Books I'm TRYING to read . . .

I'm emphasizing "trying" because I've got ZERO attention span at the moment. On my bedside table are Rushdie's Satanic Verses and Catch 22. I tried reading Catch 22 on a train to New York a few weeks ago. Instead, I watched the man next to me consume four beers, two mini bottles of whiskey, three hot dogs, and two bags of potato chips. Sorry Yossarian, but this dude was way more interesting. He then tried to sleep, but these old ladies from some strange religious tour group from England were yak-yak-yakking about how glorious the countryside was, and how glorious their hats were. He kept shouting from underneath a coat he had over his head, "Excuse me!" The ladies would then lower their voices a few pitches, but then raise them as they got excited. This went on for four hours. As I said, it all made for better theatre than Catch 22.

I stopped reading Satanic Verses because of portability. There are a few things that crossed my mind as I started to read the novel: 1) It's a big book. 2) I'm going to travel a lot 3) I'm going to visit some folks in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia 4) I'm a bald Asian man and I don't want to wander airports carrying Satanic Verses when I know in my passport I have a stamp from Morocco. (By the way, on my recent international flights, my trip to Morocco surfaced every time I passed through customs).

So as you can see, these are my reasons for not finishing things. I guess I should read poetry books instead of novels, yes? Although I can say that I finished The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks while I was in Paris, so I have one novel down. The goal that I set every year is to read at least four novels for the summer. I'm well short of that goal at the moment. I'll keep trying.

Oliver de la Paz