle his laughter at Winner of the National Book Award – I thought it was a compilation of pieces by winners, but it’s actually a novel by Jincy Willett (subtitle: A Novel of Fame, Honor and Really Bad Weather).  Since it turns out The Inhabited Woman (described as a romantic suspense novel) is not available from the NYPL, I’ll be reading Willett’s book next.

Love on the Subway

Caught this on the platform at Atlantic/Pacific yesterday:

sugar mama

Apparently Craigslist wasn’t working for her.  I like that she’s the literary type – and it looks like she might have a couple interested fellows.  The notice was gone today, so I hope this wasn’t the only one she had, unless she’s adament that he be headed southward on the evening commute.

New Books

Last night, started reading Flawed Dogs by Berkeley Breathed (his first novel) on the way home from work.  I hated it (review coming next week) and about 50 pages in, started looking around for something else to read.  The N train is usually slim pickings, whereas more than half the people on the R usually have a book in hand, but I spotted Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain and America across the car.  I’ve put a hold on it at the library and, until it arrives, I’ll be sticking to The New Yorker.


After watching a fellow R rider pull an official NYC condom out of The Good Earth yesterday morning, I got to thinking about what people use as bookmarks.  Since my Book Club books come from the library, I usually use the slip that says when the book is due.  I also tend to grab Post-It flags from work – they’re easy to re-place repeatedly and don’t fall out when the book gets thrown back in my bag at my stop.

I haven’t used a decorative book mark in years – they don’t seem to be made by or for real readers.  Like the gorgeous metal one topped by a butterfly – it’s way too heavy and falls out of the book at the slightest touch.  The tpe that clip to the edge of the page always do damage that pains me even more than a dogear.

What do you use?

New Book, Same Old Shoulder Pain

I hopped on the R Thursday morning determined to take it the whole way to work to be sure and have a enough time to finish the Kennedys book.  As I stepped on, I noticed a man nearby with a book open in his lap and got a little thrill of anxiety, hoping it was good in case he was still next to me when I finished.

About 14 seconds after passing the express option at Atlantic/Pacific, my book was done (a lot of endnotes made it hard to judge how much I had to go).  Time to figure out what the guy next to me had, so I tried to read the info at the top of the pages.  I got what looked like “Frank Dougherty” before the guy noticed me looking and turned away.  For the next few stops, I looked around for other options (maybe his book was dumb anyway), but only saw copies of the Daily News.  That’s a downside of the local – sometimes I take it to be sure of a seat and have more time to read, but there’s fewer people to catch a book from.  I supposed they are less likely to pull out a book too,because you can assume they don’t have as far to go.

Finally, at 14th Street the secretive reader had to close his book to get off the subway and I caught the cover – Tipperary.  Unfortunately, it looks like I’m in for a sore shoulder for awhile to come with that.  I like hardcovers for commuting because they have better spines, but they’re rough on the joints. (I swear I didn’t intend the anatomical pun, but I’m leaving it in.)