books will outlast us all, i think, i believe

I've been trying to watch less tv. As a result, I've been reading a lot - approximately at a rate of a book a day. Fortunately, I don't mind re-reading books, which gives me a pretty good library to choose from.

I really wanted to read Jonathan Lethem's "As She Climbed Across the Table", but apparently had lost/given away my copy. So I settle for reading "Invisible Monsters" by Chuck Palahnuik. It's not his most talked-about work, but I like it a lot. He has a way of creating the most completely fucked up characters that have ever lived. It makes me feel normal.

Then I read "Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem, whcih I got at the new Cody's on Shattuck. Man, I am so happy they are back. I'd seen the recent movie of it with George Clooney, which I thought was amazing. The book was equally if not more stellar, and gave me a really good appreciation of what a difficult translation it must have been, from novel to film. There's something I love about that sort of claustrophobic, paranoid fiction.

I have more books queued up. "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman", a short story collection by one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, bought at The Other Change of Hobbit on Shattuck, a specialty scifi bookstore with a really cool store cat. I don't know why I never bought it until now, I have all of his other books which are in print in the US. His short stories are unsettling, confusing, evocative. They leave me feeling lightheaded, in a good way.

I finally, after going to all of the bookstores in town, found a copy of "As She Climbed Across the Table". It is in queue, probably to be moved to the top. It's a funny, strange, surreal book that makes me feel good and lonely at once.

At the same bookstore (Black Oak Books) I picked up on impulse a book called Birmingham: 35 Miles. It seems to be set after an environmental disaster of some kind. It is strange and somehow twistingly nostalgic that our greatest threat for an apocalyptic future is what we've done to our world, rather than the implements of war we once thought we'd destroy it with. Anyway, I'll report back on that one. I liked the cover. I judge books by their covers a lot.

In fact, when I lend out or lose copies of books, I find myself feverishly trying to find the same edition, or at least one with the same cover art. I really did want the version of the Lethem book I had before - but alas, it being so hard to find, I took what I could get.

I'll read them all. I'll read them again. I'll read them until their pages are frayed and crumbling and then I'll give them away and buy them again.

Today my mother told me she's afraid my dad will die before he's 70, that he has cardio-pulmonary problems and an enlarged heart. He is more frail than any of us knew and I am very very scared and I don't know how to deal with it at all.

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