From my Sealog:
Over the next three days I drank as much of the steward’s horrible coffee—a diuretic—as I could possibly choke down. This, coupled with ransacking the library for what hard-boiled detective novels as well as any and all spy thrillers I could find, served to allay my hand from the ship’s well-stocked stores of alcohol. As well as the fact that I had spent all of my money on cheese before departing France made this seemingly Odyssean effort of ignoring the Siren of the sea—and here I mean Rum—much easier to accomplish than one would think.
I scanned through Agatha Christie and Caleb Carr like a warm knife through so much Camembert, which I partook in liberally as well. I conquered Ian Rankin and John le Carré, Ludlum’s Bourne Trilogy (at over 1400 pages this book was physically demanding to life, let alone read) and I even found time for A Traveller’s History of Russia as well as the latest Yann (Yawn) Martell pooh pooh. Thankfully there were no Paolo Coelho novels or I might have given myself up willingly to the siren voices calling out to sea.
I have a rule: no more than one book at a time. Despite the fact that I generally read anywhere from two to four books at a time, when walking down the long road that ends at the sea, it’s to much to carry more than one. If your one happens to be Infinite Jest that might be too much as well.
Here is the list—in order—of what I read as I left Japan and ended up in California:
- Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004)
- Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts (Scribe, 2003)
- Budding Prospects – T.C. Boyle (Penguin, 1984)
- Genghis Khan & The Making of the Modern World – Jack Weatherford (Crown, 2004)
- Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – Jon Krakauer (1999, Anchor Books/Doubleday)
- The Rise and Fall of the British Empire – Lawrence James (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997)
- Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything – Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow & Co., 2005)
- The Power of Myth – Joseph Campbell (Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1988)
- The Blunderer – Patricia Highsmith (W.W. Norton & Co., 1954)
- Los Detectives Salvajes – Roberto Bolaño (Picador, 1998)
- Tree of Smoke Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)
- Dashiell Hammett Complete Novels: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett (Library of America, 1999)
- Dark Star Safari – Paul Theroux (Penguin, 2003)
All of the aforementioned books were each excellent in their own way. If you have any suggestions to add, or a comment on the list, please feel free to comment below or let me know at info (at) willwalkforsex (dot) com.
Thanks! Read on!