Doug Bruns

Blissful Saturday

In Books, Nature, Philosophy, Reading on October 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I’ve been away all week and the only reading I accomplished was on the plane home from BWI, too tired to pay attention. I was just a robot turning pages. So, I determined that today, after the morning visit to the farmer’s market, I would place my backside in my favorite chair and catch up. It’s been three hours, ass planted in chair, and still going strong, but for this quick break. I’m inside of fifty pages to the end of Julian Young’s new biography of Nietzsche.  It has taken me one hell of a long time to get through this book, reminding me of reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. I have an essay about this reading experience at The Nervous Breakdown, called The First Modern: On Nietzsche.

Next up, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Maine Mountain Guide (9th edition). It’s fall in New England and we’re going to take in the foliage. I think we’re heading north, up to Rangeley, and I’m looking for a mountain to climb–a peak with a view.

Along that same line, Worried about getting lost? Then stick with me. Next up in arm chair, Staying Found (3rd edition), The Complete Map and Compass Handbook, from The Mountaineers Books. I became familiar with The Mountaineers Books a few years ago while preparing for a climbing trip to South America. At that time it was recommended that I get, read and study The Freedom of the Hills, the classic text for outdoor studies, now in its 8th edition. I want to sit for the Maine Registered Guide test next year. This, and a few similar texts, is my homework.

Lastly: Settled in the Wild, by Susan Hand Shetterly. I recently exchanged a few emails with an editor from Algonquin Books and wanted to become better acquainted with Algonquin titles. Chris at Longfellow Books suggested the book. I’ve read only a few pages, but have found it exquisite. Shetterly’s voice seems a mix of Annie Dillard and E.B. White, and is infused with the quality of serious chamber music. Stay tuned.

Okay, class, break over. Back to work.

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