Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

Now go outside and look at the sky.

Reading Again

After several months of very little reading I've been getting back into reading every evening for at least an hour or so... Last week I finished The Confusion by Neal Stephenson, his second book in the three-part Baroque Cycle.

While the first book, Quicksilver, left me wondering if I really want to work my way through another two 900-page novels full of dense historical details, this second book was a lot easier to read - more adventure, more exotic locations, less philosophical talk. Now I'm actually looking forward to the third book, The System of the World, which will be published this October.

And as proof that my reading habit is back in full force, I read all of Isaac Adamson's Pachinko Dreaming in the last couple of days and this was really a pleasant surprise of a book... It was my first experience of Mr. Adamson's writing and I want more! I'll have to go out and get his first two novels as soon as possible.

Pachinko Dreaming is a wild ride though modern-day Tokyo, a multiple-murder mystery full of young girls living dangerously, fashionable hotels full of ghosts, swirling neon lights, Pachinko parlors, Yakuza goons and summer heat. I don't know how much time Adamson has spent in Tokyo, but is sounds like a lot, since I haven't seen any other author bringing Tokyo to life in such a vivid, fascinating way... makes me want to go back.

And just to avoid getting bored, I've started reading something completely different - Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi. This book has been out of print for decades, but I found an edition from the early 1950s through Amazon.

Don Camillo is a phenomenon that has escaped the US public alltogether, but I'm sure that it is impossible to find a German, French or Italian who hasn't at least seen - and liked - one of the old movies from the 50s with the amazing Fernandel in the title role.

Don Camillo - both in the movies and the books - is a compilation of short vignettes of the life in an Italian village after the second world war, where the catholic priest and the communist mayor duke it out over who is boss... while being fully dependent on each other in their daily lives. Each story overlaps with the others to weave a colorful portrait of the village and its inhabitants, full of love and humanity.

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