Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two Great Books

I just read two great books this week (I still prefer a hardback with beautiful sensual paper to the ease and convenience of eBooks.) And for many years now I have followed a regime of reading two books simultaneously - one fiction and one nonfiction. I just completed a terrific novel by Patrick deWitt called The Sisters Brothers. This was short listed for the Man Booker Prize and is beautifully written. Patrick pays homage to the classic Western but transforms it into an amazing tongue-in-cheek tour de force. The cast of characters is Deadwood-like and the vocabulary is straight from the 1850’s. Patrick doesn’t put a foot wrong and you can’t help but laugh out loud at the humor, the sadness and the true grit of the two brothers. My nonfiction book was called Something in the Air by Richard Hoffer. It tells about the revolution that was happening in 1968 everywhere in the world and sets this against the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. I was 19 years old when all this was occurring and I was swept away in the radical, liberal revolution that was taking place across the world. Reading this book really heightened my awareness of what was going on behind the scenes and brought it all back to life for me again. I own a terrific painting done by Daniel Dens showing that epic moment when Tommy Smith, Peter Norman and John Carlos stood on the podium after the 200 meters in protest against racial persecution. Something in the Air tells the story of terrific amateur athletic endeavor from days gone by and positions it smack in the middle of the Human Rights revolution. Two great books.

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