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Take a break Driver Eight

Last month someone (Hi E!) mentioned that I am thinking too much.
–hey, be nice –
And it’s true. I have been a bit too much “in my head” for awhile now. Just look at what I’ve been reading this past year!

It started out innocently enough with a nice 614 page book on evolution and genetics: The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins
And then came the physics books:
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality – Brian Greene (I need to finish this one which means starting again from the beginning. Some other time.)
Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang – Marcel Gleiser (a hand-held walk through the history of cosmology – very easy to understand science)
The Universive in a Nutshell – Stephen Hawking (this hurt my head)
Then a slight shift to social and then political science:
Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World – Mark Kurlansky (surprisingly entertaining)
From Beirut to Jerusalem – Thomas Friedman (great book that unfortunately started my obsession with the news)
The Assassin’s Gate; America in Iraq – George Packer (this one had me banging my head against the wall)
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century – T. Friedman
And what was that about? Economics?! What the hell am I doing?

Well, the first thing I did in my bid for balance was to stop paying such close attention to the news. Of course I still listen to NPR in the car, but I try not to get too sucked in to current events – especially the Middle East! I just can’t keep up and it’s not good for me when I try. I know for a fact the Chris doesn’t like it when I start raving about rivers of blood. So, I’m totally wasting the $50 I paid for an on-line subscription to the New York Times, but I’m sleeping better at night.

The next book I was going to read was Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond, but I just couldn’t do it.
I was in desperate need of fiction!
Remembering a story I heard on NPR, I picked up Absurdistan: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart. A novel?! (Novels…hmmm…those are fiction right? It’s been so long.) It was a diminutive first step in the general direction of light and fluffy. And it was wonderful! A blend of Nikolai Gogol (oh how I love those crazy Russian writers) and The Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy – fun for me!

(And while looking up these 2 books on Amazon I found them both on someone’s “Listmania – Books You Should Have Already Read” reading list. A very interesting collection of books that I’m going look at again later.)

But the real homecoming is that I am now reading John Irving!
It almost doesn’t even matter which Irving it is because by the second page all was right with the world (It’s Until I Find You). I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. But don’t worry; I am well aware that by the time I get through the 800+ pages I will have been kicked in the gut at least twice! That’s just Irving. At least I’m not ready Flannery O’Connor! And I am painfully aware that Irving is never “light and fluffy” (Owen Meany anyone?), but this is how good it is – I started the book 2 days ago at the gym, and both days I didn’t look up once during the 30 minutes I was on the stationary bike. The other books were set down for at least half of that time. Yesterday I was just pedaling away until I finally noticed that it seemed far too easy. Looking up I realized my session was over. How long had it been over? Who knows?! Today I’m setting the bike for 40 minutes!

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