I hereby drag myself out of the muck of the Glittery Land of Lazy Bloggers to publish this post. Although I love this space—after more than a year, still trying to figure out how to wiggle around here, actually—I do hate feeling like blogging is a job, egads and when the thought of attempting to chip away at my TBR Mountain Range has me whimpering: well, darling, it’s time to take a breather (whether or not I do so on purpose). Not to mention the occasional streak of maniacal listing of blogging tasks, largely self-imposed, mind you. Order can be nice, but it can be exhausting, limiting.
And so, I think what I’ve been reading since the month began can profess to my inherent battiness and flakiness. See, here’s a quick summary: I read about a Queen, then Italy, then the vagaries of the multiverses, then got introduced to a short story canon-iste, then suffered cerulean warblers, then two hundred pages of phone sex, then had tremendous dork-out moments with a manual that advises you on the disadvantages of eating your boogers. And then I followed all that with four romance novels.
I have been having so much fun. I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt about semi-abandoning this space, but I feel so free to be random and flaky and so very disorganized, haha. (I am not painting a very nice picture of myself, no?)
Oh, I had noble intentions. At the start of April, I picked The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett—a book nearly everyone has called delightful. The novella was a fairytale, in many aspects. It’s a (sadly) highly doubtful yet possible scenario of the Queen of England reading a book. Intrinsically, it’s about a reader meeting opposition in the larger, non-reading world. And I love the Queen’s steel of spine, here irrevocable all-consuming love affair with books.
Perhaps that morning I spent with this novella waiting for my ride to work was a prelude to the many moments in the past couple of days where I just stayed still and read—nothing but the book, the cup of coffee beside me, a cigarette or two. Just reading in our new living room—reading by daylight, egads! Because I immediately followed that up with The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim—whose discussion I will save for later because this surprising novel with its supposedly saccharine premise and dry humor: so much fun and lovely.
And then I had to crawl into the corner and whimper over The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Which is, as you may have guessed, science—physics. And, dammit, I appreciate Hawking’s attempt to give the whole multiverse-theory, the-grand-design, the-theory-of-everything fiesta to me in layman’s terms but oh my god I feel so much smarter and well-informed but my brain is crying even now, days away from the paaaaain. A pain I tried to assuage with The Dressmaker’s Child by William Trevor—another Pocket Penguin—but I realized that, as much as I wanted to be all free and shit, I was beginning to feel restless. Because I couldn’t sit down and just finish the behemoth that’s been occupying most of my free time in the weeks before—the F-novel.
With Jonathan Franzen’s contender for the Great American Novel, Freedom, I distinctly remember feeling relieved: that odd liberty of coming to the party late. (I’ll be in the corner, nursing my drink, smiling at some far-off image of gahdamned cerulean warblers.) Too heavy to lug around for train-reading, I fled work to come home, inevitably wandering to this ridiculously self-assured book, reading, groaning, reading, reading. I nodded a few times, grimaced at some points—seriously, Katz, calling your peepee “a divining rod,” a “master prophet” or some such nonsense?—seriously, Franzen, what is it with you and your inability to describe a penis with a straight face?—From The Corrections, which I will always like best, describing poor darling Alfred’s as a “faintly urinary dumpling.” Behave, Jonathan, get a grip. I’ve got nothing to add, nothing at all. I won’t even say I’m a hundred percent Patty Berglund when I’ve got the blues and the mean reds. Where was I? Yes, that odd liberty of coming to the party late. I have nothing important to say here. I am glad I read this book. I really liked Freedom. Fuck the voice in my head for adding, Against my better judgment.
And then, well, I picked up Vox by Nicholson Baker and it was hours later when I looked up. Yes, this is two-hundred-plus pages of nothing but phone sex—divertive, digressive, cooky, only mildly degenerate. And then I spent an afternoon cackling over Why You Shouldn’t Eat Your Boogers, and Other Gross and Useless Information About Your Body, by Francesca Gould. I am an icky, immature child, and I can’t wait to read the two other books in the series, which is a lot of ickiness.
[That was a half-assed yet necessary-to-my-OC-interests recap.]
And I come to you with all these, four more romance novels (I could weep at that reunion!), several weeks’ worth of exhaustion, and, well, Scottish Shortbread Fingers (the best cookies ever). Until next time, everyone.
PS – Attached with the writing part of Lazy Blogger, is the necessary (and increasingly delightful) trips to all of the blog posts and blog authors who catch my eye, or make me drool. I realize it’s been months since I last visited some of your blogs, but I am always reading, star-ing items in my Google Reader like crazy. I am whining about my blogging inadequacies, haha. Give me a minute, and I’ll see what I can do to strike a balance, ok?