Library Serendipity

I had a couple of books due at the library on Saturday, so I made the trip into town to drop them off, and then wandered the stacks looking for something new to read. I hit the new books first, then walked the aisles of the fiction section. Nothing reached out and grabbed me.

I was about ready to just say "Eh," and walk out empty-handed when I remembered that my friend Barbara had mentioned she was reading a new biography of Neil Young. I wondered if they had it, so I checked the biography section. They had a biography of Young that was written several years ago, so I didn't think it was the same book. I went back to the nearby new books section and looked in the corner where the new biographies were. No Neil Young books, but I did find what I'd been looking for all the time, even though I hadn't known it: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, compiled by his ex-wife, Crystal, after his death in 2003.

I'd had this one recommended to me by Amazon, and it was definitely something I wanted to read, so I snatched it up. It's not your usual biography with a single narrative. Instead, it's a compilation of anecdotes by friends, family, band members and other acquaintances, as well as Zevon's own recollections from his journals. You may or may not be familiar with his music, but he was one of my favorite musical artists. And the stories of Zevon's wild life are entertaining. As he put it, "I got to be Jim Morrison for a lot longer than he did." This one's a must-read for any Zevon fan.