The Angst of Choosing Books

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TSO recounts the angst of choosing among many possible books to back for one's vacation. Much of this horror is allieviated in the light of the all powerful PDA, which allows me to pack literally thousands of (public domain) books in a small 8 oz package--no extra luggage weight, less angst.

Nevertheless, the time looms for my own vacation and it is with some trepdiation that I face similar packing difficulties. The problem is the slew of books not available in public domain and not legitimately available as e-books.

So, I too face the same problem. The categories of reading are as always: Fiction, Poetry, Spiritual, and non-ficiton of some sort. I don't read as much history as TSO, so I'm likely to pick up a Richard Pickover or a Benoit Mandelbrot or a Simon Conway Morris. This time I've got a distracting little tome on Intelligent Design. Also I'm going to stay with my green friend in Naples, so a little Pat Buchanan might be in order, simply as fuel for the fire. There's an enticing little prospect at the library titled Men in Black and chronicling the judicial usurpation of legislative authority.

As for TSO, I will help him with unasked-for advice. Take Helena--read it, savor it, enjoy it. It's a wonderful book for vacation or otherwise. In fact, anyone taking a reading vacation--take Helena--the least bitter of Waugh's books and perhaps the best biography (because he gave himself leeway to use his real talents in the composition of it). Helena is a light read and a heavy read all in one. You don't need to labor over it, the prose dances and sings, the novel speeds along in its course to the end--completely satisfying in every regard. Truly a work for any time, any where. (And if you don't like it, well, as far as this blog is concerned, opinions are a dime a dozen and you get what you pay for.)

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I remember enjoying that novel. George Wiegel recommends it, too, and speculated once about whether John Paul II had read it.

And here's another vote for Helena as well. I read it because of your raves, and liked it, no, loved it, myself.

Hey TSO,

Like us voting on your reading list. Yeah, pretty presumptuous, but then, what would we do without presumption? However, if you haven't seen it yet, you might want to look at the sobering counterbalance chez Julie D.



Yeah I was fascinated by the divergence of Julie's review. I'm going to have to read it just to see where I am on the Helena continuum. Probably somewhere between you & Julie.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 31, 2005 8:42 AM.

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