Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back on the Road Again

Someday, when I have the nerve, I'll tell you about the time Willie Nelson invited me onto his tour bus when I was a cub reporter and he came to play the Illinois State Fair. I would guess the year to be about 1982. I'd rather not go into all the details now, but suffice it to say I ended up with more than the standard story interview out of that experience. I've got to assume he played "On the Road Again," which is one of his standards and is the long way around to this blog's topic.

After spending 20 consecutive days out on the road, covering the baseball playoffs and World Series, I'm heading back out to cover the always dull general managers' meetings in Dana Point, Calif. I am dead tired from the travel and could really use some down time. Tuesday's election will take place without my vote. I tried, but the early voting waits in South Florida were anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, and I'm just not ready to give up that much time to cast my ballot.

I am happy to report, however, that I remain on track to complete reading of all five National Book Award finalists for fiction before the Nov. 19 winner's announcement. I have read two of them, am midway through the third, and have two waiting on deck. My early favorite is "Home," by Marilynne Robinson. She won the Pulitzer a few years ago for "Gilead," and I think she has the stuff to pull off a rare NBA/Pulitzer double. Of the other two that I have read, "The Lazarus Project" tops "The End." Look for my final odds before Nov. 19.


  1. I am impressed by you reading all the finalists! My goal is to read all the WINNERS. Maybe, someday, when I finish that project, I can keep caught up with the annual list of finalists, but that is a far distant book dream.

  2. The finalists are just as good as -- and in many cases better than -- the winners. My problem is I've reached a point where many of the books that remain on my list are the expensive ones, with "To Kill a Mockingbird" topping the $$$$ charts and "Catcher in the Rye" not too far behind. In other words, my hobby is about to start hurting.


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