Monday, October 8, 2007


So I was reading Fiasco, which is about the US invasion and occupation in Iraq. I don't like all the rhetoric that is associated with Iraq, no matter which political side it's coming from, but I was hoping the book was something like Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which I really enjoyed.

And I was, for a minute. It's a very thorough book. He goes back and looks at what the experts said in the papers and in the news, so it's very interesting to see how sure they were of their opinions and how that unfolded.

But it was too much for me, I ended up skimming the last parts of it.

I get it: They fucked up big time. They should've paid more attention to the occupation part of the plan, and once they took down the regime they should've been less aggressive towards the Iraqi people.

I get it, and this book hammers the points home with way too much data and information. I just got tired of it after a while. The individual experiences of some of the soldiers are pretty compelling, but for each one of those there is a long, drawn out tiff between two high-level officials: one that was right and the other that was wrong.

So I didn't really read it all the way through. Then I moved on to Confessions of an Economic Hitman, which I had wanted to read for a while because I thought it would help me get into the mood to write this story I've been thinking about.

But it was disappointing. I never got into it and I dropped it.

And, of course, I felt guilty. I don't like leaving books unread like that.

But you know what, it's OK. I realized that when I'm leaving work and not really looking forward to getting home and reading, it's not a good sign. Forcing myself to get through a tedious book or one that isn't meeting my expectations is stupid.

There are too many great books out there to waste time on lame ones.

So now I'm onto How Soccer Explains the World, recommended by Nelson. Just started it, but so far it's promising.

But just in case I have The Braindead Megaphone waiting in the wings. Nothing like a little George Saunders to get me to switch books.

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