Thursday, July 17, 2008

Feed Your Mind...Part 2

I'm trying to read again.  So that I can finally honor my intentions that led me to forgo buying/hustling a television set.  I got some reading done, earlier this year.  Made a list, you know.  Then, of course, it fell by the wayside.  I let life (and trife) get in the way...So I'm back at it. 

It pains me to say that I've only completed one of the books on the list to follow and the others I'm juggle simultaneously...

Perfume - Patrick Suskind 

Reading Simultaneously:
Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky
A Lover's Discourse - Roland Barthes
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Last Report On The Miracles at Little No Horse - Louise Erdrich (love. her.)*

Planning to Start:
Ralph Ellison - Arnold Rampersand

(and of course all of the rest of the books on the list from February I still haven't gotten to...)

Perfume.  What can I say other than I was a bit disappointed.  In the end it just kind of spun out of control and lost me.  Left me wondering, much as I always do after intense exposure to 'German-ness' what's really going on up in that piece?  Anyway, this book started out brilliantly.  What an amazing story and story teller in Patrick Suskind.  However, the cave episode almost lost me and the bizarre and rather 6th-grade-language-arts-class-special-Halloween 'scary'-story-assignment ending was too much and not enough all at once.  Sigh. That's literally what I did upon finishing.  I was waiting to be scared out of my pants.  It could have happened too, but...

Wait!  I just remembered in my guilt that I've been reading quite a bit.  As a favor to a friend, I agreed to become a reader for a local literary journal.  I have read at least 50 short stories in the past three months.  I have also read quite a few essays written by food writers in preparation for the class I am teaching.  Remembering that allows me to feel much better about my reading life. I had to say that out loud to make myself feel better!

Anyway, my plan is to finish all of these books listed above by summer's end.  Except maybe A Lover's Discourse.  That is truly one to consult periodically as circumstances dictate.  I may also hold off on Ralph Ellison until the fall, I don't know that I'm in the right frame of mind for a 625+ page account of the life of a brilliant yet self-hating negro.  It's summertime for goodness sakes!  We'll see about that one.

I'm going to have to make a plan.

*Ahhh...the prolific and fabulous Louise Erdrich.  Along with Toni Morrison, a writer idol of mine, though I am now four books behind.  I still have The Master Butcher's Singing Club, Four Souls, The Painted Drum, and the latest:   The Plague of Doves to savor.  


1 comment:

Liz said...

I recently read your post about Irène Némirovsky and wanted to let you know about an exciting new exhibition about her life, work, and legacy that will open on September 24, 2008 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage —A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. Woman of Letters: Irène Némirovsky and Suite Française, which will run through the middle of March, will include powerful rare artifacts — the actual handwritten manuscript for Suite Française, the valise in which it was found, and many personal papers and family photos. The majority of these documents and artifacts have never been outside of France. For fans of her work, this exhibition is an opportunity to really “get to know” Irene. And for those who can’t visit, there will be a special website that will live on the Museum’s site
The Museum will host several public programs over the course of the exhibition’s run that will put Némirovsky’s work and life into historical and literary context. Book clubs and groups are invited to the Museum for tours and discussions in the exhibition’s adjacent Salon (by appointment). It is the Museum’s hope that the exhibit will engage visitors and promote dialogue about this extraordinary writer and the complex time in which she lived and died. To book a group tour, please contact Tracy Bradshaw at 646.437.4304 or Please visit our website at for up-to-date information about upcoming public programs or to join our e-bulletin list.
Thanks for sharing this info with your readers. Let me know if you need any more.

-Elizabeth Sinnreich (