It's maybe akin to having a golden retriever trot up to you at the park with its tail waving like a hairy flag; it sticks a cold nose onto your leg in a manner that is startling but patently harmless.
I understand that it's rude but I am driven by some effervescent mix of my mom's unflappable busybody nature and the entitled attitude I copped from newspaper reporting. I don't break in if they are actually reading, but I'll ask when they are just -- you know -- carrying.
For every time I indulge in this obnoxious curiosity, there are five times I have resisted giving into the impulse...
And with that -- whatcha reading? Huh? Huh?
Here's me: I have the Complete Collected Dorothy Parker at bedside. I've been dipping into it for a year or so -- Parker is such a smart writer. I gobbled down Hilary Mantel's bleak and hilarious Beyond Black recently. I finally got around to reading Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, and I am about half way through Jon Green's The Fault In Our Stars. I am listening to the audio production of To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal.
At the bookstore recently, I was excited to see Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries and Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch both in paperback. And -- o0oh! -- new books from Lorrie Moore, Ian McEwan, Sarah Waters (sqee!), Garth Stein, Lauren Beulks, Wally Lamb and more. I think it will be a good year for reading.
Now you go: What ARE you reading?