Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's a Wrap

As I keep several books going at once these days, sometimes they all wrap up about the same time. This week has been exceptional. Listening to Norman Mailer's Castle in the Forest, a 15-CD audio book, I found the going tough sometimes. The book is a story of Hitler's childhood and his parents' lives, and the narrator is the devil responsible for looking after young Adolph (Addie), so I had a hard time finding a sympathetic character. Mailer had done extensive research to put together this background tale of one of history's most infamous characters--a real monster. As I neared the end, though, I discovered that CD #15 was missing. I turned my car upside down, looking everywhere I could imagine, then realized that I had a book on my shelves, so I finished the old fashioned way.

At the same time, I've been re-reading Serena on the same reading schedule I've assigned to my students in preparation for Ron Rash's appearance at our Writers Symposium on April 23-24. I finished it within twenty-four hours of finishing Castle in the Forest.

Then before bedtime last night, I happened to pick up Stitches, the graphic novel/memoir by David Small. Until now, the only graphic novel I've read is Maus. This story came through recommendations at the November NCTE convention (where I get so many of my good titles). The story is dark--Small's dysfunctional family let him go through surgery as a preteen without ever telling him he had cancer. Even the book cover reflects the dark nature of the book, a picture of Small's parents and grandparents. A close look shows that around the author's name is a dialogue balloon in which his (insane) grandmother says " my durn grandson David Small Durnit !!" Not exactly ideal bedtime reading, but original and thought-provoking enough that I may have to look for Persepolis, the graphic novel I hope to read next.

1 comment:

Valerie Person said...

Wow, I'll definitely be picking up the Castle in the Forest book. I'm looking forward to doing more reading as soon as I finish my work on my National Board Renewal (due end of April). :) I'm also ordering the two poetry collections you mentioned in your previous blog. My book club is reading Elegance of the Hedgehog in May so I'm anxious to read it to compare to your thoughts. How are you, Nancy? I so enjoy your blog. Take care.