I lost my suitcase.
I've had suitcases sacrificed to Anthony of Padua, 1195-1231, the patron saint of lost things. One becomes rather devoted to Saint Anthony of Padua when one travels a lot, I suppose the more you get on a plane or train, the more chances you have of losing a suitcase. Some of you may recall that I had recently restocked my bra and knickers supply at Victoria Secret. I packed my new undies and my new Baby Phat hot pink velvet pants to head up north. Velvet pants were the practical choice at weather -27 before the wind chill factor. Losing these things after so newly and dearly purchased hurt. I also packed my thin flannel plaid robe which Candy uses when conversing with her muses in the studio. I love my delicate plaid robe even though it only cost me 2.50 at a Salavtion Army facility. It is just the perfect weight of material to paint or read or clean the house in without getting uncomfortable. That really hurt. I am also a book worm as you know. Who else would construct a futile list such as A World Peace Reading List except a nerd who believes in story telling and listening? I had also packed lots of reading material. Vogue Angelina Jolie issue, and Vanity Fair Demi Moore issue, 1) To The Nines by Janet Evanovich, 2)The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith, 3) Don Quixote by Cervantes and 4) The Octopus And The Orangutan by Eugene Linden and a copy of No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy for my girlfriend who was meeting me in a quiet area of mid-north Canada. I'm not stupid, if I was going to be reading in our hotel room, I'd better bring her something to read too.
I didn't know what kind of a reading mood I would be in so I brought choices. I brought Don Quixote because well, god knows I wasn't going to get through it, but I did plan on reading some of it because I want to hook up with others online here with Karen and * for a discussion.
I think the robe hurt the most.
On Sunday we went medieval at the bookstore. Time to replenish our supplies.
I am so excited to be getting into these new novels. Well I got a paperback and a couple of non-fiction, but here they are...
Finn by Jon Clinch
5) This one has really scared the shit out of me. It's a novel built out of Huckleberry Finn and the idea of who was his father. The cover looks so soft and nice...inside brutality, racisim, horror. But I am fascinated by the memories of Huck Finn played out by this invention and response by the writer to the father. Plus, this writer has a blog for the book and discussions and questions. It's linked in my blogroll under references.
Man In The Middle by John Amaechi.
6) A little known love of mine is basketball. I don't watch it like I used to partly because when Magic retired I was watching all the news coverage and crying like a baby. Brokenhearted I just sort of changed some of my focus back then and watched less basketball. I did however, get recharged when Toronto got a team and I voted and wrote letters in support of the name RAPTORS. As for John Amaechi, well, he was a gay, black English pro ball player for Utah. No. You can't make that shit up. The back cover quotes "The NBA locker room was the most flamboyant place I've ever been. The guys flaunted their perfect bodies. They bragged of their sexual exploits. They primped in front of the mirror, applying cologne and hair gel by the bucketful. They tried on each other's $10,000 suits and shoes, admired each other's diamond-studded rings and necklaces. It was an intense kind of comaraderie that felt completely natural to them but was a little too close for my comfort. As I surveyed the room, I couldn't help chuckling to myself: And I'm the gay one."
7)Against The Day by Thomas Pynchon. This clocks in at 1085 pages. And I thought re-reading Don Quixote was gonna be hard work. Yeah, well, I love the guy. The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow and V. are some of the most fun I've had reading novels. He's just crazy-assed. Intense and sheesh, he really researches what he decides to talk about. The Crying of Lot 49 is his most accessible novel and is a delightful conspiracy de-myth theory, I guess you could say. I simply don't know how to describe him sometimes.
8) The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford. I don't think Ford can do wrong. This is a third novel following the life of New Jersey real estate agent Frank Bascombe. I heart Frank Bascombe. I'm two thirds of the way and loving to hear more about his life. His second book about this character is called Independance Day and was very popular and won the Pulizer Prize if that means anything to anyone. I believe I gave one of his novels to Mister Anchovy one time about a teen growing up in Montana firefighter family, Wildlife.
9) On Mister Anchovy's direction we ordered up New Orleans Playing A Jazz Chorus by Samuel Charter. It gets to our local bookstore in a few days Mr. A.
I do sometimes buy a book judged by it's cover. This one caught my eye immediately in the store. I loved the design. It actually looks like there is duct tape on it...and how the effect was designed into the cover is really clever. Instead of embossed letters the designer, Stephanie Huntwork, used embossing for the creases in the photo of the duct tape.
Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by brothers Chip and Dan Heath. 10) This book looks super interesting. I read the first 20 pages in the book store just to make sure I wasn't being a silly kook for loving the cover. This reminds me of Freakonomics and anthropology because it's looking at ideas and sucessful storytelling as something tangible outside grammar and classic notions of what makes "good stories". Well, their argument is that a good story is exactly what makes an idea stay with us or "stick". Last night I was wondering if this could be applied to art work...I'll let you know! They have a groovy website, with a manifesto which I found entirely applicable or at least challenging to lay against the art market. Check out their blog?
I like to read the novels that win the Man Booker Prize. It's just a kind of habit, because I don't always enjoy them. There was a time where I felt everything that won that award was fantasic and how my habit began...but now the general tastes in literature and the winners of this prize seem to reflect a kind of writing and topic I find well, disappointing. We'll see. 11)This year's winner is The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. I looked inside and the tone is rather ick, but I'll still check it out.
Writers making appearances on political talk shows seems to have an effect on me too. I picked up 12) Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali after seeing her on Bill Maher's Real Time. she had such an incredible prescence I just had to read her book.
..."Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West" (from jacket flap).
13.) I tried to find a web site for book designer Stephanie Huntwork, but couldn't. Instead, here is another book cover she designed. Every now and then there is a designer out there that compels me to follow their work, and I will be getting this chicken cookbook probably just because I love what I've seen of this designer's work. she is so cool. The reviews I've found about this cookbook have noted ther design and the enthusiam for her design is telling too, seems there is a gingham theme within the cookbook. Cool.
Last night my suitcase was tracked down and FedEx'ed to me. I'm wearing my plaid robe right now. I have a date with a hot water bottle. Is there anything as nice as compensating having period cramps by settling under the blankets with a great book?
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