Monday, February 8, 2010

Some Grown-Up Reading

Around February 3, I was busy talking to a friend and lamenting the fact that I had not finished a single book in February. I was seriously freaking out. The month was flying by and I had nothing to show for it. Right now I have almost ten books I am reading. So, I am making progress in them, but it is slow because I just am moving forward slowly in all of them. Well, after my minor freak out about not reading quickly this month, I realized it was only the 3rd of February. I still have plenty of time to get some reading done. It is now February 8 and I have finished four books with two more that I can probably finish up tonight. Life is good.

Noah's Compass, Anne Tyler's latest book is one I read this weekend. I usually read Tyler's work, but am never completely in love with it. I probably shouldn't admit this since I think her work is probably very beautifully written. Yet, when I am looking at the stack of books in my TBR pile I know that I rarely take the time to really enjoy the writing. I am all about the plot. Noah's Compass is about Liam, a sixty year old teacher who has been let go from his job. He is a divorced father of three girls who is, at best, a bit disengaged from his life. He seems remote, not really a part of anything, and his own distant relationship from his children is evidence of this. When he moves to a new apartment and is attacked during his first night there, he wakes up in the hospital, unable to remember anything of what happened. This also brings him into more contact with his family and gives Liam an opportunity to renew some relationships he let slide.

The front jacket's blurb comments that there is a little of Liam in all of us. Without being able to articulate this any better than that, I did feel while I was reading that even though I didn't really get Liam or some of the decisions he made, I could in some ways relate to him.
Yesterday I decided to unearth the library book Born Round by Frank Bruni, a memoir of Bruni's love/hate relationship with food. I had started this book a while ago (I won't mention how overdue it is) and always meant to get back to it - this isn't even one of the ten books I was reading when I listed them. Not wanting to give up on it, I did start it back up yesterday, and polished it off at bedtime. Bruni talks a lot about the weight fluctuations he has had and how devastating gaining weight was for his self esteem. Bruni also discusses his homosexuality and how his weight and self esteem affected his ability to be in a relationship. For whatever reason I always enjoy reading these memoirs about how other people achieve success in overcoming their obsession with food and eating (I say this as I binged on monster bars at breakfast this morning). Bruni's first book, Ambling Through History chronicling Bush's ascent to the presidency is one I had read when it first came out years ago, never having heard of Frank Bruni, the author. Born Round is one of the memoirs I have heard a great deal about in 2009, and while it was good, it is also a book that I was able to put down for over a month before picking it back up.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I really liked Noah's Compass a lot. One of my favorite books from January.