Tuesday, June 9, 2009


In recuperating from my broken finger i've had time to read, as playing music was difficult. I've read a couple of great books. The first was Things Your Grandparents Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett. Everett is the founder of the Eels and is known to most music fans as just "E". He's produced a substantial body of work over the last 17 years, but that's only what part of the book is about. Most of it is about his family and his experience of it. The book is fascinating, at times depressing, at other times uplifting. This guy has had alot of bad things happen in his life. He has no immediate family left and at age 46, I don't think he has any children of his own yet. His dad was a famous quantum mechanics physicist who came up with the theory of parallel universes. Even though they lived in the same house, communication was a challenge. His story is fascinating and reading this book is HIGHLY recommended.
The second book is a classic, Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. This book hits pretty close to home, not only because it accurately and ruthlessly describes the late 50's/early 60's time period, but also because of the point on descriptions of a relationship gone bad where the participants don't want to admit it, at least not yet. Others have said this book is as close to a perfect contemporary novel as you can get. I don't know about that, but it's pretty amazing. There was alot in this novel that was familiar to me. Two people who felt like they loved each other but weren't very nice to each other. Much too often they were unfaithful and sometimes cruel (in the forms of words and in the way they held each other in utter contempt), in their behavior towards each other. The husband, Frank definitely wanted things to work, but didn't know how to make that happen, and the wife, April, wanted a dream instead of reality, (to her credit Frank didn't have the balls to make the dream come true no matter how pie in the sky it was). There are examples of caring and of love but the overarching theme is one of people working at something that is false. They've brought all kinds of dreams, anger, issues, fears to bear on each other and the result is an unseemly mess that is pretty toxic. I highly recommend reading this book. It brings up so many good points and some very uncomfortable ones, that you can't come away from reading it without being impacted. The one thing we have that the main characters don't after reading this book is a second chance at making things in our life work and by not making the mistakes we made in the past. That we can take each new day and make it the best day we can, that we can be a good parent to our children, a good friend and that each day we can be thankful we've got that second chance to learn and be our best. It's a tremendous amount of work to hold a grudge against someone, especially a loved one. Doesn't make much sense in the long run, really. Use your limited energy to impact others in a good way and enjoy each day as best you can.


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