I keep these books by my bedside table, I think its a rather small collection, but I’m just not a keen reader.
Somehow people are surprised sometimes that I wrote a book yet haven’t read many books myself, to which I’d sometime answer a misquote from Catcher in the Rye “I don’t read much, but I am literate” Which is the quote backwards.
And it is a dumb teenager thing to say, but as I purge myself of my previous teenage-ness I realize that I should really read these again, and more. Some of these actually have a funny story.
Talking about The Catcher in the Rye, it is the only book I’ve ever read out of own pleasure and not because I was told or forced to. In fact the only time I read it because I wanted to read it was the third time I read it. It was minutes before my girlfriend told me she had cheated on me. As I waited for her to arrive to the coffee shop where she laid the news out for me I read probably through a fourth of it, quite fast. What really unsettled her was my lack of unsettlement as the book had relaxed me so much I just couldn’t get angry or upset at the moment. In fact for the remaining time of our meeting I actually pushed her to read the book and I eventually got her to keep the copy I was reading, not that she agreed to, I literally had to slip the book over her handbag, she didn’t notice for a couple of days amazingly!
I did not see her again for a year until a few weeks ago, when my dog almost bit her best friend. She still has the book. I actually had two copies of the catcher in the rye, one was meant for another girl back in middle school but I never had the guts to give it to her, and the other was given to me by my best friend who insisted I read it, and I took her word for it.
Supreme Injustice and Lobbying in American Politics are actually books that I used to understand a bit more what happened in Bush v. Gore together with the court cases involved. As my final essay for high school was based on that case. Half of the people that helped me create the final edit were american and they shared some insight into why they thought that happened and it really helped me understand a bit more about american politics. One of them drives a 1993 Honda Civic, and thinks Portland has good beer.
The Labyrinth of solitude and The Aleph are both books I had to read for my literature course and I really liked parts of them. More than anything I liked “The Pachuco and other extremes” and “The warrior and the captive” Which really helped me get to terms with my place of origin and whether I was Mexican or Spanish (Result: Mexican) It helped me settle a lot of anxiety about it and it made me realize than beyond knowing that, it didn’t matter much.
The things they carried was also required by my literature course, and I could never shake away the scene about the pickup truck and the lake, I sometimes even open the book and look for it, I think it’s the best part of the book.
“ The war was over and there was no place in particular to go. Norman Bowker followed the tar road on its seven-mile loop around the lake(...) It was a graceful, good-sized lake. Back in high school, at night, he had driven around and around it with Sally Kramer, wondering if she’d want to pull into the shelter of Sunset Park, or other times with his friends, talking about urgent matters, worrying about the existence of God and theories of causation. Then, there had not been a war. But there had always been the lake, which was the town’s first cause of existence, a place for immigrant settlers to put down their loads.”