What on earth have I been reading? Well, I haven't finished that much but drat if I haven't been reading at all. I have been dipping into Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and Those Who Want to Write Them, for one thing. It's a brilliant study in the sort of "deep reading" I hardly ever give myself the luxury of doing. I'm always reading in fast-forward, ADD mode, seldom stopping to smell the metaphors. Tisk, tisk, says Francine Prose. You'll never learn anything about an author's craft that way.
I know, I know, she's right. It's just hard carving out that kind of time. I can't even always manage to scrape together enough time to cook something that takes longer than the popcorn cycle in the microwave, much less the time required to deconstruct a major work of literature. But I do agree with her in principle.
Around this time of year I always like to read something creepy. Ruth Rendell's always dependable for these sorts of books, and her The Tree of Hands did not disappoint. This one's about a young single mother who suddenly loses her child to a disease that's so common it must be rare, indeed, to actually have a child die from it. Add to that upset her off-kilter mother, who goes out in search of something to make her daughter feel better and comes back with a toy she just shouldn't be playing with. Throw in a few other desperate characters and you have another winner from Ruth Rendell.
What I'm reading now, the quick recap (with random exclamations):
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens (classic!)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by RL Stevenson (creepy!)
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (hilarious!)
There's probably more, but the microwave's beeping. Until next time.
- Lisa Guidarini
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