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Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
When the Killing's Done - T.C. Boyle Technically kind of perfect--it's a thick, rich, structurally-complicated and yet utterly compelling study of a few vehement believers, colliding. No one writes misguided, arrogant, genuine, ultimately-engaging assholes as well as Boyle. Franzen tries, but his latest is on the rocks with more than a dash of water, where Boyle serves things neat, and ferocious.

I rushed through it, enjoyed it, found its critique of those trying to do Good a sly way to get us to engage pretty substantively with the complexities of doing good (and causing harm). I probably knock it a bit 'cause I've read a LOT of Boyle, and while his rigorous attention to history leads off in all kinds of fascinating, diverse directions (Kellogg's cereal origins, Kinsey's sex studies, an Alaskan commune, three generations of Hudson River valley family)... there's a familiarity here that kept me from full-throated appreciation.