Thoughts for a Friday

It’ll be a quiet Friday night here, as I’m not quite ready to post on the latest book I’ve finished — Cornell Woolrich’s The Black Angel — and there’s not much else to report on, and I’d really rather get reading ASAP. A quiet night tonight is great, but I’m looking forward to a little more excitement tomorrow as Hobgoblin and I will be heading out to a mystery book group meeting to discuss Woolrich. It’s always so much fun finding out what everybody else thinks, and with this book, I’m not sure at all what the consensus will be, if there is one. It’s an odd little book, and I have mixed feelings about it, but more on that later.

I had the fun of choosing another book to read last night, which, since I read slowly isn’t something that happens all that often, and which is also frequently kind of complicated. I’ll sit for a while and ponder what I’m in the mood for: old or new? easy or challenging? long or short? written by a man or a woman? And then I’ll stare at my books for a while and maybe look over my TBR list, and then maybe go back to my bookshelves and pull books off the shelves to see if this one or that one feels right. So last night I finally settled on a book I’ve had around for a while, Mary Gaitskill’s Veronica. I remember reading reviews of this book a few years ago and finding myself intrigued by its dark tone and subject matter. I’m not sure what drew me to this book right now, except perhaps a feeling that I wanted to read something by a woman, but not something stereotypically feminine in any way, which Veronica certainly is not. I’m about 70 pages in, and so far so good.

I also had the pleasure of finding a new book in the mail today: Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love arrived through Book Mooch. I read about the book at Novel Readings, where Rohan Maitzen wrote about it so well I couldn’t resist. I also have another book on the way: Rachel Cohen’s A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists. Doesn’t that subtitle sound great? When it comes to books, there’s very little more enthralling than a good book about books and writers.

And with those thoughts for Friday, I’m off to go read!

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Thoughts for a Friday

  1. Ann

    ‘The Map of Love’ was one of my great finds a couple of years ago. I hope you love it as much as I did. You have reminded me that I haven’t seen anything new by Soueif for some time. I must check out if there is anything in the pipeline.

    You’re description of how you go about choosing a new book made me stop and think. Too often, for me it’s dictated by what is due back at the library first. I need to think if that is the way I really want to go.

  2. I’ve been thinking what to read this month. Like Ann I often plump for whatever is due back at the library. But today I feel like starting one from my to-be-read piles.

    There’s an award for you over on my blog –

    http://www.booksplease.org/2009/10/03/awards-2/

  3. Ooh, I love the leisurely book-selection process – lingering over all the books, taking out one and then another, putting them back, considering, eventually settling on a particular one and rearranging my to-be-read shelf accordingly…well evoked.

  4. Cornell Woolrich is an author I’ve wanted to read for a long time, so I’ll be curious to hear what your thoughts on it are. And I’ve got Veronica as well. I love choosing a new book to read–I tend to have something in mind, but often I’ll just go through my piles and look for something that fits the mood I’m in. Enjoy your book club discussion!

  5. We’ve got a copy of The Map of Love, somewhere, picked up at a book conference back when it was first published. I’ll have to take another look at it — maybe when it’s next time to choose a new book, which for me really means choosing about five new books. Can’t wait to hear your full take on The Black Angel.

  6. Ann — I’m so glad to know you enjoyed The Map of Love so much. It makes me look forward to it even more! I think if I checked books out of the library regularly, I would use your system too. It’s not a bad one though — it means you don’t necessarily have the same prolonged uncertainty I sometimes do.

    BooksPlease — oh, thank you very much for the award! How kind of you. And as I said to Ann, it wouldn’t really be a bad thing if I let outside circumstances dictate more of my book choices!

    Emily — thank you. It is occasionally fraught with worry and introspection for me, but much of the time, it IS a lot of fun — so many great possibilities I get to consider.

    Danielle — I did enjoy the book discussion. I’ll post on the Woolrich book soon. It certainly wasn’t a perfect or great book, but I thought it was a fun read, and it gave us a lot to talk about. So far I’m enjoying Veronica.

    Emily — I’ll post on the Woolrich soon. I made sure to read your post before the meeting so I could add your thoughts to the discussion. It would be cool to read The Map of Love at the same time, wouldn’t it?

  7. I hope you had a nice evening of reading!

  8. I read a few posts of yours today on the recommendation of Emily from Evening All Afternoon, Dorothy, and now I see why she’s said such nice things about you and your blog! You have a very nice thing going on here, and I loved your description of the new book selection process. It’s often a very mystical experience finding just the right one, isn’t it? Anyway, thanks for an enjoyable visit!

  9. I’m glad to know it takes you a while to settle on a new book too! It is a commitment and you want to be sure to have just the right one.

  10. Stefanie — I did, thank you!

    Richard — thank you very much for stopping by, and many thanks to Emily for the recommendation! I appreciate your kind compliment about my post.

    Debby — that’s right; it’s a commitment of quite a bit of time, particularly since I’m a slow reader. I also end up thinking about the book a lot even when I’m not reading it, so it really saturates my life.

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