Thursday, March 04, 2010

Books for February

The end of January and through most of February, my work had to take over everything. A lot of the work we planned for December had to be moved to January because of the Southeast Asian Games, which was hosted by Laos. National pride over this international role was palpable.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
I remember living in upstate New York on the day in August, 1974 when Philippe Petit walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. McCann writes about the event, but also wanted to explore the lives under his feet. The book starts off with a series of seemingly unconnected stories, which comes together at the end.

I listened to an interview on a podcast, where McCann said that we also walk on tightropes, and even if it's only an inch off the ground, we can fall and damage ourselves, or soar above the ground. The section of "The Walker's" practice in Montana really soar.

I also enjoyed this book, as well as other books, which take place in New York City in the late 20th Century (such as 'Fortress of Solitude,' and 'The History of Love'). When I lived in the City in the late 70's, it was a thrilling, eccentric and uncontrolled environment, full of creative and destructive energy. "Let the Great World Spin" captures that feeling.

Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
I first read this book when I was a child and made me wonder about who else shares our universe. Enoch Wallace is the keeper of the Way Station, helping other residents of the galaxy travel through the stars. That's the job I wanted when I grew up.

Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay
Upadhyay is the first Nepali author writing in English to be published in the West. He spans two worlds in this collection of short stories, of a changing Nepal still holding on to traditional values yet affected by the rest of the world.

No comments: