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.
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)?
P.S. Thanks, Mama : )