Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reading, Writing, and Recovery

Dr. Rumack: You'd better tell the Captain we've got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.
Elaine: A hospital? What is it?
Dr. Rumack: It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
Airplane, 1980

I'm having surgery on January 4 and will be in the hospital for about six days.  I'll probably be doped up and unable to do much, and I'm not sure what TV channels the  hospital has.  So I may take a book or two, in case I'm alert enough to read. When I get out of the hospital, I'll be home for a couple of weeks, so I'll have time to catch up on my unread stack.

Over the years, I've accumulated a pile of books that I haven't yet read. Every time I enter a bookstore, I tell myself that I should finish the books I own before buying new ones. Nevertheless, I proceed to the sale table and look for good deals.  So why, you ask, am I in the bookstore in the first place?  Buying a latte, silly.

So I'm going through my pile of unread books to decide what to include in the:

Surgical Recovery Reading List
(in no particular order)

It's Not About the Bike. Several people have recommended Lance Armstrong's account of his experiences with and after cancer.  I figure that with all the LiveStrong gear I have, I should read the book too.

Band of Brothers:  Don't spoil the ending by telling me who won WWII (sag mir nicht, wer das Krieg gewonnen hat).  Speaking of Stephen Ambrose, I may add Undaunted Courage to the list, if I can find my copy.  Undaunted Courage is about two Virginians, Lewis and Clark, who travel west to spread their brand of right wing conservatism.  As a result, the midwest and the mountain west are made up of red states.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I read these in 1982, so it's about time to read them again.  I have some really fancy hardcover, boxed editions of the books.  But there's no way I'm getting those pages crinkled and the maps torn.  So I bought the paperbacks at a used book sale ($2 each).

The Twilight saga: No, this isn't on my list.  I just wanted to see if you're paying attention.  This series is popular among the kids who grew up with the Harry Potter books.  Apparently, witchcraft is the gateway occult practice to vampirism.

The Road.  I read Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men before it became a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!!!.  I can't get used to his refusal to use quotation marks and sometimes can't figure out whether the text is dialog or narrative.  But The Road was $3 at a used book sale, so I guess I can put up with the indignities of unorthodox punctuation.

Cold Mountain: I think this is a sequel to The Snows of Kilimanjaro in which the main character rebuilds his airplane and flies off the mountain. It's not? Anyway it was $1 at the Germantown library's "save them from the incinerator" sale.  Yes, we have a library in Germantown.  No, it's not just coloring books.

Sale table, used book sale, library sale. You get the theme here right?  I'm cheap.


  1. Live Strong 270. We'll be thinking of you. Hope they have some decent tv running in the hospital. Can't imagine trying to read much on the great drugs you'll probably be full of. Hope to hear from you on SI sooner than later!

  2. Hospital TV tends to be only slightly better than some bizarre tissue growth on your waste evacuation channel. The books are the way to go.

    Best of luck, we'll be waiting for you....


  3. Heard from I270, surgery went well, he is recovering and walking. According to Mrs. I270, patient is not a big fan of hospital jello.

  4. Hey Pasco, thanks for the update. I checked back hoping for just such a posting...
    Keep it up 270!

  5. Hey, keep the faith. Oh, sorry. Keep strong. We are all thinking about you and sending positive thoughts your way.

  6. Thank you Pasco. And what baRRD said.