I am a bizarre specimen these days. I swear, I have no idea where the hours in my day go, only that I find myself going to sleep at four a.m. more and more regularly with little to show for it. I’ve read so little this year, it’s laughable. (Partly because I tried going on a YA hiatus and reading more “adult” books. I plowed through THE ART OF FIELDING, which was enjoyable enough though I kept feeling like I’d already read it, probably because I once read Zadie Smith’s ON BEAUTY. Then I tried to go a little more classic with TO THE LIGHTHOUSE. I think I’m still hovering around page 46.
I swear, I used to love adult fiction, but when it took me something like two weeks to get through Sarah Dunant’s SACRED HEARTS–and I say this having enjoyed two other titles of hers–I decided I’d had enough. Luckily, I had a little stash of YA books I bought with an Amazon gift card I got for Chanukah. I didn’t care for Kody Keplinger’s THE DUFF as much as I’d hoped, although I’d certainly read future books of hers, but Melina Marchetta’s JELLICOE ROAD was a perfect example of how good YA can be. (Though it seriously took me about a hundred pages to get into it–I can’t understand how both author and editor thought it was a good idea to be that incredibly confusing for that long–and to be perfectly honest, if I hadn’t read such marvelous things about it, I probably would’ve put it down. In a fire. Anyway, glad I stuck with it. Obviously.)
Now that that’s done, I’m determined to go back to the adult stuff, but I don’t know where to begin with the recommendations I’ve been given. BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin? BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MUSEUM by Kate Atkinson? Or do I continue on with Lisa See and read DREAMS OF JOY, even though I’m kind of feeling exhausted on the whole “Women come to America from East Asia searching for a better life and discover that it sort of sucks here too” genre. Do I go ahead and read Lisa Lutz’s 5th Spellman book–which I am dying for–when it comes out in five days, even though I usually wait for books to come out in paperback and will end up buying it when it does? And why is May 8 not coming faster so I can finally get Ann Patchett’s STATE OF WONDER in paperback??
Well, one thing’s for sure–I need to stop buying books at the insane rate I’ve been doing for the past few years. As such, I’ve decided to do something I haven’t done since I was in the single digits: Get a library card! It kind of kills me, because I love owning books, not least because I love lending them out (and, of course, I love supporting authors), but freelance checks just aren’t enough to keep me in the Geraldine Brooks and Jonathan Tropper to which I’ve become accustomed. And so, I am officially making “obtaining a library card” the new goal of my week. Godspeed!