Friday, February 15, 2008

What to read during Taper or a 14 hour flight....

By popular demand I am giving a list of reading mateials to help kill those long rest days, layovers, travel, or hours on the Spinner, When Troy has become too annoying.

Angels and Demons by Dan "I'm rich because of the Da Vinci Code" Brown.
It's a prequel to the Da Vinci code and personally I think it has a better plot, unfortunately no Albino Catholic Monk hitmen.

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Elan Poppe
Poppe is an Israeli and pretty much finds the essence of the whole Arab-Israeli stems back to land and "land grabs"...including one major one in 1948 which displaced about 500,000 Arabs...Not a bad read, gets a little dry at times, pisses you off at times, and gets you to see why the Palestinians are so pissed off.

The Popol Vuh
An English Translation of the Religious Texts of the Quiche Maya. Seriously this book is full of shape shifting, talking animals, blood ,gore, ritual, coming back form the's a pretty cool read almost trippy at times. Gives you a different world view when you're done reading.

The Longest Night
Can't remember the author, but the basic is plot is one of Meyer Lansky's Hit men goes to occupied Holland in 1943 to help spring a train load of Jews from a concentration camp. The hitman is cynical as all hell. It's got action, suspense, comedy, it's a good read. Finished it in a weekend.

A Man's Place by John Tosh...I think
A text book for my Victorian England. it describe what the "social ideal" was for a middle class man in Victorian England. Pass the opium and Absinthe please.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Better than the Musical. Dark, violent, the Phantom is a BADASS cross between the Joker, Pavarotti, David Copperfield and the Unibomber. Christine is Easy , and Raoul is a real prententious smuck. Also has a ghost from the Phantom's past in this thing called the Persian...and he's BADASS...the writing gets a little repetitive and some of the chapters don't make sense until you read a little more...It's a decent book, but it plays headgames with you. It's the 1890's version of a Bond Flick.

There are others but these are the books that came to the top of my head, mainly becaue I'll be reading Poppe and Tosh on the flight accross the Pacific, as I desperately try to cram my class work into a nice 14 hour flight. Figure that way there will be less for me to do in NZ and I can enjoy my Travel expereince instead of spending it hunched away in my hotel room writing about people who died over a hundred years ago....or how the stituation in the Mid-East is ticking me off. Free Gaza!.....Two State Solution!....Jerusalem as an International City!..oops let my politics show....

Last night I got in a 40 min. Run with Bjoern on the icy slick roads of New Britain....It was almost like the scene in Cool Runnings where the Jamaicans are learning how to run on ice. ( my home is till without internet so I can't upload the video clip.) It was my first physical activity since Monday and it felt good. Tonight I've got master's on tap, tomorrow hopefully an easy morning swim, followed by work, a short ride with Bjoern, and then packing The Bitch Stopmer for its voyage. My W-2 came into payroll Yesterday, which means I won't be able to pick it up until Tuesday, which means I'll hopefully file Tuesday Night and I'll have my tax rebate in on the Wednesday I'm in NZ. Hopefully some of that refund will be going to pay for a Kona Entry, other wise it will be going to Master Card. Well that's it for now.

Fire on Ice


Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...

Thank you! Nice list. I think Cornelius Ryan wrote "The Longest Day', though I've never read it (only saw the movie a thousand years ago). That's the type of thing you only find as a dog-eared paperback in a local book sale.

Wow, 'The Phantom...'. That's different than the rest, but I remember reading that years ago, too, and it does have a certain charm about it (like floods and chandeliers). There are quite a few 19th century novels and short stories like that out there waiting for us...

As for the rest, I'll have to check 'em, out. Remember to bring some mindless stuff with you to read on the flight, too. Sometimes it's hard to concentrate on heavier reading.

Thanks again...

Speed Racer said...

My favorite books (feel free to not like them, I enjoy different things about books than most people):

The Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison) and Native Son (Richard Wright) because they're basically the same book.

Electric Kool Ade Acid Tes (Tom Wolfe) because reading it is like being on drugs. Tom Wolfe is amazing.

Anything by Victor Hugo. It can get long-winded at times, but the man is amazing.

The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) because it's light but still mind-opening.

100 Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), but only if you can read it all in one go. If not, go for Love in the Time of Cholera.

14 hours is a long time.

rocketpants said...

My advice for the flight, sleeping pills. I've made that trip twice to new zealand (so 4, 14 hour trips between NZ and the US)..but I've also flow to Asia quite a few times. Best thing I ever did was have a 6 or 8 hour sleeping pills with me. The guy next to me made fun of me and thought I was crazy, but at the end of the trip, I slept most of it had he slept 1 hour and was very jealous.

Basically I was awake for a couple of hours, watched one movie, had dinner, took a sleeping pill, woke up 6 hours later, still had 3 hours left, ate breakfast and watched another movie and it wasn't too bad. You will most likely get in around having some sleep on board is good as it is best to try to stay awake all day to try to get your body on NZ time. Fortunately you are going in the 'easier' direction for jetlag. You will probably wake up at 4am for the first few days, which won't be such a bad deal with the race and everything. Try to stay hydrated as it will help with jetlag when you land.

Make sure your ipod is well stocked with new tunes and get a little neck pillow, slippers are also good as your feet will swell a bit. Make sure you get up and walk around some too.

OK enough advice from me. Good luck and enjoy NZ!! I'm very jealous!

warriorwoman said...

14 hour flights are the pits but if I took that many books I'd be throwing them at the snorers by the end of the flight.