Thursday, June 06, 2013

Reading/Not Reading

I started reading a new book a couple of days ago. It was The Red House by Mark Haddon who also wrote The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night --- which I loved. Curious Incident has a very unique format and narrative pattern. The characters are interesting and unexpected. I was looking for something similar from The Red House. In the first page or so I realized I needed to make myself a family-tree list of characters to reference as I read. That's fine. The format was complicated. It felt a bit like solving a puzzle while reading. I like puzzles! The characters began to take shape and the puzzle of a plot became more complicated.  Clues about grief, loss and dysfunction began peeking through.

It's a busy time for my family right now. We're moving in less than two months and even though we've moved twelve times, it's always overwhelming. There are lots of year-end activities for Claire and Benjamin. Jeff is preparing for a big trip with some midshipmen. I think we're all feeling a mix of anxiety and excitement about all of this. Sometimes more excited, sometimes more overwhelmed. 

This afternoon I needed a little break from house and family stuff, so I sat down to read a chapter of The Red House. I was enjoying bit, but I was feeling tense figuring it out and absorbing the characters troubles. It seems obvious now, but this book was the wrong choice for this particular moment in my life. I've got real life puzzles to figure out. Guiding a teen and a preteen through this move (and just regular day-to-day stuff) is enough drama. I'm not up for fictional drama.

I think I'm going to switch to Maria de la Santos new book Falling Together. I've read her other books and enjoyed them. If you have recommendations for light but thoughtful books especially laugh-out-loud books, I would love to hear them.

I'll go back to The Red House someday when life is less complicated. (???)


kathy said...

I really liked listening to Matthew Quicks other book, 'Sorta Like a Rock Star.' Read the reviews and tell me what youthink.

Anonymous said...

I just finished phoebe and the ghost of Chagall and I loved it.

JB said...

I loved reading Stella in Heaven by Art Buchwald. Humorous, sweet and laugh out loud at times. A fun, relaxing read. Good luck on your move. I can't imagine moving that many times.

jeanne Marklin said...

The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Learned to Love My Inner Italian is a funny book about a comedy writer who has a mid life crisis. His wife buys a house in Tuscany to distract him from his woes and they deal with some archaic Italian regulations and get to know their neighbors. It's a memoir, and there are lots of laugh out loud moments.