Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Reading is FUNdamental

I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently. Most of my reading has been taking place around 2 or 2:30 in the morning. For whatever reason, I always wake up at that time. If I don’t immediately fall back asleep and I’m involved in a book, I go into our master bathroom (it’s huge), sit down in the rocking chair and read for an hour or so. You might think that losing sleep like that would exhaust me, but I find reading while the house is quiet and everyone I love is asleep refreshing. Why not carve out time for yourself whenever you can find it?

I’ve been devouring books written by Jodi Picoult. So far I’ve read My Sister’s Keeper, Plain Truth, The Pact, Vanishing Acts, Salem Falls, and The Tenth Circle. The last four I’ve read in the past two months. So far, Plain Truth and The Pact are my favorites, but I’ve enjoyed them all. Plain Truth begins when a murdered newborn baby is found in an Amish barn. The Pact begins with two teenagers being brought into an emergency room in what appears to be a botched suicide pact. Only the boyfriend survived. I finished The Tenth Circle almost a week ago and I’m feeling the onset of withdrawal symptoms. I’ll probably pick up another one for my trip to Grand Rapids this weekend. I’m thinking about Keeping Faith or Second Glance. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I’ve caught up to Jodi. She has another book coming out this year entitled 19 Seconds. Will I have to wait on her after that? My skills for waiting for something I want ~ say knowledge of the sex of a baby, opening presents ~ is not what I’m known for by a long shot. Luckily, I’ve been forcing myself to expand my world view.

In the past couple of months I’ve also read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards and Lucky by Alice Sebold. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is the story of an orthopedic surgeon who has to deliver his child during a snow storm. After delivering a healthy son, they figured out that his wife was carrying twins. The second born, a daughter, was born with Down syndrome. Before his wife awakes from the anesthesia, he decides to have the attending nurse take the baby to an institution. The rest of the story examines the impact lies have on marriage and relationships with children. I highly recommend it. Lucky, which is written by the author of The Lovely Bones, is wonderful read. It is a memoir written about the rape Alice Sebold experienced during her freshman year of college and the impact that tragedy had on her family, her friends, and her future relationships. It was hard to read in many parts, but it is a testament to courage.

Waiting in the wings I have Spider by Patrick McGrath, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. So far, I’ve read half of the prologue written by Yann Martel and can’t wait to read Life of Pi. I’ve started reading The Thirteenth Tale, but I’ve misplaced the book. It has to be around somewhere… I have enjoyed Asylum and Dr. Haggard’s Disease by Patrick McGrath, but I haven’t really been able to get in to Spider. I’ve tried to read it three times already. It’s not a lengthy book. I’ll make myself read it this year if it’s the last thing I do.

On the flip side, I’ve began to work on my writing again. Mark’s gracious post about me and one of my short stories in November put a bug in my ear. His recent bout of appendicitis actually got me going. I don’t have an electronic copy of “The Joke.” I had to dig in the storage space underneath my stairs to find it. It was fun to read it again after 15 years. While creating an electronic copy, I’m editing it. My creative writing seminar professor gave me a lot of good suggestions and being away from it for that long has given me some additional ideas. When it is finished, I’m going to format it fancifully in FrameMaker (the new love of my work day) and have a copy of it professionally bound and dedicated to Mark. I was going to keep that a surprise, but I don’t want him to think that I just blew off his internment altogether. It may be a while before I get it in a state worthy of the meager publication I have in mind.

To all of you fellow readers out there: I’d love to learn about the books you’ve been excited about reading. If you’d like to read any of the books I’ve mentioned, I’d be glad to send it your way. Maybe we could organize an exchange.


Trista said...

I have heard about Jodi Picoult from moms in my Mom's group. They have all said they couldn't put the books down! I would love to read anything you would like to loan me. Pick your fave(s) and bring'em along, if you don't mind!

My dad enjoyed Life of Pi. I loved The Lovely Bones - should I pick up

I can hardly wait to read your newly edited version of "The Joke"! Yee haw!

I have been reading parenting books and Readers Digest lately. I could use some really good novels to keep my brain fresh (and awake, half of the time). I am REALLY looking forward to seeing you this weekend!!!!!!!!

Mark said...

Super swank-o-licious! I can't wait!

I haven't read anything that you would be interested in lately (unless you have suddenly taken up science fiction or programming as interests). I do have a copy of JPod by Douglas Coupland that I plan to tackle soon. If you haven't read it, you're welcome to it! ;)