Saturday, January 06, 2007
Wow, this week went by fast! It was a combination of productive and frustrating...I got the downstairs pretty nicely cleaned up and organized, but there were some errands and other projects that left me spinning my wheels. I'm also very frustrated with my guitar today. I think I understand the whole Pete Townsend-smashing-guitars-into-little-bits thing a lot better now!
Other than that, I've just been reading like a maniac all week and hitting the library for the first time in literally years. Our libraries around here are sort of lousy, and I get frustrated and homesick for Columbus and its awesome libraries every time I go into a library down here, but right now I'm just sucking it up and going and trying to find what I want. I stand by my feeling that a city this size should have a much better library system than it does, but I guess libraries are at the bottom of the state priority list.
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme. Reading the Julie and Julia book I mentioned before got me interested in Julia Child's life, and this book is really inspiring. She found her life's work at age thirty-six, which is how old I am. Hmmm.
Catch a Wave by Peter Ames Carlin, which is a biography of Brian Wilson, mostly from the point-of-view of his music, and less from the ins and out of his personal life, although that does get mentioned somewhat. Carlin puts Brian Wilson's lyrics and themes right up there with writers like Steinbeck and Twain as part of the American voice, which I thought was audacious but interesting and probably pretty legitimate.
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan...this was recommended by someone at Two Peas, and it's a totally compelling book about the Dust Bowl in the 1930's. I couldn't put it down...so many tragic stories and so much hubris that led to this environmental disaster.
Right now I'm reading The Great Deluge: Hurrican Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Douglas Brinkley, and it's making me so angry I've had to start reading it in smaller chunks so I don't get overwhelmed. Although I don't discount, and Brinkley certainly doesn't, the outrageous neglect on a local and state level in Louisiana, this book confirms my growing feeling that the Bush presidency is the one of the most tragic things that's ever happened to this country. It's a tremendously interesting and heartbreaking book, and there are many small inspiring stories, too. I really recommend it.