Thursday, February 14, 2008

Can't Stop Won't Stop

As much as I am a fan of reading books, the amount of half-read and unread books in my house grows year after year. I wish I could blame Borders for sending out those 20-percent-off coupons every week, but I'm the sucker to blame for wanting to read so much. Plus, I'm the one to blame for trying to read one book and then jumping into another.

Right now, I'm reading Slash's biography and immensely enjoying it. Even though I planned to read the Joe Strummer and Charles Schulz's biographies I received for Christmas shortly after Christmas, they have been put to the side until I finish reading Slash. Of course, the backlog of other books waiting to be finished is immense. Here's a rundown and why:

High Fidelity
I loved the movie based off of it, but I have never read a page from the copy I purchased three years ago. Maybe it's because I hoped to read it when I was in a mental space where I wasn't feeling bitter about past relationships.

The book has a great concept: a compilation of interviews with all walks of life talking about their day jobs. Dealing with shop-talk and similar-sounding descriptions bogged me down. The crime-scene-cleaner entry was really interesting, but kinda bugged me as well. Nothing like reading quotes from a power-hungry person hellbent on more money and power.

Aside from his excellent reflection on being a writer, I've never read an entire Stephen King novel. With Cell, the streak continues. I think I got bogged down when page after page seemed to say the same thing: this guy keeps thinking about his estranged marriage, the crazy zombies and being trapped in a hotel.

The Making of Star Wars
Probably the most comprehensive document of the original Star Wars movie is really for hardcore fans. As much as Star Wars is one of my all-time favorites and find the overall story of its making fascinating, I found myself skimming through the parts about the set making and designs. Plus, I find it hard to read a large book sitting in my recliner. If I rest it on my lap, I'm bound to throw out my back.

Inside Out
Nick Mason's recollection of his time in Pink Floyd carries way more authenticity than other biographies of the band, but like the Star Wars book, I found myself off-put by some dodgy pacing and a fear of a thrown-out back.

The Trouble With Music
Fascinating concept: a music fan dissects what's wrong with modern music. Trouble for me: the same vanilla vagueness I see with most philosophy books is all over this book. Is it a crime to be more specific?

The Way We Never Were
I wanted to read this book and stick it to all those fuddy-duddies who like to talk about the good ol' days. But shortly into this book, I get the message loud and clear: the good ol' days were not free of the same problems we have today. And I don't know about you, but reading survey results over and over again makes me ask, "So what?"

Fast Food Nation
Inspired after watching the film version of the book as well as Super-Size Me, I've yet to crack open my year-old copy. I get the feeling my distaste for greasy burgers and fries will continue to grow.

Can't Stop Won't Stop
An immensely well-researched sociological study of hip-hop, the wandering narrative compelled me to pick up a book that was straight-forward and short: Steve Martin's Born Standing Up. I finished that one in a few weeks.

I hope to rope back around to all of these books this year, but my time for reading them is heavily based on what's grabbing my attention in the now. Plus, reading always makes me sleepy. So, this might take a while.

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