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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Time Since Reboot

  • 1060 days, 22 hours, 53 minutes, 8 seconds ago

My Top Ten Favorite Books (As Of Today)

In the absence of anything really important to talk about, I have decide to present a list:  my top ten favorite books of all time.  The compilation has resulted in some problems (as anyone who knows me can imagine).  I have tortured myself much longer than was necessary in order to parse the pantheon of good reads down to the essential 10.  Not my 10 recommendations.  Not my 10 fiction or nonfiction.  Not my 10 most inspiring or most enlightening or whatever.  These are the basic ten books that I have enjoyed over my thirty-two years in existence on this earth.  Nothing more or less.  If I was to present a summer reading list to potential Rhodes scholars, I would probably delve deeper into my repertoire in order to come up with the most satisfying, well-rounded list of literary influences that a young mind should feed upon.  This is not that list.  This list is just a top ten favorites list.  It represents the upper realm of the grammaticannon.  Do with it what you will.  (i.e., suggest your own lists in the “slap me” section)

Here ’tis:

10. Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying by Wolfgang Langewiesche

9. Richard III by William Shakespeare

8. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

7. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

6. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

5. London Fields by Martin Amis

4. I, Claudius by Robert Graves

3. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

2. The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Here’s Looking Up My New Address

Si pregunta el viajero si sostuvo
el tiempo, andando contra la distancia,
y vuelve adonde comenzó a llorar,
vuelve a gastar su dosis de yo mismo,
vuelve a irse con todos sus adioses.

Neruda

Well, here it is.  Finally.  Looks pretty much like the old .net site, does it not?  There are, however, some cosmetic changes at version 3.2 that will hopefully 1) be noticed and 2) make for a more pleasant reading experience.  Most of the features are carryovers, of course.  There’s still a link, for example, to my fotoblog at the top of the page.  It has been re-christened the "foto gallery" and will be reserved for photographs I deem worthy of publication. 

The "gallery" designation distinguishes the art from the non-art – the non-art being the newly unveiled daily snapshots section.  These will be unaltered, un-photoshopped pics taken and posted on the same day.  Every day.  The inspiration for this new form of expression was this, admittedly depressing, set of polaroids.  Read about it here, take a look at the set, be bummed out, and then appreciate the record this guy left behind.  My snapshots will be digital (mostly from the little lens of my already-indispensible Blackberry) instead of instamatic, but the concept is intended to be the same.

At the risk of being labeled Captain Obvious over here, I will only point out that the other design changes – the single sidebar and condensed "links" sections, for example – have been made in hopes of creating and maintaining a cleaner, uncluttered site.  It is still in flux, and will always be, but at least here there is a new launch pad to hurl my projectiles from.  Anyway, we are officially open for business here at grammaticaster 3.2.  Pop in occasionally and enjoy the confusing theme-jumble that is the running monologue of my internal existence.

 

….

 

As an addendum, and on a totally unrelated note (as is par for the course), I wanted to share my latest musical obsession: Amanda Palmer and her band, the Dresden Dolls.  I cannot stop listening to it.  Her Who Killed Amanda Palmer? and the Dolls’ Yes, Virginia have been in constant, heavy rotation in the Volvo for the past three weeks.  It is real.  It is raw.  It is emotional.  It is sexy as hell.  And "Ampersand" is the early favorite for my song-of-the-year.  (Yeah, I know the album came out in ’08.  Lay off.) 

I think I discovered her about a week after the Dresden Dolls came to Birmingham.  That, also, is par for the course. 

Check out The DecemberistsHazards of Love as well, if only for the brilliantly gruesome "The Rake’s Song" and the sweeping "The Wanting Comes In Waves."  Excellent stuff.  And a challenging listen, which is fine by me. 

 

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Okay.  I think that’s it for now.  More to come, and more frequently.  I swear.