Monday, June 16, 2008

PD tour blog, 6/16

Packing on Saturday, I e-mailed Jenny D, my life coach, regarding what books to bring. I was up to four or five—clearly too many:
Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives (which I thought was a shoo-in)
Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances (halfway done, so maybe not much bang for buck, space-in-suitcase-wise)
Paul Park, Princes of Roumania (hadn't opened)
George Gissing, New Grub Street (just started, one chapter in)
Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise (just started, two chapters in)
Charles Stross, Saturn's Children (just started, five pages in)
She talked me down to Park and Gissing, and allowed me to bring Rivka's book, which I finished on the flight to Seattle. Verdict: Go read it!! It's a good sign when one keeps reaching for a pen to scribble down excellent little lines. (One I liked: "Everybody with their dogs," said in a sort of exhausted tone.) I think the comparisons (in reviews etc.) to Pynchon might be slightly misleading—the style really isn't anything like Pynchon's; there's paranoia, but it seems more in line with Borges, say. (And that makes sense, actually—some of the action takes place in Argentina.) The book is written in a slippery, funny, complex first person, with huge gusts of sudden sadness roaring through...One of those books that makes you want to write!

After Atmospheric Disturbances, I read Rachael Ray's Lake George–area recommendations in the in-flight magazine, then saw her yammering cheerfully about great meal bargains in the mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest states on Food Network. What would my life be without Rachael Ray? (A: Quieter.)

Then I read a few chapters of Paul Park—very good!

But since disembarking, it's been all about the Gissing. GREAT!

Seattle has approximately five trillion independent bookstores!

(Off to find this taco place that Rachael Ray recommended! Elliott Bay TONITE!)

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Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

Funny! I do feel the need to say that I heartily endorse the notion that you will read those other books when you get back, it was a calculation about the order one would be likely to tackle 'em in on the road rather than a verdict concerning merit! On which note, I just read this:

6:19 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I generally bring a TLS on trips, but somehow did not pack one!

6:41 PM  

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