Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Infinite Jest, Martin Gardner

i'm re-reading my hands-down unqualifiedly favorite book, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.
Which is about 1,080 pages of smallish type, and which is also pretty
much totally engrossing, so altho i think the hot reading action on this blog
is going to pretty much dry up, that does not mean there is no hot reading action going on! What hotter reading action is there than IJ, really ?

Where else do we get introduced to words like "Gynecopia" (Orin Incandenza's pick-up strategy #7 "..always works. It's pretty much a gynecopia.") ? How about "the terminally pulchritudinous" ? (In description of a woman who, logically enough in the interest of public safety goes around wearing a veil all the time).

You should read this book.

Don't let the crazy word-play daunt. Ignore it if you have to. It's still one of the funniest and best-written books of all time.

And it's LONG. That's 1080 pages of pure reading pleasure.

I'm writing down the words i don't know but which i think i should.
Words which, eh, so what if i don't know them, i'm not writing down.
The list is about 50 by page 300, so that's, what, a word every 6 pages ?
At this rate i can expect um 180 unknown words.
Words like "fulvous", "praxis" and "sub-rosa".


In the bathroom, i've been reading Martin Gardner's Mathematical Carnival, and am starting now on his Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers. Mathematical Carnival is a nifty book full of puzzles from his well-known Scientific American column Mathematical Recreations. The puzzles are probably not of much interest to the non-mathematically avid, but they're really not that hard. Very few of them actually require doing any math. Penrose to Trapdoor is more mathematical, altho also gleaned from the same S.A. column. It has inspired me to finally beg my girlfriend Michelle to buy me a set of physical penrose tiles, which she more than graciously is doing. Yay!

So, that's about it. Lots of reading, not much blog-posting coming up.


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