Paradise is finished. What started as a mellow, dreamy account of a confused boy being taken from his family as repayment for debt, turned into an adventure as he grows and proves himself to be a savvy and lucky young man. As a sub-plot, the book also looks at the growth in popularity of organized religion as the merchants travel from village to village and have to navigate a new set of customs and beliefs at each one.
Information on the author, an expat himself, whose books explore ideas of displacement and desire.
A quote I found interesting, a reminder that perspective is everything. When I was doing archaeology work, rain was the bane of our existence. It ruined sites and brought everyone’s moral down. In this case, it has quite the opposite effect,
“A light rain sped them on, making the men break into song as their bodies cooled. Even the ones who were ailing from the wear and tear of the journey found their old strength returning.”
I am back in my pjs and back in bed with books. The gig was great, after a less than ideal start of a missing bass player and a strange partition that was blocking the crowd from seeing the stage, but all was remedied.
I had left Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club: A Memoir open on my bed, but I think I’m going to move on to Paradise, which I’m halfway through and really need to finish. Although the Lairs’ Club was considered the cutting edge of confessional autobiography where you get to lambaste your family and tell all your secrets, I think I’m reading it ten years too late. Now this kind of thing is common place, and it even seems to pale a little compared to The Glass Castle: A Memoir.
Paradise is a subtle story of a boy sold to his “uncle” Aziz when his dad can’t pay outstanding debts in colonial Africa. Short-listed for the Booker prize, it thankfully is not full of the expected violence, but is more of a coming of age story as Yusuf adapts to his new traveling merchant lifestyle and realization that he may never see his parents again.
Current book: dabbling, but will probably take a chunk out of Paradise.
Pages read since start of read-a-thon: 9 (but I’ve got coffee in hand and am about to remedy that.
Current page in Paradise: 93
I have to run out the door to play an hour long at a fall festival, and got woefully little reading done after responding to an e-mail for a request to play, reading through ten read-a-thoners blogs, and reheating Indian fair.
The e-mail I was a little conflicted about. People seem to think that musicians are hankering to play at every opportunity that calls. This isn’t true. I’m eager to work, as it were, but the hours of writing, practicing, rehearsing, not to mention the cost of equipment, gear, gas, and the like, mean that I expect to be compensated for my work. Regardless of the fact that the work in question is also art. “Exposure” is, largely, bullshit. It doesn’t pay my rent, or buy me groceries. To be asked by a successful national chain to play at their annual event for free, is a good exercise in asking for what I’m worth and potentially saying no and walking away.
Current Book: The Liar’s Club
Pages read since start of read-a-thon: 2 (go ahead laugh)
And yet another thing that is not actually reading: A Book Puzzle!
What do you think this title is?
I turned on the computer this morning to make my morning rounds, and discovered that I had completely missed the fact that one of my favorite geek-out activities starts today. Dewey’s Read-a-thon is a twenty-four hour catch up on reading, read new blogs, literary-word-fest.
My friend Susan in Korea, who writes a fantastic book blog: Naked Without Books, got me hooked in the first place.
Luckily for me, the only thing I have to do today is play a short gig at the Munjoy Hill Association Fall Festival, but first I’m going to read a little while eating some leftover Indian food from the new best Indian restaurant in Portland, Maine, Haggarty’s. I know, I know, doesn’t sound very Indian does it? It’s Brit-Indi owned by a couple of Scotsmen, and it’s great.
I actually have a purpose for this read-a-thon. I uploaded a bunch of books to paperbackwap and bookmooch, but haven’t had time to read them before (confession) marking them mailed. I know I’m terrible, but they are my books, and this is my method for getting through my monster To-Be-Read pile. So I need to quickly get through:
And for my obligations on Bookobsessed Yankee Book Swaps, I may dabble in:
And just because the opening chapter is really fun, it has pictures, and it’s by two local authors:
I have a wide range of relatively short things to choose from, and tons of leftover Indian and Thai food from the last two days musicians meetings.
For people who are used to seeing my posts on international and national travel, you are about to see a level of book geekdom that you may not have known existed in me. You can choose to follow along, or ignore and wait for more pictures of pretty places to pop up in the future. Although, the limbo my life has been in lately hasn’t been very inspiring for travel blogging. I’ve been in Maine much longer than I intended, and I’ve been in denial about how much I’m actually enjoying being home.
And on to the Read-a-Thon’s official questions:
1) I am reading from Portland, ME today. (My hometown, which I’ve inadvertently returned to after seven years of jaunting around the world.)
2. Three random facts: Well, I’ve already admitted that I post books to bookswapping sites before I’ve read them so that I’ll read them faster. I’m on a diabolical plan to be the best female honky-tonk guitar player. Cambodia and Chile are the two places I’ve never been to that are top of my wish list. Oooo, and one more, my mother recently informed me that I’m a sapiosexual.
3. Goals for the read-a-thon: see above.
4. Advice to new read-a-thoners: don’t feel guilty about sleep.
Filed under: Music
10/21 Harvest on the Harbor , Portland, 12pm – Hear local music and taste the latest innovations from Portland’s best restaurants.
10/21 Wine and Bluegrass, The Hive, Kennebunk, 7pm – Wine tasting and roots music
10/22 Munjoy Hill Association, Community School, North St. Portland, noon
10/28 Trader Joe’s Anniversary (tentative), 6pm
11/5 Slater’s, Bolten, MA 1pm – My internet friend, Beth DeSombre, (from Whole Wheat Radio and Blue Ridge Radio) has invited me to share an afternoon of original music with her in Bolten, Mass.
11/11 The Hive w/Rod Picott, Kbunk, 7pm – Sharing the night at one of my favorite venues in Maine. Rod Picott is a Maine native who has found a good amount of success on the nations Folk Scene.
11/19 Bayside Bowl, Too Broke To Be This Drunk, Portland, 8pm – I’m so glad to be doing this night with the Too Broke crew. We’ll be singing songs by Patsy, Waylon, Dolly, and more.
12/17 The Dogfish, Free St., Portland, 8pm – You know the deal. Come down and drink beer.