Thursday, June 21, 2007

American Nonrequired Reading

I don't really read for enjoyment, though I often enjoy what I read. I mainly stick to news and financial accounts and analysis, partly because it's work related, partly because I enjoy digesting information. Because of the move here, however, I've been trying to pick up a book habit.

Only recently did we receive a shipment of books we've mailed to ourselves (note, it takes about 4 months for US Postal Service to get it here via boat); along with visiting family who were packing paperbacks, we are now nicely stocked with passable literature. Had a lot of downtime in the past few weeks (hence the daily posting) and managed to finish The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006.

Reading through that I just thought 'imagine what they didn't put in here.' This book was filled with a lot of short stories that were a waste of time. The only pieces I liked were either news pieces (Lincoln Report's propaganda on the progress in Iraq; excerpts from an American solider's blog in Iraq) or stylized non-fictional accounts that are originally published in magazines (travelogue for Dubai; thoughts on naturalizing during a period when Constitutional rights are being eroded; an SNL alum's letting go of God).

I was disappointed in the book, and it's disappointing to realize that I don't enjoy these books that others do. What to do in those quiet hours after dinner but before bed? Gin rummy, I guess. Rummy is another word for tonic, right?


Thong said...

That's actually the one book I brought here. It's probably the San Francisco connection that makes me digg the collection so much - with the exception of the Iraqi constitution - that shit is boring. You VA people just don't get it, hrmph.

Teresa and kids said...

Need any more books? I can't take my small pile back to the States and was planning to ditch them with the hotel.

I acquired an affinity for fiction while here, a startling new development. I've never enjoyed fiction, but I grew to actually enjoy it now. Maybe I'm just getting old and soft.

Seriously, want some more books?