It’s not going well. I’m behind in all my “assigned” reading. Does this mean I haven’t been reading? Not at all. I read Bob Ward’s “Four Kinds of Rain.” I re-read TRUTH AND BEAUTY. I’ve started reading Liz Perle’s book on women and money. I read Jane Bryant Quinn’s book on money. (Do you detect a theme? Please do not worry. I am not struggling with an excess of money. Or a deficit. I am struggling with some really stupid pyschological stuff re: money, almost paralyzed by the need to make decisions about my retirement funds and other investments. The Quinn book, which promises to be easy and direct, is pretty easy and direct. But I still felt as if I was on the verge of hyperventilating.)
Reading is so . . . impulsive, whimsical, moody for me. I plucked BOOK BY ONE OF MY BIG LITERARY HEROES out of the pile the other night. In the right mood, I will love this book. But it wasn’t doing it for me. The next day, I bought Gail Godwin’s latest. The subject matter — a young woman working as a journalist, hoping to be a novelist — was a natural for me, and Godwin is a great favorite. But I was a bit put off by the historical aspect. When I read a historical novel, it’s so hard for me to forget that I’m reading a novel because there’s so much awe-inspiring research. I read to escape. But just a few pages into the Godwin, I can tell it’s the right book at the right time. For one thing, there’s her voice, which I’ve always loved. I’m glad that Godwin was established before the the term “chick lit” was coined. It’s easy to see someone using it to dismiss, say, A MOTHER AND TWO DAUGHTERS. (I’m not anti-chick lit, far from it. I just hate the way the term has been used as a shorthand for Not Wholly Serious.) Her characters have such lively minds, such full, complicated lives.
So I’m behind. On everything. But I’m still reading.