Saturday, May 12, 2007

Books I've finished reading this week (And a PS on Chicago)

...with a one phrase short characterization for each of them. But before that, I certainly recommend these books to you, they really say a lot about (the style of) their famous American authors.

  • Allen Ginsberg, "Death and Fame. Last Poems 1993-1997": absolutely great talent, very interesting views on life, in particular extreme liberal political views (which I share with the author to a great extent- by the way, very conservative readers might be shocked reading some of the poems in there, so be aware, you've been warned :-)), unfortunately not much understanding (and a waste of making nonsensical points to the contrary...) of what economics (economic policy) is or should be about (obviously there isn't much in my perspective to intersect with the poet's point of view when it comes down to that). But Ginsberg is Ginsberg, you can (do your best to) appreciate him even when he exaggerates. Keep the book out of the reach of antiglobalists, anti-multinationals, anti-free trade and "anti" folks in general, though :-).
  • Kurt Vonnegut, "A Man Without a Country": probably THE autobiography of Vonnegut, a Vonnegut^2 one might say; the Los Angeles Times rightly finds it "as close as Vonnegut ever comes to a memoir"; some views expressed here are extremely pessimistic and/or extreme, period, but, after all, this is Vonnegut, you've gotta take the whole package :-). And if you're one of those worrywart misanthropes, probably you'll make this book your Bible...

PS. I bought these books above (and a bunch of others...) from Chicago: they do have amazing bookstores there (with a lot of price reductions :-)), which you should not ignore once you decide you need a break from walking up and down the Michigan Avenue or within the "Loop" in general, climbing the John Hancock Center and getting a splendid view over all of Chicago, admiring the Chicago skyline by means of taking the Chicago river boat tour (the one starting at the Navy Pier, of course; they seem to have very informed and very entertaining guides), visiting the Millenium Park (where you might just run into Dalai Lama, as I did), walking along the beach(es) of the Michigan Great Lake and from many other great things which unfortunately I did not have enough time for. For the very curious, I count as priorities for the next time- there's no question about a next and in fact, many next times!- visiting some of the world famous musea in Chicago, such as the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shedd Aquarium etc..., listening to some live jazz & blues played in Chicago's most popular jazz locals, visiting more of Chicago outside the Loop (the Italian neighbourhood(s), Chinatown etc.) etc. ; I DO NOT count here visiting any of the, as I've recently found out, 17 (seventeen)- holy cow!- churches of the very numerous Romanian community (I heard Romanian spoken several times when simply walking on the Michigan Avenue): I'd very much like to see other things the Romanians in Chicago would be known for and their community centered around, beyond the omnipresent, very much in excess, churches).


Nicole said...

Seb, you just bumped into Dalai Lama in Chicago?? How can you be sure it was him? :)

Sebi Buhai said...

Nicole, you are very wise today :-). Of course I didn't just see this guy walking in the Millenium Park and just crossed my mind that he could be Dalai Lama, duh... Maybe
will convince you. But I have to say I did not stay but a few minutes and one couldn't hear very well the talk from the walking paths in the park (the whole 'gathering' was inside a fenced perimeter etc)