Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reading Notes and Bonus Music Video

I've got a little bit of the post vacation blues, especially since it was more of a obligation-vacation than anything else. What else explains the fact that we didn't get any time to read while there? Reading is one of my most cherished pastimes, and if I don't have time for that then I am too damn busy. While on "vacation" I finished reading Rex Pickett's Sideways, which was very similar to the film. There are some significant differences, such as Miles and Jack going wild boar hunting in the middle of the night, and instead being shot at by the hick that lead them out there. Also, Miles and Maya become intimate in a complicated way, whereas in the movie there is never any consummation of their relationship. The changes that Alexander Payne made for the film only seemed to improve the realism of the friendship between the two characters.

I'm now reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. I'm only about 50 pages in at this point, but it's an interesting read. Carr incorporates all of the latest in brain research data to examine how our actual thought patterns may be altered by the manner in which we browse the web. I hope to get some substantial reading time this weekend, because I'm already craving some fiction. I've been pondering a few classics that I've been meaning to get to, such as Great Expectations and The Mayor of Casterbridge. I've seen at least a few film versions of Hardy's tale, but I'd like to read the original. I don't really have any novels that are high on my "to read" list...except ALL of them!

As if I don't already have enough unread books on my plate, I recently started a list of favorite books that I'd like to reread. I've only read a handful of books more than once, including The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, and Pan by Knut Hamsun. There are at least a half dozen more that I'd like to revisit in the coming years. It's been so long since I've read books that I consider favorites, that I'd like to refresh my reasoning for keeping them in a cherished place in my memory bank. Some of my early choices are: Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey, Jernigan by David Gates, White Noise by Don DeLillo, and Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. There are books that I read in my youth that I would surely disdain now, but I don't believe that the classics mentioned above are among them.

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Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Frank Black, a.k.a. Black Francis, particularly the album Bluefinger. All of the songs on the album reference Dutch musician and artist Herman Brood in some way. Black's album Teenager of the Year is one of my all time favorite discs. Here is an interesting video for the song "Your Mouth Into Mine" from Bluefinger.

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