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Midnight Lounge

I'm an historian by trade so I read and write all the time. Only before I go to bed do I actually get to stray from my steady diet of non-fiction and read what I want. This is my record of those late-night reads.

Currently reading

Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths
Karen Armstrong


I just returned from Morocco.  I like long plane rides because it gives me a chance to read things I generally don't have time for.  In fact, choosing my reading list for these trips is one of my more obsessive practices.  This time I was able to work my way through four books.  Of course I broke into my Paul Bowles library.  He has long been one of my favorite writers and who better to teach you about Morocco?  I brought along his Travels:  Collected Writings, 1950-1993 as well as his experimental novel, Points in Time.  In travels, I heartily recommend Paul Theroux's introduction as well as Bowles's essay, "A Question of Identity." 


I also finished Maria Rosa Merocal's The Ornament of the World:  How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain.  I usually avoid history when I travel since that is what I do, but this book is so beautifully written (for a popular audience) and its subject matter overlapped with the work I was doing in North Africa.  Again, this is quite an excellent book and I highly recommend it. 


I picked up some Murakami at the airport in Madrid.  (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.)  Check back next Christmas.  That is probably how long it'll take me to finish it.

All Things Considered...

I usually try to keep my social networking to a minimum unless, of course, it is the old-fashioned kind that requires looking someone in the eye.  But then I figure this blog has a fail-safe mechanism.  Since the conceit is to maintain a record of those books I read late at night when unwinding, I figure it will require updating about..once every three months.  Sad but true.  On the other hand, I'll have the benefit of reading through all these fine posts I find on my dashboard.  Win-win.  Buy the ticket, take the ride.  I look forward to learning a lot.