Sunday, November 9, 2008

Recommended Reading

Well, I finished my last book. In a way, that's good, because my pack has gotten smaller and lighter. Now, I'll just have to work on my laptop, look out the window, or, if I'm in a hostel, I can practice the cheap guitar I bought in Salta. I have plenty of books waiting for me when I get home.

The book was one that was recommended to me by my wandering friend, Alaska John. It was The Old Patagonian Express, by well-known author Paul Theroux. This book made me both happy and sad. It made me happy because it was a wonderful book. It was fun to be able to relate to some of what he wrote, as I'm traveling in the same part of the world. I also enjoy trains, and it was fun to hear about the variety of trains he hunted down and traveled in through Latin America (I haven't seen too many). His writing is wonderful, his descriptions colorful, his encounters enchanting, and his wit precious—I laughed out loud at times, not a common occurrence.

The bad part of reading this book is that I was made painfully aware of how lacking my writing is. I thought myriad times while reading The Old Patagonian Express, "If only I could write like that! If only I could describe things like he does! I only I were half as smart as that guy!" I'll just have to learn from him and try to improve.

As with the other books I brought with me on this trip—or picked up along the way—The Old Patagonian Express was a winner.

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