Monday, December 19, 2011

The Winter Reading List: December 2011

Well, after deciding not to read in the autumn, I've decided to go back to my old system of the reading list. The fall was terrible. Actually, now that I think of it, the summer was a bit terrible too. In the last six months I read next to nothing. It was terrible. I wonder if I'm the kind of reader who needs a list, and to further that one pace more, am I the kind of person who needs a list?

At any rate, it's about the reading list now and again. I read Jack Kerouac's On the Road last week, and what a great read. I had been a little reticent to read it because of some personal baggage. I read some Kerouac a few years ago, enjoyed it, but I never messed around with On the Road. There really is no excuse why. But, in the opening chapters of part one when Sal (the narrator) is on his way to Denver, I really got so homesick for the old place. Aside from all the places in the book that I have shared: Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, Tucson and Mexico City, the story was frazzled, jazz like, Catholic, American, and love filled. At any rate, it never occurred to me what I share with Sal, and ol' Kerouac himself: Catholicism, war veteran, love of jazz, contempt of the masses, hedonism, and a search for the face of God which can happen at any moment in a skirt, a travel trunk, or the blue skies over the Rocky Mountains. This book sparked something in me. The drive to read more books.

So, there it is. It's time. The winter reading list:

Tropic of Capricorn Henry Miller
Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs
Bad Monkeys Matt Ruff
The Dogs Rebecca Brown
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
The Rum Diary Hunter S Thompson
Howl Allen Ginsberg
Collected Edwin Arlington Robinson

So much of this list is inspired by Kerouac, which is kind of funny. Anyhow, there it is. I hope as you build your reading list, you have as much fun. And if you're in a dark place, like Portland, Oregon this time of year, keep in mind that the days are getting longer between now and then.

As always, good luck and happy reading.

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