Sunday, October 21, 2007

When you really really want to buy...


those $268 pair of boots from J Crew, but you can't because your house is a money pit/you're trying to save money/ you really don't need another gd pair of boots, here are a couple of books that will shame your materialistic little soul into resisting:


It's called A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.* Let's first get one thing clear: I don't read a lot of non-fiction, and science usually bores me to tears (and makes me feel extra stupid). The only reason I ended up having this book in my possession was that 1) I was accidentally in the science section, and 2) the cover was intriguing and 3) it was from the library so I didn't have to pay for it.

That being said, this book is fascinating. Every sentence lets you know how tiny you are in the grand scheme of things, and how many millions of things have to go just right every day for the earth (and you, and those boots) to exist. It will make you want to kiss the ground and put on sunscreen and feel complete awe at some of the brilliant minds who have done all of this thinking for us so that we can watch Rock of Love. Read the first page and you will be hooked. And after you finish it, you will feel exceedingly retarded and useless yet consoled by the fact that you just read a big fat science book.

The second book is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, one of my all-time favorite books. Most of it takes place in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, and dude, this was one depressing book, all the way through. If you want to read what it's like to lose everything and be horribly abused and treated with utmost cruelty, have at it. This is the book for you. It will make you feel ridiculous for wanting anything more than a clean burqa.

So, after reading these books, you will still want the boots, or whatever it is you've been coveting. But it will take the edge off, my friends, and you'll feel some healthy self-loathing to boot.**


*Why is the title so teeny and the author's name so big? Just noticed that. Muy interesante.
**Ha ha, get it? Pun intended.

6 comments:

beachbungalow8 said...

jesus christ. where have you been all my life? you're so going on my blog role.

designdna said...

i just found you via decorno which i just found last week via who knows where....

the point is, i will be back!

AND

I am 4 months into my year of NO consuming ONLY creating (no my armpiits are not hairy and i do not play tambourine). i have to say, it's liberating!

SGM said...

thank you bb8, I am THRILLED to be on your blogroll! You are one of my blogging heroes.

d-dna, I'm putting you on MY blogroll and I can't wait to read about you not consuming. Fascinating stuff.

Brilliant Asylum said...

I need to read this. Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" was choke-on-your-granola funny and seriously had me contemplating quitting my day job to hike the Appalachian Trail.

SGM said...

brilliant a, I'd love to read another Bill Bryson book. Thanks for the tip.

Fairfax said...

I read "Notes from a Small Island" whilst flying back from a three-week stay in the UK. I was laughing so hard that I had tears streaming down my face. I finally had to quit reading. We stayed in a small village in the cotswolds and so much of what he said just fit the model.