the evolving self – robert kegan
the river why – david james duncan
the wind’s twelve quarters – ursula k. leguin
east of eden – john steinbeck
the yiddish policeman’s union – michael chabon
[arrival in watsonville]
the evolving self – robert kegan
in roughly reverse chronological order, stepping back to where i left off on my reading list:
cryptonomicon – neal stephenson
a wild sheep chase – haruki marukami
legends of the fall – jim harrison
hell’s angels – hunter s. thompson
the tortilla curtain – t.c. boyle
son of a witch – gregory maguire
wicked – gregory maguire
plains of passage – jean m auel
tihkal – alexander and jane shulgin
[colorado for the holidays]
servant of the bones – anne rice
dreams of my father – barack obama
the kite runner – khaled hosseini
[reconnecting with bloomington]
sometimes a great notion – ken kesey
[lingering in oregon]
me: i finished prozac nation!
friend: did you like it?
me: i think in the middle i decided that it actually made me feel Less depressed because i have so clearly not been that low before. it was very empowering or something to read about some feelings i recognize and others that i don’t.
in some ways the end is more depressing because its abotu our pill popping culture.
which is more what i think i expected the whole thign to be about, and its somethign i think about a lot.
but it was good, and thought provoking.
friend: i agree
i read it b/c i thought the same thing, but it’s so much more insight into the world of depression
it’s amazing to imagine ever feeling like that even though everyone says you shouldn’t
i have had days where i am physically unable to get out of bed, though, and i know what it is like to know that you should act a certain way and then act differently anyway.
there are things i recognize in the feeling.
so it’s interesting to see someone else explore them so honestly and articulately.
friend: it’s interesting to realize that as low as i’ve been i’ve never been that low. i feel lucky i’ve never been there, but it’s scary to know that you could
me: i feel like i have enough of a sense of self-confidence and worth that i would have to really make myself fall anywhere near that low, but i also think that i could do it if i tried, and i have to choose not to, and i feel confident in the fact that i am not in very much danger of wanting to try, but it is powerful to have the reminder that the potential is there, and hear someone else talk through it.
yeah. scary but also comforting. i think it’s good to realize that it’s a part of being human, not just in our own heads alone.
or at least a part of being human right now in our culture.
which is why i really think its interesting.
modern culture clearly does something to the chemical structures in our brains.
friend: well said
me: thanks :)
i picked this up in the travel section at the library solely because of the title, and then checked it out after it passed the barebones scrutiny of its dustjacket by having a plug from steve martin and another from someone i have never heard of who said:
What is the proper way to describe Geoff Dyer? Not deeply companionable, not viciously funny, not shockingly original, not effortlessly hip, not naively romantic, not wryly analytic, not endearingly foolish, not engagingly clever, but, perhaps, some as-yet-uninvented phrase which implies all these things at once.
that kind of review kind of makes me snort my nose but it also succeeds at making me curious, and curiosity was enough for it to pass muster for the hodgepodge of working traveler/woman traveler/solo traveler inspirational manifestos that i was accumulating. i will not read them all before i leave town. in fact, there’s a chance that this will be the only one i get through, apart from work your way around the world, which isn’t really a book one reads so much as a book one refers to when needed. it is awesome in a different way, and i will probably buy it to take it with me.
but that’s another story.
this book, as it turns out, is about traveling, drugs, writing, and the search for happiness and a sense of purpose (not necessarily in that order).
it was a good thing for me to read write now [editor's note: i'm going to leave that typo in, because it is amusing to me].
it has also (in what feels like a somewhat bizarre coincidence, since i had no idea that it would even be mentioned, but i have been thinking about it more and more lately) steeled my intention to make it to burning man in the near future. this year is probably out, since i will still be in europe in september if the work plan takes hold even for a little while, so that means 2007 – black rock city, nevada.
i’ll add it to the DA list.
and just as a note so that you don’t think it was an accident, i filed this as both fiction and non-fiction on purpose. it is one of those kind of short story books, where the stories are real, but not necessarily strictly true, and this was my way of respecting that. if you don’t know what i mean, you should read how to tell a true war story, by tim o’brien, which is in the excellent collection entitled the things they carried, which, if you’re keeping score, is probably one of the books that would make my top 10 list, if i made such things.
and then you should read this.
unless stories of psychedelic drug use make you cringe or sigh or shrug your shoulders.
then you should possibly steer clear.
i hope the three years since it was published have been good to mr. dyer, and if i meet him in the desert of nevada sometime, i hope i get a chance to hear about them, and if i don’t, i hope it’s because i ask him something infinitely more appropriate that happens to occur to me at the time.