Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Reading Roller-Coaster

Well, I guess I should do my part in spreading the word: The Litblog Co-op has announced its Read This! Spring 2007 pick - Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead: Stories by Alan DeNiro. Since I’ve just discovered this apparently popular, well-known litblog today, I’m also adding their Read This! selections from last year: Michael Martone by Michael Martone, Firmin by Sam Savage, and Wizard of the Crow by Ngugl wa Thiong’o. Added to that I still have to buy The Shakespeare Riots by Nigel Cliff (released today - yeah!). Not to mention I’ve already begun dipping into The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson, which I picked up yesterday during a quickie bookstore stop on my way from the post office. Yes, I know I promised to spend my next $20 on The Shakespeare Riots but how could I pass up a book about an atheist minister who’s life is saved by none other than the Devil? It was a no-brainer, really.

I’ve realized just now that the reading life - much like life itself, I suppose - is full of ups and downs. Only two weeks ago, I was complaining that I couldn’t find anything worth reading in the bookstore. That isn’t to say there wasn’t anything there - because surely there was - but I spent a disappointing afternoon browsing Border’s shelves and, after a fruitless search, left with nothing. I hate leaving the bookstore empty-handed. I makes me feel as if I’ve failed somehow and puts me in a terrible mood.

Then last week, I stopped in an independent bookstore (in the airport of all places) and suddenly the sun came out again. I picked up three gems: Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, The Final Solution by Michael Chabon, and The Italian Secretary by Celeb Carr. When I returned home, there was a copy of Andy Mandelbuam’s translation of The Aenied waiting for me in my mailbox, which has been on my coveted-book list for many years now. And now, I’ve come across the Litblog Co-op Read This! list. (Contented sigh) What can I say? I’m thinking I need a second job. Suddenly, the reading life is good again. At least, it will be until I begin wondering when I’m going to find the time to read all these books...


Gentle Reader said...

Thanks for introducing me to the LitBlog Co-op!

J.S. Peyton said...

No problem! I was happy I found it myself. It looks like a great blog.