I’m back from my Belizean honeymoon all fired up for 2007. Whoopee! That’s what scuba diving in the carribean and cave tubing will do for you. Now I promised a report on the reading going on down there in Central America, and I always make good on my promises, so here: I reread Richard Ford’s Rock Springs (Great short stories set in Montana) started John Banville’s The Sea, and got most of the way through Mrs. BookFox’s selection, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. On that last title, I can’t remember a time when a non-fiction book threatened my lifestyle so much. I can’t eat now. In every little morsel I see Corn: corn starch, corn syrup, and chemicals-I-can’t-pronounce-made-from-corn. And even with my organic food, I think (derisively) “this is only commercial organic.” Although I couldn’t imagine a better book to inform you of all the ways your food is killing you, I can’t help but feel sorry for anyone who reads it, simply because they’re in for a whole helping of lifestyle-change. And if I thought Mrs. BookFox was picky about restaurants before . . .
One of my readers asked me to report on how the bookstores were down in Belize, so I will. I didn’t see any. The only collections of books I found were ones at Hostels and Internet Cafe’s and Travel Agents, available on a book-swap basis, and these collections consisted of a heaping mess of irksome pop trash with the occasional tolerable title. Luckily for me, I happened upon quite a good book – a nice hardback of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss, not only a relatively new title but one that won the 2006 Man Booker prize. I pilfered a loose copy of some James Patterson paperback in my hotel room and traded it for the Desai copy – now that’s a great trade.