Friday, May 25, 2018

If The Book Isn't There, I'm Not There

Where am I? Doesn't matter; I've got a book on the go. Here's what with me right now:

At home:

The Collected Letters of Sylvia Plath - Sylvia Plath. This one doesn't get much farther than the patio because it's heavy. 1400 + pages. Four-and-a-half pounds. Not easy to read in bed or in the recliner. My best spot is at a desk or table where I can lay the book. I've had it for a little over a week and it's already showing signs of wear and tear...well, not tear. More like splash from a frozen strawberry lemonade. As for the contents, it's fascinating to read Plath unedited. Even the seemingly minor details.

A Book of American Martyrs - Joyce Carol Oates.  I've only just started this book. I keep it on the table in the kitchen, reading bits while waiting for coffee to brew or toast to pop up.

In my purse:

My Kindle. I started Tess of the D'urbervilles, but I'm stalled. I think it's because I know I'm going to be furious with all the men in Tess's life.

A paperback copy of The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty.  Of course there must be a paper book if something were to go wrong with the Kindle, right? I had to find a skinny book. My new purse is a lovely gift from my mom, but it is narrow at the opening and widens towards the bottom. It's a triangle! Not the best shape for toting books around, but that makes me more creative about finding my reads.

In the car:

My current audio book, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. I like to find errands to run unaccompanied so I can enjoy listening to this book. The narrator, Paul Michael, is particularly good. He has a firm, resonant Midwestern timbre for the fated James A. Garfield, a fine, peppery Scottish accent for the restless genius inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, and a flat, whiny Snidely Whiplash tone for Charles Guiteau, Garfield's assassin who was both a master manipulator and batshit crazy. Author Millard has structured a compelling narrative within an elegant prose style that feels scholarly but doesn't feel overstuffed with research.

For future audio encounters, I'm hoping the new Stephen King book, The Outsider, as well as David Sedaris's newest Calypso, will be journeying back and forth to the grocery store with me soon.

1 comment:

Sue F. said...

I really like The Optomist’s Daughter: Read it years ago, then last year one of my book groups read it! Made for great discussion...good characters to analyze! And I have the JCO book on my TBR pile!