Thursday, February 2, 2012

On books

The last three books I've read

I was reading the Norman Mailer book The Naked and the Dead in study hall the other day when a student asked me what I was reading.  I showed her the title.

Student: Like the band, The Naked and Famous?
Me: Not quite.

Let's talk about books for a minute, because I love them as much as I love running.  With so much to choose from in this world in which one can invest one's love, why books? (why running, you might also ask)

  • "He slept little and he slept poorly.  He dreamt of walking in a flowering wood where birds flew before them he and the child and the sky was aching blue but he was learning how to wake himself from just such siren worlds.  Lying there in the dark with the uncanny taste of a peach from some phantom orchard fading in his mouth.  He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would all be lost.  Like the dying world the newly blind inhabit, all of it slowly fading from memory."  The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • "'I... I...'  Albinus drew a deep breath which seemed to make his chest swell into some vast monstrous globe full of a whirling roar which presently he let out, lustily, steadily... And when it had all gone, he started filling up again."  The main character discovering he is blind in Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov

I should clarify that I'm not some kind of academic snob.  I enjoy a zany episode of Family Guy just like the rest of America, but just like I try to push myself in running by chasing ever elusive PR's, I try to push my mind a little above the lowest common denominator as well.

If you don't feel any kind of chill from the preceding passages and the way words can be strung together so creatively to elicit such strong emotions in people, then that's ok.  We can always just talk about running.

That is all.


  1. I completely agree! I adore BORN TO RUN that I won from your blog. After I finish it and let my guy read it, I plan on passing it along to someone else who entered on your blog.
    I'm an incorrigible reader who has a TBR list longer than I can say.

    1. Great idea, pay it forward! My reading list is absurd as well, and I have so little time to read since I'm always writing lesson plans and grading things, but I find that study hall is a nice time to get in a half hour of reading at least.


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