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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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