Monday, September 14, 2009

Jon Katz' "Running To The Mountain"

Buy the book here.

Jon Katz is a novelist, columnist, and former TV producer who, against all odds, all common sense, and the wishes of his family, bought a rundown cabin in upper New York State to try and find himself. The book is the story of the purchase, the extensive work it took to make it habitable, and the growth it forced on him.

I read this book some time ago, I believe after hearing the author interviewed on the radio. Having dealt with my father's recent passing, and now that I'm approaching forty myself, the book means a lot more to me now than it did upon first reading. Other reviewers have criticized Katz as being whiny-who among us wouldn't want to be living the high life as a TV producer? Who among us wouldn't want to buy a rural getaway and leave the soccer games and grocery store trips to our spouse? All that is true, and, as Katz would probably admit, fair.

But the book is more than that-Katz pretty frankly admits that, according to nearly anyone's standards, he's got it made. But life is lived subjectively-and each of us has to find our own truth-our own equilibrium point to allow us to go on living. This is a beautiful book, (even if the references to a dial up modem seem dusty at this point, only 10 years or so after writing) and well worth your time, if you're struggling to keep your head above water.

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