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Posts Tagged ‘Hemingway’

To Paris, France and Updates On 5 Books

October 19th, 2009

So I had a plan. And the best laid plans… well you know. This was the entry I prepared en route to Paris last week.

I finished Gilead in good time. During this time while not reading, I thought of Hemingway. A biography of him and the complete collection of his short stories are next on the list and tonight, high above the Atlantic, I begin the first of the two.

Both books are 500+ pgs so in the space of the next 14 days I have over a thousand pages to read, which is something that I have yet to do in so little time. Of course, I’m not bound to the 14 days, but with it being so late in the year I feel like I don’t have much breathing room as I did earlier in the year.

I’m excited for Paris and wasn’t planning on going until the last moment. I went from a job interview straight to the airport and when I return I’ll only have 24 hours before I get back on a plane bound for San Francisco where I will again attend meetings and answer questions. And then I’ll have some decisions to make and I’m grateful for them.

A highlight of the trip will undoubtedly be the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore where I hope to pick up a used copy of Death In The Afternoon or Ulysses, the latter I’ll probably never read but even for the non-religious an unread Old Testament bought In Jerusalem is better to have than an unread Bible from America. And Ulysses, an American novel of Parisian origin, was published by the then-owner of Shakespeare & Co.

There will be a view of the Eiffel Tower from our hotel so I imagine I will enjoy that for several seconds before I set off and look at books both new and used from the oldest bookstore I will have ever entered and in which Hemingway perused regularly. A Movable Feast is very geographically detailed so walking the steps of Hemingway, if I’m inclined to, will be an easy task.

I never made it to the bookstore. The problem was that the more I read about Hemingway, the less I liked him. I read almost 200 pages of his biography and decided I had had enough. The curtain had been pulled back and there was no mysticism anymore. And I no longer had an interest in continuing on.
So I left that book unread, as well as the book of short stories that I will also skip for now and jumped from Gilead straight to Accidental Billionaires. This was a surprisingly enjoyable book and I recommend it to any geek or enthusiast of “TheFacebook”. I finished that in a couple days then picked up my first Philip Roth book, Indignation. I’ll finish that book by Wednesday and then I’ll be a full 3 weeks ahead again with 7 books to go.

So, no. We didn’t see the bookstore but we saw a lot of the Eiffel Tower, The Seine, Notre Dame, Louvre, and all kinds of other fun stuff.

I had low expectation of France and I shouldn’t have. The people there are nice the food is great, and getting around is easy. It was an amazing 3 day trip with Sen, and 2 of our 4 kids.


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Resolute With Book #42 – A Movable Feast

October 9th, 2009

Roger Ebert from The Chicago Sun-Times:

I wrote in my journal: “I have not spoken to anyone since Monday. The radio is playing ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clerk. I’ve been reading some Shaw — Man and Superman. I’m wearing jeans, my cable knit sweater and my Keds. I’ve made coffee and am waiting for it to cool. Let it be recorded that at this moment I am happy.”

Bibliophiles everywhere nod there heads in understanding.

A recent Merlin Mann post got my attention. The Paris Review website has some great interviews on pdf that can be downloaded. For me, I downloaded Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Kerouac. The Hemingway interview was great, Kerouac was a fool, and I’ll get to Steinbeck tomorrow. All these pdf’s go directly to my Kindle and are really enjoyable to read. Particularly the Hemingway interview, some really great nuggets in there.

I’ve been struggling with reading lately and today I realized that it isn’t reading per se, but the reading choices I have made recently have been impulsive and not without inevitable long-term passion that so many of my books this year have given me.

I read the Hemingway interview and was instantly inspired. I know what I want from my readings. So I went to Borders today to really pick a winner.

So I ended up with a Hemingway memoir, A Movable Feast. And since I finished NurtureShock earlier today, the feast starts tonight. And despite all my resolution doomsday talk, I’m right on track to finish just fine.


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The Old Man and The Sea

August 18th, 2009

I tried Annie Dillard and didn’t quite get it. This was quite humbling, as the book won the Pulitzer. (*sigh*) So I started reading The Watchman (as per the poll, sorry polsters). Which, at first, was really exciting for me, having never read anything like that. Then it it turned dark and depressing which normally wouldn’t bother me, but right now I’m in a bit of a patch. So I turned to Hemingway early this morning and read The Old Man and The Sea clear through. I read this once before, almost ten years ago, but I don’t remember the story exactly as I read it today. As Clifton Fadimen puts it (I had to look him up):

When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.

I’m reading Steinbeck tonight. The same month that I read The Old Man and The Sea in ’99 I also read The Pearl. These are very short books. This is great for two reasons. 1. I can usually read short books in just a couple sittings which helps out in capturing the story better (for some people, like me). 2. I can read a couple shorter books and make room for larger books that require more than a week to read. This has helped me a couple times this year, once to give me a little breathing room and another time to fit in a much longer book (The Book Thief). Ayn Rand has been sitting on my bookshelf, taunting me and ridiculing me. The Fountain Head‘s thickness haunts me.


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