The Perils of Eat, Pray, Love • 10 February 2009

I left a university library book in Budapest’s Hotel Andrassy a number of years ago, and lost another one last fall somewhere between Colorado Springs and Boulder. And I’ll probably risk university property and my own sketchy rep with the circ desk again next month—seems less a hazard than trusting whatever informal book exchange I’ll find in Mecca to keep me satisfied. I can just see it: lying in a hot, tiny-windowed room with indigestion, the power out, and nothing but 8 musty copies of Eat, Pray, Love. That plus a match: good for creating some light, but I'll travel with an LED anyway.

Ok. So it is awkward to own many books and I and am fanatical about packing light (Papa owl, the erstwhile backpacking guide: “take care of the ounces and the pounds will take care of themselves”). But given the probability of quiet non-electrified nights over there, and the fact that I can only do so much pranayam and metta meditation (careful, you might get appointed as a subject for that… you’ll know if I mist up when I see you later), I should probably put in a short order this week to

So I have no idea. I’m thinking 5-7 titles. Does anyone love any of these or think they’re meh? Or have other suggestions?

Late Victorian Holocausts by Mike Davis (need at least one below-the-belt writer)

Ovid, need to decide which

I am That or One Taste (same diff.; or maybe just get both and squash head between the two?)

The Snow Leopard

Meetings with Remarkable Men or something else by Gur or Ous?

Some U.G.? (probably… but no idea what and shouldn't a few lines be enough? hilarious even have to read more than one book, or one sentence, on nondualism)

Krishna Dutta’s biography of Tagore

The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals

Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis, or Stone Junction by Jim Dodge (must have something like this)

Shankara and Indian Philosophy (SUNY Religious Studies Series) by Isayeva, or Feuerstein’s Yoga Morality: Ancient Teachings at a Time of Global Crisis

The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace by Norman Sjoman or History of Modern Yoga by Elizabeth de Michelis

Martin Buber’s edited volume, Ecstatic Confessions

Kiran Desai’s Inheritance of Loss, or Midnight’s Children

The Cambridge Concise History of Modern India by the Metcalfs (annoying as hell but CONCISE!), or Modern South Asia by Sugata Bose (good on political economy)

Something more beautiful… or just re-read Buber?