I'm entirely, admittedly, neurotically obsessive about reading. I lock myself in my room for hours and simply read. Something my friends find to be a bit mystifying. This would also explain why I have a touch of reader's ADD at times. So let's begin by taking stock of the situation by looking at how many pages I've read in the last three days.
To page 5 -- Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy by Ann Politkovskaya (razor sharp voice from a to the point journalist, extremely intrigued by her style)
To page 10 -- Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake (I want to see the movie, therefore, I must read the book. I know, I know, I'm the last one to read the thing...)
To page 25 -- Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved (in all fairness, I've already read this book three times but have recommended it to a book club and must now read again as I was informed I was in the book club. But I must very emphatically say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book.)
And at least two others.
However, these are the ones I will dig into this long, lovely weekend.
So in the essence of talking about something I've read more than a blip of in the last week, let me bring up Graham Greene's The End of the Affair. I love it for its cruel twist of fate at the end and for the complete inner turmoil of the main character, quite frankly any one who has ever been in love knows the turmoil well (which is cruelly addicting) and for the first sentence, which is fantastically true.
A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.
Sometimes a first sentence can be everything. This sentence isn't spectacular but it is true and this one frames the rest of the story, one that tells of Maurice Bendrix's adulterous affair with Sarah Miles. It is a story of love, hate, passion, and even the belief in God, or lack thereof, and more than that, it is a spectacularly quick read! (Something completely lacking in all the contemporary tombs of fiction out this past season.)
I'm also in the midst of Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia by Orlando Figes (If you are wondering about my seeming fetish for Russian books, yes there is one, at least for Russian classics, but I'm considering a trip to St. Petersburg in the autumn and the history is such a vital part of that) which is fantastic. Chock full of literary figures and the politics they shared and even the real life figures that made their way fictionally into books like War and Peace (which I finally managed to get through on a very long flight from Texas back to NYC).
So, that's that. This was my first blog. With time, I promise it will be more interesting and incorporate more fun things to look at, so for now, don't judge!