August 2, 2011

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I'm two weeks away from sipping a cocktail with the gentle lapping of the waves out the window behind me.  And yeah, it's been warm (or, as the natives say, HOT) up there, but it's nothing compared to here.  And even if it was, THERE'S A FREAKING LAKE RIGHT THERE

My "beach" reading list (which, by the way, I'm entertaining the idea of reading on an actual beach once when I'm up there) is jam-packed with goodies.  I should be done with Infinite Jest by then, but there's still plenty of stuff: I've been hauling around a copy of Zizek's Living in the End Times for a while now, & finally took it out of my backpack so I could fit the Wallace in.  But, today I picked up a copy of his The Fragile Absolute at the Borders fire sale, along with a copy of Jean Baudrillard's The Transparency of Evil, so I may do that first.
(a brief aside here: since when is 20% off a real-deal bankruptcy sale?  I mean, what's the big deal?  Probably still more expensive than Amazon, and you know anything left over is going to be bought up by someone [probably Amazon] for, like, a penny on the dollar.  Fortunately for me, the Philosophy shelf must be considered a real boat anchor, because everything there was marked down 30%, which is a little better, but still not exactly a fire sale, if you know what I mean.  Of course, most of it is completely silly-assed shit like Lost and PhilosophyThe Zen of the SimpsonsPostmodernism for Dummies, etc.  Of course, Zizek being the current rock star, they have plenty of his stuff, so I'll probably pick up most of that if the discounts get deeper.  And they have plenty of Nietzsche and Foucault, but I'm pretty well set there already.
But seriously, 20%?)
The real gem, the one I'll probably strap on first, is Thaddeus Russell's A Renegade History of the United States.  That should be pretty fun.  And, let's see, what else?  I might drag along a copy of Freud's Civilization and It's Discontents, because I need to re-read that in the near future - there's something there that just may bridge some ideas in my mind.  And of course, I'll drag along my Riverside Shakespeare in case I get in the mood, and I'm sure there's a new-ish Elmore Leonard joint I haven't read that I can rip through in a few minutes.  I might have to see if there's any Faulkner left around the house I haven't read yet, though that's actually more appropriate for sitting on the back deck here at home, sweating into the pages.  For poetry, I've been thumbing William Blake and Vicente Huidobro's Altazor recently, so I may take them both.  Or maybe Mallarme or Jack Spicer instead . . . who knows?

Man, I'm already on vacation in my mind.

Reading on vacation is one of my favorite things in the world.  The first full day I'm there, the day after the 10 hour drive, pretty much all I do is eat, drink, read, and sleep in the sun (and take a sunset cruise with dad and mom on the pontoon boat).  Ever since I started really reading (which, for me, was pretty late - 18 or so), a big part of my vacation was spent with books.  I remember certain summers by the books I read, like the summer I read The Stranger straight through without stopping, then immediately went back to the book store to buy a copy of The Fall, and did the same thing with it.  Or the summer I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and pretty much walked around in a daze for the rest of vacation.  I commonly did the summer "beach read" (i.e., easier to zoom through) gig with crime novels, and that's when I fell for Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosely, James M. Cain, and Jim Thompson.  Last year I did Stieg Larsson, and while I do have a few beefs with him, I've got to admit it was fun stuff, by and large.  I also discovered that I would rather be reading John Fante whenever I have Raymond Carver in my hands. I remember reading all of Flannery O'Connor's short stories recently, and finding a nice Faulkner 4-in-1 at a used book store in Traverse City to follow it up. The reading is as much a part of the vacation as the water, and you can't take either away . . . especially now that Ernie Harwell is gone, and the Detroit Free Press is a mere shadow of its former self.

Vacation . . .

Oh, and GO TIGERS!!