Thursday, February 5, 2009

Traveling Thursday

I didn't have a chance to post a Sunday Salon post this week, and I've been on the road ever since, which leaves me with not enough concentration to post an actual book review, so I've decided to post a sort of salon-ish post here in my motel room.

Our dear David Copperfield wasn't invited to come along to southern Oregon because, frankly, he is too fat. I wanted paperbacks that could be tucked easily into a backpack along with my writing folder and my knitting.

So, here's what I brought along:

At our rented beach cottage, I read Kevin Fitzpatrick's A Journey Into Dorothy Parker's New York. This is one of several of the ArtPlace series by Roaring Forties Press I'll be reviewing in the months to come, and I can't wait to get my thoughts together and tell you all about it--both good and bad. I learned so much from this book! Which wasn't hard to accomplish, since I knew very little about Dorothy Parker to begin with--but I also learned about a lot of other people and places I hadn't expected.

Once I'd finished Dorothy Parker, I moved on to Something Like Beautiful, by Asha Bandele. The first few chapters were kind of frustrating for me, because Asha tends to repeat herself. A lot. She repeats herself quite a bit, in fact, (Get it? Like that.) writing in circles around ideas or events to the point where an entire paragraph or two seem to be devoted to a single thought. On page 72 I put it down to go to bed, and at our hotel between the coast and southern Oregon the next night when I went to pick it back up . . . I didn't.

Instead, I picked up Philipp Meyer's debut novel, American Rust. I'm on page 40 right now, and I'm definitely into it. It's not a quick read--a little Faulkner-esque, in its third person stream-of-consciousness style. Meyer switches points of view in each chapter and I'm loving the way the third-person narrative voice changes with each new point-of-view character. Lots of early action, too, for those who like a good dose of plot with their cool narrative effects.

And here's what the whole family is reading together on our trip:

Both of these have been great family reads, in that they're entertaining to all of us. On the curvy roads we're listening to an mp3 of Pictures of Hollis Woods, that I downloaded from the library--my first time doing this successfully. The story of a girl who has bounced from foster home to foster home. We're about a third of the way through it. When we're not in the car, and during the straight parts of the drive, I'm reading the first Ranger's Apprentice book aloud. It's great! I hope they'll want to read the rest of the series with me--even though it's impossible to do the voices the same way Ben heard them in his head when he was reading Book 1 to himself!

The books, the weather, the people who've attended the presentations I'm here to give, and the people I get to hang out with every day (who've been keeping the bickering in the car to a bare minimum) have all conspired to make for some lovely time away from home. And now, my blogging hour is done--time to get back to my book and help the kiddos settle down for the night.


  1. Sounds like you're having a good time and getting some reading done. I have American Rust so I'm hoping it's good. I'll watch for your reviews/comments on the others. Enjoy.

  2. I finished Drood last night and loved it - my only complaint is it's too big to read in bed (the way I read in bed, anyway), so I know what you mean.

  3. Kevin Fitzpatrick's A Journey Into Dorothy Parker's New York sounds really interesting. I can't wait to read your review. You write really well :)

  4. The *Dorothy Parker* book intrigues me ... and part of an ArtPlace series? I'm doubly intrigued. I'll look for your review.

  5. something like beautiful wasn't a favorite of mine either. It got better in the middle and then went back to the stream of consciousness repetetive thing. Love your demonstration of it!