Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I'm Reading: Wednesdays

"What I'm Reading" Wednesdays is my way of sharing what I am currently reading.

In the right hand column of my blog, you will see a section called "currently reading". I update this as I start each new novel. Today, I am currently spending time with Sophomoric Philosophy by Victor David Giron, who also happens to be publisher, editor-in-chief, publicist, and accountant for Curbside Splendor - the company that published the book.

Here's a funny encounter I had while sitting at my sons' Little League Opening Day Ceremony the other day:

Lady: Oh, what are you reading?
Me: Sophomoric Philosophy.
Lady: Are you a student, then?
Me: uhm. No. It's independent literary fiction.
Lady: .... oh.

Ok, so I admit, it is a misleading title. And the book cover does sort of resemble something you would see on a college textbook. But seriously, reading a college textbook on a weekend day? I think not, lady!

Although a lot of the material was taken from his life, this is a work of fiction. While it's not hard core philosophical, the narrator "Alex" does spend quite a lot of time throughout the book discussing heavy topics like death, God, and the universe with himself, his friends, and his girlfriends. There are loads of retro 90's references... here's a peek at one where Alex reflects on the evolution of music:
"Andy and his friends started doing a great big sing-along to songs like "More Than Words" by Xtreme, and "Sweet Child 'O Mine" by Guns 'N Roses. You can't forget that great guitar intro, arguably one of the greatest introductions to a song. From the first notes it's unmistakable, and to this day it brings a chill up my spine when I hear it at a bar and a bunch of 30-something's break into the first verse. It's like our fucking generational anthem.

I listen to some really good shit today, or so I think I do, but none of my friends know what the hell it is, so there's no way we could sing along to the stuff I like. I mainly like stuff with inaudible lyrics or none at all, as in bands like Explosion in the Sky, which you've probably never heard of before. Additionally, I don't know what the hell my friends like anymore, if they like anything at all. My friends and I have become so dispersed with our interests in music, movies, and books that we hardly have anything in common anymore. I like to think it has something to do with today's access to information over the internet. You'd think it'd have the opposite effect, but it seems to also have turned us all into isolated, individual consumers downloading whatever we want and not really sharing anything. I miss the days when we would make tapes for each other in order to share albums and songs. It could also be that we, including myself, are just getting old and crusty and are completely losing touch with what kids are into these days.

We seemed to be more carefree back then, less restricted...."

Victor's novel has been knocking me repeatedly over the head with flashbacks from my teen years - the music and lifestyle references are enough to put me into a 1990's coma. He is the voice of my generation, and he captures these moments so clearly.

This novel was a recommendation from author Ben Tanzer, and I knew I would be foolish to pass it up. I'm currently about 1/2 way through and looking forward to seeing what other parts of memory lane Victor will be taking me down.

If this is the last update to my blog, send someone back to 1990 to collect me. Be forewarned, I may put up a fight upon being rescued.

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