I leave tomorrow for Buenos Aires. I'm bringing four books.
1. Ficciones by Borges [because, hello, I'm going to Argentina]
2. The River Sutra by Gita Mehta
3. Americana by Don Delillo
4. Blindness by José Saramago
I wanted a mix of cultures. Mehta from India, Saramago from Portugal, Delillo from my home, and Borges from the place of my travels. Reading books in different places gives them an extra something, a weight, and I never forget where I've read them. For example,
Once, I read Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True while in Venice, Italy.
Lamb's She's Come Undone was a few years later in Prague/Vienna.
Faulker's The Sound and the Fury poolside in Culver City, CA.
Nicole Krauss's The History of Love and Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in QRoo, MX [and I didn't even know they were married back then].
Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in Cabo.
Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting in the apartment in NYC.
And I'm excited to add these new books to that list.
What I have yet to figure out is good musical accompaniment for my travels. Lately it's been Broken Bells and Breathe Owl Breathe, but I want something fresh for a new place. I am taking suggestions. And a few new albums by really great bands are dropping while I'm away, so I need to remember tienda de discos so I can head to a record store and pick those up.
Bario Norte, Buenos Aires, Aregntina. Here I come. I don't know if I've ever been so nervous in my life.