Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Books

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts
"Save what little money you possess to meet basic survival requirements, but spend your time lavishly in order to create the life values that make the fire worth the candle. Dig?" That's actually an Ed Buryn quote, but it was my favorite line of this book. It's a pretty short book, long skipable sections of which are lists of informational websites, but still a decent read. I enjoyed the first half or so, but soon realized that Potts' vagabonding isn't really for me. I do love traveling, and I could see myself never really having a normal career and instead drifting from adventure to two-year job in some crazy place to adventure until I get hit by a car, but exploring new cultures isn't really the type of adventure I most crave--my most desired adventure involves steep granite mountain escarpments and at most one or two other people who I already know. I could go on about how this book made me realize how very American my sense of humor is and how much I have no desire to change that, but instead I'll just say that you should ask me about that culture stuff over a  beer sometime, and that this book is a decent read about one of many ways to lead an interesting and unconventional life.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
by David Foster Wallace (on tape).
I alternated between laughing out loud and wanting to collapse in the middle of the street and cry because it's all so pointless and people are so horrible to each other. God, I loved this book.

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (on tape).
I've mentioned how much I hated this book before, but I finally finished it.

Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy
"He leaned forward and began to count off on the fingers  of the hand that held the cigarette: She aint American. She aint a citizen. She dont speak English. She works in a whorehouse. No, hear me out. And last but not least--he sat holding his thumb--there's a son of a bitch owns her outright that I gaurangoddamntee you will kill you graveyard dead if you mess with him. Son, aint there no girls on this side of the damn river?"

McCarthy isn't perfect; most of his books have at least one section dozens of pages long where the main character runs into a stranger who relates a long, boring, and pointless dream that's probably supposed to be deep but is really only long, boring, and pointless, but when you weigh that against the beauty set against all the brutal violence, he's always still worth reading.


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