I currently have eleven items checked out from the library. I tend to get a little bit overzealous when I start seeing year-end book lists online, as though because it’s the end of the year I’ll suddenly have more time to read?
I’m about 200 pages into Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, after a handful of different people recommended it. I love it. I don’t want to put it down, but I also don’t want it to end, know what I mean? This passage made me laugh out loud when I read it yesterday:
“I’m sorry I called you an idiot.”
“You only implied it. Do you want to make it up to me?”
“Not really,” she said.
“Then tell me who Ronald McDonald is.”
“Very soon I’ll have to apologize for calling you an idiot again.”
“Imply,” he reminded.
“No, this time I’ll likely come out and say it.”
“I already know he isn’t the American president.”
“I think you’ll be disappointed.”
“I almost always am.”
“He’s a clown.”
“A clown who sells hamburgers.”
“Does he cook the hamburgers?”
“Does it matter?”
“I may be an idiot,” he said gravely, “but I would never eat a hamburger cooked by a clown.”
I’ve never read any Ann Patchett, but apparently a number of people whose literary opinions I respect adore her, so I added Bel Canto to my list. Then my book club chose State of Wonder for January and now I'm on an Ann Patchett adventure.
Tessa Hadley’s The London Train was mentioned in one of the year-end things I read online. I know nothing else about it. Same goes for the Jane Bowles. My Sister’s Hand In Mine contains the novel Two Serious Ladies, which someone on The Internet convinced me is worth a read.
I discovered a little trick that probably everyone else already knows, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. LARGE PRINT versions, you guys. There are still hundreds of people waiting for the regular text versions of both the Neil Gaiman and the Kiese Laymon. Suckers! I got them both in a matter of days. Also, it will probably be better for my eyes.
Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Also! I joined goodreads at the prompting of the people in my writing group. If you’re so inclined, come find me there.