Book Report: A Bag of Noodles by Wally Armbruster (1972)

Book coverIt’s hard to know what I expected when I picked this book up; probably a collection of poems in a chapbook sort of thing. It definitely carries that vibe, as Armbruster talks about Christianity, humility, and taking care of your fellow man in poems and bullet-pointed type musings.

However, the book has an essay on creativity, wherein the truly creative person thinks far ahead of others. The creative person sees the problem, sees that he is the one to solve it, sees the solution, and only then fills in the blanks to make that solution possible. 1, 2, 5, 3, 5, Armbruster calls it. In a recent piece, James Lileks describes Steve Jobs in those terms, although he doesn’t mention that he got it from Armbruster. He probably didn’t, but two pieces I’ve read ran in parallel.

The book itself came with two local papers’ obituaries for Armbruster from the middle 1990s clipped and tucked into them. I’ve noticed that’s a trend: putting authors’ obits in the authors’ books. I wonder where that started and why so many people do it.

At any rate, this book is worth a quick read. It’s an hour or so of realtime sports or a magazine-browse length of dedicated time, and the essay on creativity is worthwhile if you don’t get much out of the rest.

Books mentioned in this review: