5cense The last American, Ishi, book # 1,000 + grandfathering our reading log for Black Books Matter


9 June 2020> After a double-date sleepover (we was the wingman) last night we was waiting for this guy to pull the car out of the garage so we could get in + there was this old grumpy famous guy who was getting pissed off at how this guy was driving + he was like "outta the way, I’ll show u whipper snappers how it’s done!” + we knew exactly what that meant + was trying to tell the guys in the garage not to give him the keys but evidently he was an important man of power they all feared so they did + the old geezer got in + sure enough, he pulled the car out + like Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond started losing control + panicking, making it worse, ramming into other cars + those cars started rolling down the steep driveway in a chain reaction hitting other cars. One of the other guys in a suped out Lincoln Continental tried to drive down + block the old man which we thought was dumb cuz he’d only wreck that car too, that u shd park above in a situation like this, not downstream.

We got about 100 pages into Earth Abides by George R. Stewart... think we got it cuz Scott Bradfield was touting it in his wonderful youtube bathtub series + figured it seemed apt for the times. The premise is intresting enough, this guy Ish is off in the woods somewhere in the Sierra Madres + he gets bit by a rattlesnake + spends some time recovering in a cabin + when he returns to civilization (the Bay Area) a few weeks later discovers that most of the world has died of sum unnamed disease. He guesses maybe the snake bite saved him somehow, why he himself din't die. He encounters a few survivors (tho doesn't really speculate as to why they survived... lots of shit in the book doesn't suspend disbelief) + befriends a dog but nothing much happens, he randomly drives all the way across the country, helping himself to food, gas + lodging wherever. He gets to New York City + spends 1 uneventful night then turns around + starts driving back... it was at that point we decided to stop reading cuz it just din't seemed to be going nowhere (litterally) + we got too many other books in our "to read" pile, specially now that we've co-opted our liebury boox for Black Books Matter. We ain't putting Earth Abides in our boox cuz 1). George Stewart ain't black (at least we assume not) + 2) the cover is awesome so selfishly we're hoarding it in our personal liebury:

Speaking of Ishi (wherewhom Stewart appropriated the name for his main character, Ish), when we was young we read that book about Ishi (Ishi in Two Worlds), the last Native American in California... seems every hippie in California had that book on their shelves. We shd also perhaps mention that the other day we noticed that we surpassed 1000 books on Goodreads, the only social networking site we've halve an account on (even after they got bot by Amazon), just cuz it's useful to see friend's recommendations + also cuz it's the only place we keep track of all the books we've read besides our "read on location" running list (wich in our current home-bound state has lost it's point).

Spose we shd also talk sum about the books we're putting into our liebury box or at least link to where we talked about them before... the 1st round we put in a few days ago got scooped up right away, there may have bin more then what's shown, but here's what we can see from the photo:

  • Open City by Teju Cole—guess we never talked about this book here on 5cense... if we search our site for "Teju Cole" we just find a refrence back in 2008 at the Brooklyn Bookfair where he came up to our table + since we were selling Kwani's asked us if we knew where Binyavanga Wainana was. We probly read his book sometime after that + member liking it, tho we don't really remember what it was about except that it reminded us of Paul Auster in his Gothamesque peregrinations (except from the P.O.V. of an outsider).
  • Speaking of Kwani, we put a copy of the 1st issue in our boox, only cuz we found a cheap copy to replace it with. We used to hang w/ the Kwani crew (including Binyavanga, who sadly passed away last year) when we lived in Nairobi + that's probly why we was selling Kwani's at the Calamari table at the Bkly bookfair. We also have a few of Binyavanga's books but we ain't parting w/ those, at least not til we can find cheap replacements.
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe—can't remember when we read this + honestly we never got why Achebe is so popular (always seems to be the 1st book folks mention when asked about African writers). I mean, it's OK.
  • Cane by Jean Toomer—read it in 2014 in DC, before we lived here.
  • Erasure by Percival Everett—read it in Chicago in 2014.
  • Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed—read it recently in Florida.
  • The Famished Road by Ben Okri—we never talked about it on 5cense (tho remember really liking it + can still taste the pepper-pot soup he describes even tho we've never managed to find it on any menus tho we've searched ever since), tho blogged about his Stars of the New Curfew in Kenya, 2007.
  • Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed—read it in NYC, 2014.
  • Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates—read it in NYC, 2015
  • I Wonder as I Wander by Langston Hughes—re-read it recently, tho we din't talk about it much it was quite astonishing the crazy places the dude travelled to + his insights.
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison—we read this a long time ago, was probly requisite in high shcool or college, but now we regret not holding onto this copy of Invisible Man to re-read... come to think of it, we put it in our boox cuz we found another copy for cheap.

We've got a new round of books to put in there, but we'll save those for the next post...

754 <(current)> 756> An annotated hunger for potted bush meat (appropriation is the sincerest form of flattery)
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