Books I am loving, right now
I have been reading a lot of Paul Theroux- I have Dark Star Safari on in my car and Fresh Air Fiend on my bedside table. I love his writing- his experience of travel off the beaten track, dislike of too much comfort and acceptance of the troubles and travails of travel. I like his rational explanation of why aid fails miserably in Africa. He makes me want to travel to Addis Ababa. I want to go overland, avoid air travel and too much comfort- just like him.
His writing in Fresh Air Fiend consists of short pieces about his travels everywhere. Every night, I go to a new place- some nights it is sailing dead reckoning to Nantucket; other nights I am sailing with him and assorted millionaires on the Yangtze Kiang. Of course, this means my vicarious travels extends to my dreams. I cannot wait to drive or get to bed- thanks to Theroux who never disappoints my peri-patetic mind.
Other books that I am re-reading are M Train (Patti Smith) and Essays After Eighty (Donald Hall). These books have been such wonderful reads that I want to internalize them by re-reading them again. M Train is about Smith’s life in New York, her travels,writing, memories, coffee drinking and cats. She meditates about her past life while seeming to relish her current solitary state. Her book is full of her pictures and something I will relish it for a long time. It is a book to own and re-read again and again.
Donald Hall is a treasure- I know how he would feel about this statement. He talks about folks cannot seem to look past disabilities brought about by old age and infirmity. His pointed writing about how we infantilize our aged- the museum guard speaking to him loudly and in a child-like way, using words which are pidgin speak, not realizing he is speaking to a poet laureate in a wheelchair. What stays with me is his descriptions of his home and the environment in New Hampshire- beautiful, wild and still accessible. All of these books are so wonderful and will stay with you long after the books are done.