Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Multiple Books

Two BLOGs that I frequent recently discussed books. It's high time I do so.

Blork wrote that he's discovered the key to reading books simultaneously. Ken wrote that he's been overwhelmed by the number of new books at Barnes and Noble.

Like Ken, I'm often astonished by the plethora of books at a huge book store like Barnes and Noble. Ken specifically points out new books, and he's right: there are a tremendous amount of new books out there. Who's reading them? More incredibly, who's writing them?

Like Blork, I am in the middle of a handful of books. I used to be far more strict about this. I never started a book if I was still reading another one. Now, I am reading three books: All the President's Men, by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, A Walk Across France, by Miles Moreland, and Empire Falls, by Richard Russo.

After watching the movie "All the President's Men" earlier in the summer, I was finally compelled to read this famous book. It's a very dry and dense book, and I'm only able to muster a few paragraphs at a time. There are many many more names in Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein's book. It shows how deliberate and painstaking the investigation was to piece together the corruption of Richard Nixon's. The book is also the first time I have seen pictures of the real Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein.

My wife loved A Walk Across France, and she's been pushing me to read this for the past few months. She's right. It's not just a travelogue, but a memoir of a man who spent plenty of years in business, often forgetting to smell the roses. Mr. Moreland and his wife are walking the thin part of France north of the Pyrénées, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. I like the book's pace.

Empire Falls by Richard Russo was a paperback I picked up strictly for its cover. I read the jacket, and saw that it was the 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction. The jacket announced that this is a book about a man who works at a diner. My thought bubble: "What kind of stories could come from that kind of protagonist? I like diners, right?" I circled the store a few times before finally putting it into my basket and checking out. I'm glad I did. This book is super literary fiction. I'm enjoying the story very much.

Tomorrow is the last day of July, and I'll catch a movie in the theater, to fulfill my July quota.

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