Monday, October 25, 2004

Humble Pie

Stumble out of bed. Trip over dog. Brush hair, brush teeth. Make sure toothpaste doesn't end up on hair brush. Make Coffee. Deodorant. Sweater. Jeans. Socks. Shoes. Keys. Where are the damn keys? Hat. Scarf. Knitting. I could work on this. Or this. Or that. Okay this secret present. Outside. Damn it's dark out. Walk to train. Hmm, feeling awake now. No bus in site. Keep walking. Morning is brisk. No, Metro, thank you. Smile. Big clock tells me I'm late. Run to turnstile. Slam into turnstile. This, thing, won't budge, owww. What the hell? I don't have time for this. Damn T. Stop to realize that indeed, you have to pay for entrance into the train. Hold sore hip, backup and dig through bag for Monthly Pass. Easily slide through turnstile. Sit on train and humbly accept that it's Monday Again.

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Blogger Jackie said...

Oooh. Mondays are like a trial run for the rest of the week, you know, just trying to get the hang of it after having a few days off. It's worse when it starts getting cold.

Those are some funky cool needles you got on those stockings...

So, this weekend, Eric and I spent a chunk of time in the car discussing your book question. (I was really intrigued). After coming to the conclusion that although I thought I was a good reader, I really only read books in the following genres:

1) Mainstream (non)fiction
2) Mainstream classics
3) Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Working in the trade division of a publishing company, I should be better than this.

As it is, here is my list of books that I would try to sell to a stranger in a hypothetical bookstore:

1) A Prayer for Owen Meany. Probably famous, if only because it was written by a mainstream author, but truly a moving, well-written, quirky and introspective novel. Borderline mainstream fiction. I'm a sucker for John Irving in general, but this one's his best.

2) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I know this is famous, and recently was published in a new edition, but I don't know many people who have actually read it, and so I think it's only borderline in the mainstream classics category. I first read it when I was 13 and I was utterly consumed. It's stuck with me since then, and it's probably due for a re-read.

3) The Once and Future King. Borderline mainstream fantasy fiction, and yes, it's a book about King Arthur. However, I've read it 6 times, each at different points in my life, and every time I've discovered a different level of meaning.

4) The entire body of work by Madeleine L'Engle. I think I've read everything she's ever written, and the ideas about worldview she presents has fundamentally permeated my way of thinking. Given the range of her novels, Young Adult, Science Fiction, to General Adult Fiction, you could probably find something in there for anyone.

I based my picks on books that were not only compelling reads (couldn't put them down) but stayed with me long, long after I read them. And, of course, the possibility of universal appeal without being overtly mainstream. (My impressions being based on the fact that I was not introduced to any of these books by walking into a book store and seeing it prominantly displayed.)

Eric's pick are quirkier, and probably not suited for general appeal, but here are some, without commentary:

1) Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
2) Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
3) From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas L. Friedman
4) The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Mark Leyner

This may be the longest comment ever, but you asked and we answered.

Hope your Monday's looking up!


10/25/2004 1:22 PM  

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