No pics up yet, feeling a bit lazy lately. I did however, want to write about two books I finished last week.
The first is Picasso's War which was only OK. I say this because it is the kind of book that tries to marry narrative with history and most of the time it comes across as lacking in both. It did however, give me a more in depth look at a painting I knew relatively little about, especially in terms of how complicated the political history of the time was. Reading this book it was impossible to not think about the current war and what my role is as an artist. I had a hard time trying to figure out if my current lean toward public art was due to all the amazing Otis Public Practice events (among many other LA art talks along the same lines) I've been going to, or this book, or a little bit of both coupled with a deep hidden desire that has only recently made itself known. Anyway, back to the book, I'm not a huge Picasso fan to begin with and this didn't do much to change my mind but it was a worthwhile read. Information I probably should have already known but who remembers much from those hazy undergrad days, eh?
The other book I finished was The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho. I picked it up used at the Brooklyn Flea (which is amazing, albeit overpriced and run over with hipsters; what did you expect?) and finished it a few days later. His style of writing is very easy to read and the promise of a modern day search for ancient wisdom was too enticing to put down. I kept reading and wondering if this really was non-fiction, or if he was making stuff up. Turns out he actually did walk the road to Santiago de Compostela, about 20 years ago in the 80's. Nowadays the trek is much more user friendly with many hostels and sign markers. Also, this year, 2010 is a Jubilee year since the Feast of St. James falls on a Sunday. Kind of makes me want to go but then again, I'm not much into indulgences or being outdoors for that matter. :P My only problem with this book was that it read much like The Alchemist, in that many of the same themes are iterated over and over and over...but hey, you can never be told to follow your dreams to often right? I guess he wrote this before the Alchemist though, which makes sense.
I also started The Unbearable Lightness of Being, another Brooklyn Flea buy and recommended by Elly but I'm not quite done with it yet. The last 50 or so pages of any book I either devour or suddenly move at a snails pace reading. Sometimes it's because I don't want the book to be over, other times it's because I lose momentum. This is definitely the latter. I blame it on no more trains to ride. :)
Also, due to my JetBlue points expiring, Christmas gifts, and other factors, I came home to a TON of magazines in my mailbox! They are all magazines I like, but it can get overwhelming when you are a month behind on the New Yorker, Interview, Wired, The Atlantic, and The Economist among many, many others. Sigh, my reading pile keeps getting taller and taller...not a bad problem to have though.