It's not uncommon for me a grill complete strangers about what they are reading, whether they like it, and what else they've read recently. The impulse to talk books often overwhelms my meagre grasp of social skills.
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?
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