Back of sushi restaurant, Boulder
Today's the last day of vacation. I've been back in Atlanta for a few days, with not much notable to report, other than a few really weird, vivid dreams. A couple are very specifically work-related and thus not worth mentioning here, but one was kinda interesting.
I had moved to Durango, Colorado (home of a few real-life friends), with my sights set on trying out for the high school football team. (I remained 36 years old in the dream.) I made the team, but on the day we were all supposed to turn out, I ditched the team and remained at the cabin where I was living. I was sitting on the front porch, with a rather steep drop-off to my right -- I was looking down at a vast abyss, with clouds and sky beneath me. (It was more or less the same sight you get looking out the right-side passenger window of an airplane -- the very seat I had on Wednesday.) From somewhere beneath my cabin, planes were emerging into the sky below me.
Far off, I could hear cheers and explosions as the football team was introduced to the public. The football coach got in touch with me and chewed me out for ditching the team -- I remained silent. Then, someone asked me if I'd be willing to smuggle marijuana back to Atlanta.
* * *
I never did review the last two books I read, and I've read a few more since then, and I'm running short on review-energy -- so just a brief wrap-up.
#48 -- "Final Salute" by Jim Sheeler
#49 -- "Death in Venice" by Thomas Mann
#50 -- "Heart of a Dog" by Mikhail Bulgakov
#51 -- "Bitter Fruit" by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer
Quickly: "Final Salute" won Jim the Pulitzer, and it's fantastic, of course. Absolutely heart-wrenching. "Death in Venice" hasn't held up well over the years -- it's turgid and plotting and I couldn't get into it at all. 66 pages and it felt like four times that. "Heart of a Dog," much better. It's been years since I read "Master and Margarita," which I liked a lot, and this one goes on the approved list too. And "Bitter Fruit," the tale of the American-sponsored coup in 1950s Guatemala, is well-researched and gripping but could have stood a bit more expansion on how the coup played out in the decades to come -- it was interesting stuff but gone over really quickly.