Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Traveling Book Debate, Part 2: Who Needs Presidents?

Toward 2 this morning, I was lying on my bed, watching "The Doorbell Rang," the first series episode of A&E's Nero Wolfe, on DVD, giving myself over completely to the delightful use of language in the series, how measured Nero Wolfe is when he speaks, that when he gets ticked over something, it's the equivalent of an act of war and easily understandable considering who he's usually up against. I also love the combination of Maury Chaykin's Wolfe (Chaykin became one of my favorite actors through this series and his brief role in Entrapment, the latter of which, to me, demonstrated his fearlessness as an actor) and Timothy Hutton's Archie Goodwin, as truly inseparable as Holmes and Watson.

As I listened to the dialogue, I looked around my room as I always do, not out of boredom, but doing some figuring of my own, looking at the stacks of books I have for my research, determining what I should start on when I get back from Nevada, looking at my Las Vegas stack and thinking about whether I should read one or two of them today, and looking at other stacks with so many novels pressed against each other, trying to remember if there are any that demand my immediate attention. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one, not only because of the trailer for the movie and the commercials for it on TV, but also because right when I finished Greyhound by Steffan Piper and put it in my permanent collection, I wanted another book involving a young boy's exploration of the world. That one would appear to be it, even though I've not opened it yet, and will likely save it for when I get back.

I also looked at the stacks that are so close to my bed on my left side that I barely have to extend two fingers to touch them, exactly as I like it. I looked down the stack closest to me and found a book that makes me cancel out any presidential books I was thinking about bringing with me.

This book is called Personal Pleasures by Rose Macaulay, originally published in 1936, and published again in 1990. She was a satirical British novelist, and in this book, she writes about her pleasures, such as "Eating and Drinking," "Cinema," "Clothes," "Finishing a Book," "Meals Out," "Play-Going," "Walking," and "Writing." I'm going on a trip to where I find the most pleasure in my life. This book will join 28 Barbary Lane in my canvas bag (I'm still deciding on which two first mystery novels to bring). The presidents can wait until I get back.


  1. I keep meaning to check out Nero Wolfe but never get around to it...must put it on my 2012 to do list :)

  2. It's a lot of fun, and the food scenes alone are worth it.

  3. Presidents are always willing to wait for you.