Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I just got over my third cold since Xmas and last night (just one day later!) a brand new scratchy throat and runny nose kept me from falling asleep. I didn't finish posting my last blog until around midnight (though I had started drafting it much earlier in the day) and I'm thinking between the new home biz and this blog (oh, and the kids, too), I'm burning the candle at both ends and in between. I don't know how you other bloggers manage to put out posts, quality posts, day after day. I'm exhausted. (As you may have noticed given that Monday's post referred to "yesterday" as a school day. That day had really been last Friday. Oh well.)

So, today's post is going to happen right now. No coming back to it after the kids are asleep. I will (hopefully) be in la-la land shortly thereafter.

I have no idea yet how to put this info in my sidebar (help, if any bloggers are reading...), so I'm going to share with you some of my favorite current reads. They sit on my nightstand in various stages of being read and provide me with much needed enjoyment and escape. Hopefully, you'll agree.

  • SLOUCHING TOWARD BETHLEHEM, Joan Didion. These essays are so sharp, so exquisitely drawn. She is a magnificent writer. Loved YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING as well.
  • WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE, Raymond Carver. I have only begun to read his stories. His dialogue is incredible. Most, if not all, of his story and character are revealed through dialogue. I love his gruff, yet sensitive, male perspective.
  • AFTER RAIN, William Trevor. Short stories by an author who was an important, inspiration to Jhumpa Lahiri. His story, "A Day," is sparsely written but nothing is left to the imagination. He also breaks the "rules" by shifting back and forth in time without warning, yet it is easy to follow. Brilliant. I can't wait to read more.
  • HYPOCRITE IN A POUFFY WHITE DRESS, Susan Jane Gilman. I stumbled across this in my local bookstore and I'm loving her self-deprecating, comedic style. Anyone who grew up in the 70's will love her essays about growing up a chubby girl in New York City.
And though I'm not currently reading Jhumpa Lahiri, her short story compilation, INTERPRETER OF MALADIES, is a book I refer to often for inspiration and guidance. I can't wait for her new short fiction coming out this Spring. Also, I can't forget to mention one of my very favorite authors, Aimee Bender. She writes surreal fiction with such insight and heart, she makes you believe it's all real. I especially love her short story compilations, "THE GIRL IN THE FLAMMABLE SKIRT," and "WILLFUL CREATURES".

As you can see, I love short stories. I always have but especially now as a mom, I can at least finish a story and get to the next one, whenever. I have countless novels that have been read halfway through and still languish on my bookshelf. Short form is far less frustrating.

Please feel free to offer up any of your favorites. I'm always looking for a good read. No chick lit please. Most of it just ain't worth my valuable free time.


Dawn said...

I just checked The Year of Magical Thinking out at the library today. I started reading it as soon as I got home and haven't wanted to put it down, although by necessity I've had to. Can't wait to get back to it.

slouching mom said...

Love Raymond Carver and Didion.

Do you like Ian McEwan?

Manic Mommy said...

Thanks for the help. One of my new years resolutions is to read better books.

Short stories sound about right for now. It usually takes me about six interruptions to get through one newspaper article).

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