QotD: I’m reading (or about to read)…

Vox’s QotD today leaves me questioning – do I really have a “nightstand”?  I certainly have piles upon piles of books beside my bed, in the living room, on my desk, beside my desk, on Gerry’s desk, in a bookshelf or twelve… books-a-plenty my friend.

What books are on your nightstand?

So, I’ll answer the QotD as if the subject line is the real question because the answer will be more concise… and besides I’m too damned lazy to itemize the 50+ books scattered around my bed.

I just finished two books that have an overlapping theme of getting and staying off the grid:   John Twelve HawksThe Traveler and John Grisham‘s The Broker.  An interesting theme for someone who blogs as much as I do… read into that what you will.

The Traveler
is written as both an alternative-reality tale set in present day, a cautionary tale of power and control our current technology already has over our day to day lives, and a fantasy novel about and an archaic underground triumvirate of mystics (travelers), warrier-protectors (Harlequins) and bad guys (the Tabula or Brethern). One of the interesting tweeks of this novel is that the author lives off the grid and is “unknown even to his agent and editor” (Bookmarks Magazine). Is he show us reality or just a genius at marketing… will we ever know?

The Broker was one of my BookExpo finds which I didn’t offer up to the mini-BookExpo
crowd because I wanted to read it first. I really enjoyed this book. More than I expect to, since I haven’t been reading much spy-fiction lately. But I love the descriptions of Bologna, and found the bewilderment of a smart man trying to figure out a new country, a new language and a new at-risk lifestyle fascinating. Pieces of it read almost as an introduction to getting off the grid quickly. Sadly, their solutions involved eventually having access to big money. Cabs to Zurich simply don’t come free.

I’ve just started The Perfectionist, which is the tragic true story of the rise and ultimate suicide of French gastronomy’s golden boy chef Bernard Loiseau. The author Rudolph Chelminski has a fairly gentle touch, or at least so far he does. He also shows an honest affection and appreciation for what it takes for a chef to garner three Michelin stars. It will be interesting to read further and see how much he delves into the impact a negative review can have on an artist’s psyche.

Given the number of people who sent me clippings of this man’s suicide, which happened just 6 months after the launch of our first guide, I felt this was a must read cautionary tale.

2 thoughts on “QotD: I’m reading (or about to read)…

  • September 6, 2006 at 7:08 pm
    Permalink

    Not to be contrary, but I read that book, The Broker, and was completely bored with it. I thought it was one of Grisham’s worst and was disappointed that I had spent money on it. Someone I met wanted to read it and I said that I’d give him the book when I was done, but then it was so disappointing to me that I just threw it out – I figured I’d save the poor guy the effort.
    Anyway, on a totally different note, I just wanted to touch base with you about the book you gave me, The Black Angel, and let you know that I’m still reading it. I’m really late with my review since we had all these events going on at work and I’ve been working overtime and not getting a chance to read anything.
    I think I’ve still got half way to go through it. Do you still want me to write up a review when I’m done, seeing that I’m so delinquent? And don’t think I’m not feeling guilty about that too.
    Let me know, cuz I’ll be reading it any chance I get, but those chances aren’t accounting for a lot of time.

    Reply
  • September 7, 2006 at 8:15 am
    Permalink

    Jackson,
    re: The Broker – Thanks for the counter-point. Since I don’t generally read Grisham, I wouldn’t argue the point with you. I found it to be a light read and given timing that’s exactly what I was looking for.
    re: Black Angel – Fret not, just send me your comments when you are done (or a link to your comments on your blog).
    But what ever you do, don’t feel guilty! Have fun.

    Reply

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