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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • June 10, 2006


    A Guy's Moleskine Notebook Will Be On Vacation...Last Rambling Before Trip

    So I'll see you all in a week after I get back from Asia. I might check in and update you with my latest adventures and anecdotes as well as photos through TravelPod. I have a lot to blog about today before I go and off the top of my mind is the San Francisco AIDS Walk on July 16. I'll be joining Dan's (Turning 40) team and other bloggers for the fun 50km walk that begins and ends at Golden Gate Park. If you're bloggers in the Bay Area, please join us to make a difference in fighting AIDS. Visit Dan's AIDS Walk homepage and make a donation toward his team's participation in the event. Contact him at for more info and to join the team.

    Germany rang the victory bell at the World Cup opening game after the host defeated Costa Rica with a whopping 4:2. At the time of writing this post, England leads Paraguay 1:0. My prediction for the semi-final: Brazil, Argentina, Germany, England. Croatia and Italy are the black horses. Speaking of Italy, I have to ramble about my two cents on the group to which it belongs.

    Group E catches my attention this year. It's not a difficult situation, but for the United States it is for sure a daunting challenge. 4 points--1 win, 1 tie, and 1 loss--were enough for the USA to advance to the second round back in 2002. This simply won't do this time. Taking on two legitimate teams, the Czech Republic and Italy, it will be luck if the USA tie with them. I measure the success of the Yanks be beating out the Czech on Monday 6/12 and maybe having a tie with Italy. The road to the World Cup for sure will end in the Round of 16 because in order to avoid Brazil there, The US must win Group E.

    So I pick the US would play some good, presentable soccer, gain the 4 points but finish third in Group E behind the Czech and Italy, only if it beats Ghana, which will finish last in the group.

    Back to my trip, what am I bringing with me other than the basic necessities (T shirts, shorts, at least one long-sleeved shirt and a pair of khaki pants, medications, tums, masks...yes case of airborne outbreak, earplugs, eye shades, SPF 45 sun block...)? For sure my iPod with some 800 songs will be my companion during the flight. I have to update iTunes with some Telemann flute/oboe concertos as well as Haydn's London Symphonies. Reading wise, I just finished the intriguing Da Vinci Code--the breath-taking convolution of the story compensates Dan Brown's poor (full of cliche) writing. Should I bring another airport novel or some pulp fiction just to kill time? A friend of mine used to write his e-mail address on the front page after he finished a book and left it behind wherever he traveled--it would be curious to see who might have picked up the book. I'm considering:

    The Last Temptations of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
    Seeing by Jose Saramago

    I have considered John Banville but have decided against it because his prose, though very erudite and poetic, might be somewhat drony for a vacation mind. How about a hearty Trollope? Something to think about.

    I got these cool inflatable free weights so I can work out along the way. Just fill them up with water and they will inflate like the fitness ball. I have trouble adhering to the workout schedule as I don't stay at a hotel. So I resort to pushups, pullups and and free weights. Even jogging could be a problem as I'm taking up the congested, serpertine streets at the expense of my safety!

    So have a great weekend everyone.


    Blogger cipriano said...

    Good luck & great times, on your trip, Matt.
    Both of your suggestions for travel-along reading, sound great. Having recently read Saramago's Seeing, I highly recommend it. Do you like historical fiction at all? If so, I will suggest something entirely different than either of the two you probably already have packed away to take with you.
    Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth.
    I say this only because I myself read this novel while on vacation a hundred years ago... and it is so sprawling, so amazingly well-written. It's a great book to read if you only have certain windows of time to do so. But be warned. You will start to really look for more windows. There is no other word for it but majestic.
    All the best to you.

    6/10/2006 12:25 PM  
    Blogger DanNation said...

    Thanks, Matt, for publicizing the AIDSWalk. I'm glad you will be on the team.

    6/10/2006 12:51 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Matthew, I personally hope that England will win the World Cup, though I think it's highly improbable. I love Japan, Argentina and Italy, and dislike Germany, Holland, Brazil and France. Brazil should get into the finals (if nothing goes wrong)...and I hope the opposing team would be England or Argentina. Black horses? Czech and maybe Mexico. It'll be good if Italy goes through too.

    6/12/2006 6:45 AM  
    Anonymous danielle said...

    Have a wonderful vacation!

    6/12/2006 7:18 AM  
    Anonymous danielle said...

    Hope you're having a nice vacation!! Glad to hear you will also be reading War and Peace. I do much better with big, long books like this in a group setting! I guess I should get started on it...

    6/15/2006 6:47 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    I'm enjoying myself...doing nothing but reading! The wedding will be held this weekend so I'll have plenty of time reading.

    I'm excited about this e-book-discussion. Are you guys reading a particular translation? I've got the Pavear/Volonronsky edition and the Modern Library Classics edition.

    6/15/2006 4:52 PM  
    Blogger Tony said...

    Matt...I am assuming you are back from your trip if you posted today on my blog. Hopefully it was an enjoyable one with family and all. I love flying - cool perspective from the plane. Just brought memories of home because much of what you see from the plane is my home town. I grew up in South San Francisco..San Bruno Mountain backdrop, the airport only 10 mins away, etc. I miss so many of those elements. later.

    6/19/2006 10:49 AM  

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