“Wait a second, you’re writing a post about books? Who the fuck wants to read books when we got the internet?”
Calm yourselves down. Typically here at Pictures of Doom/City Pictures, I share tales of personal adventure (like that one time I pooped on the toilet seat), mystery (like why guys don’t shave their necks), intrigue (why people at Dunkin Donuts use so much goddamn cream cheese), and suspense (like that one time I thought I had herpes). But who says I don’t crave to write about literature and other things to enhance your mind?
Kidding of course. But what’s to follow is to briefly review my goal of reading more this year. Hope you enjoy it. If you crave words, check some of these out. If you don’t, don’t worry. I’ll go back to stories of STDs and adventure shortly.
Future and Octopus at the Sandy Beach (2/2009)
We’re about into the third month of 2009 and I’ve had a pretty good reading streak so far. Since January, I’ve read 5 books. That’s pretty good, considering I haven’t read anything in a while. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve read…
1. Babbitt (Sinclair Lewis, 1922) – I picked this book up at Barnes and Noble (under their Classic Editions label – buy 2 get 1 free), not because I had heard anything about it, but just based on its title – Babbitt. I knew immediately it would be the study of a character but I had no idea how fucking gripping and beautiful it would be. I could not put this book down. It takes place in the early 20th century and follows a business man doing everything he can to please society while being miserable deep down inside. Sounds like a typical story of mid-life crisis but it has a lot more going on for it. The language alone is reason enough to give it a looksee.
2. The Prince and The Pauper (Mark Twain, 1882) – You’ve probably seen a variation of this story (or even read it) sometime in your life. A prince changes outfits with a poor pauper boy and the two look so alike, everyone treats them as opposites. It’s essentially a children’s story with a lot of social comment, like most of Twain’s works. Good stuff, however, the Errol Flynn movie is a little tough to handle.
3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain, 1876) – Another classic piece of literature I missed out on as a kid for some reason. This is the book that put Twain on the map. Surely, it’s a boy’s adventure tale, mixed with enough social commentary and irony to keep the adult mind at ease. Quick read.
4. Notes from the Underground (Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1864) – Talk about fucking angry… the protagonist of this story hates just about everything in life. I loved him. I hope I am 1/10 this person when I’m an old man.
5. Silas Marner (George Eliot, 1861) – I had often heard how this story inspired one of my favorite films of recent years (Black Snake Moan), so I had to read it. Turns out, though it is a good if depressing read, its inspiration is noticed only as an after thought. Silas turns hermit after a bout of bad luck before opening himself up to a poor abandoned child. Melodramatic no doubt, but a good read nevertheless.
If any of these recommendations inspire to hit up a book store, make it Babbitt. I couldn’t put it down and when it was finally over, I was quite sad I couldn’t read it anymore. That only happens once in a while.