April 19th, 2007

Books

What's your favorite book?

I don't mean your favorite literary book or a book you read in college that you love. Books like that, while often life changing, always come with the baggage of expectations and education. A pure read is never possible.

I'm talking about a book you picked up at a bookstore or was lent to you by a friend that you read simply for pure pleasure and ended up getting a lot more that you bargained for.

For me, it's The Stand. I first read this book in 8th Grade. I was staying at my uncle's house in Maine for the summer and he had a signed first edition of it (that currently sits about 10 feet from where I'm writing this.)

I picked it up not because of any grand ideas about enriching my life. It was simply a rainy day and the book looked like something my parents wouldn't want me to read, so I had to read it.

Damn, did it open my eyes. I've read it at least a dozen times since then, and each and every time find something new and joyous. I always leave the book wanting to know more about these people. Sometimes I even wonder and daydream about what happened to them after the book ended.

What makes it so beautiful is that it takes you in completely unexpected directions. At the start you think it's going to be a book about the end of the world. But, it's not. In a novel that eventually spans more than 1,000 pages (in the unabridged version) he gets the apocalypse out of the way in the first 250.

The rest is something completely different. It's about friendship, faith an courage. In ways that I've never felt with any other work of popular fiction, you bond with these people.

The end of the book is even more amazing. Any other author (and even King himself these days) would have ended the book with a dramatic fight between good and evil. But, that doesn't happen.

In the end, the heroes don't really have to do anything to win. They don't kneel down. They don't go into battle.

They simply stand.

And, that's beautiful.

So, back to the original question. What popular fiction moves you?

And why?

SEPW Day 20

Things I learned on Day 20.

1. Apparently Supreme Court decisions generate more interest than rock stars on cartoon shows.

2. Squirt is a total cuddlebunny when she's not in heat.

3. La Terrasse by Fitzpatrick's is closed.

4. Sex toys exist for pets too!

5. When I miss a day of showering, I smell.

6. After a week or working out, I can really see a difference in the way my arms look.

7. Ice-T is in Season Two of Special Victims Unit!

8. The New York Times is worried that blogs will tap into their ad revenue.

9. Always count your change when you leave the cigarette store.

10. Nobody else wonders what girls' panties look like when they people watch.

Deep Thoughts

Sometimes, when I'm sitting the Place de la Comedie and watching people walk by, I think "Wow! More than half the people in the world have breasts and vaginas!"

This makes me very, very happy.