Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So what are you not reading?

Confessions of an English major:

  • First off, I will tell you that I am not reading Ulysses. Ever again. Having abandoned the book somewhere in Nighttown at least three times over the years, I am content to leave “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan” in a lather standing on the stairhead of page one, and skip -yes skip joyfully - to the final yes in Molly’s soliloquy. So there. And so much for my rare first edition, 8th printing, (Shakespeare & Company, 1926)
  • In a similar vein, I am not reading the last 400 pages of Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon. The first 685 were quite enough, thank you.
  • I am not reading Stephen King, even though I admit to purchasing Under the Dome, the deluxe edition. With collector cards!
  • I am not reading best seller Wolf Hall, in spite of my delight at finding a mint copy for $4 at a used book sale.
  • I am not reading The Help, though everybody is.

On my list of books to read this summer, I am not reading

  • The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver, now on my nightstand "In the beginning there were the howlers."
  • Cutting for Stone, my book club selection for September
  • Matterhorn, in ebook format for the Nook
  • Tree of Smoke, a must-read leftover from last summer
  • Beatrice and Virgil, the new Yann Martel animal tale
  • Tinker, this year’s suprise Pulitzer winner

No, I am not reading,

but highly recommended that you read:

  • The Artist’s Way, Chapter Four
  • All fine print on pesticides purchased for your Secret Garden
  • Nutrition labels on favorite snack foods
  • Operating instructions for new power tools and digital equipment


  1. Ok, so I've forgotten how funny you can be, Viv. Thanks for saving me from Ulysses...I keep thinking I ought to...what is it about English majors and reading guilt? But I have visited some different sections of the library lately. By a series of crazy coincidences, I ended up as co-chair of the author committee for the Georgia Literary Festival this year ( I felt like I needed to actually read some of the people we were inviting, to be an honest broker. So I sampled sci fi (I actually liked it), poetry (always hard for a good workout), gardening (my yard is the better for it), southern memoir (so much great wordsmithing, so little depth)...can't quite bring myself to do the Civil War fiction (and I'm not doing The Help either sincee I live in a place still figuring out Civil Rights). But I've got vampire romance novels to go and a great children's author. But not until next week, huh?

  2. Thanks so much, Lynn!

    Too fun . . . to be part of a Book Festival. Congrats! Just so you know: I travel for books. A favorite weekend event is the Chicago Tribune Printer's Row Book Fair -- coming up in two weeks.. . where I've previously had books signed my authors Updike, Doctorow, Erica Jong, to name-drop a few.

    Will check out your festival online. For sure!

    (Hey, Ann. . . did you know that if we put enough book mentions on this site, we can make you a few bucks. . . (well, maybe) with a link to Amazon.)

  3. Ah, hello. I just beat the rain in from the grocery store. Love the list you're not reading, Viv, but you DO know you're allowed to read Chapter Four. I have my Artist's Way book to read when I'm hanging on by my fingernails. And I keep getting that message from Amazon -- maybe I'll hook up and make meeellions. Love the back and forth. What vampire romances? Which? Which? And, ladies, The Help is a page turner and not a bad book. Both my book groups read it. We caucasians liked it, the people of color liked it. It was liked.