Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon

I usually have some idea where the books of my shelf came from.  I have three Michael Chabon books on my shelf. Mysteries of Pittsburgh, which I bought on clearance for a dollar or two from Encore Books, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which was a gift from my brother, and this one. I have no idea where or when I picked up this hardback book.
I enjoy Michael Chabon's work. I even remember seeing him briefly on Charlie Rose at some point in the 90s when I walked into a room somewhere. I had read my clearance priced copy of Mysteries of Pittsburgh some time before that, and was a little surprised that he had become a big deal.

Here is my review of this book from

This book of short stories is split into two parts. A Model World and The Lost World. 

The first part contains unrelated stories, including the title story. These stories are good but somehow fall short of greatness. Each story feels like it should be part of a larger story. The stories are not only unrelated but different from each other that grouping them together feels forced. 

The second part is much more successful. Actually it's great and of the quality that I have come to expect from Michael Chabon. All of the stories in this section are related and together are part of a greater whole. 

That's not to say the first half is bad; it's not. Worth a read. 

I haven't decided if I am going to liberate these three books or not. Since I'm undecided, I think I have made up my mind. They will stay.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Living Less in the Material World

So I started buying books in my teens to one day have a cool book lined library. And not just books to fill space, but all books that I wanted to read eventually.

I eventually got there. But the book lined room was sort of like being gifted an elephant, big and impressive but not very practical, especially when I lived in that tiny rowhome. It should be noted that books, unlike elephants, do not leave giant mounds of pooh. Now that just about all reference information is available on line 24/7 and constantly updated, books are no longer the best storehouses of information. And on-line info is equally pooh-free.

My read-all-the-books-we-own project has become a read-all-the-books-we-own-and-get-rid -of-them project. Or as I like to call it "book liberation".

The top shelf below, like the ones below it, was full of books a few months ago. Eventually all of the shelves will have the same fate.

Of the section I have completely read (most of the top shelf), I have kept some books that I might want to re-read someday or that have sentimental value. But many have been given away or will be given away when I run into the people I want to give them to. A big chunk that consisted of the read-all-of-Agatha-Christie's-books-in-a-row project has been condensed into two beer boxes (stacked). I'm not really sure what I will do with those. Sitting condensed in two boxes works for me for now.

The book-liberation project is also a me-liberation project. It's nice to live in a moment in time to be able live with less physical stuff but still have all the access to it and to have the ability to take advantage of that.

I am still a lover of reading, but of books... not so much.

What this means for authors or bookstores, I don't know.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Santa Wants to Love you To Death

Found on the jitney in Rehobeth Delaware.  
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