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!! 


Paul said...

Bill, I can't wait either. We are heading up next week. Sorry we will miss you guys, but I can't wait for vacation.

Jen said...

Happy Vacation Reading, Bill!

comfortstarr said...

I just got back from Grand Marais, Minnesota. Where do you go (it looks great lake-ish). I love it up there and sometimes consider just pulling a Kazinsky and moving into a shack there.

Bill Zink said...

The pictures come off a webcam set up in Leland, MI. That's Lake Michigan beyond the breaker. The shot is of a little tourist spot called Fishtown, though there are still fishing boats working out of there. Our family place is on Lake Leelanau, an inland lake about a half hour north of Traverse City, Michigan. The fishing/tourist spot in the photos is on the river that connects Lake Leelanau to Lake Michigan.

Matt said...

I'll probably be doing a post about what my vacation taught me now that I'm home from where you're getting ready to go. It. Was. Awesome. You and Sharri (and Paul and Jen) have a blast.

Of course I don't get to read much in MI vacations now that I've got a couple of squirmy kids. But I do remember reading stacks of comics and Spin magazine (also a shadow of it's former self though they can only report on the crap that's available to them in the music world unlike "the Freep".) - basically, anything I read had to be easy to pick back up again if it was interuptted by a nap, a swim, or an extended beer break which lead to a buzz.

If the winters weren't so rough up there, my family would be combing the jobs pages and realty pages right now.

Matt said...

P.S. I recommend the tasty rye whiskey from the Grand Traverse Distillery - 'tis delicious.

Bill Zink said...

Thanks for the tip on the rye!