Pale Wire (Popscene)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I miss you, Books.


I took a blood oath to read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway with a friend of mine. But, thanks to the rigors of higher education, I haven't had the opportunity to read much more than half of it in the past month. You'd think that a graduate student in the humanities would be buried in books, but you'd be wrong. I punch numbers into computers.

(Right now I'm entombed in the computer lab buried beneath Memorial Union. Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" just shuffled up on my iPod and the "they come to build a wall between us" line is resounding through my soul. Books, I won't let them keep us apart. If nothing else, Neil Finn understands us.)

As you can tell, when I'm not reading my brain starts to shrivle. I need it to be next week.

Here's a great bit from pg. 5:

Such fools we are, she thought, crossing Victoria Street. For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh; but the veriest frumps, the most dejected of miseries sitting on doorsteps (drink their downfall) do the same; can't be dealt with, she felt positive, by Acts of Parliament for that very reason; they love life. In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment in June.

The novel is just swimming in quiet desperation, though. That burst of life-love ain't exactly representative.

I'm in the process of devising my summer reading list. I never plan more than one or two books ahead, just going where the spirit leads me most of the time. But there are always a few I force feed myself. Here are seven I'm going to hit for sure:

David Remnick - Lenin's Tomb
Philip Roth - Portnoy's Complaint
Thomas Friedman - From Beirut to Jerusalem
Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore
Geoffrey O'Brien - Sonata for Jukebox: Pop Music, Memory and the Imagined Life
F. Richard Ciccone - Royko: A Life in Print
Daniel Boorstin - The Discoverers

Hit up that comment box with suggestions.