As hockey season winds to a close and baseball … well, the Indians can’t hit and the Pirates are just being the Pirates … it’s getting close to the time when I have to find something else to occupy my time until college football starts.
Yes. That would be around mid-July.
The Wife makes a year-round habit of sitting on the front porch and reading; I don’t mind the cold, but sitting on our porch for any extended period of time in February isn’t high on my list. I tend to wait until the weather gets warm to join her. And that works well — between now and October, I have the chance to sit with her and get through some of the books I’ve been putting off.
I have a pretty good start — three of them going at once.
News Junkie, Jason Leopold: This will be a quickie. This memoir was written when Leopold was Los Angeles bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires; he’s since worked for several other print and online publications. I’m having a hard time with his professional ethics, or the lack thereof. He’s been involved in a bunch of big stories and won some recognition; he’s also had full stories retracted by Salon and run into other problems. It’s fascinating; it’s also pissing me off.
Big Weather, Mark Svenvold: The writer follows an experienced storm-chaser around the Midwest. Anyone who knows Weather Freak Boy shouldn’t be surprised I’m enjoying this.
Consider the Lobster, David Foster Wallace: This collection of essays is a warm-up for the summer’s main event — Infinite Jest, the novel that’s been mocking me from the bookshelves in our living room. All 1,078 pages of it. I’m loving the first book, though. Detailed, dense and hysterical.
Aside from Infinite Jest, there are a couple others I’ll tackle this summer as well. While nosing through an antiques shop in Gettysburg last fall, I found something I didn’t know existed — an account of the Kent State shootings written by James Michener. I’ve always been fascinated by the student riots that swept across Ohio in 1970, and to find that Michener had written about Kent State was a nice surprise. And then there’s The Joke’s Over, a memoir by artist Ralph Steadman that focuses on his relationship with Hunter Thompson. There are a lot of terrible HST biographies out there (E. Jean Carroll’s book Hunter comes to mind) but Steadman was close enough — but also prickly enough — that I’m expecting a good story that doesn’t veer off into fawning.
Lighter stuff? Newsweek. Sports Illustrated. Relix. Beer magazines and tabs. Starting in July, college football preview magazines. And then there’s the two or three newspapers I pick up every day. Just like you guys do.