The dog days of August get me again. The Ski Bum and I went to Mexico for a week, then when we returned we both suffered post-vacation torpor and ailments, then my internet crapped out for a few days. And things have been busy. And I've still got that torpor (I haven't uploaded most of my vacation pics yet, for one).
I've got some stories to tell, like my run-in with the cops in some backwater town, but they'll have to wait (I'm tired, still a bit ill, and in the midst of one of my three fantasy football drafts). But they'll come -- I've got some writing in me.
In the meantime, though, other people's writing:
#31 -- "But Beautiful" by Geoff Dyer
Many years back, a music critic told a friend: if you can write well about jazz or hip hop, you've got it made in this business. Which may explain why I flamed out as a music writer. I love jazz. I can't write word one about it, though.
Geoff Dyer can write quite well about it. I learned about this book through the Progressive on the Prairie -- I suggest you read his piece on the book, which is better than anything I can do. It's quite a book and one of the best things I've read this year.
#32 -- "The Serbs" by Tim Judah
This falls into a weird gray area: it's fantastic, but if you aren't really really into that region of the world, it'll be too dense. If you are really really into that region of the world you probably don't need me to tell you about the book. Anyway, it's nuanced and intelligent. Also unknown by me 'til recently: Judah is apparently behind the Economist's great Eastern Approaches blog, so three yays there.
#33 -- "The Dangerous Summer" by Ernest Hemingway
Ah Hem. Long time since I've read anything by him (aside from my ten-year effort to get through "Garden of Eden"). This is half brilliant descriptions of enjoying life and drinking with beautiful people, half stuff about bullfighting. To be fair, some of the bullfighting stuff is pretty gripping (and I still want to read "Death in the Afternoon") but ultimately I don't really know/want to know anything about the sport, so it's kinda lost on me. For completists only. Or people who grabbed it off a used bookstore shelf on a whim a decade ago.