Monday, October 24, 2011

Meanwhile, I'm still reading...

I realized this week that I have at least two or three books I finished that I still haven't mentioned here yet, mainly because about this time every year, real life catches up with me. The essays to be graded sit stacked beside me, filling me with guilt until motivation kicks in and I reach for the proverbial red pen. But I've been reading.

I finished Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother. I got such a kick out of his The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time, yet I hadn't gotten to this book (although it sat there on my shelf with several other neglected volumes.) Without giving away too much, this book had a scene as shocking or unnerving as the one more graphic scene in The Professor and the Madman. If you read it, you know to what I refer.

The novel opens with the protagonist George Hall discovering what he fear is cancer (although all indications point to eczema). He goes through the course of the novel dealing with his wife's infidelity, his son's alternate lifestyle, and his daughter's forthcoming marriage to a man he considers wrong for her. It has the making of such a dark novel--but I laughed so much through it. Sometimes, I'll admit, I groaned simulataneously, but so much of the novel is funny--in the way that British novels amuse--wry, quirky.

The tension builds until the wedding--a fiasco on so many levels. And anyone who has been closely involved with weddings--or gala on that level--knows the potential for disaster.

Since my book selection process has absolutely no pattern to it at all, I can't possibly predict accurately where my reading will take me for the rest of the year. But stay tuned: I'm near the end of Charles Frazier's Nightwoods, Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, and Isabel Allende's Ines of my Soul--all at the same time Maybe I'll even get those papers graded.

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