I hope everyone's reading up a storm.
I've just started a book - Junot Diaz's This is How You Lose Her - that I'm reading slowly so as to savor every word. Every page. Every thought. If you have not read any Junot Diaz, I do not think we can be friends. Seriously. Read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and see if you don't find yourself engulfed in a world you suddenly find you can't live without.
I'm listening to a collection of New Yorker stories, and while I sometimes find myself enjoying them immensely - there are a couple of Calvin Trillin stories that I adore - I also finally understand why much of the great unwashed loathes the purported intelligentsia with such fervor. God, smart people can be pretentious fucking assholes, can't they?
I also picked up JK Rowling's new book The Casual Vacancy. I don't want any spoilers, please. I'm looking forward to reading it and seeing if it has the magic of the Harry Potter series. Not literally, but that would be cool, too.
[Full disclosure, I'm reading Undead and Uneasy by MaryJanice Davidson to fall asleep. I love this series about vampires because it's sexy and funny as hell and moves quickly. Sometimes, I need brain candy, and this fits.]
We are a very, very bookish family. Every room in this house has books in it - at least one bookshelf crammed full to bursting with both hardcover and paperbacks [the bathrooms just have stacks of magazines and sometimes a book or two - TMI?].
|Some of our books. And booze. And our giant cat. She's shy.|
My mom would also bring home bags of books given to her by one of the customers where she waitressed. As strict as she was about pretty much everything, she never censored what we read - probably because she's a big believer in education, but also probably because English is like her 3rd or 4th language and she had way too much else going on to see what we were actually reading. I may have grown up a bit too fast reading Harold Robbins, but it was great to always have reading material available. Especially The Carpetbaggers.
I tended not to censor what the girl read, either, when she was younger. Except for when I'd read the Harry Potter books to her. She could read way early, but we'd get the new book and lay on the couch together and I'd read them to her until she was older than she probably wants me to mention. I'd try and skip over parts that I thought she'd find too scary. Years later, she told me that she just read along and saw what I was trying to skip. Parenting at its finest.
As she got older - say, 13 or 14 - she'd ask about books she'd see me read, and I'd let her know the topic and I'd also say, "There are some pretty heavy sex scenes in these books. Do you think you're ready for that? You can't un-read that." And she'd decide no, she wasn't ready. Probably because she had a good head on her shoulders and also probably because, disgusting, her mom was reading a sex book. No one ever wants to put that level of 2 + 2 together, because it will = OH HELL NO, I NEED BRAIN BLEACH.
Of course, she recently told me she'd read some of the MaryJanice Davidson books anyway, and just skipped over the super-sexy stuff. So she says. I'll have to repeat my ALWAYS USE A CONDOM speech next time I talk to her. She may need a refresher. She also may need new reading material.
The husband sent the girl a care package of snacks and jackets and stuff that she forgot to pack. He also stopped at the book store to pick up copies of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald to send along to her. Two American writers who influenced both the husband and me greatly. I remember the first time I read a Raymond Chandler novel, suggested to me by my 9th grade English teacher. I couldn't believe someone could write so well and so clearly and still be so goddamn fun.
I think I'll read a banned book this week. How about you? Also, what book can't you believe has been banned? For me, it's To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Maybe I'll re-read that one.