Sunday, September 26, 2010

Currently Reading

Felt like blogging, didn't really know what to say, so turned to BTT. And they had a ridiculously easy one up:

What are you reading right now? What made you choose it? Are you enjoying it? Would you recommend it? (And, by all means, discuss everything, if you’re reading more than one thing!)

(I’ve asked this one before, but, well, it’s not like the answers stay the same, and darn it, it’s an interesting question!)

So right now I'm reading Private Life by Jane Smiley. I chose it because of an ad in The New Yorker. For a long time, I've had an irrational prejudice against this author because I really hate her last name. I know it's stupid, but I find it annoying. I did actually try one of her other books once, called Moo. And she did that thing I hate, when she makes an animal a symbol of something negative, like loss, or the toll that neglect and someone's whims takes on something. It always makes me miss the point.

So, to me, Moo is about a pig who's stashed in an unused building at a college and meticulously cared for by a student who bonds with the pig because he grew up on a farm and kinda misses it, and then after being stashed in the dark for months, they tear down the building because no one knows the pig was in there, and the pig (who's been depressed for a while) gets so excited to see the sunlight and smell the fresh air again that he goes running across campus, except he's big and fat now and can't really run and dies.

So anyway. Private Life. So far, I'd give it a meh-not-bad. It's another family saga, and I'm beginning to think maybe I checked out too many of those. It's about three daughters, especially the youngest, who were born in the late 1800s, and their marriages. Two of them stick close to home and make financially advantageous, conventional matches. But who cares about THEM. This book is about Margaret, consigned to old-maidhood until a naval astronomer (the joke is that they're never sure whether to address him as Dr., Captain, or just Mr.) marries her and takes her to California. All this is a rather slow burn, and I'm substantially into the book at this point. Hard to think of what to say about this one.

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