Like the Alice's White Rabbit, I am always running late these days. "No time to say, 'hello,' 'goodbye,' I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" And I am also buried in time sensitive projects. But, dear Curious Reader, I really did want to drop you a line to let you know that (a) I am not trapped under a heavy object, (b) I am not in jail, (c) I have been reading.
I couldn't bear to continue with the last chapter of House of Mirth via the audio book because I trusted the reader would screw it up. Instead, I went to the library, pulled a copy off the shelf, and sat in a quiet corner to finish it. And as I always do when I come to the last sentence of a well-loved book, I closed the cover and sat holding it for a while. I wanted to cry; I was also quite angry at Edit Wharton.
After I finished The Glass Palace, I jumped right into In The Woods by Tana French. I avoid stories that involve child rape or murder. My reasoning along those lines is that I sadly cannot avoid learning of these events in the stark reality of life; but, I can certainly avoid rubbing elbows with the subject matter in a novel. Nevertheless, so many people were raving about it I decided to give it a try and concur with my friends that it was a good and suspenseful read. I look forward to reading more by this author. In the library copy I had, someone has drawn a "?" below the last paragraph. I think I know what he or she meant. Not all mysteries had been solved, and I am speculating we will see Adam Ryan again someday.
I began Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu and settled in comfortably - enjoying it more and more with each page. But then...a package came!! From half-way around the world. I couldn't wait to get into the house to open it; so, I sat on the front steps and carefully pulled the "to open" tab. There was Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel sent to me by the lovely Fugitive Pieces. I get excited every time I get a new book. Especially when it's a gift. But a gift from someone I've never met - how kind and thoughtful was that? I mean, really. (Pssst. Come closer. She may slip into the room without me noticing. I don't want to spoil the surprise. But I thought and thought about what I could do to say "thank you." It had to be something unique. Something she can't come by where she lives. I came up with "a something"...not much...but it will take an afternoon. A sunny one. I might slip out this Friday to do it. I can't say anymore. Just in case there are spies. But...I can't wait.) Ahem. So, there was Wolf Hall and there was Uncle Silas. Thankfully, Uncle Silas is so good and so worth savoring that I will not be tempted to storm through it just to start Wolf Hall. But it gives me a warm and satisfying feeling to know that something good awaits, and that my immediate reading future looks bright.
I tried listening to An American Wife on audio, but returned it to the library after a couple of discs. I really didn't care for it very much. I guess I felt that if one is going to write fiction, then write fiction...not an unauthorized biography masquerading as fiction. There was something about it which gave me the feeling I was wasting precious time. The same feeling I got as a kid eating too many marshmallow Peeps. But the bottom line is I wasn't finding it very interesting. (The reader was very good, however.) At present, my commute is taken up with listening to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - which is hilarious, and touching, and sad, and very very good. So good in fact, I bought the paperback edition of Everything Is Illuminated.
Well, that's about it folks. O! One last thought. I shredded the poxy list! Why? The new 1001 Books To Read blah-blah-blah came out and The Plot Against America by Philip Roth has been removed! As far as I can discern it was the only one removed. Wouldn't you know it had to be the only book on the list I read which post-dated I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I guess it makes some bit of sense. After all, books are published every day and when one of them makes the list, another has to be lost if the list is to be limited to 1001.
On the horizon - April 10 - another Big Book Sale at the library. Before I became anti-list, I would have definitely carried it with me. God forbid I should rely upon my own sense of taste! So I will NOT be tempted to print off another copy, and the author of the list can "Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake!" as Oskar Schell, the nine-year old narrator of Extremely Loud would say. (Gosh, that felt good.)