Field Notes: Cumulative Books Read in the Context of Place
All the memorable books i've read where location in time was significant to the reading—with links to the post where i blog about said book in the context of the place. This 2012 update includes 56 more books in 17 different countries.
Água Viva by Clarice Lispector :: on the subway to Redhook to get tattooed | May 2013
Do You Hear Them? by Nathalie Sarraute :: Manhattanville | April 2013
Transfer Fat by Aase Berg :: on a stationary bike in NYC | April 2013
King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild :: NYC (Congo/Timor) | Mar 2013
The President in Her Towers by Tom Whalen :: Boston | Mar 2013
On Literature by Umberto Eco & Elephant by Raymond Carver :: en route NYC to Boston | Mar 2013
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy :: New Olreans to NYC | Mar 2013
Errata by Michael Allen Zell :: NYC to New Orleans | Mar 2013
Counterpath: Traveling with Derrida by Catherine Malabou & Jacques Derrida :: NYC (going nowhere) | Feb 2013
Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche :: Manhattanville | Jan 2013
The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey Sachs :: Indonesia to NYC | Jan 2013
Paradise by Dante :: Lovina, Bali | Dec 2012
American Purgatorio by by John Haskell :: Ubud, Bali | Dec 2012
Infinite Thought by by Alain Badiou :: Timor-Leste | Dec 2012
The People Who Watched Her Pass by by Scott Bradfield :: Madrid to Singapore | Nov 2012
None of This Is Real by Miranda Mellis :: Madrid | Nov 2012
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes (reread, in Spanish) :: NYC to Barceleona | Nov 2012
The Language Instinct by Steve Pinker :: Rome to NYC | Nov 2012
Rome Tales (anthology) :: Rome | Nov 2012
The Last Days by Raymond Queneau :: Palermo | Nov 2012
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by José Saramago :: Rome to Palermo | Nov 2012
That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Gadda :: Rome | Oct 2012
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick :: Rome | Aug-Oct 2012
The Day of Creation by J.G. Ballard :: Tanzania to Rome | Oct 2012
In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut :: Tanzania | Oct 2012
In the Heart of the Country by J.M Coetzee :: Lalibela, Ethiopia | Oct 2012
The Outsider by Albert Camus (2nd read) :: Bangkok to Rome | Sept 2012
Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner :: Cambodia | Sept 2012
Recollections of the Golden Triangle by Alain Robbe-Grillet :: Rome to Bangkok | Sept 2012
The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq :: Alps/Dolomites | Sept 2012
untitled: under the auspices by Sturnus Vulgaris :: launch party in Rome | Sept 2012
Cosmopolis by Don Delillo :: NYC to Madrid | Sept 2012
The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz :: NYC | Aug 2012
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart :: Rome to NYC | Aug 2012
System of Vienna by Gert Jonke :: Rome | Aug 2012
Creative Evolution by Henri Bergson :: Rome & Pompeii | Aug 2012
The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories by Ivan Vladislaviċ :: Sorrento | Aug 2012
Omensetter's Luck by William Gass (2nd read) :: Naples | Aug 2012
WORDATLAS/PAROLATLANTE by Aldo Bandinelli & Luca Arnaudo (as publisher) :: Rome | July 2012
One-Way Street and Other Writings by Walter Benjamin :: Rome | July 2012
Point Omega by Don Delillo :: Chianti Region | July 2012
In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (2nd read) :: Rome | June 2012
Dracula by Bram Stoker :: Croatia | June 2012
Safe Area Goražde by Joe Sacco :: Bosnia | June 2012
The Elephant's Journey by José Saramago :: Slovenia into Bosnia | June 2012
Satantango by László Krasznahorkai :: Slovenia | June 2012
Vicky Swanky is a Beauty by Diane Williams :: Rome | May 2012
The Last Novel by David Markson :: London | May 2012
Suicide by Edouard Levé :: London | May 2012
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus :: Bologna, Italy | May 2012
Leaving Atocha Station by Ben Lerner :: train to Bologna | May 2012
Best European Fiction 2012 published by Dalkey Archive :: Rome | April 2012
Popol Vuh (2nd reading) :: Rome | April 2012
We Make Mud by Peter Markus :: Ponza, Italy | April 2012
The Fixed Stars by Brian Conn :: Ponza island, Italy | April 2012
Ark Codex ±0 :: launched in Trastevere, Rome | April 2012
Roman Poems by Pier Paolo Pasolini :: Isola Tiberina/Rome | Mar 2012
Ark Codex ±0 :: launched in NYC | Mar 2012
Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe :: en route Rome to NYC | Mar 2012
Egyptian Book of the Dead :: Rome | Mar 2012
Urien's Voyage by André Gide :: Rome | Feb 2012
Dies: A Sentence by Vanessa Place :: Rome | Feb 2012
The Castle by Franz Kafka:: on train to/from Florence | Feb 2012
Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity (as book designer) :: Rome | Feb 2012
Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino :: running in Rome | Feb 2012
translating the decodex to the Codex Seraphinianus :: Rome (Serafini's hood) | Feb 2012
Dreams by Carl Jung :: Rome (with cruise-ship vertigo) | Jan 2012
The Witch-Herbalist of the Remote Town by Amos Tutuola :: Rome | Jan 2012
Baby Fucker by Urs Allemann :: Rome (with baby on the brain) | Jan 2012
Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk :: Istanbul | Dec 2011
Sister Stop Breathing by Chiara Barzini :: Rome (as editor/designer) | winter 2011
Glyph by Percival Everett, Glyph :: Rome | 2011
There is No Year by Blake Butler :: home alone in Rome for 10 days | Nov 2011
The Canal by Lee Rourke :: Venice | Nov 2011
Across the River and into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway :: Venice | Nov 2011
On the Way to Language by Heidegger & Aura by Carlos Fuentes (in Spanish) :: Madrid | Oct 2011
Extinction by Thomas Bernhard & Waiting for Godot by Beckett :: Dublin | Oct 2011
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (in Italian) :: Rome | Sept 2011
Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave & The Diary of an Oxygen Thief :: NYC | Sept 2011
Divorcer by Gary Lutz :: Rome (as editor/publisher) | fall 2011
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol :: Sussex, UK | June 2011
The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard :: Sussex | June 2011
Matter and Memory by Henri Bergson :: Rome | June 2011
Pierrot Mon Ami by Raymond Queneau :: Naples | June 2011
A Mortal Affect by Vincent Standley :: Rome (as editor/publisher) | summer 2011
Conquest of the Useless by Werner Herzog :: home musing on past journeys | June 2011
The Cock Thief by Parselelo Kantai :: Nairobi | May 2011
Jealousy & In the Labyrinth by Alain Robbe-Grillet & No Room in the Ark by Alan Moorehead :: Kitui, Kenya | May 2011
The First Word by Christine Kenneally :: Tigoni, Kenya | May 2011
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee :: Nairobi | May | 2011
Everything and More by David Foster Wallace :: Rome | 2011
I, Claudius by Robert Graves :: Sicily | Apr 2011
The Monkey Puzzle by John Gribbin & Jeremy Cherfas :: Rome | Apr 2011
The Voynich Manuscript by Kennedy & Churchill :: artichoke season in Rome | Apr 2011
The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati :: Rome | Mar 2011
The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney :: Rome | Mar 2011
The Process by Brion Gysin :: Rome | Feb 2011
portions of The Upanishads & Tales and Legends from India by Ruskin Bond :: Jaipur, India | Feb 2011
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman :: Agra, India | Feb 2011
The Plague by Albert Camus & Consilience by E.O. Wilson :: Delhi, India | Feb 2011
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin :: Southern Italy | Jan 2011
Berg by Ann Quinn :: Rome | Dec 2010 [last book read of the decade]
The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible :: started in NYC  & finished in Rome | Dec 2010
When All Our Days Are Numbered ... by Sasha Fletcher :: NY, NY [as tourist] | Dec 2010
I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter :: starling season in Rome | Nov 2010
Rigadoon by Céline :: on the train to Torino | Oct 2010
Iceland by Jim Krusoe :: on the island of Sardinia | Oct 2010
The Limits of Interpretation by Umberto Eco :: Rome [being a tourist] | Sept 2010
If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino :: Umbria | Aug 2010
Out of My Skin by John Haskell :: Rome [when he was visiting] | Aug 2010
The Nature of Things by Lucretius :: S.P.Q.R. | in the heat of our 1st Roman summer
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon :: Rome & Viterbo [1st book read repatriated to Italy] | June 2010
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby, Jr. :: on plane from NYC to Dublin | May 2010
Ten Walks/Two Talks by Jon Cotner & Andy Fitch :: last days in DUMBO | May 2010
The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead by William Burroughs :: the last good book read in America [also included in this post is all the books i brought to Rome] | Apr 2010
Administrative Assemblages by Tom La Farge :: DUMBO | Apr 2010
An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter by César Aira :: Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua | Mar 2010
Songs of Cifar & the Sweet Sea by Pablo Antonio Cuadra :: Laguna de Apuyo, Nicaragua | Mar 2010
Margarita, How Beautiful the Sea by Sergio Ramirez :: en route to Nicaragua | Mar 2010
This is Not a Novel by David Markson :: DUMBO | Mar 2010 [& then he died a few months later] ||
Codex Seraphinius by Luigi Serafini :: DUMBO [broke down & purchased it from a bookseller in Rome just weeks before we found out we were moving here] | Feb 2010
+|'me'S-Pace by Christine Wertheim :: DUMBO [still in a long spell of non-travel bunkered in the snow] | Feb 2010
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami :: DUMBO [in between running all the bridges between Manhattan, Queens & Brooklyn] | Jan 2010
Kamby Bolongo Mean River by Robert Lopez :: DUMBO [overlooking E. river] | Jan 2010
Travel Notes: from here to there by Stanley Crawford :: DUMBO, NY [1st book read in our new loft Down Under the Manhattan Bridge] | Jan 2010
The Black Veil by Rick Moody :: NY, NY | Dec 2009
V by Thomas Pynchon :: Rome, Italy | Dec 2009
Hyperdream by Hélène Cixous :: Sleeping loft in West Village | Nov 2009
The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard :: London, England | Oct 2009
Electric Flesh by Claro :: London, England | Oct 2009
Village of Stone by Xiaolu Guo :: Tokyo, Japan | Oct 2009
Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami :: en route NYC to Tokyo | Oct 2009
Archive Fever by Jacques Derrida :: Bangkok, Thailand | Oct 2009
Shadowplay by Norman Lock :: en route London to Bangkok | Oct 2009
Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen :: en route NYC to London | Oct 2009
Anti-Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari :: driving across the U.S. | Sep 2009
Geneses, Genealogies, Genres & Genius by Jacques Derrida :: NY , NY | Jul 2009
Boons & The Camp by David Ohle (in an editorial capacity) :: last days in Africa & in NYC | Jul 2009
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson :: upon return to NYC | Jun 2009
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton :: last days in Kenya & flying back | May 2009
Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri :: Timbuktu, Mali | May 2009
The Native Hurricane by Chigozie John Obioma :: Bamako, Mali | Apr 2009
Giraffe by J.M. Ledgard :: Ethiopia | Apr 2009
Wild Hunter in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutuola :: Tsavo East, Kenya | Apr 2009
Discovering Home by Binyavanga Wainaina :: Nairobi, Kenya | Mar 2009
Venus Drive by Sam Lipsyte :: en route Zurich to Nairobi | Mar 2009
Log of the S.S. The Mrs. Unguentine by Stanley Crawford :: en route NYC to Zurich | Mar 2009
Remainder by Tom McCarthy :: en route Newark to Albuquerque, NM | Mar 2009
Fog & Car by Eugene Lim :: en route Nairobi to NYC | Mar 2009
Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson : shores of Lake Malawi, Africa | Feb 2009
Africa: A Biography of a Continent by John Reader :: Tanzania & Malawi | Jan 2009
Marabou Stork Nightmares by Irvine Welsh :: Zanzibar, Tanzania | Jan 2009
The Body Artist by Don Delillo :: Krabi, Thailand | Dec 2008
Super Cell Anemia by Duncan Barlow :: Chiang Mai, Thailand | Dec 2008
Palm of the Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata :: Thailand | Dec 2008
The Pisstown Chaos by David Ohle :: en route Nairobi to Bangkok | Dec 2008
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace :: Nairobi | 2008 [reading it when he died]
Kikuyu Folktales : Lake Baringo, Kenya | Dec 2008
The Wizard and the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o :: Kisumu, Kenya | Nov 2008
The Blue City by Sean Thomas Dougherty :: Rome, Italy | Nov 2008
Bob, or Man on a Boat by Peter Markus :: Turin to Rome, Italy | Nov 2008
Blue of Noon by Georges Bataille :: Nairobi to Cairo | Nov 2008
Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel :: En route Nairobi to NYC | Oct 2008
Waste by Eugene Marten :: En route Nairobi to NYC | Oct 2008
What is the What by Dave Eggers :: Nairobi, Kenya | Sep 2008
Creamy Bullets by Kevin Sampsell :: Mombasa, Kenya | Sep 2008
Vacation by Deb Olin Unferth :: Mombasa, Kenya | Sep 2008
Kwani? 04 :: Nairobi, Kenya | Aug 2008
Americana by Don Delillo :: en Route US to Nairobi, Kenya | Aug 2008
Minor Robberies by Deb Olin Unferth :: UWS, NYC | Mar 2008
Bear Stories by J'Lyn Chapman (in an editorial capacity) :: UWS, NYC | Feb 2008
Shorts are Wrong by Mike Topp :: on the NYC subway | Jan 2008
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell :: Jury Duty, NY | Jan 2008
Stars of the New Curfew by Ben Okri :: Nairobi, Kenya | Nov 2007
Matigari by Ngugi wa Thiong'o :: Garissa, Kenya | Nov 2007
Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa :: Uganda | Nov 2007
The Beautyful Ones are not Born Yet by Ayi Kwei Armah :: Ethiopia | Nov 2007
Feather Woman of the Jungle by Amos Tutuola :: NYC to Amsterdam | Nov 2007
Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz :: Upper West Side, NY | Aug 2007
Attempts at a Life by Danielle Dutton :: East Village, NY | Feb 2007
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami :: Fez, Morocco | Dec 2006
Points in Time by Paul Bowles :: en route NYC to Morocco | Dec 2006
The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have by Dennis DiClaudio :: Southern Spain | Nov 2006
Dubliners by James Joyce [2nd reading] :: Dublin, Ireland | Mar 2006
Beneath the Shadow of Perpetual Defeat by Faruk Ulay :: LES, NY | Jan 2006
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Saunders ::on a train from Montreal to NYC | Dec 2005
Motorman by David Ohle :: Montreal, Canada | Dec 2005
Tabloid City by Thomas Wooten :: Delaware & Atlantic City, NJ | Oct 2005
Other Electricities by Ander Monsoon :: NYC (wrote review for NY Press) | Sept 2005
Arbitrary Tales by Daniel Borzutzky:: NYC (wrote review for NY Press) | Sept 2005
Trilce by Cesar Vallejo:: en route Oaxaca, Mexico to NYC | Jul 2005
Please Kill Me : The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain :: Mazunte, Mexico | Jul 2005
The Way the Family Got Away by Michael Kimball :: Palenque, Mexico | Jul 2005
Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells :: Guatemala | Jul 2005
Beautiful Blemish by Kevin Sampsell :: Hell's Kitchen, NY | Apr 2005
The Pink Institution by Selah Saterstrom :: Miami, FL | Mar 2005
A History of the Imagination by Norman Lock :: West Village, NY | Jan 2005
My Date with Satan by Stacey Richter :: Tucson [revisited] | Nov 2004
I Looked Alive by Gary Lutz :: Costa Rica | Aug 2004
The Popol Vuh :: Puerto Rico | Jul 2004
before i kept this blog i kept a journal all the way back into the 80s so i am able to go back to see what i read & where & when—in theory anyway—it's not always easy finding the bookish commentary embedded within the text & some of these are off memory—which books stick out in my mind from a certain time or place in my life or places that a book makes me think of—the significant standouts anyway.
Blindness by Jose Saramago :: New Mexico | Dec 2003. i think i actually got this book to read in Portugal, but we never ended up going [that's another story]. this is one of the most visceral books i've ever read as far as sense of place, it doesn't matter where you read it.
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon :: L.A., CA | Jan 2003. i was living in NY but had to travel to L.A. once a month. so I read this in L.A. or on the plane there.
Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges :: Argentina | Dec 2002. i had read most of Borges stuff before this, but i got the selected Borges & read them during this trip.
1001 Arabian Nights by :: En route to Argentina | Dec 2002.
Dreams of a Robotic Dancing Bee by James Tate :: Jamaica | Dec 2002. a strange place to read this book, but it worked.
The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus :: Omaha, NE | Oct 2002. i used to have to go to Omaha often when i worked for Napster. i read this book on one of those trips.
The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose :: Keystone, CO | Jan 2002. i'd had this book for quite a while & read parts of it, but never read it in it's entirety until this trip.
Excitability by Diane Williams :: on a plane to Italy | Nov 2001
A Humument by Tom Phillips :: on a plane to Barcelona, Spain | Apr 2001. not that you'd ever "read" A Humument, but i brought it with me on this trip & [oddly] associate this book with Gaudi.
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles :: Upper East Side, NY | Sep 2001. i read this right after 911, so it seemed extra dark to me. i read it again more recently while in Morocco because i had run out of books & Jess was done with it. it was a different experience altogether.
Garden State by Rick Moody :: California | Jun 2001. i read this while traveling in California even though we had just moved to New York.
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie : Woodstock, NY | Sep 2000. evidently [according to my journal] i read this on a bus to Woodstock, though i don't remember this book as vividly or fondly as The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster :: Upper East Side, NY | June 2000. one of the first things i read when we moved to New York. it meant more living near the places he was talking about, & my first memories of NYC are intertwined with this book. same goes for Smoke & Blue in the Face [in regards to Brooklyn], both of which i read [the screenplays] or saw around this time.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway:: Santa Fe, NM | Dec 1999. i have in my journal i read this at this time, but i only remember being transported to mountains of Spain.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien :: Patzcuaro, Mexico | summer of 1999. great book to read traveling anywhere.
The Tetherballs of Bougainville by Mark Leyner :: Tucson, AZ | 1998. not sure which i read first, but i read pretty much all of Mark Leyner's books around this time & remember this one most.
The Shipping News by Annie E. Proulx :: Portsmouth, NH | October of 1997. not that i'm particularly proud to admit i read this book, but i was a sucker for the title because at the time we were living on the top floor of an old apartment looking out over the Piscataqua river where the tugboats & ships came & went.
Midnight in the Garden of Evil by John Berendt :: Savannah, GA | summer of 1997. i read this because we were living in Savannah & Clint Eastwood was shooting the movie in our neighborhood. so i had to see what all the hype was about. not sure how interesting it would've been reading it anywhere else.
Canto General by Pablo Neruda :: doing survey jobs in Mexico near the border | Apr 1997
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes :: while dong survey jobs in Arizona & Nevada | summer of 1996.
Scott's Last Expedition: the journal of Sir Robert Falcon Scott :: Arctic Circle | May 1996. i was on the opposite pole from where the book took place, but same idea.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky :: Arctic Circle | Apr 1996. read this while living in a tent on a frozen lake that was fueled by diesel fuel. i was doing a geophysical survey job looking for diamonds.
Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You by Frank Stanford :: read this doing a surveying job on the shores of the Salton Sea, CA | May 1995.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner :: Ajijic, Mexico | Feb 1995. i also remember rereading a lot of Elizabeth Bishop around this time.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner:: Nice, France | Dec 1994. read this between a movie set & a dingy hotel room. when i finished it, i read it again.
Ulysses by James Joyce :: Hill City, South Dakota | Summer of 1994. i forced myself to read this book over this summer & hated every minute of it.
Black Elk Speaks :: in the Black Hills of South Dakota | Summer of 1994. i also remember reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee during this time.
Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver :: driving through Oregon | circa 1992. i had read most everything by Carver at this point, but was rereading this on a roadtrip i took with my brother back to the house where we grew up.
The Heights of Machu Picchu by Pablo Neruda :: Peru | June 1991. can't think of a better & more appropriate book to read on the way to Machu Picchu.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway :: Cuzco, Peru | June 1991. i remember reading this & projecting the characters in the book onto the 3 or 4 travel companions & i had met along the way.
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard Feynmann :: Bolivia, June 1991. after getting my degree in math i read this & it inspired me to go back & get my master's in physics.
House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende :: traveling through Chile | June 1991.
Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell :: Argentina | May 1991. this book is applicable anywhere, anytime.
Generation X by Douglas Coupland :: Pasadena, CA | 1991. read this visiting my brother & traveling east of LA out into the desert where a lot of the book takes place.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkins :: Malaysia | Jan 1991. i was on a train from Kualu Lumpur to Singapore & the train broke down in the middle of nowhere for about ten hours. fortunately I had this book with me.
The History of Luminous Motion by Scott Bradfield :: Penang, Malaysia | Jan 1991. i also remember reading Bonfire of the Vanities in one sitting here. i had been traveling for a while & had just stopped for a few days to read books & eat good food.
Homer's Odyssey :: Indonesia | Dec 1990. read this over a 2 or 3-day boat ride from Java to Jakarta.
The Island of Bali by Miguel Covarrubias :: Bali, Indonesia | Dec 1990. i was really into Balinese music & culture [this was the main purpose/destination of this long trip], & this is the definitive book, written by a Mexican no less.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain :: Flores, Indonesia | Dec 1990. i was never made to read this in school so it was a pleasure reading this on my own time. not sure why I read this here, most likely i picked it up from another traveler.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville :: Australia | Nov 1990. i probably should have read this when i was out in the South Pacific a few months before, but actually hitch-hiking through Australia seemed like an appropriate enough place to read this. the whale for me was Uluru.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac :: New Zealand, Nov 1990. read this [for a 2nd time] riding a bike through the north island & working on farmstays.
Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas :: New Zealand | Oct 1990.
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller :: Moorea, Tahiti | Aug 1990. read pretty much everything by Miller in these years.
Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung :: Tahiti | Jul 1990. after graduating i took off on a trip & this was my first stop & this was the first book i read.
On Growth and Form by D'Arcy Thompson, The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins & Flatland by Edwin Abbott :: Santa Cruz, CA | 1989. these three books that i read around this time made me want to be a scientist.
Still Life with a Woodpecker by Tom Robbins :: Santa Cruz, CA | 1989. read pretty much all of Tom Robbins books around this time.
Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan :: San Francisco, CA | 1988. i specifically remember reading this book in the park right outside of City Hall in San Francisco, & walking around to some of the sites he was talking about in the book.
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutuola :: L.A., CA | 1987. i was in LA at some nightclub that playing music from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by David Byrne & Brian Eno. i liked the album so much that the next day i had to see what the book that inspired the music was like.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand :: Palo Alto, CA | 1987. i remember reading the fountainhead laying fully clothed in the California winter in a lawn chair by a drained pool.
Silence by John Cage :: Palo Alto, CA | 1986. i read or referred to this when i was into making experimental music.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez :: read this in one sitting on a greyhound bus from S.F. to L.A. | 1985.
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole :: Mountain View, CA | 1985. when i was reading this in public, i couldn't help myself from laughing out loud.
The Stranger by Albert Camus :: Mountain View, CA | 1984. i read this because of The Cure song of the same name & i was obsessed with The Cure at the time.
The Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck :: Monterrey, CA | 1983. of course i read most everything Steinbeck wrote while living in Monterrey for this year, but this was the most memorable.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger :: i remember reading this for the first time in Ajijic, Mexico around 1982. when i finished i flipped to the beginning & read it again. & i think i read it a third time later when i was in high school in the states [& a 4th time more recently].
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams :: Ajijic, Mexico | circa 1981.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig :: Ajijic, Mexico circa 1980. i'm also embarrassed to admit that i read a few Carlos Castenada books that my mom had laying around her house during this time living in Mexico, as well as the Tao of Physics.
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss :: Portland, OR | circa 1974. i remember reading all the Dr. Seuss books over & over, but this was my favorite one.
Grimm's Fairy Tales :: Mt. Hood, OR | circa 1973. i still remember how this book smelled, probably my first association with a book as being a special object.