As regular readers might imagine, I’m not doing so very much on the cooking front recently. I spend a lot of time propped up in bed or on a couch with my leg on a cushion, often with ice on it, waiting to see the surgeon next week and make a plan. At some point each day I hit the pool and do some very wonky looking laps as I gamely try to flutter kick even remotely evenly or sit on a stationary bike with no resistance and move my legs around for a bit. For awhile there I was doing things like walking – slowly, slowly – to meet people for lunch or going to cocktail parties where there weren’t any chairs, but I see now that that was not such a great idea. Moving is good, but too much at this particular stage just makes everything stiffer. I’m trying to keep it to some light pacing around the house as I talk on the phone.
So I work and I read. I am not a hot-off-the-presses book reader. I tend to read things as they make their way to me. Recommendations trickle in or people even send me their favorites or my dashing husband leaves something on my night stand. As always, my barometer for listing something here is simple – these are the books that made me stay up late and wake up early:
The Keep by Jennifer Egan, which I just finished and made me want to write this post. Um, crazy good. The kind of amazing writing that can simultaneously inspire one to write and make one wonder why they should even bother.
Drop City by T.C. Boyle about a hippie commune that moves to Alaska. I kept waiting for everyone to die or something tragic to happen. The number of times I was practically holding my breath in fear of what the next page would reveal was stunning.
Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin was a nice, long page turner whose absurdity tickled me to no end. I mean, the Prince and Princess of Wales need to “conquer” America – anonymously and without resources – to take the throne? Sign me up!
Something to Tell You: A Novel by Hanif Kureishi is about psychiatry, London, love, sibling-ness, Pakistan, parenthood, strip clubs….
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is a kids/young adult book I read out loud to my son. Its conceit is that the Greek gods are alive and well and Mount Olympus hovers at the top of the Empire State Building because the gods simply move to the center of Western Civilization (capital W, capital C) as it changes. There are demigods and heroes and monsters and all kinds of insanity. We’re onto the second book now and I’m trying not to do what I did with the first one, which was to stay up very late one night reading ahead because I just couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen.
I loved The History of Love by Nicole Krauss so much that I’m scared to read Great House: A Novel – What if it’s not as good? What if I’m disappointed? How will I go on? It gets moved between my night stand and my study, with brief visits to the living room coffee table, taunting me, tempting me.
“The Pube Is Dead, Long Live the Pube” by Jess Vacek in issue #3 of Death magazine. Hands down it is the smartest, funniest, saddest thing I have ever read about pubic hair. Seriously. May your spring be “wild and rangy and strong.”