Summer reading and then some. Thank heavens I speed read. I blew through two expensive airport procured hardcovers (a bad habit I need to break) to and from Japan:
- Mark Kurlansky’s latest — The Last Fish Tale — (see my review of his Oyster tome here) about the fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. An okay read, not as cool as his cod or oyster books, but okay if a little ADHD. This is the home port of the Perfect Storm crew, one of the last (along with New Bedford and a little bit of Chatham) of the working fishing ports in Massachusetts. I’ve visited the place a few times, it’s gritty, it’s North Shore. The book … skip it. He seems to have phoned it in and tap dances between a history of the artist colonies of Cape Ann to fishing regulatory policies amongst the Basque.
- David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Hated it. Sorry, this is Forrest Gump humor. No intelligence whatsoever. Okay, he’s gay, he grew up in North Carolina and has a place in Paris, Tokyo, New York. I get it. Finds funny things in the mundane. Quits smoking. Describes food as tasting “slightly like penis” — yuck yuck. I will not read him again.
Still in progress, The Wind-up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. After just being in Japan, this book is really captivating me. I would say it is one of the better foreign author works I’ve read in some time (the last being the wonderful Blindness by Jose Saramago. Murakami does a wonderful job with the mundane, describing ennui better than anybody since Saul Bellow in Dangling Man, but mixes it up with one of the most gruesome war scenes since Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.
The Cotuit Library’s annual summer book sale went down Saturday morning. Eliot my eldest and I took advantage of abuttor’s first rights and hit the tables before the vacationing vultures could crowd in. Came away with about twenty titles ranging from a Cruising Guide to the New England Coast (you never know) to some Cervantes. The wife is getting allergic to books due to constrained shelf space.
And, I just committed Sunday book lust and ordered Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World and The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa.
Let’s see, other random titles. A re-read of Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain because a) I like to eat at Les Halles (best charcroute garni in America) and b) have taken to his TV show, No Reservations thanks to the miracle known as DVR. And … that’s about it. Some stuff on SEO and landing page optimization for the usual professional reasons.