Thursday, July 07, 2011

Notes From the Patio

I'm on vacation, I read a lot. My parents have a nice back patio that's very conducive to this. Briefly:

#20 -- "Big Shots" by A.J. Baime

A series of brief histories on some of the world's biggest liquor brands. The style's not really my thing -- written by a Playboy editor, nice back cover comments from Maxim, this is bro-lit. Bill Simmons on booze. It's fun though, and made me feel like I should drink more bourbon. Plus learning what an awful human being the real Captain Morgan was makes those horrid "Put a little Captain in you" ads a bit easier to take.

#21 -- "Shadow of the Silk Road" by Colin Thubron

Some time back, I was mightily unimpressed with one of Thubron's earliest works. Reading this gives me a bit of perspective on that, though, and if I look at "The Hills of Adonis" as a rookie effort in the process that eventually allowed Thubron to write something this wonderful, well, then, it served a purpose. There isn't a lot of great travel writing around today, but Thubron seems to get better and better. "Shadow of the Silk Road" takes him along the old route, from China to Turkey, and it's the best book yet from someone who's written his share of greats.

#22 -- "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman

Good fun here. I'm still waiting for one of Gaiman's novels to knock me out, and it hasn't yet -- his characters are a bit too templated for me -- but they're all entertaining, rollicking, exciting, whatever words you want to use. In my easily-distracted state, it's nice to find a book that hooks me enough to be read in one sitting.

Back to the patio!

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