Sunday, March 21, 2010

A word about my recent reading habits

So, I haven't been reading much lately. I'm halfway through a novel called Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin, but it's been so long since I picked it up that there's an impressive layer of dust on the front cover. (And I think I've even dusted it once since I opened it last.) It's an entertaining and hilarious novel reminiscent of A Confederacy of Dunces, except that it's about a silly crown prince in England (and later in America) instead of about a misanthropic fat man in New Orleans. I think I will finish it someday, but for now, my reading habits have taken an unfamiliar (to me) turn.

I'm knitting and watching more online TV, although I seem to have finally gotten over the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel obsession. (Thank goodness. But I don't guarantee that it won't return.) And otherwise, I'm reading bits and pieces of many non-fiction books: Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun; 10 Habits that Mess Up a Woman's Diet by Elizabeth Somer; Free-Range Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee; and many knitting pattern books, interior design books, and the occasional cookbook. That's not an exhaustive list, merely representative. Some of these books I'll finish eventually and some I won't. But apparently I'm avoiding the plot-driven book these days.

However, I'm considering the possibility, what with all the watching of TV shows, with their wrapped-up-in-less-than-an-hour plots, that I might be about to enter a phase of reading mysteries. (I do not include Lost in the genre of TV shows that wrap up plots in an hour. I'm just hoping they wrap up the plot at the end of this, The Final Season. It's getting ridiculous now: so the smoke monster had a mother? And the mother was insane? Boo hoo! Poor smoke monster that looks and acts exactly like but is not Locke!)

Anyway, I've never really liked mysteries all that much, but suddenly they sound pleasant, with logic and clues leading to a satisfying solution. If anyone wants to suggest a good mystery, please do. We can also discuss the possibility that my craving for neatly portrayed stories might be a reaction to My Present Life, which is just getting busier and more full of questions about how to proceed with the kids' education and other pressing matters. Although I'm kind of enjoying Life, even in the face of that feeling that all of our decisions right now will determine whether our children become Lazy Slobs with No Work Ethic Who Tragically Wasted Their Potential or Decent, Talented, Bright People Who Contribute to Society. (I know those aren't the extremes. They could also become Sociopathic Criminals Who (we hope) Languish in Prison or World-Famous Scientists/Doctors Who Cure All of Society's Ills.)

Oh, I just remembered that I actually finished a book recently: The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze Orman. I did kind of skim the end, though. I liked it!