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What Are We Reading?

September 24, 2008

Here's my latest stack. What's yours?

I sometimes post here about a sweet book I'm reading or came across. But I don't do enough of that. I get behind. So here's a quick catch-up. A list of books I've read or dug into lately. I really should also put up quick reviews, too, and links for ordering them on Amazon, but a little is better than nuttin.

(Ya know, if you use the Amazon search in the lefthand OYB menu that OYB will get a cash kickback at no cost to you? You can also just add "/jeffpottersoutyo" to the end of any Amazon URL. I mean, if not me, you should have SOMEONE's "tag" at the end of any Amazon order you make.)

I tend to have a book stack on hand at all times that I'm dipping into. My current stack is greatly affected by my reactions to spending time at the Straits of Mackinac this summer. It's a rich region!

And thank heaven for the interlibrary loan! We use ours every week. (Being an indy publisher, I can't afford books.)

So here's my current stack:

*"Three Men in a Boat," Jerome K. Jerome -- humorous tale from early 1900's Britain about friends taking a simple river trip

*"Life in the Wild West," George Ruxton -- 1800's tale of the mountains by a guy who was there

*"On the Road," Kerouac

*"On the Road: the Original Scroll," Keroauc (some interesting differences)

*"Bohemia in London," Arthur Ransome -- the young poor wild life as an artist/writer in early 1900's

*"Bark canoes and skin boats of North America," Chappelle

*"A most troublesome situation: the British military and the Pontiac Indian uprising of 1763-1764" -- major dramatic wilde action of olde days

*"The art of Robert Griffing : his journey into the Eastern Frontier" -- gorgeous art book -- anything of his will astound -- the details are everything -- did you know that Indians cut out their ear cartilege? Then pinned their ears back when in ambush?

*Several volumes by Timothy J. Kent, incl "Birchbark canoes of the fur trade" -- a great overview of Voyageur life. Kent is an amazing, unique, prolific and INDEPENDENT scholarly writer of the Straits area.

*"Primitive technology : a book of earth skills / from the Society of Primitive Technology" -- a dry, technical, academic-ish look at prim-skills, emphasizing authenticity/anthropology

*"The Book of Buckskinning, Vol. 1" -- a look at early 1970's reenacting culture

*"Manifest manners : postindian warriors of survivance," Gerald Vizenor -- an astounding, relevant postmodern look at Indians in US culture -- a look at people who aren't allowed to tell their own stories, much like any powerless people today, such as trailerpark folk -- even now "folk writing" is considered an oxymoron as "folk" are considered illiterate. Doh!

*"Travels and Adventures in Canada," Alexander Henry -- an early and superb journal of life in the woodsy 1700's -- this journal was edited to make "Attack on Michilimackinac," classic of Straits history (noted elsewhere at OYB).


*"Tortilla Flats," Steinbeck -- ROCKIN'! A great quick story of poor bum drinking buddies on the coast back in the 30's. What's a friend for anyway?

*"Cannery Row" -- Important, fascinating, but somehow TF comes out on top. CR has wider social impact, though. ...And, of course, "Chicanery Row," the new incarnation that I resell, is a must-read addition.


*"The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson," Silcox. Huge GORGEOUS art book. Will blow you away! Ontario northwoods is mostly the subject, but really it's the STYLE of those who LOVE LIFE that shines thru. ROCKIN'!

*Meister Eckhart -- recent religious, mystic, philosohpic reading

*"Down and Out in Paris and London," Orwell -- wonderful view of life in the gutter (and the hotel kitchen) in the Roaring 20's. An astounding picture of life working in restaurants in Paris back then. Just amazing.

*"A Moveable Feast," Hemingway -- cafe life in the 20's

*"Tropic of Cancer," Miller -- Paris bumming in the 20's

*"Air-Conditioned Nightmare," Miller -- a road trip thru the USA in a model T -- an early trashing of US anti-culture

*"A Night of Serious Drinking" and "Mount Analog," Rene Daumal -- intersection of Hem and Surrealism/Jarry and Gurdjieff in Paris

*"Learning How to Learn," Idries Shah -- sufi technique

*"The Essential Rumi," Barks -- astounding poetry, world's #1 bestseller since the 1300's -- pritty big

*"North American Indians," George Caitlin -- a major Indian book

*"The Five Crows Ledger" -- Indian ledger art is amazing -- some wild action stories are retold in them, very colorfully, a wonderful artform

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