Monday, December 31, 2007

Schizophrenia

John noted that I seem off-balance, dizzy , as of late. Here's why. I am currently reading all of these books:

Holidays On Ice, David Sedaris

Jesus Land, Julia Scheeres

The Years, Virginia Woolf (again)

No, Why Children Of All Ages Need to Hear it and Ways Parents Can Say it, David Walsh

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, Diablo Cody

Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics, Rebecca Solnit

Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, Andrew Weil


Regarding Healthy Aging, the irony of needing reading glasses in order to open a tampon wrapper is not lost on me.

And, I am not very far along with Jesus Land. The friend who loaned me the book said once I reach one critical moment, I will be unable to put it down.

Candy Girl is what one reads while drinking wine or in the bath tub (or both).

Thank you, Jennifer, for the perfect holiday gift. Rebecca Solnit is doing the kind of cultural analysis that makes me pine for those heady graduate school days, when I was --genuinely, 100%--rooted in the world of ideas. This is a book for the day light hours.

Digression: I will admit here that one of my favorite books of all time is Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault. And back in the dazzling days of semiotics, I actually (thought I did? think I do? am I signifying yet? ) understood Julia Kristeva. Remember Lacan? And Freud? Oh, I miss Dora and all her daughters.

Okay, I'm shaking myself. Must. Get. Present.

I've nearly finished The Years. Every once in a while I read something by Virginia Woolf. It's my version of an orgy. I just roll and moan through that language. Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and The Years are my favorites.

The David Walsh book is born of parental angst, of course. Mine is the well-beaten maternal breast. Here in the physical world, I host a Salon for smart mothers --okay, for my friends who are mothers. We eat, drink, and take on Topic. For the winter Salon we're reading Walsh's No so that my despair and ineptitude can be felt more communally.

Oh, and then there's that blasted Sunday New York Times with its nummy Book Review and Style section. That was last night's distraction. But my enduring affair with the wedding stories once paid off nicely. Sometimes it's good to be the writer from Minnesota (with friends who are too busy to do their day jobs so they recommend you and everyone is so desperate it all works out even though you're a far cry from a real reporter).

Finally, every year I nearly kill myself because I'm blasting down the freeway at a healthy pace while listening to National Public Radio and I hear David Sedaris say this: "I am a thirty-three year old man applying for a job as an elf." This year I decided to protect my fellow motorists and read the essay instead.

And -- speaking of NPR, once I was driving and had to pull over in order to listen with every fiber of my being to what was being read. That writer was Edwidge Danticat and the book was her first: Breath, Eyes, Memory. When I was able to drive again, I saved myself the hours of anguish and simply drove to the closest book store and bought myself a copy.

Can I mention Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid?

There is no end to this post so I will just force myself to stop. Oh, there are currently 6 children in this house because each of my three has a friend. They make a most ferocious noise.





4 comments:

Cakespy said...

I just came across your blog, and I can tell we're reading kindred spirits! I am going to have to try out the ones I haven't read yet.

Karen said...

An excellent reading list--I think I'm going to like you! Thank you for commenting on my blog (12/28 is a terrific day, isn't it?) and giving me the link here--I'm looking forward to reading more!

Melissa said...

No wonder you're dizzy!!! Just thinking about all those books makes me dizzy. But in a good way. I LOVE the Elf Diaries--a highlight of my Christmas season. And I also get many many book ideas from the NPR reviews/interviews.

Mrs. G. said...

There are just so many good books. I wish someone would just pay me to stay home and read them. In my pajamas.

"Regarding Healthy Aging, the irony of needing reading glasses in order to open a tampon wrapper is not lost on me."

Best line of the week. Cracked me up!