Friday, October 22, 2004

Roughing It

So I finished Mark Twain's "Roughing It" last night. That was just a _fun_ book. It was weird though...it made me laugh out loud almost every chapter, and the story was entertaining, but I could hardly ever make it through more than about a chapter (none of which were long) before falling asleep. But all the same, I really enjoyed the book. I never got into Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, although I liked MT's short stories that we were forced to read...but this book is making me contemplate re-reading Tom and Huck, and finding more MT books. Go figure that one of the most famous American writers, of whose work we're all forced to read in grade school....is actually an entertaining writer.

It's an interesting perspective though. It was apparently written later in his life, but is somewhat (although not completely) auto-biographical about his travels out west when he was younger. It makes me want to go to all those places that I've never seen (like Lake Tahoe and Hawaii)...except that I'm almost afraid to now because with "modernization" such as it is, those places won't be anything close to how he's described them. But who knows...the Dead Sea could still surprise me with its clarity...maybe Tahoe can too. But I doubt that native Hawaiians still ride around town on old horses, even if some do still give lip service to the old gods. And now that volcanoes are national parks, I doubt you'd be allowed to wander around inside the crater after dark.

I should have been a cowboy. Back in the 1800s.

Anyway, now I'm stumped as to what to read next. Frankly...I'm just tired of reading. But it's not like there are a thousand other things pressing my time...so I can work some more on Plato, and/or I can start on one of the following three books:

"Mayada: Daughter of Iraq" by Jean Sasson - about a woman who lived in Iraq under Saddam and was tortured for some reason (probably trumped-up charge of printing anti-government propaganda). It's a true story...so I'm not sure why I'm reticent....maybe it's all too close right now...

"Shutter Island" by Denis Lehane - it's a crime/suspense/mystery novel by the guy who wrote "Mystic River." Not having seen that movie, and never a big one for the suspense/horror genre, not sure I'm that into it...although it came highly recommended by a co-worker that I trust in terms of literary quality, but not necessarily in terms of knowing what _I_ would like.

"Reckoning with Risk: Learning to Live with Uncertainty" by Gerd Gigerenzer - It's a non-fiction book about uncertainty (in terms of probabilities, not "I don't know the future") and basically, our understanding of risk. Given my work background, it seemed interesting...not sure my brain is up to a philosophical/technical work at the moment.

"The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchiking the Galaxy One Last Time" by Douglas Adams - Douglas Adams is one of my very most favorite authors due to his having written the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" of at least five books. When he died suddenly a few years back at only like 40 years old, my friends and I had a memorial party and watched the (very bad) BBC version of the books. Anyway, these are short stories and other things salvaged from his computer at the time of his death. One of them is the unfinished book he was working on...but it's about his other well-known character (Dirk Gently)...none of whose stories have I read. I hate coming in in the middle of a story...but it'd be easy enough just to skip that one and read all the others....

So really, I think I'm just burnt out on reading at the moment. The problem is that when the choice comes down to poking out my eyes from boredom or reading, I'm gonna pick reading every time (well, hopefully). If it weren't Ramadhan, I could at least go to a cafe and read....but it's Ramadhan, so nothing's open until dark....which means that I've got six more hours to fill.

I've learned how to play a bunch of songs on the guitar, for lack of anything better to do.

Hrm....well, I can think of two more things to post about that'll at least fill the time until Escape Velocity finishes downloading on Jen's conveniently Mac-ish computer. Let me tell you how psyched I am that Ambrosia SW has finally started porting their newer games to PC!!! I'm PSYCHED!!

Although, if I go back to grad school and work at the Lab again, I'll probably have a Mac there...but assuming that Henry is ever revived (which he will be, the question is just whether or not I retain my files), I'll want to play on PC too.

So, anyway, y'all vote on which book you want to hear about next...or something.

1 comment:

Mom said...

I have a blog now too. We have not been able to access it with a URL yet but I just put it in. Toby walked me through it. He has finally come home! It's called "His hobbnail boots were shabby and worn." I had to have one to write to you this way (as I'm sure you know).

The title is from one of my favorite books: The Stone Doll of Sister Brute by Russel and Lilian Hoban.

Maybe you can use your time translating your favoite stories into Arabic. Love ya, Mom