Two Recommendations

1) Away, by Amy Bloom. The prose is perfect. It's the best written new novel you'll read this year, and that's saying something, since Ian McEwan also came out with a new novel. Another interesting thing about the book is that I almost didn't buy it because the cover is so terrible, or at least unappealing to me. But that would have been a mistake.

2) Into the Wild, by Eddie Vedder. Haven't seen the movie, but the music is fantastic. If Thoreau had an iPod, he'd be listening to this in the woods. That, of course, begs the question: would Thoreau have owned an iPod?

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Another interesting thing about the book is that I almost didn't buy it because the cover is so terrible, or at least unappealing to me. But that would have been a mistake.

There is an old addage about that behavior.

Jonah,
Danielle and I actually saw Into the Wild this weekend, and the music is matched with astonishing images. I think you'll like it. Interesting game to program Thoreau's iPod. I reckon he'd consider it a distraction from the noise of the wild. But somewhere in his journal, he notes the sound the wind makes in newly raised telegraph wires, and compares them to the strings of a giant harp, carrying their music around the country.
Dan B.

Thoreau would have borrowed Emerson's ipod. Eventually, Emerson would have just bought another and told Thoreau to keep it.

I don't know if Thoreau would have had an ipod, but I think Emiliy Dickenson would have had one. She probably would not have bought one herself, she being too shy to venture out to BestBuy. But her brother or sister-in-law, or some other neighbor, knowing that she would appreciate one, might have gotten one for her.

I doubt that she would have listened to the ipod very much, though. She would probably just hold it in her hand, and wonder that such a thing could exist, and she probably would have written a few hundred additional poems about it.