I used to read books. Lots of books. Didn't you? Didn't all of us? What happened? For me it was Twitter, comics and clash of clans. Fucking clash of clans. Oh and working 50 hours a week. Actually there was a time when I read tons at work. Got paid to read! Sweetest gig ever. It wasn't my job to read, it's just that heavy equipment offered plenty of time for reading while, say, getting loaded or whatever. But in this day of GPS and low profit margins and bigger and faster machines, well, that's why they make podcasts. Heard any good podcasts lately?
No wait! This post is about books.
I have read some books lately. They've just taken me longer than it did in the pre-3G era. See there was BC, AD and now we are in the year 12 3G or so. Or is it 3 4G? It's hard to keep track. All I know is my brain hasn't ever been upgraded and is getting slower by the gigahertz.
But it's nice to sit down and read some good old fashioned books.
For my 40th birthday, my friend gave me a pair of Haruki Murakami books. One was really big and intimidating and the other one just had an intimidating title. But I decided I better read them before I turned 41. Seems rude not to read books given to you as a gift, you know? So I read Kafka On The Shore. I liked it, I think. He's definitely an amazing writer, even in translation. It was easy to read, kind of fascinating. Had a touch of the fantastic, which I always appreciate. Some nice homage to Beethoven. Yeah. I'd talk more about it but wouldn't want to spoil it. I mean, there's a thing about it that would have been helpful to know beforehand, but maybe those more literary than me would spot it right away and not be weirded out. I actually texted my friend to help me parse some of it and he was quite helpful. As I can now be helpful to you, should you need it. I have The Wind Up Bird Chronicle to read too, but I might need a bit of time before I'm ready.
I like to change it up with my reading quite a bit so I read a book about human evolution called Last Ape Standing, by Chip Walter. I love that shit. I would give a billion dollars to go back in time and see actual Neanderthals and hang out. "But Nathan you don't have a billion dollars how can you promise that??" Because I would also use the time machine to go back in time and steal a billion dollars, obviously. And see the flores hobbits and find out if my theory about the Arctic Small Tool Tradition is right (it is). Failing that, though, I soak up books like this like a sponge. They're fascinating but always a little unsatisfying, because there's all these tantalizing fossils and theories and no way of really finding out how it was. Still, very interesting book. But Chip, if you're reading this, it's spelled troupe. Spellcheck can't detect homonyms. In your book about hominids.
As much as I love Neanderthals, I've never kept it a secret that ghosts freak me the fuck out. Luckily I am an adult Homo sapiens and have long outgrown my fear of spectres. No such thing! All the same, I would never read a book about ghosts. Why would I? But a book about Slipknot, hell yeah! I saw Corey Taylor's name on a book at the bookstore and grabbed it without a second's hesitation. I'll be honest, I didn't even read the title. Maybe I should have, but it's long. Really long. It's called "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven: (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process)". I love Slipknot so much. This book is not about Slipknot. It is about ghosts. All the ghosts Corey has encountered in his ghostiful life. You know that feeling where the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? That's mostly what this book did for me. Let's not speak of it again, ok?
Luckily Scott Ian's book was next to it and I also grabbed that while I was there. I love Anthrax as much as I love Slipknot. And Scott Ian's book is all about Anthrax. Not even a single ghost. I loved it. Read it in a weekend, like in the old days pre-3G. If you grew up listening to Anthrax or any of that early thrash stuff, any of the Big 4, than this is the book for you. Even if it's not, this is still . . . actually, nah, it won't appeal to you at all. But I loved it.
Next up . . . I don't know, actually. I have a big pile on my nightstand but nothing really grabbing me. What are you reading? Maybe if it sounds interesting I might try it out too. Though more likely I'll just go back to playing clash of clans.
- Nathan Waddell