Thursday, July 30, 2015
Summer Bookworm Update
I had lunch today with one of my favorite bloggers whom I've been reading for years and years. The Diamond in the Window was visiting a friend in town and was kind enough to meet me for a couple of hours at a neighborhood cafe. Our brown rice bowls were secondary to the conversation as it was all about books -- what we loved, what we disliked, what we're reading now and what we read in our childhoods. It turns out that we're the same age and read many of the same things, had many of the same favorites and -- well -- I'm pretty positive we would have been great friends in the early to mid-seventies, moving into middle and high school in the eighties and perhaps rivals for the Reading Rainbow Greatest Number of Books Read in the Summer contest. Honestly, I could have jumped in her lap when she recalled the creepy china dog in No Flying in the House, because my very tattered, taped copy sits right above my desk in the Most Treasured Childhood Books spot. No offense to my beautiful and brilliant boys, but our reading tastes are wildly dissimilar, and I just never took to baseball biographies and that stinky kid series. Lunching and talking with The Diamond was like being with a friend from fourth grade after the bookmobile came to our school.
I just finished another read of Sigrid Nunez' memoir Sempre Susan, a memoir of Susan Sontag -- even better the second time since I spent a week with her at Hedgebrook. I'm also nearly orgasmic over William Finnegan's Barbarian Days A Surfing Life -- not only is it a literal romp, but it's got photos of surfers and waves and you know how I feel about such things. Diamond insisted that I read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, so I picked that up at the bookstore, and when I got home Pleasures of the Table, A Literary Anthology was waiting for me, a gift from a friend. I am gearing up for a September Books & Bakes, toying with assigning Toni Morrison's Bluest Eye (all about hunger), and one of my favorite of hers, or a new book called Dietland that Diamond recommended that sounds weird and edgy and wild. If you were going to come to Books & Bakes, which would you prefer, and if it's neither, what book would you like to discuss and hopefully, eat from? The books don't need to have menus specifically or even something food-related, but hopefully, there's something culinary that can be drawn out of them -- something sensual and worthy of celebrating.
Go check out The Diamond in the Window if you haven't already, and mine your brains for book suggestions for my salon. Tell me what you're reading and what's on your night table.
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The Bluest Eye is so sad I don't think I could eat after or during a discussion about it. Dietland sounds perfect.ReplyDelete
Yes. You're probably right -- I'm thinking anew --Delete
Maybe it's about eating your fingernails.
Ha! And gross.Delete
What Rebecca said. Dietland.ReplyDelete
I hope you'll come, 37paddington!Delete
Not sure as far as a food book, but as for what's on my nightstand (well, some nights, the hubs and I take turns reading aloud) it's Astoria by Peter Stark.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment, HBF! I've never heard of that book and will check it out --Delete
Hey I'm trying to get to one! Anything but Toni Morrison would get me there. I've read her to death. I always turn to the bible for a wild read. Just read Euphoria which was charming but nothing close to steamy, as over promised on the cover.ReplyDelete
I really liked Euphoria and agree with your criticism. The writer, Lily King, was a classmate of mine and the long-time girlfriend of a dear friend. She's very talented. Have you ever read her novel Father of the Rain? I loved it.Delete
I am on an English authors kick: I just bought but haven't started, A God in Ruins, the sequel to Life After Life. Really looking forward to it! My favorite books I've read in the last year were Love, Nina (funny, literary, charming) and Us by David Nicholls (bittersweet, amusing). And I always have to put in a plug for Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, please read this beautiful book before the movie comes out.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Michelle! I adored Life After Life -- one of my favorite books last year, and I just finished A God in Ruins. I didn't like it as much, but the ending was gorgeous. Atkinson is such an incredibly storyteller. I will check out your other suggestions as I don't know them!Delete
I'm reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, and Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene.ReplyDelete
Thanks Mwa. People love Neil Gaiman, and I admit that I've never read anything of his!Delete
I would deeply recommend I Love You Like a Tomato by Marie Giordano.ReplyDelete
Or, perversely, John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces".
A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the formative books of my early adulthood, and I'm sure it warrants a second read. I will check out the Giordano -- haven't heard of her and it sounds interesting! Thanks --Delete
And I've met very few people who've read it - or other books by or about him. Fascinating stuff!Delete
I was so sad when Station Eleven was over - I thoroughly enjoyed it. On my nightstand now is a book embarrassingly mindless. I can't even remember the title, but the cover is turquoise with pink text and the subject is very summer-y and frivolous. There are probably a beach and a spunky best friend in there somewhere.ReplyDelete
It was oh so great to meet you, and I am SO interested in what you will think of the both fun and rage-filled Dietland that it's hard to wait.ReplyDelete
That's a blast from the past for me - A Confederacy of Dunces. I read it a few years ago, know I really enjoyed it but can't remember what it was about. The moving story of how it came to be published, though, stuck in my memory (it's in the forward by Walker Percy)ReplyDelete
Am now reading House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Great writing but the plot just isn't that gripping so, with my reading time in short supply, progress has been slow.