Indonesian Chronicles – Day 6, 18/8/2018 Impressions, Facts & Stories

Vacation are our time for intense reading. We pack our kindles with books or all sorts before we set off. I stock up on contemporary fiction, based on reviews from the New-Yorker, literary prizes short lists and friends’ recommendations. L. does the rest and always revives classics (Russian authors last’s year, Balzac this year) and piles up essays. I also bought, as a hard cover, This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, by Adam Kay, as a present for A. As A level results are published during our trip, which decides if she gets into Medical school. If she does, this is a fun read. If she does not, this is a fun read, which will make rejection a little less painful. After all, he quits Medicine…. But A. gets in medical school, loves the book, and concludes that Adam Kay was never truly motivated and just chose the medical profession like his mum, dad, brother and sisters did….. All is well, and as an added bonus A. gets to carry the book for the rest of the trip.

This year’s titles are short…Snap, Less, 4321, Lullaby, Conversations with Friends, Little Fires Everywhere…I go through my list book to book, page to page, in all interstices of my days and nights, moments of jet-lag, wide awake in the dark with my kindle soft light. After a week, characters and places mix a little, is Frances gay and is Reynold really smarter than Marvel? Does Less loses his suitcase on his way to Osaka or Morocco?

I enjoy all my books…but 4321 leaves me stranded in New Jersey, in a state of plot overload, and I abandon Auster’s ‘exercise de style’ with regret, like you abandon an old friend.