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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

10.09.2003

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rented any good movies lately? jump to the boards and recommend it. 
 
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other new + recent LAZE flick picks:
o Review: Breakfast Club
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Review: Singles
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Review: The Fast Runner
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Review: Insomnia
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Review: Bowling for Columbine
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Review: Chicago
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Review: Rabbit-Proof Fence
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Review: Devil's Playground
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Review: Heaven
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Review: Punch-Drunk Love
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Review: Me Without You
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Review: Ghost World
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Summer Reading
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copyright 1999-2003
DigsMagazine.com.

the bookshelf:
on the road four books that will take you around the world
by A. Lau
| 1 2

Stuck in an office? Wondering what happened to the time that you were going to take off and travel? Or maybe you're just stuck in one place because you're currently strapped for cash. Despite my love for travel, I never quite understood why people would be interested in reading travelogues (I always thought the authors were just really vain). But in picking up A Year in Provence and stumbling across Motoring with Muhammed, I found two of the funniest, wittiest books I've ever come across. If you love to travel, or even if you've never quite understood how people can be bitten by the travel bug, check out these books and see the world from your couch.

o o o


A Year in Provence 

Peter Mayle
buy it

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle is a deliciously evocative travelogue that makes you feel as if you've stumbled upon a sumptuous French feast. Written by a Brit about his adventures in the rural south of France, the book clearly shows why the French are so passionate about food. Whether it's savoring a bubbling rich winter rabbit stew while Le Mistral (an infamous winter wind blamed for everything from madness to crime) howls at the frosted panes outside, or enjoying an outdoor summer lunch made with the freshest of vegetables and the finest olive oil from the sun drenched fields of Provence, Mayle's writing will make you hungry yet leave you feeling full.

But A Year in Provence offers more than just food, with humorous observations of everything from unwanted summer visitors (as readers who live in a popular vacation spot can probably attest), to the traditional Provencal kiss greeting, to truffle hunting. Mayle will make you laugh with his descriptions of Provencal peculiarities, while at the same time his interactions with locals reveal human traits that are utterly universal. It's a great light read, especially for anyone who has ever fantasized about living in the rural south of France.

o o o

Looking for Lovedu: A Woman's Journey Across Africa 
Ann Jones
buy it

Looking for Lovedu by Ann Jones is the story of a journey undertaken by Jones and her British photographer partner, Kevin Muggleton, as they drive from north to south across the entire continent of Africa. In search of Lovedu, a legendary rainmaking queen, they cross the Sahara, drive through the thickest jungles and encounter everything from the largest Roman Catholic church in the world in Cote d'Ivoire, to sheep herding nomads, and military roadblocks.

The most interesting parts of the book involve the author's relationship with her partner, whom she refers to as Muggleton. Portraying him almost as a caricature of a typical, arrogant British tourist -- intent on conquering the next daunting physical obstacle ahead, rather than learning from the people and the landscape -- she vividly conveys her frustration with her partner. At points (like when he decides to go into a screaming fit at borderguards carrying AK-47s or when he derides her for driving so cautiously), you just want to scream at him for being such an ugly idiot tourist. A well-known feminist writer, Jones also offers some interesting introspective on divisions of labor and power by gender lines.

Although an engaging account, Looking for Lovedu is fairly cerebral and actually discusses the history and background of each place they travel through. While reading this, one should keep in mind that there is no such thing as an unbiased history: everyone has a purpose and an agenda. That said, Looking for Lovedu offers some good, succinct descriptions of modern African history and politics.

mosey along this way for more!

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