11 May 2006

you expect me to come up with a title? be happy i'm writing at all.

one week without writing here!? i should be ashamed. and i am. but i have also been busy! so be proud of me.

first of all, in the last three days, i read a 550-page book. read it in such a whirlwind that i didn't even get to change the little 'what i'm reading thing' over on the right. those of you who know me may be thinking, 'hey, wait a second, haven't you read this before? haven't you recommended this to me as fervently as you recommend caramel sauce in iced coffee?' why, yes, and bonus points for remembering. this was actually my third reading of the time traveler's wife, and a near-accidental re-reading. time number one was while james and i were bumming around europe.* time number two was a refresher to review it for post. so time number two wasn't a complete time-wasting re-reading. when i was younger i re-read books as a matter of course. a wrinkle in time, clan of the cave bear, many waters... mostly madeline l'engle and jean auel, actually. i think i've read the wrinkle in time books (plus an acceptable time**) and the clan of the cave bear books at least four times per book. and that's the low end. but as a Grown-Up, i try to avoid re-reading - why read something again when there's so much that i haven't read and should? right? so it's saved for very special cases - super flat times comes to mind. the biographer's tale. but that's pretty much it.***

so this revisiting of the time traveler's wife was about as accidental as reading a 550-page book can be. (we got drunk, one thing led to another, and it just happened. and that's how i got audrey niffenegger knocked up.) a few weeks ago i was cat-sitting for someone from work - he was out of town for the weekend, so i agreed to stop by to feed and spend some time with his (very old, very crotchety) cat. of course, i forgot to bring a book with me. can't just sit being indignantly mrrowed at for an hour,**** but luckily this guy's got one of those neat living rooms where an entire wall is floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. so, what shall i read? 'west wing' shooting scripts? ulysses? no, i spy a paperback copy of the time traveler's wife resting on top of a row of books. familiar, beloved, and since i've already read it twice, no problem just reading the first 50 pages and then saying goodbye to book and cat. like watching an hour of a familiar, well-loved movie. but then i was needing some mind-consuming comfort-reading, and also was (am) waiting for james to finish black swan green, so there i was, lugging a 550-page hardcover book around with me on the subway for three days.

i have to say, there's something very nice about carrying such a massive book around. and then last night my after-hours work thing got cancelled, so it was me and the book (and phineus, god bless the cat with an instinct to spoon) with some quality time. when i got to the chapter that's called something like 'the incident of the parking garage' i considered stopping right there, but after a few minutes of flipping through my time out ny, i came back, and ploughed through. oof. and, as always, wow and sigh and all of that. i so love that book. really, read it. and super flat times. (if we wanted to find a parallel in my life for my love of dar and the postal service, well here it is.)

but now i'm done with it (james, finish black swan green!!*****), free of it, and am back to y'all, my twelve faithful readers. (almost a minyan!) there's lots more to write about from the week of not writing about anything - how, for a couple of days, i moved into city center, how ben brantley has gone above and beyond and set a new record for smoking so much crack when writing a review, and how there's only one woman writer in this ny times list/survey results thing of the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years, and how few of the books on that list i've read, and how few i ever intend to. because it's been a few years since i've revisited a wind in the door, after all.

*ah, yes, i have bummed around europe. i've been craving europe lately. but i always have my credit card debt to remind me. aww.

**being a devout madeline l'engle fan was always tricky, with her two sets of families. the murray/o'keefes and the, what, the austins? never a fan of the austins. i tried reading arm of the starfish and it just didn't do it for me. where's the magic? the 80-eyes cherubim? so acceptable time was my only foray out of the quartet - it's about meg's daughter. and it's awesome. druids and such.

***though, considering my ability to forget major plot points (me in the hours movie: 'she comes back??'), maybe i should re-read things more.

****and, interestingly, it didn't occur to me to watch tv. yay jaime.

*****pointless, since it's his book and he'll read at his own damn pace. and also because he doesn't read this.

1 comment:

Wil said...

If you've read this book thrice, I guess I'll have to read it once. Also: David Mitchell is a young titan. Cloud Atlas. I need not continue.