Thursday, August 23, 2007

summer reading redux...

too hot to cook? read!

too hot to work? read!

too hot to do anything of substance? read!

upon the recommedation of rosie posy, i borrowed from the library housekeeping by marilynne robinson. parts of it were enthralling. the language lovely...but i wanted more story. at times it reminded me of something by james joyce and then, well, i felt like i was reading the bible. and then i needed to get a dictionary. that's not bad in and of itself, but when an author makes so many obscure literary references (without the benefit of footnotes) it doesn't always work to make me feel edified...it does, however, make me feel inferior and that feeling is just a hop, skip, and a jump to wondering if the author is on an ego power trip of showing off all the stuff they know instead of entertaining me, the reader. in addition, the book had a melancholy bent that never went away. without giving too much away, the insinuation that we all teeter on the edge of insanity without much hope that anyone could override this tendency, left me feeling hopeless. this was definitely not light summer fare. if you like to get lost in the words of a novel, this may be the one for you. if, however, you like "lite lit" and a story with a middle, beginning and end (i know...so pedestrian) then i can recommend...

back when we were grownups by anne tyler. if this book were made into a movie, i see kathy bates (the loveable kathy...not the crazy kathy) cast as the lead character, rebecca. all the other folks in the book would be played by whomever you find likeable. and when billy crystal is old and shriveled, he could play the 100 year old uncle, poppy. the story is what you have come to know and love from most modern novels...a story of a sudden self-awareness, a maturation of the character that eventually translates to a sense of being comfortable, but only for a moment. the reader knows there will be challenges in the future of these characters but what has been written on the pages has better prepared them for what lies ahead. so i don't want you to think that i think tidy endings are my preference, but i do want to feel like things are going to be okay.

i am currently reading we are all welcome here by my fave, fave, favorite author, elizabeth berg. this is just as wonderful and almost as delish as pull of the moon which i read over and over, again and again because it is just that good. i've only ever read three other books more than once (okay, i have read some books over but only because they ended up being so unremarkable that i only sensed that i had already read them)...little women, wicked and wuthering heights. please go read everything you can get your hands on by ms. berg. you'll be glad you did.

2 comments:

Becky said...

i heart, heart, heart elizabeth berg! and i heart that zippy book too. it is making me laugh out loud! i keep thinking that i should write down all the funny parts so we can hoot togeth...
b

mary w said...

AAHH Elizabeth Berg- I have three of her books sitting beside me- freshly picked from the Thrift Store last week. Have you read the Time Travelers Wife yet? That is my "perfect book" -the one that still lives inside of me.