- Fizzy Thoughts: What I've been reading

What I've been reading

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tis the season. So I read The Autobiography of Santa Claus, as told to Jeff Guinn. This is a cute story about how the legend of Santa evolved. It tosses in lots of history and gets a little preachy at times (for instance, he likes to comment on how we don't do that anymore because we know better...which from the point of a historian is quite tiresome. Dude, don't judge the past by your own morals...it doesn't work). Other than that, it was interesting to learn how Saint Nicholas has morphed into the Santa we know today. I sent this book to Mackenzie and Matt...I hope they find it entertaining!

After I got into the Christmas spirit, I went back to the travel stories. I finally finished An Italian Education, by Tim Parks.
This is his follow up to Italian Neighbors. It tells of his experiences as an Englishman raising two Italian children, and the differences between English culture and Italian culture...which can be pretty significant. I'm passing these on to my mom, with the hope she'll at least try Italian Neighbors before we go to Italy next year.

Next up, France, A Love Story, a book of essays by women who have lived or spent time in France.Some of the essays were quite good. Others were not. I had forgotten how stilted and boring Alice B. Toklas is as a writer and the essay about the woman having an affair left me baffled. But for the most part I enjoyed the essays and of course, now I want to go back to Paris.

And to finish off, Gullible's Travels, by Cash Peters...

Incredibly sarcastic and funny! Peters is an Englishman who works for NPR doing travel stories. Only he travels to the most bizarre locations...the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, the Museum of Dirt, Graceland, the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) and the Precious Moments amusement park, to name a few. The places are all real, although some of his stories may be a little, um, embellished. And rude. But he's got a great sense of humor, and he's not afraid to poke fun at himself.

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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