Sunday, August 29, 2010

Autumn Potluck

My reading habits are as arbitrary as anything else in my life. I make a "to read" list, but then I hear a title mentioned on the radio or someone sends a "you've got to read this" email, and I'm off. in addition, my audio book fare depends entirely on supply, and I'm fast working my way through all my first choices at the public library and having to find other sources. I tried to download from (hearing their TV offer--two free books) but although the website promised I could burn them to CDs, I've ruined enough blank disks to buy at least one audiobook at retail. I find that when I listen, there are big blank spaces in the narrative when I move from one disk to the next. So far I have listened to a large percentages of Sherman Alexie's War Dances and part of Joshilyn Jackon's Backseat Saints. I just gave up until I can find the actual book.

I did listen to Amy Bloom's Where the God of Love Hangs Out, a short story collection, and then I found that one of her stories from that collection was included in the new edition of our literature anthology. I also somehow picked up Falling Apart in One Piece by Redbook editor Stacy Morrison, an account of the end of her marriage when her son was just a few months old. It wasn't the kind of book I intended to read, but I did glean a couple of good phrases from the book. She said at one point ,"I like to live life out loud." I understood that impulse completely. My favorite quote, though, was this: "Life is hard. Life is good. These two truths are in no way related."

Meanwhile, after reading high praise of author Charles Portis in Oxford American magazine, I rounded up a copy of True Grit. Since a remake is in the works (with Rooster Cogburn played by Jeff Bridges, I hear), I thought it was high time I read the real thing--told from Mattie's point of view.

I was also tickled to hear that Ron Koertge had written a follow-up novel-in-verse to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, this one called Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs. This one follows Kevin Boland, a middle school boy who loves baseball but also keeps a secret poetry journal, which he finally begins to share a little. In the first book, Kevin is home sick with mono right after his mother's death from cancer. Now in this second book, his father has begun to date, something Kevin is not quite ready to accept. He also finds himself torn between his girlfriend Mia and Amy, a kindred spirit he meets at a poetry reading with his dad. I love the way he uses his journal to experiment with poetry forms as he writes about his day-to-day life. I first fell in love with Koertge's adult poetry, and then I heard him present at an English conference and discovered his YA lit as well.

Now I'm trying to keep up with school reading, while also balancing Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad, an unlikely book club pick, and Adam Ross's Mr. Peanut, a recent Lemuria First Edition Club choice. I'll report back soon.

1 comment:

Jessie Carty said...

now I must go and add Ron Koertge to my reading list! Doh! Look what you did to me :) I already have to many - I need to read books..