I’m back from vacation. Yesterday I spent sorting through gads of emails, about a million voicemails, and sat through a rather long meeting. All to say that I haven’t posted because I’m busy with post-vacation catch up. I had a great time in San Francisco. Did you know they have a thousand bookstores out there? Just kidding, but they do have a lot of great stores. I know everyone’s too busy lamenting the closing of several of them, but there’s still some great stores left: Green Apple Books and Music, City Lights, Cody’s on Stockton Street, The Booksmith, Book Passage plus the countless used stores I walked past.
What did I read while away you might ask? I’m ashamed to say that I only read two and a half books while gone. For the flight over, I read one of Rupert Thomson’s earlier novels Air and Fire. Since I had to get up at 4 am to catch the plane, I didn’t read for very long before passing out. I didn’t find this tale set in 19th century Baja California as good as his later novels, but it’s interesting to see the evolution of his writing.
While in San Francisco, I thought I would correct an egregious oversight that has allowed me to go this long without reading and Joan Didion. Slouching Towards Bethlehem seemed like the perfect book to read while exploring the city (I’m a dork like that). How wonderful to read the title essay in which Didion describes her impressions of the Haight-Ashbury scene while actually walking around the area. I wish I had read her years ago now.
I chose to read Michael Pollan’s Second Nature on the plane back to Boston because I’ve been doing a little gardening lately and I was interested to hear his opinions on the matter. Sometimes dry and sometimes wildly entertaining, I think Pollan is at his best musing about gardenings roots (no pun intended) while referring to his own earthy exploits.
I should also add that I met up with Ed while out there for some delicious Thai food. I’m only sorry that I didn’t get to go with him to the Marish Pessl reading at The Booksmith. He toured me around his neighborhood though and we had great fun picking up books we had read and wanted to read. Here’s a photo of us:
All in all, it was a great, relaxing vacation. I spent time with my sister and her husband, drank a lot of wine, ate some delicious food, and wandered around an immensely walkable city.
And great to see you two as well! Glad you had fun!
Thanks for the pic. I’m shy of putting myself on the web but always so happy to see the pics of fellow bloggers.
That Didion essay is incredible. I haven’t read it in decades, but I still remember the mood it sets so vividly–and her pity and wonder at the women in the communes, still stuck cooking away, leading lives probably not so different–only dirtier–than what their mothers expected for them. Sigh.