Wednesday, February 10, 2010

After the Holidays

Is it just me or are the holidays in general a bit busy and out of control for everyone? Stupid question, I know. Year after year, the holidays seem to get busier and busier.

I don't think I read much over the past couple of months. I was busy. It was the holidays and there was way too much crap to do. But now, all I want to do is read. I want to lay in bed ALL day long and read. Do you ever have those phases in life where you want to shut out the world and escape into books? So if you wonder where I am lately, for those of you who know me, it's under the covers with (hopefully) a good book!

On the subject of good books, I managed to squeeze in two over the past month. Before those two, I'm sure that I read some, I just can't remember what they were.

First good read: A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson. We started a new book club and this book was recommended by a member.

Turns out to have been a great read for a bunch of women. We are keeping this book club small-- there were only five of us sitting around the table, as compared to fifteen of us in my other book club. All of us ladies could very easily relate to A Year By the Sea. Some more than others, but we all found some common thread to hold onto. In fact, it spurred on one woman to write a letter to her husband telling him all of the things that she misses in her marriage. We opened up about how we feel about our marriages, what changes we would like and how nice it would be to have the freedom to explore more of ourselves, outside of our married lives... just us, as women. It was really cool considering some of the ladies were meeting for the first time. To read a book that enabled us to be so open was an excellent first choice for this book club!

On another side note, I am in a boot club- for fitness. It kicks my ass. But I think, almost every time I'm working my ass off, about this book and how she put her body to use and challenged herself by running and exercising. It sticks in my head and makes me proud that I am also starting to pay a little more attention to this vessel that carries me through life on a daily basis.

Moving on....

A couple of nights ago, I finished reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

I recommended it as our next book for the small book club and it was picked. Yay! Why yay, you're wondering? It's a great book and I think we could have some really interesting discussions. For example, what would you do if your child was born a hermaphrodite? See... lots to ponder, eh?

Seriously, Jeffrey Eugenides wrote a fantastic novel. There were a couple of nights that I just couldn't pick up the book because of the sadness I felt from it. But that didn't mean that I wasn't thinking about it, just needed some processing time.

The book primarily takes place in Detroit, which just so happens to be where I'm from! I loved reading about Vernors and was hoping for some reference to Guernsey's, but had to be satisfied with what he threw in there to remind me of home. I recently found out that my maternal Grandfather was a bootlegger during prohibition and would make liquor runs from Canada to Detroit. Must have been a common career choice back then. And the history of Detroit that Eugenides includes in the book was cool, too. Eugenides won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for Middlesex. I can certainly see why after reading this book.

As with every good book that I read, I do a little research on the author. Come to find out, Eugenides is very private. He doesn't even maintain a Facebook Fan Page. I know, gasp! So I got to thinking about that, all about the different authors and the types of authors that are out there: the ones who whore it up by sharing in every possible way that they can, and the ones who remain private, only allowing pieces of information about themselves to seep out into their fictional novels or by granting those "rare" interviews.

And I questioned myself: If I were a famous, or even not-so-famous but damn good writer, would I whore it up or choose to remain somewhat of a mystery to my fans?

I would definitely remain a mystery. There's so much more fun in that. It's like revealing a small amount of cleavage or showing the whole boob. I'm definitely not the show-your-whole-boob type of gal.

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