Thursday, July 07, 2005

Books not unlike us

I'm in Memphis right now. It's the middle of our long move to Austin. We did about 1100 miles in two days and it was smooth sailing almost the whole way. I had biscuits and gravy for breakfast in Roanoke, Virginia, yesterday and it was one of those great We're-Not-in-Kansas-Anymore moments. We drove through a lot of torrential rain in Eastern Tennessee, but we've stayed ahead of schedule and had no mechanical problems with the truck.

Dad was asking for some book recommendations the other day, so here you go:

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy
I've never read a bad Cormac McCarthy book, but Stephen said You really should read Suttree and he was right. Typical of McCarthy, it starts out a little slow and flowery, but by the time it got into the problem in the watermelon patch, I was hooked. It's mostly set around Knoxville, TN, and it was pretty cool stopping through there yesterday, wondering if I might bump into Suttree. My favorite line in the book: "Git ye a tater."

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Interestingly enough, this is a book that Stephen really hated and I really liked. It's kind of hard to express the impact this book had on me, but I'll try. For one, I've always been interested in Japan, but even if Japanese culture doesn't particularly intetrest you, Murakami paints an excellent picture of contemporary Japan--and not just Tokyo, but particularly Takamatsu. Granted, this book is filled with some pseudo-supernatural elements and things like a talking Colonel Sanders cartoon, but beneath all of that is a tight story of a runaway boy named Kafka (and a painting called Kafka on the Shore, and a song called Kafka on the Shore, etc.). I really connected to it.

I'm looking for some book recommendations myself, so if you have some, post them in the comments.

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