Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Grabbing a Book and Holding On

Books! Take me away! Take me away like a Calgon bath, which is not a bad idea in itself.

I think I wrote in my last post that my first attempt at book group turned out to be a wash, but I have a new hope: According to the message board at my new place of employment, there is a non-fiction book club! Keep your fingers crossed.

Mornings still find me walking and audiobooking. Since I started this routine, I've finished three books: Bossypants - Tina Fey, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls - David Sedaris and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kahling. My current book is Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I've enjoyed laughing so early in the day, but the books are starting to overlap a little. The comedy universe is a small and cozy one. I'm going to change it up. Do I go back to self-improvement or onto a classic novel?

While I was reading Finders Keepers by Stephen King, I was able to block out the world for a few enjoyable hours. I was appalled by Morris Bellamy, the bookworm who goes off the deep end when he feels as if his favorite author (sort of a mashup of Salinger and Updike that King has imagined so precisely while having, I am guessing, a great deal of fun) has caused his most famous character to 'sell out",  But while I was repulsed by Bellamy, I understood him, too, and even felt sorry for him. I was impatient when he was out of the novel and attention was turned to other characters. Finders Keepers is also a treasure trove for bookworms. When one of the characters references one of Zola's characters, I was all yes oh yes oh yes. Even better, there's a whiff of Shawshank.

Yesterday, I read Rick Geary's graphic novel The Beast of Chicago (about H.H.Holmes, the serial killer who terrorized Chicago during the 1893 World's Fair) in the strangest place: I was sitting in a nail salon in a nearby Walmart while the massage chair kneaded my back and a cute Chinese guy soaked, scrubbed and pumiced my feet then cut and filed and finally painted my toenails a soft metallic pink. You'd have to try out this combination yourself to get the full effect of the weirdness. Then, tonight, I was talking about this book with a true-crime fan and we were complaining (okay, it was downright bitching, I confess) that no one in Hollywood has even BOTHERED to make a movie about H.H. Holmes. Or the bloody Benders, for that matter.  Or the very excellent Manhunt. Then I looked at my Facebook news feed and discovered that Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are going to collaborate on a film adaptation of The Devil in the White City.  More weirdness and much squeeeee! Can the bloody Benders be far behind?

I am still having a Stewart O'Nan summer. I'm reading Wish You Were Here, a novel about an extended family's final summer at their vacation home on Lake Chautauqua.  It's slow going, but a rich and rewarding read. I love the way Stewart O'Nan is so completely invested in his characters. When I finish Wish You Were Here, I'll move to the sequel, Emily, Alone.

It's past midnight, and there goes another day, but I can't go to sleep without reading a few pages.


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Unruly Reader said...

Nonfiction book club -- perfection!

I'm adding the Mindy Kaling audiobook to my TBL.