Thursday, January 27, 2011

Read, Laugh, Bawl....

"What are you reading these days?" Ali wanted to know. My night table is groaning under the pile,  but it's hard to say what, exactly, I'm reading. Everything and nothing. Let me see....





The book that's been in the pile the longest is "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott. I just dip in and out of there occasionally.....Eeeeeh....not inspired.

"Tinkers" by Paul Harding caught my eye on a sale shelf at the university bookstore back in November. Tinkers, with their horse-drawn caravans were part of the landscape when I was growing up, so I was intrigued. And more so by the Pulitzer Prize sticker on the cover. It is the author's first novel. I tried, but it was slow going, and so it sank down .....down.....down.

"The Art of Loving" was a Christmas present. I've read it before but I wanted my own copy and now I've got it!

"The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy has been on my TBR list for ages. It won the Booker Prize...
I finally checked it out from the library....and made it to page six. It's due back in two days. 

The problem has to be me. I have not been able to focus or concentrate....

"Sarah's Key" and "The Lace Reader" arrived in the mail from my friend, Marilyn, a couple weeks ago. We pass books back and forth all the time. Started "Sarah's Key."  It was really interesting....Really.. But my book marker is stalled on page forty......

At the library, one day, ["What on earth were you doing at the library with that unread stack of books at home?" you might well ask]  I came across Jonathan Franzen's book "The Corrections." Big hit back in 2001, and he has, only now, written a second one. So I checked out "Corrections" to see what all the brouhaha was about. I like his writing style, but I haven't warmed yet to his characters. My book marker made it all the way to page one hundred and forty nine though. So there is hope..

And then "Room" by Emma Donoughue, hove into sight. She's Irish. That's got to be in her favor, right? And the reviewers were gushing.....While waiting, I tried to read another of her books. Decidedly not interested in the subject matter, I returned it to the library and thought I might take myself off the list for the raved about "Room." But before I could, I got a call saying  "The book you requested is in. You may pick it up....."  It looks like I was destined to give it a go. I'm on page eighty and stalled.

Marilyn e-mailed me again.....Always brief and staccato....."Read this." The link took me to "Lift" by Kelly Corrigan. The library only had some kind of media copy, which I could download to my computer. Ha! Do they know who they are dealing with? I actually went through the motions and it appeared to work. But hi-tech and me make very strange bedfellows. Totally not compatible. Sure enough, all I got was gobbledygook, computer hieroglyphics. I gave up. If only I lived within an asses' roar of a decent bookstore!


 Had to be content with the book section at Target. Found "Chosen By A Horse" by Susan Richards. Never heard of her, but I couldn't put it down. I rationalized buying it rather than looking for it at the library with the thought that our horse crazed California Girl would love it too and I'd pass it on.

I read the whole thing!
It made me laugh and it made me sob. My grandfather was a vet back in the early part of the nineteen hundreds. He dealt mostly with horses. I never knew him as he died before I was born, but we had a collection of horse books on our shelves at home that came from him. I used to pour over the the illustrations and make endless drawings and think I loved horses. But though I thought they were magnificent animals, face to face, I was intimidated. My father was horse-crazy growing up, being around them so much. He wanted to be a jockey but he grew too tall!  It's an abominable miscarriage of justice that he didn't live to meet his grand daughter, who obviously inherited the horse gene from him... Reading this book, by a woman who not only loves, understands, and is no more intimidated by a horse than by a pussycat, but also writes with sensitivity and humor, gave me a look inside my daughter's brain. Even if you are skittish around horses like me, you will love this book!

 I want to finish all of these books. But I feel like a ten year year old on crack, with attention deficit issues. You've seen the ads---"This is your brain on crack..."

Well, this is my brain on stress!

Go read!


10 comments:

aubirdwoman said...

oh thank you Molly. I have often read books I found mentioned on your blog. Then discovered they had gone ... but hey found Library Thing so followed you there.
Not feeling so well read as yourself, I like to try your books.
ummm does that mean I am Your Book Stalker.:) Have just bought The Kite Runner, listened to a couple of pages and I think I will like it.

Pauline said...

I have piles of books like that all over my little cottage. There are books to read while basking on the sofa with the cat in my lap, books that should only be read at bedtime, books that should NEVER be read before sleep and books that can be read only in short gasps (they are near the lavatory). I've read many of the ones you have in that stack and now I've ordered Chosen By A Horse from interlibrary loan. Have you read The Barn at the End of the World by Mary Rose O'Reilley?

dianne said...

and that is exactly what i said to my two oldest grandchildren on monday afternoon - they were driving me crazy ... go READ!!! the 2nd grader picked up one of her Mr. Toad books and the 4th grader read the captions in the sports section of the newspaper (because he left Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief at school) ... and, other than the turning of pages and the shuffling of newsprint, there was QUIET...

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I seem to be permanently short of time these days so audio books are handy , when I'm sewing .
Not all books are improved by someone , however good , coming between you and the writer , but (auto)biographies work well . And I've just been enthralled .... and appalled ... by Waris Dirie's life story , read by a Dutch actress , name forgotten .

Friko said...

Blimey, I do so know what you are talking about. There are times when my mind will not settle down to anything at all and all I manage to read are short stories which can be gulped and swallowed in one short session.

My pile of TBR is growing, there must be 50 or more there by now, all bought, mostly second-hand. It's this damned blogging which is stopping me reading.

My mind can only deal in sound bites and postbursts now.

Isabelle said...

I told you that you wouldn't like "The Corrections". Or if I didn't, I thought it.

patty said...

i have the same problem. our library has an adult reading program January and February. this year is a bingo card with various types of books, bios, romance, your choice etc, so of course i get the 1000 page novel, Ken Follet's "fall of giants" to read before today, almost done with it. i've read his "world without end and pillars of the earth last year.read Laura Bush's bio, found it very interesting.
i have "the room" on my request list and have to pick up keith richards bio "life" tomorrow. pretty diverse reading matter!

Ali Honey said...

I'm sorry some of your reading is not holding your attention.
I have found that the quickest way to spoil a good book is reading it in tiny bursts like a couple of pages a night. If I really like a book I need some half hour sessions to really get to grips with it. I know I have a really, really good book when I find myself sneaking off to read it when I should be doing something else.( or reading late into the night till I just can't see/ focus any more. )
I start a book and keep reading it till it's finished. If it is really bad I discard it. Life is too short to read inferior ( to me ) books. ( I don't start several at a time.
We don't belong to Libraries any more as I don't like imposed time limits cause we live out of town. We buy quite a few , we swap with reliable friends and we go to used book sales ( the very best value there ) R reads 70 plus a year. I read less than that but have more hobbies and less time than him.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I just concluded sadly that Margaret Atwood's newest, The Year of the Flood, is not grabbing me although I think she's a fine writer. I also gave up on Erick Setiawan's Of Bees and Mist today, although it seems so familiar that I've either read it already or am experiencing deja vu. I could not hack The God of Small Things although I love the title, Yesterday I read Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan, and Tinkers is on my list. I don't enjoy Franzen either. Tomorrow's book will be a memoir, Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda. I requested about six books from the library and they all arrived on the same day so they're all due back at the same time.
But how do you find time to read with all the quilting you do?

Eastcoastdweller said...

Of my lifetime collection of books, I have skimmed, read-in-part or simply daydreamed of what might lie within their covers, more than I can count.

Only a few have become special friends, read cover to cover, praised to family and friends.