Bookshelf Project 2016: #7: Rolling Nowhere
Confession: I gave up on this one. Hey Ted, your BOOK is rolling nowhere! Hey-o.
Another confession: I’m copying the next two paragraphs from my Goodreads review.
I thought a book about hoboes would be more compelling, honestly. I liked the idea–a young, privileged, white college student takes to the rails to find out what it’s really like to live this lifestyle. What’s most compelling, to me, is that Conover didn’t have a book deal or a travel stipend–he just wanted to do it, so he did it. The book came later.
However, I was hoping for more analysis, more context. What I got was a day-by-day account of Conover’s experiences on the rails. In the introduction, Conover says he was reluctant to publish his inner thoughts, so I was expecting more interiority, more rumination on what drove him to take this kind of trip. Nearly halfway into the book, I wasn’t getting anything I came for, so I abandoned it. I think Ted would understand. Life’s too short.
So, ironically, I’m writing this blog post about a book about trains on a plane. Weird. It still boggles my mind that I can access the Internet 10,000 feet into the air. I’m on my way to Anaheim, CA for a work conference, followed by a couple of days of vacation (and Disney!) in LA. I’m looking forward to the sunshine and the change of pace. There is something romantic about the West Coast to me, and perhaps to most East Coasters. I’ve now spent a good amount of time on the “best coast” and if it were only closer, or there were more people I loved there, I would move there in a heartbeat. But again, maybe that’s just part and parcel of the “grass is always greener” mentality.
This was another book from the free shelves at the Random House offices, years ago. Truthfully, I think I only picked it up because it was free, and because my friend was writing a book about hoboes at the time, and I mean, who doesn’t think hoboes are cool? Definitely not Ted Conover. I don’t give up on books all that often, honestly, but especially with this project, I want to give myself a break from reading feeling like a chore. Because that’s definitely not the goal. It is very much a danger, though, so rather than slogging through a book just because it’s on my shelf, I’m trying to cut it off before it gets too taxing.
Final confession: I bought myself a new book for the plane ride–All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister. But it’s on my Kindle because I didn’t have time to go to the bookstore…but I will probably still review it because a virtual bookshelf is still a bookshelf. Now that book I’m thoroughly enjoying. If you’re curious, listen to the author and podcast greats Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow read from the book and talk about single ladies on Call Your Girlfriend.
Keep rolling, friends!