I just finished THE LAZARUS PROJECT by Aleksander Hemon. Last night when I added it to the Word document in which I list the books I’ve read this year and attempt to review them (for my eyes only), I began like this, “I’m not educated enough to review this book. I was barely smart enough to read it.” I look forward to returning it to Felicity so that we can discuss it when she is through. It wasn’t all that heady, but it was – well – very literary. No quotation marks ever through the whole thing. What is that about? And as one reviewer so kindly put it, the author didn’t feel the need to resolve troubling things with happy endings (or something like that). This is quite true. Still, I recognize good writing most of the time, and this guy produces it. He flipped between the past and present so beautifully. One or two words here and there, and I could feel that I was on Chicago’s streets in the late nineteenth century instead of today. It was impressive. Plus, I think the lack of quotation marks added to the memoir-feel, though this book is a novel. It was like the narrator was saying, “I can’t quote them exactly, but it was something like this.” Which is a very memoir kind of thing to do.
That’s an update on my reading. Here’s an update on my life. Today, the Parents as Teachers lady came again, AND JAKE PLAYED WITH HER. He did everything she asked him to do! He was pleasant and smiled and used all his words – even the jibberish – including counting to ten. I was never so proud in my life. I think it’s the potty training. As in, “I wear underwear now, I am man.” On that note, we’re still surviving it. I made up my mind that if my younger sister can change six to ten cloth diapers every day because she’s so beautifully frugal and green, then I can handle a few accidents in the underwear. So now I’ve decreased my carbon footprint on the population of disposable diapers in our landfills and I’ve created a real live boy – no strings (or, you know, no diaper changes or Parents as Teachers tantrums).
Now an update on my writing. I didn’t write one single, solitary word on my work in progress this weekend. Not one. I did write out a few thoughts on a new work in progress that I couldn’t get out of my head. But other than that, I read. That’s right. Last week’s wee hours (okay – until 11 p.m. or so, they were hardly “wee”) – were all about writing. So this weekend I decided to read other people’s words. They say that’s an important part of writing anyway, so it’s not like I was abandoning the career. And oh I needed to see things that were finished all the way to the happily ever after including the cover art and acknowledgements page. And it was so refreshing and inspiring. And now I think I can face another week of trying to become one of them.
For your reading interest, my current reads are BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO, the second Miracle Girls book by my friends Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt, AND two dee-lightful gifts from friends, JANE AUSTEN RUINED MY LIFE and Anne Rice’s CHRIST THE LORD. (Reading gifts are some of the very best kind). As you can see, I’m swamped with the reading. Deliciously, happily, if-I-don’t-ever-finish-anything-at-least-these-people-did swamped. Which is so much better than having nothing of interest to do at all.