Sometimes, I mean ESPECIALLY, when I have a book club deadline, I tend to be drawn to all the OTHER books I want to read. I don't know about you, but I'm the kind of person that always gets too many books out of the library at once. I have great ambitions, especially when I perceive that I have alot of time, like vacations, 3 days weekends, you get the picture.
So for my winter vacation I brought 3 books.....and read exactly NONE. Then in January, with my book club deadline looming, I started on Muriel Barbery's "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," a best-seller BTW. Well, it is translated from the French and is a little slow going at first. So when I was cruising a neighboring library I just happened to see a book I had put on reserve at my local library which I didn't expect to get for several months. It was Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom," which has been all over the press lately as "the great American novel of our time." So, I did what any self-respecting book lover would do......I snatched it up immediately. Clocking in at 562 pages, it is quite a whopper of a book.
I started it knowing full well that I REALLY should have been completing "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," which had stalled for me. Unfortunately, "Freedom" was quite addictive. My husband gently reminded me that I should really get back to "Hedgehog," and surreptitiously snatched up "Freedom" when I wasn't looking! He had recently read "The Corrections," and had also heard all the press. Next thing I know, I was racing to finish "Hedgehog" and worried that "Freedom" would be due back at the library and I wouldn't have finished it.
Well, "Hedgehog" got better quickly, it is quite a philosophical read. The two main characters are a 12 year old girl living at an exclusive apartment complex in Paris and the concierge, who tries hard to hide her intelligence and love for philosophy and Russian novels. Enter a mysterious, wealthy Japanese tenant and the story starts to gel. Each character's story is told from their point of view with a bunch of chapters on philosophy thrown in. The ending is quite unexpected, and very cinematic. You can almost see it as a French art cinema piece.
So, I finished and hoped my husband would finish "Freedom" quickly, as time was running out. Thankfully, this library has a 3 week deadline, so I'm well on my way to making it before my deadline.
The third book I found at Anthropologie, an artsy clothing/housewares/cool things-you-can't-find-anywhere-else kind of place. I got a gift certificate for Xmas. Since most of the on sale clothing was in size XS, I decided to blow it on books and cool turquoise/sea foam bowls for my retro 1950's kitchen. One of the books, "The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with your Kids, One Meal At a Time," looked too interesting to pass up. The author is Laurie David, who just happens to be the ex-wife of Larry David of "The Larry David Show" fame.