Finally: A Book I Will Finish

Usually, summers are when I read most. I will devour book after book, bringing them along to run errands just in case I have a minute or two while I wait for my cold cuts. All of them, at some point, will end up butterflied and laid out on the deck to dry after a bathtub incident, and most will return to the bookshelf doing the walk of shame — that is to say — creased and speckled with oily marinara stains.

This summer, like any other summer, began with a reading list. I had some good ones to cover; ones I’d heard great things about, ones everyone on the planet has read, ones that my friends swore I would love. Maybe I’m too distracted these days, maybe my A.D.D is getting worse, maybe it’s, gulp…love…I couldn’t finish a book to save my life.

I pretty much gave up completely, until randomly, a few weeks ago, my mom left this book on my bedside table, and although it looks stuffy and literary (did anyone say writers don’t read books by their covers? Cuz they lyin’!), it’s weirdly grabbed my complete attention and more importantly — hasn’t let go. Here’s a particularly beautiful passage (which, in my mind, is narrated by David Attenborough):

One evening in the spring of 1927 William Stoner came home late. The scent of budding flowers mingled and hung in the moist warm air; crickets hummed in the shadows; in the distance a lone automobile raised dust and sent into the stillness a loud, defiant clatter. He walked slowly, caught in the somnolence of a new season, bemused by the tiny green buds that glowed out of the shade of bush and tree.

And this:

The party was like many another. Conversation began desultorily, gathered a swift but feeble energy, and trailed irrelevantly into other conversations; laughter was quick and nervous, and it burst like tiny explosives in a continuous but unrelated barrage all over the room; and the members of the party flowed casually form one place to another, as if quietly occupying shifting positions of strategy.

Don’t you want to keep reading? It’s such a relief to finally find a book I like! What’s the last book you loved (and finished)?

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P.S. Thanks, Mama : )

5 thoughts on “Finally: A Book I Will Finish

  1. I was lucky to have read lots of amazing books this summer, and two in particular that I could not put down! Age of Miracles (title makes it sound so cheezy but it’s not!) and Station Eleven. Both kind of in the same vein in that they tell deeply personal, engaging, exquisitely written stories while being set in an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic Earth.

  2. How amazing – my Dad JUST bought me this book! I’m yet to pick it up, but it’s on the fall/winter reading stack. I just read I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman by Nora Ephron. It’s hilarious – she’s a genius. I have to confess also to having just read Amy Odell’s Tales from the Back Row, which I thought would be awful, but is actually a funny tell-all read that reveals interesting snippets of her time starting The Cut blog.

  3. Anything by Jhumpa Lahiri is absolute gold. Also, currently reading BJ Novak’s One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories and loving it!

  4. I was going through a stage too, I’d start a book and get about halfway and then stop and start a new one…I just couldn’t finish! BUT, then I picked up Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri and it was just what I needed. I’m back on the reading horse! 🙂

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