I don’t know why I’ve been writing more than usual about reading lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading some great books. Maybe it’s because everyone seems to think more about reading during the summer. Maybe it’s the new Harry Potter coming out in … a matter of hours that aren’t so difficult to count now. Maybe it’s because I keep stumbling across pieces about reading. Whatever my excuse is, this Weekend America piece interviews a soldier in Iraq who packed about twenty titles into some equipment his battalion was shipping to the war. The ensuing conversation about his love of reading, why he chose the titles, and how he uses the works in war time, inspires. I especially like the image of him—a gunner–telling his comrads as they’re out on patrol, “That reminds me of a scene in Kerouac’s On the Road” (which, believe it or not, I have read) and knowing that his commanding officer often understands his references. Weekend America links to a longer piece about him in the Christian Science Monitor.
A few of the books:
- Well, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
- 100 Years of Solitude by Garbriel Garcia Marquez
- General George Patton’s memoirs
- Plato’s The Republic
Neither source has the entire list.