Friday, September 28, 2012


What do these 5 books have in common?
Me and my new found madness.
Do you remember being a child of, let's say, six or seven years of age, holding a packet of gums in your hand and wondering what would happen if you stuck all the gums in your mouth at the same time and tried to chew them? No? Just me? The madness must have started early.
Anyhow, just as the above described thought, acted or not, comes from deliberate mischievousness, so did my latest experiment, utterly immoral and absolutely irreverent.
I decided to find out what happens when you read 5 completely unrelated books at the same time. Even though the analysis of the data is still a work in progress, I can tell you the following with relative certainty:
Suddenly you start feeling as if the authors laid in bed with you, a stern look of disapproval on their face for having to be shared with 4 other professors of non-fiction expertise.
As if that wasn't enough, you realize you are giving yourself an overdose of unrelated information and  so your brain intuitively wants to find the common denominator that will put order into the chaos.
The bees and their incredibly fascinating way of producing honey will go well with the History of food, but besides that, I have to make a great effort linking them to the book of dead philosophers and how their lives and ideas can help us accept the idea that we are going to die and most likely biodegrade,  with the little book of language and how important it is that we do use that ridiculous and high pitch tone with newborns, with Anne Fadiman ex libris and her essays on books and reading.
Come to think of it, now that I am writing this I can see that invisible string that ties them tight together. It is that human instinct that started all the trouble right from the beginning, the curiosity to know, the drive to explore the mystery, the impulse to jump into the unknown and find things out.
Only, maybe, jumping off one bridge at a time might actually be less fatal.
Read on

The book of dead Philosophers
Simon Critchley

Ex Libris
Anne Fadiman
Farra, Straus and Giroux

A little book of Language
David Crystal

Robbing the Bees
Holley Bishop
Free Press

Near a Thousand Tables
A history of food
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Free Press