March 9, Sunday morning -- Reading Laurence Bergreen

In Hayes Valley

Reading Over the Edge of the World, by Laurence Bergreen. It's about Magellan's travels. The members of my book club, who I was on my way to meet, said they see this man reading, here, on his bench, all the time. In his own words: I love information.'

The text on his sign, beneath the cup on the fishing rod: I'D RATHER BE A POOR CLOWN THAN A RICH THIEF SO I'VE GONE FISHIN and, in a small emblem at the bottom, I COME IN PEACE.

His favorite book--Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift--he's read it about twelve times, the last time a week ago.

He grew up reading. His family didn't watch a lot of TV or listen to the radio when he was growing up in the 50's--just Ed Sullivan, Groucho Marx, game shows. He liked storytelling in books better.

Recently he's read Anne Rice and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Similarion (prequel to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings).

His own book--over the past ten years he's written over 52,000 pages (!) on his friend's computer of a book that he'll title Ponders of the Alley Cat. It's about socio-economic recognition and his life as an alley cat. He's trying to edit the book down to a manageable 1,200 pages and is using a computer program to help him cut out the repetition.

What travel/adventure books do you recommend?

18 Comments:

ROBERTA said...

you meet the greatest people....thanks for bringing them to the rest of us..........

Josiah Waters said...

Thanks alot...nice work.

http://makerealincomenow.blogspot.com/

CaBaCuRl said...

what a diamond your blog is...I am having trouble tearing myself away from it to make my dinner!

Gandalf & Grayson said...

Just found you through Danielle's blog. I'm a huge Tolkien fan myself, but this guy read The Similarion? I found it rather difficult, even the audio CDs. That's dedication!

Danielle Says Hello said...

Hmmmmm....adventure???? The closest I can get to that genre is perhaps Harry Potter...and I have only read book one of that....I enjoyed it...but have not read any further into the series.

Tony McMickle said...

Great Blog!! I'm reading Orson Scott
Card at the moment, the Alvin Maker series. He's an awesome writer.

Veronica said...

For adventure I would say Harry Potter (its definitely a great read for all ages!!!) and has a lot of adventure and weaves a very fun, interesting tale through its 7 books.
I have read the Hobbit, but it took me a while to get through it. (I read it in high school for a class assignment in the car on the way to florida, so I kept getting car sick). I liked the book a lot. It was adventurous and the imagery was phenomenal. I couldn't get into the Lord of the Rings series though. It was getting hard to understand but i'm going to try to read it again.

Nichole said...

What an awesome blog!! Thanks for sharing.

Ms. Bassette said...

I like that you've added the question at the end....or did I just miss that before?
And the Ladies of the Club is the book I go to to read over and over, for inspiration and even for travel-traveling through life. I read it every four or five years, letting the woman's 70 years put mine into perspective.
I also like Anne Tyler novels. Somehow, every time I read one, it fits into my life or question at the time.

zen wizard said...

"Arthur Froemmer's Guide to [Anywhere You're Going]" I find you can't go wrong with when it comes to travel.

Dee Ann said...

I love books. What a fun blog to see which books others are reading. This is a very creative concept. I'm so glad that there are people out there that still want to hold a good book in their hands.
Right now one of my favorite authors is Terry Pratchett. Visiting the world he created, Discworld,is certainly an adventure.

www.WondersomeStoryTime.com

Alyx P said...

i love this mans idea for a book, i would most definitely buy it!!

Sonya said...

Thanks for all of your comments, I'm especially touched by yours, cabacurl. Sometimes I get engrossed with writing or reading and forget to eat, too. Though usually I eat. My mantra is not I think therefore I am, but rather, I eat therefore I am.

My (first) favorite travel adventure story is Muddling Through in Madagascar, by Dervla Murphy, which I read when I was in college and I loved her character--she brought her teenage daughter with her to M'car to walk across the rural landscape and to villages and rode buses on bumpy roads even when she had cracked ribs, and just drank whiskey to soothe the pain. It was a riot, but filled with good history. She was my hero.

Veronica, I've never been able to read in the car either, though in larger vehicles I do just fine.... Getting car sick is a good way to ruin a book!

AlyxP, I'd totally buy this guy's book, too. I bet he's had some real experiences and, with all the time he spends sitting on the sidewalk, his observations of people and society as a whole must be, well, whole. Sometimes I think I need to quit my job and take more time to write and read, though I don't think I'd be able to last long sleeping on the street.

Gandalf & Grayson,
What's Danielle's blog address?

Jackie Star said...

Wow, i was thinking the other day, do people read anymore, i write a little never really tried to write a book, because i didn't think people read anymore. Your blog has opened my eyes. Keep up the good work :) I haven't read a good book in a long long time. must visit the library soon.

Steve Mangano said...

Great idea --

Seri said...

I love to read A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing all by Libba Bray. They are great for "getting out of this world" when you need a break from it.

Princess Poochie said...

Jack London, of course!

He's my favorite author (although not the author of my favorite book).

Luv
Poochie

CJ said...

Great blog! It's featured on the dashboard page- nice work.

I totally know that guy. I see him every day on my way to work. Sometimes I give him change and say "That one's a trout- oh here, have a halibut." Next time i'll ask him about his book.

My favorite travel book- Getting Stoned With Savages, by J. Maarten Troost. Not really about drugs, excepting a chapter on kava.