Thursday, March 29, 2007

I have not been here lately

I'm back on the upswing, though, and there's more to come. There's been a lot going on in my life, and no one has seen much of me in months.

But before my next update about my VERY TRAUMATIC Tuesday, bookwise, let me post this for the indignation of my fellow readers:

George W. Bush claims he read 60 books between January and August of 2006.

Now, I'd love to have a conversation about this with him. I can't tell you off the top of my head how many books I read during that time, but I can tell you that, since it was 7 months, the number is probably about 50. I have a log, though, so I can go home and figure it out and get back to you.

You know me--or most of you do. I lead a quiet life, and reading is my main hobby. Not that I think the president is some sort of dynamo who never lays around doing nothing, but where did he find the time? I mean, he's in meetings all day! He doesn't even have a commute!

This is so outrageous I can't even deride it vigorously enough for my own satisfaction. Please join me in a silent moment of indignation.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Direction

I have a lot going on these days, bookwise, though I'm in one of those zones where I'm in the middle of too many books to finish any. But I'm trying to phase over into reading some novels; lately I've been reading a lot of nonfiction, which is great, but not quite as relaxing as the novels.

I have The Double Bind, the new Chris Bohjalian from the library. I like a lot of his books, but some better than others, so I'm really curious about where this will come out. I've been meaning to read The Time Traveler's Wife, and I own it, so that's on the list. I just finished The Wife by Meg Worlizer. That book was really great, you should read it. It's a really fabulous, funny, poignant story, and that rare gem: a literary novel about a crumbling marriage that is well written, humorous, and totally engaging.

I checked out Howard's End, and I'm looking forward to rereading that. I remember enjoying it when I read it in college, but what you like in a school book is not always reliable to come back to later, so we'll see how that goes. I got a recommendation for Jasper Fforde, so I'll pick up one of those soon. Oh, and I'm back in the thick of my Jeeves and Wooster audiobook. I don't even remember which one it is--they're almost all the same--but it's still a great ride.

I took this class: Intro to the Novel, English 2o4. Great class. Here we go again.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I've been meaning to undergo a Personal Library Renaissance. I was going to come here and write about it. I got a bunch of great books for Christmas, and there's a list of books that Mike brought into this marriage that I'd like to read. There's plenty there, and a lot of it that I'm really excited about.

But here's the thing: I've been under a lot of stress at work. Like, the kind of stress that leaves me emotionally vulnerable. And when I'm at my desk, at my computer, and anxious, what brings me a momentary surge of happiness and temporary relief? What soothes me the way a cigarette soothes my sister? A hit of the BPL website. At, I can log in and see what I have on reserve. And if there's nothing, if I'm not waiting for a book to arrive (on reserve! in transit!), there's nothing there for me.

So I've been ordering books and reading them as fast as I can. It's kept me going. The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer (such a great book; I'm just kind of let down by the last ten pages); The Double Bind, by Chris Bohjalian (love that guy; hope this one's as good); Through the Children's Gate by Adam Gopnick (I cannot tell you how guilty I feel that I really, really didn't like Lynne's favorite writer, but I just can't get behind a book that's all about how great and special New York is); Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (really interesting; I'm amazed at how much nonfiction about the Middle East I can read).

So there's been no renaissance. I have been reading some borrowed books, though--from friends I mean. I will give you only one tiny taste, and let you judge for yourself: "The psychologist probably scratched his head."

Did he really? You be the judge.

I won't apologize. I hope, though, that soon I'll be emotionally strong enough to read some books I own, rather than be so dependent on the BPL. I'm hooked, and I won't apologize. I've always been up front about it: I'm a cheap date.