Monday, August 25, 2008

Choosing The Next Book to Read

So, I just plowed through the three books I was reading--zipping back and forth--and now I need to pick a new book to read. I'm gonna pick the book by the first few lines. Here are the choices:

Book 1: "He woke up scared. Worse than that: he was terrified. His heart was pounding, his breath came in gasps, and his body was taut. It was like a nightmare, except that waking brought no sense of relief. He felt that something dreadful had happened, but he did not know what it was."

--Man, is it just me? Do you feel kinda anxious now, too? Mind you, this would describe a typical Monday for me, but it does sound suspenseful. That's a maybe.

Book 2: "How much land do you need? Is your dream plot in the city or the country? Or even another country where the land and property are less expensive? Do you want to try to go off-grid--meaning no public electricity, water, or gas? Can you make it happen by staying put and renting land--fields, allotments and such? Do you want to join a self-sufficient community? Are you going to continue a career? Do you have enough assets?"

--Just reading these first few lines made me really, really tired. I think I need to go lie down now. I'm probably not ready to read this book yet.

Book 3: "The muttering was indistinct. It crept down the dark ward, forcing itself upon the man who lay in the patch of light at the far end of the vast room. It was a pleasant muttering. It made a reassuring undercurrent below the worry, that terrifying anxiety which was thrusting icy fingers deep into his diaphragm."

--OUCH! Damn! I don't want any icy fingers deep into my diaphragm! It was all sounding very pleasant back when the muttering was indistinct and then wham! There we go with the terrifying anxiety again. I'm thinking I might go with something else.

Book 4: "It had been sixteen months since the female sperm whale had copulated briefly with the old bull amid an excited welter of near-freezing foam in the lonely, icy wastes of the Souther Ocean. Now the moment of birth of her first calf was at hand."

--WTF was I thinking when I chose this book? A female sperm whale's one-night stand? The writer is sounding a little too excited about this. I thought it was supposed to involve espionage? And spies? Not female sperm whale's one-night stands?

Book 5: "When Proust recollected the precise taste sensation of the little scalloped madeleine cakes served at tea by his aunt, it led him into his monumental remembrance of things past. When I recollect the taste sensations of my childhood, they lead me to more cakes, more tastes: the great razor clams, the succulent Dungeness crab, the salmon, crawfish, mussels, and trout of the Oregon Coast; the black bottom pie served in a famous Portland restaurant; the Welsh rabbit of our Chinese cook, the white asparagus my mother canned, and the array of good dishes prepared by the two of them in that most memorable of kitchens."

--Nice, cozy. Manages to avoid waking with dread. Abstains from posing too many questions all at once. Above all, presents a nice discussion of seafood WITHOUT venturing into the sex life of the female sperm whale. I might go with this one. Drawback: I've read it before.