Books & Lit

Where to escape?

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks, what with shooting the Easter rites of Turkey’s Greek community and jumping on and off Ciner Shipping’s freighter, the Trabzon, so lately my batteries have needed some recharging.

Fortunately my sister Maia provided me with two truly great reads. The first was Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table which recounts the experiences of an 11-year old boy on The Oronsay, a ship bound for England from Ceylon (Sri Lanka). As usual Mr. Ondaatje does a tremendous job of linking the past to the present, slowly unfurling the story of a how the three-week journey and the strange events aboard resounded throughout the lives of the passengers, jumping forward and backward through time. I savored this one.

The second is The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt. I haven’t had the self-control to savor this one. I’ve been reading it in gulps. This book tells the wayward journey of two titular brothers and assassins on their way from Oregon City to gold rush Sacramento to complete their latest assignment. Every sentence crackles with black humor. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Joel and Ethan Coen have optioned this book. It’s so good, so well crafted that I can’t really concentrate on anything else right now, except finding the next cup of coffee, or glass of black tea. I’ll be back soon … I think. It’s nice to be reminded that despite the fun of the internet, the lure of a good film, that there’s nothing quite like the world of fiction to lose yourself in for an hour or two.

What are your favorite ways to recharge? How do you escape? Let me know. I’m listening.