Monday, April 16, 2012

I am a reading machine

I have finished 4 books this month and have not blogged about any of them.  I feel like a reading machine.  I guess my life goes is these spurts where I knit obsessively, get on a crochet kick, go on a reading bender.  Right now, I am on the reading bender.  I love reading.  Good thing I am a librarian, right?  Not that librarians spend their days reading books, far from it.  But I love be surrounded by books and helping people find books.  Also having a great supply of books (with no overdue fees, great perk!) is pretty great.

The first book I finished in this bender was:  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.  My good friend Meredith suggested this book to me in 2005.  I bought it and it has sat on my self since.  I did read the first hundred pages or so in 2005 but I never continued (I was working on my first master's degree I was a bit busy).  I have few unfinished books in my life.  If I start it, I want to finish it (even if I hate it, I looking at you Catch-22 and  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court). So here, years later, I suggested this as a book for my book club to read, giving me a deadline and accountability to get it read.  Since this book is over 600 pages of very tiny print, I had to make a reading schedule for the whole month of March so I could finish it by April 2 for the book club meeting.  I read about 25 pages a day and that would take me about 45 minutes.  I am not a slow reader, it is just that Chabon wrote in such a style (and tiny print) that each page took quite a bit of time to read.

Kavalier and Clay is a pretty amazing book.  Something people call a "great American novel."  I mean it won the Pulitzer Prize.  I have read few Pulitzer Prize winning novels.  I tend to read the fluff.  Fluff doesn't win Pulitzer Prizes.

Set beginning in 1939, the story follows the life of two cousins: Sam Clay and Joe Kavalier through the era of World War II and into the 1950s.  It is heartbreaking at times and uplifting at times.  The story captures the American life: work, work, work and just when things are looking up, something unexpected happens.  Or at least his captures my American life.

I will leave the other three books to another post, as they are more in the "fluff" area of fiction.

What have you read lately?  Any Pulitzer novels?


  1. I like /A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court/. I guess there's no accounting for tastes :-). I picked up Birdsong because it's on Masterpiece Theater this month and I figured I would want to read it. Alas, I do not. It is not fluff. It is a novel where people contemplate all the horrible things that happened to them. In slow motion. Ditto, The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt, which I was very excited about because it's loosely based on Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I love me some Secret Garden. Alas to that one, too. There's no shame in genre fiction :-)

    1. I am now on a fallen angel YA kick. Maybe you could email the historical fiction books I should be reading instead.