Friday, June 02, 2006

Books Incorporated

A few weeks ago, I made a confession, that I am a bibliophile. And for fun, I equated a few books or genre to drugs. All in good fun. Anyway, I thought I would take this a step further.

Eiswein is a specific type of German wine. It is expensive, it is good, and not too many people really know about this type of wine (at least the people I hang with). Herodotus' work is like Eiswein. You can only find one book by this person (who died a long time ago). The History of Herodotus. It is long, it is hard to read, and it is so wonderful. Your grandmother had to read this stuff; so did granddad – but he can't remember anything anymore. His history was basically the definitive history of the Western world for 1,500 years. Once you get used to the different meter, it is a fascinating read. It even has a story about a huge stone vagina that is used to basically make fun of another army. Really. Very rich, very wonderful and virtually unknown today.

Pop Rocks
The Harry Potter series reminds me of Pop Rocks. I mean, I love JK Rowlings, and I thank her for kindling the reading spirit among young and old alike. But let's face it, this is not Shakespeare. Her stories are fun, entertaining, and light. Before you know it, you have read 700 pages. And before you know it, you have put a whole bag of pop rocks in your mouth. It is good, but you also don't really want others to know you are reading a kid's book.

Sauvignon blanc
This wine can be deceptive – you can find it semi-sweet to dry, depending on the vineyard or vintage. So I think of this wine as sort of the Seneca of books. Seneca was the most famous of the stoics. Prata would make a good stoic (oh, but this is sort of a religion, Prata, not in the God sense of the word, but in the world-view sense of the word). Anyway, if you read Seneca, you get a good sense out of what a stoic should be. But guess what, Seneca was a crappy stoic. Think: liked orgies, parties and money. But he could write. Seneca is the most famous cynic today, but he was a crappy cynic during his life. Truly deceptive.

Potato Chips
Romance Novels. Now I don't currently read romance novels, but they are pure fluff. Lots of calories, zero nutrition. Which makes theme like potato chips. I love to eat potato chips, but I don't eat them because, well, my ass would be the size of an SUV if I did. Similarly, I don't read romance novels because it would adversely affect my IQ and/or writing style.

Dad's Smelly Stogies
I don't know about your father, but my Dad likes cigars. I love the smell of a cigar, initially, and after a while, the smell is too overpowering and I have to abandon the room. Ernest Hemingway reminds me of his stogies. I enjoy reading Hemingway, for just a little while. And then I have to put the books down. The books he wrote are wonderful, and I enjoy the language, the hidden stories, everything. But after a little while, I really don't appreciate him. I know, blasphemy. But there it is. I know Dad likes Hemingway, and his father before him. It seems like he is more of a "guy author."

Oops. Looks like I have passed my one page limit already. One thing that some of you have missed, was last Friday's post. I have actually seen people comment on it this week. It was not terribly well-written, but it seemed to be an important post to veterans. So if you have not read it, you might want to wander over and read it.


kathi said...

I love potato chips (books) too, but only as a sideline in a bigger story. That make sense? Love Hemingway, but like you said...a little dab will do ya.

So, where would you put James Patterson, John Sanford, John Grisham, Tom Clancy and the likes?

Oh...and Janet Evanovich would have to be some sort of really excellent chocolate.

mal said...

I wonder how I should epitomize the technical crud I have to read?

Girl Next Door said...

What a fascinating way to look at books.

Now I have to wonder what you think my stories are like?


Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Those romance novels are just too damn deceptive. A thousand years ago (back in 7th grade), I picked up my first romance novel and read it. Then, I eventually had sex for the first time. whata friggin' disappointment THAT was. It was nothing like all that sappy, earth-shattering crap in the romance novel! I think they should have disclaimers on's just not fair.

jackt said...

Wow now I feel stupid!!! :) I read mainly easy to digest books.

Party Girl said...

I wrote an essay about my love of books and I compared chick lit to a huge tub of extra-buttery movie popcorn. You crave it, you want it, before you know you've devoured it. However, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and you don't want anymore for a long time.

JD said...

i love your analogies. and i love herodotus and eiswein. very very cool post hon.

Rob said...

Geez, Leesa -- here it is Friday, my brain is pretty well fried by now, and you write this great post that demonstrates your intellect and creativity while requiring at least a few of our synapses to be firing for us to properly appreciate it! Couldn't we make a rule that after say Wednesday each week you can only write about tits and asses and porn and stuff like that?

Thanks... ;-)

Grant said...

I think Hemingway is somewhat overrated myself, although not as much as the basically talentless Kerouac. Attitude, my big fat behind. I've drowned kittens with more attitude than him. :p

Leesa said...

kathi: I thought about doing more later.

mallory: perhaps the technical crud is spinich. I will think of something better and include it with my next installment.

GND: perhaps a butterfly vibrator.

stacey: each time I have sex, it is an Earth-shattering event. Okay, I could not say that with a straight face. Crap, know what you mean.

jackt: the zero vitamin books?

PG: nice analogy.

jd: you are welcome.

rob: sorry, sweetie.

grant: I am no Kerouac fan, but he once wrote: "My aunt once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women’s feet and asked for forgiveness."

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

From one book lover to another, I love this post!

Leesa said...

~dr deb: You are quite welcome.

Ian Lidster said...

Leesa -- you are such a charming, and intelligent writer -- I won't say 'blogger' because you are more than that.
Anyway, your wine and stogie analogy is quite inspired. I think Bukowski would have to be cheap rotgut wine out of a paper bag under a bridge somewhere, and Somerset Maugham has to be a fine vintage cognac.

Heather said...

What a great analogy.. Wonderful post! I love to read.. I just don't seem to be able to squeeze it in..

~Deb said...

For me--it's eggs. The big controversy of 'the perfect food'---is it good? Or is it bad for you? Just like when I read spiritual books---which ones are 'good' or 'true'----just as though someone were debating scriptures of a bible.

Eggs. Yeh. I'm sticking to that one. ;)

Great post! I'm back to harrass you girlie! Missed you!

United We Lay said...

It drives my husband absolutely crazy that I spend so much money on books when the library is less than a mile away. I just HAVE to keep books that I like so that I can read them over and over again. The ones 'm not interested in, I donate to the library, local schools, or lately, libraries in New Orleans, Biloxi, and natural disaster effected areas.

kathi said...

Just checking on you, are ya doing okay?

cadbury_vw said...

i'm sorry i can't think of anything equally witty to say in response

your post was brilliantly sardonic

your romance novel and seneca comments just about made me snort the water i was drinking out my nose...

if that isn't success i don't know what is

BTW, is your previous post on problem solving skills an humourous twist on seneca's letters? or would that be reading too much into your blog posting continuity stream?

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