Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reading in the Year of the Book: 2013 (Part 3)

March was the month of vacation and travel. I've been to Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina on a long string of plane rides. Fortunately there has been ample time for backporch sunshine reading. Keep reading in the Year of the Book!

Three Letters from the Andes - Patrick Leigh Fermor


[A simple and quick read that has some wonderful flowing sentences and is also a bit more personal (perhaps less edited) than the other Fermor travel writings. His writing is like sitting in on a history class given by a much add professor who only uses texts from before 1950. The details Fermor notices in Lima are the old Castillan flourishes and dates from the 1500's with not much detail given to the inhabitants of the 1970's. The mountain climbing pieces are interesting for sure.]





Jamaica Inn - Daphne DuMaurier 


[Jamaica Inn was so good. I wish there was a whole Jamaica Inn novel series. The environment of damp cold coastal inn in the lonely Scottish highlands is very enthralling. I burned out on the other DuMarier matieral but this book kept going! Perfect reading for a vacation too. Poolside, beachside, back porch, and open window delight. FYI: so much better than the movie, the movie does zero justice to the greatness of the read.]






Salt Sugar Fat - Michael Moss


[This book provides some deep insight into the manufacturing and engineering of processed foods and their relationships to overeating and obesity. Through case studies of specific processed foods the author relates how the three big manipulators are combined by the all the major food companies to seduce us into eating more and more and more and….the point being: the grocery store is a war zone and you have to equip yourself to better be able to defend yourself from the salt, sugar, and fatty onslaught.]





 Of Walking In Ice (Munich-Paris 23 November-14 December 1974) - Werner Herzog


[An amazing window into the wit and vision of Herzog. "The fire-thought of ice creates the ice as swiftly as thought. Siberia was created in precisely this manner and the Northern Lights represent its final flickering. That is the Explanation" I'm surprised he didn't choose "The Explanation", although who knows what the incredibly long complex word for it is in German…probably the perfect word for Herzog's meaning. His way of direct and self-assured expression is always refreshing in print and movies and, as he would say, has Guts. A must read every few years]





The Way of the World - Nicolas Bouvier


[A brilliant and engaging ode to the road. The overall grand scope of this book fills me with the courage of travel. The characters, boredom, body ailments, and majesty of the traveling experience are laid bare in a very effective style. This is one of the best travel books I've read and the illustrations are amazing too. This book also has the added bonus of being a geographic sequel to where the writings of P.L. Fermor leave off (see Between the Woods and Water).]






The Murderess - Alexandros Papadiamantis


[A simple short novel filled with the horror of having baby girls in late 19th century Greece. The grandmother goes on a terrifying killing spree and ends up on the lamb hiding with ignorant shepherds and amidst the craggy ruins of her original depressing dowry landscape. A bleak book with lots of baby ghosts.]