Even when I’m on the road and living out of gear bags, I’m still acquiring books. That’s why—despite my best intentions—I never really travel light. New books and their publicists pursue me. Titles are overnighted to me in motels. It seems Fed-Ex and UPS can always find me—even when I’m hiding out in the boondocks.
Of course every month must-have new titles are released and serve to fuel my frenzy. These are generally hardcover editions, so even when I stuff a paperback or two in the pouch of my camera bag, I’m got to lug around heavy hardbound books.
I finished Yunte Huang‘s fab cultural history—Charlie Chan (Norton)—in a Motel 6. The next day I was reading The Garden of Betrayal by Lee Vance (Knopf) at a rest stop.
Here in Charlottesville there’s a growing pile of tomes at the foot of my bed…
The Vaults by Toby Ball (St. Martin’s Press) has a cool jacket design by Ervin Serrano and an eerie, claustrophobic opening.
I’m eager to crack the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Pantheon) which had a lot of pre-pub lit-buzz. It also had a great advance cover that didn’t make the final cut (see below):
And that’s just the fiction that’s arrived.
Top of the nonfiction pile is Jeff Sharlet‘s C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy (Little, Brown and Company). If you watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC then you’ve heard about Sharlet’s reporting on this strange right-wing cult and his previous book, The Family.
Last but not least, I’ve got some hot photography books to burn through:
So now you know why I’m a little stoop-shouldered these days.
The only time I travel light is in my dreams.