Chez Shaffner

Friday, September 22, 2006

Buffalo Reading List

As readers of The Thrilling Travels of Normal Guy and Girl already know, I am heading on an extravagant journey. Beginning Sunday at 4:55, when I board the US Airways flight from Logan to Buffalo-Niagara, and culminating in an AirTran flight from Rochester to Logan next Friday, I will spend the next week exploring Western New York.

During this trip, I expect to spend a lot of time in isolation. As Keryn journeys from high school to high school to college fair to high school, I will undoubtedly find myself alone in the reclined passenger seat of her rental car.

Sure, I am planning some sight-seeing adventures, including a self-guided tour of downtown Buffalo, a sunset tour of Niagara Falls, and whatever I find Rochester has to offer (research into that answer is planned for this afternoon).

However, I think there's some reading to be done.

I hesitate to admit this, but my reading rate fluctuates widely. Over the last five years, I have experienced six-month stretches where I averaged better than one book per week, and I have experienced six-month stretches where I've been lucky to get through The New Yorker every week. Sure, there are always online literary magazines and stories read in various online workshops, but sometimes I fall down on the job...

So here it is, the list of books I plan to read in Buffalo / Rochester:

Mutual Holdings by my friend Susan DiPlacido.
Old School by Tobias Wolff
What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson

I can't imagine getting through all three next week, but just in case, I'm also bringing On Beauty by Zadie Smith, which I was supposed to read last month for a book club. (Shame on me; Daphne, I'm sorry.)

And of course, if I really run out of reading material, there's always On Unrequited Love and Serial Killers...

(Tell me honestly, does the working title suck?)

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