Saturday, November 27, 2004

Nun Books and Turkey

People might wonder what "nun books" are. I thought it was a genre of my own invention--at least my own classification, but I think it's really a group of books. The thing is, I'm not talking about exposé-style, underbelly-of-Catholicism stories. What interests me is the idea of a life lived with focus, a life committed to creating yourself as a person in a certain image, using a certain code, and then the challenges of undertaking this mission as a mere flawed human being. My favorite book is The Nun's Story by Kathryn Hulme, and other good ones include Lying Awake (Mark Salzman) and In This House of Brede (Rumer Godden). There are movies, too (The Nun's Story, Agnes of God). It's the story that interests me.

But, as usual when I go home, there was really no need to bring any library books with me. I wander through my collection (most of which still lives under my bed) and end up caught up in, say, the first fantasy novel I ever read, or (God help me) rereading the Babysitter's Club series (they're like Pez--you can read one in less than an hour, and they're just so sweet and perfect and satisfying, you can't have just one). I spent at least three hours this weekend looking for a book called Arrows of the Queen, which I then proceeded to read in about an hour.

It's strange being home. It's like I'm a different person, both different from the person I used to be when I lived there, and different from the person I am when I'm back here. It's not that it's bad--I get along great with my family and I love not being at work. But I didn't sleep well, and I felt not quite myself. Now that I'm back, though, I have to wonder if "myself" is much better.

Not that I'm mopey. Mariette in Ecstasy, here I come.

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