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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Flotsam & Jetsam - Reading

One thing I have become as a stay-at-home-dad is an avid reader.

My appetite to feed my brain - stained with images of Barney and Spongebob - is insatiable.

So I have turned to books.

At first it was periodicals; magazines, newspapers - anything you could read at a quick clip when the moment struck you. You know, like Reader's Digest on the shitter.

As an audiophile, I was well aware - and well equipped - to handle the scouring of used bookstore land. And I did my best at that: I have a fairly decent home library.

But one thing I stumbled upon is the library book sale.

And I haven't missed the local Chapel Hill and Durham library sales but maybe once
a quarter (they are held four times a year).

Which all brings me to a long winded way of telling anyone out there what I have recently read:

1. King Silverman by George Pelecanos
2. Killing Yourself To Live by Chuck Klosterman
3. Waylon: An Autobiography by Waylon Jennings with Lenny Kaye

I'm a huge fan of Pelecanos' crime noir especially because he peppers his tomes with a ton of music references and even more so because they all take place in my old stomping grounds - the metropolitan DC area. King Silverman is set right around the time of the big Bicentennial celebration in 1976, so while the plot was textbook crime fiction at best, it brought back lots of memories.

Klosterman's novel was suppose to be about visiting "historic" places where famous rock stars died but essentially is a road trip book about a guy waxing nostalgic about past girlfriends. Yeah, a music critic for Spin talking about women. Not much more to say about this other than it was as disposable as the pop culture he references throughout. But I guess that may have been the point: You can remember an old girlfriend - or girl you wanted to be your girlfriend and only had imaginary conversations with in your head - like you wistly remember Joe Izuzu, glossing over the obnoxious sheen. A few pages - maybe about ten - appeal to the music critic side of me - and unfortunately making me vividly remember wanting to compare Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger to English composition 101.

I'm glad I never wrote that one.

I took a non-linear approach to reading the Jennings bio, mostly because I found myself only reading it in the bathroom and not really feeling it enough to engage myself in it. Mildly interesting from a historical context but not being a huge Waylon fan, a lot of pages went unread. Where's Nick Tosches when you need him?

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