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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Books Read Lately

Between the Sheets by Ian McEwan

This collection of short stories has everything to do with life between the sheets: sleeping, sex, dreams, etc. I read most of these stories as dreamscapes McEwan used as starting points for stories. None is bad, and a few are exceptional. My favorite is the last of the group, “Psychopolis” in which a man allows himself to be humiliated by a woman, then meets with her and others in a scene that is both captivating by its dialogue (in which they talk about all sorts of men/women hot-button issues) and sheer oddity.

Dangling Man by Saul Bellow

A man awaits induction into the army at the beginning of WWII, but he’s been put on a string because of his citizenship, health report, and marital status. Meanwhile, no one will give him a meaningful job because of his service status. The psychological spin these put him in cause agitation, sleeplessness, anger, and, ultimately, a desire to get on with “it” no matter what the cost.

Orchard by Larry Watson

An artist and his new muse is the talk of the small town in Door County, Wisc. However, the muse is married to a man who doesn’t like the idea that his wife is naked for a man, alone in his studio, for hours of each day. This is 1952, and things are not what we understand of them today, even in middle-America.

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