Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feed Your Mind...

I don't have a television.  Partly by design and partly because I just don't have the money to buy even a used one from Craigslist.  I also can't imagine scraping together money for basic cable which would be the only way to get any reception of television stations at all...
When I returned to the Chi from Paris via Seattle, I had made the decision to jump into freelancing head first and not get a television.  I planned to get myself back into reading and particularly fiction.  And so I've done both, although, the first part of the plan has been difficult. The second part has been surprisingly difficult too.  Anyway, here are the books I've read since September:

1.  Leni - Steven Bach
2.  Mouth Wide Open - John Thorne
3.  Snow - Orhan Pahmuk
4.  The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
5.  The Known World - Edward P. Jones (in progress)*

I'm a little ashamed that the list only consists of five, particularly because I had to read John Thorne's book for a review I wrote that will be published in Gastronomica, but at least I can proudly declare that nothing by Zane or even Iyanla Van Zant is part of it.  I suppose life, survival, etc. has kept me busy.  My head has not always in a good place for reading.  

Next up for me, however:

1.  The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
2.  The Master Butcher's Singing Club - Louise Erdrich
3.  Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
4.  A Handmade's Tale - Margaret Atwood
5.  Parable of the Sower - Octavia Butler
(...the next few I started long ago (we're talking years here)  and I finally plan to finish them)
6.  The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse - Louise Erdrich
7.  Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8.  A Death in Brazil - Peter Robb
9.  Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison 
10.  Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I am deeply ashamed at never having finished 6, 7, 9, and 10, but I will before spring ends.  

Overall I'm happy with life without television.  Sometimes I long for it, but really, $60+ each month to watch really shitty things is not worth it.  Now, with the end of The Wire and the fact that I can catch Boondocks episodes online, there's no real motivation.  Maybe when those elusive siblings economic/career stability decide to grace me with their collective presence, I can contemplate such a purchase.  Until then, if, in fact that day does arrive, I'll continue working my way through the stacks of unopened tomes that call my bookshelves home and giving my library card a much needed workout.

I finished The Known World last night.  It is quite an astounding book because it felt like a family history, like Edward P. Jones was actually there, as though he was channeling the ancestors.  I don't know what to say.

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