Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reading at The Hotel California

So, summer is in full swing around here, and we're in pajamas until noon and also feeling guilty that we're not at the beach or outside or something. I'm going to have to call the kabosh on reading War and Peace. I just can't. I thought about hauling it to Canada next week, but my hardback copy of Colum McCann's new novel Transatlantic is far more seductive. The thing is, I'm having a very hard time even reading the Russian names in War and Peace, and even harder the vast passages of military -- well -- stuff. I am skimming those vast passages, much as I did the ones about the physiology of the whale in Moby Dick, and I keep waiting for the good stuff to happen, for romance to flourish or for some Russian pathos to evolve. Quitting it nearly two months before my fiftieth birthday gives me time to maybe pick it up again, doesn't it? I am a fickle lover, I suppose, and like I said Colum McCann is crooking his seductive Irish finger at me, as well as Edna O'Brien. I might just want to take the cigarette out of her pretty mouth and take a drag on it myself. I think an Irish menage a trois is far preferable to flying a Russian solo, don't you?

Reader, what are you reading?


  1. I've been reading the Maisie Dobbs series.

    Just the kind of light reading I like at bedtime. Also reading David Sedaris's latest book. Which makes me shake with laughter.

  2. After a certain point, I'm not sure that life isn't too short for War and Peace.

  3. I think skimming is fair. As are pajamas until noon and not going to the beach for now. I'm reading Chris Cleave's new book along with BK Loren's collection of essays "Animal, Mineral, Radical," and two book review books that I'm behind on. I'd much rather be writing than reading at this point - or drinking wine with girlfriends in the evening.

  4. I very strongly feel that life is too short to be reading things that you do not enjoy. I can't tell you how many books I have not finished lately...and the hell with them. If they can't capture my full attention after 100 pages, f**k them.

  5. Ha! Well, if ya gotta, ya gotta. Personally I liked War & Peace, but it's been a long time since I read it and honestly I remember very little of it -- if that's any consolation.

  6. My go to books (ones I read over and over) are:

    West with the Night- Beryl Markham (Such amazing yummy writing)
    Cowboys are my weakness- Pam Houston
    Most anything by Sue Hubbell but especially - Book of Bees or A Country Year.
    The Last Grain Race - Eric Newby
    Log of the Sea of Cortez - John Steinbeck (his preface eulogizing Ed Rickets will make you weep and wish you had known him.)
    The Riddle of the Sands- a classic spy/Sailing thriller by Ersking Childers
    The Art of eating- MFK Fisher
    Daughter of Time- Josephine Tey

  7. just finished reading The Testament of Mary by colm tobein. reading My Stories by a colleague of michael's. it is a collection of stories about gay black men, of which he is one. on my stand waiting for me is Far From the Tree by andrew solomon. not reading much of late as calvin hasn't been sleeping that well and i am perpetually sleep deprived. i only read at night before i go to bed, which is a mistake, but somehow i feel guilty curling up with a book during the day. must change my thinking.



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