I'm rolling in reading material right now. There'd been a dry stretch there for a while. Usually, I'm too frugal to buy myself a book. If I see titles I like at the bookstore, I'll go home and reserve them online at my library. Ever since the great bloodletting in January, however, I just haven't managed to make this cheap-reads system work. Either my account's been "blocked" and I can't reserve online, or I forget to go to the library in time to pick up the book (they only hold it a few days), or I can't remember the title by the time I get home from the bookstore.
The upshot of which is, most of my reading material this year has been blogs and newspapers. My brain feels thin.
So for my birthday, I treated myself to a bunch of books. I've just finished Devil in the Details. This was breathtakingly funny, at least to anyone who grew up Jewish and a little weird (ahem). Now I'm enjoying Leave the Building Quickly. (Hmmm, another Jewish memoir - I'm detecting a pattern here.) Awaiting my perusal are Little Heathens and Traveling Mercies. And of course I had to pick up the copy of Knitting For Baby that I've been lusting after for months.
I'm a very happy woman. There's nothing like having a stack of yummy books waiting for you on your nightstand to make you want to slip into something a little more comfortable and slide between those covers. [oooh, good pun! completely unintended! I'm a genius!]
You'll note that most of these books are memoirs. I'm currently addicted to the genre. It's odd, you know - up to the day I had my first child, I had no interest in reading anything but fiction. I would read - for fun! - short stories by Isak Dinesen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and assorted other well-known authors. My favorite book was All The King's Men, by William Penn Warren. In other words, I wasn't always as shallow as I sound now.
But I've read almost nothing but non-fiction since the minute Theo was born. Childrearing, it seems, leaves me no patience for the willing suspension of disbelief. At first, I devoured all the parenting books I could get my hands on, because - believe it or not - until the baby was actually born, I did not understand that I was going to be raising a child. I was therefore woefully unprepared for my new situation.
[I know, one could argue that the parenting literature belongs in the fiction category, for all the good it does the hapless reader. But let's not go there right now.]
Once I finished every single parenting tome ever published, I moved on to other how-to's and self-help books: the marriage ones (which should all be subtitled "How To Manipulate Your Spouse Into Doing What You Want"), the home organization ones (didn't take), the homeschooling ones ("Teach Your Child Latin While You Do Dishes!" and other lies)....the list is endless.
Oh, I dabbled a bit in history and economics, too; in fact, the year we spent in Rhode Island, I waded through both Empire: The Rise and Demise of British World Power (written by Niall Ferguson, only the hottest British economist a gal could ever hope to meet) and a number of history books by Thomas Cahill . Impressive, yet...dry facts can be so boring, can't they? Life is just too short to waste on data. So the yenta in me has found my true biblio-love: reading real-life, first-person stories, preferably humorous ones. (I prefer not to waste my time reading someone who is whining on and on about his/her life - I get enough of that from my own children.)
So excuse me if my posts are short and far-between for a few weeks; I'll be blissfully wallowing in other people's lives and thoughts for a while. It's refreshing to forget about my own boring problems for a bit and laugh at someone else's. Not charitable maybe, but refreshing...