Writing Wednesdays: What are you reading now?

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I survived last week’s cold with a combination of naps, New Yorkers, and soup, and I’ve bookmarked your excellent suggestions for the next time around (with a toddler who’s in group care, I’m sure it won’t be long).

As it happened, Jenny Offill’s excellent Dept. of Speculation arrived just as I was starting to turn a corner. I first read about it — where else? — in The New Yorker, and it was the perfect thing to get the spring back into my step intellectually. Experimental without being cloying, funny without being forced, it tells the story of creative ambition stalled in short, paragraph-long bursts.

A boy who is pure of heart comes over for dinner. One of the women who is dabbling with being young again brings him. He holds himself stiffly and permits himself only the smallest of smiles at our jokes. He is ten years younger than we are, alert to any sign of compromise or dead-ending among us. “You are not allowed to compare your imagined accomplishments to our actual ones,” someone says after the boy who is pure of heart leaves.

So back to the crowd: what are you reading now? Where should I go next now that I’ve got my f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact again?

2 thoughts on “Writing Wednesdays: What are you reading now?

  1. I am currently reading The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith. I just finished Joan Aiken’s Castle Barebane, a gothic novel published sometime in the 1976. I discovered Aiken’s works through the blog of Danielle of A Work in Progress (my favorite book blog). She recommended The Silence of Herondale, which I read and loved, so I thought I would try searching out some of Aiken’s other books. The review of Castle Barebane was good, so I picked it up. It definitely was suspenseful as promised, and it was sad in some ways, too.

  2. My latest read is Dan Brown’s newest: Inferno. Based on a poem of the same name by Dante Alighieri. I have always been fascinated by history and no better venue than the piazza’s, duomo’s and eventually the Vatican…It’s only been speculated as to the millions of artifacts that lay beneath in the vaults. Some have said that before ALL could ever be cataloged, at least 25% of it’s contents will not even exist by then. Can you imagine? Factually, only three people hold the key: literally, to the vaults. The Pope, his Camarlegno(secretary)and of course the actual keeper of the keys. I can imagine the vaults holding things that are innocuous and those not really meant to be seen. By design, or by sheer volume. Religion aside, there are skeletons all institutions hold. Many years ago, my parents and I were fortunate enough too travel to Italy, and take-in it’s finest. Daddy hired a private guide with his own vehicle rather than the usual “bus tours”. I was even close enough to get a pretty good picture of El Pape from about 15 feet away. Can’t remember which one. Mr. Brown’s other work: The Da Vinci Code, is one of my top 5’s…I’ve just now cracked-open the binder, but am very pleased so far. Be good: as Dante said- “The darkest places in Hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis” Enjoy, LeRoy

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