Saturday, September 15, 2007

The To Be Read Pile Changes Character

Something is wrong with me. I don't know what the formal diagnosis is, but I'm definitely acting outside of my normal personality.

I am reading non-fiction.

Now, it is well known among my book club friends the I never (NEVER!) manage to finish any of the non-fiction books we select. We usually do one a year, and I have to glue the book into my hands and do the whole Clockwork Orange thing to keep my eyes open to read non-fiction. No matter how good it is, there is something about it that just rubs me the wrong way and I can't do it.

So explain how it happens that I currently have about five books going at once, and they are all non-fiction?

I actually finished the book for my bookclub: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, which was just a horrible book and I had to close it a couple of times and go wash my hands because My God The Squalor! And the rat! Oh lordy, I have such a thing against rats, and to read about the one in her house. . . . I could hardly stand to pick up that book after I read that, but I did and I finished it!

Plus, due to our family excursions to Williamsburg, Monticello and 1776, I became curious about the life of John Adams, and what happened to sour his relationship with Thomas Jefferson. I was out having drinks with my dad one night, and he expressed his opinion that TJ was highly overrated. I asked him why, and he dropped some clues, but didn't elaborate. Probably to keep from boring our other drinks buddy. So now I'm reading David McCullough's book John Adams. Yes, I am a great big nerd.

Earlier this year, I had a physical, and talked to my doctor about nutrition. "I read a book that has totally changed my thinking about food," she said, and so with that recommendation, I went out and bought Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She is such an amazing writer anyway, that the fact that it is non-fiction shouldn't hold me back too much, right? Even if she is writing about menu planning and food preparation, which are two things that I loathe.

I was out with my kidlets a couple of weeks ago and we ended up somewhere that it helps to pass the time with a book, and lo! and behold! I didn't have one! (I know! I couldn't believe it either!) But it turns out that I had Karen Armstrong's The History of God in the car, and it was really interesting.

Finally, my fabulous sister, the always babelicious SueFunky, highly recommended Eat, Pray, Love to me, and when I went to get my haircut this week, there it was on a bookshelf at the salon. They have instituted a new "bookshare"--borrow a book, return it at your next appointment--drop off any you want to share--write comments in a darling journal they have on the top of the shelves.

However, I think I can hold off calling for psychiatric intervention just yet, as I have managed to lose all these books somewhere in the house. I'm sure they will turn up. . .and until then, maybe I'll just read some Agatha Christie, or P.G. Wodehouse. You know, to cleanse the mental palate.

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